My brother got married!

Look this way!So I’ve been holding off on writing this blog post for a few days as it was all top secret, but now I can finally reveal my brother got married on Thursday 21st August.  Congratulations Jay and Lucy!

They decided they wanted a quiet family ceremony so had kept the wedding a complete secret from everyone other than very immediate family.  (Okay, so I was excited and couldn’t resist telling a few of my friends who didn’t know them!)  Then the big plan was to announce the wedding at a party they were having on Sunday evening, when their friends thought they were coming to celebrate both their birthdays, and to wish them well on moving to Canada.  I don’t know if I could have kept it that much of a secret had I been Lucy!

LucyOn Wednesday night Jay and Lucy were spending a last night with their families.  So Mum, Dad, Jay, Stef and I went out to the Old Tollgate in Bramber.  It is a posh carvery restaurant, where you can keep going back for as much food as you can eat!  Mum and Dad had taken me and Jay to it a couple of times on special occasions growing up, so it seemed a nice choice for the evening before the wedding.  The food was, as always, lovely.  There was a huge starter selection of salads, cold meat, fruit, soup and hot ribs.  Then a  turkey, ham, beef and pork for the carvery, plus a selection of other hot dishes – all of which you could choose more than one of.  Then to finish a lovely selection of hot and cold desserts.  There are definitely cheaper carvery restaurants around, but you definitely get your money’s worth at the Old Tollgate and the atmosphere is nicer for a special occasion.

So on Thursday morning Mum, Dad, Stef and I headed down to the registry office and met up with Jay, Lucy, Jonathan (Lucy’s brother), Lucy’s Mum, Dad and Nana.  The ceremony was quite short but it was lovely to see how happy they were.  Jonathan and I were their witnesses for the register, which was really nice.

The familyAfter some photographs outside we headed to Bosham and the Millstream Hotel and Restaurant for lunch.  On arrival we sat in the lounge, and Lucy and Jay opened a few cards and discovered where they were going away for their honeymoon –  a present from her parents.  They’ve just come back from living in New Zealand and went travelling quite a lot on the way home, and are soon to emigrate to Canada, so they just wanted a nice quiet time away together in England and went off to Cambridgeshire.

For lunch I had the Chateaubriand steak which was served with potatoes and green vegetables, followed by a raspberry and lemon dessert – both were absolutely gorgeous.  Again, another restaurant I’d highly recommend for a special occasion.

Nice car decorations!After lunch we sat in the gardens for coffee until it was time to see Jay and Lucy off.  Sneakily when they weren’t looking her brother and dad had decorated their car with tin cans and banners.  It was quite a surprise and didn’t half make a racket as they drove off up the road!

During the day they’d asked me to take some photographs.  I’d taken along my posh new camera and lens, tripod and I certainly looked the part!  When I got home though I was a little disappointed with the results which was a shame.  Nice to learn some things… but choosing your brother’s wedding to do so was maybe not the best time to do it!  Firstly I discovered that I had failed to get a decent formal type photo of them both looking at my camera.  It was only a small family occasion, and yet we had 5 camera’s between us, and so it appeared no-one was looking at the same camera.  So lesson one… wait for everyone else to ‘have their turn’ and then get the couple to focus on the main camera for some shots. 

JaySecondly, the day turned out to be quite sunny.  So a lot of the photographs I took outside were ‘blown’ and their faces came out bright.  I managed to do some adjustments on some of the photographs as I had taken some in a RAW format, but overall where there was no detail because of the light, there wasn’t anything to correct.  I also found that the bright light meant that the autofocus on my lens found it hard to focus and so photographs that looked okay on the camera’s display screen looked a little fuzzy when blown up on the computer later.  So lessons two, three and four… find some nice shady spots for photographs, think about which way people are facing and double check the focus.  After you have taken a few photographs take a moment to use the zoom feature on playback so you can see what they look like and have time to adjust and take some more!

And finally, I learnt after the event that when using my tripod I should have turned off the IS – Image Stabilisation – feature of my lens.  Apparently, because the camera is already still the IS can try to overcompensate and actually cause camera shake!  So lesson five… take time to learn more about your camera settings before you go.

Jonathan and his DadI’ve ended up with some nice photographs despite all that, but it certainly gave me some food for thought before next weekend when I am playing wedding photographer for another friend.  I enjoyed trying out some more candid people shots as that is not the sort of thing I normally photograph, or feel comfortable photographing if they are strangers.  Photographs from the wedding day can be found here.

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One Response to “My brother got married!”

  1. davidlind Says:

    Nice to hear you talk about your learning process Helena. I don’t remember hearing that before now except when you were pointing out my shortcomings. LOL.

    Of course I have a poor memory so I may be wrong again. In any case I think that brothers are good subjects for many things. Use them and abuse them. Sisters too. It’s all in the family.

    A friend is another matter of course. Read some books in the next few days. And practice. But it sounds like you have already learned a lot. Thanks for the tips too! I had no idea about the Image Stabilization deal.

    Hope to hear from you again.
    David.

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