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Letter of the Week

Letter of the week – 9 May 2015

Wedding Tales

The ‘check it and see’ bonus of photographing a wedding with a digital camera is a million miles removed from my days photographing this challenging genre (AP 25 April).

During the 1980s, I was the official photographer at many local weddings. In hindsight, my approach was astonishingly naive. Armed with a Canon AE-1, a 50mm standard lens, a flash unit, a couple of rolls of film and a rather forceful personality, I shot more than 30 weddings without, I’m proud to say, a single complaint.

However, on one occasion, I went to straighten the groom’s tie and accidentally dislodged a male guest’s toupee with my arm. I don’t know who was more embarrassed. Another time, I saw a man sweating profusely at the reception, so I pulled his hankie from his suit breast pocket so that he could mop his forehead and two condoms fell out onto the floor!

I encountered fainting brides, nervous grooms and hysterical mums – as well as tetchy vicars, who insisted there were certain rules when it came to taking pictures in their church. Yet I loved every second of it – apart from the nerve-racking wait to see if my pictures had come out. Thankfully, they always did.

The magic of digital has removed that worry, but I’d advise anyone wishing to have a go as an official wedding photographer to think carefully. Taking the pictures is only half of it.   Denise Fortune, Tyne and Wear

I shot a few weddings on film and I have to say that the walk to the lab to pick up the negatives and proof prints was among the most nerve-racking things I have had to do. Did I load the film correctly? Was the exposure correct? Had the lab developed the film correctly? So much could go wrong and it wasn’t like I could go back and ask them if they could round up all the guests so we could do it all again the following weekend. Thankfully, everything was always fine, and I never had a complaint, but the digital safety net is a huge reassurance. Sure, memory cards can get corrupted, but I’ve yet to have one be so bad that recovery software can’t retrieve the images. As for your anecdotes, it sounds like there is a book in there somewhere.

Richard Sibley, Deputy Editor

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