It’s not often I fly to a photo shoot, however this weekend I changed my holiday plans so I could fly back to the UK for Colin and Lydia’s wedding in Hartsfield Manor deep in the Surrey countryside near Reigate. Hartsfield manor is a Victorian building set in a 16 acre estate and was a fantastic venue for both the wedding service and reception. Colin and Lydia had planned their day to ensure that everyone had a great day with a special kids room set aside and bouncy castle in the gardens, to keep the children amused and out of trouble.
Colin and Lydia had decided to book exclusive use of Hartsfield Manor, and as always for a wedding I met Colin and Lydia at the venue a few weeks before the day, so it was great to know exactly where I was going (especially since I’d be arriving late the night before) and to know how the venue would be used on the day.
My day started around 11:00 catching-up with Lydia, the hair dresser and the make-up artist, before going off to the Bridal Suite to take some shots of the dress, jewellery and shoes. During our previous meeting Lydia had mentioned a special perfume she was planning to wear on the day, so I made sure that I included that with the still life shots I always do before the bride gets dressed.
After that the day moved on swiftly. My focus for the getting ready shots is normally the bride, however since everyone was in the same venue I was pleased to be able to drop in on the groom while he was getting ready.
For the service Colin and Lydia had chosen one of the larger reception rooms which had windows along 2 sides allowing the bright sunshine to flood in, and some scenic backgrounds while signing the register. I always check with the registrar before the service about what’s acceptable and was pleased that she was happy for me to take pictures through-out the service, so long as I didn’t use flash, and wasn’t “snapping away all the time”. The registrar suggested I stand next to her which gave me a great view of the proceedings, especially when she stood aside to allow me a clear view down as Lydia walked up the aisle.
After the service the bride, groom and guests spilt out into the beautiful gardens which gave lots of space for the formal shots, and I was able to use the trees to provide some light shade (to avoid everyone squinting in the sun) and made use of the house itself as a backdrop. During the afternoon and evening I kept coming back to the garden for formal and informal portraits and posed a number of group shots under one particular oak tree which I though symbolised family.
After the wedding breakfast and speeches I took some time with Colin and Lydia to shoot a number of portraits, using different locations around the manor house including the rather imposing stair case and north facing window Lydia had used to make her entrance earlier in the day.
If you look back through my other wedding shoots (including David and Jo’s wedding from earlier this year, and Michael and Rachael’s wedding last year) you’ll start to notice that a number of the guests look very familiar. Well there’s a good reason for that… Colin, Michael and David are cousins… so I’m very pleased to have been asked to shoot 3 weddings for the same family within a 12 month period.
See the full set of photos from Colin and Lydia’s wedding here on my Pro-Gallery where you can also order prints and other photographic gifts
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