High in the hills above Middle Hampshire, with the warm Summer air in our hair as we were photographing Matt and Laura's wedding portraits at Pitt Hall Barn...
...we could almost hear the strains of Julie Andrews singing "The hills are alive with the sound of music, with songs that they've sung for a thousand years"
...except that's not even close to how it was!
Hopefully we were reasonably successful in making some romantic portraits that could slideshow to the soundtrack of The Sound of Music.
But to those of us who where there on set...it felt more like we were in an Indiana Jones movie.
Steve put his black DJ away and donned his worn leather jacket. This is something Steve always does when we leave the wedding guests and embark on another adventure in search of fine art.
We'd like to say it is a time-honoured ritual like NASA's Flight Director Gene Kranz and his white waistcoat in the Apollo 13 movie. Sadly it's simply because Steve ends up lying in some pretty yucky stuff when he's photographing some lovely pictures...and leather is wipe clean!
Our adventure began by being shown to the venue's wedding 4x4.
Matt manfully climbed up into the back seat. Jacqui needed to sit next to him because Laura's tight dress meant there was no way she was going to make it to the back seat.
Jacqui climbed in but in the process got stuck. Matt gave her a hand but Jacqui forgot to duck and cracked her head on the roof.
Whilst Steve was laughing, he wondered where he was going to sit. The driver of the 4x4 pointed to the boot. Steve stopped laughing! He somewhat cautiously climbed in. He remembers having to do this at Sandy Balls in the Spring and he got forgotten and left there!
We then set off up the hill and into a field with many, many, many cows in it.
As we bumped over the rough terrain, Steve was on the hunt for exactly the right place to shoot. His steely eyes looked over his leather clad shoulder out the back window until he yelled, "Here!!! Here is exactly right!"
The 4x4 stopped and Steve burst out the back door with his light stand in one hand and his camera in the other and started looking for where to set up.
As the bride and groom dismounted from the 4x4, Steve was taking huge and careful steps...like Indiana Jones in The Last Crusade in the cave at the end, when he was trying to solve the riddles to avoid stepping on the wrong stepping stone and avoid certain death...Steve on the other hand was trying to avoid the many, many, many cow pats.
Then he felt the ground rumbling. He was no longer in an Indiana Jones movie. He was in Jurassic Park!
"ABORT! ABORT!" he shouted. "Cow pats! ...and stampeding cows! Get back in! GET BACK IN!"
Steve climbed back into the boot and got this shot off quickly before he slammed the door shut...
...and just in time because we were quickly surrounded.
The driver decided the best course of action was to run away....
...but the beasts gave chase.
Eventually the driver drove into a lush green grass field...
...where the cows decided they liked the nice new grass even more than they liked Steve.
The driver then took us into a recently harvested golden field. It was perfect. No cows. No cow pats!
We were able to get some wonderfully romantic pictures of the newly-weds. Nobody would have known the mortal danger they'd been in only moments before.
But there was much laughter about the whole adventure...
...they had a brilliant time.
But soon the clouds closed in, a bit like Mordor in Lord of the Rings. More Middle Earth and than Middle Hampshire!
And like all good adventurers we knew when to give up and go home.
Back in the safety of Pitt Hall Barn, none of the guests would have known that they were only yards away from hoards of rampaging beasts.
Joking apart, Matt and Laura had an absolutely wonderful day at the amazing Pitt Hall Barn. It's a fabulous venue with great staff who are a brilliant laugh.
We must thank our driver of the day, who gave us the most amazing adventure and was wonderfully patient in helping us to get the photographs we needed for Matt and Laura.
We will be laughing about this for many years to come but we will also remember the amazing guests and the sense of fun that was a hallmark of Matt and Laura's wedding.
Thank you Pitt Hall, you were brilliant.
And thank you Matt and Laura, we wouldn't have missed your wedding for the World. It was a classic.
by Jacqui and Steve