Sunday, June 17, 2012

Never Work with Animals & Children

A Barn Owl Delivers Rings at Cringletie House, Peebles on Saturday 9th June
Guests are looking forward as they are totally unaware of what is taking place.
Photographers used to have a maxim which stated never work with animals and children.

I don't photograph many weddings these days and am pretty selective about the ones which I accept.

When Kathryn Hooper originally contacted me in 2011 she wrote:

"We are getting married on the 9th June 2012 at 5 pm and it will be a small wedding. We are only wanting some photos taken during the ceremony and then some group/family shots and a few of us straight after. We would probably only need a photographer for an hour and a half or so."
I decided to take the job, slowly things expanded, as often happens. The hotel was booked for the whole weekend for the two families, then I received, what I thought was a strange request:

"Will you be able to photograph the owl flying down the aisle delivering our rings?" I said probably yes. as the wedding day approached I started to have a few sleepless nights thinking about this one off shot. Especially as I had begun to try photographing birds this spring and found it pretty tricky.

On the day the falconer didn't reassure me when she said about 1 in 100 wedding photographers have got an image of the bird in flight. I thought I'd hit it with flash using Nikon's high speed sync at 1/500th with the SB700 off camera.
The registrar conducting the ceremony said: "Sorry no flash during the ceremony", room was quite well lit so went back to ISO 800, 1/500th f8 with 70-300mm zoom (VR) which I'd recently bought. The resulting image was a bit soft but perfectly acceptable, although I did think perhaps I should have used th 85mm/1.8 as the eventual image was shot at 80mm on the zoom range.