Midsummer – it didn’t feel like it. The crowds at Stonehenge had seen only a blanket of clouds on the Midsummer sunrise the day before. The spectacle of summer didn’t appear. It struggled on Saturday too. A few brief appearances of the sun but plenty of gusty wind ( it loves veils! ) and increasing cloud meant the day ended with a bit of chill. But this didn’t dampen the spirits at Aly and Mark’s Sussex wedding. Well, the adults were marshalled indoors but the kids kept playing in the gardens at Pangdean. It was a wedding that embraced children, rather than kept them away from the day and Aly’s brief to me was to capture images of her three children throughout the day. One in particular, was as Mark said in his speech, likely to be upstaging the bride. Eighteen month old Clementine. Whether dancing around the living room as her mother had her hair done. Sat on the bed with the mobile phone or dashing down the aisle, even flying off the step by the pulpit at one point or playing peekaboo with the wedding photographer’s camera – she was raising smiles.
Coverage began at their home in Burgess Hill before the short journey to St Margaret’s church in Ditchling, Sussex. The vicar there, Father David, is one of those rare members of the clergy who doesn’t see all wedding photographers as ‘satanists with cameras’. He even lets the photographer stand at the front, next to the choir, which makes nice intimate shots. But the space is tight and on this occasion already taken by a large tripod, video camera and videographer ( with another at the back ). So what were nice angles last time I shot at this church, were gone. The other side is no good. Standing to the right of the video camera wasn’t on either. Thankfully Father David graciously gave up the area where he usually sits during the readings. I had an angle and it proved to be pretty good. I lost the angle for some shots but gained others, especially for recording Clementine’s dash towards her parents during the vows.
After the ceremony in Ditchling, it was another short journey to Pangdean Old Barn, Pyecombe, just north of Brighton, for the wedding reception. It’s an evocative venue but from a photographer’s point of view – dark. But yet again, a chance for the Nikon D3S to show it’s mastery of lowlight. My flash never left the car all day. Flash can kill the character of a moment in time. But use fast prime lenses, such as here the 24mm f1.4, 50mm f1.4 and the 200mm f2.0, for the speeches and dancing shots and the capabilities of this camera to use the ambient light ( what there was of it ) and you capture the atmosphere. It is also less intrusive than a flashgun popping away.
Here are a few images from the day…