WEDDINGS can be highly lucrative for a photographer.
But speak to many wedding photographers and they will say that it is not one of their favourite jobs.
It is highly stressful, and the pressure is on.
Expectations are high and there is no second chance.
If the photographs do not come out well the event is not something that can be staged again.
Then there are the vagaries of the weather and equipment failure.
But it is not just that.
There is a standard formula to much of wedding photography.
Everyone knows the set groups that need to be taken and everyone needs to look happy.
There is some flexibility and photographs of bride, groom and families preparing are part of many albums.
But it is all very much the same each time.
Not if Ian Weldon is behind the lens, but then he is not a wedding photographer or not of a kind that many mums of the bride would be happy to see behind the camera.
Mr Weldon takes a different approach to the weddings that he photographs and some of his work is on display at ‘Photospace’ in Ludlow.
Ian was born in the north of England but didn’t hang around for very long. With a previous job list including: Milkman, Salesman, Soldier and HGV Driver he was always on the move.
Photography came to him later in life, at the age of 30, and he started to photograph weddings to make money so he could pursue other photography projects. Turns out, weddings actually became his project.
Disgruntled with the industry’s arbitrary rules and traditions, Ian saw a need for a more documentary approach to weddings.
He began to make a body of work surrounding an industry and culture that he saw as antiquated, photographing the reality in his own irreverent and humorous way.
This is how he sees weddings. Ian is not a wedding photographer.
“I’ve tried, I really have, but there’s no easy way to tell you that I’m not a Wedding Photographer. I mean, as much as I’d love to stand around for hours lining people up, ordering them around and taking photographs of every combination of family member and guest, I’ve more important things to be doing,” he said.
Rather than arranging family shots, climbing on a step ladder and following a list of desired shots, he will be found capturing what the couple and most others will have missed.
The uncensored domestic backdrop of the preparations with the cans of beer and last-minute ironing, expensive flowers transported in cardboard boxes, the inclement English weather, smokers out the back, split trousers, the desperate grasp for the canape, the waiting, forced smiles and the dad dancing.
His exhibition is on until October 12, Wednesday to Saturday.