Last week I was in London to snoop around the Houses of Parliament!
I was there to meet Abi & Simon, ahead of their wedding that they’re having ACTUALLY IN THE HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT in January!
It’s always fun shooting a wedding in our nations capital (I’ve done a good few now, which can be seen here), but this one I was super excited to be booked for, and one I’m giddy as a kipper about shooting! So before meeting Abi & Simon I thought I’d arrive early and take a spin on the eye.
I thought I’d be nice to get some establishing shots of Westminster & the Houses of Parliament, as there may not be the time for a spin on the wedding day itself!
The weather was a bit gloomy & I toyed with waiting till after the pre-wedding meeting before boarding, but I had an hour to kill so hopped aboard.
[ Besides, the thought did cross my mind that there’s a high probability that it may be gloomy on their big day in January anyway… ]
You do get some splendid views from the pods.
I even had my Canon 45mm tilt-shift lens on me and thought it might be fun to get that miniature look from such an elevation.I like this one of the newly erected ‘Shard’ building, which’ll soon sport it’s very own public viewing platform.
In spite of the weather, the pods were still packed with excitable touristsI rather like this one.
135m above the ground, these warnings seemed worth paying attention to.
One the way down you get some fantastic views over Westminster and the Thames.
Big Ben, a brilliantly iconic building
As we reached the end of our ride, the sun decided to put his hat on and majestically light the Houses of Parliament!
And by the time I’d alighted the Eye, and set off over Westminster Bridge, the sun was blazing in full force!
But hey! Now it was time to catch up with Simon & Abi and take a tour around the Houses of Parliament!It’s such an insanely detail-rich buildingEvery surface is so ornate, it’s hard to know where to look!
Once we’d all hooked up, we got scanned and touched up through an airport style security system before granting entry.
I spose Guy Fawkes ruined it for all of us…
Inside, the first port of call is the vast, publicly accessible Westminster Hall…
…which immediately made me feel like I’d been magically whisked to Hogwarts
Once through the hall, you’re in armed-guard, no-photography land, but in total awe at the ridiculous grandeur of the place, I simply couldn’t help squeezing off a few lucky wide-angles with the 5DmkIII silent shutter on.
The ornate clock in the central Lobby, where lobbyists traditionally flagged down and harrassed MPs on their way to the House of Commons and House of Lords.
It’s wonderfully patriotic thinking about all the centuries of people who’ll have passed under these walls.
This is the members dining room, where Abi & Simon’s ceremony will be hosted.
…and this is the view from their terrace drinks reception!
Not bad at all eh?!
And here are Abi & Simon, flexing their posing skills!
Which it turned out they were naturals at!
You’re probably wondering how on Earth a couple get married at the Houses of Parliament…Well, Simon is a lobbyist working for an MP, and if that MP joins you at your big day and gives you permission, you’re welcome to get married there on a day that the ‘House’ isn’t sitting. Which is traditionally a Friday (when MP’s traditionally attended Village Fates!) or a Saturday (when the public can take Parliament tours).
And if you could, why would you not get married here?!Unfortunately the rules are pretty tight on photography outside the allotted wedding rooms or in the public Westminster Hall…
but we still found plenty of places to cuddle up and have a play.
I like this one on the Westminster Hall steps.
And in the bizarrely empty, sunlit hall itself!
Outside the main entrance made for a cool frame for a smooch.We decided to brave the bustling streets for a few portraits too.I rather like this one, with the tourist throng unawares in the background.I can’t wait to shoot the wedding portraits round here on their big day!We took our final position on Westminster bridge for a cuddle in the crowds…
Aww. They really are very sweet together.I left them too it, and headed back into London to get my train home…
But thought it only fair to get a ‘Londony’ panning shot of a black cab…
…and this cool silhouette of the Boadicea statue (& the now super sunny London Eye) on Westminster Bridge!
Watch this space for the Houses of Parliament wedding pictures in mid January!