A Real-Life Wedding Story: Capturing Moments at Sidmouth Harbour Hotel

Picture this: Sidmouth Harbour Hotel, nestled along the rugged coastline of Devon, with its panoramic views of the red cliffs and endless sea. It’s the perfect setting for a wedding, and on a recent day towards the end of April, I had the privilege of being behind the lens, documenting every moment of love and laughter.

As I walked into the hotel with my assistant Sam, with both of my cameras by my side thanks to a duel camera harness, I couldn’t help but once again admire the breathtaking scenery that stretched out before me. But there was work to be done, and my focus shifted to capturing the essence of this special day.

I always start off by setting up the lighting and taking those detail shots, all of which highlight the effort the wedding couple put into making the function room their own.

The bridal preparations took place in a secluded room, away from the hustle and bustle of the hotel. Privacy was key as the bride prepared to embark on her journey down the aisle.

Let’s look at some of the photos from the day…

With rain looming in the forecast, the ceremony was to be indoors, to a cosy room that exuded intimacy. But with the abundance of orange tungsten lights casting a warm glow, I knew I had to work some magic to ensure natural skin tones prevailed. Enter lighting with gels – a subtle touch to balance out the hues and create a soft, flattering ambience.

Once the “I do’s” were exchanged, it was time for the formal photos on the hotel grounds. The clouds parted, and the sun made a timely appearance, casting a warm glow over the proceedings. But with the stunning coastal backdrop, balancing light and shadow became paramount. Cue my trusty strobe light, the unsung hero that ensured every guest looked their best against the backdrop of Sidmouth’s dramatic cliffs. When the backdrop is paramount, and there is no shade, and no way to have the sun behind the guests, having a powerful strobe saves the day, and balances out the light. Sam was the perfect assistant, holding and moving the strobe as needed.

Next up: the bride and groom shots. We made our way to a nearby park, where steps led down to the beach below. With the sea breeze in their hair and the sound of gentle rolling waves as their soundtrack, the newlyweds shared intimate moments against the backdrop of nature’s grandeur.

Back at the hotel, it was all about capturing the candid moments – the laughter, the tears, the joy that filled the air. And of course, no wedding is complete without the ceremonial cutting of the cake – a sweet finale to a day filled with love and celebration. The event room is very bright one end and very dark at the other end. I always use two lesser powered strobes to add some light to the back of the room, to even out the lighting more. The photos always look so much nicer when the room is visually balanced.

As the sun began to set on Sidmouth Harbour Hotel, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of satisfaction. I had witnessed love in its purest form, and through my lens, I had immortalized moments that would be cherished for years to come.

So here’s to love, laughter, and the magic of weddings – may they continue to inspire and delight, one snapshot at a time.

Cameras today: Two trusty Sony A7IV’s were by my side, along with a selection of lenses – the versatile Sony 24-70mm f2.8 for wide shots, the powerful Sony 70-200mm f2.8 V2 for zooming in on the action, and the Sony 85mm f1.4 for those intimate close-ups.

Lighting: With Godox V1 speedlights mounted on our cameras, we were ready to tackle any lighting situation. But for those special moments, we called upon two Godox AD200’s for the function room, and the mighty Godox AD600 Pro to ensure the midday sun shots were bathed in the perfect light.

Simon Day

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