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Kelly & Danny - Monkey Island

The South-East is simply chock full of outstanding wedding venues. The weekend before last I shot at a new one for me, Monkey Island in Bray-on-Thames. Not only is it beautiful but it reminded me of the awesome adventures of Guybrush Threepwood and his nemesis the ghost pirate Le Chuck. For those to whom that means nothing, do your geeky research!

Kelly & Danny are fantastic people and I’d been really excited to shoot their wedding since our first meeting last year. They wanted a small, intimate ceremony followed up by a fantastic party and, from a photography standpoint, relaxed was the name of the game. Photography that observes the day rather than controls it. Definitely my sort of clients!

When I visited Monkey Island a couple of weeks prior to recce the location, our main concern was whether the Thames would continue to rise and sweep the whole place away. The April and May rains had been relentless and hopes for an outside ceremony were wilting. Oh how contrary the English weather can be! On the day itself the sun finally put his hat on and baked us all. From morning till night hardly a cloud was seen and blue skies prevailed. Kelly looked truly stunning, Danny exceptionally dapper and they were both ably attended by a tremendous wedding party. Seriously, what superbly lovely people. The speeches were particularly memorable. Any long-term readers will know how I feel about great speeches, but honestly, the intimacy of the occasion and the sincerity of the words made them especially powerful. In particular I’ll remember the usher, George - all of about 12 or 13 - making a speech with the poise and self-assurance of a professional orator. Ladies and gents, it was something very special!

Photographing smaller weddings (in terms of guests) is always an interesting challenge as it makes it that much harder to hide in the crowd. With less people moving around the opportunities for carefully crafting composition are sometimes richer, but the emphasis has to be on patience and observation. Without controlling people directly, often you have to wait for the elements to fall into place. This is one of my favourite aspects of wedding photography and it made for a thoroughly enjoyable day’s coverage. As always, here are a selection of my favourites, shot on the Canon EOS 5D Mark III.

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