Festival Wedding Photography

Festival Wedding Photography

Firstly, I just have to share the backstory to my shooting this wedding because it’s my favourite way of ending up shooting a wedding, ever.  

So about seven years ago, maybe more, I was walking around Bestival on the Isle of Wight taking photos of festival people when I came across six people (one of whom was entirely dark blue) lying in a hammock, in the woods.  We got chatting, as you do. I took their picture, handed over my card–which is maybe only the second time I’ve ever had it on me–and wondered off to the next enclosure to watch a dark performance art piece about Smurfs.  Fast forward six years to an email from Fatima saying ‘Do you remember you took that photo of me and my mates at Bestival, well, I was wondering if you’d be up for shooting my wedding.’  Which is obviously my favourite enquiry off all time and my new future business model for all festival wedding photography weddings.  No scratch that, all weddings, always.

It also turned out to be everything you’d want that wedding to be.  Colourful, chaotic, artistic, joyous and eccentric.  In fact I think literally every single person at that wedding was eccentric.  I walked into that marquee and thought, ‘Yep, these are my people.’  It was also a Nigerian/Pakistani/English/maybe Swedish wedding.  Not only that, Mike, had a kind of white/gold snakeskin Etch-a-Sketch jacket he’d bought in New Orleans that you could draw on with your finger and then wipe clean afterwards as you brushed the fabric back the other way.  Oh and Fatima was wearing killer red heels and a dress with peacock feathers.  And their friend and celebrant delivered a fiery spoken word beat poem at the end of the ceremony and MIke’s dad played accordion and the whole of Fatima’s extend family got up during the speeches and delivered the most heartwarmingly terrible version of an Aretha Franklin song you could ever hope to hear.

The only bum note–which, because of the people involved was no bum note at all–was the weather.  After a summer of relentless sunshine this was the bank holiday weekend when it broke and the day it really rained for the whole thing.  Because of that the whole thing was kept mainly inside the marquee.  But then of course it wouldn’t really be in the true spirit of Bestival if it hadn’t rained and it didn’t change the mood of the day one iota.  So anyway, all that’s left to say is, Fatima, thank you for defying all odds and somehow making it home, or even back to your tent, with my business card somehow somewhere still about your person.  And thank you for asking me to shoot your wedding, because it was GOLD. 

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