NEIL AND AMY SOUTHWOOD HALL WEDDING – NORFOLK WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
Before I start, I must first apologise if I come across all emotional – last night was the ‘office Christmas party’ for quite a sizeable group of local photographers and I have to say that today I’m feeling pretty suboptimal. That said, I’m not complaining, what a great night – my career change into photography is so far going way, way better than I could ever have realistically expected and that is in no small part due to the incredibly helpful, friendly and sociable nature of many of the professional photographers in this part of the country. I’ve always said that I’ve been very lucky in life and finding the group of photographers that I’m now a part of reflects that luck and my chance choice of settling in this great part of England; I truly can’t believe that there is a better place to start out as a photographer.
One of those photographers is of course Luis Holden, now a good friend and someone who, in my view, sets the benchmark in terms of affability (if that’s even a word), work ethic and creative photography skills. While Luis generally shoots alone, and certainly needs no help in delivering incredible wedding images week-after-week, he has been hugely generous in letting me tag along to a number of his stunning weddings this year including a visit to the amazing Southwood Hall for Penny and Dan’s wedding back in May. Anyway, having spotted that Luis was again heading to Southwood Hall for another wedding last Saturday, I asked if he would mind me joining him for some further experience; thankfully, the truly lovely couple that are Amy and Neil very kindly agreed that I could indeed join Luis for their big day.
As a photographer with a number of winter weddings ahead, this particular shoot was a great opportunity to practice some skills that I’ve not fully tested before and of course to try and be of some genuine assistance to Luis as he himself worked through the challenges of shooting many of the important bride and groom shots after darkness had fallen. With this in mind, Luis and I visited Southwood Hall last Friday to scope out some options and to come up with a plan for working together on what was forecast to be quite a cold and damp evening. As with most things in life, prior planning is important if you want to get things right and wedding photography is no exception. Of the many things I’ve learnt from observing Luis is the meticulous planning and attention-to-detail that goes into each of his weddings and that underpins the consistency of his prolific output.
On the day itself, the weather was actually fairly kind for late November and, aside from some rain at just the moment that I set-up the ‘brolly shot’ (that luck again), we were given the freedom to work outside for group and couple photographs prior to the evening reception. Although I had not met Neil and Amy before (well Amy very briefly on Friday), they and their guest were hugely welcoming, warm and friendly and made being a second photographer very straight forward. It was in fact not only Amy’s wedding day but also her birthday (a cunning plan by Neil to avoid missing a future anniversary? I so wish I’d thought to do the same!) so it felt like a very special day indeed at Southwood Hall last Saturday. Anyway, as this is becoming the longest blog ever, I think I should hand over to the images to tell the remainder of this particular story. In short though, a fantastic late Autumn afternoon and early evening spent at a great wedding venue with great people. Hopefully my images will add to Luis’ own incredible work and our rushing around the grounds of Southwood Hall with flashes and video lights did not detract from the magic of this great day for Neil and Amy. Unfortunately, I did not get to see the party unfold as I had to depart early for a prior engagement – I have to say that I could have gone on shooting at this particular wedding long into the evening and it was a real struggle to leave.
Before I leave now though, a huge thank you as always to Luis for letting me join him, to the wonderfully helpful staff at Southwood Hall and of course to Neil and Amy for allowing me to add to the number of cameras capturing their lovely wedding.