Two weeks ago, I was privileged to photograph the wedding of good friends Jamie and Emma at Vinopolis, just south of the Thames in central London.
Vinopolis’s Great Halls (where the reception took place) form an impressive venue for a wedding – two enormous caverns with 50 foot high brick walls built under a nineteenth-centry railway viaduct.
Any city centre wedding with minimal car access is a challenge, but this was doubly so as it was on the weekend of the Royal Wedding and also the local area was subject to road closures as a giant viaduct was being airlifted into place above Borough High Street! So I packed a small selection of lenses and a couple of light stands for the dancing shots into my ThinkTank bag and trekked off to the first location at the couple’s house. These are some of my favourite images from the day. Incidentally, all photographs shown here were taken with just two wide lenses – the 24mm prime and the 16-35mm zoom.
(has the groom’s suit shrunk or does it by any chance belong to the bride’s nephew?)
I often like to include details of what the makeup artist uses as tools of the trade:
The shape of the dress and the dark colour of the bridesmaids’ dresses certainly presented me with some great graphic compositions for black and white:
How else to arrive in London but in a black cab?:
I love the fact that modern cameras make it possible to obtain images at all in this level of light, especially with such low noise characteristics:
Applause for the newly married couple, and we start to see how magnificent the venue is:
The speeches presented me with a problem, as it was fairly difficult to get any kind of view with a long lens from the back of the hall, so I crouched in front of the top table to avoid getting in anyone’s way, and poked my lens up over the table from time to time.
Generally, I’m an available-light kind of photographer, and pretty much the only time I use flash at a wedding is for the first dance (off-camera of course), just to add some atmosphere:
The reception continued on into the evening with a céilidh. I managed to grab a few shots before the whole venue descended into organised chaos!
There’s something rather wonderful about photographing a good friend’s wedding, and in this case it was doubly true. I also had the advantage that comes with a friend’s wedding of having that little bit extra rapport with the couple, and therefore a better understanding on their part of how the documentary photography process works.