I first met Andrew and Shanice in a Starbucks near Bury St Edmunds. We’d sent a few messages back and forth, but I always like to meet with clients in person so we get to chat and find out a little more about each other, as well as ask questions.
Their wedding was to be held in a little village church in Fornham All Saints in Suffolk, with the reception to be held at Abbots Barn in Denham, nearby. I’d never shot in either of these places before but was assured by another photographer that they were lovely venues, and so it turned out to be.
From the meeting with Andrew and Shanice, I got that they wanted some posed formal shots with family, but the majority was to be candid, reportage-style photography that captured the genuine emotions of the day. I love both styles – as a photographer posed shots provide a challenge to create interesting compositions but give you more control over the resulting image, whereas candid shots mean you have to be alert and ready to shoot at a moment’s notice when you see something interesting, but you get those real smiles and none of the stiffness that sometimes can creep into posed shots.
The service and particularly the reception were to be very child-friendly events as Andrew and Shanice have kids of their own and many of their friends and family have children as well and the couple wanted the kids to be able to run and play unfettered and freely. They’d organised microphones for the speeches so no one had to shush their children during them and had toys to play with and a small ball pool set up, as well as a bouncy castle.
Abbots Barn grounds are very pretty and after I’d wandered around taking candid shots of the assembled family and friends, we found a lovely part to do the formal shots with some brick steps joining the lower part of the garden to the upper part.I shot a few in front of the large barn doors before the bride and groom were presented to their guests, at which point the food was served and I took a break too.
Soon it was time to rejoin the revellers in the barn and during my break I’d quickly prepped some images from the service to be displayed on screens next to the DJ booth while people danced. It’s not a request I get often, but I’m always happy to go above and beyond for my clients whenever possible.
After shooting the speeches and the cake cutting, (and what a cake!) it was time for the first dance. We had a small problem with the electrics in the barn briefly, but all my flashes are battery powered, so I was able to get some candid shots of people on the dancefloor anyway. After the issue was sorted, I got what I feel are some great shots of their first dance together as husband and wife before heading off and leaving them to the night’s festivities.