Last night was the POTY 3: “Open Monochrome”: 3rd round of POTY. It was an Open Themed print competition but the prints had to be monochrome. Usual print rules and peer voting applied and 33 members voted on the 58 submitted images.

The voting was followed by a presentation from one of our new members James Botterill entitled  “The confession’s of a virgin Wedding Photographer.” during which James explained the importance of preparation and planning in this case in relation to his first ever attempt at wedding photography for his Cousin (so no pressure). Weddings are probably the single most planned event in a persons life with the planning starting months in advance if not years but on the day the only fixed point in time is when the bride arrives at the church, registry office, ceremony what ever but who often is late. The rest of the day sort of follows a pattern but is quite fluid in when and what happens. He described how he undertook both physical and virtual web research, looked at other peoples images for ideas, locations near the wedding venue and the realisation that the presentation of the final images needed to have a common look and feel to them. How when he went to the actual locations found they weren’t quite as shown but how on the day the previous visit scouting locations paid dividends as events didn’t go to the expected timetable and he end up with just 5 minutes to whisk the bride away to get some images. How he got he bride and groom to practice poses like in the professional images which are actually are often taken with models he wanted the couple to look natural & comfortable with each other looked rather than staged and how he used visual prompts to aid this. The need to have a list of the “Shots” First sight of the dress, First Kiss, First Dance etc but also the need to also keep an eye out for the unexpected cameo’s. To have a plan and a backup plan and too know your equipment for when things like the weather don’t play ball where you’d planned for the group shots to be out doors with a wonderful back drop, but it rains and you need to either retreat in doors or bring out the brollys. He illustrated his talk with some impressive images just a few from the hundreds of images he took and there were some stunning shots amongst them.