As a wedding photographer I attended several conferences and workshops. In the past years I am very grateful to have met some amazing people. Few of them deeply marked my journey and Jon Mold is one of the few! I met Jon for the first time in 2013, while I was attending a conference in Amsterdam. Our personalities somehow matched and we began a beautiful friendship. In those days spent in Netherlands we had some beers and talks about photography and it was for the first time when I was thinking to leave Romania and to do wedding photography in another country.
That time I knew nothing about Jon’s work, but when I got back home I checked his website and I was amazed by his style and his outstanding work. Besides being a brilliant wedding photographer, his commercial work is “alto livello” (high level in Italian) and if you don’t believe me you can check by yourself here.
As I said, Gabriela, my partner then, wanted to leave Romania long time before the moment Amsterdam 2013 while I was in doubt for another two years. Our business in Romania was really well established, we were shooting about 40 weddings a year (which for a Romanian wedding photographer is a bit unusual). In few words, there was no reason for me to move.
In 2015 I finally agreed with her and I accepted to make a plan in this direction. While she was for moving to Canada, I was for a place much closer to my family so I can visit them anytime I want. In early 2015, after shooting our first wedding in UK, we decided London is the city that might fit well for both of us. We couldn’t move without having a solid plan so we worked hard to make it happen.
So here we are! Back in august 2016 me and Gabriela booked a wedding in London. Few weeks before our departure, Jon posted an announcement on his Facebook wall. He was looking for a second photographer to help him cover a beautiful castle wedding near Cambridge. As I love to second shoot for other photographers I screw up my courage and I wrote to Jon I am in London that time and I am happy to help as the dates were not overlapping. He replied to me few minutes after: “Wow, Marius! What a surprise! I would love to have you shooting next to me, do you think you can fit in the budget?” The budget was not an issue as the experience itself was more important to me.
We photographed that wedding together and it was an amazing experience. Then Jon invited me to spend few days in his house to meet his family. I met Dee, his lovely wife, Florence and Jacob, their beautiful children and Busty and Bertie, their pets. I suppose Jon was happy with my style and my shots as I was his second photographer for another 17 weddings since then.
Today I will present you my first experience as a sikh wedding photographer in London.
National History Museum Sikh wedding photographer
It was November 2016 when Jon wrote to me and Gabriela. He was about to photograph a beautiful Sikh couple at the National History Museum of London and he was looking for two experienced photographers to second and third shoot for him. Is any wedding photographer who’s not dreaming to shoot at least once in a life a Sikh wedding? Well, shooting a Sikh wedding was on our bucket list. As we were about to move to London, I and Gabriela planned to spend two weeks in London around Rosie and Kieran’s wedding.
In a previous blogpost I wrote about how a Sikh wedding day is and what you have to know if you will ever attend a Sikh wedding, so I will proceed to tell you more about Rosie and Kieran’s wedding.
Knowing their getting ready will start very early in the morning, Jon booked a hotel for me and Gabi at Earl’s Court, 10 minutes walk till Kieran’s house. While I was photographing Kieran’s getting ready, Jon and Gabriela were in charge to document Rosie’s getting ready.
I woke up around 5.30 in the morning, I took a quick shower and I headed to Kieran’s house. I met there his wonderful family and they invited me to have breakfast and a coffee with them. Everything was new to me and I was excited about the day. My approach is quite relaxed so I captured Kieran’s getting ready in a documentary way. At the end I quickly took few family portraits and we headed up to Southall Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha for the Milni. I already told you what Milni is, the Milni is the official meeting of both families. Key male family members from both sides exchange garlands and greet each other, symbolizing the acceptance of two families into one.
There I joined forces with Jon and Gabi. After Milni we had a quick breakfast to recover our energy. Rosie and Kieran had an emotional wedding ceremony and all of us worked like a great team to beautifully cover all the key moments. After the main ceremony, Jon took some amazing couple portraits at The Wellesley Hotel Knightsbride, a luxury 5 star hotel next to Hyde Park. Then we had a short break in the room while Rosie and Kieran got ready for their vibrant party.
National History Museum London as a wedding venue
I visited the National History Museum of London before and I never thought how great a wedding reception can be organized there. Planners and florists had about one hour to set the amazing decor you will see later. Yes! One hour!! Can you believe you can set everything up in one hour? It was far beyond our expectations. The view was amazing!
As a wedding photographer or videographer you have to know you are not allowed to leave your bags on the ground and you are not allowed to hang your stands without securing them and for all of us it was a big challenge. We kindly asked permission to get access on the balconies and we were under surveillance all the time, but I believe we have greatly captured their amazing entry into the scene. The rest is history! Enjoy the story!
Jon, thank you for trusting me and Gabriela! It was a huge responsibility and we are happy we could help!