West Sussex Wedding Photojournalism
Imogen and Seb had happened across me as a wedding photographer when I shot an acquaintance of Seb’s wedding in Brighton over a year or so before. I often say it, but as a wedding photographer nothing delights or pleases me more than couples booking me based on the wedding photography of someone they know.
I agreed to meet Imogen and Seb at a Starbucks in Brighton to discuss their wedding plans and how my reportage style wedding photography would deliver the unique and beautiful wedding story they would want. It was only after we sat down did I discover that Imogen and Seb were practicing Mormons – so bringing them to a coffee shop wasn’t my cleverest ploy ever given that Mormons don’t drink tea or coffee! Oooops! Thankfully, despite my faux pas, we clicked and got on really well, which is an important factor for me as if I think I might not click or gel with a couple – or actually think I am the wrong wedding photographer for them – then I’ll actually be up front about it and not take the wedding. Thankfully there were no such worries or concerns with Imogen and Seb and equally them seemed to like both me and my wedding photojournalism approach. So I was thrilled when they contacted me the following day to say they’d love me to be their wedding photographer.
Mormon Wedding Photography
Being a Mormon wedding – there was to be civil ceremony at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Goring in Worthing, which was then to be followed by a religious ceremony 40 miles away at the Mormon London Temple on the border between Surrey and West Sussex. Then it was back down to Worthing for the evening reception. Now normally I wouldn’t make such a point of a couple’s faith but given this was my first Mormon wedding, as such, things were a little different to the weddings I had shot before so I was excited going in to it to experience something a little different. Whilst I’m not religious myself I am respectful of others faith and interested in how different faiths view the marriage ceremony.
A Reportage Style Wedding Photography Approach to the Bridal Preparations
First off though, it was a really early start at Imogen’s parents beautiful house right on the seafront just outside Worthing itself. Imogen was already up and the hairdressers were hard at work. After all 3 of Imogen’s sisters were to be bridesmaids as well as a couple of flower girls – so the hairdresser was clearly in demand. The 4th sister lived in the US but was able to watch some of the proceedings via Skype. The weather, which had been a little cloudy on the way down to Worthing had brightened up no end and the kitchen, where the bridal preparations were being undertaken, was bathed in lots of beautiful light – just perfect for capturing the hair and make-up part of the day! And when I say kitchen, it was huge…almost half the size of my entire flat in south London!
I often say how I really look forward to the wedding preparations part of the day. Clearly my job, as a wedding photojournalist, is to tell the real and genuine story of the wedding day – without interfering or staging it. Therefore, I’m always looking for the authentic moments and genuine emotions that add so much to the natural story. In that regard, the bridal preparations are always choc-a-bloc with tears, laughter, nerves, excitement and lots of joy. Imogen’s was no exception whatsoever. In fact, there was so much going on – what with hair being done, cakes being baked and different people coming and going – it was a real challenge to keep up with everything…but, of course, I did!
A Mormon Civil Service, Wedding Cake & Wedding Photojournalism
It was then off to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Goring for the civil ceremony – for which Imogen and the bridal party arrived in a fun VW Camper Van. Given it was a Mormon Church and service, as a wedding photographer I wasn’t allowed into the chapel to take photos of the wedding ceremony itself which, of course, I totally respected. However, by being a little creative I was able to get a sneaky shot of Imogen walking down the aisle – thanks to a couple of the groomsmen also taking a moment to watch proceedings from behind some curtains. I did however get the opportunity to photograph the signing of the marriage register, which took place outside the main chapel.
Once the ceremony was over it was the chance to grab the more traditional portraits outside, as Imogen and Seb had booked my Wedding Storyteller photography package that includes all the expected posed and traditional wedding portraits. After this we headed back inside the church to a large room at the bank where the was a cutting of a wedding cake and much eating of other cakes and drinking fruit juices. This afforded me the opportunity to shoot the natural and candid moments that I specialise in as wedding photojournalist.
Fields of Gold & the London England Temple
Before we headed off for the next wedding ceremony at the main Mormon temple, up near East Grinstead, I had come up with an idea for a quick portrait session which seemed almost fated. Amusingly, when I had met Imogen and Seb for that first time at a Starbucks in Brighton I’d immediately had this photographic vision of Imogen being photographed waif-like in a golden field corn as a sun set behind. Now whilst we didn’t have the sunset I couldn’t believe it that when I arrived at the church there was actually a corn field directly opposite – and honestly I had no prior knowledge of this! So it just felt like a photo opportunity that had to happen and luckily for me both Imogen and Seb were up for the suggestion and, as a result, I feel I got my best portrait shots of them both in that field. If ever there was a photo fated to be, that was it!
It was about a 45 minute drive up to the London England Temple – but it was certainly worth the drive. It’s an impressive building with a total of 42,775 square feet (3,974 m2), four ordinance rooms, and seven sealing rooms. It is faced with white Portland limestone with a green copper spire upon which is a statue of the angel Moroni – which dazzled brilliantly in the afternoon sunshine as we arrived. The temple is also set in the most amazing grounds with colourful flowerbeds, trees, a lake and ornate bridges. It really was a beautiful setting for Imogen and Seb’s religious wedding ceremony, which only a select few had been invited to attend. Again not being a Mormon I was not able to go inside to document the ceremony but afterwards was able to get some more beautiful portraits in the stunning grounds.
Highdown Vineyard a Beautiful West Sussex Wedding Venue
It was then back down to Sussex to the lovely Highdown Vineyard, beautifully situated upon the southern slopes of the South Downs in-between the seaside towns of Worthing and Littlehampton which makes for a perfect Sussex wedding venue, for the evening wedding reception. What was really fantastic was the opportunity to shoot some more beautiful portraits of Imogen and Seb within the vineyard itself.
Prior to the evening meal, the wedding speeches and toasts were held and the laughter and smiles again provided some fantastic moments and expressions for me to document. After the meal, there was another cutting of a wedding cake and then that was where the wedding day draw to a close.
All in all it was a fantastic wedding day that enabled me, as a wedding photographer, to gain some new and different wedding experiences. I’m sure you’ll agree that Imogen and Seb looked great and it was certainly a wedding day that I won’t forget in a hurry. Below are just a very small selection of wedding photography from their special day. I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I enjoyed taking them.
Are You Getting Married?
If you are getting married then I would love to chat with you about your wedding plans and discuss how my unique and storytelling approach to wedding photography can deliver your special wedding story in a beautiful, creative and individual way. Please call me on 07920 422144 or send me a message either via my contact page or in the contact form after the photos below. Don’t worry no one will be able to read your message and I will aim to get back to you as soon as possible – usually within 2 hours. If you don’t get a response from me within 24 hours then please do check any spam folder you may have or get back to me. You can see all my wedding photography packages and prices here.
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