I’m not sure where to begin with this one really – there’s so much I want to say! …well I suppose at the beginning would be a good start!
I knew I was going to have a good pre-shoot session when Alex mentioned in an email that Alfie wants to wear his cow suit his mum had made for his stag do…… I was up for anything, but I’m sure we would of stood out like a sore thumb, especially as you’ll find out that is the very thing we were definitely not trying to do!!
We meet in the village pub for a morning coffee and went through the schedule of the day… we then walked over to the village church, had a quick look at the light and layout inside and then Alex & Alfie practised a good luck village tradition, so much of a tradition that an old lady passing by – even reminded them of it!!… they weren’t even practising it at the time – hilarious! …I’m not going to say any more and leave that part for a surprise come the day!
We then walked around the corner to their venue – Birling Manor… it certainly has the wow factor, and I only saw it from the grounds to the front of the house. We couldn’t have a wander around as there was another wedding going on, but we didn’t know exactly at what point this wedding was arriving. So I spotted some old out buildings… (you may of noticed I love a bit of rustic charm!) …to the front and thought if we were discreet we should be okay!!
So we started shooting a few different locations, (see below) even bizarrely finding an old classic fire-engine! The light was blazing bright sunlight , with big blue skies – with the sun being fairly low in the sky too… it made for perfect photography conditions! Though it was a bit brisk at times!
Then while we were shooting, …all of a sudden Alex spotted the bride & groom coming our way with their photographer – aaarrrggghhh! ……they hadn’t seen us and none of us wanted to be caught, so we all hid in the big barn with the big red fire-engine, I felt like we were naughty school kids again – hiding from the teacher! ……thankfully though, as we peered around the corner… the photographer had stopped to pose them against a wall in full direct sunlight! (say no more!) …so at this point I’m sure he wasn’t even going to even consider some old out buildings! …But for the remaining time we spent there, I was slightly on tender hooks just in case we were found out, so we shot some more and stayed until the coast was clear.
We made it out okay, ……and you can see now why a big cow outfit wasn’t probably the best idea, or maybe it would of been?!? ……as if we did get caught, a big cow hiding next to a big old fire-engine – you couldn’t make that up! …and I’m sure that would make anyone laugh!
So after that little escapade…… we walked back into the village, on the way back me & Alex spotted a lovely over grown flowerbed in the park…… it was shimmering in the sunlight, and was far too tempting to turn down. After getting some serious stares from a far from the locals you were building the bonfire for guy fawkes, we left for the beach.
It’s been many years since I was down that neck of the woods, and in amongst the rolling hills on this glorious day the scenery was looking truly awe-inspiring …it makes you appreciate just how beautiful this little island of ours is. The white precarious cliffs of Beachy Head were looking so striking set against the deep blue skies… so this is where we started our beach shoot.
Then while I was shooting into the sun out to sea…… the wind swept up and some big storm clouds appeared on the horizon in almost an instant! …using off-camera flash technique we used these clouds to our advantage to give the images a sense of drama, while making the colours really pop.
(Though note to photographers – don’t forget to bring some pocketwizards or similar radio triggers in this scenario! …infra-red triggers just won’t cut it in bright conditions, as I frustratingly found out!)
Alex & Alfie were great sports as the wind started to blow and kept warm by jogging on the spot, in between setting-up each frustrating flash shot – very comical indeed and I hope it was worth it in the end? …but note to self – I don’t want anyone else to have to go through that again! …so I’m sorry you guys had to!
After the sun began to set, and the rain began to fall we headed back to the car and drove to a warm nearby pub for a good hearty late lunch.
I really had the best day!…… certainly filled with lots of drama & laughter, and I so can’t wait to see them both again soon!
Love & hugs…… Ben xx
P.s Good Luck Alfie – keep practicing that tradition ;o)
Fun with colours!? – makes for a quirky set of Andy Warhol inspired images, could work well as a series on a wall etc.