Hiring a photographer wasn’t in Heather and Nate’s wedding plans. Both shy and introverted in nature. They preferred a small, no fuss, intimate ceremony. But as their big day grew nearer, a friend of Heather’s offered to photograph their wedding.
They began to open up to the idea.
“We’re so shy we’d convinced ourselves that we didn’t need one. We thought we could crowd source the pics from guests. But if someone we knew shot our wedding, well, they’d be used to our quirky mannerisms. And the price seemed fair as we didn’t want that many pics.“
They went ahead and booked the photographer. Heather and Nate got married in their small hometown in Nashville, Tennessee.
Two months on Heather contacted her friend. "I hadn’t seen any teaser pics like photographers put up on Facebook or even heard from her. But I wasn’t concerned. There were lots of phone pics guests had taken, which I was having to say ‘how nice’ they turned out. Ugh. I couldn’t wait to see my real pics.”
After three months I contacted her and she told me that the photos ‘were still being worked on’. I remember feeling like a Princess that day. I was fine with waiting a little longer to get them just right.”
Four months passed. ‘They were still being edited.’
Increasingly anxious, Heather confronted her. “When I finally did”, her head dropping to the pit of her stomach “she confessed… they’d come out terribly. And that she’d never photographed a wedding before. She told me not even a lot of editing would salvage them. She wouldn’t even let me look at the original files!
They crowd sourced a wedding album together. Mostly from guests telephones. They’d gone from one extreme of not caring about wedding pics to thinking nothing but.
Distraught. They treated their upcoming honeymoon as a welcome escape to their nightmare. Heather took her wedding dress along and began researching Photographers whilst on honeymoon. She was learning from her painful mistake.
"I’d never be able to get my wedding day back. But maybe we could find a Photographer to capture us in our wedding clothes. So that we can share them with our future family…”
“We’re huge Doctor Who fans, so we did the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff. But instead of spending the whole trip there as planned, we spent a few days in London.
We visited lots of landmarks. Covent Garden, Tower Bridge, Portobello Market and Notting Hill. Our favourite place was Kensington Park. It was like an older, massive version of Centennial Park in our hometown of Nashville, where we got engaged on the steps of the Parthenon Replica.
Three days before they were due home. They landed… on my website.
Thankfully 50+ emails in two days and a barrage of questions on possible routes from a neurotic country girl didn’t put him off. We told him we didn’t want it to look like we got married in London. I very much wanted it to be 'honeymoon’ not 'wedding’ photos.“
When I arrived at their hotel lobby. It would be their last day in London. I could physically feel how desperate they wanted these portraits by their synced shortness of breath. They told me their whole story again. The let down, the telephone wedding album, the empty wall space in their living room. They just wanted complete reassurance. To be looked after during this 2 hour shoot. To have a fun experience.
No-one should feel this amount of stress on their honeymoon. I shouldn’t feel this amount of stress on someone else’s honeymoon!
We shot around a small mews and then in Kensington Park before we making our way back to the hotel for a wardrobe change. There must have been at least 30 shouts of "Congratulations!” in the Park alone. They were lapping it up. I love shooting people in the middle of the road.
I couldn’t get these two out of the road.
“I found it oddly therapeutic to shoot in my wedding clothes” Princess Heather would say later.
We took the tube to Westminster Bridge and headed towards Embankment. And that’s how we ended their London story.