THOUGHTS ON MY WORK AS A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
For the last seventeen years my work as a wedding photographer has offered me the remarkable privilege of witnessing other people’s lives in some of their happiest moments. My work has never ceased to move me. I adore the photographs I have from past weddings in my family, the enduring elegance of formality and the timeless quality of the ritual being photographed. But perhaps my favourite photograph is this one of my grandparents that shows a moment of natural and spontaneous tenderness. My grandparents are both now gone, my grandfather died when my mother was five, but in a way, the photograph makes them both alive now. Photographs bridge the past and the present by freezing time, but they also remind one of time’s inescapability, that we are all on its path. I see wedding photography as an ode to life and love, a visual celebration of beauty and joy to cherish in the future. But I don’t just aspire to capture beautiful images, but also meaningful images that capture and evoke the real moments and the real people in front of my camera. Your wedding photographs will be some of the most important and treasured photographs you and future generations will ever have.
(Bibi The Photographer)
The Three Key Parts of Wedding Photography
I. Couple and Group Photographs
Classic shots of the bride and groom and the wedding party
These are the classic wedding photographs of the couple, not necessarily posed but certainly intentional. My approach to these photographs can depend on the taste, style and personalities of the couple. I usually try to take the couple away from the busyness of the main part of the wedding to several previously scouted spots, typically for between twenty and forty-five minutes. Although I will sometimes offer specific directions, my aim is to allow your natural interactions to dictate the composition of these images. Wedding photographs are far too important to be overtaken by passing trends and I aspire to make these images timelessly beautiful.
II. Documentary Shots of the Day
Evocative images that capture moments throughout the wedding day in all its planned and unplanned its glory
These photographs will usually make up the majority of your wedding photographs, although I always want to know which aspects of the wedding photography are the priorities for you. These shots tell the story of the wedding day, documenting the event with images of the key moments as well as the details and setting of the wedding in all its glory. However, I also capture those smaller sometimes in-between or unplanned moments and interactions that often provide the most evocative images of all. Even if nothing goes to plan, I am not fazed, I always find ways of documenting the fun and joy of the goings on.
III. Candid Portraits Of All Those Involved
Vibrant meaningful portraits of the people that make up your wedding
These are the natural unposed shots that capture the people of your wedding; a mother moved by a speech or two friends in hysterics at a remembered story. It is the people (probably the most important ones in your life) who give meaning to your wedding and (without being intrusive or conspicuous) I aim to come away with lots of candid portraits of them. Some wedding photographers seem to capture the couple and the details while overlooking the other people the make up the wedding. So many couples whose weddings I have photographed have told me how delighted they are to have such lovely shots of their favourite people enjoying their wedding.
WEDDINGS IN MERIDA, CAMPECHE AND THE YUCATAN
I have been lucky enough to shoot weddings in stunning haciendas all over Mexico, but Merida and Campeche are home to some of my favourites. The intoxicating heat of the Yucatan and the lush smells and hum of insects emanating from the foliage, all add to the enchanting decadence of these colonial estates. Hacienda Uayamon (in Campeche) is perhaps my favourite of all; its roofless chapel, vast central tree and the way the natural landscape encroaches on the faded facades of its outbuildings make for a truly beguiling wedding experience. I have attended several weddings there and photographed a couple and I am dying to shoot another there soon!
There is certainly something dreamlike about a wedding, where the sound of tropical birds and insects rise out of the heady heat. One of my first photography jobs upon arriving in Mexico was in Merida, photographing for a tourist food guide. On this trip I was taken to several haciendas, many of which have now become my favourites through my work as a wedding photographer. I was able to freely wander the grounds, rooms and gardens, trying to capture the atmosphere of these magical places, as well as getting to taste many of the dishes (having first got the necessary shots of of course!).
There is honestly nowhere I would rather work as a wedding photographer than in the Yucatan peninsular, whether it be an elegant wedding at one of the famous haciendas of Merida or Campeche or a low key ceremony amongst the region's tropical vegetation, I do not mind, I love it all.
I hear of more and more people heading to Merida and its surrounding areas to get married. Many of these people are from Mexico City, but it is increasingly becoming a destination for people from overseas. I assume it is Merida’s many beautiful haciendas that are drawing people to the region and it is not surprising considering their expansive houses, large lawns, palm tree lined paths and pools set within the roofless ruins of the original structures. They provide an idyllic location for any wedding and in many cases their restoration into hotels and rental houses, offers ample accommodation for family and friends to stay together before and after the wedding day.
I try my hardest to persuade anyone making a trip to Mexico to include the Yucatan in their journey. There is just so much to enjoy here, the beaches of course are of international fame. However, even more unique to the area are the fresh water cenotes, naturally formed limestone sinkholes in which one can swim. Maintained beautifully by the local community and open to visitors every day of the year, they vary from pools open to the sky, to cave-like structures accessible through a small hole at ground level. Some are well known but even more can be found by following a wooden hand-written sign on the side of the road. An unforgettable swim in a cenote is just another reason (on the long list of reasons) to hold your wedding in the Yucatan.