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Bournemouth Wedding Photography : Harrison & Maria

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Myriad are the ways in which people meet and get to know each other. Over the years I’ve photographed the weddings of couples that have known each other since school days, couples that were introduced by friends they shared in common, couples that worked together, all manner of ways in which two people’s lives somehow orbited each other then were drawn together that much more closely again. At least twenty-five per cent of my clients found their match online; most probably more as that’s a statistic I’ve accumulated through anecdote, not interview. Then there are those meetings of minds, of spirit, that leave you wondering was it blessed coincidence, serendipity, something you’d like to feel was destined to happen whether it was at the actual point in time that it did or at some later point in time if not, or was it just the universe casting its lot and that was your one chance of ever meeting? When I think about the story of how Harrison & Maria met, I find myself breathing a sigh of pleased relief.

Maria is from Bournemouth, Harrison from London; both big places, the latter far more so than the former of course but the former’s a big place none-the-less where one might never knowingly see the same person twice. Harrison had come to Bournemouth to study for his degree and Maria was completing her A’ levels. Both happened to be passionate fans of live music so there was certainly something in place that would serve as common interest should they ever meet, which of course they did. One night, both attended a gig at the Bournemouth International Centre; by virtue of the nature of the venue these tend to be large scale events. Both happened to find themselves in the same spot in a very large and broad queue outside the centre and they got to talking about the band they were about to see, and thus this shared journey began. I’m thankful there hadn’t been another few metres in that relative positioning, deep within a queue. For them I’ve no doubt that the sentiment is immeasurably so.

I have an inkling that I’d also once met Harrison whilst he was a student, up a tree on the university campus, retrieving a football. More precisely, he was up the tree – though I may of course be entirely incorrect about who it was as I didn’t meet, in far more cogent a manner at that, with him and Maria until some years later – and I was down on the ground. That’s going to sound rather an abstract anecdote if my memory is being wayward. It’ll likely sound abstract an anecdote to most everyone else, regardless :~)

Harrison & Maria married at St. Mark’s Church in the Talbot Village district of Bournemouth and celebrated at the Ocean View Hotel, atop cliffs over the sea in the south of the town. Which is where the sea lays. All of the day’s locations were within fifteen minutes drive of my own home, which was a fairly novel experience for me. I thoroughly enjoyed photographing their wedding, getting to know them before the day and throughout; a really lovely couple sharing a creative, caring and diligently thoughtful nature. This is the story of their wedding day…

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It was a particular pleasure meeting and chatting with Maria’s mum on the day. She works at the university that once upon a time I’d spent more than half of the years of my life (thus far) working at. Though we’d never met there, she does work directly with a small number of people that I in turn had once worked with directly, people that I have immeasurable respect for…

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It was a pleasure working alongside Jack, a course-mate of Harrison’s when they’d studied television production together. And there’s my answer to the existential crisis of being a wedding photographer. What do you call a photographer with a clothes hangar on his head? There is no answer…

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Note to self: get suits dry-cleaned before first wedding of 2016 :~)

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Harrison & Maria share a particular fondness, a profound one at that, for the sea and for Bournemouth beach in particular so I stowed myself away in their wedding car and we made way for the sand, wedding shoes and all…

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An entirely new framing to aspects of my home town that I’ve seen no end of times through a more workaday window…

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Harrison thought it best to deposit the remnants of the beach outside though in retrospect, considering the beach theme that permeated the wedding breakfast, I imagine that he and Maria could have made a small beach on the top table with the accumulated sand (though they did already have a beautifully crafted beach in a big spherical bottle in place)…

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I was game, and I totally owned it! :~)…

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Plenty of innovators present, adding a thirteenth target to the list…

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Who needs a camera anyway? :~)…

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A big thank you indeed to Harrison & Maria for seating me as a guest for dinner!

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Glass brimful with imagination :~)…

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Number 4…

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… check…

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I’m claiming this as my take on Number 7 :~)…

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I also very much enjoyed having a chat with Harrison’s mum later into the evening and am particularly grateful to her for this photograph. I just point my camera at whatever is in front of… my camera. It’s all about the spirit that people bring to bear…

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Considering that the Bournemouth Wheels Festival was running at the same time and we were thoroughly surrounded by trucks and event tents and all sorts really, I quite enjoyed the challenge of transporting us into an idyllic rural scene just outside the hotel…

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I’d be horrified to fail in capturing Number 9!…

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And here’s another highly pleasing coincidence. I’d never before – nor since – encountered the same band from one wedding to another but I was thrilled to find out that Harrison & Maria had booked Mister Kanish for their wedding as just a month earlier they had played Hannah & James’s wedding at Lulworth Castle. Their performance had blown me away then, and did so all over again at Harrison & Maria’s wedding. I’d be very happy indeed to see and hear them play again…

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Whilst not the actual occurence that I have in mind, this image reminds me of a particularly funny episode. You’ll see in the background one of my off-camera flashes firing, a radio controlled marvel. Typically I set one up towards either side of the band or DJ, mounted on high stands and pointing in towards the centre of the dance-floor. At one point in the evening I found myself stood on the other side of a packed dance-floor from the band, taking photographs, and heard an enthusiastic cry from somewhere on the other side of the crowd, something along the lines of, “Wow! Check this out!” Then a similar exclamation again. Then another. “Look, it takes a photo of you!” It then dawned on me that somebody thought there was a camera up there on the stand with the flash, automatically photographing the action, so for a few minutes I stood my ground and randomly fired off frames as a group gathered and posed for my camera-less light stand. The band told me afterwards that they’d been amused no end by it all :~)…

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A party as epic as the visual record suggests :~)

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All the more respect again for a band that not only perform fantastically but also pay attention to things off the dance floor that the couple have put thought, time and effort into. During a break, the band spotted and read a sign that Harrison & Maria had added to a table and noted mention of a conga…

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All part of the service from Mister Kanish :~)…

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Congratulations Harrison & Maria and thank you so much for a truly fantastic experience. It was immensely enjoyable throwing myself into the thick of your wedding day and a great pleasure getting to know you both through it all!

Contact Bournemouth Wedding Photographer Phillip Allen : phill@misterphill.com : 07870 696248

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