I was delighted to be asked to photograph the wedding of Lindsay and Darren at St Andrew’s Church of Scotland, followed by a reception at Barton Hall, Kettering.
As is often the case this lovely couple took up my offer to have a pre-wedding shoot which is included in the price of all full-day wedding photography. Wherever possible I aim to photograph the couple at the reception venue at roughly the same time of day as they will be there on their wedding day. This, of course, means working in harmony with the wedding venue – which is no problem at the delightful Barton Hall which is a perfect setting for weddings and for photography with friendly and helpful staff.
We looked at various locations for the pre-wedding shoot, sometimes called a rehearsal shoot or an engagement shoot, and played around with some shots.
Starting with a location under a photogenic tree:
Learning from the rehearsal shoot, on the wedding day this was transformed in to the following images:
Photographed in the same location, with modified lighting to capture the atmosphere.
A slightly wider shot to show all the details of the dress
The final shot from this series shows all the dress details, but is a slightly more relaxed, informal photograph with neither the bride nor the groom paying attention to the photographer or camera.
We moved on to look at the potential for an informal walkabout – there are so many opportunities when photographing weddings at Barton Hall that it was difficult to choose – for the engagement shoot I have selected an image with a pathway leading in to the shot:
Looking again at all the options and learning from prior knowledge at Barton Hall, we chose another location for the actual wedding photography at Barton Hall as below:
This type of bride and groom photography seems very relaxed – it is a style that I call “prompted not posed” – they have been prompted to slightly exaggerate their movement which gives a real sense of motion in the way they are holding hands. Again in this final selection, neither the bride nor the groom is looking at the lens.
I was spoiled for choice with such a stunning bride and in practice took way too-many bridal portraits at Barton Hall for them to all be shown here. However here is one from the rehearsal shoot with an interesting out of focus detail that we all liked:
With Lindsay being so naturally relaxed after having an engagement shoot at the venue – it was no surprise that she became a stunning bridal model on her wedding day. In this case we decided that a black and white image may convey emotion more than colour, but as always with my photography where a black and white image is given – the original colour version is always supplied to the couple as well in case they have a different preference – it is all so personal and it is the couple’s day and the couple’s choice – not mine.
Looking at different ways of presenting the bride and groom at Barton Hall we wondered about the groom standing behind the bride, perhaps. We tried this at the engagement shoot:
Again the couple are looking at each other, not the camera, and the hand-holding is delightful. On the day we decided to use natural backgrounds for this shot.
Tighter framing has brought more emotion in to the image – I am very happy to have Lindsay looking this way while Darren looks at his bride – variety is key in a complete wedding shoot.
Some things just cant be tried on an engagement shoot – the things or people simply aren’t there – here are some examples of what might happen on a wedding day at Barton Hall that may be photographed just as it happens:
I hope this article has given some ideas why I offer an engagement shoot with all of my full-day wedding photography – it really helps to guide our photography on the wedding day, and helps the couple be much more relaxed and at ease on the day of the ceremony. We also get to know each other a little better, understand what the couple are looking for, and can have an idea of how we manage the day to make it run smoothly and to time – ironically being prepared does make the day run in a more fun, relaxed and seemingly informal way.
Interested to learn more or maybe chat about your own wedding day, at Barton Hall or at any venue in the East Midlands and East Anglia?
Just email firstname.lastname@example.org
Many thanks for taking the time to read this article,