I love talking wedding photography (I met with up with a photographer friend in Brighton this week, and we talked about nothing else for 4 hours!) So when I first met Chris and Bryony I was extremely excited to learn that Chris knew a thing or two about photography. I probably talked way more than I should have done, but when I get asked the kind of technical and in-depth questions about my photographic style that Chris was asking, I get very passionate about my subject! He did warn me that there would be a fair few keen photographers at their Long Furlong Barn wedding, and would that be OK? Absolutely! Everyone has a different perspective and as long as they're not overly obtrusive or stand behind me when I take the group photos (everyone then looks in a different direction!), I never mind. In fact, it used to be the iPads in the aisle that bothered me more, before the trend towards "unplugged" ceremonies took hold.
Neither Chris nor Bryony were overly keen on being photographed, and when we met for their pre-wedding shoot, were a little nervous about what to expect. Like most couples, it was important for them to have some lovely couple photos at their wedding in the grounds of their stunning venue, so my focus was on helping them to feel comfortable with me, gently directing them as we walked along the beach and chatted about their day. The couple had told me they favoured natural photos, but this can mean different things to different people, and when it comes to the pre-wedding photos, I tend to take a variety of shots, from completely natural and un-posed, to a little more directed. That way, when they look at the images and give me feedback on their favourites, and any they're not so keen on, I quickly learn (as do my couples) what matters to them in their images.
This proved to be an invaluable exercise for Bryony and Chris, who were surprised to find that actually they preferred the shots where I'd posed them a little, finding them more flattering. I often find that couples' perceptions of posed wedding photography is that it's somewhat old-fashioned and means standing around for hours. That really doesn't have to be the case and a more accurate description of my style of posing would be "gently directed" - sometimes a slight lift of the chin or angle of an arm can really make a difference. Or even simply turning so the light falls on the couple in a more flattering way. Most brides want to show off their dress to full advantage - I may encourage you to spin around together laughing, or position you on steps with the dress cascading down. I'll take your venue and personalities as my guide. But it certainly won't involve lots of tedious standing around and forced smiles.
In fact, Bryony and Chris enjoyed our time together on the day so much, that we had three separate 'couple' sessions - the first after the wedding breakfast around 6.00pm, the second at sunset around 9.00pm, and then one final brief outing just as the sky turned pink! For the benefit of my photography savvy readers, I used a combination of ambient light and gelled off-camera flash to create a variety of different looks and to softly light the couple while exposing for the sky. Chris and Bryony spent a lot of the time laughing and having fun playing around with Bryony's veil. In keeping with their feedback from the pre-wedding shoot, for the most part I gently directed them into flattering but still natural-looking positions, making the most of Bryony's gorgeous dress and the interesting colours in the sky.
We ended the night with a magical, sparkler arch (those work so well at Long Furlong Barn, with the events team gamely helping to light the sparklers so they're all alight at the same time!)
Chris and Bryony were one of the lovely couples who voted me into the finals of The 2018 Wedding Industry Awards. This was their review of me:
"Jenny's portfolio and her approach to wedding photography were exactly what we were looking for. She completely understood the style we wanted, thanks in part to a super helpful pre-wedding shoot as part of the price.
We don't like being photographed and Jenny really took time to listen to us and work with us to ensure our wedding photos were amazing.
We couldn't fault Jenny across any aspect of our wedding, it felt like she wasn't just our photographer, but that she was a wedding guest and friend too, and it was a pleasure to have her at our wedding capturing our special day."
Bryony & Chris
A big, big thank you to Chris and Bryony for choosing me to capture their truly wonderful day.
And if you're getting married at Long Furlong Barn and would like to see more, you can view my work at the venue - please do take a look, or view some of my other Long Furlong Barn weddings here on my website. These are two weddings at different times of year that have featured on my Wedding Stories blog:
Spring Wedding: Suzie & Ian's Long Furlong Barn Wedding, April 2017
Winter Wedding: Holly & Martin's Long Furlong Barn Wedding, December 2016
As I write, I'll be attending Long Furlong Barn's Open Day this coming Sunday 28th - I look forward to seeing you there!
Links to suppliers:
Wedding venue: Long Furlong Barn, Worthing
Bridal preparation venue: Hilton Avisford Park, Arundel
Flowers: Rachel Grimes Flowers