Some years ago I used to contract for few wedding photographers who had more work than they could handle. Early this year I received a SMS out of the blue from such a past employer, Gavin Cato (of Gavin Cato Photography) asking how I was and if I would like to shoot a wedding in Port Douglas in August? I’ve never been to Port Douglas… my calendar was free… I eagerly accepted. Twenty minutes later my phone beeps again – another message from Gavin… I half screamed ‘no’, half whimpered ‘why’, at the terrifying job I had just accepted: “…I’ll be the groom”. I had just been the victim of classic bait and switch.
So begins the adventure of photographing another wedding photographer’s big day. Gavin is meticulous with his choice of gear, a perfectionist with his photography and very particular with what poses and lenses he likes. You may have heard of or even encountered a bridezilla, but hell hath no fury like having to shoot another photographer’s wedding – especially one I’ve worked for!
Fast forward a few months and we meet Michelle. She assures me this will be the easiest wedding of my career, she is gorgeous, funny and relaxed and I start to believe that I can do this… no sweat. Then Gavin quizzes me on which lenses I plan on bringing to Port Douglas and what he ‘advises’ I use… and exactly at what point… and precisely the settings to dial in… Panic resumes!
The wedding, based around the Sea Temple Resort in Port Douglas, has everything a photographer dreams of: beaches, forest, tropical gardens and gorgeous hotel rooms. This was definitely a photographers’ wedding: there were more cameras then guests and between my kit and those of Gavin and Ian (DNM Wedding Videos) we had a crazy number of lenses, tripods and other assorted gadgets to play with. The ceremony was intimate, elegant and in a location where the forest meets the sea, it really was perfect.
This wedding really was collaboration with bride and groom. We scouted locations together, the ceremony was arranged according to best light and Gavin even directed a couple of location shots himself. Together we happened across some truly perfect spots. This is the only wedding where the groom took a time-out and began to take a couple of photographs of his own bride. Also the first wedding where the Groom has pop-quizzed me on what shutter-speed, ISO, focal length and f-stop was being used.. and not just to make small talk. That’s a true photographer for you – can’t even take a break on your own wedding!
Enjoy the pics!