So with the summer months rolling by June, July and especially August in the UK has been hit by quite a spot of lovely weather recently. In fact resulting in 2 very, very hot weddings and 2 very, typical for the UK, mixed weddings weather wise!
Rather ironically whilst I write this the clouds have come over and there is rain in the air and forecast for all today – that’s August in the UK for you.
As a wedding photographer you can always predict what the weather maybe like but until the day, you really never ever know. And wedding days are looonnnnng days – normally 12 – 14 hours so you can experience most seasons in one day anyway! Having the equipment on hand to deal with changing conditions can help, but best of all planning and preparation and practise are the most critical elements when shooting a wedding. Through all my mentoring and training it is always drilled in – practise, practise, practise. Don’t wait until the Wedding day to try out a new fangled technical shot you’ve been thinking abou – practise and perfect it so come the day you know what you are doing.
The example above was with a bride and groom who seeing the stormy skies and rain approaching were quite rightly reluctant to step outside for a shot I had in my head – however this was all setup with my assistant using a simple Nikon SB910 through a shoot through umbrella and yongnou triggers to fire the flash remotely. I quickly got them in place, wanted to bring all that lovely sky in and fired off a frame – showing it straight away to the couple on the back of my camera the reaction was “wow, that’s stunning”. It bought me a bit of time to fire off a few more frames! I knew how to underexpose my sky and I knew where I wanted my light to hit the couple because I’d previously practised and tested this. Is it perfect? – far from it, but it’s still a striking shot using the elements from the day and the happy couple love it!
For this first dance the room was literally black apart from a few disco lights in the background and my carefully placed SB910 Flashgun on a manfrotto lightstand. It’s a high ISO shot so there’s grain but I personally love it and it’s about the moment and not about the sharpness or image noise, a small bit of flare firing out of the frame gives it a bit of dynamics without being too distracting.
I like framing couples where possible, there was an old oak tree at this venue on the golf course at Hanbury Manor Hotel and I had visions of shooting the couple with the manor in the background, this was shot during the day but I wanted to give it a dusky evening feel so a small aperture was used F16, a shutter of around 250th of a second and the couple were lit by a large Softbox and Lencarta Safari Li-On battery powered flash – good for 600Ws! We had some lovely natural daylit shots of the couple but again with the equipment and knowledge we can add shots like this for a varied portfolio.
We just loving weddings and the UK wedding season does throw up some unexpected weather over the course of the day – practise your art, learn how to use the light and compliment the light and you’ll be just fine.
And practise – did I mention practisng?!