Cambridge Wedding Photographer | Lightworks Photography » Andrew Hind Cambridge Wedding Photographer

“I bet you a fiver you can’t get a picture of Auntie Joan smiling” – this was a direct quote from a groom joking with me during the planning meeting for his wedding. (I’ve obviously changed Auntie Joan’s name, just to be on the safe side!). It was a pretty fair bet to be honest because, when I met “Auntie Joan” a few days later at the wedding it was clear that she was, what my Dad would describe as, “a bit of an old boiler” and, to quote another charming Northern term had a face “like the inside of a slate hangers nail bag”!

Auntie Joan apart, wedding guests are great fun to photograph and I always think it’s really important to include as many in the final set of images as possible. Photographing individual people is relatively easy and, the larger the group becomes, the harder it is to find and connection and meaning in the image. I’m not hugely interested in just photographing people in isolation as it’s always the context and the moment in time of the image that I find fascinating.

Group of wedding guests. Longstowe Hall.

The picture above is a good example. It would have been relatively easy to photograph the people individually or maybe in pairs interacting and chatting but it is much harder to make a coherent whole out if several relatively disconnected elements. First of all the image reads rather pleasantly from left to right as your eye follows the aim of the photographer’s lens through. It has an almost preplanned curve and as you travel along it you become involved in three little stories as the woman in the big hat chats to the man in the chair, the next woman fiddles with her camera and the final pair are in more animated conversation.

These individual little stories are punctuated by a nicely static person leaning in the background and by the rather bored looking static man with the drink on the far right (I wish I had included more of him). It’s a rather subtle image but becomes all the more interesting once you take a bit of time to read it – it sort of hangs well compositionally and also in terms of it’s timing and storytelling as well and to me is much more interesting (and harder to photograph) than a static group or portrait of each guest.

There are always much more animated moments when guests are chatting and interacting as well and I am always on the look out for these as well. This is often where listening to what’s going on, anticipation and timing are vital. I have included a selection from the same wedding as the first picture below

….and…..just to make it crystal clear, Auntie Joan wasn’t at any of the wedding above and yes, I did win the bet fairly and squarely and presented the groom with SEVERAL smiling (ok, grimacing!) pictures of the afore mentioned old bag and sadly, I never did receive my £5!!

Bridesmaid with bubbles

baby at Longstowe Hall Cambridge

Guest at a wedding at Longstowe Hall near Cambridge

Chatting wedding guests

Wedding guests in the sunshine

Speeches in Longstowe Hall marquee.

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Winter weddings can be beautiful, atmospheric and great fun  to photograph. They can also be a bit of a challenge in terms of lighting and logistics! – I remember photographing a wedding just before Christmas a few years ago when we were deep in snow and  as I was leaving it occured to me that I might not actually make it home. I had one of the most hair raising car journeys I have ever had and at one point was driving sideways up a hill, the snow on the M11 was so bad that it was fairly much impassable and I know that a large number of  the wedding guests stayed in temporary accommodation that night as they couldn’t get home!

There were no such dramas at Paul and Cat’s wedding apart from the bitingly cold wind and, yet again, a period of time when I somehow managed to find myself outside just in my shirt sleeves shivering waiting for the bride to arrive! I took lots of photographs of Christmas decorations, bridal preparations, people hugging and kissing and of course the ceremony itself but I have included just a few of my favourites below.

 

“Thank you ever so much for getting back to us so quickly. The photos are brilliant, we really love them!” Paul and Cat


The first two pictures are very much about moments – neither are particularly technically perfect, but both for me are visually strong and tell a bit of the story. I took the first from the back of the church during the prayers – there was this lovely moment where the man put his arm around his partner, have her a hug and leaned his head on her shoulder – I second later and they were sitting apart again but I thought that the gesture, particularly in the context of the rather solemn and personal moment in the marriage service was rather touching!



I love the immediacy of this second picture – it’s almost as if you are there and you can hear the laughter and what’s going on. It would have been an OK picture without the echo on the left hand side (both bridesmaids putting in their earings) but is much better and more satisfying from my point of view with that double story going on. If I had been a genius I would have cut myself out of the mirror and framed the people’s reflection as well!

Brides in veils……….always very photogenic!

This group of friends had spent quite a long time fetching and carrying things in the morning – it was wet underfoot and in the last few moments before Cat arrived at the ceremony they rushed up all flustered and in muddy trainers before engineering a quick change of footwear and continuing into church in serene calm!


A table quiz in the evening – children and grandfather working together as a team – what a beard!

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Emma and Jamie’s wedding started with me photographing preparations at Emma’s parent’s house in Burnham on Crouch before heading off to Creaksea Church and then a reception at Creaksea Place. I can’t actually say the word “Creaksea” without making a creaking noise (even to myself in my head)  – very juvenile! It’s such a wonderful place name and very evocative of this beautiful but tiny place nestled close to the sea in the Essex countryside.

 

“Thank-you for putting our photos online so promptly, we LOVE them, they’re exactly what we were hoping for!” Emma and Jamie

This is one of my favourite photos and I took it quite late on in the evening after the meal and speeches. By this time of day everyone is generally having a great time and is very relaxed and they don’t really notice me photographing any more as I’ve just sort of become part of the furniture!


Emma was showing her wedding ring to one of her friends and I just really like the light and the expression and the fact that you can see the marquee and guests in the background to give the moment a bit of context. Also the position and gesture of Emma’s hands just really works well. For me it was a sort of instinctive reaction as well – I had to take it extremely quickly and make sure that the lighting was right, so for me its a technically satisfying picture too! Most importantly it just tells an important bit of the story of the day. I have just noticed that the bride and groom figures on top of the cake look like they are looking on approvingly!

 

Bride showing her wedding ring. marquee of Creakse Place Essex
Back to earlier on in the day below. Camper vans are very popular wedding transport and this one seems to add another face to the picture! The informality of Emma’s bridesmaids getting everything ready for her to enter the church make this feel like an image of a real “behind the scenes” moment.

 

Bride arriving for her wedding at Creaksea Church Essex - VW Camper Van
At this point I am always looking for a great look between the bride and groom as they see each other for the first time. In this picture there is the added bonus of a lovely sideways glance from a very proud Dad.

 

Wedding at Creaksea Church Essex. Bride and groom see each other for the first time.
I just love the way that Jamie and Emma are clearly just so over joyed to be actually finally there! This was during the first hymn singing – moments before they were finally married.

 

Bride and groom during the wedding ceremony
And finally, grandparents watching a slideshow of photographs of Emma and Jamie from birth up until the present day whilst the bride and groom were signing the register.

Grandparents watching a slideshow during a wedding ceremony. Creaksea Church Essex

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