Journal Of A Wedding Photographer – Old Dad

by | Photography Wisdom, Wisdom


Welsch Photography
Find me on Ms Polka Dot's Directory

Hi, my name is Bec and I’m a Wedding Photographer, together with my husband Karl. I wanted to write this journal – The Journal of a Wedding Photographer because I think I have something to share.

Recently, I have been thinking of our work and what a gift it is. It is a gift to us and it is a gift to our couples.

Photographing a wedding can be very personal work. You put your whole self into photographing the day. You are present, at all times during the day. The moment you press the shutter button is the moment that you saw, the way you saw it & how you choose for it to be seen. It can’t help but be personal. So, in this way, I do see our work as a gift to our couples. A visual recording that we hope they treasure for their whole lives together and their children’s lives. It is a recorded history. It is also a gift to us because we get to be a part of such an intimate event. We are behind the scenes. We see Fathers cry when they see their daughter for the first time in her wedding dress before she leaves for the ceremony. A recent client of ours stated that we should consider ourselves “social anthropologists” for the in-depth view we get of the customs of many different cultures on the wedding day.

Our work is a privilege.

And along with our work comes stories. And it is these stories that I would like to share with you. Alongside any other things that I learn along the way. I hope you enjoy my journal.

A few days before a recent wedding we were photographing, we received an email our bride (Rachael) which said “Also could you please make sure you get a photo of “Old Dad” swing tag/place card tied around the serviette (table 2)?”.  Now to give a little context, we meet our couples for a meeting a month before their wedding to go through the run sheet and must have photos, so this was in addition to the notes we had made from this meeting.

Old Dad.

Old Dad was, of course, Rachael’s Grandfather. And, as the nickname suggests, someone who she is very close to.

During the course of the wedding, there are subtle moments around Old Dad. You have to be on your toes, otherwise you could miss them.

As Rachael, the bride, was walking out of the church with her husband, she briefly stopped at ‘Old Dad’ and he gently touched her on the arm. A split second. Click.

I did also notice that Old Dad was having a few little cat naps during the speeches at the reception. At one point during Rachael’s Dad’s speech, he mentioned the close bond they shared. Old Dad was still enjoying a few zzzz’s until someone gave him a gentle nudge and he woke up with a big smile on his face. Click.

We generally photograph until the dancing starts at weddings. We find that this really gives us an opportunity to capture some really great unguarded moments.

It was late in the evening – 11:15pm.

I walked around the room and noticed that Rachael was having a quiet moment with Old Dad. I turned off the flash. Flash kills these kind of photos…. and quietly recorded this intimate moment between the two of them. A guest whispered to me about what a special moment it was. What a lovely moment. I photographed this moment without interrupting. In the background. Observing.

Here are a few tips I would like to share if you have someone equally important as Old Dad attending your wedding – an important grandparent.  Some tips to allow opportunities for natural photographs to be captured:

  •  If you are getting ready in your family home, invite them to be a part of the preparations. This is a good way to ensure that they will be in plenty of photos. Help them put their flower on their jacket. Write them a special note. Ask them to help put on a necklace or bracelet. These create opportunities for one-on-one photos with them that are natural. Of course, its also good to get the posed photos.
  • Make sure they are sitting in the first few rows of the ceremony. If they are not in the front row, it is always good to have them sitting on the aisle in the second row.
  • Make sure you get any formal family photos with any grandparents done first so that they don’t have to stand around. Elderly folk should not be asked to wait.
  • Spend some time with them during the reception. We generally follow the bride and groom around the tables (as inconspicuously as possible) as they chat to their guests between meals. This is a good opportunity to sit down with them and share some time together. It is during these times that we have captured lovely moments of grandparents admiring engagement rings, holding hands with the bride, giving her a kiss or an adoring look.
  • Make their presence feel special and acknowledge the tremendous role they play.

Images by Welsch Photography

Ms Gingham says: What a fantastic insight into the life of a wedding photographer. Some very good tips at the end there too! Love this journal and can’t wait for the next episode!

About Welsch Photography: There’s something exciting about photographing a wedding – the bride’s excitement and the grooms nervousness is something we never quite get tired of. The joy of capturing those moments in photographs is the entire reason Welsch Photography exists today. It all started when we photographed Karl’s sister’s wedding. We loved the magic of capturing the emotions of a wedding day on camera, and bringing the images to life through a beautiful wedding album. Many years, and many weddings later, we still feel the excitement and the thrill at each of our weddings.

  • Friday Roundup | Polka Dot Bride says:
    March 29, 2013 at 10:01 am

    […] 1.Expert Interview – What Would They Know? – Glenn Mackay of G&M DJs 2. Expert Advice – The Fashion of Image 3.Expert Advice – A Fashionista’s Guide to Wedding Invitations 4. Expert Journey –  Journal of a Wedding Photographer – Old Dad […]

  • Homes and Weddings says:
    April 1, 2013 at 12:56 am

    Oh how this made me smile. Especially the shot when Old Dad got nudged. Priceless.

  • msstripey says:
    April 2, 2013 at 9:25 am

    What a beautiful start to your journal. A wonderful way to also keep your memories of the weddings you photograph.

  • Carly says:
    April 4, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    I loved reading this… although I must say it makes me a bit sad. I am really close to my (91 year old!) grandmother, but my choice to have the wedding in Melbourne means she won’t be able to attend. It was an incredibly hard decision to make.

  • Welsch Photography says:
    April 4, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    Hi Carly, great to hear you enjoyed reading the journal. You’re so blessed to have your Grandmother in your life & I can imagine what a hard decision it was for you to have an away wedding. Perhaps there are other ways that it can feel as though your Grandmother was there with you. I know it’s not the same – maybe there is an heirloom item of hers that you can wear (ie a broach on your bouquet, a handkerchief in your purse, a delicate piece of jewellery. Include a photo of her wedding day on your gift table or somewhere it might stand out). All the best for your special day,



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