Wedding Photographer at the Palace Hotel in Paignton, Devon

This was a very small, intimate wedding, with just 5 people in total. Although there are much less candid moments, I still need to get every important part of the day. Because there were only 5 people, I had no second photographer so I was flying solo for this wedding. Let’s see how it went…

I arrived an hour early, the usual for me. I do this in case I have trouble getting there. It gives me plenty of time to sort out a taxi etc if I need it. I was booked on my 2-hour wedding photography package.

The Palace Hotel is right next to Paignton Green and the seafront. There is plenty of parking but in the summer, it can be pretty full. On this day I was lucky and found a spot close to reception. I asked if I needed to sign in my car but I didn’t. I always leave a card on my dashboard just in case.

The room for the ceremony is very nice. I think the Summer of ’22 will be spoken about for years to come. This was another swelteringly hot day, but the ceremony room remained quite cool. Let’s take a look at some photos…

After the ceremony, we headed outside but there was nowhere left to avoid the sun. I’ve photographed here for a big wedding, and they reserved a lot of spaces for the wedding party. I think because it was a small ceremony, and we were heading off for photos shortly after the ceremony, there wasn’t a space reserved.

We had a quick drink, and a bite to eat, and then headed off for some photos.

This is where communication is KEY! The plan initially was to take photos on the beach and by the harbour. When I arrived that was still the plan. It was while talking to the Bride and Groom it became clear that they hadn’t realised just how busy the seafront was. There was the Fair, circus and also Bike Night, so it was really busy!

Neither wanted to do what had been planned so this is where local knowledge comings into play. I suggest Roundham Head. This spot is between Paignton Harbour and Goodrington Sands. It is always quiet but the views are gorgeous. I know a sneaky little parking spot right on the green so we headed there instead.

When they saw how quiet it was, they instantly relaxed and we had a real giggle taking the photos.

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Wedding Photography Equipment

As it was only me, the gear used was:

  • 2 x Sony A7IV
  • Sony 85mm f1.4
  • Sony 24mm f1.4
  • 2 x Godox V1
  • 1 x Godox AD200

As I was on my own at Roundham Gardens, I didn’t have an assistant to hold a diffuser to diffuse the harsh sunlight on the couple. Instead, I had to try and keep their backs to the sun and for the first time, used the AD200 handheld to try and pump some fill-light into the scene, to balance the couple and the background.

There was some speckled light but there isn’t much shade up there where the views are. I would absolutely take an assistant and the more powerful AD600 Pro if I had the choice.

Simon Day

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