Wedding photography is all about creating a set of memories, which I try to construct brick-by-brick over the course of the day and spend hours painstakingly editing. Press photography is different. It is about getting the message out, reporting, being fast. It's about quick delivery. Luckily, I've done both which meant last week's eleventh hour request to release a picture of the happy couple to the world's media whilst simultaneously covering the day, was, if a little stressful, ultimately pretty straightforward.
The commission was to shoot the beautiful wedding of Olympic cycling star, Mark Cavendish, and his bride, model Peta Todd. Due to the high-profile nature of the couple, unwanted press intrusion was a real concern. Especially as the venue for the wedding was One Mayfair, in the heart of London.
So a plan was hatched: we would keep the media animal fed with one great shot and hopefully - with the help of a security contingent - head-off any gate-crashing Paps. I decided I would send a fairly simple shot during the early part of the evening. The timing had to catch the first editions of the Sunday papers (around 19.00), but also had to fit-in with my extensive list of wedding day 'must-gets'. My overriding brief for wedding clients is always to create photography which will last, something memorable. But I also needed to click into deadline mode and get something out.
On the technical side, I decided to take two MacBooks. One to download/back-up the rolling coverage as the day progressed, the other purely for the transmission of the picture. Around 17.45 I asked Peta & Mark to just spend a moment with me so I could grab the shot I thought would be appropriate. That done, they could relax and enjoy their wedding breakfast. Meanwhile, I raced off to the crew room and started to download... the clock was ticking.
Wedding planner, Lisa Walker, of Just Bespoke, had every element of the wedding covered to perfection and ensured I had a desk, wifi and the relevant contact from Mark's management to sign-off the shot for distribution.
I initially chose two pictures. A simple portrait and then something a little more creative, a wide shot from the actual ceremony. It was decided we'd send out the portrait. The picture duly signed off, the file was then slipped into a press release and immediately sent to PA, who, in turn made it accessible by all major news organisations. Phew. Box ticked.
And as the press quickly clicked into gear reporting on the Cavendish nuptials, it was time for me to get back to creativity and shoot the speeches and evening atmosphere.