I’m an odd photographer. I love the sun. Plenty don’t, but with modern lenses and flashes I find it easy to cope with the particular challenges of bright light and sharp shadows. That and being careful where I stand my couples for their close-ups. So I absolutely relished this chance to shoot a couple as vibrant as Adam and Maria in a beachside situation.
First thing, we rose early and met them at sunrise for some quiet shots together, which quickly turned to laughter and fun – and them jumping into the pool simultaneously. Then my assistant Iain went off with the groom’s party, while I shadowed Maria and the bridesmaids at the beach house where they were getting ready – the sea crashing against the rocks behind them. I’d really had a chance to get to know everyone over the previous days, so the girls treated me as ‘one of them!’ And when people – even those who hate having their photo taken, such as Maria’s maid of honour – are happy and relaxed as you snap away, you know you’re going to capture the spirit of the day.
The ceremony took place by the beach just after sunset. It was followed by drinks, with the choir singing in the background, then a short trip to the reception at the iconic Cotton House. On the way, Maria, Adam and I stopped by the jetty for more photos, with the lights of boats twinkling in the background. There was limited time to grab the shot I wanted and it was only afterwards I learnt that the people I was preventing from walking on the jetty were Kate Middleton’s parents. Well, I was totally focussed on Maria and Adam. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!
I could run out of superlatives about this wedding because everything was so perfectly planned and executed, including the candlelit reception. But the thing that stood out for me was the sincerity of this couple and the hopefulness of their love. Adam made a really moving speech, in which he talked about how lucky they were to be marrying in paradise but that he would have enjoyed the day just as much in far less glamorous surroundings, simply because ‘I am marrying you.’ Those are the moments I feel privileged to share. It’s always my mission to capture that sincerity as much as capturing the gorgeousness of Maria’s Caroline Castigliano dress. I want to capture the happiness of Adam’s parents, who were childhood sweethearts, to show that this first day of a new marriage is only the beginning of a lifetime’s mutual support.