Some photographers specialise in a particular type of wedding or try to attract a particular type of bride. This isn’t something I’ve ever tried to do as I enjoy the variety that comes from weddings large and small, far and wide, and exploring how my style of photography reflects on each of them.
However, if I did have a niche, it would be teachers! I don’t know what it is, it’s not like I offer any particular educational discount, but my last three weddings all had brides who were teachers and I’ve shot many more besides. I’ve even had the pleasure of listening to one bride’s former class sing during the ceremony.
I am married to a teacher and also have lots of friends who are teachers so maybe that has something to do with it. I certainly understand the pressures, rewards and hard work involved in teaching, albeit second-hand, and I’m incredibly proud of the work that Rache does.
All of this is on my mind today thanks to a book which arrived in the post. It was written by Nigel Pickard, my former English teacher who died far too young, aged just 45, back in 2011. He was one of those teachers you remember. People behaved in his class because he enthused them. He gave you confidence in your own creative abilities and encouraged your to explore your imagination.
When I was in my final years of school I worked for him on a summer school designed to help children improve their literacy before arriving at secondary school and had the opportunity to create a documentary about it. I remember sitting for hours with a VHS machine capable of insert edits and audio dubbing but I had to get it right first time, this was destructive editing! It was one of my first forays in to visual story telling, leading me to many more short films during my studies at college and University.
I didn’t realise until after his death that Mr Pickard published two novels but after standing uninspired in my local bookshop last week, the thought popped in to my head and I placed the order for ‘One’, his debut novel.
I’ve got a few days of relaxation planned with Rache as we head in to half term and I’m looking forward to reconnecting with Mr P through his book. I wonder what he might have left to teach me?
After a relaxed morning capturing the low February sun and Joanne’s preparations at Wentbridge House, I arrived at the church in Ackworth. As I stepped out of the car I saw Paul, the Groom, jogging away from the church!
This was a first! Paul later confessed that he was only responsible for the arrival of two things to the church. He was there, but item two, the order of services were still at home.
Paul was soon back and ready for the arrival of his bride and from there on in, the wedding and celebrations back at Wentbridge were a great success.
I love the first wedding of the year! Here are some highlights.
At my family church back home in Ilkeston is ‘Carol’s cupboard,’ a bring and buy charitable retail operation that has been the repository of many an unwanted item for some time.
Occasionally it also throws up something worth purchasing and a few years ago, as my sister was preparing to get married, my dad spotted an old book, published in 1958 titled: “Wedding Etiquette, How to Arrange a Wedding.”
“Despite the Cynics who liken the married state to a beleaguered city where those outside are trying to get in, and those inside are trying to get out, marriage is an institution which, it must be admitted has stood the test of time, and will continue to rank with birth and death as one of the most important events in human destiny, until life itself becomes extinct upon our planet.”
It was a great source of amusement, advice and, for my dad in his role as father of the bride, speech content, as we prepared for my sister’s wedding. As Rache and I prepared for our wedding last August I find myself returning to it in search of some timeless wedding advice.
“A Marriage has been arranged. With the publication of these familiar words, in the columns of the daily papers, begins a whirl of planning, preparation and excitement in the home of the prospective bride.”
“Besides providing the new home and all its contents, it is the bridegroom’s privilege to buy the wedding ring as well as his own present to the bride, and her bouquet, pay for the license, all church fees and floral or wedding gifts for the bridesmaids and pages, as well as provide cars for himself and his best man to and from the church, and also for that in which he and his bride drive off from the reception.”
It is easy to read through the book, noting how much has changed in the fifty-odd years since its publication. Nevertheless, there is plenty within its pages which continues to ring true to this day.