I can't take the credit for the this quote, but its so apt for the year just gone:
"Ginny Weasley: Seems silly, doesn't it? A wedding. Given everything that's going on.
Harry Potter: Maybe that's the best reason to have it. Because of everything that's going on."
(Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part One)
It's been a tough year for everyone to some extent, and tragic for many. I count myself extremely lucky to be this side of 2020 with all of the most important things in my life intact, and my thoughts are with anyone and everyone who can't say the same.
Needless to say it's been a rollercoaster for weddings - on, off, 15 guests, 30 guests, no receptions and repeat! Despite the chaos I have been lucky enough to be able to photograph some wonderful days for the loveliest couples who saw things the same way as Harry Potter and weren't going to be deterred by anything 2020 had to throw at them, getting hitched regardless. At the end of a year of substantial awfulness, I feel very fortunate to be able to look back at the joy of the weddings I was a part of and share some of my favourite moments...
Louise and Chris got married at Leeds Town Hall in August. Their wedding had so much to get a photographer excited; moody skies and city centre architecture contrasted beautifully with all the vibrant wedding colours and I love the shot of Louise smiling up at the sky as if to say no one cares if you rain on us because I'm getting married today! We stopped off at Kirkstall Abbey after the ceremony for some greenery and a little fun with the the natural light and I set up a cheeky faux sunset. Back at Lost and Found for the reception we had completely different lighting again, with the natural light streaming through the windows and picking out the wedding party, and especially Louise, against the dark mahogany of the room. What a gorgeous day full of smiles and laughter - thank you Louise and Chris!
Suzanne and Darren got married the week after Louise and Chris and were so happy to be going ahead after a couple of reschedules. It was a roasting hot summer's day in Leeds and the sunlight really picks out the details; Suzanne's awesome hair and tattoos, her gorgeous dress and Darren's blues and browns. I say this about every wedding, because my style is all about naturally capturing the emotions of the day, but the photos of this one in particular stand out to me as being full of raw feelings. The hallmarks of a 'Covid Wedding' were there too: I'm not sure I like the term but had there been no Covid we wouldn't have had Suzanne's excellent tiger print face mask either! We popped down the road to Park Square after the ceremony and I love the family shot of everyone sat on the grass, with the newlyweds in background focus sharing a happy and utterly un-self-conscious laugh. One of my fave shots of 2020, that one.
Sarah and Jonty got married a bit later in the year and over the other side of the Pennines at the impressive Stanley House Hotel and Spa in Lancashire. We had some lovely morning light streaming into Sarah's room for the pre-ceremony shots of her and her beautiful bridesmaids. I love the one of Sarah doing her makeup using her Mum's mirror, with just enough light to pick out her profile whilst leaving the rest of shot much darker. I also love the moment cousin Richard sees Sarah when he comes to walk her down to her wedding. His expression says it all! We had the drone out too gifting us a perfect blue-skies aerial shot of the wedding party in front of the old manor house, and the closing clip for the video too. Sarah and Jonty wanted cosy and candle-lit and the room was decorated so beautifully, it was easy to find great shooting angles and vibrant colours. Just to round things off, we snuck out into the grounds and deployed my enhanced sunset once again - it would have been rude not to!
I've loved looking back at 2020, despite its challenges. To all the couples who've let me be a part of their day in 2020 - thank-you. And to all the brides and grooms to be in 2021 and beyond, I really cannot wait to take photos for you!
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