This photo is one that I've taken many times before at the Wood Norton near Evesham in Worcestershire. It all started a couple of years ago at a winter wedding, when the conditions weren't ideal for conventional photography. At that time it was cold (being December) dark, as it was becoming night time, and a bank of fog was blowing in.
Looking to make the best of the situation though, once the guests had been called in to the Orangery for the wedding breakfast, I remained at the hotel with the bride and groom and took this photo by placing a flash behind them, illuminating the trees, the fog and of course, the couple.
Fast forward to the following summer, with David and Laura's wedding - by now a large number of people had seen the above image, and wanted something similar for themselves. The conditions were a lot better - there was no fog to start, so I waited for it to get a little darker before taking the same image. The difference as you can see is large, the trees are in full bloom and despite being 10pm, there's still light in the clouds above.
When it came to Alison & Nick's Wood Norton wedding, I knew that I'd like to try something similar but perhaps with a little twist to make it stand out from the rest. Despite it being summer (and my 30th birthday on the same day!) I knew that I wanted a darker sky, and more powerful flash to really make the couple stand out against the darkness. After the couple had taken their first dance, their evening guests had arrived and the evening food had been served, it was dark enough to attempt the photo. I walked the couple down to the same spot, and set up my flash similarly to before, only this time I placed it further away and used a more powerful setting. With the couple in place and the camera ready to go, I took a single test-picture. Upon looking at the screen I was horrified. The image was covered in small white dots that I couldn't see for the life of me in reality. I took another image and the same thing happened again - I was sure that the imaging sensor in the camera was broken. That is, until I zoomed all the way in on the camera screen. The late evening sky was filled with flying bugs that had been brought out by the change in the weather! It appeared to be a passing swarm, so I shouted at the bride and groom to kiss and hold it, and used my usual saying of 'this one's for-keeps!' and took only two more photos. The resulting image is stunning, making it look like on the hottest day of the year (32c) that it was snowing.
Location: Wood Norton Hotel.Keywords: Photographer-directed image (139). 1/250; f/2.8; ISO 3200; 85.0 mm.