Derek Pye

Reportedge™

on Wednesday, 11 May 2005. Posted in Derek's Tips

Reportedge™ is probably the hardest style of wedding photography to master. Couples should be aware that lots of wedding photographers will offer Reportedge™ but very few can even pronounce it, let alone shoot a wedding correctly.

It all started back in '87 when I first originated the style and opened the world's eyes to this new and innovative approach. Weddings by their very nature are usually quite dull affairs. Wedding photographers normally ruin the day even further by getting the ushers to throw their hats in air and asking the bridal party to run up down a field holding hands. Reportedge™ changed all this and many photographers tried to emulate my style. The key thing is that you have to blend in. My chameleon like qualities are legendary. I had an e-mail from a client this morning whose wedding I photographed last August.

" Dear Mr Pye - We have just received our wedding photographs and must say that they were not what we were expecting (the quality of my work often surprises and delights - DP). On the day we hardly noticed you taking pictures and this is certainly obvious from the photos you have presented - it's like you were not there for half the time."

I get feedback like this all the time. My technique is to tuck in to the champagne as soon as possible and get chatting at the bar with the liveliest guests. Most of them never even guess that I am a master of wedding photography.

This leads me to this weeks tip for aspiring wedding photographers. You must be able to hold your booze - it's impossible to blend in if you are stood awkwardly at the edge of things as sober as a judge. I usually drink a lot the day before a big wedding and then top myself up from my hip flask outside the Church. This gets me through to the reception and then it's free booze all the way.

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Comments (10)

  • Anon

    Anon

    06 February 2013 at 18:38 |
    Its reportage! Are you are mental. I've seen some charlatans in my time- its
    idiots like you that get wedding photography a bad name.

    reply

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous

    06 February 2013 at 18:38 |
    This is hilarious...but don't worry Derek...your secret is safe with me!!!!!

    reply

  • Anon

    Anon

    06 February 2013 at 18:38 |
    Hi Derek,

    I've seen Reportedge™ in use here in the U.S. since at least the early-90s. Just
    curious... have you ever traveled abroad and educated other photographers,
    or would you surmise that they stole the technique from you?

    I have noted your advice on holding your booze. I recognize that as a critical
    weakness with my own photography. (That and butterfly lighting.) Matter of
    fact, most of the images I remember taking after having just a couple drinks
    seem to vanish from my CF cards as if I never took them in the first place.
    Any additional thoughts on this?

    reply

    • Derek

      Derek

      06 February 2013 at 18:38 |
      Hi Mate

      You might have seen Reportedge™ in use in the USA in the early 90's.
      American wedding photographers are generally about 10-15 years behind us
      Brits but I did grant licences to a couple of photographers to use the
      techniques in the States. It's not likely that you have seen it recently though,
      as both these photographers are now in prison, and I abandoned the scheme
      to licence Reportedge.

      I've never been to America but I do love it. I really like your current President
      and I am a big defender of your 'War for Oil' programme. Although I don't
      really agree with indiscriminate bombing of civilians or the torture and
      humiliation of prisoners, I do think that it's justified if Americans want to.
      After all you are the world's policeman and without your sacrifices we’d be in
      a right pickle. Actually, one of my current fantasies is to photograph Lynddie
      England and Sabrina Harmon in lingerie - don't tell the wife!

      As regards your query about your lack of success whilst on the booze. I'm
      afraid there are no shortcuts to mastering this technique, which is essential
      to good Reportedge™ You need to build up your tolerance over a long
      period. I've been a heavy drinker for nearly 30 years and drink everyday to
      stay at my peak. Kick off the day with a few vodka's and Red Bull as this will
      keep you alert during the early stages of the wedding.

      reply

  • Anon

    Anon

    06 February 2013 at 18:39 |
    I find Southern Comfort provides me with most of my creative shots. When I have Vodka most of the images are just kind of blah and I need to photoshop the heck out of them with special filters - like the sharpen filters.

    reply

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous

    06 February 2013 at 18:39 |
    MY lawyers will be in touch... they claim ReportEdge as theirs - court reporting, that is. I photographed it so it's true. And their court reporters drink after the job. Which is technically before the job by eight to twelve hours or so. Whatever. I'm having Courtney Love apply for the second shooter position - good luck, buster!

    reply

  • Anon

    Anon

    06 February 2013 at 18:39 |
    As a devout follower of your trademark style I to try to make myself as
    insconpicious as possible. Only this morning I received an e-mail from one
    couple who said they barely knew I was there, I was so insconpicious that not
    one of their guests was even slightly aware of being photographed.

    Admitedly the funeral party I was photographing by mistake were less
    generous with their praise, but thats what it's like at the top of this game -
    lonely -but never crowded.

    Anyhoo, I'm off to scrub the sensor in my 300d with Vim.

    PS. Feel free to use the term insconpicious as much as you want, knock
    yourself out you painter of light.

    reply

  • TJ

    TJ

    06 February 2013 at 18:39 |
    Dear Derek,

    I myself have a dirty sensor as i tend to frequently change lenses during weddings. I was thinking of sending it off to Canon to get it cleansed. Will vim /ajax work on a sensor and what type of brush do you use. I would be greatful if you could shed some light on the sensor cleaning process.

    On another note, I am surprised that you are using a 300D.

    Regards

    TJ

    reply

    • Derek

      Derek

      06 February 2013 at 18:40 |
      I'm not - I think you have read the post above yours incorrectly. I didn't write it. I
      don't use a Canon. I prefer the Fuji Finepix 40i. I always use the lens built into
      the camera.

      reply

  • Anony

    Anony

    06 February 2013 at 18:40 |
    I'm not a professional photographer but, inspired by you, i wanted to inject some much needed Reportedge into my shots without the aid of technical stuff. so I tied my camera to a piece of elastic swung it round and round and let nature take it's course. My grandma's head caused the button depress and I got a fantastic spinning view of Niagra Falls as she fell over the edge.

    Is this the kind of thing I should be aspiring to? - and what camera do you recommend for swinging round on elastic. I used a disposable one in case I lost it over Niagra Falls.

    reply

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