Emma and Tom | Our Wedding Day | The William Cecil | Stamford | 27th August 2021
It was nice to return to this superb wedding venue, set beautifully on the South side of Stamford, or more accurately, St. Martins, Lincolnshire. It is one of those venues where you can explore externally, by which I mean, leave the venue to some extent. Just one foot outside of the William Cecil and on to Old Great North Road (B1081) and you are surrounded by the stunning 17th and 18th century architecture of Stamford. From symmetry to satisfying angles, the venue is surrounded. This is not to say the venue itself is not photogenic at all but gives you more field to play in, yet alone make each wedding more distinctive.
My focus point to Emma and Tom’s wedding was to do things differently and experiment more. You could say that this is risky but this is what being creative is all about. To do this properly, one needs to carry out a plan before hand and get in the zone. I have been to the William Cecil several times and if you let go of your comfort zone you can find amazing framing opportunities to create wonderful works of art.
You may have read my last wedding at the William Cecil was Hannah and Daniel’s wedding back in September 2018 and there was a horror moment for our bride. Hannah’s veil should have been a Cathedral length (3 meters) veil but to her shock, it was a small finger-tip veil. I saved the day by driving to my house to get a spare Cathedral length veil as I keep spares at home. Nowadays, I keep a spare in the car. I may need to have deterring warning on the car though which should say ” No veils left in this car overnight”. I knew that Emma had a finger-tip veil for her dress and I was had planned my route for photos accordingly to the dress. This is in fact very true and that why every wedding at the same venue is different. From the dress, the size of the veil, the theme and even the suits can effect the composition of my photos. However, history repeated itself. Instead of a finger-tip veil, Emma discovered that the bridal shop had sent her a Cathedral length one. With about an hour to go before the ceremony, this wasn’t a good situation. Everyone desperately tried to call local shops to obtain a veil to suit the dress and even a possibility to cut the veil down in size. Emma decided to keep the veil and keep it in its 3 meter glory.
Meanwhile at the other end of the aisle, I am with Tom and awaiting the bridal party to start their procession. It is an important time to photograph these moments and focusing on the groom and people’s emotions. But, it wasn’t the groom being the subject for a great reaction shot, it was Emma and Tom’s little boy. Just look at his reaction covering his eyes and the Father of the groom looking over to see if he is alright. Also to add to the cuteness is Tom’s nerves holding together comforting his son too…a priceless image.
After the ceremony, it was showtime to put my new ideas in place. I decided to use my 40-150mm f/2.8 (micro 4/3) lens replacing my 75mm f/1.8 which I usually use for the bride and groom shoot. In fact, as I write this journal, the 40-150mm lens is now my major part of the shoot. Also a super wide 7mm lens is totally essential as stepping out on to Old Great North Road is very dangerous. Half the time my legs are on the road while I am pretty much a caterpillar most of the shoot! All of the photos where we are outside the William Cecil involves me on the edge of the road. As you can see, I had my way with the veil too. Going back to the William Cecil, there are some magical spots to let your lens go wild too. The flowers and greenery make some fantastic framing opportunity to shoot through the leaves. Framing has always been a key part of my photography because when done right, no matter how basic the composition is, looks so satisfying.
So remember, framing is the eye catcher, but when you put these beauts, Emma and Tom in the picture, then you will always win…