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Sunday, 15 July 2018

Story Behind the Picture: Slobbering Shetland

This wedding photo was taken by Jacqui in the Spring of 2013 on the cricket ground in front of the Balmer Lawn Hotel in the New Forest just after sunset.

In the picture you can see Steve taking a fine art wedding photograph of a bride and groom...but there is also a Shetland pony.

When he started photographing the couple, the Shetland was over by hedges you can see in the background. Once the Shetty noticed Steve was laying on the ground, he made his way over to investigate.

Steve was busy looking through a tiny viewfinder, balancing the lighting and directing the couple. He was totally unaware of what was approaching him.

The couple were full of smiles and laughter. He thought it was his directing but they could see the approach of the curious Shetty.

The first Steve knew of the Shetty's interest in him was when he felt a hot slobbering tongue in his ear. He rolled over on to his back only to see the long fury nose and huge black batting eyelids of a very innocent looking Shetland.

We have shown this picture and told this story to countless prospective couples over the years. It is instructive in many ways:

1. It shows the equipment and setup Steve uses for some of his fine art wedding photography
2. It shows how being a fine art wedding photographer can be dangerous work
3. It shows how, when faced with a choice of helping her husband or getting a great photograph - she'll always choose the photograph
4. It helps to explain why Steve hates horses and why Jacqui loves them

...and the finished fine art photograph that Steve was taking... this one.

In Jacqui's photograph you can see the light that the bride and groom saw at the time. The sun had just gone down. It was a low contrast dull light with a slightly blue tint.

With Steve's lighting he was able to create something quite is not unusual for couples to say "Wow" after they've seen the photographs he's been taking because it is so different to the light they can see.

So which image is better? Steve's fine art...or Jacqui's story telling (reportage/photo-journalism).

The answer is...they do different jobs. And this is why at a wedding they will photograph using the fine art style of wedding photography as well as the reportage style and everything in between.

Jacqui and Steve are Hampshire Wedding Photographers at Jacqui Marie Photography - where Photo-journalism meets fine art wedding photography.

Friday, 13 July 2018

A Most Magnificent Memorial

Sometimes the emotion of a moment at a wedding can be quite overwhelming...and so it was at this wedding at the Tithe Barn near Petersfield. 
The guests and venue looked amazing and the day was full of fun and energy especially during the speeches.  
But after the speeches something would happen that would be still and quiet and one of the most powerful memorials we can remember. 
The guests were invited to each go up to a table and light a candle and remember those who could not be at their wedding with them. 
The bridal party were the first to the table where there were a large number of unlit candles. One for every guest.

It was really emotional to see the bridal party so deep in their thoughts and memories as they lit their candles and placed them on the table as they looked at the photographs of their loved ones.

One by one every guest lined up to do the same. 

As the yellow glow from the mass of candles grew brighter, it became harder for us to remain detached.

A silence fell that was so quiet that we could not escape from our own thoughts and memories and feelings. It was quite overwhelming. 

Once all the candles were lit, the guests stood around them. Their faces lit by a flickering golden glow.

Time stood still for all of us as together we privately remembered those we missed most.

Eventually we started to notice the birds singing again and people started to move around and whispers turned to laughter and the party soon continued as it had done all day.

Whilst there was dancing and applause and laughter the candles and the memories stayed bright.
It had been undoubtedly a most magnificent memorial.
by Jacqui and Steve

Friday, 6 July 2018

Beach Themed Castle Wedding

Ben and Charli had their amazing beach-themed wedding at Portchester Castle and the D-Day Memorial Hall in Southwick.

The weather was perfect for their beach theme and it gave us the opportunity to take Charli outside in the garden for some lovely sun-kissed photographs before she left for the church.

Then it was time for father and daughter to get into the bridal car and make their way to the ceremony.

Portchester Castle looked magnificent bathed in sun without a cloud in the sky.

Charli and her Dad arrived at the Castle in style in a modern Rolls Royce - which provided a real Ancient and Modern moment.

As the girls and Dad lined up outside ready to walk up the aisle...

...Ben did his best not to get nervous.

Then at last, the moment everyone had been waiting for...

...and Ben was delighted when he saw his bride for the first time.

The blessing of the rings...

...the exchanging of the rings...

...the hand binding...

...and at last, they were married.

Since their castle wedding had a beach theme and the tide was conveniently in, we took them to the castle's Eastern Gate...

...and along the sea wall...

...for some moments alone to enjoy the view

...and the warm sea breeze...

...and each other.

Ben and Charli were absolutely brilliant together...

...and they were great fun to work with.

Then it was time to walk back along the sea wall to enjoy the view of the chalk downs of Portsdown Hill and the lapping of waves against the wall...

...before heading back to their wedding car...

...which was waiting for them at the lych gate.

Their first car journey as man and wife...

...was to take them to their reception venue...

...The D-Day Memorial Hall in Southwick.

The Hall was fabulously decked out with every kind of beach signage outside...

...and inside...

...and even the table plan was a marked up surf board and all the framed pictures and doors in the hall had a beach themed poster temporarily stuck over them. The overall effect was brilliant.

The cake was also beach-themed...

...decorated with beach signs...

...beach fences...

...and sand and shells and even rope shaped into a heart.

They cut their cake on the steps outside the Hall...

...which gave all the guests a great view of this important wedding tradition.

Then it was inside for their speeches and meal.

Their First Dance was lovely and drew the attention of all their guests...

...with twirls...

...and laughter.

In fact the whole of their day was full of laughter...and sunshine...and all things beach. 

It was a brilliant day and we wish Ben and Charli the very best of wishes for their new life together.

by Steve Dunster
6 July 2018