Something magical happened yesterday. A registrar in Southport was relaxed, fun, funny - and happy for photographs to be taken throughout the ceremony, including during the signing of the register. Why is that magical, I hear you ask. Well, let me tell you.
For many year in Southport, and at other places around the country, registrars have been under the mistaken belief that they can stop photographs being taken during a wedding ceremony. The reasons given vary, with the most common being:
- it's illegal
- you can't do that under the Data Protection Act
- the register cannot be photographed
- it disturbs the couple and distracts them from the legal process they are following
- you can't do that (this being from aggressive registrars who are generally misinformed)
None of these reasons have any substance to them - in law or anything else. And as a professional photographer I often find it frustrating that I'm told I can't take photographs but 50, 75, 100 and more people in the wedding party are left holding their cameras, all of them snapping away, beeps going off on their cameras, flashes going off too. And here am I with the quiet professional camera that doesn't need a flash and has no beep to it being told that I can't take photographs.
Now, in Liverpool it's never been like that - it's very relaxed, very personal, and you get the friendliest, happiest, most fun registrars I've come across anywhere. And here is where we come to the magic. A Liverpool registrar has emigrated ... to Southport. She has taken with her that fabulous spirit of her Liverpool days, and is introducing them to an area that has felt to me like it was in the dark ages. It's such a breath of fresh air after years of registrars standing between me and the couple to prevent a photograph being taken; of registrars being strict in their instructions that NO photographs can be taken; after registrars misquoting the law and being rude when they are politely informed that there is no law that prevents the taking of photographs.
So Paula, you are wonderful, and I look forward to working with you again in Southport, to your fun, relaxed and gentle way of working, and to the laughter and joy you encourage at a wedding. Thank you for bringing magic to Southport so that more couples can enjoy their memories of that fun and relaxed ceremony in their photographs. May it seep through to your colleagues too, and give all couples getting married in Southport the same fabulous experience.