#2 - The drive up the avenue
These aren't, perhaps, typical wedding photographs - in essence they are detail shots. There's a saying amongst wedding photographers: "if the couple paid for it, you photograph it", and that mantra helps to guide what details you should photograph. Flowers, shoes, the dress obviously, the cake, sweet carts, mass booklets, wedding cars. The thinking being that by virtue of it being a detail the couple paid for, it's one that was planned, thought through, and one that will want to be remembered in years to come. However, in this case the couple wouldn't have needed to pay for the wedding cars that feature in these detail shots, because they were owned by the bride's father.
Why this sequence of photos is at least a little bit interesting is that it was pre-planned, and much more so than most wedding photographs I take. Because the cars are owned by the bride's father, she had mentioned to me during our pre-wedding planning meeting that he would very much like photographs of them in the grounds of Mount Juliet as they approached the hotel. She suggested the most appropriate location for the cars to be photographed, and indeed had arranged with the hotel for the cars to enter from a gate at the back of the estate - different to where a couple would normally enter on a wedding day. The only problem was the possibility that there would be other traffic along the avenue at the time that the wedding cars were passing - either other wedding guests following the wedding cars from the church, or golfers and hotel guests exploring the grounds.
So we devised a plan. I would ensure I got to the pre-selected location ahead of the wedding cars, and would have established my shooting position in good time. The groom would phone me as they arrived at the gate about a mile away from me, allowing me to capture them as they approached (the second photo). I would also ring up to the hotel to keep traffic clear coming from the house. The cars would pass me (allowing me to get the first photo here), they would then stop (allowing me overtake and be up at the house for the view in the third photo), and they would finally proceed again on up to the house.
All worked well, with more than a little bit of luck helping out. The weather holding, for one thing (although a better sky would have been nice). A nice addition was the horses in the first photo. While waiting for the cars I noticed that the horses were inclined to stroll over to where I stood, so in anticipation of the call from the groom I walked further along the fence, as did the horses, so that they were positioned more favourably from a compositional point of view. When I got the call that the cars arrival was imminent, I quickly walked back to my pre-determined shooting position, but the horses were too busy nibbling grass, thankfully, to follow suit.
Normally when photographing a wedding I relax a little once the walk up the aisle is done, as that can be the most technically challenging photo of the day. In this case, it was only after these photos were captured that I allowed myself to relax a little!