Behind the Photograph: Marie Anson

Marie Anson

We’re continuing our series and going behind yet another photograph. This time, we’re chatting with wedding photographer Marie Anson about this gorgeous rainy image from one of her recent wedding shoots.

Tell us about this image

Marie captured this fairytale shot only a few weeks ago at Blackbrook House in Derbyshire, giving bride and groom Nicholas and Tara a stunning memory from their big day. Rain is the last thing a couple want to see on their wedding day, but Marie is prepared for all weathers:

“I always carry umbrellas with me in the car and I have a selection of shapes and sizes to choose from.”

Marie’s readiness for bad weather can be reassuring to clients who are worried it will impact their photographs. She has proven that even in the worst of weather, you can still capture gorgeous, romantic images. Marie believes every UK photographer should be prepared for all kinds of weather, especially when shooting a wedding:

“Our seasons are unpredictable and even on a wedding day, we can experience all manner of conditions in a short space of time. Being able to maximise the opportunities this presents and get great photographs is a real bonus, and it will certainly impress your clients who may worry about the impact of it on their day.”

Marie Anson

If rain is forecast, while the couple are dreading the approaching weather, Marie is preparing. On the day of Nicholas and Tara’s wedding, she knew showers were expected and was waiting for the right moment to make the image she had planned in her head a reality:

“I had spent the previous 10 minutes watching the clouds roll in, hoping for a light shower, however nothing had touched us so far and I was losing hope that we would capture this photo. The couple were safely indoors having just finished their meal, and had been prepped about the possibility of standing outdoors in the rain (with the addition of my umbrella), they were happy to do so and put their trust in me.”

How did you shoot it?

Capturing a rainy shot can be tricky, but transforming it into a romantic, fairytale image is even more tough. Marie had the help of her second photographer Dean to create this image:

“He was positioned behind the couple with two Canon Speedlite 600 EX RTII flashes pointed towards the couple’s backs. I was wirelessly triggering flashes from my camera and I had also prompted Nicholas on the position of the umbrella to get the best results.”

Marie Anson

The rain was heavier than Marie anticipated, so she had to think on her feet and quickly capture the shot before everyone became soaked:

“When the rain came it wasn’t just a shower, it was torrential! The couple rushed to their place under the umbrella, Dean was behind them with the flashes and I was being kept dry by the best man holding another of my umbrellas. I fired off a few shots, keeping everything crossed that it was going to look fantastic. It was literally 20 seconds max outside, multiple shots fired and a VERY wet Dean, who wasn’t protected from the rain at all!”

Becoming a wedding photographer

Marie was introduced to the world of photography through her previous career as a graphic designer. After having to learn the ropes of photography for a job, she quickly became interested and took a few training courses to gain a better understanding of the technical aspects. Then, all she had to do was practice.

Marie Anson

Eventually, she was asked to photograph her colleague’s daughter’s wedding, a new challenge that Marie was initially concerned about accepting. After being assured by the couple that they were confident in her, she agreed:

“I gave it a go and I absolutely loved the experience! It was terrifying and exciting at the same time and I was a nervous wreck beforehand, but I got through the day and the couple were delighted with the images I provided. I guess you could say that this was the start and from then on, I actually considered taking my career off on a slightly different tangent, and I have never looked back!”

Marie Anson

Now as a successful wedding photographer, Marie appreciates her role in people’s special day. She’s found wedding photography to be a tough job but incredibly rewarding:

“My role is so important as I am capturing a one-time event and I have to make it work, whatever the logistics and conditions. However, for me the best part comes at the end, when the images are ready and I get feedback to validate all the hard work and effort. Knowing that my clients are so happy with the results is the greatest feeling ever!”

Once Marie has captured her clients’ special days, she provides them with stunning keepsakes. For this, she trusts Loxley Colour:

“I love Loxley Colour’s Bellissimo Fine Art Album, it is so timeless, elegant and oozes quality with the leather cover. The cotton paper is extremely tactile, and I am such a fan of the matt finish. This album is a very popular choice for my clients and, for me its simplicity wins every time. Less is always more!”

Marie Anson

Take it from Marie…

Marie’s advice for enthusiast or student photographers looking to form a career in wedding photography is to really work hard and learn everything you can to separate yourself from the other photographers out there:

“It isn’t an easy career, I have never worked so hard in my entire life, but I love what I do, and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. I would suggest that initially it is vital to put in the hours and learn your craft. Learn how to handle a camera and how to do so under pressure.”

Marie Anson

She also recommends working with other, more establishes wedding photographers:

“I initially started out second shooting for someone and this helped enormously with exposure to real weddings.”

And finally, remember you’re capturing the most important day of your clients’ lives! Acknowledge this honour and your clients will appreciate it:

“What makes a great and successful wedding photographer isn’t always about having the best images or the best gear, it is about delivering the best experience!”