Simon of weddingphotographydevon.com is a photographer from North Devon who like so many wedding photographers found himself needing to put his business on pause.
"It's an incredibly difficult time for couples; they've spent months if not years planning their day only to discover that they have to make the terrible decision to delay their wedding to 2021. I am lucky to have the best clients, they are amazing couples, every one of them has been stoic and taken the news in their stride. The most common phrase I have heard is, "we just want everyone to be safe". There's been no Bridezillas or sensationalist responses, I've worked together with other wedding suppliers to get the best for our couples and I am delighted to say that I've been able to move every wedding over to 2021.
Not willing to sit back and wait for next year, I decided to get creative at home and learn something new. As a wedding photographer I carry a macro lens for the for close-up details, but if I'm honest it doesn't get much use. The reason I became a wedding photographer was for the storytelling of peoples lives (on the most amazing day of their lives) and ring photos always feel a bit like product photography. So I set myself a challenge, use the lens in my bag that gets the least amount of use to tell a story...
It started with my daughters Barbie doll, one of which had a wedding dress (of course it did, what 9 year old girl isn't fascinated with wedding dresses?) and although I was pleased with the results I wanted to go smaller and found some railway figures that were perfect ("00"- for your reference, which is 87th life-size apparently).
I ordered a similar sized toy Jaguar, decorated with white thread as ribbon, it became the wedding car. Instow Church in North Devon served as the site of the wedding, although I couldn't get inside, the outer door was left unlocked and it seemed the perfect place for the ceremony. Light from the stain glassed windows was made using some rippled drinking glasses with a few lighting gels inside.
Preferring architectural plants I don't have any flowers in my garden at all, so flowers, petals and pretty weeds were found nearby during my allotted exercise. The open pages of a cookery book served as the reception venue and earphones signifying the start of the evenings event. I like to take shots of "the boys" and "the girls" groups separately at weddings so I knew that would be a moment I'd want to try to recreate. A whisky decanter for the boys and some lemons stolen from my wife's gin and tonic created the backgrounds for those scenes.
The final shot in the series is one I'll always try and capture at a wedding as the couple have their first dance in front of my lighting, which is often - would you believe it- even brighter than a tea light.
Although all of the shots required a long exposure, my tripod didn't get quite low enough (as a wedding photographer I don't tend to use them- things are moving way too fast on the day). Making the images look "realistic" requires the camera to be at the same height as the figures, so I used whatever I found nearby to prop the thing up, my phone, a pebble, even a lemon sherbert sweet. Holding the figures in place with some blu-tac or a drop of paper glue would normally be enough to fight the wind.