Today i'm writing my story of how working on Cruise Ships changed photography for me. But first, let me tell you that this post will unfortunately not show any photographs from past weddings on cruise ships - Due to copyright, the images I took whilst working on board I'm not able to share (although there are a few of me from my travels, which I have loved looking back at!)
So, about 5 years ago, I took a massive leap, I went to work on board the popular cruise liner P&O, where I worked for The Ships Photographer on board. After my degree in photography, an awkward team interview and a few visas in hand, I was on my way to Southampton to work on board for 6 months. Daunting much?!
Although, weddings and photography for me never really went hand in hand... At university I worked towards my 2:1 Honours degree working through many different styles, I decided to move towards capturing and working with dancers (Hi Vicky!) and I loved it, I was in control of the lighting, the setting, I had an artistic flare that I could go with and felt comfortable there. I was unsure as to what type of photographer I was, and when people I asked, I just didn't know.
1 month in and i'd settled in, I had got used to the 14 hour days, the work/life balance and made some life long friendships. My senior team member asked me to grab my camera one day and go with her... It turned out I was going to photograph a Renewal of Vows. Huh, excuse me? You want me to photograph this special, once in a lifetime day for this wonderful couple?! I was panicked, scared and stressed out. BUT I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT! I was so happy when I went back to the lab to share my photos with the rest of the team, of this intimate renewal of vows between a couple that had been married for 50 years. The moments that i'd witnessed and captured, I fell in love with it.
5 months had passed and I was continuing to photograph most of the weddings on board. Many if not all weddings on board cruise ships are very small and intimate, I felt like i'd been invited into a special club, where only I and the closest people to the couple, could see behind the door of what was happening.
I had the pleasure of another contract with P&O where I was spending 3 months working in the Caribbean, again where I was able to photograph several more weddings. WOW! What a setting, what a contract, and what a
place. One wedding in particular does stick in my mind, it was an emotional one, I won't speak about it much but it was a very special couple, I spent the day and evening close to and even in tears and I just realised how important these photographs were, how honoured I was to be there and how they'd look back at the photographs I took with such importance.
Wedding photography for me is so special, I want to do my absolute best for you to capture the day as it unfolds. I find it very hard to switch off on the day, even if someone offers me food, I either inhale it, or turn it down as I don't want to miss anything! I document things as they unfold and capture real love and emotion, and this is my 'job'... and how fantastic is that?!