I feel that my job at a wedding is to be a storyteller. This image represents one of the pivotal moments in a wedding day. The bride is spending her last few moments with her father before being given away. Her next step is out of the bright summer light and into the cool anticipatory ambience of the church. Brides will have been standing at that door for hundreds of years and I would imagine they have all shared some common thoughts and feelings......This is actualy a very difficult shot to get due to the extremes of light and dark in the frame. Digital cameras are amazing but can not handle the extreme range of lights and darks in certain environments-this being the classic example. It was more important to capture the bride than the interior of the church so I dialled up the exposure compensation and exposed for the brides face. This guaranteed that the brides face would be correctly exposed at the expense of everyting else. Fortunately in post production I wa able to bring down the exposure of the sky and increase the exposure of the church doors.
When shooting a wedding I am constantly aware that I am in sole charge of creating the legacy of the day in image form. One of the benefits of digital photography is that the images will not deteriorate over time and they can be backed up on spare discs which will last for lifetimes. Modern inks on professionally produced prints will last 100 years with no bleaching.
Having said this I am constantly amazed at the number of couples I meet who will trust their wedding photography to friends who are enthusiastic amateurs with nice equipment. I trained for a year and a half to become a wedding photographer and the one thing I learnt through being at many weddings is that good wedding photographers know where to be at the right time and know how to behave in an appropriate manner. This includes liasing with officials to determine photographic allowances and planning in advance with the couple exactly what their requirements are. Most importantly, for me, it is about being respectful at all times of the gravity of the day, especially during the ceremony.
Personally (given the difficult technical difficulties in the production of this image) I would not want to put the pressure on a friend to capture such an important part of the story....