I originally met Natalie and Alex at a wedding fair in Marlow in September 2017, and almost two years later I photographed their wonderful wedding. Months of organising and meticulous planning all came together perfectly, and it was an absolute joy to be part of their day.
I joined Natalie and her bridesmaids at Karma Sanctum on The Green in Cookham where preparations were in full swing. As usual, I started with Natalie’s dress, shoes and jewellery making sure I had captured all the special details for her and then spent the rest of the time photographing candidly as the girls got ready. I always want my photos to look natural so I rarely interfere or ask people to pose for me, but the hotel room had such lovely, flattering window light it would be criminal not to use it, so I did suggest that it would be a good place for make-up and I was able to create some dramatic shots while Natalie had her make-up applied.
There’s always a fine line to tread between shooting candidly and naturally, and manipulating the situation to use the light and surroundings to take an image to the next level creatively. I make sure I keep the balance and evaluate each situation carefully, and if I feel that a change in position to more flattering light or a rearrangement of items in the background will result in ‘wow’ images that my clients will love, then it’s definitely something I will suggest when it’s possible. I know exactly when some gentle direction will turn a good photo into an amazing one and my clients book me for this expertise, and trust that I won’t intrude unnecessarily.
Once Natalie was ready and I had captured an emotional moment when her Dad saw her for the first time (always guaranteed to set me off too!) I made my way into Marlow for the ceremony at All Saints Church – a huge, beautiful church right on the riverbank.
I was working with Helen Bailey as my 2nd shooter and she was already at the church capturing the guests arriving, having already been with the boys and photographing the Alex and his Groomsmen getting ready.
All Saints Church in Marlow is stunning, it’s like a small cathedral and full of light – which is a rare luxury when photographing a wedding in a church! The service was lovely and after a few ‘OMG we just got married’ shots on the riverbank and a windy confetti run we made our way to The Tythe Barn in Bicester for the wedding reception.
The Tythe Barn is a wedding photographer’s dream venue – it’s pretty much perfect and it’s no surprise they’ve won so many awards. Their attention to detail is incredible and has a massive impact on photographs, they really have thought of everything. From covering ugly air conditioning units with rustic wood so they blend in and disappear into the background to the huge variety of well thought out locations for couples portraits. There are several perfect spots for every lighting and weather condition you can think of. They even had a supply of ground coloured towels to lay Natalie’s train on as there was a short burst of rain just before we took the group photos and the ground was still wet.
We finished the night with a sparkler exit – something that fills many photographers with fear – but Laura (amazing wedding co-ordinator at the Tythe Barn) had a tried and tested routine to make sure it was exactly how Natalie and Alex dreamt it would be. They love their photos and my hair didn’t catch fire as I was running backwards through a sea of sparklers so we were all happy!