Fancy exploring alternative Wedding Album options? Gordon from Nicol Photography kindly shares his rather unique take on alternative Wedding Albums.
Audio only, if that’s your thing…
Gordon Nicol from Nicol Photography
James: [00:00:01] So Charlie what should brides and grooms to be, be asking Gordon before booking their wedding photography.
Charlie: [00:00:18] I think they should be asking him like how are you going to take the photographs? Where are you going to take them? Where in the room? Are we going to go outside? What happens if it rains?. How long are you going to stay? Are you staying for the first dance? Will you be there right till the very end? What sort of finished product are you going to get? A Wedding Album, or a video? All that kind of stuff I guess you should be asking.
Gordon: [00:00:54] I think the easy answer, the short answer is that I’ll be there for, and do as much photography, or as little photography as the couple actually want.
I tend to usually chop the day down to things like you know pre ceremony is the sort of stuff with the bride getting organised or the groom before the actual bridal party arrive. And then there’s the ceremony and then there’s all the different stages.
Gordon: [00:01:22] And I sort of basically have packages that say… for the first package it’s basically covering the wedding, and basically it’s the ceremony up to the speeches. And that’s kind of it, which is obviously very short, but some people, that’s all they want. And then the next one is more about a bridal party arriving up to the first dance. And then the next one’s a combination of maybe doing some pre stuff and staying on until about 9 o’clock when maybe the buffet is on. And by that time, often the bridal party and the bride and groom have had enough of the photographer. So getting away at that point is fine. But I do have occasions when people ask you just to stay the whole night. Because they want you to catch those memorable moments. And part of it as you know, the Ceilidh part of the dances is very important, and you just want to ensure that that’s captured.
Gordon: [00:02:25] They often, I think, want to be reassured, because of the sort of style I have, they want to be reassured that I’m going to be very unobtrusive.
That there will be a mixture of inside and outside shots and a range of different people involved in the shots as guided by them. I often find, and maybe it’s just me, because I kind of want to get on with it and get things happening, that they appreciate the photographer being a wee bit bossy just to get people to come in and sort of going. Ideally if you can get the best man to give you a bit of a hand, that’s great because they know everybody. But sometimes it’s a case of just going and saying, come on Aunty Jean it’s your turn now and you’ve got to come and get your photograph taken. And doing that kind of thing and just having the confidence to do that, and the bride and groom knowing that that’s being taking care of. That they can then not worry about having to chase people, can be quite helpful.
Gordon: [00:03:24] And in terms of package like I said before. It’s a combination of the folio box with so many printed images in it.
And basically as you go up the range, the prints get bigger, the number of prints in the box gets bigger and ultimately at the top you’ve got the one that acts as a framed piece that you can sit on a desk or set on a table, with an image in it. You can change them in and out. And that associated with digital files and the opportunity to buy larger wall pieces of art, if their interested in that. And then as a side offer there’s smaller options for the parents or grandparents or significant others, if they would like to be given a small memento of the wedding as well. And so for me though my emphasis is about me wanting to be giving something, and the couple going away ultimately at the end of the relationship with something that’s printed.
Gordon: [00:04:41] And on that point of relationship, I see it that way. I think it’s ideally an ongoing relationship, or we would like it to be…
for them to have had a good time, to have a good time with me, and that when it comes to the first born or other significant events, that I’m the first person they think of to come and do the portraiture. And that I continue to have an ongoing relationship with them over all these significant steps in the family’s life. And you know that can go on right the way through really, and those are ideal clients to have. Hopefully the few that I have, well that’s started to happen and will hopefully continue on through to a right old age, and have me in for all the events that they have.
Charlie: [00:05:31] How long does it take you to do the editing and get all the photographs to the bride and groom? That must take quite a bit of time.
Gordon: [00:05:41] It does! I mean, I basically reckon for each hour of photography I do, I have a day’s editing. So if I’m there for five five hours, that’s five days editing. To get really good images down. Part of it is that whittling down process to begin with. I do a sort of star rating and quickly get rid of the ones where people have got their eyes shut or whatever. But then you’ve sort of, you’ve got your first choice and then whittle that down, second choice, third choice. And then the third choice ones are the ones that I’ll work on. Which becomes fours and fives, and then if the fives are further adjusted to be better then the original fives become fours, and there’s a back up if I want to go back to that point. And it’s always working towards that, reasonably small number, but of a high quality of photographs, that have the memories and record the various events of the day, as it is. And for me I mean maybe if I’m doing that full wedding day, I’m going to have probably somewhere in the region of fifteen hundred to two thousand photographs. And ultimately I’m wanting, if it’s a full day, I’m trying to whittle that down to about to 100.
Charlie: [00:07:13] In modern times now with the iPhone’s, does that sort of get on your gaff as a photographer when you’re maybe trying to take the first picture with them cutting the cake, and there’s like a hundred people all coming up trying to take pictures.
James: [00:07:32] Hundreds of flashes going off!
Charlie: [00:07:32] Yeah, that must get right annoying!
Gordon: [00:07:36] That’s right! It can be a wee bit tricky and you find that you’ve got big elbows, you know. And it quite often helps if there’s an MC at the wedding and he’ll quite often kind of say, well it’s now time for the cutting of the cake and if you can all just hang back and let the photographer get the shot, and then you can all come in and get yours. Everybody’s going to you know, have time, which can be a help. But sometimes it is a wee bit of a scrum. So you’ve got to be alert and you sort of manoeuvre yourself into position so that you’re pretty nearby where the action’s going to take place. So that you can get the prime spot, if you haven’t got that kind of gate keeper as it where. I mean the last wedding I did actually they started out very formally with cutting the cake. You know, and they were all very proper about it, and it was an OK photograph. But the one’s that memorable is the groom actually struggling to cut the cake, and you can see him grimacing and the cake is starting to topple a wee bit. By that time a lot of people have moved away, but that’s the shot to get. That’s the one that everyone is going to remember. So sometimes things like that just kind of work in your favour too.
James: [00:09:02] So Gordon what would you say the ideal commission looks like for you and why?
Gordon: [00:09:11] My ideal commission? For me I suppose, personally I’m not a huge fan of the pre wedding preparation part. I think some people like that and other people don’t. If it’s done well, it works well.
But I think ultimately the bride and groom don’t really want to have the memories of the hassle they had before they got to the wedding, or whatever, or the disaster that they had. So for me it’s really from being where-ever the ceremony is taking place. Photographs of the party arriving, the guests, the bridal party arriving. Those quiet moments that the best man and the groom have before the bride arrives. And maybe the groom being a bit contemplative and waiting for her arrival, and of course she’s going to be late. So it can go on for a wee bit. I like the ones where you’re sort of leaving at the buffet. At that point you’ve got lots and lots of memories. But the ones later on, although there can be some good shots in them, because people have had a bit more to drink by that time, they’re dancing a bit more and you’re maybe capturing shots that people wouldn’t necessarily want other people to be seeing either, or be part of the portfolio or anything like that. Whereas up to the kind of buffet time, you’re still going to get the candid shots and there’s going to be plenty, plenty of memorable ones and all the other ones are the ones everyone shares on the iPhone and everything anyway. So the bride and groom can get all of those on Facebook or whatever. And so for me that’s the sort of ideal.
Gordon: [00:11:03] And Charlie talked about venues, I’ve been fortunate to do a few which have been outside on beaches and they are fantastic. I love doing the out of the ordinary sort of event. The ones where you’re a bit more challenged and there’s a bit more opportunity to be creative in the photography as well.
I had one where for part of the Ceremony, they went for a cruise up on the loch, and there was a Ceilidh actually on the boat, and they were dancing round the mast and all this sort of stuff, which was brilliant. Such fantastic shots, and you know for me, that’s a memorable event. I remember the wedding very well compared to some of the other ones I’ve done. So the more out of way, out of the ordinary sort of wedding event is the sort of thing I enjoy. I like the challenge and things that are quirky as well. It’s becoming a bit of a thing more so, where brides and grooms are doing away with a lot of the traditions. They’re coming up with their own ideas, and their own traditions, and own things that they want to do. And those are the types of weddings that I really enjoy because they’re good fun to do, and usually the bridal party and the bridal couple are good fun to work with as well.
James: [00:12:16] So a bit of a throwback to the hot topic there. The way to have a memorable wedding is do something different.
Gordon: [00:12:25] Yeah, yeah, yeah.
James: [00:12:28] Fantastic, thanks Gordon. Thanks for sharing, that was great!