Favourite photographs from 2017 by a Scottish Wedding Photographer
These are my favourite photographs from 2017. Not necessarily the best photographs of last year, but my own personal favourites as a Scottish wedding photographer.
At any wedding I probably spend more time in the company of the Bride and Groom than anyone else. And in that time I see the back story of the day. It’s a bit like watching a swan’s legs paddling away underwater, while above water the bird glides serenely through the water.
There’s just so much going on at any wedding that isn’t always visible to the couple and their guests and I try and observe (and photograph) as much as I can. Every wedding is unique and full of its own charms, from the fanciest affair to the smallest simple family gathering. They do share a few things in common though, such as the excitement, the planning, and, most importantly, the outpouring of expressions of joy and love, no matter how they’re expressed. A stolen kiss between the bride and groom, the wiping away of a tear at the ceremony, a child’s smile. It’s a day made up of moments and it’s those small, touching moments–moments that might never have been noticed in the whirl of the day–that I try to capture and share.
These photographs bring back so many memories for me. The ever-smiling bride, the bride surprised by the wedding organised by her mother and husband to be, and all the little details – and those who contributed them. Memories of the guests, the makers of merry, the small children, the beautiful dresses and suits, the laughter and the tears of joy. Not to mention some amazing and wonderful venues and their fantastic staff. It’s been a great year and I send much love and happiness to all these brides and grooms for 2018!
The music is from my friend Scott Matthew’s album Unlearned, available on iTunes
Destination Wedding Photographer in Scotland and Ireland
As well as being a Scotland wedding photographer, I am also a destination wedding photographer. I have photographed weddings in France, Italy, Sweden and The Bahamas, and last year it was Ireland’s turn.
When I first heard about Jamie and Justin’s wedding I had to enlist the help of Google maps. It turns out that Ballyvaughan is a small town on the west coast of Ireland, half way between Shannon and Galway. They and most of their guests stayed at Gregans Castle Hotel and the ceremony would be in Newtown Castle. a rather unique 16th century tower house.
All of the guests flew in from the United States (where I had met them Albert, their Best Man) and the wedding weekend was three days of celebrating and partying as everyone made the most of the long journey!
Newtown Castle’s unique shape – a cylinder rising from a pyramidical base – and the number of guests, meant that for the first time I photographed a wedding from almost directly above, as the guests were split between two floors. I spent the ceremony quietly stepping up and down a steep circular staircase between the floors to get the best angles!
Amazingly, the weather on the west coast of Ireland was kind to us. Apparently October is one of the drier months in that area, and the sun came out just before the ceremony and stayed out all day. So I took Jamie and Justin for a short walk after the ceremony, allowing them to finally have a chat with each other as a married couple, away from their guests. I caught Justin looking at the ring on his finger – from experience I can tell you that it really does feel odd when you first start wearing a ring and I am always on the look out for a reaction to it.
From their we made our way back to the hotel and more photos in the splendid grounds with their autumn colours.
And then the party began – with laughter, drinks and cigars outside, and later some emotional speeches and some rather crazy dancing into the small hours.
There was one other aspect to the wedding that was unique for me. When Albert, the Best Man, told me his role at the wedding of his two friends I rather cheekily asked if they had booked a wedding photographer yet. Not only had they not got a wedding photographer, Albert hadn’t yet got them a wedding present. So this was the first wedding I have photographed where I was also a wedding present!
Wedding photography at Louise and Chris’s celebrations at Mar Lodge, Braemar, Scottish Highlands
I love being a Mar Lodge wedding photographer – and my job is made easier by a happy smiling couple like Louise and Chris. The venue is perhaps beast known for hosting the BBC’s Autumn, Winter and Spring Watch, and there’s plenty of wildlife to look at on the 29,000 hectare estate. Mar Lodge itself is a relatively recent building (it was rebuilt after a disastrous fire in 1991) nestled in the Dee Valley and just a few miles from Braemar and the Queen’s highland home at Balmoral.
Weddings at Mar Lodge benefit from amazing scenery outside, as well as fantastic interior decor. There’s even a ballroom decorated with 2,500 stag antlers, some dating back to Victorian times.
Louise and Chris are outdoors people, and their day started with a run up the local hillside – for them and all their guests! It was handicapped, so everyone arrived at the top at more or less the same time. Luckily no injuries were suffered, and by the time I arrived everyone was busy getting ready into their finery. Louise’s Mum gave her away at a simple ceremony in the spacious Drawing Room, and then everyone proceeded outside to stand in the sun for the champagne reception.
Dinner, speeches and dancing followed in the Stag Ballroom, and as I left I was sure there would be some sore heads in the morning. Perhaps another run up the hill side would be a cure!