A friend once told me the reason so many mills were built in Leek was because of the guaranteed wet climate. It seems they were correct. I've photographed quite a few weddings at the Three Horseshoes Inn, Leek. It's quickly becoming my most photographed wedding venues. The staff are brilliant, the way they set out their wedding ceremonies are brilliant and the reception room they turn it into afterwards is large and ideal for a party!
Outside, they have an amazing view of the Staffordshire Moorlands with wonderful areas to sit underneath "The Roaches". If it rains, it's not so easy to do these things but the Three Horseshoes has a lovely, low lit, interior to compensate. As a photographer it's not so easy to come in from the rain when there's such an amazing landscape outside. So you have to get a little bit creative.
For me, this is the reason why you get yourself an experienced professional photographer to cover those important events. A photographer who's in it for the pay cheque or hasn't pushed themselves to adapt to certain unfavourable situations might not be able to cope with something as simple as a rainy day in a low lit venue and might have to rely on luck alone.
There's nothing wrong with luck. Most of my images are 'lucky'. Often, an image I've been imagining comes out very different in reality. Other times I'm just in the right place at the right time and capture that little bit of emotion where if I'd been less experienced, I might not have had the right exposure or focus or even equipment.
The photograph above was a mix of luck, equipment and training. I had no idea the rain was going to fall onto my camera this way but I did know that this couple were going to look awesome in this light. The mix of luck and experience created one of the best shots I've ever taken in what was one of the most challenging weddings, photographically, I've had in a while.
Pardon for preaching a little here but when I photographed Laura and Gary's wedding it made me think about why I should be chosen to photograph a couples wedding over another photographer who may not have dedicated themselves as much to the trade - or, a topic for another day, why your uncle probably shouldn't photograph your wedding.
I can't capture every single moment. When Chris comes with me to a wedding we both couldn't possibly capture every single thing that happens. But when you have a well trained, well backed up photographer you increase your chances of capturing as many of these opportunities as possible.
Certain factors must come into alignment at the right time, light, angle, space, emotion, background and finally... the moment has to happen.
I'm often shown some amazing pictures by aunties and uncles at weddings where fortune has gifted them with a great photograph that I had no chance of getting because one of these things wasn't in line for me at that time. The thoughts I had about my own photography at Laura and Gary's wedding was that I was able to find these alignments quite often. My knowledge of photography allowed me to increase the probability of me capturing more amazing moments on their special day.
That's why you should hire a photographer who has dedicated themselves to learning their trade. Because they will get lucky more often.
Ok, essay over.... who wants to see how lucky I got?