June 21, 2019
Becky & Matt's Goodwood Hotel Spring Wedding
Back in the day, wedding photography was all about perfecting the still pose, albeit awkwardly standing in line with your new in-laws! It was about knowing there was only one chance at each click of the camera to smile your best smile, whilst hoping your hair was in place. There was a ‘no-going-back’ mentality that accompanied each capture and thus, waiting for the outcome of the resulting album prints was an anxious affair!
Thank goodness times have changed, enabling wedding photography to be so much more than the collection of numb expressions distilled in starchy, formulaic portraits. Of course these days we have the luxury of second chances and limitless opportunities to capture each and every single moment. What I loved about Becky and Matt’s wedding photography was how they fully embraced the modern approach, being willing to experiment with the unconventional and classic compositions. Their openness to creativity was inspiring and it also meant that we all had the best fun on their very special wedding day!
At the Goodwood Hotel where the couple married that late April day, the weather was glorious, the sky was clear and bright and everybody was in a great mood from the offset. An abundance of textures was at our artistic disposal at the venue that day - in particular in the room where Matt was getting ready. Normally not a feature, the angles and shades of the ceiling and walls, created an incredible backdrop of modern geometric shapes in the natural light. The oval mirror contrasted with these straight lines and triangular shapes, but the image also contained another element of surprise; the person in the reflection. Revealed is the face of Matt’s best man instead of what you expect to see (the back view of Matt adjusting his tie). This brings an intriguing notion of the unexpected and with the combination of these subtle elements, a standard getting-ready image was made just that little bit more interesting and memorable!
Once suited and booted in smart check suits with mint ties, the groomsmen took to the gardens where more texture and colour was to be found. The smooth neat foliage, the feathery green tree and rustic brick wall became props to our composition. The garden features provided strong shapes on which to position the guys, with symmetry forming a pleasing and balanced image. Cut through by the running pose from a member of the group ‘branching out’ across the centre, the presence of Matt’s bright red socks also broke form. The socks were highlighted due to Matt’s seated position, with the effect being that our eye is drawn to him as the significant person in the group.
In another area of the hotel, Becky was to be found getting into her elegant fit and flare style bridal gown. Bridesmaids were at hand and were still wearing their floral kimono gowns in Becky’s chosen colour theme for the day; soft mint and a range of pink hues. Becky’s hair was beautifully styled by Charlotte from Polka Dot, in a gorgeous waterfall braid entwined with pretty little wax flowers. For Becky’s portraits, we kept the photography simple, classic and in the moment.
There are times in the day where it just feels right to allow the images to be a window into the memories of the bride and groom, rather than the images becoming the memory. I would hate to interrupt the emotion, atmosphere or feeling by barging in with a camera and spoiling the magic. This was one of those such times, where being discrete and unobtrusive captured the truth of such a moment, in its beautiful essence.
As the day evolved there were so many great moments to watch and it was the perfect opportunity for a little candid photography. Particularly enjoyable was being amongst the family and friends of the newly-weds as they sipped celebratory drinks out in the grounds. As guests casually chatted away to each other, I witnessed the couple go around greeting those who’d travelled from near and far. This mingling moment is always a brilliant chance to capture the character of people, sometimes off-guard but always as they really are!
I feel it is so important to get the groups enjoying their photographic section of the day as this is a moment where the friends can finally get together, have a bit of fun and create some great little wedding-day memories! Inspired by Becky’s Moulin-Rouge themed hen-do, the girl's legs came out in true can-can style!
Boys being boys, they enjoyed a little competitive exercise! Why stand in a line faking a smile when you can have a piggy-back race with all your best people and then see them captured genuinely having the best time!
The bridal party remained fairly civilised for their group pictures and stood in an alternating girl-boy pattern. When there are more guys than girls in an otherwise balanced lineup, however, unfortunately someone has to make the best of being the bookend!
Capturing the reception room before guests arrive at the tables is a shot I like to take with all my couples. It offers the chance to appreciate the decor and table layouts in their short-term perfection, plus the room always feels quiet and serene in the anticipation of the impending hustle and bustle of guests. Again I made use of a mirror to capture the couple at the end of a long line of wine glasses - it felt like a window into the room (if you look close enough, you may also be able to spot an intruder in the scene!).
Back to the outside photography, I really admired how Becky and Matt went with the flow when it came to capturing portraits of the two of them together. Whilst it is expected for all newly-weds to be pictured romantically nestled together in an loving embrace, we happened to stumble across this line of chairs and felt it would work well to position them at opposite ends. As well as making good use of the quirky and imperfect props found in the space, I think this composition works well with these two sitting there as individuals but yet connecting as they lovingly gaze at each other across the empty chairs, symbolising the open opportunities and adventures their lives together will encompass.
Another favourite image of the couple was this next one. Slightly tongue in cheek, bride Becky is taking centre-stage as brides do, whilst groom Matt is just wandering off in the background, seemingly unaware of his photobomb effect. I like to think the viewer of this photo cannot decide whether this situation was intentional or accidental?!
After an absolutely brilliant day, I was delighted to see the sky turning to that deep blue shade before fading to the black of night. This final capture had to be the romantic shot of the day and it was just that. With the lit-up canopy creating a silhouette of the loved-up pair, I was satisfied that that, was indeed a wrap. I had witnessed Becky and Matt having had an amazing day and was thrilled to be a part of capturing it for them in various creative and imaginative ways.
Congratulations to Mr & Mrs Staunton! Thank you for your willingness, cooperation and commitment to having fun with the photography side of your wedding! I hope you loved the creativity of it all and can enjoy the pictures, but more importantly, I hope your love for each other keeps the memories treasured forever!
Love Kelly x
Kelly Hearn A.B.I.P.P - A.M.P.A