Being asked to photograph a wedding is always a great privilege and great responsibility, as you are in charge of capturing images of the special day that will be cherished for the rest of a lifetime. For one particular wedding shoot, though, I felt I had a bit of an added responsibility as I was to shoot a fellow professional photographer's special day who has also won award-winning credentials...
Cue Mark and Sarah. I have known Mark Holloway since I began my career in Photography. He was the winner of Getty Entertainment Photo of the Year for 2014 and is also a fellow photographer for Redferns and Getty Images. So being asked to capture his wedding was a great honour and a fantastic job to prove my professionalism and ability to cater to the needs of the client. And what a day it was!
The couple were married on 9th August in a medieval hall in the idyllic grounds of Beaulieu, otherwise known as 'The Domus'. Originally built 800 years ago by Cistercian Monks from France, this location is clearly steeped in history and has a real air of mystery and long ago secrets waiting to be revealed. The Domus, alongside the Monks' Refectory, were the only two buildings to survive the Dissolution of the Monasteries, as ordered by Henry VIII. If anything, this has made the location even more significant and a key landmark in Beaulieu.
Observing their wedding from a professional and outsider perspective, it was clear to see that the day was going to be fondly remembered. And it became quite clear how I was to give them a set of images in order to reflect that, as well as their very individual personalities. Both Mark and his bride Sarah had planned and been able to pull off a wedding that many would hope for: a day full of love and laughter.
It was simply fabulous to be a part of their special day and help find and create memories of the day that represented their character and relationship between them. Did Mark and Sarah have a secret to their success? Well, they were blessed with the weather but they had clearly planned well, holding the wedding in a great, representative location whilst choosing to cut out some of the formalities. The combination of which meant that everyone could just get on and enjoy themselves and I could unobtrusively stay at the side lines and capture those memories. It was just great to be part of a special day which dropped all the stuffy, drawn out bits. I'm not in any way saying that it's wrong to have a bit of rigidity and pomp for traditions sake - but when it doesn't suit the bride and groom and gets in the way of enjoying the day, it's good to take a step back and have a day to suit you.
Perhaps it had something to do with dropping some of the unnecessary formalities, or maybe it was just the great personalities that these guys had, but Mark and Sarah were fabulous to photograph. They were laid back, natural and just continued to do their own thing throughout the day, which made my job a real pleasure and resulted in some fantastic images. The same could be said for their two daughters, Millie and Sophie, who were all smiles and beaming with joy for their parents throughout the day.
It must be said, I'm really pleased with the photography set which came from the wedding of Mark and Sarah. The location (The Domus) was fantastically grandiose yet rustic and friendly. Better still, the many friendly souls who filled that room on their special day clearly enjoyed themselves and helped to provide a warm and suitable welcome to the newly weds. Mark has yet to present me with an award for 'Best Wedding Photographer At My Wedding', though, but I guess there's still time...