The Gherkin – one of the most recognisable London landmarks. This was the setting for Balca and Jonathan’s wedding.
The objective for a wedding photographer with an iconic location such as this is to capture the spectacular setting but at the same time to ensure other photographs celebrate the intimacy of the couple’s wedding day.
The idea with this first photograph was to show the impressive panoramic view of central London, capturing the wedding scene taking place hundreds of feet above the city.
This photo uses available light and a fish-eye lens which gives the 180 degree view. It’s taken right from the top floor of the Gherkin.
I call this photo ‘Planet London’ – as there’s a real feeling of expanse and curvature in this shot created by the fish-eye lens.
However, it was also important to use the magnificent setting to create intimacy and focus on the bride and groom.
We had about 3 minutes to do this photo while the room was being changed over after the ceremony for the meal. I used the architecture of the Gherkin as a compositional feature but also to create a framing which drew focus to the bride.
I used an off-camera flash with a grid on the light, to keep the light on the bride. The background is exposed to show its detail but also so it’s not too bright, again to keep the main light on the bride. Using lighting also allowed me to capture the bride's reflection in the floor.
Again I used a fish eye lens here to give enough width to capture the shape and architecture of the Gherkin. It’s important when using a fish-eye lens to photograph people that you place them in the centre sweet spot of the lens – if they are near the edges, they will distort too much.
This next photograph was taken at night time. The idea was to use a shape offered by another feature of the Gherkin – inside the glass lift shaft
I used a light from the floor below, coming through the doors of the lift and lighting the couple, controlled using a radio trigger on the camera. I was on the floor above, shooting down the lift shaft. The blue shafts of radial light were lights on the spiral stairs below me, which added uniqueness to the composition and acted as lead-in lines to draw attention to the couple in the centre circle of light. As an added bonus, I captured their reflection in the glass to the left, which could only be achieved by lighting the couple.
Thanks to Balca & Jonathan at their London wedding at the Gherkin.