A Photographer’s Ramblings: An Autumn Wedding Story
There’s no such thing as an average wedding, they are all different, but my wedding blessing booking last week was more different than most and had a really lovely story behind it… I was more than a little surprised when I had an enquiry from Kansas USA!
Shawn and Melissa Caton wanted to celebrate their wedding with a blessing at Caton Methodist Church. It was their first visit to the UK, but Shawn had a special link to the area. He discovered a family tie to Lancaster based Caton Shipping Company of long ago and decided that the village bearing his name was the place to mark their wedding. With just two guests, Shawn’s brother Brian and wife Michelle created quite a stir at Caton Methodist Church. It was the first wedding or blessing at the church for over 22 years and most of the church’s small congregation turned out to share the occasion.
Prior to the ceremony and breaking with tradition I whisked the couple down to the beautiful Crook O’ Lune to make good use of the stunning autumn colours. The light disappears so quickly in the afternoon at this time of year and you really need to plan your wedding photography with care.
I think the colours where just about peaking last week and very much brought to life by the low sunshine. The sun isn’t good for flattering portrait photos though, as it’s so harsh and creates nasty shadows, as well as makes your subjects squint. Positioning your subjects with the sun behind or partly behind and using fill-in flash often does the trick, especially with a touch of digital editing afterwards. That said I pride myself on having my portraits as natural and authentic as possible, rather than relying on ‘going crazy in Photoshop’ afterwards as many do!
Light coming through the leaves adds vibrancy to the colours and still water as well gives delicious reflections. All good ingredients if you have them for wedding portraits.
The attractive lattice ironwork on the old railway bridge and the autumn trees in the background worked well for this shot of the couple on the bridge. I needed to uses my zoom lens at 300mm from the neighbouring road bridge to blur the background and compose the shot well.
Waiting for a gap in passing cyclists and dog walkers proved a challenge at such a popular spot but as with a lot of photography, patience is vital!
The old railway line and bridge made a great spot for another photo. I especially liked the ‘glow’ from the autumn sun under the bridge.
It’s always nice to have a bit of fun with photography, as a complete contrast to the serious business of composing portraits. I can’t take credit for the idea, which I’d seen on the internet and has no doubt been tried and tested by many wedding photographers, but there’s no shame in making the most out of someone else’s idea. My tongue-in-cheek shot below took a bit of careful positioning outside the church, not least because space and light was very limited and I wanted some of the church as a backdrop.
That’s my final wedding booking of the season, pending any last minute ones that is (which does happen).
More blogs coming soon. Comments, and questions are always welcome by the way.