Who wouldn’t want to be a festival wedding photographer in Manchester? Who wouldn’t want to be a festival wedding photographer in Manchester? It seems more and more bride and grooms are opting for festival weddings. Camping out in a field, renting a barn and letting festivities last a whole weekend. Indeed I shot a wedding similar in style to this last year. It’s a great way for you and your guests to really let your hair down and can be particularly good if you’re on a tight budget. Camping in a field is much cheaper than staying in a glamorous hotel!
What style of photography should you go for if you’re having a festival wedding? Well, even Hitched think that a traditional style probably wouldn’t suit such a rustic vibe. With a documentary style the photos you receive will be a reflection of your day – whether really chilled or completely mental. I’ guessing you’ll probably be hiring a band or a musician. Hitched also suggest you pick a photographer with experience photographing live bands and festivals, as well as weddings. Well…that’s handy because…….
In 2019 I was very lucky to be asked to photograph Festwich, a tribute band festival ran by UK Tribute Festivals. What started as a small family-focused event 7 years ago has grown to be the UK’s biggest FREE tribute festival. My wife and I started attending Festwich in 2014, when we lived in another part of Manchester, but now we’re really happy that we have such cool event happening on our doorstep in Prestwich.
Festwich is still a family friendly and safe environment in which to enjoy some of the best tributebands in the UK. We’ve taken our son two years on the run now. He was only a few months old when we took him the first time. It was his first festival and we ensured he wore ear defenders all day. But don’t think for a second that Festwich isn’t a real festival. As you’ll see in the photos below, Festwich attracts true revellers who want to lose themselves in the music. Towards the front of the stage you can expect dancing, headbanging and moshpits. It depends on the day and the act of course.
I could only attend the Saturday due to work commitments, and Saturday has traditionally always been for rock and metal acts. I grew up on Heavy Metal, Grunge and Nu-Metal so I was really in my element. Photographing a festival had for a long time been on my documentary photography bucket list. Many professional wedding photographers enter wedding photography from a different discipline – commercial photography, for example, and band and concert photography is a popular genre of photography for many hobbyists. For me, though it’s different. I started wedding photography first, and then branched out in shooting other kinds of events. Weddings are diverse events – anything can happen , and to do a good job you need to be on your toes – and it’s great being able to apply skills developed in my professional career in a different context.
The weather was horrible! It didn’t stop the party for a second, but it presented a few problems for me and my camera! I had to use some water proof camera covers, but even though these are well designed, they make changing the settings on your camera quite difficult, and even looking through the view finder can be tricky. In the end I chose settings that would cover most situations as and just shot, guessing the composition half the time. I have to say it worked out pretty well! I got a little involved and close to the action as I always do. It one point I was sucked into the energetic mosh pit and was knocked flying. Like any dedicated photographer what could I do but keep snapping! I’ve included the photo of the moment I was knocked off my feet!
At the second stage, a new problem presented itself. With so many warm bodies inside the marquee it became pretty warm and with so much moisture in the atmosphere my lenses began to steam up. There wasn’t much I could do about it but keep wiping my lenses and shooting when I could. That’s why some of the photos have a misty quality to them. When it comes to weddings the quality of the photos are very important…but so is the content and feeling of the photo. That’s why I’ve included these slightly less-than-perfect photos here. They’re full of feeling.
Man, I just love all those photos of people going apeshit! Dynamic, action packed images are the best in my opinion and a great complement to more static portraits you normally expect at a wedding. The day finished the Linkin Park on the main stage. The crowd was just to too packed near the stage for me to get in on the action again so I went behind the barrier and got some great shots of a great band performing. The crowd were just loving it, especially when the band paid tribute to Chester Bennington.