South Queensferry Wedding Photographer
Jackie and Raymond’s wedding at South Queensferry Registrars office and Orocco Pier was to be a laid back, intimate day with just close friends and family present.
The day started with bridal prep at Jackie and Raymonds home with Jackie, her mum and her bridesmaids.
Most importantly there was also Larry, Jackie’s feline fur baby (aka cat). I’m a cat person myself so I was very pleased to have a cat included in wedding photos for the first time.
Cat pics always go down well on social media, obviously, especially when they’re wearing a tux!
As is usual for me I chatted with all the people present at bridal prep for a while before shooting any pictures. I find this helps put them at ease and gets them used to me being around with my cameras.
Just walking in and shooting away can be a bit abrupt for a lot of people. I’d met with Jackie and Raymond a few weeks before and Jackie was very chatty which always helps.
As you can see from my images as they go towards the end of bridal prep is usually when nerves start to build. Getting the wedding dress on always seems to be the trigger.
This does often make for great moments to photograph and I always go quiet and blend in to the background at this point.
I left Jackie and her bridal party before their car arrived to drive across from West Lothian to Queensferry Registry Office to the north of Edinburgh, on the shore of the River Forth.
Queensferry/South Queensferry is a beautiful village that has views of the three Forth bridges: The Forth Bridge (railway), Forth Road Bridge and the new Queensferry Crossing.
These of course also provide an fantastic backdrop to wedding photographs giving a sense of place. Jackie is originally from Queensferry so it was important to include the village and the bridges as part of the day.
Queensferry is a tourist attraction in its own right and it was lunchtime when I arrived. This meant I had to park about half a mile away from Queensferry Registrars Office and then walk carrying all my gear.
I did however get a great view from my spot in the car park and even managed a long exposure shot of the Forth Bridge.
After a pleasant walk along the shore to the registrars’ office I introduced myself to the staff and then stowed my spare gear.
I was there in plenty of time to take a few detail shots. The huge bay window flooded the whole room with light and gave excellent views across the river and of the three Forth Bridges.
Then it was outside to speak to Raymond and the guests as they were arriving.
Thankfully it was nice and bright and dry, which is always a bonus for weddings in Scotland.
These times are also good for capturing great images of people greeting each other as they arrive for the wedding. There’s always a great variety of facial expressions and emotions on display.
As a documentary wedding photographer, capturing images that convey a depth of feeling is very important to me. I’d rather have a technically imperfect image that captures emotion and/or connection than the other way round.
I got a few shots of Raymond talking to the seated guests. Grooms especially can be very nervous and self conscious when being photographed before the ceremony so I was able to hang back and capture what was going on in the room. Then I went out to wait for the bridal party in their very cool VW camper.
After capturing Jackie, her dad and the bridal party coming into the registry office I took up my position in the ceremony room. I also set up my audio recorder for the reading, which was from Winnie The Pooh. You can hear this in the photo film I made (turn up the sound and press play):
The civil ceremony was about 25 minutes long and it always flies in when you’re photographing them. The soft light from the bay window was absolutely beautiful as it was a bright, overcast day outside. Perfect conditions for wedding photographs.
The ceremony room at South Queensferry Registrar Office has a huge bay window looking out to the Forth and the bridges so it was great for including a sense of place during the wedding ceremony.
There was no aisle to speak of so I had to run out to the street before Jackie and Raymond walked out of the registry office to capture that moment on the front steps.
From there I joined Jackie and the older guests in the camper van as we travelled the 1/4 mile to the drinks reception venue; Orocco Pier.
There was a spare seat in the VW Camper van so I couldn’t resist the chance to ride along to get some interesting shots with the bride and her guests! The other guests walked the 200 metres or so to the pub.
I got some shots of Jackie and Raymond with their guests at the area they had reserved.
After that we went on a brief photo-walk to the harbour and beach with Jackie and Raymond as they wanted to include South Queensferry as part of the photos.
I just let them walk together so that I was getting natural, mostly unposed shots (hey I’m also a lifestyle photographer as well as doing candid wedding photography).
We then went back to the pub for more shots with the family. This is when the day took a very interesting turn as another bride and groom turned up at exactly the same time for their group shots!
There was no animosity or anything, just a bit of confusion, and as a documentary wedding photographer I was able to work around the situation and get some more candid shots in the bar area.
Jackie and Raymond just had the ceremony and then some drinks before heading off for a meal instead of a full, large scale wedding. Jackie and Raymond’s day was a brilliant, relaxed and intimate wedding with just them and their closest family and friends.