Trade 8 | Abbie & Alex

Abbie & Alex picked me up from the train station and dropped me off at the reception venue - Crasken Farm - on the Wednesday evening where I would camp for the next three nights. A little nervously perhaps. Setting up your wedding photographer to camp sounds one way in email and looks another way when the time comes. But they had set me up with everything I needed (and a pack of beer) and I settled in without issue. "How will I know who's Duncan?" I queried on finding the venue owner. "You'll know. He looks like the leader... like the guy who traded in his Bentley to open this place". "Hmm, okay".

I had no trouble finding Duncan following a stern 7am wake up call the next day from my Geese neighbours. I'm attempting to travel worldwide with no money by trading my photography for my basic needs. No more, no less. So I was expecting weddings to be part of such a project and it didn't take long. This was trade 8 and the first wedding of the project and also the first wedding I had ever photographed.

Fortunately I had an in depth brief to work from in the first email Abbie sent me:

  • I work for a major whale and dolphin conservation charity and my fiance, Alex, is a professional rugby player.
  • We live in a little thatched cottage very close to two of the most beautiful beaches in Cornwall - Poldhu and Polurrian - with our rescue ducks and our amazing dog, Moo, who is coming to the wedding.
  • Our reception is at an ex-hippie commune, powered by solar energy .
  • Our vicar is a bit wild - he has a load of tattoos and is famous for (rebelliously) wearing crocs at all times.

I was sold.

Abbie, Alex and all of their friends and family were so welcoming I felt like a guest from day 1. Given I had no intention of going any near wedding photography when I bought my first camera, these few days surpassed my expectations proving fantastic fun to be a small part of. When the couple, their company and the venue are on form like this the photos take themselves.

The Set Up

The Day

Nomadic photographer travelling the world without money by trading photography for my essential living needs.