After a almost two weeks of unseasonable rain, I woke up to a break in the weather for a days wedding photography at Highfield Park. With rain forecast, it was going to be a case of racing through to get everybody done and sat down before the weather broke.
The weather held for the wedding itself, held in St Michael church in Heckfield opposite Highfield Park. I do like a church wedding every so often, that shot from the back with the alter, arch and stain glass windows is a wedding photography classic!
Churches are usually somewhat more restrictive wedding photography wise than hotel venues and St Michael Church is no exception. The vicar ran through the usual restrictions, the most limiting being to take just one image of the bride as she walked down the aisle. With usual do’s and dont’s in place we were ready for the service.
The wedding itself went without a hitch and then we moved outside to take a few shots before moving to Highfield Park. This is always a nice time as there is a natural high following the service. Trying to arrange a few organised shots proved quite challenging trying to make myself heard above the church bells!
Highfield Park is just a minutes walk from St Michael Church. After giving the couple a few minutes to take a drink I went outside to assess the weather and realised that it was going to be a race against the clock. With the skies already Grey and darkening by the minute the pressure was on to finish quickly. The light was already very flat, in this situation I would sometimes supplement with off camera flash but with the possibility of rain the safer option was to work as quickly as possible without it.
With a bit of space and a controlled environment I opted to shoot with my 85mm prime lens. I love this lens for the sharpness, shallow depth of field and perspective it gives me. Having to walk backwards and forwards to ‘zoom’ is a small price to pay for the other characteristics the 85mm gives me!
With the couple shots in the bag I moved on to the groups. With the skies still growing darker and a few family members proving difficult to locate I opted to stay in one location near to guests rather than exploring a few different backgrounds. This proved to be the wiser choice as were were cutting it close in time towards the end.
In between courses I was able to get quite a few images of guests enjoying their meal as they talked among themselves. The couple had also hired a magician who produced some fantastic animated facial expressions for me to capture.
For the speeches the lighting in the room was far from ideal and my position at the back to avoid blocking guests view was too far away to bounce flash from the camera off the ceiling. To improve the lighting situation I used two flashguns fired off-camera positioned much closer to the speeches. This gave a nice directional light when mixed with the ambient light available.
It was nice being back at Highfield Park as I have not shot a wedding there for quite a long time, although I definitely want better weather next time!