If you've ever wondered about those famous and familiar faces in my portfolio, you can finally see my newly completed 'Press' section. Here, for the first time, I sit and sift through cuttings and share.. Bashful though I may be about my professional baptism of fire.. it is all I have ever known. And I am only just beginning to realise quite how awesome it all is.
My way into photography, particularly weddings, was far from gradual or straight forward. I started in the most high pressured, professional and widely published forums you could possibly work in- the celebrity magazines.
The first wedding I held a camera at, was one of the most high profile, high pressured weddings I have ever experienced in the public eye.. that of Wayne & Colleen Rooney.
We were hounded by paparazzi on motorbikes, followed and chased in and out of the hotel and surrounded by the echo of countless security panics on radios. "there's another one in the trees" "I'm on it"..
Somehow, amidst the utter chaos and media circus of international news vans queueing up outside, we had to photograph this wedding. It was one of the most insane and brilliant jobs I ever worked on. The fact that I was fortunate to just pick up a camera and shoot, was cool alone.. but the fact that they printed some of my work? Humbling.
It must be said that these opportunities came to me through my father, for whom I worked for many years as an assistant before second shooting.
You might say, I apprenticed in the old school way and paid my dues.
Watching how he and the magazine teams dealt with the day, the couple and the pressure, was the most professional example to follow.. and I don't even know I'm doing it when I'm shooting.
Though I share these achievements and publications somewhat shyly, I am quietly proud of where I stand today. I still work for these magazines; proudly my photos are still more widely published, distributed and seen than most; I still count many of these people as friends, both in front and behind the camera.
But most importantly, everything I have learned about what I do and how I do it, is down to work behind these printed pages. That is the value of this new 'Press' section, not the name dropping or celeb connection. Without realising, every time I shoot a private wedding, I measure each shot with the same scrutiny necessary for the magazines. Basically,
every bride is worthy of this kind of photographic celebration.
The title of the post, taken from the Madonna song 'Vogue' is a quiet nod in the direction of this idea. The magazine context exudes something glamorous and supposedly unattainable.. But I genuinely believe there is something of this in each and every wedding I shoot. It's just my job to find it.
Now frame your face with your hands...
Check out the new 'Press' page for more of my magazine cuttings.
All reportage photography by The Wardette Studio
All cover and main spread photography by Tony Ward (Lifetime Mentor, Sometime Boss, Father)