Capturing the light – Lloyd Dobbie on Winter Weddings

Although spring and summer still seem to be the seasons of choice for weddings in the UK those later months are beginning to be of interest. Fulham Palace is a diverse venue which offers fantastic options for all months of the year with our Chaplain’s Walled Garden Marquee providing a clean space on warm summer evenings and The Great Hall creating a grand and majestic atmosphere for winter weddings.

Perhaps the main difference between summer and winter weddings is the photography; it is safe to say that everyone dreams of a beautiful sunny day for their wedding. With this in mind Lloyd Dobbie tells us how winter should not be disregarded, the wonderfully festive atmosphere can make for some warming photo opportunities and with a photographer that is experienced within your venue they can work with the different options to create some fantastic shots.

Keep reading for more advice from Lloyd Dobbie and maybe you will start planning your winter wedding….

Over the last decade winter weddings have become increasingly popular with brides. I think this is partly down to budget with couples choosing off peak times to reduce costs and partly because a lot of honeymoon destinations are out of season during the UK summertime.

However, many of my clients choose to have a winter wedding simply because they want to get married at that particular time of year.

The atmosphere of an autumn/winter wedding is different to that of a spring/summer one. Even though the light (and the temperature!) are lower at that time of year there is warmth to a colour palette illuminated by log fires and candlelight.

As a professional photographer shooting weddings in the darker months can be challenging; the two key issues are light and inclement weather.

Not only are there less hours of light to work with but also the daylight has a different quality to it at that time of year. The cold and wet weather can add further restrictions to outside shooting time.

Preparation is important. If I’m shooting at a venue or combination of venues I know well (e.g. All Saints Church in Putney followed by Fulham Palace) then I’m aware of where the light will be and what the different options are for photography.

When a venue is new to me I will do my research. Before the day I would, where possible, recce the location but in any case I would use Google Earth to find the direction of the light and also make sure I know the sunset times for that particular day.

For low-light photography it is essential to have the best quality cameras and fastest lenses that will deliver great results where lower priced, consumer equipment wouldn’t cope.

Whilst the contents of my camera bag remains the same year round, in the winter I may well pack a couple of studio lights to use on indoor group photographs. If I’m expecting rain then I always take a couple of plain white umbrellas too.

Despite these challenges, winter weddings provide photo opportunities just not available in the summer months. Snow, Christmas decorations, autumn leaves, all of these can make a wonderful backdrop. I always find that photographs taken in the evening on the streets of London have more of clarity to them in the crisp cold air of the winter months, and the reflections of the lights in a damp pavement can look so pretty!

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