We did the engagement shoot four weeks prior to the wedding at  Macdonald Kilhey Court Hotel in some atrocious weather ,I was prepared for some of the same,the engagement shoots are ideal for setting up your shooting strategy like inside photos if the outside is a big no and timings  of the group shots and the bride and groom shots on the big  day. The venue was two buildings,a custom built one for weddings,conferences etc and the main part was the older hotel with a superb bar area that made indoor shots  easy for me,a large staircase a few grand fireplaces ,perfect. I've been to some places where there's absolutely nothing  at all to take a picture of inside and having to use  my imagination to conjure some decent background .
On the day the weather was sunny but this isn't a guarantee,we went in two cars and took about a hour.We were early so double checked our kit,had a brew and waited for the time to do candid shots of the bridal preparation whilst Leanne checked the venue. I'm not a fan of on camera flash ,looks amateurish and not keen on high ISO for low light,so I've been trying to hold the flash(with radio trigger) up with my left hand and shooting with the camera with my other hand.I cant measure with a light meter so have to have a couple of tries before I pick the right power setting,and to be honest I was really pleased with the results as you'll see in the images I've put up. After the bridal preparation I joined Leanne who had been taking detail shots of Flowers and the set up in the ceremony venue. Leanne was placed at the back of the room and I was at the front capturing the bride and groom close up,between us we'd catch everything.After the mock registry signing we got everybody outside whilst it was still dry and did the group shots with off camera flash,again these are so much better in my eyes than using available light , I mean if you can why not ,it only takes 5 minutes to set up two light stand, two triggers, two speedlights,measure the output fix in the settings to the camera and away you go ,all the shots are easy after that.I like things simple especially when the pictures look so good.
The meal was next followed by the speeches,not my favorite part but they have to be done.By this time it was dark out and chance to do an umbrella shot with a small speedlight fitted in the top of the inside of the umbrella,we've practiced this a couple of times and were confident of it being a success,no worries it was a good shoot. It was really cold out so we did the set up and moved the newly weds in. Here we carried on with shots in front of the beautiful staircase and   then onto  the front  fireplace with off camera flash again,these went extremely well.We had a bit of a rest after this and then onto the first dance with the cake cutting back in the rearranged ceremony room.It had been a long day but as always its a privilege to be part of someone's wedding so close throughout the day and documenting it for them and their family and friends to look back on.inside to the warmth.

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