Pre-wedding photography/film scout at St Cedol Church, Pentir, Gwynedd

Wedding photography scouting at St Cedol Chuchr, Pentir, Gwynedd

Wedding photography scouting at St Cedol Chuchr, Pentir, Gwynedd

I went to meet up with Vicky and Ross at St Cedol church in Pentir, where they’re getting married in September, to work out how best to photograph and film their wedding day.

I also met the vicar and a couple of people from the church council, who were all colourful characters.

The church itself is old and is as full of character as the people I met there; it’s a beautiful setting for weddings and photos.

It was the hottest day of the year when I went there, with the sun shining very brightly, probably a bit different to how the conditions will be in September.

There is not a great deal of room outside the church because it is surrounded by the graveyard, so it’s not a suitable location for larger group shots.

However, there is a narrow path leading up to the church door which I think will make a great lead in line for photographs of Vicky and Ross, as well as a shot of a line of guests walking to/from the church.

The church doorway, like most churches, makes an ideal spot for photographing the bride and groom – it makes a nice frame with a darkened background.

Inside the church, at the back, there are stairs leading to a another floor/balcony(? – can’t think of the right word) which overlooks the rest of the church. This will make a great spot for a second shooter (I’ll get an assistant).

The church is quite narrow so will require use of a wide angle lens and squashing up against the walls.

There is just enough room at the front of the church for the video man and myself, one of us on each side, without getting in the way.

View from back of St Cedol Church, Pentir, Gwynedd

View from back of St Cedol Church, Pentir, Gwynedd

It was actually very light in the church – it has big windows and it was very sunny – but there was a high dynamic range in the light levels, which presents its own challenges.

However, there will be a smaller dynamic range in September, so that will make things easier.

There are overhead heaters, but these are colourless so don’t pose a problem.

Not sure where we’ll do ‘location photographs’ yet, but the bridge at Brynrefail is a good spot where I’ve taken photos before.

I’ve also photographed and filmed at Seiont Manor on a couple of occasions, so already know the best spots for photos and the magic numbers to key into my cameras and video camera. Bonus.

We will do the group shots at Seiont Manor, there’s lots of space and I can get elevation by looking out of a bedroom window down onto the forecourt.

View from front of St Cedol church, Pentir, Gwynedd

View from front of St Cedol church, Pentir, Gwynedd

Why do I write up notes on these pre-wedding photos scouts?

The main reason is for me to know exactly what I’m doing on clients’ wedding days – I like to be uber-organised and prepared, it makes a massive difference on the wedding day.

Secondly, it gives my clients the opportunity to see exactly what I’ll be doing on their wedding day, which is always a good thing.

Hopefully these note may also be of use to other photographers who shoot at the same location.

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