Every now and then I shoot a picture at a wedding that I really like, and usually it finds its way into a blog post or even sometimes a gallery. I thought it would be a great idea to maybe start an “image of the week” feature where I post one image I really like and discuss the background to it and for the photographers, maybe even give away some technical details. Now I am not promising to do this every week, but when I do, I’ll still call it the image of the week! This particular image was from a wedding at High Rocks in Kent, in May this year. As a London Wedding Photographer I also shoot a lot of weddings outside London, and it’s always a nice change getting outside the infamous M25!
We were fortunate to have an absolutely glorious sunny day and after photographing the bride’s preparation at her home and then a lovely ceremony, with a very colourful and witty priest in Maidestone, everyone made their way over to High Rocks in the Kent countryside. The actual venue itself is lovely and caters for both small and relatively large weddings. The food is fantastic too!
I arrived along with my assistant about 10 minutes prior to the couple. They were very keen to walk up into the actual rocky area, above the venue, for some couple portraits. It’s an area unlike any other I have seen in the UK and well worth a visit! It does require a little bit of an uphill trek and there are some fabulous areas to photograph at without having to climb up too high. I say climb, but rest assured there are steps and paths which wind up to the very top. We started off taking some portraits on the lower section but my lovely couple were very enthusiastic to go right up to the top and that is exactly what we did!
I ran ahead of them and found a fantastic looking spot. For me, a wedding portrait begins with a clear vision of the finished image in my mind’s eye. Weddings are very fast paced so one has to be able to visualise a concept very quickly, then be able to execute it in terms of camera and subject position, lens choice, composition and lighting. Not wanting the couple to stand too close to a cliff edge for obvious reasons, I asked them to stand roughly 12-15 feet from the edge of the cliff. I then asked my assistant to stand behind the large tree stump on the right, so she would be nicely out of view holding two flashguns which were remotely controlled by via a radio link on my camera. In terms of exposure, I wanted to underexpose the ambient to bring out the deep blue in the sky and that meant I needed to have a pop of flash on the couple to raise the exposure on them. Composition wise I wanted to include the full height of the tree on the right, so I used a wide angle lens. This was all set up and executed in a matter of a few minutes, and very well worth the hike up to the top of the High Rocks and back down again!
If you’re planning a wedding at High Rocks in Kent, contact me today for a chat about your plans!
Shooting info: Ambient: ISO 100, F13, 1/180s; Flash: two flashguns at full power controlled in manual mode; Camera/Lens: Canon 5D Mk iii with a 17-40mm F4 lens at 19mm. And, as is common, me lying flat on my belly on a rocky outcrop opposite the couple to get the best camera angle!