Laura and Mark’s Coltsford Mill Wedding

Laura and Mark’s Coltsford Mill Wedding


Coltsford Mill

Laura and Mark had their wedding at Coltsford Mill near Oxsted in Kent. This was a venue that was very dear to them, it is close to where they live, it’s in the village where they brought their first house together and is half way between where they grew up and where their parents still live. For Laura and Mark Coltsford Mill was a natural choice.

Coltsford Mill also happens to be a stunning wedding venue. There is an old barn with part of the mill still in situ. This functions perfectly as the ceremony room. There is a modern feeling cottage which accommodated Laura and her bridal party amply for the purpose of getting ready just a stones throw from the ceremony room.

I would have like to have explored the grounds as I was told by the venue that they are vast and present plenty of opportunities for stunning photos, however, this wedding was in late October and their had been some recent rain meaning that it was not ideal for Laura to take a stroll around in her wedding dress.

This was not too much of a problem however, the autumn colours and the river at the back of Coltsford Mill provided us with some amazing opportunities for outdoor couples photos.

Autumn Wedding

Autumn is one of my favourite seasons to photograph in, however, when shooting a wedding in Autumn it’s best to be prepared. As a photographer Light is currency and in Autumn the light fades fast and the sunsets before 6pm which on this occasion was during the wedding breakfast. Therefore in order to get some outdoor couples photos I waited for the dark and had fun with lighting and with sparklers.

For Autumn and winter weddings I love to get sparklers and have a few guests make a confetti style line with the couple walking through with their own sparklers, these photos can be very effective and make the best of the dark conditions.

For the Photographers

I have found that to get the best results with the sparkler confetti shots its best to use some external lighting. For Laura and Mark’s photos  I used a couple of light wands, but most powerful video lights will do. These were aimed at the couple to allow me to get focus and to provide fill light.

I shot using apertures of f1.2 on an 85mm lens and f1.4 on a 24mm lens. This was to allow me keep the ISO low as the noise will creep in to the shadows easily and given that these images have a lot of shadows its best to keep ISO very low where possible.

The practical issues involved in these photos come from being able to light the sparklers around the same time. I find it best to have two or three people lighting their sparklers and then everyone lighting from the sparklers once lit. Also Coltsford Mill provide a bucket of sand to extinguish the spent sparkers, but you will need to check with the venue that they are ok with you using sparklers and take necessary precautions.

The Couple

Laura and Mark were such a fun and warm couple, their friends and family adore them and to me the reason why was clear, they are just really great people who make a really great couple. The whole day was a delight to be part of and I was made to feel like a valued guest. I couldn’t stay late in to the evening as I was keen to back up the images, otherwise I would have loved to have partied on in to the night.

I wish Laura and Mark all the best for the future and every happiness in their new lives together.

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