Your Wedding Day Story – Hannah Larkin shares a Wedding Day in pictures and how the emotion and little moments create a lasting memory of your Wedding Day.
Listen to Hannah, Sarah and Susan on the Wedding Espresso Awesome DIY Wedding Planning Podcast…
Hannah Larkin Photographer
Sarah Cammish from Elsa Rose Boutique
Susan Denton from Celebrate With Sue
Hannah: [00:00:01] I wanted to try and share a bit about my wedding day story photography.
So what I’m doing is showing you a slideshow. It would normally have someones first dance playing in the background, but it gives you a sense of how I photograph the wedding, starting with all of the special details.
And I will have spoken to the couple beforehand, and really worked out what it is that they’re excited about. So for Jo here, it was shoes. And also you’ll notice later some amazing nail art that she’d had done, as well as bunting, and even some superheroes sneaking in, for a really personal wedding.
Hannah: [00:00:33] A nice relaxed morning with the bride and her family getting ready together, and really capturing the excitement, but also the kind of moments together. There’s the nail art that she chose. And then heading over to the Church, where I met up with the Groom and the best man. And then together at the church…
so you’re getting to know both sides of the story in the morning.
The bride arriving here in a VW camper van and her dad walking her down the aisle.
In the wedding ceremony itself, I’m really discreet and wear rubber soled shoes. I sneak about like a ninja, and I don’t use flash, so I can get these really natural shots without disrupting the ceremony, which is always really important.
You’ll see in a minute I’ve moved to the back of the church, so that’s something I would normally do. You can still get a chance to see all of your guests, and see the ceremony from their perspective too. And certainly here, the vicar, at the end of the ceremony, had told me that he didn’t even notice me in the church. So that’s always a good thing. And then capturing these moments as discreetly as I can. But also going through with them to capture the signing of the register, and their witnesses together. And foreseeing them coming out of the church as man and wife. Jo and Ally actually had their first kiss outside, so I was there to capture that.
Next we headed over to The Perch which is a lovely riverside venue in Oxford. And going through the group shots, that’s something I plan out with my couples in advance, so we can do them really easily, really relaxed, nice and natural, but also not taking too much time away from you and your guests.
And we were lucky to do that before the rain started, before they opened the doors back to their reception. You’ll see later we snuck out for some photos.
Then we arrive at the Speeches. I love the reaction, always, especially the bride and groom, when they’re doing speeches for each other. I think that’s really special to capture all that laughter, and sometimes a bit of embarrassment.
Even on rainy day weddings, I will persuade you to come outside and have some natural portraits taken. I always bring a big white umbrella so that we can do that, no matter what the weather is. And then again, a really natural style. So I give gentle directions for posing, but really it’s about focusing on the emotions of the day, and the two of you together.
Hannah: [00:03:08] You can see the rugby and the superheroes coming in to the cake cutting there. And their first dance, that’s music that this slideshow would be set to, if I wasn’t talking over it. This couple had a silent disco for their wedding. Which was an amazing idea. Really, really quirky and got everybody into it.
Hannah: [00:03:24] We were really lucky at the end of the day. I always keep an eye on the weather, and we got a break in the rain. So we hurried out just to get these beautiful shots before sunset, just as a way of kind of finishing this story off.
And what I like about these slideshows is that it maybe shows your friends and relative more photos than you might see otherwise, from a wedding day.
It also gives you a way of seeing the day as a whole story, rather than just sort of that one off portrait, that you might print and put up at home.
James: [00:04:00] Fantastic! Those photos are gorgeous Hannah, I’m just going to have to jump in there and say, they really are. So guys any questions you think brides and grooms to be should be asking Hannah before they book a wedding photographer?
You know how you talked about the group shots there Hannah. How would you chat with the couple about that beforehand then?
Hannah: [00:04:18] I think that’s really important. People often want group shots. More often, more for parents. They like the more formal style, but they don’t want it to take up the whole of their drinks reception. So being really organised about it. Getting a list of all the groups they want. All the people in that group, and also identifying someone on both the brides and grooms side, who can help me just organise people. Someone who knows the family members. That way we can get things done really quickly and it’s not so stressful. And I’ll also generally schedule it into the day before the guests disperse. Because once people have kind of gone off and got drinks or gone to the toilet, it’s generally hardest to get people back together. Thinking about where to do that, within the wedding day planning, is really important as well.
I guess I wanted to ask what tips you have to brides to help them feel more confident in front of the camera.
Hannah: [00:05:18] Yeah that’s a good question. And I get loads of brides and grooms saying to me “we’re really not photogenic at all” or “we hate having our photo taken”. And actually all of my wedding packages include an engagement shoot. And I just really recommend that it’s two hours where there’s no pressure. It’s not your wedding day, you can be somewhere you feel calm and relaxed, wearing clothes you feel more comfortable in. And we can just spend that time getting to know each other. Which I think is a good tip! If you know the person photographing you, that makes a big difference. I get used to them, they get used to being photographed. And I think during that we both pick up kind of tips that we know will work. So I’ll learn a bit more about them, and I might then tease them about that when they’re having their pictures taken on their wedding day. And be like “oh yeah, so that stag do in so and so, how did that go?” And that just gets them laughing and relaxed. Or they’ll know that there are certain ways that they like to stand together, or be together, that just really work for them as a couple. And because we found that already in the engagement shoot, then again we don’t need to take all of their wedding reception taking photos. We can go for 20 minutes or so, and then maybe another 10 minutes at sunset, and that’s enough time for us to create those images.
Sarah: [00:06:36] That’s great. Thank you!
James: [00:06:39] Yeah.
So Hannah I think brides and grooms, and generally actually anybody that looks at anything visual, they tend to have a feeling inside “Oh I like that”,” that suits me”. “I love that”. And usually they can’t really actually tie down what it is specifically about it, that they like. They just know that they like it.
Now in that set of photographs that you just showed in the slideshow, the thing that stuck out to me the most, or was the most prominent, was that the expressions on people’s faces were absolutely bang on. Absolutely perfect. Would you say that that’s something that comes naturally? Or is it something that’s honed over time? Because that’s a skill isn’t it?
Hannah: [00:07:27] That’s definitely what I look for. What I’m aiming for is to capture your emotions. I think that’s really what Weddings are all about. And so that’s something that I’m specifically looking for. So I’m really glad it came across in the pictures. But I do think different photographers focus on different things, and it is about finding someone not only who you get on with well, because you’re going to be spending most of your wedding day with them. But also who’s style really speaks to you, and if you want something that’s kind of more dramatic and more staged, then that’s what you need to look for. If you want something that’s more kind of almost paparazzi style, reportage style, then you can go for that. If you’re looking for kind of romantic, emotional images that really tell a story, then it’s the emotions and the expressions that you should be looking for more, when you’re checking through portfolios.