The photos I took of Armenian weddings are only a small percentage of what I captured with my camera while away in what is an amazing country. I will be posting some of this personal work on Facebook with an idea to perhaps launching another website to show what else I can do as well as photographing weddings.
I’ve just returned from a 9 day photography workshop in Gyumri, Armenia with the brilliant National Geographic photographer John Stanmeyer. This is the second trip I have attended led by one of the worlds best photographers, my first being in 2013 with a trip to Varanasi, India.
They are not only a means to improve and push my photography but also serve to enlighten and develop me as a person, seeing other cultures and experiencing new places opens your mind and how you see and feel about things.
The people I met were truly wonderful, as I walked around the streets and villages taking photographs I was greeted with invitations into their homes to drink coffee with them and eat cake, homemade preserved fruits, chocolates and anything else they had to hand, where else do people invite total strangers in like this I wonder?
This short series of wedding photos were from a number of weddings that I happened to come across in the church a short walk from Villa Kars in Gyumri where we were staying. They are not weddings that I was booked to do but ones that I was invited to join in as another photographer, the hired photographers were very gracious in letting me photograph the weddings they were working.
The weddings mainly occur on Saturdays and Sundays but like here in Britain they do take place on weekdays. On Saturdays the turn around can be pretty quick in the church and as you will see from one image they can at times overlap! Like a traditional Greek wedding the groom meets his bride at her house before the ceremony and then they enter the church together. The guests all stand as there are no pews and the general public come and go as they would normally do to say their prayers, it is a lot less formal than an English church wedding and far less restrictive for the photographers who at times are almost on the shoulders of the priest!
It seems also to be a tradition for the couple to release two white doves after the ceremony, although I’m not sure tying balloons onto it’s feet is! However it seems they return to the same place by the church each time so I guess they’re soon removed.
I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to visit and experience Armenia and photograph some Armenian weddings, maybe I will get the chance to photograph an Armenian couple in the UK some day?