I would always say that it’s all about the people for me, people far more above place, before things. I will enjoy the places that people choose to celebrate their marriages. I’ll take pleasure in seeing the things they make and bring to bear in the decor that permeates the day. This enjoyment though will always stem from the fact that choice of place and space, choices to do with decorative touches, all provide further clues as to the nature and personalities of the people at the heart of it all. It’s all about the people.
I might find myself, of a weekend, in a space that I thoroughly enjoy just for what it is. I’ll be with people that I enjoy being with though regardless of where and what the space might be and the following weekend, often-times even the day before, or the day after, or even on a number of the surrounding days there will be other people bringing their minds and spirits to bear on the utilisation of that space and I’d have no idea who those other people were. They might be entirely different sorts. The space might become a very different thing, whilst still materially being the same. In a retrospective sense, this could be one of the key reasons behind the fact that I latch on to mindsets, not on to places. It’s not something that I apply reasoned analysis to though. It’s a simple enough thing to me.
There are some places though, some places and spaces that one might look at and find oneself thinking, “There’s not many people that would buy in to this. It would take a certain type,” and, “I like this place, this space; I’d want to come and play here even if on my own.”
Abi & Matt first came across my work when they were searching online for images of weddings that had taken place at Stowford Manor Farm in the Frome Valley, Wiltshire. They were looking for somewhere genuinely laid back, as far as might be reasonable unfettered by restrictions; when people could turn up, when they had to leave, who they were allowed to use to provision their wedding and so on; questions that my clients do tend to ask when planning their weddings. They felt strongly drawn to Stowford Manor Farm but weren’t sure that they would be able to make the key space at the venue work for their celebrations, a large stone barn where wedding breakfasts and evening parties tend to be set when the farm is booked out for a wedding. You see, it’s not your upgraded, somewhat modernised, rustically re-plastered and perfectly comfortably weather sealed kind of a barn; it’s a barn, good and proper. Mice roam through it at night when all the humans have departed. It isn’t scrubbed to the pores to say the least. One might easily imagine it having been populated by over-wintering livestock (though it is much cleaner than that :~) or having been used to store farm equipment. Come Spring and Summer, swallows nest in its nooks and crannies. I downright love the place. I hope it never gets a major makeover.
So Abi & Matt were deeply drawn to this space but wanted to see how it might work when populated by a host of wedding guests in wedding day finery and they searched for images of previous weddings at the farm, came across some of the photographs that I’d taken of Tory & Jon’s wedding that I had photographed there the year before, became convinced from those that the space would work just perfectly for them and I was really, truly, very very happy that they also became convinced that I was the right photographer to document what they themselves would do with it all.
And this is what they did… View full post »