Aya and Joe booked me as their wedding photographer a few months ago, after finding me on the internet. Unusually for most of my photography clients we didn’t get a chance to meet up before the event, but the couple introduced me to Skype video calls and we got to know each other a bit that way.
The venue was The Swan at Shakespeare’s Globe on the South Bank in London. Joe used the location as an opportunity to arrive by riverboat at Bankside Pier with his best man and ushers. Aya came by car with her parents, who had travelled from their home in Japan for the wedding.
The wedding was in the Balcony Room on the top floor of The Swan, giving a view of the river and over to St Paul’s Cathedral on the opposite bank. Lots of friends and family from both sides attended and, when the room had filled up, Aya was escorted down the aisle and given away by her father. It was a short but very nice ceremony, with quite a bit of emotion showing from the bride and the groom. When they had signed the register we all made our way outside so the staff could turn the room around for the wedding breakfast.
After a rainy start to the day it had dried up a bit, so we spent half an hour in front of the Globe taking all the group photos. Thanks very much to the ice cream seller who kindly moved his van along the street, knocking all his Coke bottles over in the process, so we could take pictures on the steps.
There was some hope that we were going to be allowed into The Globe to take a few shots after the ceremony. That didn’t work out in the end, but it was a great day and we managed to get some good shots on the South Bank later in the evening with St Paul’s, the Thames and the Millennium Bridge in the background, which made up for it.
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Because of my position during the ceremony, and the shape of the ceiling (pointy in parts, flat in others) I wasn’t able to bounce a flash to light the couple. I hate direct flash so I ended up taking most of the photos of the ceremony using available light, a mixture of light bulbs, daylight and daylight bouncing off coloured walls, not the best combination. You can see in the image of the best man and ushers below the bluish daylight, orange tungsten and other bits and pieces creeping in. There was just about enough light to get a decent exposure but there is no way to correct for all of these different colour casts at once so I’ll probably end up converting most of these to black and white. It’s not an ideal solution, but sometimes it’s the best way to deal with multi source lighting.
Time was a bit short earlier in the day, so I felt we needed some more shots of Joe and Aya on their own. They agreed to pop out between courses to try a few photos on the riverbank in the fading light. I used an off camera flash with a 36″ umbrella to light the couple, and shot at ISO1600 at a 20th of a second to get the correct exposure for St Paul’s, the bridge and the river. Shooting at such high ISO’s would have been very difficult, even a couple of years ago, but now my trusty Nikon D700’s and I laugh at the darkness.