There’s a lot to pack in on a wedding day, photos-wise. Back when I started shooting weddings I wouldn’t sleep the night before. It’s true! It was a mixture of nerves and excitement that would keep my mind whirring till the early hours, but it was also the daunting task that lay ahead – capturing all the moments of a wedding day, when most of the time there are, literally, just seconds to do so.

I shot my first wedding in 2010 (hello Fiona and Mike!) and started sleeping properly the night before a wedding round about October 2012…! Over the years, as my experience has grown, I’ve come to know what to expect at a wedding and know I can capture those fleeting moments, the memories, the one-off a-happenings successfully and without worrying about them. Weddings are such happy occasions you don’t need to go far to find huge smiles, laughter and joy.

I’m going to get a bit honest now… One criticism of myself that I still have is that I rush too much at times that don’t need to be rushed. As a wedding day unfolds there are always going to be parts of it that need a bit of speed – the ceremony will always be the length that it is and each element within it needs to be snapped, whether it’s one second or 30 seconds long. My couples will know as well that I’m not keen on keeping them away for hours taking photos, not when there are a hundred guests excitedly waiting to see them. But I make time, we get time, we have chance throughout the day to take some photos of them as husband and wife. And this is where I’m learning not to rush…

On Saturday, the awesome Hazel and Chris had been out for some photos just the two of them earlier in the day – we’d had a beautiful walk through the wooded path at Norton House, as well as a few later on in the gorgeous field nearby as the sun was going down (will post photos from these shoots soon!). But there was more. The lights. The twinkly, twinkly lights and I really wanted to get a shot of them. It was dark, oh so dark, but I was prepared and I’d even done a test run with the lovely Kelly and Craig from Y-pod Wedding Films¬†to make sure the light I had to use was enough. So, as Hazel and Chris stood in the light, I got the shot and was happy. But then I stopped a second. I made myself rush less. I took a breath, looked again and thought I could do better. Old Jen would probably have ushered them back to their guests, happy with what I had, but left wondering if I could have done more. So I moved them. And boy, am I glad I did. Just a few feet back, to a different spot, and just asked them to look up a little bit. And I managed to get this photo.

Thank you, Hazel and Chris, for popping outside in the dark for one more photo xx

norton house wedding

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