The wedding party pictures are often some of my favourites from the wedding day. It can be a great time to find candid documentary pictures. It also tends to be the part of the day when the characters come out to play. The ceremony is over, the breakfast cleared away and the drinking has started. I’ve been around chatting to people all day. They are feeling comfortable with me and for the most part not running away when they see me. Even on the rare occasions when they do run away and hide that can make for a great picture too.
It can be one of the hardest parts of the day to photograph though. The party is generally later in the evening, it’s dark, and venues aren’t usually well lit. If they were that could present a different range of problems with horrible colour casts from neon strip lights and so on. There may be a DJ or band with lighting or lasers. I hate lasers – there’s nothing more guaranteed to kill a digital camera sensor than a laser.
It can be a challenge to get it right. I approach the dance floor with the same attitude as the rest of the day. I want the wedding party pictures to fit into the story and be consistent with the rest of the pictures. I’m still looking for moments and interaction and there’s a high chance of catching Auntie Mabel or Granny throwing some mean shapes as well. As I say this is when the characters come out, when people are at their most relaxed. I’ll be on the dancefloor, with a small camera and often a flash on a cable just to freeze the action a bit while I let the surroundings and the background lights blur to show the movement. The busier the dancefloor the better the ambience and the more opportunity there is for me to create some great wedding party pictures.