Door 16: Waving at Bordesley Park
Writing this blog post on the 16th of December, the peak of wedding season and Summer feels like an age ago. Last Saturday I photographed a wedding at the Kings Hotel in Chipping Campden, which was all in all a lovely day with a very festive feel, but it’s always interesting to compare how quickly the light changes in the colder months with the Summer. On Saturday we photographed couple shots outdoors at about 15:00 with light disappearing very rapidly. The image above from Bordesley Park was taken at 19:30!
So for those that haven’t heard of the venue it’s up in Redditch and is a truly special venue. It’s a little bit of a drive from Cheltenham, but nothing unmanageable and it certainly doesn’t come close to some of the distances I’ve travelled for other weddings. I’d probably describe Bordesley Park as being made from a couple of different sections; there’s the ceremony area which is not entirely dissimilar to a barn in it’s layout, then there’s a country house, which isn’t accessible to the guests but the grounds are. This then overlooks a larger area where there’s room for a marquee (which may well have been a permanent fixture). There’s a pretty large lawn at the front of the marquee and this is the view from the bottom of it.
I had been walking around as usual looking for interesting moments to photograph – there’s a lot of walking to do at Bordesley Park! Upon returning to the marquee I saw these three sat at the bottom of the lawn quite a distance away. I’ve no shame in admitting that this isn’t the first shot I took. A key bit of advice that has stuck with me for years is to ‘get the shot, then get a better shot’. I always try to take a picture as instinctively as is required as soon as I see it for fear that in reportage wedding photography some moments happen once for a split second and then never again. Once I’ve done that I’ll try to ‘work the scene’ if needed. With the sun setting behind me, the light was nice and soft on the three wedding guests at which point the bridesmaid on the left picked up her hand to wave. I love how the little boy sat in the middle shares the same pose as the other two.
For any photographers out there, you might be interested to note the choice of lens. I went with the 56mm (~84mm equivalent) from quite a distance away to force the compression of the hills in the background, bringing what is in my opinion a slightly more interesting perspective than the standard wide angle shot one might expect for scenery like this. f/1.2 sealed the deal, isolating the three subjects. There was another person sat on a bench to the right of the frame (and a picture including them was given to the bride and groom too), but in terms of composition it seemed to be a good occasion to apply the rule of odds (odd numbers of subjects are more interesting to our eye than even numbers) – having just the three subjects helps to draw the viewer in to the boy a little more.