I photographed a wedding at Battle Abbey in East Sussex a couple of weeks ago.

I was initially concerned about the low light levels inside where the ceremony would be taking place. So I went along a couple of weeks before, to do some test shots. This proved to be a very good idea, as it was very dark in there. But after doing a few test shots, and experimenting, I found that with my best wide angles lens, on my cameras lowest light setting, I was able to get very nice quality images without the use of a flash – I really dont like the look of shots taken with flash (apart from subtle fill-in flash when the background is bright. )

As you can see from the image, using natural light, you get a very striking photograph, and even though much of the image is a little dark, the shaft of light falling onto the floor by the wedding couple creates a wonderful effect, and gives the Bride a beautiful bit of highlighting as well. Often with weddings, the ceremony takes place under low lighting conditions, Churches can be extremely dark, so it frequently makes the photography challenging. But there are always solutions. This is why I think visiting the wedding venue in advance, and having a look at where the ceremony and the reception will be taking place, is such valuable research. Also I use this visit to scout around the grounds to find the best places to do the important Bride and Groom photos. This way, when I turn up, no time is wasted doing test shots, or looking around trying to work out where Im going to these key shots, the Family and Group shots, leaving me free to concentrate on capturing all the candid moments and characters that create a wonderful and memorable record for the Bride and Groom.