Wow, first real "professional" event for me. I have been involved in sport events in the past but that never implied so much personal pressure on the outcome. Here it was all about immortalizing one of the most imortant day of two perfect strangers. Luckily I was helped by the amazing Franck Oinne who has been doing this for years and is an experienced professionnal wedding photographer. (is website HERE). Today I'm telling everything about that first incredible experience.
Franck and I are not long time friends, in fact we've met this summer during a wedding. He was working there and with his natural kindness and very social personality we happened to exchange about photography. As a joke I asked him if he was not looking for an intern or an assistant on some events and to my big surprise he actually said Yes (very appropriate answer for a wedding). He told me that he could actually see a wedding where he could actually add me into and that he will let me know after discussing it with the futur bride and groom. One week later I've got a phone call from him telling me that it was no problem for the futur husband and wife and that I was very welcome to join him on the 23rd of September for that very special day.
We had two little meeting before the D-Day just to discuss the organisation of the wedding and plan ahead equipment and what to do. It felt good to work with someone that really knows his business.
Okay let's move on to the Big Day.
As usual an early morning, it seems like whatever you do in photography it is always involves an early start - 6.15 A.M. Quick shower, check up of the gear, already prepared the evening before, loading up the gear in the car after a cup of tea and I'm gone to pick up Franck and his gear for 7.30 A.M.
Then direction La Digne d'Aval, a small vilage close to Limoux where we are meeting up with the Bride and her maids to do the "preparation of the bride" shooting.
Just for the record I found it a very destabilising situation when you are a male photographer arriving in a middle of a group of very excited youg ladies that you have never met before. Luckily, all of them were absolutely lovely and it was very easy to break the ice with them. They offered us breakfast and everything, it was great. I don't usually have breakfast so the choice was easy for me. After waiting for the ladies to finish their breakfast and the arrival of the hairdresser, work finally started.
A couple of hours and hundreds of pictures later, Franck and myself grabbed the car to meet up with the BOYS and take some shots of the groom getting ready. That part on the other hand was fairly quick ! It jsut consisted in taking pictures of the groom getting dressed up and being helped by his best-man. Obviously this was a fake "dressing up" session as the wedding was not happening until several hours later.
Then back with the girls ! Most of them were nearly done with their make-up and hairdressing. To thanks Melanie & Arnaud for "granting" me access to their celebration I decided to bring them a little gift, a bottle of champagne. I thought they might drink it during their wedding night but the girls decided differently and suggested to head outside of the house and to take some pictures in the backyard while enjoying a glass of bubbles. It turned out to be a very fun shooting session as the girls wanted to take the pose over a series of large hay balls.
After this pleasant exercise and our glass of "champ", time finally came to dess up for the girls and especially the bride !
Then, it was time to ahead toward the City Hall, but before that, we stopped by a little vinyard and its castle to take immortalize the "meeting" of our lovers. First time they were seeing each others in their wedding clothes. Very beautiful moment.
I forgot to mention that these two love birds had rented a great oldschool VW beetle for the occasion !! It was in mint condition, a pure beauty.
It is indeed time for the first big step of the day,... Getting married at the City Hall ! and meet up with the first guests.
I can't put all the pictures on one single blog article and I have to keep some for our newly married lovers. Closing this little parenthesis... this leads us to the next big moment of the day... The religious celebration at the Church.
Time to celebrate !!! After a group picture outside of the church everyone jumped in his car to head to the celebration place, a lovely domain called "La Bichonnière" (Have a look at there website, it is a stunning place !)
We took some pictures on the way here, with a long lane of cars escorting our married couple and then did some more group pictures before doing a photographic exercise we had planned ahead with Franck, a "levitation" shot.
Here above I'm just showing the final result but in fact it is a rather simple technique, consisting in taking two shots, one with the main subject on a chair or ladder doing some kind of funky moves, then a second shot from the same place and the same settings without the subject and the ladder/chair. Then you just combine both picture on Photoshop and use the eraser on the chair to create the flying effect.
Then, we dived into the celebration time, aimated by great bandas group, several little buffets with lush food. By that time I think I was already down to more than 1000 pics.
Again, lots of lovely people, lots of pictures and I can't put them all up. And I need to save some for Mélanie & Arnaud <3.
So I'm gonna finish on these last ones and say a great thanks you to Mélanie & Arnaud but also to Franck Oinne for letting me be part of that very special day. I have learnt a lot and I really enjoyed taking pictures of all these wonderful people that you call familly and friends. The rest of the pictures are on their way.