Wedding Photography……as a guest

7 06 2009

Lorna and I had the pleasure yesterday of attending the marriage of two of Lorna’s friends and previous workmates. They knew of my passion for photography and so I was asked to take a few pictures for them. My favorite lens had unfortunately been dropped a week or so ago by my darling wife and was away for repair, luckily Lehmans in Stoke on Trent managed to turn the repair around in just over one week so Friday saw me rushing up to the store to pick it up. I wouldn’t have felt comfortable without it and their service was excellent. So, the evening before the wedding I went through the usual routine of checking batteries, cleaning sensors, formatting cards and clearing all of the crap out of my camera bag to make it easier and lighter to carry on the day.

All hopes of a nice sunny day were dashed when I was awoken by heavy rain which unfortunately didn’t really subside for the rest of the day, typical of Britain to have a stunningly hot week and then torrential rain on the day of a big occasion!

The wedding took plaace at a beautiful small church in Weston-under-Redcastle in Shropshire and after a small delay the bride arrived, looking glorious. The lighting in the church was actually not that bad and I elected to rely on high ISO to keep my shutter speeds up rather than use my flash gun.

Vickie Arrives

Vickie Arrives

Photography wasn’t allowed during the ceremony, for the guests at least, though I could hear the official photographer clicking away just behind me throughout. I am sure that she managed to get some stunning images as the church was small and reasonably well lit and the ceremony was packed of ‘those little moments’ that any decent photographer would be looking to capture.

Ceremony over and register signed the new Bride and Groom made their way out of the church. I had made sure that I was  on the end of a pew so that I had the best possible chance of catching the couple without interference from other guests’ elbows, heads etc. Luckily I managed to capture the following shot as Vickie’s eye was caught by one of her friends and laughter ensued.

The newly wed couple.

The newly wed couple.

The reception was held at the nearby Hawkstone Park Hotel which, with its own picturesque grounds and follies seems like a perfect place to have your ‘formals’ taken. Unfortunately the rain put paid to that option so whilst the guests, including myself, took advantage of the bar, the bride and groom were whisked off to various rooms and locations within the hotel to have the photographs done. I kept well away at this point and let the photographer get on with her job. I can imagine that there is nothing worse for an official photographer than to have some ‘keen amateur’ hanging round, making a nuisance of themselves and stealing all of the shots that they have so painstakingly set up.

I have to admit to taking advantage of one situation when the couple were sat in the car ready to go to the reception but it seemed that the official picture had been taken so I grabbed this one. I liked the reflection of Tom’s face in the window.

In the wedding car

In the wedding car

I was quite surprised to see that the official photographer didn’t stay around for the speeches so at a suitable break in the meal I went out to my car and grabbed my bag, planning to take some photos that hopefully caught the ambiance of the occasion. Again, I was quite lucky that the room was reasonably well lit and also that my 70-200mm f/2.8 lens had enough reach on my 5D to frame the speakers well enough without needing a heavy crop in post processing. The speeches were extremely entertaining and provided lots of moments of laughter both for the guests and the family of the newly weds.

This is my favorite of that part of the day, love the way both of the couples eyes are fixated on the speaker (it also looks nice in mono which will probably appear on my Flickr at some point.)

The Father of the Bride speaks

The Father of the Bride speaks

All in all we had a smashing day and despite my initial dissatisfaction with my haul of pictures I am actually now relatively happy with what I managed to get. Still a few to process but more will appear on my Flickr in due course.




2 responses

8 06 2009
Pete Tiley


Nice work. It is interesting when they say no Flash. I do wonder why? Looks like the 5D walked the high ISO however. Uber camera. Nice one mate.

9 06 2009
Steve Green

Cheers Pete. I have not used the high ISO on the 5D that much but things like this give me confidence to use it over 800 without any probelms……you are right, uber camera!

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