Threshing Barn Light – One Of Our Favourites
Paula and Sean’s wedding had taken place on a mostly bright and sunny August day. The wedding was held at at Avoncroft Museum – the venue we got married at ourselves. Although we’ve worked in venue grounds which have been larger, the scope for photographs at Avoncroft is richer and more unique than most. There’s a huge amount of photographic potential as you wander around the myriad of old buildings – all carefully transplanted from their original sites. Rich in texture and brimming with history, it’s a venue which never fails to inspire lovely images and it remains one of our very favourite places to work.
This particular picture was taken by Rob and made on the spur of the moment during the evening ‘couple’ session. We had been taking pictures of Paula and Sean at various locations around the museum when we noticed a glorious burst of evening sunlight on one side of the building known as the Threshing Barn. The light was being partially blocked by the roof of another building nearby, giving an unusual pattern as it hit the rear aspect of the barn. This kind of light tends to be quite fleeting and on a site as complex in layout as Avoncroft, you really do have jump on the opportunities when they present themselves because they don’t last for long!
Immediately, we positioned Paula and Sean in the darker area of the barn. We knew that the white of Paula’s dress would contrast well against the highly textured wooden doors and would serve as a counterbalance to the bright sunlight touching the barn in the opposite corner of the frame. It was one of those compositions that was put together within seconds. Simple, but effective. Had we taken any longer, the light would have gone and the moment would have been lost.
So we had the light, the backdrop and a composition – but next came the single most important element of the picture – the couple themselves. Although the sunlight and texture of the picture are lovely on their own, it’s really the couple’s interaction which is the key element. We really try to keep our pictures as true to the couples’ personalities as possible and although we usually have an idea of the kind of ‘feel’ we want to impart in a picture, we don’t force people to do anything they’re not comfortable with. It would be very easy to try and dictate every element and go for rigid precision – but we don’t work like that. We would much rather let things pan out in their own way and let the couple’s own mood be the inspiration for how the picture will end up. In this case quiet, calm and still was the look we ended up with. Paula’s expression could not have been better.
Although the picture is ‘set up’ (meaning it’s not a true photojournalistic image), in terms of Paula and Sean, this is a very real and very honest photograph of the two of them together and from our perspective, a highlight of the entire day. The combination of gorgeous light, surroundings, mood and expression is what makes it work and is the reason it’s one of our very favourite wedding images.
The original blog post for Paula and Sean’s wedding can be found at: