I have had the pleasure of returning to Somerset a few times this Summer, and this week we head back to the West Country for Geoff and Monica's country-garden wedding. And, despite this month's terrible weather, we managed to grab some irresistible last light photos too. Make sure to flick through to the end, to catch these two in a quiet and sweet moment at sunset...
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Rolling into the endless green fields of Somerset always make me smile. Geoff's family home and reception venue, Overton House, delivered views of this incredible part of the world at every turn. On the morning of the wedding, the house was busy; filled with friends and family coming and going, helping, bringing and taking flowers, suits, children;
every single person was greeted with the offer of tea, and Lassie their gorgeous Collie.
Does it get more homely and lovely?
For me, this wedding was as much about the people as the place. And there was so much emotion. At every point of the day,
I found myself right in the middle of so much meaning, so much love and thankfulness.
For me, there were two magic moments. Rather predictably, one was the sunset. You know how much I love the golden hour; it's always a favourite.
But the other moment, was when Monica walked up the aisle with her father. These two took their time, truly using each slow-but-sure step to take it all in. It was really beautiful.. I had the chance to take lots of photos, and Geoff had the chance to really enjoy the sight of his wife-to-be.
His reaction swung like a pendulum between laughing and crying, both in pure joy.
It was raw and real. Geoff was completely in the moment, and so was Monica. It reminded me of why my job is so much trickier than it appears. It requires me to shoot from right inside these moments;
unplanned, unstaged and unforced; I have to be entirely present to be able to catch these moments.
There's something very beautiful in that necessity. But I also have to be able to work on my feet, adapt to each and every setting, work at speed, and still be creative. These shots have to look gorgeous after all..
It reminds me of the saying "I can't see the wood for the trees". When shooting a wedding day, and telling it's story with my photographs, I have to see both the wood AND the trees in every single moment. I have to be aware of the entire story; of the emotional arc, the colour, the history, the place, the details which connect everything together. But at the centre of everything, one must not lose sight of the couple's connection.
A photo can look fab, epic, insane even, but if it doesn't unravel that unique chemistry, it's pointless to me.
Geoff and Monica were definitely unique. Taking the photos at sunset was a rollercoaster; one moment they would be laughing and dancing, the next helping the other not to cry. It was beautiful. They are clearly an awesome team, who mean the world to one another.
Huge congratulations to you both, and an equally big thank you to the friends and family who were all so welcoming and lovely. Particular thanks go to Mary-Rose for my adorably wrapped and labelled "keep off if you're not Gemma" GF sandwiches at lunch. When you have a growing list of food problems, these things make you very happy indeed!