Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Photographing a cruise ship wedding: the preparations

Somehow I survived the last six months on board the beautiful Navigator of the Seas and here I am, back home(ish) preparing for another contract. There are quite a few things to say and this is where I want to start, the wedding I photographed.

So I was lucky enough to be given a wedding because there was one particular cruise where 5 weddings were taking place! So my manager gave one to each of the photog3's and with me and Antonio being the newest photog3's our weddings were just a bride and groom, so more like a private couple's photoshoot than a wedding.

Still, being me, I got a little stressed about it being my first. The process is completely different to how I was doing weddings before because there is no year of contact before, one month before going round the venue etc you just show up on the day and do what they ask/have paid for. And obviously I'm the one that knows the venue well, not them. However I'd never worked out a 'route' for a photoshoot, so the day before, a sea day so some free time, I grabbed Jessica because she had a break at the same time and we figured out a plan/checked settings and generally put my mind at rest! We took about 30mins and then we went back to get some sleep, such is the way of our ship lives.

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Starting at the chapel, the highest point on the ship, checking I could do it without using a flash. Jessica may kill me for posting some of these pictures ;)

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Then take the bride and groom down in the elevator (if I don't change to American words no one understands me, so bare with me, I promise I haven't come home with an American accent!) to deck 5 and start with the dinning room. The piano reflection can work really well (but not if you're panicking as you'll see).

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Then out to overlook the Royal Promenade (the shopping street bit of the ship). I was lucky enough to get to do this studio position (we put some lights up and make it super pretty) on formal nights in my last 3 weeks on board. As this is one of the best sellers in the photo gallery.

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Again seeing if I can avoid using flash because I hate it (to quote Viktor- people who hate flashes just don't know how to use them).

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Then onto the entrance to the casino and Jessica's idea to do a low angle with the ceiling lights, very nice! And a joint effort to put my infra red triggered flash into the side railing to create a lovely effect!

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The Scooner Bar was Sanda's suggestion. We weren't sure but the photos are nice so I did use it on the day. It made for a logical stopping point along the route too.

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And finally, the helipad shot! Everybody said I should've had the bride and groom closer on the H but those of you who've seen my weddings know I have to have a shot like this. It makes me happy so there! ;P

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So the next post will be what happened on the wedding itself but I really wanted to share the planning because it was fun and obviously completely different doing it without having even met the bride or groom I was about to shoot!

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