Photography at a Wedding
Wherever your wedding and reception take place, whether it is in a marquee, a big venue, or in the back of a pub, there will be advantages and disadvantages in terms of the photography. The most important thing for me as a professional wedding photographer is to use the disadvantages to my advantage! Dark barns or Churches can give beautiful shots with the bride or groom in a patch of light or lit by a little blip of flash that pulls them out of the background in the photograph.
Two of the biggest concerns that brides and grooms have are the weather and the light. For me, the key thing to remember is instead of trying to control them, I plan your wedding photography so I get great pictures whatever the conditions.
Here are some of the most popular Wedding Photography In… locations and situations, so that you can see for yourself how challenging conditions will not mean poor wedding photos!
Photography at a Wedding in a Church
Churches may have specific rules about what photographers can do during the service and where I am allowed to go. Restrictions vary from a mass of rules to total freedom, it depends on the church and the priest/vicar.
Visiting the Church before your wedding day is a great way for me to be prepared for whatever circumstances I will face on your day. I always either meet or talk to the priest or officiant so I know where they are happy for me to be during the service. The fact that I have contacted them at all before your day gives them confidence that I will act professionally during the service. As a professional wedding photographer it is part of my job to make sure I am as invisible as possible during your service. I don’t use flash and try to use long lenses so I can keep to the shadows.
Dark Churches are not a problem. Even though I don’t use flash during the service, as an experienced and professional wedding photographer, I know how to get the best out of even the darkest Church. Admittedly, the latest digital equipment helps :-) .
Photography at a Wedding in a Barn
Once again, most people’s concerns about wedding photography in a barn are about how dark they can be. The same applies to barns as to Churches. As a professional photographer of over twenty years experience, I know how to get the best out of them. I use professional high quality lenses that have extremely wide apertures so I can shoot in the lowest of light. Developments over the last few years in digital photography mean I can use the low light to my own advantage, using shadows and pools of light to give beautiful skin tones and striking pictures.
Photography at a Wedding in a Pub
Grooms often meet friends and family at a pub before the ceremony, providing some excellent shots on a par with shots of the bride getting ready with her friends. Cramped conditions, dark corners and harsh directional light can present photographic challenges, but having been in this situation many times I am used to shooting in limited space (think a packed hotel room full of the bride, bridesmaids and family members!) and will take advantage of the available natural light to give you atmospheric, gorgeous shots.
The emotions and energy coming from the groom and family and friends will give me loads to work with in terms of reactions and laughter (often nervous!) as well as some thoughtful anticipation.
Photography at a Wedding in a Garden/Outside
The advantages of being in a garden are the soft light and lush background to my shots, giving a quintessential country garden feel to your wedding photography.
Holding your ceremony or reception outside will give me the chance to use natural light to full advantage, which will give beautiful skin tones and a wonderful directional light. Though it’s always a good idea to have a back up plan just in case it rains on the day!
Photography at a Wedding in the Winter
Photography at winter weddings can be beautiful; we just need to think about the light and the weather a little bit more carefully. The earlier in the day the ceremony takes place, the more use you can make of the daylight on shorter days.
Bear in mind that it may well be cold, so neither you nor your guests will want to be outside for too long taking photographs. Once again, it is all in the planning – we need to decide beforehand where the formal groups and bride and groom shots will take place and what conditions might be like, depending on the weather and time of day.
Photography at a Wedding in the Summer
Bright sunshine and blue skies make for great wedding photography, with beautiful light and happy, smiling people! Once again planning is key to making sure the issues surrounding sunny days lead to wonderful wedding photos.
Whatever the location, whether it is a Church or reception there will be great spots for making best use of the light. I will need to scope out the location beforehand making sure to identify areas that would be appropriate for different weather conditions.
Often this will mean finding some shade or being aware of the directional light so that I can have brides and grooms and guests facing the best direction for the light.
Photography at a Wedding in the Rain
Any UK wedding photographer worth using will be well used to shooting weddings in the rain. It’s all in the planning – if we plan how I am going to manage your wedding photography if it pours, then the chances are that it won’t!
Even if it does rain, it doesn’t need to get in the way of great wedding photography. Discussing possible locations beforehand for formal groups and bride and groom shots for both dry and wet weather conditions is a great idea. Wet weather also often gives some great reaction shots as people rush from one location to another, often laughing or screaming as they go!
Photography at a Wedding in Bright Sun
Waking up on your wedding day to bright sunshine is what most brides and grooms dream of, and blue skies and bright sun can help great wedding day photography. But it’s important I manage the light so you don’t have harsh shadows and sunlight on your faces. Otherwise those cherished shots are going to mean lots of screwed up eyes and squinting!
We can talk through your day and make plans for the different situations. Having the Church in the background of the group shots would be lovely, but not if everyone will have their eyes screwed up because they are squinting into the light. No doubt, when we are looking around the locations before your day, we will find a spot for the group shots that is great for the light, but is also as good as, if not better than the location we can’t use.
Photography at a Wedding Destination Abroad
Destination weddings are a great option for many brides and grooms, holding your special day in a beautiful foreign country with close family and friends. There are many advantages to using a photographer from the UK, not least that you can meet me beforehand so you can be sure I am the right photographer for you. The relationship between me & the bride and groom is much more important than that between me and the venue.
It helps that I am well travelled and understand the logistics of working abroad, having worked as a photographer all over the world, including South America, Asia & Africa, as well as extensively in Europe, particularly Italy. Just as important are all the implications of carrying my cameras and equipment on planes and through customs. After all, it doesn’t matter how good a photographer I am if I can’t get to your wedding with all my gear! Otherwise, the issues at a wedding are remarkably similar the world over and as an experienced wedding photographer l take them in my stride wherever I am.
These are some of the wedding locations I’m most often asked about, but since all weddings are unique, and all wedding photography is unique, it’s more than likely you will have a question about a location I haven’t covered here. Please give me a call if that’s the case, I’m very happy to answer any queries you have.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Cheers – Neil