Novotel Hotel Christchurch - Quiet Wedding Moments

Novotel Hotel Christchurch - Quiet Wedding Moments I married Jane in 2007 on the roof top at Kandalama Hotel in Sri Lanka. While that was over 6-years ago now, I remember the day as if it was yesterday.

Prior to our ceremony, I along with three friends spent the morning mountain biking in the local area. Despite getting a little lost, we managed to get back in time for my wedding ceremony. An hour before it kicked off, we started getting ready. I wore a Sri Lankan sarong and a beautiful hand made shirt from Barefoot in Colombo. I was ready twenty minutes before the wedding ceremony. And that is when the nervousness and anticipation kicked in.

If you are married, you will know this feeling. It is the feeling that you are about to experience something really big in your life.

The closest I've come to experiencing that feeling since, was at the birth of our daughter Holly. The feeling is one of being totally calm, but being hyper alert at the same time. It's a difficult feeling to describe in words.

Yet every time I walk into a room to photograph a groom or a bride getting ready prior to their wedding ceremony, I know that the person in front of me is experiencing something similar. And part of that experience is the quiet moments you have with yourself as you are getting ready. They are moments when the weight of the world drops away from you; when the preparations that have led you to this point have been done; when there is nothing left to do, but be totally present.

Novotel Hotel Christchurch

Photograph of Aimee at the Novotel Hotel Christchurch, prior to her wedding ceremony.


Christchurch Wedding Dance

Christchurch Wedding Dance The day before Ruth and Mike's wedding at Ferrymead Heritage Park, I stopped by to have a look at the venue and get a feel for the layout of the place. This is something I always do when I haven't photographed a particular wedding venue before. Not only does it give me a feel for the place, it helps me understand how I should get to a venue, where I should park, how far it is from the car park to the main venue, what the light is doing at certain times of the day etc...

When I entered the wedding reception venue and saw the amazing lanterns lining the ceiling, I knew they would make great graphic elements in a photo. Though I wasn't sure what the photo would be exactly, I filed it in my mind as a 'must get' shot.

The next night as the lights were dimmed and Ruth and Mike began their first wedding dance, the shot I had been thinking about materialised.

I crouched down to make the background the lantern covered ceiling. I switched off my flash and exposed for the ambient (available) light. As there was so little light and what light there was, was coming from behind Ruth and Mike, it made them silhouettes, which is what I wanted. Lastly, given dancing can be relatively fast moving and I was shooting at a lowish shutter speed (1/60th of a second), I waited patiently for Ruth and Mike to slow down in their dance. Once they did, I captured this image.

It is one of my favourite images from the evening. View the rest of the photos from Ruth and Mike's Wedding at Ferrymead Heritage Park, Christchurch. Thomas.

Christchurch wedding dance

Get some Christchurch wedding dance lessons. 

If you like this photo, please share this post on Facebook. Thank you. Thomas

Christchurch Wedding with Sarah & Savo

Christchurch Wedding with Sarah and Savo. Sarah and Savo's wedding was the first Christchurch wedding I have photographed in the Hagley Park Botanical Gardens. The Botanical Gardens is a beautiful outdoor wedding venue to exchange vows at, assuming you have good weather.

The day dawned bright and clear and by mid-morning the sun was blazing. Ideal for a picturesque garden wedding, but not so ideal for photographs. Mottled light - a mix of sun and shade - is some of the hardest light to photograph in as the contrast range challenges even the most sophisticated digital camera sensors.

After the short ceremony, the small wedding party moved to Rosebank Winery wedding venue for a celebratory lunch.

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I Didn't Take Any Photos

20131203 wedding guests taking photosEarlier in the year I had the pleasure of being a guest at a friend's wedding down in Dunedin. Prior to the wedding I considered taking my cameras and taking some photos, but in the end I decided against it. Even more so, after I learnt that my friend had a Dunedin wedding photographer documenting the day for them. At the start of the ceremony, the Celebrant explained that the bride and groom didn't want guests taking photos during their ceremony. Instead, they wanted guests to be totally present as they exchanged vows.

Though I didn't have my cameras, I did have my iPhone and truth be told, I was going to take a photo of the bride as she entered the church. When I heard my friend's request, I turned my phone off and put it in my pocket. I wanted to respect my friend's wishes.

As the bride walked past me, I turned to face the front of the church and I was surprised to see a number of people with smart phones and point and shoot cameras, taking photographs.

Given the Celebrant's request, I was pretty surprised.

Fast forward a couple of months and I have stumbled across this video - I Lost my Phone - which went viral in social media circles (34-million views and counting). The video is about how we use smart phones to document everything in our lives and how we can let smart phones become more important than a person sitting right next to us.

Now don't get me wrong. Technology is great. I love digital cameras, I love being able to process photos on a computer (as opposed to film days) and I love being able to take photos with my iPhone, when I have no other camera with me. times, like I have described above, I think people step over a line with technology.

There is an inherent joy and beauty in being present in life, particularly when we are around family and friends and sharing special moments in our friends' lives. If we let our use of technology become too much, we run the risk of technology and the act of capturing a moment in time, become more important than the moment itself.

Though I missed taking a photo of my friend walking down the aisle on her wedding day, I didn't miss out on respecting my friend's wishes and being totally present for what is arguably, one of my friend's most important days in her life.