Seasoned wedding photographer Tony Marsh, who is based in Edinburgh, believes that it is his job to build up a rapport with a couple in advance of their big day, so he recommends having a least one in-person meeting a few weeks before. “I’d also advise arranging a meeting with your photographer at the venue too,” he says.

“That’s really important because if you don’t click with the couple, it’s not really going to work so even if you can’t meet face to face initially, you can have a chat over Skype or FaceTime or whatever,” Tony points out.

The Scottish Farmer: A quiet moment to reflect A quiet moment to reflect

For a photographer like Tony, each wedding is special and very personal – no two weddings are the same, even when they’re taking place at a venue he is familiar with. “I’ve been a professional photographer for nearly 30 years now and it’s a privilege to be chosen by couples to take the photographs on their special day,” he says.

“However, it’s also a huge responsibility because you don’t get a second chance – you have to perform on the day and be prepared for all eventualities.”

The Scottish Farmer: Tony Marsh is a well-known Edinburgh-based wedding photographerTony Marsh is a well-known Edinburgh-based wedding photographer

“I discuss in detail the type of pictures a couple is looking for and while it would be highly unusual for anyone not to want some formal shots on the day, most couples nowadays like less formal photographs too where the photographer can snap unexpected moments, funny things that happen and so on.

“I think the best wedding photographers are those who have the ability to be creative with the staged photographs but who can also blend into the background and record the day as it unfolds, capturing the reaction of guests.

The Scottish Farmer: All the fun of the day is caught on cameraAll the fun of the day is caught on camera

“Some venues are located in stunning grounds with features that make exterior photographs an absolute dream – you know you are going to end up with amazing photographs,” he continues. “However, some venues don’t always match up inside so some of the backdrops for interior photographs aren’t so pleasing to the eye.

“That’s where the photograph’s creativity and flair come into play – using the right lighting, knowing where to stand to find an unusual angle, or even finding a quirky, unexpected place to take some photographs that you wouldn’t know about unless you’d fully explored the venue.”

And then there’s the weather. “We’re in Scotland,” says Tony, “and we know how unpredictable the weather can be so the photographer has to be prepared. Fortunately, in all my years shooting weddings, I’ve never been rained out completely but you do need to be ready to be creative with lighting.”

Tony is always prepared for all eventualities and limits himself to just two or three weddings a month. “That way, I never run out of inspiration and my ideas are fresh,” he explains.

“Shooting a wedding is also quite intense for the photographer because you’re on duty for hours and have to be really focused for all that time – you can’t afford to take your eye off the ball and, of course, you don’t want to miss anything.”

The Scottish Farmer: An experienced wedding photographer will blend into the background and capture the day as it unfoldsAn experienced wedding photographer will blend into the background and capture the day as it unfolds

Every wedding is different, of course. “It could be a big wedding with 200 guests or a very small group – I’ve even shot the wedding of a couple who came over from Australia to get married in their homeland,” he says. “People can also get married just about anywhere these days – church, hotel, castle – that side of things has changed too.”

One of the venues where Tony has shot many weddings is Dalhousie Castle near Edinburgh. With its towers and turrets, it’s a fairy-tale venue with its own falconry centre which allows couples to have the rings delivered by an owl. “That’s definitely one of the most exciting parts of the day – couples and their guests love it,” says Tony.

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“Dalhousie is one of the many wonderful places I’ve done weddings – other castles include Eilean Donan at Kyle of Lochalsh in the Highlands, Edinburgh Castle – but I’ve shot weddings in people’s gardens too. As I said, every wedding is different.”

For Tony, the best part of wedding photography is being part of a couple’s special day and being entrusted to look after what will be an everlasting memory of the most important day of their lives. “Meeting people, being with them, and seeing the joy on everyone’s faces as the day unfolds is quite magical,” he says.

“It also has a huge emotional impact because at the end of the day, everything is gone – the food, the flowers, the piper, the cake. All that’s left is the memories and the photo album.”