It was my absolute honour and privilege to spend time with the wonderful Steph and Chris and their family at the absolutely outstanding Hardwick Hall. I wish you the very best for the future.
Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh! Right, that’s out of my system now.
So, At my most recent wedding I got thinking, should wedding photos be posed or not? Now this wedding in particular raised this question as the venue, The Arches in Brotton, had some very interesting exterior props. A seated area with a pagoda type affair, an old cart, telephone box etc. And as much as I pride myself on capturing the day naturally, even I couldn’t resist plonking the couple in front of one or two of these props and capturing a shot or six.
As I say, largely, I’m a very natural Wedding photographer. Unobtrusive, staying out of the way with my trusty Canon 70-200mm lens capturing the moments as they happen, telling a story of the wedding day. But, the couple and I had some fun using these props, and I did yet another posed line out. What is it with me and Rugby playing Brides and Grooms? And that for me, is the crux of the matter. The posed shots took up a very small part of the day, and the Bride and Groom had fun. Smiles were wielded freely and that comes across in the rest of the day’s photos, I believe. So why not?
A lot of photographers box themselves in when it comes to wedding photography, and I don’t want to do that. For me, the most important thing is that the Bride, Groom and their guests are happy. So if some posed shots do that, I’m all for it. Because it means the rest of the day is absolutely joyful for them and the subsequent images are better for it. The one thing with posed shots, especially big group ones outdoors, the poor guests if its cold, which it was at this wedding. So things had to be rapid, because I didn’t want to be photographing blocks of ice for the rest of the day. Wish I could operate my camera with gloves on! Fingerless? Perhaps I’ll give them a try.
Everyone and I do mean everyone, likes a drop of Gin. Am I right? Of course I’m right, that was a rhetorical question. So when I got the chance to do some product photography for Teesside’s very own Gin, I jumped at the chance. Steel River Gin is the brainchild of one Mr Jay Byers, inspired by his love of Teesside, Granada and of course, Gin. This man is relentless in his goal of having a Gin empire, based in and inspired by Teesside. So I just knew, I had to be involved.
So, the plan was to get outdoors with these beautiful bottles of purple loveliness. Unfortunately, we were on a tight deadline, and the great British weather had other ideas. It was raining cats and dogs, goes the old expression. Why is that an expression? Something to do with Norse mythology, or some sort of medieval unpleasantness or other? Anyway, I digress. So an outdoor shoot was completely off the cards, my gear is weather sealed, it has to be, sometimes it rains when I’m doing weddings. But neither Jay or I quite fancied looking like drowned rats, and it wouldn’t have really given us the desired effect we were looking for, for Jay’s wonderful gin. So, new plan, Plan B as they say “Jay, do you know anyone with a bar that wouldn’t mind very much, us using it to shoot in?” Jay being Jay, of course he knew someone with a bar, he’s been building relationships with local bar owners for quite some time. Professionally speaking, of course. And off we went to a great little place in Darlington (the name escapes me at the moment, I’ll add it once it comes back to me) with a few bottles of Steel River Gin, my trusty Canon camera, a 70-200mm long lens, a tripod and plenty of lighting options. I think both Jay and I have to thank the very patient barmaid, who even stayed beyond closing time while I worked the shot. That’s the thing with product photography you see. You could go in, take 10 shots, think you’ve nailed it. but when you upload them to the computer, not so much. I won’t risk that. In the end, I think I had somewhere in the region of 150 plus shots, there were lots of keepers in there. But we needed just one quality shot for a local publication called Savour Magazine. That’s the winning shot you see right here.
So we got the shot, not bad even if I do say so myself. Jay got it delivered to him in time to get it across to Savour Magazine, which makes it my first officially published work. And all was well in the world. Plus, I got to taste some of the most amazing Gin to ever pass my lips. Honestly, the flavour profile is like nothing I had ever tasted before. Including prickly pear cactus fruit, who even knew that could be an ingredient in Gin? Who knew that could be an ingredient in anything? For more information about Jay’s inspiration behind Steel River Gin, the flavours and of course ordering, do check out www.steelriverdrinks.com. And if you have a product, you would like to have photographed, be it on location, or in a studio style. Head on over to the contact page to send me a message.