Lisa and Bens wedding at The Montagu Arms Hotel in Beaulieu is certainly a great place to get married. The hotel has a nice personal feel with beautiful grounds and matching interiors. This provides the photographer with plenty of exciting opportunities to capture beautiful moments throughout the wedding day.
I’ve actually known Ben and Lisa for many years so it was the first time I’ve been invited to a friends wedding as a guest/professional photographer. Like all weddings we had previously looked at the venue together to discuss how the day could unfold and investigate good photo locations. Like many weddings Lisa and Ben simply wanted everyone to enjoy themselves without spending lots of time focusing on forced photographs.
The photography started off with capturing shots of the groom, best man and ushers getting ready at the Hotel. This again was not quite my usual wedding photography experience because I knew everyone exceptionally well and at the same time I was also getting ready myself. However, I snapped away and captured moments as they unfolded. Lisa (the bride) arrived in a beautiful white Rolls Royce. This was great for including in backgrounds of some photographs below, it was certainly a really nice touch.
The ceremony room is bright which is great for photographing sharp, clean and well-exposed images. Having previously captured photographs in this room before on the pre-wedding test-shoot I knew we were going to capture great moments throughout the ceremony. The only thing I did worry about was photographing a very good friend (Ben) under an intense moment getting married to his beautiful bride Lisa. Ben has an exceptionally good sense of humor and he’s easily able to make anyone (especially myself) laugh whenever he wants. Thankfully this wasn’t the case and I simply focused on capturing special moments of two good friend getting married.
Because the hotel has some stunning grounds we captured a variety of photographs in the gardens as well as outside the font of the hotel. The back garden is ideal for group photographs and there’s a beautiful set of steps in the centre (with flowers either side) which was great for the confetti shots. I used a variety of lenses throughout the wedding but primarily made us of the 20mm, 35mm, 85mm and 105mm prime lenses which always provide me with crisp images in a variety of different lighting conditions. Actually, the more I use the 35mm Sigma Art f1.4 lens the more I am impressed with the results and the detail it can capture. Many photographs were captured using natural light but there are some shots below where I mixed in flash which is a great method for separating subjects from the background whilst enhancing soft skin tones similar to fashion styled photography and modeling.
I kept photographing many special moments throughout the speeches and entertainment. We had agreed that I would pack my gear away to enjoy myself with my wife, Ben, Lisa and friends throughout the evening which was great fun. It was certainly a great wedding, everyone enjoyed themselves. Lisa and Ben originally wanted a relaxed fun packed wedding focusing on quality rather than quantity (in terms of photographs) and I’m pleased that we achieved this.