I had the pleasure, and challenge, of trying to shoot a wedding recently. As with many other enthusiasts that find themselves in a similar position, it was through a friend. And although many of the blogs say not to do it, particularly those written by pro wedding photographers, having met the couple I decided to go ahead with a little trepidation.
I’m still processing the images so it’s a little soon to be claiming success. But it was certainly a learning experience. The main learning outcome being that street and wedding photography, despite being interested in photographing people, have little in common.
Street shooting is all about capturing images of people with as little intrusion as possible. Some may manage to shoot weddings like that. But despite my best intentions, I found anonymity and wedding photography mutually exclusive.
On the street the aim is to snatch a shot without interfering. Good lighting is a luxury and posing people is frowned upon. But in wedding photography you need to make some noise. You need to be directive. You need to make eye contact, and risk annoying people by asking them to move, wait and repeat for the sake of posed images.
My advice to street shooters considering helping out at friends’ weddings is proceed cautiously and remember to remove your street shooters flat cap in favour of the louder, wedding photographers, top hat. These are very different disciplines.