A very practical artist?

A Very Practical Artist?

Last week at a wedding in the centre of Manchester, I had to park my car in an NCP car park as the hotel didn’t have on site or street parking. I can usually nip to my car for a light panel or a different lens at a suitable point when I’m photographing a wedding (during the wedding breakfast for example) but sometimes I have to carry everything with me, which got me to thinking….was I a physical practical worker, or an artist? I must admit, whilst strapped up with 2 camera bodies, a walkaround lens, a big zoom lens, flashguns, a slimline photography rucksack with spare batteries and different lenses, along with a big sturdy tripod with an led light panel attached…I didn’t exactly look like a delicate artist! To be fair, when I arrived at the hotel I found a safe place and ditched most of my gear until I needed it, but it was only when I was carrying pretty much everything I needed for that day all at once that I realised how physically strong I have to be to actually be able to do my job.

I’m a very practical person in general, which helps. I’m organised and efficient and I have photographed so many weddings that the technical aspects of operating my equipment is literally second nature to me now, but I’m always amazed with the contrast between how the image is physically captured, ie: with heavy technological photography equipment, and how I actually create the image in my mind, which is obviously something artistic and beautiful…and pretty much as non-physical a thing as you can get!

There’s a quote by John Berger which says:

“What makes photography a strange invention – with unforeseeable consequences – is that its primary raw materials are light and time”

and for me this sums up the whole ethereal quality of photography itself, which is even more apparent when you apply it to such a special occasion as a wedding when I am actually capturing “love” on camera, for all to see, for all time! That’s pretty deep for a Friday blog!

In general, I feel very blessed to be capable of combining both the physical and the mental aspects of being a wedding photographer, which are both essential to enable me to create great images, and I do regard myself as an artist, but a very practical one!