I’ve photographed weddings at Eastbourne Town Hall a number of times now. It can get quite hot in the Mayor’s Parlour, which is the cosy room where most ceremonies take place, but this may well have been the hottest, most stifling wedding I have had the pleasure of photographing. The heat was exacerbated by the number of friends and relatives packed in to the room for Nick and Nicol’s Wedding.
I always wear a suit when I work as I feel it shows respect. I’ve been to many a wedding where the official photographer is wearing jeans and a t-shirt. I just think it looks bad. However, I’m not sure what’s worse, jeans and a t-shirt or a sopping wet suit and shirt!
Eastbourne Town Hall does have a splendid staircase on which to photograph the wedding party. I spent some time after the ceremony with various groups on the staircase. The only snag is light. Even on a bright sunny day like this one it’s difficult to get enough natural light and I must admit to using fill in flash a few times.
I decided that the big group shot should be on the steps outside and this seemed to work well. As long as you get everyone in the shade. I remember an early shoot at another Eastbourne Town Hall wedding, where the first two rows of the group were in bright sunshine and the back two rows were in shadow. That was a heck of a job to sort out on the computer when I came to the edit stage!
Nick and Nicol invited me back to their house after the ceremony and we took a fair number of pictures in the garden and in the garden of a neighbour who had some nice looking flowers, which we thought would be good to use. I did spend some time in the edit later erasing some unsightly houses, which we couldn’t avoid being in the background at the time of the shoot. I’m quite pleased with the resulting images. I like greenery and flowers and Eastbourne Town Hall doesn’t have an awful lot of that.
A wedding photographer is often called upon to perform other duties at a wedding and quite often it’s helping to carry stuff. On this occasion I transported all the table decorations from Nick and Nicol’s home to the Red Lion pub in Stone Cross, for the evening reception. I don’t mind doing this at all. If I can help a wedding to run smoothly, it will enable the bride and groom to relax and at the end if the day I, and my clients, get better photographs.
Evening receptions are always a fun release after the somewhat nervous tension that surrounds the ceremony and wedding breakfast speeches. Cutting the cake, the first dance and occasional throwing of a bouquet are generally the moments I capture in the evening.
As the alcohol flows I get the fun shots too! I sometimes like to ditch the flash and get blurred shots, full of the colour from the lights and the movement of people across the dance floor. These shots can look really atmospheric and interesting without actually having anything pin sharp about them!
I will be back at Eastbourne Town Hall again soon. Let’s hope for a slightly cooler day, so I don’t feel like I’m swimming down the grand staircase in my wet suit.