South Wales Wedding photography and the weather
Well this so called ‘Summer’ has to be worst in recent years for South Wales wedding photography and extreme weather conditions! A Photographers job can be made easier through having the right weather, or harder through having the wrong weather! In this blog I’d like to explain a little more about weather and wedding photography and what a good wedding photographer should do in order to compensate for the very worst conditions.
Firstly, lets take a look at the perfect conditions for South Wales wedding photography. This is, as you may already know; ‘clouds’. You cannot beat a dry but cloudy day on your wedding for the very best results when it comes to photographs. Most brides will pray for sunshine on their wedding day and while that would understandably make the wedding seem almost perfect for the guests and bride and groom; for the photographer it means ‘shadows’ and ‘squinting ‘ when having portraits taken. Sunny conditions means the photographer will be looking for areas of shade when shooting the group photographs or waiting for clouds to cover the sun at those key moments when organising the bride and groom into position for their portraits. It also means your wedding photographer will sometimes be using his flash in order to remove the shadows on faces throughout the day. This is called “fill flash” as it fills in the shadows formed below the eyes and nose caused by that harsh sunshine.
The majority of weddings that we shoot in South Wales are I’d say a combination of dry, cloudy with occasional showers throughout the wedding day. This means that we logistically plan our work around what the weather is going to do next! Fortunately for the majority of the summer season when it does rain it tends to be just showers and means we can work around this. We at Kapow work from early morning bridal prep right through to first dance and are normally at a wedding for around 10 hours and this allows us the added time throughout the day in which to move certain photographs to other parts of the day. Normally we will take the bride and groom portraits before the wedding breakfast but also have the flexibility of doing more of these or other portraits in the early evening when the showers have stopped or when the sun is not so harsh in the sky. This for example allows sunset poses in the evening when shooting in extreme sunshine.
This Summer has seen the very worst conditions for all South Wales wedding photography. We literally had what seemed like a month of rain in June! This meant around 9 weddings in a row for us in torrential rain and sometimes gales! In these conditions it means that your wedding photographer should be communicating constantly with you throughout the day and working extremely hard to get the very best results and a consistency for your set of wedding photos. This is why we always say that it’s important to book a professional wedding photographer for your wedding and not rely on “uncle bob” to shoot your wedding!
Wedding photographers are used to these extreme conditions and should have the experience and calmness to know what to do next. Its hard for a bride and groom to sometimes appreciate this, but what you should remember is that we as photographers know the majority of South wales wedding venues inside out! We know the staff and have also worked alongside your wedding co-ordinator many times before. We have been there and done it. This means we will guide you through your day and work side by side with your venue to make sure your day runs as smoothly as possible in such bad weather conditions.
Below is a photo taken from the New House Hotel in Cardiff as I arrived for the wedding of Rachel and Vaughan! It rained for the majority of the day, but we were able to plan around this alongside the wedding co-ordinator and ensured Rachel’s wedding ran very smoothly..
Any good wedding venue will also have a number of places inside the wedding venue for group photographs and also places of interest to shoot such as grand staircases and fireplaces. Its also important to note when the weather is this bad to leave the photography plan to us as we know what will work best! and not to panic about the weather as we know what we are doing : )
Another point to remember is that bad or extreme weather also presents us with an opportunity to capture some photos that you wouldn’t normally be able to take; and its these small windows of opportunity that can sometimes deliver great wedding photography.