I guess it's only natural to be curious about someone else's job, or maybe it's simply engaging in small talk whilst I stick a lens in their face, but from all the different weddings I have ever photographed, one thing remains constant and that is being asked the same questions over and over again. Not that it annoys me, in fact, as a wedding photographer (paid wedding crasher), I love engaging with the guests, it even makes me smile knowing I have a fully prepared answer on standby before they have even finished their sentence. This process is actually rather similar to when hearing a googled best man speech - I can now even mouth the punchlines. So whilst I approach the milestone of having photographed 100 weddings, I thought I would discuss the moments I get asked that all important question.
1) How much is that lens?
Because it is grey it must be expensive, yeah? And that camera? How about that flash? How much??!
My heart sinks when I hear this series of questions as for some reason I naturally
think people are asking me because they want to steal it. OH GOD, WHERE IS
MY CAMERA BAG??!! Oh wait, it's on my back.
one comes from the male guests after a few ales in a rather seedy voice
whilst rubbing their thighs. Unfortunately, I don't take any photos of
naked brides for my own collection I'm afraid, gents. Saying that, I once
witnessed a naked pillow fight between bridesmaids. No, no, I didn't
really, I just wanted to make you feel better for asking the question.
Everyone under the sun is now a photographer so no wonder this question comes up every time! If you want to get into photography, my recommendation is to just do it. Buy a relatively decent camera, get creative and jump into the fun! Saying that, please tell them not to bother with a local website, I am struggling with my Google SEO as it is!
4) How many shots do you take at a typical wedding?
People are still fascinated that we have fully shifted over to digital photography. "So that little memory card in there can hold HOW many photos??!" Yep, digital photography is the future, my friend, and I hate to disappoint but I'm of an age where I didn't bother with film photography. The funny aspect to this one is, the older the guest with this question, the longer the conversation lasts and the more in depth it goes into how digital cameras and memory cards work (I'm not complaining though as I love talking about all things geeky).
5) Why do you have two cameras?
I sometimes forget that before I got into photography, I also thought there was one magic lens that could do it all. Close up macro shots, super wide angle, creative bokeh, as well as zooming in on the guests from a distance of 50ft. (I have no idea what that lens would even look like but I reckon it would be epic!)
6) Wait a minute... So who photographed your wedding day?
The classic. This one always makes me laugh because as soon as I tell them I am married there is always a few moments silence before there's a faint sound of their mind imploding. I think it baffles them that I didn't just take a series of selfies of
my wife and myself throughout the day. (For the record, three of my best mates documented my day
beautifully of which two of them have now partnered up and become professional wedding
7) Have you ever been at a wedding where the bride or groom didn't turn up?
This is one of those morbid fascination questions. They don't really want to hear that it's actually happened in real life, but they saw it on a soap once so they will always wonder if it has happened locally. Saying that, I always request payment a few days before just in case the jitters one day gets the best of anyone!
The nerves are always held back by the fact I meet incredibly happy people, go to wonderful locations, eat amazing
food, and above all, get paid to be there, however, of course I still get nervous. Moreover, the question only reminds me of that pressure! I may be settling into the wedding enjoying the day and then BAM! I'm hit by a smug little nephew saying "I hope you remembered to put a memory card in that?" to which I politely laugh it off with a pretend look in the card slot. (it's not a pretend look - it's well and truly a genuine frantic panicked look through a fake smile).
9) Is this a full time job for you?
guess with so many photographers out there on the scene now, no one can
tell the difference between the full time pro and part time pro - They just look
so similar with a camera round their neck! Equally, however, there shouldn't be any animosity between the rivals but inevitably there is. Out of interest, I have to top up my income working in computing (wait for the full timers reading this to tut, shake their heads and exit).
10) What's the worst joke you have ever heard in a best man's speech?
Although I have literally heard every single best man joke on the first 5 pages of Google, this award has to go to any best man who makes any reference to the groom's ex girlfriends or how he is in bed. Needless to say, these 'jokes' in the speech maybe hilarious on the stag do but they never get any more noise than the passing tumbleweed on the big day.
And finally: Would you like a drink?
This is one question all wedding photographers never get tired of hearing!
I use two Canon 5D Mark iii cameras with a range of professional grade L lenses at all weddings and I use SPL water housing when I am in the sea (water sports photography).
Thanks for taking the time to read!