Shoko’s Wedding

Shoko’s an old friend of mine. I am older of course but I meant we have been going back since around 1997. Sometime last year in 2009 she asked me to do her wedding photos. Naturally I was extremely excited and at the same time scared like never been afraid before! Friend + Wedding + hobbyist + no real wedding experience formula doesn’t really cut it to have some awesome wedding photos! How do I overcome this I asked, present myself to you and it’s up to you to decide if you really want somebody like me who knows nothing about wedding and photography and record a very important, once in a lifetime event then either you got rocks in your head or recording and framing the event isn’t high up on the list. Either way I am it. I was glad she still wanted me to do it because I really wanted to do it as well – I just didn’t want to blow it because I have no experience at all doing weddings.

Now that we settled who the photographer was. I’ve set myself to read and read and erm.. read some more on wedding and photography. It was up to the web to teach me things through reading and graphically through photos. I read and read and read. All pointing to if you haven’t done this solo, if you don’t have the right tools then don’t do it. Plain and simple. Great, I have none of those. I went through it anyway. I have the confidence to do it – but not the skills, experience and the technical and technological aspect. But I’m still game. Scared but game to do it.

And so I got the invitation to the wedding as it drew near – within 3 months near. But I didn’t have any format /structure of how this will pan out. So I started asking question on how we going to do this. Emails started flowing of how the photography aspect will be left to me. Great! Some confidence! So we’ll try not to disappoint shall we? I asked more questions, tried to obtain more information. Series of emails went and came. Then I get this email. Jojie… she writes. We are already married, we got married on January 2010 in Singapore. Basically this wedding is a reenactment (an expensive one! It’s almost like a real one!) because she wanted a wedding here in Australia.

We (Leah and the kids) got to Gold Coast on 23rd of April. I made sure I was not available for this time for any leisure. I wanted to put my mind and all effort into this wedding thing until we’ve done all that.

Wedding Day

This wedding was always going to be a beach wedding. I was there at 9am in the morning even though I knew dressing up starts at midday. I wanted to see the place so I can get myself organized. I saw mostly beach and sand! A rocky bit about 0.5km away from the reception that I could use. A really small park area that I can use as well. I was there 9am in the morning to scout the place and plan, plan, plan. I was enjoying this and now thinks I should do this more often – but ofcourse under somebody who’s experienced at this. There was such joy doing this!

Not all plans do go smoothly and in my case it is a nightmare. Here I am somebody with no experience at wedding and had to shoot people with water and sand as part of my workflow – this was the hard bit! How can I do this. My style of photography involves a lot of the environment. This means if the environment is more or less one of the same or similar I get stuck! And this is exactly what just happened. We had foreshores of beach, sand and dunes! There was only 1 place where there’s a bit of rock and that’s about 500m away and for sure that day it didn’t get used. It was too far. So I was restricted to the beach – erm… open beach and the small park. Where you could really only take about 3-4 photos max before you’d be able to tell the settings are the same! Then you have the crowd to control – sorta. I have some experiences in crowd controlling – given where my day job is at – or was – in hotels and security. The really hard part this day was being creative. Quick thinking and creativity – that’s a mental note for me for the future. Something I’ll need to learn.

It was great day for me that day. I got to see a friend I haven’t seen in a long mile. I got to do a bit of photography – erm. Practice that is on my own in their expense. I got to meet knew faces and got to know people who appeared to know me through Shoko, apparently there were some occasions where I was topic in some of those conversation. That sounds good to me! It indicates my part in her life in the past.

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