Let me tell you a brief-ish story before you press the play button on the Vimeo above and make sure you definitely engage sound for this one. As a wedding photographer, impending nuptials are of stout importance to me. I certainly don’t spend my life trawling through the Sunday supps and middle shelf glossies looking for showbiz types wot’ may be getting wed, but one approaching wedding in 2011 was of particular interest to me. It was a wedding I wanted to shoot, nobody could shoot it in fact, but me. And in a year where one William and Kate were getting wed, you may be forgiven for thinking it could be them. But no.
Our office, 2.15ish Tuesday 15th February.
Picture editor Nat: Lester’s getting married.
Me: Clue please.
Nat: You know him.
I turn the clock back to the early ‘90s. I was a fledgling producer and presenter in radio. I was attending a five day BBC radio training course up in ‘the smoke.’ On the Tuesday, we were promised a big name national broadcaster would pop in on Wednesday morning for an hour or so, to proffer advice and wisdom. So it was with great excitement that a dozen radio newbies from various stations across the isle sat in a London pub that night, musing about the celeb we were to meet the next day; would it be Wogan, Bates, Wrighty, Brookes? Maybe even Saville?
We sat huddled in training room 1. The atmosphere was tense. Our trainer rambled on about splice split avoidance and tape machine maintenance. We were unsettled; the crowd baying for our big name broadcaster.
11 o clock, the door opened, we took a collective intake of breath a workshop of M.O.T. mechanics would be proud of.
Now I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that initially a dozen autograph books were surreptitiously tucked back into our reporter bags. But I remember that moment as if it were yesterday. Maybe it was the odd colourful circus clown type trousers he wore, the likes of which I hadn’t thought possible to purchase. I suspect it was because for the next hour, Alex had twelve impressionable radio presenters hanging by his every syllable. Two years later, by some odd route, I managed to acquire ‘jock status,’ for five minutes in Egton House, the home of Radio 1. I was asked at my BBC board by the controller, who I admired in radio? Wogan, Bates, Wrighty, Freeman, were all names I could have thrown into the ring.
Lester. I said. Alex Lester. Radio 2. Alex Lester. I was sure.
And so it came to be this year that Alex Lester married the incredibly beautiful Kerry. And I was there to photograph it, ably assisted on second camera by my picture editor Natalie. I regularly feel when I’ve met with a couple, that there is no-one on earth that should be there photographing their day but me, such is the connect, and my emotion. But this one. I just had to shoot this wedding. I’m so proud to have done so, and so pleased to have recorded your words too Kerry, Alex. If ever there were a couple who just ‘should be.’ It’s the two of you. x