Teaching a fieldsports photographer to photograph weddings

By Milly

For the four and a half years before I started working for Emily, I was a fieldsports and canine photographer.

When Emily offered me a job, I was conflicted by the idea of photographing weddings – I had never even been to one as a guest, not to mention as a photographer! The idea of controlling 150 people to get the perfect pictures terrified me, partly because I didn’t think I had the confidence.

However, after a little persuasion from Emily I soon joined and gave it a go, and now, a year later, I absolutely love my job!

One of the main things that Emily taught me was how to use the camera in manual mode, something I never needed to know in my last job. Learning how to use the camera in manual mode really helps you get to know the camera much better, and your understanding of photography improves, which naturally has a positive effect on your photos. I am now confident enough to take pictures in low light, while maintaining a high level of quality. This always comes in handy for first dance photos – evenings during the winter get dark quickly and we always try not to use a flash where possible.

It’s not just how to use my camera to its full potential that Emily taught me, though. Another great skill I have learnt from her is how to interact with guests at a wedding or event. Emily believes a good photographer should blend in with the guests, and the best way to do this is to act like a guest!

We always go to jobs dressed in whatever the theme dictates, and we both interact with anyone and everyone there. This is a great way to get more natural photos from the event, as everyone is relaxed and not worrying about what the photographer is doing! It also means that when we take the staged photos, it’s a more calm environment and the photos are far more natural.

One of Emily’s specialities is how she manages to control such a large group of people at once, attracting everyone’s attention and being confident enough to arrange them how she wants… which is easier said than done! A year ago, I never would have imagined that I would be able to control a crowd like this, but with Emily’s teaching I can do this even at the weddings I do alone! (The way that Emily does group photos is so efficient because of the order in which she takes them – something you can read about in her blog.)

I can wholeheartedly say that working with Emily has improved who I am as a photographer – the points listed above are just some of the many reasons why – and I look forward to seeing how my photography continues to improve with Emily’s guidance.

By Milly

Milly_southwestphotographers

“With photography I simply do it because I love it – sounds cheesy right? For me the feeling I get after taking photos, when I’m on the way home is probably my favourite, I just get so excited for the next day to edit them, to see the memories that because of me were captured and can be kept forever.”