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Monday, 5 August 2013

The Crazy Russian Golf Buggy Driver


Jack and Jenna's gorgeous wedding at Old Thorns, Liphook was running a little behind after our outside group photograph session had been interrupted by rain. But the weather was sufficiently kind to us that we pulled back just enough time that we could still shoot our planned wedding portrait photographs.

The lovely wedding coordinator from the hotel, who did a fabulous job all day, drove us to one of the highest points of the golf course in a long-wheel-base high-octane off-road golf buggy.

The buggy had three rows of seats. I sat next to the wedding coordinator in the front. The bride and groom sat in the middle and Jacqui sat in the rear facing seats with very little to grab hold of. Jacqui and I both had arms full of heavy and expensive camera gear.

Before we set off, I was sure I noticed a flash from the lovely Russian driver's eyes and horns starting to protrude from beneath her well groomed blonde hair.

Then, like a Top Gear drag race, the buggy sped off. The noise was immense as the whine of the straining buggy-motor blended with Jacqui's squeals as she desperately tried to hang on.

The crazy Russian buggy driver would smile at me as we approached a sharp corner, then I watched as her face hardened and she'd tread on the accelerator to swing the back out...and of course Jacqui. I was always relieved to hear Jacqui screaming...it meant she'd hadn't fallen out. I'm certain at one point the crazy Russian had all four wheels sliding. Our driver would turn to me with a glint and say, "It is exciting, yes?"

The irony is that once we'd arrived at our high elevation view point, we couldn't see anything of the landscape because of the low and threatening clouds. Instead we shot the dramatic sky-scape above. The fast moving clouds gave us a lovely opportunity to put a bright spot behind Jack and Jenna to help create this lovely and dramatic bride and groom portrait.


On the way back we noticed these pink petals on the ground and in the bushes and got this lovely walking away shot.


A little later we were much calmer and Jacqui had stopped squealing so we got some lovely indoor bride portraits.


Then we noticed this mirror with flowers and beautifully matching wall colour.


Despite the occasional rain and the Stig's crazy distant Russian cousin thinking that golf is actually a motorsport, it was a brilliant day and the staff at Old Thorns were magnificent. And the best bit...Jacqui never fell out...or dropped anything expensive.

Steve Dunster