It’s pre-wed season at the moment and I’m meeting all the cool upcoming couples in advance of their big days for a catch up & a photoshoot!
Most recently I met Lisa & Steve in Harrogate
They’re getting married and hosting their reception at the grand Old Swan Hotel.
I’ve photographed a good few weddings there before and love the Victorian Splendour of the big Harrogate hotels.
(Though I’ve always been a little concerned that the giant old swan, high upon it’s perch outside the hotel, is chained up to a choker round it’s neck! I don’t think it’s for security, it appears to be part of the design. Poor old swan!
Anyhoos! After a natter about the big day scheduling and logistics, Lisa, Steve & I took a little turn around the hotel.
The sunlight was absolutely perfect. You can’t ask for better light than this, gently back-lighting the hair and outlines of our soon-to-be-weds!
The front entrance (with its fun revolving door!) makes for a nice frame to start at, so we started our shoot there!
I’ve got a thing for funky shoes!
A few details I snapped of around the hotel.
At past weddings I’ve photographed there, there used to be a dilapidated Old Swan Garage round the back (which has since been knocked down to allow more parking), and I loved the peeling paint and vintage signage. You can see a bit of it on a blog here of a very vintage winter wedding I snapped there back in January 2010.
I like this one of Lisa & Steve casting long low shadows as they we explored the grounds
You can literally see the rays!
I even let a bit of flare join the party.
For the shutterbugs out there (yeah you photo geeks!): On all my lenses I screw on protective UV filters (£15 on eBay for multi-coated, slim ones, which I use instead of lens caps), and not only do they protect your exposed element (oh err!) at all times, but also creates a flat surface on which you can play games with lens flare!
I also don’t use the lens hoods that come with lenses, for 3 reasons:
1. I think they intimidate the subject by making lenses look bigger and more ‘zoomy’ & in their face
2. They’re an extra element to turn round and attach from packed-away-mode to action-stations
3. Without them I rarely have any trouble with flare, but when the sun is positioned behind your subject you can play with it creatively.
Top tips right there kids – sell your hoods and use your winnings to buy UV filters!
Forgive me, I’m geeking again!
Where were we!
Oh aye! Lisa & Steve, ‘swanning’ their modelly flex around the grand ol’ Swan!
And some less grand ol’ areas!
I always seem to find the knackered old bits round the back attractive!
Not only are these shoots super useful for upcoming couples to get used to how I shoot and experience a photoshoot before their wedding day, but I also find them useful as an opportunity to explore and scout some potential locations for the big day!
I rather liked the frame of this doorway into what must have once been a walled garden.
This crispy brown hedge caught my eye and I thought it’d make a great background colour to bring out their outfits.
Without them moving, I thought I’d snap it on 2 different lenses for comparison.
The one above was on the Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS…
…and this one was shot on the 35mm f1.4 prime, wide open at f1.4.
Which do you prefer?
The background blur is quite different.
I love this final shot of a little back-lit smooch in the bushes.
It was great to see how chilled out Lisa & Steve are together. It’s always a joy photographing a couple who are really comfortable and in love.
Bring on their big day in May! Watch this space for a blog of their highlights a few days after their actual wedding.