Wedding pictures with animation and excitement and real expressions, they’re hard to beat! Viewers can’t help but get swept along by the story being told. This ‘just one’ picture from Zara & Ray’s wedding at the Dalmahoy Golf & Country club in Edinburgh sums all of that up. If you listen carefully, you can hear the guests cheering and all the hurrahs and sound of hands clapping! At every wedding, I make damn sure I get a whole bagful of these action shots. Some of them will happen off the cuff, you’ll need to anticipate, pick your spot and be ready. Like Zara & Ray, coming out of the church and suddenly being showered with confetti. Or you can choreograph something with the bride & groom. If you want to set something up, my advice is to crank up the fun factor but please completely eliminate any hint of cheesiness! And that means being original, knowing your couple and having an intuitive sense for where their boundaries are. My advice is to practice thinking fast, talking fast and working faster. And never let up on that speed and constant flow of positivity. Keep suggesting the outrageous and sweep them along on a huge wave of energy and enthusiasm. People being photographed need something to work with and bounce off. If the vibe you’re giving off is bland and ‘meh’ and generally uninspiring, guess what the pictures will be like? What I discovered a long time ago is that, once you’ve gained the confidence of the bride & groom (or whoever you’re photographing) and they’re willing to invest their time with you and trust in you, every single picture you create thereafter is a reflection of YOU the photographer. Once they’ve given you carte blanche to simply create, from that point on, it’s all about who you are as a human being and as an artist. And there’s nowhere to hide. The whole world will be able to see you, feel you and judge you from the pictures you create. Yes, you need your subjects to play ball. But you’re the chef infusing the broth, you’re the director calling all the shots and that makes you totally responsible. From the words that are coming out of your mouth, your energy, your mood, your personality. Take all the blame or take all the credit.