Wedding photo scouting at Seiont Manor and church in Bethesda

It is a matter of days before Debra and Andrew tie the knot at Eglwys Iesu Grist (Christ’s Church) in Bethesda.

And, to be fair, they seem pretty relaxed and organised.

I’m going to Debra’s parents’ house for 10.30am on Saturday. It’s just up the road from the church and is where Debra will be getting ready.

Imagine the bride here instead of the armchair

Imagine the bride here instead of the armchair

The light from the living room window is nice and flat (well, at least it was today) and I’ll use the curtains to create a barn-door effect.

Perfect backdrop, if we move some stuff out the way

Perfect backdrop, if we move some stuff out the way

There are blinds in the conservatory and I’ll use these to create a white background  for a photo of Debra in her wedding dress.

This shot is  little more technical because I will need to balance the fill-light (from my flash) with the light from the window, but it should look really nice.


I went down to the church (it’s the one near Spar on the highstreet) after visiting Debra and Andrew.

It’s beautiful inside, with great big stain glass windows.

Finding the best place the video camera was a bit tricky – I’m hoping the vicar will let Caroline stand in the pulpit, because this has got by far the best views.


The overhead heaters pose an issue with regards lighting because they make everything look a bit red.

Thankfully there’s a reasonable amount of natural light (for a church anyway) and they can be turned off for group shots at the end.

And Photoshop color correction and Final Cut filters will take care of the rest. (edit – black and white might be the way forward).


There’s room for the group shots outside if it’s nice, and inside if it’s raining, which is handy.

The church door is an obvious place to take shots of the bride and groom, as well smaller group shots.


There’s also a big rock outside which I think might make a good prop for the groom and his friends and there’s some overhanging trees which will be good for diffuse lighting and my zoom lens.

I was thinking of whisking Debra and Andrew off for a bit to shoot on location near Llanberis, but I’ve figured there isn’t really enough time to fit this in because of it getting dark so early.

Besides, Seiont Manor in Llanrug, where they are having the wedding reception, has some great places for shooting outside.

The light in the reception room is bright enough for me not to use flash,  so long as my shutter speed goes no higher than 1/80, aperture 4 and iso about 2000.

However, there’s a low white ceiling, so using a flash will be straightforward too. I think I’ll mix it up and see what comes out best.

My video camera (a Canon XHA1) is amazing in low light and doesn’t struggle at all.


In the restaurant area there’s a conservatory which is all glass and the light is very low.

On camera flash doesn’t work because there’s nothing to bounce it off and it causes nasty reflections. I could use off camera flash, but I think this would get in the way and be too much of a faff.

However, if I push my 7d to its iso limit (no higher than 3200 in my opinion) the shots come out pretty nice – my canon 30d would never have been able to do that!

There’s some comfy chairs and sofas in the bar/restaurant area of Seiont Manor, as well as lots of lamps and a fire.

It’s a perfect setting for some classy shots (much better than the reception room) of the men looking distinguished and the ladies looking elegant.

Now it’s just a case of waiting for the big day!


I will be starting the day off at Debra’s parents’ house, which is just up the road from the church and where she is getting ready.

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