Today I’m thrilled to be featuring one of my favourite photographers, the uber talented Kerry Morgan who, is without doubt one of the best wedding photographers around. As photographers get to go to so many weddings every year, I thought it would be interesting to ask Kerry about weddings in general rather than just about photography. Take it away Kerry!
Describe the best wedding you’ve ever been to?
That’s a really hard question as I’ve photographed so many great ones! I shot a wedding in Kazakhstan, the son of a Russian billionaire and that was quite an experience. 450 guests invited for a sit down, 12 course meal in a purpose built tent on top of a mountain. There was a whole evening of cabaret entertainment, the headline act was the Russian Eurovision winner and the couple also flew over an entire bagpipe troop from Scotland. I was there for three days and had my own driver and translator, as most people didn’t speak English. It was a great experience as I was a true fly on the wall – their traditions are very different from British ones and as a photographer; it was a real challenge.
Another favourite was held at the bride’s parent’s house. They had a marquee in the garden and it covered the whole area. There was a large pond in the middle of the lawn and they simply cut the carpet around it which looked fantastic in the middle of the dining area. Their theme was Arabian nights and there was even a Bedouin tent chill out area. During the drinks reception the guests supped champagne in the neighbour’s garden and a tunnel linked the two areas. It was very original and I can imagine it cost the earth!
In your opinion, what doesn’t work well at weddings?
Long receiving lines are a bugbear of mine; they can really mess with timings, are difficult to control and it’s hard for the Bride and Groom to avoid getting embroiled in long conversations. The people who are at the start of the line are left seated the dinning room and the people at the end of the line are queuing. They’re just not that much fun for your guests!
Large sheets of paper for the speeches are a big no no, they often just end up blocking peoples faces in the pictures, particularly if you have a long top table. It’s also much harder to spot a shaky hand (should the speaker be nervous) with small cards. Tie them together, so if they’re dropped, it’s easy to find your place again.
Also too many formal shots, over crowded dinning rooms, speeches that go on too long and dreadful AV presentations as they rarely work.
Gosh! I’ve seem to have gone on a bit of a rant!
What do you think works really well?
Realistic timings, things always take longer than you think! Long top tables as they photograph much better than round ones (where you often get the backs of peoples heads in the shot) and I think the less time you spend traveling between venues the better.
Also delegate, delegate, delegate! If you can hire a planner to help you, even if it’s only for the day, it’s a great idea to take the pressure off of you. You can concentrate on having a great time, knowing all the organising is taken care of.
Is it worth getting caught up in the ‘details’ and finishing touches of weddings?
I think beautiful finishing touches are lovely, it’s important to plan what you’d like ahead of the day and then just let it go. Stressing about whether or not the antique candlestick holders you ordered are in quite the right place on the day of your wedding is madness. You can only do so much and then it’s all about enjoying the day. It goes so quickly, you should enjoy each and every moment of it.
You do a lot of work with wedding planners, how does that change a wedding?
I do work with a lot of planners and some of them are a dream to work with. Great planning should make the day run smoothly for everyone. I would say make sure your planner is experienced and has had good training; most of the planners I’ve worked with are members of the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners. Bad wedding planners on the other hand can make the day extremely stressful for all concerned – just because you planned your own wedding, doesn’t mean you can plan someone else’s! I like working with good planners, as you know the couple will be more relaxed. The bride’s not thinking about organising, she’s just having a wonderful time. From an aesthetic point of view, planners often have great ideas on how to make the wedding look amazing. It’s those weddings that are more likely to get into bridal magazines and I do love my brides to be featured.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I love looking at photojournalist’s work but at the same time, I never miss an issue of Vogue! I like to think my style is a good mix of storytelling coupled with images that make my couples look amazing.
Have you ever had a disaster on a job? What did you do to fix it?
Luckily I’ve never had a disaster on a job personally. Once, one of my brides put her heel through the back of her dress and ripped it, just as she got out of the car at the church! I always carry a needle and thread so it wasn’t a problem to hand it over to her mum who promptly worked her magic – I’m terrible at needlework! I also had to hand over my ring once when a bestman left the wedding rings at the hotel. Clichés exists for a reason folks!
A huge thank you to Kerry for answering our questions and for her beautiful images. If you want to see more of Kerry and her work stop by her blog which is crammed with delicious eye candy!