Entries in Crazy Bear Wedding Photographer (1)
Ceremony: St Peter's Church, Great Haseley
Venue: The Crazy Bear, Stadhampton
The Crazy Bear has to be one of the darkest venues I have photographed in, aside from a few spots within Bovey Castle or Woldingham School. It was so dark in fact that it was decided by the staff that the speeches couldn't start until another light could be found and set up so that the guests could see the speaker!
Surprisingly quickly an uplighter was found, from where we shall never know, and was, really quite annoyingly, placed directly behind the speach makers with its dimmer switch set on full blown nuclear furnace setting. Now, I'm not adverse to a silhouette or two but I suspected I might not get away with 20 speech silhouettes! Anyway, any hope of balancing the 150w floodlight against the delicate glow of the romantic candle light was immediately destroyed and with about 1 minute until the start of the speeches, so was my hope of a stress free event to shoot.
Thankfully, I always keep a pair of individually packed speedlights in my bag, complete with a full off camera radio trigger set in each pack, which stays within arms reach wherever I go. With time so short it was certainly a fly by the seat of your pants moment but I managed to unpack, activate, gel, site and test both flashes sited on opposite sides of the room as well as get the transmitters on the cameras and set exposure all whilst stubbornly maintaining at least the appearence of 'natural' lighting that fits in with my documentary style.
I'll admit, it was a difficult test, but being prepared for these moments is what sets you apart as a professional so I knew it was not an option to have just thrown my hands in the air and given up. Actually, I was very pleased with the results, which did look surprisingly 'natural' and one of the subsequent images I made has found it's way into my portfolio.
And so - the moral of this little tale of woe for the photographers out there? Obvious! Ask them to turn the light down...