If you shoot weddings in London then you know that you have to work around the city and its inhabitants. Whatever you think you are going to achieve, often has to bend and shift to accommodate the unexpected.
All true stories that happened to me…
– Shot a couple that came all the way from Singapore to have photos in their wedding outfits in front of Big Ben, except it was covered in scaffolding at the time.
– Met a couple from Spain on London Bridge as that is where they really wanted to shoot portraits on their wedding day, except they were thinking of Tower Bridge. They were very confused about where the towers had gone.
– Did an engagement shoot at the derelict church, St Dunstan in the East with so many Instagrammers taking photos that we had to queue up to get our shots.
Yes, you often have to think on your feet and be able to switch things up to get a decent shot. So it was very fun to see Rebecca‘s BTS of getting this shot, featuring an entire waddle of human penguins. Instead of fighting the situation or changing location, she decided to include the mayhem and stick with the location, working around a half marathon.
The runners become a key element in her composition and she slowed her shutter down to 1/20 so that they would appear as a dynamic element whilst her subjects remain static.
This means that the eye is still drawn to them and we get a sense of the energy created by the runners. It’s a fun image and I’m sure that it was memorable for the couple. Half of what we do is getting couples to enjoy themselves whilst being photographed – if you can do that, they are already bias towards liking your end results.
What Rebecca Said…
“It’s never dull on a location shoot! But everything happens for a reason, right?
I’d planned to shoot a series of elopement portraits with Alex and Hugh on location in London. I wasn’t able to capture their wedding date this year, but I still wanted to give them some photos they loved. So we decided to meet up and shoot on location together at Bank in London.
We all showed up early and ready to start shooting, only to find our shoot location had already been claimed by about a dozen people dressed up as penguins! I mean, London is always unpredictable and I consider myself an open-minded, outgoing kinda girl. But even I was like, ‘this will be an interesting spin for a photo’!
After a few minutes of confusion, music started blaring out and we figured it must be some kind of weird, dancing penguin flashmob! But then people started running past us. Like, A LOT of people! Turned out it was the London half-marathon and the Bank underground station was a major checkpoint. This spot by the Royal Exchange was where people supported the runners and everyone was playing music and cheering them on.
Within minutes, the area was filled with runners and it was virtually impossible to cross the road to get the shots we had envisioned. If you’re looking for some peaceful, chilled out shots, don’t go to Bank during a marathon!
But instead of calling it quits, I decided to embrace the chaos and movement of the situation and told Alex and Hugh to stay really still. I let the shutter drag the motion of the runners, and there you have it. Maybe it was the blaring of Peter Andre’s ‘Mysterious Girl’ at that exact moment that got me all hyped me up?! Whatever it was, I was fully loving and embracing the moment.
I think it’s so important to stay true to what really happens in a moment when on location. Because things rarely go according to plan, but there is often magic everywhere if we know where to look.