Shooting a winter wedding can be tough, because the light can be so challenging. For the few weeks before the Guthrie – Gaban wedding in late December, the sun barely seemed to get out of bed at all. ‘Don’t worry!’ said the bride, ‘I have a team of people praying for the weather.’ As a photographer you have to assume that you must do your homework and cope with whatever weather is ordained, be it hail or snow. In fact, on the day I practically had to dig my car out of ice and snow as I set out towards Battersea. So I was somewhat bemused to find that in Battersea, about ten miles south of where I live, there was brilliant sunshine and the only white in sight was the bride’s veil.
Not that the day was without it’s challenges. There were 3 shoots, with the bride getting ready before the ceremony, the church ceremony and then the reception. I loved the first shoot because it was such a girlie fest. Sheena got ready at her godmother’s house, a beautiful flat in Battersea. I especially love the shots I got here, because the light was so exquisite and there was a wonderful camaraderie between the bride and her bridesmaids. One bridesmaid personally dethorned and put together all the bouquets that morning. The generosity of this group blew me away, especially the best man who was utterly dedicated and supportive from start to finish.
The second shoot was harder because when I got to the church I found that they had decided to black out all the windows, leaving very little light. Luckily my Nikon D3 can practically see in the dark because it has such good sensitivity. I concentrated on before and after the ceremony, keeping a low profile during the actual vows because I prefer not to intrude during such a special moment. It was -3 outside that day, so we spent very little time outside – just enough to get some lovely group shots in the golden sunshine.
The reception was in a magical, dark, candlelit church, and I’m particularly proud of the shots I took there, which balance candlelight and ambient light. I love to shoot in low light, because so often the most beautiful moments are the ones that happen at these times, which is why Nikon cameras suit me best – they are so light sensitive.
In fact, some of the shots look as though it were shot in the midst of summer. Hopefully that’s a metaphor for the future for Sheena and Doug! All in all a great party, a happy start to a marriage and a testimony to the power of friendship.