I occasionally do photography for small weddings. When I say small, that is measured in guest numbers – about 130 would have been the upper limit over the last few years. The venues have sometimes been religious structures… sometimes civil ones…and in the last few years many of them have been outdoor affairs in parks and gardens.
The ceremonies are ceremonies, wherever they are, and have a set routine that is both comforting and maddening. By that I mean those occasions when it is done in the worst taste or with the least grace point up horribly against the times that have been done very well. I am professional at all types – I smile throughout and do not mutter.
The gardens, family, or set piece pictures after that are the sticking point in many cases. A good garden is easy shooting – just move the people to a shaded spot in front of the best of the foliage and arrange the groups. A bad garden is hard to make good art in, but if you break the groups down into smaller poses you can get a lot done even with little greenery. Pure hotel weddings in an urban setting are tough unless you can make use of ballroom or reception room backdrops as a substitute for nature.
But what has occurred to me is the opportunity missed by many of the hotels and resorts here in Perth to make an especial wedding setting somewhere on the premises. Outside with greenery if possible, inside if necessary – but a deliberately stylish and tasteful set for wedding photography with attention paid to lighting. It would be a wonderful selling point for the Asian visitors who use Perth as their Australian wedding holiday – and could be the clincher for some very lucrative trade.
The cost of setting up – space allotted, plantings, maintenance, etc. would be as much an investment as air conditioning or catering. It would also pay during conferences and parties. The minimum size would allow for a 6-person line spread and perhaps two deep with sufficient width in the background to allow for a 35mm lens choice. Bigger would be better, and how professional it would be if the venue set daylight-balanced flood, spot and hair lights in place permanently on dimmers. They could make salespeople out of all Perth’s photographers just for the chance to work in such a convenient space.