One of the nicest things about being a wedding photographer in Cambridge has got to be the opportunity to photograph in some of the most beautiful old buildings in the country. For me at least, this is slightly ironic because I think my main skill as a photographer lies in terms of photographing people and emotions and I don’t feel as though I have a natural flair for “landscape” photography. I don’t naturally take lots of photographs of architecture and locations at a wedding, I’m not really into the bride being a speck in the corner of a vast sweeping vista but am much more closely aligned with Robert Capa’s famous quote about “if the photograph isn’t good you’re not close enough”!
Despite my musings above it’s very difficult not to be impressed by Downing College and the first thing you notice is that it is absolutely huge!! There is so much space, big imposing column clad buildings, vast lawns and long tree lined avenues. I love the almost artificial grandeur of it and the outrageously audacious spacing out of the buildings.
As a wedding venue it has a huge number of possibilities. There are smaller drawing room – like rooms, a separate building with its own private gardens, the huge main hall with outrageous chandaliers and marble columns, a more modern annex perfect for serving your drinks reception, terraces for sitting on, sweeping lawns and gardens surrounded by mature trees, smaller intimate corners and gardens as well as the imposing exteriors of the main buildings. These are fantastic for taking photographs on; columns are great for leaning on, the light is nicely directional and there are large steps big enough for photographing large groups on as well.
The other rather helpful thing about Downing is that there is ample parking on site – there seems to be no need to book a parking space two weeks before the wedding as at the smaller colleges, it is also very easily accessable for your guests being just slightly out of the city centre.
One of my nicest memories of photographing at Downing College was at the end of an afternoon at a wedding on a beautiful balmy summer evening last year. The guests were eating the wedding breakfast and I sat in the warmth and slightly fading light on the grass under the trees safely backing up and editing some of the images from the day onto my laptop. This is always a great time at a wedding; feeling like I had almost completed a job well done, looking at the images from the day for the first time. The sun was going down behind the buildings and the light was golden and beautiful and in the distance I could here music from a festival playing on Parkers Piece. Best of all I had a sandwich in my hand and a self congratulatory Snickers Bar to look forward to! Happy days!
You can visit the Downing College website here