Nikon D850 | Nikon 35 mm f/1.4G |  f5.6 | 1/1000 | ISO 100

OWN PRESET

Weddings might look different for now, they might be forever changed but I’m not that mad about it. I feel like the folk who have been getting married in these strange days are people who are made from sturdy stock. They have to be. Rules change at the drop a hat, numbers allowed change – you have to be flexible, you have to let go of the dream and focus on the intention, the emotion and what matters most – the marriage part of a wedding.

As photographers, this new way for weddings can still be a creative time. There is a force that comes from these couples, a radiance that we can reflect back to them. The images are the only way that many of their loved ones can witness their wedding, so they have more gravitas than ever before. 

Up in Scotland, our good friend Neil Thomas Douglas has been keeping busy with outdoor elopements, when allowed. He has been consistently producing beautiful work throughout much of the last 12 months, so it thrills me to kick off our new year of winners with this glorious ceremony shot. Chatting to him about his method is fascinating and I am wondering if we should jump onto Clubhouse and explore this some more, what do you think?

Read Neil’s take on this shot below … 

Isle of Skye Elopement

What Neil said ...

I think the one thing photographers can take away from this shot is the subtle preparation. The sun (despite being behind a cloud) was coming from the left of the frame so I placed the celebrant to the left of the frame. I know that most of the time the couple will look at the celebrant so if I place the celebrant where the sun is coming from I will get a lovely subtle highlight on their faces. Also if the celebrant was standing between and in front of the couple then this photo wouldn’t work as I’d be photographing their backs. Photography aside, it also gives the guests a better view. If given the option, I will always ask a celebrant to stand to the side at a 90 degree angle from the couple. In COVID times this means that the celebrant is also 2 metres away.

So with that in place I wanted to capture the entire scene. I love micro weddings and how intimate they are so want to show the couple, guests and epic location all in one single frame. I simply waited until the couple looked at the celebrant and laughed.”