Authorship Code

Monday, 20 August 2018

"Steve, would you mind lying down for us?"

Steve had been left alone with half a dozen excited bridesmaids, each with a charged glass of Champers. It was a cold Winter's day outside but inside the amazing Froyle Park bridal suite it was lovely and warm and snug.

Steve was sitting on the four-poster bed quietly reviewing some pictures on the back of his camera when the bridesmaids all circled round him.

He looked up and smiled. One of them said,  "Steve, would you mind lying down for us?"

She let the question hang there for just long enough to worry Steve before explaining that they'd seen an amazing picture on Pinterest and they wondered if he could reproduce it for them...but it would  mean lying on the floor.

They wanted to form a circle and chink their glasses and have him photograph them from below. Steve's first thoughts were about the geometry but the girls were all over it and organised themselves beautifully making a nice even shape with their arms.

The next problem was going to be lighting. Steve couldn't use his on-camera flash, it would uplight the faces (which we call "horror lighting" - it's not a good look for bridesmaids), it would wash out the detail in the dresses and worst of all it would make their arms look fat (the most heinous of heinous crimes!!!!).

Instead, he positioned the girls beneath a bare-bulb in the ceiling and shot in black and white. Their smiling faces were lit from above, their slim arms were rim-lit and the detail was preserved in their dresses. Result!

Inspired by how good the "Cheers" shot came out, they wanted to do another picture they'd seen on Pinterest - bridesmaids looking in a mirror at their bride.

To get this shot people have to look in different places than you'd imagine but the girls were very good and were brilliant at following instructions.

The next problem was to get enough light onto the bride, once that was solved we were ready...

...and the bride, Jo, popped a fabulous pose.

Once all the trick photography was done, it was time for Jo and her father to walk down the aisle.

As I was taking this photograph of Jo's father proudly walking his daughter down the stairs, you will notice a member of staff had suddenly appeared on the staircase. 

You will also notice that there are lit candles in little glasses lining the stairs.

The member of staff had seen Jo's train and veil ride over one of the lit candles and had moved very quickly to help out if needed. Fortunately all was well but it was great that the member of staff had been so vigilant and willing to help so quickly.

When Jo met her groom Jeff at the top of the aisle it was all smiles and laughter...

...until Jeff saw her father. 

Jo told us that her father has a school-teacher face that he can put on that really unsettles Jeff and that he plays on it a bit.

...but Jeff wasn't unsettled for long and his bravery returned.

Their entire wedding was so much fun.

We had confetti inside...

...then outside for some romantic portraits with Jo and Jeff in the iconic gazebo at Froyle Park.

By the time we could get out there we had no light left in the Eastern sky...

...but it made it look quite romantic.

Luckily there was still a little light left in the Western sky and we just managed to get the last wisps blue for this lovely photo of Jo and her bridesmaids outside in their shrugs...

...and this photograph of Jo with her flying veil and the warm inviting glow of the windows of her venue.

Then it was inside for warmth and laughter...

...and dancing.

Jo and Jeff had an absolute blast at their wedding as did their guests.

As for her bridesmaids? Steve will never ever forget them.

by Jacqui and Steve



When you don't have a Lake - use the A337

Any couple would feel blessed to have a wedding photograph of them against a beautiful sky and the setting sun reflected in water.

At Ethan and Katie's wedding at Careys Manor we had two out of three. Careys is an outstanding venue...but it doesn't have a lake.

Never mind...the A337 through Brockenhurst will have to do.

At the end of their amazing day whilst they were dancing with their guests and we were starting to pack up, we noticed this amazing evening sky. 

When the sun is that low in the sky you only have minutes to photograph it. Ethan and Katie were up for it so the four of us rushed out to Careys' front lawn and got as close to the road as we dare. 

We used the sun's reflection in the tarmac in the same way compositionally as we would have if we'd had the reflection in water. 

Five minutes later the sun had gone and so had the reflection. But this image is now part of their family archive for future generations to see what an amazing wedding day they had.

It wasn't the first time we had to use some creative lighting that day. Ethan and Katie wanted a photograph of them in this garden gateway. 

The scene was working well but we felt it was worth another approach.

Here we backlit the gateway. It made a nice highlight round the edge of the gateway to give a much more pronounced frame. 

We were quite pleased with the result.

Katie's day started with Bridal Prep at Careys Manor.

She had amazing shoes!!!!!!

They had a lovely ceremony with a room full to capacity with enthusiastic guests.

They were particularly lucky to have one of their friends bring their Rolls Royce to the wedding for them.

Ethan and Katie looked like Hollywood A-listers sat in the back of the Roller.

They had a great time...

...and so did their guests, with laughs...

...and smiles...

...and hugs...

...and drinks...

...and selfies.

Careys Manor was beautifully decorated, with fabulous food and amazing staff...as always.

What a wonderful wedding day this lovely young couple had in the heart of the New Forest.

We wish them all the very best for their married life together.

by Jacqui and Steve

Saturday, 18 August 2018

GOBBY - the Master Photo-Bomber

This is Pete and Coraleigh. They had the most amazing Summer wedding at Rhinefield House in the New Forest.

It was a wonderfully sunny day...

...and they loved being alone together...

...as they walked around the stunning grounds of Rhinefield House.

They were such a lovely bride and groom and were brilliant together.

This is the Best Man making his speech.

He was very funny ...but he did like to play games...

...and not these sorts of games!

THESE sorts of games! He has turned photo-bombing into an art!

Family group shots can be a bit dull for all concerned. So speeding through the group photographs is often a popular strategy and Jacqui is one of the fastest in the business. 

Before the wedding she does her best to have a written list of all the required groups and who is to be in each of them and by the time it's time to do the groups, Jacqui knows almost all the guests' names. 

It's a trick she learned from a school-teacher bride we had years ago. She said, "They are more compliant when you call them by their names!" 

Jacqui had just setup one of Pete and Coraleigh's groups and was trying to get all their eyes back to her before clicking the shutter.

There was a particularly disruptive element in the group.

Steve winced as Jacqui yelled, "Oi, GOBBY!" The disruptive element fell silent and smiled nicely. 

Jacqui took the photograph and organised the next group but the same thing happened.

She yelled again, "Oi, GOBBY!"

Steve whispered in her ear, "You can't keep calling the Best Man GOBBY!"

She laughed and showed Steve the shoot list. The Best Man was called GOBBY. It was on the shoot list as his name. Nobody knew him as anything else.

Gobby, the Master Photo-Bomber. This is some of his work!

We had an absolutely brilliant time with him, he was so much fun.

We will always fondly remember GOBBY, the Master Photo-Bomber and the fabulous day we had him and Pete and Coraleigh. What a wonderful wedding it was.

by Jacqui and Steve

Friday, 17 August 2018

When "Two Inches" is a Dreadful Disappointment

Moments after this photograph was taken something would happen that none of us could have predicted and gorgeous Victoria would be faced with a dreadful dilemma.

Bridal Prep had gone brilliantly well. Victoria and her five bridesmaids had the most wonderful time as they were getting ready at the amazing Rivervale Barn. 

Everything had been organised to the last detail, everyone was happy and relaxed, the sun was shining outside and there was a real sense of occasion.

All the girls looked stunning and were ready in plenty of time. We finished all the photographs with a few minutes to go before the Registrars arrived to give Victoria her pre-ceremony meeting.

With the photographs done, the girls started to tidy up and do their final bits and pieces.

Victoria went to walk towards the full length mirror for one final look. As she did so, we heard her cry out, "JACQUI! I can't walk! The dress is too long!"

We were amazed! The dress looked to be the perfect length in the photographs. Jacqui put her camera down and put her dress-making hat on. Something she's had to do at a few weddings.

She discovered that it was the underskirt that was too long. Way too long. Two inches too long.

Victoria was in serious danger of tripping over her own wedding dress.

Jacqui undid the back of the dress to hitch up the underskirt but it was sewn in. There was nothing that could be done.

As photographers we were now faced with a challenging situation. At best our bride would be distracted all day about the prospect of tripping over her dress and that distraction would be seen in her expressions. Most likely she would be hitching the front of her dress up in many of the photographs. At worst, she might even fall over. Something had to be done.

Victoria looked at Jacqui. "What do I do?"
Jacqui drew breath. "Well, you either learn to kick it out the way as you walk... or I cut it off."

Victoria looked at herself in the mirror, looked at her girls, bit her lip, thought for a moment and said, "Cut it off!"
"Are you sure?" asked Jacqui.
"Yes, cut it off!"

Jacqui keeps many things in her camera bag that are nothing to do with cameras but are for emergencies just like this one. Including a full sewing kit and scissors.

As you can see from this photograph, Victoria's train had a huge circumference and Jacqui had to cut two inches off the underskirt all the way round - with NAIL SCISSORS.

As the Registrars came in for their meeting with Victoria, Jacqui was under her skirt cutting yards off her wedding dress. With nail scissors it took ages but Jacqui had finished just as the meeting had finished and it had the desired effect. Victoria could walk confidently and safely.

What had happened is that the wedding dress had been shortened by two inches by a seamstress during the week but she'd forgotten to shorten the underskirt by the same amount.

Apart from Jacqui having achy fingers for a while...the rest of the day went according to plan and was back on the rails.

The girls lined up ready to lead their bride up the aisle.

Victoria made it up the aisle to her man without falling over.

Victoria and Richard had a fabulous wedding and neither Richard nor any of their guests knew anything of the drama that had happened only moments before.

Please read the following blog post if you'd like to know more about Victoria and Richard's amazing day at the fabulous Rivervale Barn: Wedding Day Perfection at Rivervale Barn

by Jacqui and Steve
Hampshire Wedding Photographers (and onsite seamstress)
(Jacqui now keeps dress-making scissors in her camera bag)