One Devonshire Gardens.
2014 has been a great year for me and I have had loads of truly amazing weddings to photograph across the whole of Scotland. Usually the number of weddings drops off to almost nothing in the winter but this year they just keep coming. I still have three left to shoot before the end of the year! I’ve been to quite a few venues that were completely new to me (surprising, considering I’ve been photographing weddings for about 15 years now) but one Glasgow hotel has featured quite a bit this year and, on a sunny day at the end of September, I ended up there for the last time this year when I photographed Natasha and Alan’s wedding at One Devonshire Gardens (or, to use its proper name, Hotel du Vin; but nobody calls it that really…).
My day started well when, straight away, I bumped into make-up artist Alexis Miller – we have worked together loads and loads in the past but I hadn’t seen her for ages so that was nice and it is always good to have a blether about some of the crazy weddings we had been to. The bride and bridesmaids are generally the focus of my pre-ceremony pictures as the groom tends to willingly take a back seat however Alan was keen for me to capture some shots of him arriving in his taxi. Unfortunately the heavens opened just when he arrived but I went downstairs anyway a bit later and caught up with him an the best man. I immediately noticed their outfits. I know I am treading on dangerous ground when I write this but I am not an enormous fan of the kilt. They can be nice, of course, but I see them so often that a nice suit makes a welcome change for me. Alan and his best man were both wearing amazing suits made by Glasgow-based Jim Forbes tailoring and I was smitten with them. One day I will definitely go and treat myself however, for now at least, I will have to stick to my cheaper off-the-peg outfits that are more suited to the rigours of being a wedding photographer.
As Natasha was getting ready at One Devonshire itself it was only a short walk down the staircase to the Humanist ceremony which was conducted by Lorraine Simpson. The way that Lorraine positioned Natasha and Alan meant that I had to stand at the back of the room and shoot into the incoming window light which was challenging but still yielded nice back-lit results. After the ceremony we had the usual few family photographs on the steps, a huge group picture of everyone, facilitated by the tall step-ladders that One Devonshire keep handy, and then a few pictures of the bride and groom in the sunshine just around the corner where we were also photobombed by a bridesmaid who was keen to get in on the action.
I never get too much into the finer details of the photography side of things in these blog posts but I am keen to mention that Alan and Natasha were such a great couple to photograph and I’d like to take the opportunity to share a little advice with my unmarried couples. Take a good look at the pictures of Natasha and Alan together 1/2 way down the blog post. I know that not everyone is comfortable having their photograph taken (which is why a huge number of my clients hire me in the first place of course, and I completely understand this) but even those clients want photographs like this without realising that their success is only partly down to my photographic skills. One key reason that these photographs look nice is that the couple look like they want to be together and when they are stood there they are holding each other very closely. You’d be amazed at the amount of newly married people who cuddle each other but still leave an awkward gap. So, tip 1, stand with your new partner closely and, when you think you are close, get even closer – it makes a huge improvement to the picture and, as a bonus in Scotland, you keep warmer too. Also note that they look very happy. Tip 2, don’t talk about bad stuff or get angry about the niggly mistake with your flowers / seating plan / aunt’s hairdo. And finally, tip 3, if you aren’t looking at me then look at each other. I don’t mean roughly in the direction of each other, I mean right at each other’s faces. I throw away huge numbers of pictures because the bride is looking at the groom but the groom is looking at something completely different, like a nice sparrow in a tree or his beer on the bench behind me. So, in a nutshell, stay close, stay happy and look at each other. Simple.
Thanks go to Natasha and Alan for being such great customers and letting me use their photographs on this blog! Now I can’t wait until my next visit to One Devonshire!
Here are some other weddings that I have photographed at One Devonshire Gardens: