Rich & Hannah had an amazing sunset on their wedding day and it’s one of my favourite stories to retell when I’m chatting to prospective couples. Ahhh the memories attached to the sunset session…
The day started down in Portsmouth, in an apartment overlooking the dockyard. Which was excellent as the ceremony was held at The Square Tower in Old Portsmouth, just a short drive away. The usual bridal morning preps. and details with Hannah and her entourage busily scurrying around the apartment. All natural moments captured.
Rich was staying miles away and was quite happy for the morning to be all about Hannah, so we stayed with her. We left the girls early, caught up with the dudes at The Square Tower and hung about outside waiting for the girls to arrive before rushing back in to catch their ceremony. I was on downstairs duty and Sarah took the balcony for a different vantage point.
After the ceremony it was outside for a couple of formals after a rather long confetti tunnel bombardment, before heading up to the roof for Champagne and canapés. The rooftop has wonderful views over the Solent and great for shooting naturals of guests mingling and slowly getting drunk in the sweltering midday sun.
No one needed to drive (except me and the two bus drivers) so numerous bottles were popped and continuously guzzled until it was time to ‘all-aboard’ the two Routemaster buses. R&H had hired the buses to transport everyone to Fort Purbrook for the remainder of the day.
Fort Purbrook overlooks Portsmouth from Portsdown Hill and R&H hired the field behind. They put up a huge marquee, brought in loads of alcohol, hired a Mexican food bus for the Wedding Breakfast and a hog roast for the evening. A proper DIY wedding with a gloriously outdoor/festival/rustic charm. Definitely up there on our favourite weddings list.
It was sooooo hot. The day before we’d shot another outdoor wedding down in Southsea which was equally hot. So, another day in the scorching heat of a cloudless summer sky. I’m not complaining though as give me a scorching sunny day over a blustery rainy day! An outdoor wedding in a marquee is no fun to shoot on a crappy day. I’ll deal with dehydration the following day…
The usual mix of naturals, details, speeches and formals nailed and the temperature had dropped- time to grab the happy couple. I decided to shoot R&H later in the day when the temperature had cooled slightly. Besides, I prefer the sun to be lower in the sky for longer shadows. Creative stuff looks better that way.
Check out the sunset!
Up to the ramparts we headed, with the sun slowly arcing toward the horizon. This was summer, I had plenty of time. Nailed a natural and slightly styled session with them. R&H are not fans of posed stuff, so ideas given and they interpreted my ideas in their own natural way. I dig the semi-styled stuff like this. I just jump in with tweaks here’n’there to improve it.
Session nailed, back into the marque to cut the cake and first dance and then shoot drunken lads playing football and guests sitting about drinking in the setting sun.
Sarah spotted the sun setting over the ramparts so we rushed into the marque and dragged R&H away mid-convo (have to do this sometimes) and back up to the ramparts.
H O L Y S * * T . . .
Silhouettes, sunbursts, long grasses, cloudless sky and a glowing orange ball setting over uninterrupted rural countryside.
Their friends saw what we were up to and started wandering up to us. Maaaan I get goosebumps retelling this story. I’ll just give a brief over-view here.
A bunch of friends sitting down in the long grass together watching the sun setting on R&H’s day. A bridesmaid holds up her newborn baby, someone starts singing the opening to ‘The Circle of Life’ from The Lion King and everyone joins in with ‘Hakuna Matata’… it was mental! Then the sun dipped below the horizon. Seriously, what fantastic memories for R&H. I’ve goosebumped up as I type this thinking back to the moment.
Of course, I was shooting throughout all this and have since scored Wedding Photographer of the Year 2019 in my category in a recent International competition using some of the images. Double-bonus. Click here for the blog post if you’re interested in seeing the winning image and another finalist image.
Check out what else we shot for them…