Katie and Dan

Katie and Dan | Our Wedding Day | Glenfall House | Cheltenham | 19th June 2021


 

 

 

 

My first wedding of the year brings me to a delightful Grade II listed Manor house in the Cotswolds. It is enriched with history, with origins as far back as the mid eighteenth century. Nestled away from a very busy Cheltenham town, the grounds are absolutely stunning with breathtaking views of the Cotswolds. It was my first wedding here too, so a recce was carried out in May 2021 and I mapped the area with intricacy. A recce is crucial to my photography process as this allows me to plan and absorb detail. Ideas are born, inspiration is natural and with this in mind, the more I explore, the more I can be creative. However, this is not to say that there will not be any natural photography. This is a sniper’s attribute, and this I have.

After spending pretty much a whole year without wedding photography, I was learning and refining other genres of photography, aviation and long exposure. Both are complete opposites of one another in terms of shutter speeds and process. Where one subject is a fast jet and requires the higher end of the shutter speeds, which requires both focusing and panning skills, the other requires a tripod and framing skills. Waterfalls are what I am also known for and the funny thing about waterfalls is that you can make a cup of tea and your subject is still there. A Eurofighter Typhoon on the other hand will disappear after you blink. So what have waterfalls and fighter jets got to do with improving wedding photography? Well, for one, I found that my focusing was more razor sharp than ever before. Focusing on moving people was really a very easy task. Not that it was a problem before, but you can see more detail within the photography. I learned a new type of focusing skill thanks to RAF Coningsby, which is where I spend a lot of 2020 and mid 2021. Photographing waterfalls gave me more thought into the framing of the photograph (and not to mention flawless compass and map skills). These newly improved and refined skills were brought to this wedding, maybe not the compass skills though, but you just never know…

I arrived early morning at the bride’s quarters, which was at Hotel Du Vin in Cheltenham. This was a fine hotel with a nice feel to it. It is only about 15 minutes from Glenfall, where our handsome groom, Dan and around 20 guests awaited our beautiful bride. Katie had 2 bridesmaids with her at Hotel Du Vin and once I took my first shot of Katie getting ready, nerves had gone for me. The first shot of Katie was my first wedding photo for a whole year and it was like opening an old nostalgic box. I was back…

Glenfall House is a perfect wedding venue, especially if you are planning to have an outdoor ceremony. The precession for a bride (or groom) to the ceremony is unique with its colourful wisteria tunnel, which glows from the natural light. I like the large wooden eagle in the garden and couldn’t help noticing that when a bridesmaid walked down the aisle, it created an illusion that the person had wings. The lighting was superb on the day and I was blessed with all the freedom I needed during the ceremony. I even took advantage of the outdoor cake cutting also, creating a lovely cheering crowd scene as Katie and Dan cut the cake. Glenfall House is not just about the grounds though. The team are so friendly and helpful. Rebecca, Dianne, Anna and Kat (oh and Karl with the drinks) were excellent. Anna joined me for the Bride and Groom shoot and I think she enjoyed the Nikos experience. I seem to have a natural ability to make people laugh and also be able to get photos of this. 99% of my clients say that they are not good with the camera, but this is NOT a problem for me.

I took Katie and Dan around the wonderful grounds, including the left wing carpark, next to the gazebo. I do love good old brick work and the warmth (or depth) it can bring. The wisteria was a classic location for the shoot but I also noticed some distinctive, very vibrant roses and other flowers that were begging to be in the frame. Although a first dance was not on the cards, we all suddenly heard a very vibrant classic song, Mr Boombastic! Well with this playing in the background and becoming our theme song for the Bride and Groom shoot, our couple had no choice but to have their first dance with this under the wisteria. It was impossible not to shuffle out some moves. I hope to return to Glenfall House. It left a super impression and it is the type of venue that will be exceptional no matter what the weather.

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