Kicking of January like this was pretty amazing. Claudia (Cloud) and Sam found me at the last minute before they moved overseas, and on a hot January afternoon by the river, they married each other. I'm so amazed how "me" they were. There's a photo in here of Cloud getting her earring caught in someones necklace, mid embrace, and her friend remarked "oh don't shoot this!"
She replied "Nope, we hired Morgs so he could shoot this"
Once again, I had found my people.
Last year when the legislation passed, I felt a little bit of a mania come over the wedding industry. And the wedding industry loves mania. I've never seen anybody get that excited about fucking chair covers, for starters. Anyway, it really bothered me and I realised that some people were becoming fixated on same sex marriage for all the wrong reasons.
There were entire magazines being produced. There were deals being run, specials, offers. All done, I'm sure, with the best of intentions. I mean, not many people are going out of their way in this industry to be difficult, but we've all got different perspectives.
Careful about bandwagons.
You see... I believe that being a champion for something also means not fetishising it, not “othering” it even more. It’s very easy to run around in circles shouting out what needs to happen - and loud is ok - but It’s ok to quietly put out in to the world what one values, without trying to elevate one thing up over another. And I hope that this counts as quiet - and not too self aggrandising - but do not mistake this as gentle politics.
This is a strong opinion.
I’ve been asked so much this year if I’m any busier following the changes to the marriage act last year. At the risk of stepping on some toes, I’m actually happy to say that I’m not. I can’t suddenly have more time to photograph weddings. I can, however, take on awesome couples to make images with. Just like I did least year, and the year before that, and I will continue to do that.
We have to be careful as an industry to not shout so hard that we simply create more boxes and categories.
This is Sam and Cloud, proudly making their day their own.
When half of your guests fly over from England, during the ashes, for the wedding.
When your veil is so big, before you're dressed you have to carry it around in a bag.
When you get ready in the family home and marry each other on the tennis court.
When you let the kids run wild.
When you catch a city council bus to Stokehouse.
When you dance until at least 11pm.
I met with Shona at her parents house what feels like an age ago, before the wedding. We sat in the gazebo adjacent to where her and James would eventually be having their ceremony, and she told me the plan. "We're cutting the fence down here, so people can see straight through", she explained, gesturing to the the tennis court fence. "Dad's really looking forward to making the garden look the best it ever has... I know it sounds kind of crazy but I think we can pull it off!"
It's funny, because I get asked a tonne what venues are my favourite, and there's no real right answer. It depends on what feels right for your wedding or elopement. For these guys, I can't imagine this happening any other way. Drinks on the lawn, portraits in the lounge you've known for 30 years, and Stokehouse for the reception via council bus.
As far as weddings go, this is far from spartan... but if you distill the elements down to what it's really about, it's people and family. Everything else is just a conduit for those things.
That's my pro tip for the day.
And then we got on the bus
The low down
I keep threatening this, a whole wedding in black and white. I just feel that what draws me are the moments and the moments speak louder with no colour.
Also, I've got to stop using "just" apologetically.
I make zero apologies.
I've been thinking a tonne about creating and where the work I make sits in that space. I don't feel I'm a creator. What I do is creative but I'm such a reactive person with photography that to take ownership of the photograph is something very strange and disingenuous. Maybe I should go back and read some Sontag again.
Uschi and Davina made such an amazing day, and when I was looking back over the images the ones that drew me back in the most were these ones.
Please enjoy the story x
I feel like I'm on a mission to make a positive change in the wedding industry every time I photograph a couple.
A couple of weeks ago during a prep, someone asked me what they were supposed to do with the dress. I mentioned it may be nice to hang it up somewhere visible, because it'll look nice, but they could do whatever they wanted, and they said "thanks, I just don't know what I'm supposed to do!"
Guys - there's no rulebook of weddings saying what one is supposed to do.
Say it with me. There's no rulebook!
All this stuff we do, all this ritual, can be wonderful. It can have immense meaning.
However, I can tell you from experience that the weddings I found more enjoyable to photograph, where the couple were less stressed and more present, were less concerned with what others had done before them. They were more invested in starting a marriage than the 24 hours that was happening at the beginning of it.
That's how it should be.
Ward and Kirsty planned a day just for them, with rituals they chose just for them, and they didn't ask anybody about "the rules".
Not much to say really... just look at this story!