Gold Award in Wedding Photography Avant Garde Category – I am thrilled to have found out that one of the images I took at last Saturday’s wedding at Gaynes Park in Essex has won a Gold award with the Societies. The image was the only image within this category out of 67 to get a Gold award. Gold awards are deemed to be images of the highest standard and will automatically be put forward to annual judging for the coverted Photographer of the Year awards.

The photo was taken at Hazel and Pietro’s wedding at Gaynes Park in Essex on Saturday 1st February 2014.

award winning wdding photography

So what prompted the image

The couple had just finished their main course and I asked them if they would like to go outside for a few minutes to catch the last of the coloured sky. This is the time after sunset and before it goes pitch black. We made our way over to the Walled Garden, and into the pavilion, which lit up with fairy lights looks awesome at night.

At 18:46 the natural light to the naked eye had gone, but there was warmth and glow in the sky. The sky in the image is 100% natural and I was able to draw out the colour by using a slow shutter speed at one second. A hint of flash from camera right, using my new Westcott Rapid Box (softbox) to light the couple and a two gelled up speedlights to give the ground some colour to match the sky.

When shooting at slow shutter speeds, like one second, it’s very easy to have motion blur so for this shot I used a tripod and asked the couple to remain quite still. Hazel and Pietro were excellent and I think the few minutes out of their day was well worth it.

Thanks to John Erskine for helping me create the image I had in my mind. Also thanks to the SWPP judges for acknowledging the image and awarding it a Gold..

The settings

  • Camera – Canon 1DX
  • Focal length – 32mm
  • Lens – Canon 16-35L
  • Aperture – F2.8
  • Shutter Speed – 1 second
  • 1 Canon 600 Speedlight shot through the Westcott Rapid Box at 1/4 power
  • 2 Canon 600 Speedlights, one with a blue gel and the other with the a purple gel.