Whenever I'm at a wedding there is always the same slightly awkward question from a random guest. "So, are you friends with the Bride & Groom?" To which I have always replied. "No... But I am now!" But in this case I got to spend a whole day with the incredible Leanne & Alistair over at Thwaite Mills Watermill Museum for their most awesome of days.
I have actually known the amazing Leanne since my first year of University. Now if I'm honest I tend to stay away from shooting people I knows weddings. When people ask I always say "Make sure you have a look at my site first" which is code for "I ain't your photographer I'm probably too weird." But with Leanne & Al it was different. These guys were a wedding & a couple that I was privileged to photograph.
From a morning of emotion at Leanne's parents house. To Leanne almost killing me after tangling her beautiful pearl necklace wotsit during a photo. (It's ok a relentlessly abused her for messing it up worse with her own hands later on in the day, it's this level of professional attentiveness you can expect from me) After the beaut of a dress was on & we had made the most of their beautiful garden it was off to the industrial awe inspiring heap of FRICKIN MAGIC Thwaite Mills.
Arriving in a too cool for school VW Camper van from Wedding Belles, VW Wedding Car Hire (Full Credits at the bottom of this post) The ceremony began in a little woodland clearing by the foot of their incredible Teepee by BOUTIPI was truly a sight to behold. All Carried out by Leanne's brother Andy there amidst the people that matter most.
& as the sun lowered I took Leanne & Al out in that evening light for smoke bomb infused, pylon procrastinating, wall wandering, step stomping, nettle stinging photographs of ELECTRIC FANTABULOUSNESS!!!
Back at the Teepee the stage was set for the first dance where fairy lights entangled the couples embrace. For this may have been their first dance but by no means was it the nights last.
Here's to the magnificent humans Leanne & Al.
SIDE NOTE: To get a big group shot I actually climbed on top of The Pizza Guy's bloody Land Rover Pizza oven. Yes on the frickin roof next to a chimney. I NEARLY DIED!!! But they gave me two slices of AMAZING pizza then I took my inhaler. ROCK N ROLL!!!
Credits: Amazing ice cream by A Taste of ITALY,1930,s style "Stop me and buy one" Ice cream trike., Hair by: Harriet Steele Bridal Hair & Make-Up & Bridal Accessories Yorkshire Make up by: Katy Belle. A special mention must finally go to the videographer peas in a pod productions for dealing wth my idiocy all day & the legend that is Neil Silvey of BOUTIPI for being just an all round good dude. Yay!
SHUTTER GO... LOST & FOUND ~ LEANNE & AL
I've known the bride Leanne from this weeks wedding since I was a greasy haired spotty youth who had just started university with a care free skip in my step & a glimmer of a dream in my eye. & when I heard this awesome two were getting married I wanted to be the guy to bring their memories home. Boy oh frickin boy am I glad I did...
In a tiny pocket of Yorkshire stands Thwaite Mills. This magnificent location is without doubt one of my all time favourite wedding venues. Combining vast industrial structures & dilapidated architecture with beautiful pockets of nature. It's this interplay of environments that gets me so damn excited every time I shoot there. It's a venue of contrasts that meet around every corner. What better setting for this weeks Lost & Found.
The sequence of images surrounding photograph number one is easily one of my all time favourite smoke bomb sets. Placing the sun behind the smoke always gives so much definition to the scene. In this case I actually spot metered from the couple as the surrounding tree line was thrown into shadow creating a spotlight with the Bride & Groom in the centre. Doing this gave me a natural framing of sorts meaning all eyes were instantly on the billowing orange awesomeness & of course the incredible Al & Leanne in an epic loved up moment.
Photograph two is from the speeches. I'm normally as close as I can possibly be during these moments to get all that emotion that is so often a part of this bit of the day. But this time I took a couple of steps back and loved the over the shoulder perspective looking at the guests. With the interplay of symmetry & of course that awesome giant mirror ball I brought in the prism to emphasise the magic.
The final photograph has a pretty funny story behind it. This beaut of a camper van was sat perfectly symmetrical with the Tepee as the ceremony was taking place. As soon as I saw them park up my brain was saying "Ryan I dare you to run down their mid ceremony, get inside the camper van, take a shot through the open doors as they're saying their vows & then run back" Of course who am I to refuse a challenge from my own noggin.
So mid ceremony I ran to the VW with all the grace of a no legged labradoodle. I leapt inside the camper van. "There's my shot" I thought to myself. I lifted the camera... The lens wasn't wide enough. (I only shoot 35 & 85) It was ok though, because through this failure a new idea was born. "I will go to the back of the camper van & photograph through the window" My body filled with excitement at the thought of the incoming photograph as my butt cheeks lifted from said leather bound interior.
But in this legendary leap I had forgotten one thing. The sheer mighty size of my own giant skull. & in the silence of this beautiful Summer ceremony there was a bird startling thunk as I head butted the door frame. I did what all the best humans do. I styled out my mistake as though it hadn't happened & got the shot. I ran back to the ceremony in time for the final vows, got the first kiss & tried not to focus on my Volkswagen infused concussion.
Was it worth it? Of course. I mean I've only forgotten the first 27 years of my life & the photo is badass.
Until next week guys
SHUTTER GO... REVIEWS
I think I've already reviewed after our engagement shoot but there's not enough words in the world to describe how awesome Ryan is! So now after our wedding day that he shot at Thwaite Mills, Leeds on the 2nd of September 2017, I just want to extended our deepest gratitude! Alway the professional Ryan arrived on time at my Mum's house and foraged around for sentimental artifacts that represented the wedding so that he could take them in the garden and create some imaginative yard shots with flowers and bushes and things, cos Ryan loves a good bush!
He then raced ahead of us to the venue to shoot our entrance. Ryan is so creative with his photography, as I'm sure everybody who has visited his Facebook/Instagram pages will realise! He's not just a photographer, he is an artist! Everybody that has seen them have said they've never seen any kind of photography like that in their lives and they're so unusual and just plain AWESOME!! This is the reason we chose Ryan as our photographer, not only because I've known him 10 years but I've seen him work so hard at building his business, I say business but I really mean his passion, because when you speak to Ryan you quickly realise that he genuinely loves his role! It's not a job for him, it's his second love (first being Hannah, obviously! :-)) We recommend no other photographer (artist) except Ryan! He is literally the BEST!!
Thanks for everything Ry (including the smoke bombs!), you were amazing!!
Edit: Thanks for scaling The Pizza Guys Landrover to get a group shot and not falling to your death or burning yourself on the chimney!!! Haha!!
Lots of love and massive appreciation!
Mr & Mrs Wilkie!