Performing the job of wedding photographer in Italy I often see that the times of the working life of a photographer are not very clear. Usually, people think, the times are summarized in the “day of the wedding photos + selection + send print + delivery albums”: thus simplified.
In fact there are lots of facets and the times are full of strong characterizations depending on the time.
Leaving out the first appointment and job confirmation, which for all professionals are still two absolute highlights and rich in emotion and tension. We go bail to always give the maximum from the first approach, preparing all the material, Albums, arranging the study (in my specific case, not great ordered photographer!) and leaving out of the studio all thoughts to focus on the couple.
When the day of the wedding, the work begins a few days before, checking the addresses, schedules, resuming contact with the couple, preparing all the equipment. We pick up the dress form the cleaning, fresh laundry and then try to sleep well to be at the top the next day.
Fortunately the start of the working day is almost always soft, because the portraits by the bride are generally quite relaxing for us photographers, although in reality the turmoil at home is often very high. But there are situations that offer ideas for taking important moments and very exciting.
The bride, then, just dressed, made up and combed it to its full radiance and we can make some really lovely portraits.
The timeing become excited and our attention is at its highest when the ceremony begins: this is the most critical moment of the day because they are all one-shot moments, unrepeatable, unique, and if we lose them, are gone forever: the arrival of the bride the first sigh at the altar with the groom, the promises, the exchange of rings, are all stories that are repeated, they do not return the same emotion and therefore we can not afford distractions. Even the launch of the rice/petals is not a time to be underestimated.
When we reach the location, we have a moment of relaxation, or at least if we live by doing a quick check of the shooting of the ceremony, everything is perfectly framed and imaged, exactly as we had thought of doing.
The portraits of the couple, in my case never require a very long time, but only because I know that the newlyweds are eager to go to celebrate and it seems sometimes a torture to keep them under the lens for too long, but if it were up to me, it would probably be the longest of all times, in which you need to study the space, to experiment, to stimulate creativity, with you there with me, with the light of the moment, with spaces that inspire us: the creative moments need long times and calm in order to give room for imagination.
Dancing, toasts, speeches, gifts, alternating with “dead moments” of first, second, sorbets and coffee … We must always be vigilant, because even if actually, while eating no shooting, because the “mouths full” are not photogenic, the unexpected time is around the corner and there should not be unpleasantly surprised: the wedding is a show that goes on stage without a script and even though you know the twist lies in wait, you can not imagine when it will make its appearance.
And ends the day you fall.
But it is not over. The most important thing to do and that I definitely raises the tension is backup all the material: to save all the pictures is a priority, to make sure it is not lost even a moment.
An operation that does not require much time, but that is of fundamental importance: the last thing in the evening or early in the morning!
Start then selecting photos: several hundred photos to view, discard, place and those that remain, make a further selection, the finest that will form the album and tell your story.
This stage really takes several hours, possibly continuous (because there is nothing worse than starting a job and then resume it in the hands of days apart). So concentration and perseverance to correct certain imperfections, to improve the atmosphere of the shot and to spread here and there the magic of the fairy tale.
Hard work, often not considered, sometimes underestimated and misunderstood, but it allows your photos to be moved whenever leaf through your albums …
That’s when you hand over your scrapbook will be spent for the photographer many hours with you, with your guests, with your photos, with emails and phone calls, with post-production and with your album, in preparing a preview to deliver immediately after the wedding when you are still overwhelmed by the joy of that day. Only the delivery we can say that it has completed the work, with the hope to have correctly interpreted and that he had grasped all that has meant a lot for you.