Jacqui and Dan are not your traditional types. They're not looking for a traditional wedding. "We're not wedding kind of people, really", she said. "But we love your photographs, so we want you to document the day for us, informally, but, you know, your style."
I was highly flattered, of course, and set out for Symonds Yat in Herefordshire. Having booked in at a hotel, I hurried on to meet them. Disaster!! "We can't do the shoot tomorrow, we have to cancel, unless you can do something now! You can't do something now, can you? Can you"
Probably as near to unprepared as any wedding photographer has been. Except of course that we are rarely ever truly unprepared. The day was moving on, and I knew we would lose the light soon. "Can we find a half-decent sunset nearby?" I asked. "Yes, probably ten minutes from here." So we jumped in the car and careered round the Herefordshire country lanes like lunatics until we found a gate with a view over the valley, as the sun began to sink below the horizon.
Being a very playful and imaginative couple, with a wicked sense of humour and fun, Jacqui and Dan had decided to go for a Far from the Madding Crowd, Mr Darcy kind of theme, one that they plan on replicating for their alternative wedding ceremony. With the sun sinking slowly out of sight, we caught the last amazing half light, with the assistant of the wedding photographer's best friend, his speed light and soft box, and caught some funny, romantic, theatrical and maybe just slightly gothic moments.
Somewhere between Victorian melodrama, Steampunk and just outright theatrical eccentricity, Jacqui and Dan's is one of the most hurried photo shoots I've ever done, but also one of the most fun. Can't wait for the wedding.