Kelly & Andrew followed in a long line of bookings that spans back to one of my first weddings, three years ago. It is amazing just what word of mouth can achieve. Having first met them last year, and again a few weeks before the wedding, it felt crazy at just how quick this wedding had come around. Time is flying on by.. blink, and I’ll be photographing their childrens’ weddings!
The day itself was looking promising. The weather was forecast to be unusually summery for the British month of July. Nine bridesmaids would be providing photo opportunities galore, and I had two great new venues to discover!
I began at the couples home in Swinton where I was admittedly half expecting mayhem, but upon being invited in I found a sea of calm! All nine bridesmaids, and even the bride Kelly, were getting ready as if it was just another day. Nerves were in short supply, but thankfully the natural smiles that come on such exciting days were aplenty.
Onwards to the church. St Peter’s in Swinton has always been in my mind. Having lived only a few minutes walk away for a year, I had passed it regularly. It’s beautiful stained glass windows had always stood out to me and I’d hoped for a long time to see them at their best from the inside. I wasn’t disappointed. The service itself without a hitch, as was becoming customary and before long, we were thrown back outside into the warming sunshine.
Our final destination for the day was to be The Orangery at Manchester’s Heaton Park Hall. Surprisingly, despite being on my doorstep for all 25 years of my life and one of Europe’s largest municipal parks, I’d only visited twice before. Once for a concert, and once to photograph a charity run. Neither of which had really given me the chance to appreciate the surrounds.
Heaton Hall and the Orangery, added in 1823, provided a stunning backdrop to the photographs. As did the views out over the park and city beyond. The harsh daylight gave a depth to the photographs creating shadows across the architecture’s golden stone walls, which also contrasted beautifully with the evening sky later in the day.
A late call on a Thursday evening from an ill colleague resulted in me having a rare Friday night working. Rugby league it was. The same rugby league that I hadn’t done any of since the season opener at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium back in February!
The tie saw mid-table Hull take on high flying St Helens. Chances are St Helens were going to walk the game at their adopted home, the Stobart Stadium in Widnes. Unfortunately for me, this meant I’d probably have a quiet game, as the clients were the papers in and around Hull! With a prospective away defeat on his hands, photographs of coach Richard Agar looking thoughtful or disappointed were a must. This can be a problem, when the only decent access you have is before the game – when spirits are usually high!
The first half saw me shooting the Hull attack with me facing the St Helens fans at the opposite end. The late summer sunshine provided a lovely warm light across the centre of the field, though the shade at my end was problematic with backlit exposures! More problems with backlighting in the second half was partially fixed with moving ten feet to my right, but still caused issues with silhouetting. Though when the lighting worked, it worked nicely, casting a golden glow across the pitch.
St Helens wrapped up the tie with a 28 – 14 victory way before time despite a late consolation try from Joe Westerman, converted by Tom Briscoe. The suspected quiet game didn’t disappoint, but what action there was, was at least fairly decent.
The season drew to an end with the engage Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford, Manchester this evening. A sell out 72,000 strong crowd cheered on both sides – although Wigan had the larger following, which showed during play with them edging out a 22-10 victory.
The game marked the final appearance for St Helen’s captain Keiron Cunningham, and with a celebrity appearance from Manchester’s own Diana Vickers to get proceedings under way.. it was going to be a busy night!
Siobhan and Rob booked me for their wedding quite some time ago off the back of other weddings I did for their friends and family. This one was a little closer to home though.. only as far as Nottingham! The ceremony took place inside Nottingham’s St Barnabas Cathedral, followed by a reception at the beautiful Bestwood Lodge.
They were a great couple to work with, and our only limit was time.. there were certainly plenty of ideas being fired around – including jazz hands in the mini maze!