Friday the 23rd of September, a nice sunny Friday afternoon in Hong Kong...but for Matt & Katie it was perhaps the most important day of their lives so far. A big wedding was the order of the day, with friends and family coming from Australia and the rest of the world to celebrate this amazing occasion. And amazing it certainly was, a really great, beautiful bunch of people who helped us get some really nice images throughout the day and very late into the night!
The wedding planner Sonya and her team from Bliss Creations did an outstanding job setting up and organising the various venues, and the setup at Shek O Golf Club was easily one of the best wedding setups I have ever seen anywhere.
It all started at the Four Seasons Hotel in Central to capture some images of Katie's preparations in her suite. We were graced with good weather most of the day, so that gave us the opportunity to shoot natural light and the family were so relaxed it made it easy to shoot our reportage style of wedding photography.
After spending a few minutes with the bridal party it was time to dash across town to the oldest church in Hong Kong - St John's Cathedral in time to introduce ourselves to the reverend as a matter of courtesy as we would photographing inside the church and then to get some images of the bride arriving and get into position for the ceremony. Trying to get across town on a Friday afternoon at short notice can be quite stressful in itself....but luck was on our side and we made it in good time well ahead of the bride.
This church is a great venue in Hong Kong, we've photographed several weddings here and has to be the best church from a photography perspective with lots of natural light flowing in through the large windows and open doors, all helping us to get natural looking images with great light....and of course flash photography is not allowed inside the church anyway, nor would we ever choose to use flash for daytime photography for weddings, we prefer to use natural light and fast prime lenses (we also use these fast lenses for most of the evening photography also, using natural light wherever possible).
After the ceremony it was time for another move, this time to Shek O Golf Club right round the other side of the island....again, we had luck on our side and managed to find a taxi quickly so we could arrive ahead of the rest of the party to prepare everything in advance. We had to setup a wireless transmission rig with projectors, laptops and a network so that we could transmit our images from earlier in the day direct to the walls in the venue and then spend the rest of the day and evening shooting 'live' direct to the wireless slide show which appeared full wall size within the venue. We do this at most of our events now and it always has a lot of positive impact and is a great way for us to showcase our work at an event (Of course it puts more pressure on us to get strong images also to show live, but that's the way we like to work).
Then it was time to grab a few group shots and images of the bride and groom outside on the lawn of the golf club, with magnificent views behind of mountains, the South China Sea and waves crashing against cliffs, really a great setting and we couldn't have asked for better weather, it was now slightly overcast, with great soft natural light through the clouds.
Thereafter it was time for the dinner, the speeches and then the party started to get crazy (the groom had warned me earlier that these people like to party hard...) I was looking forward to the evenings photography as I knew this was going to give us a different and dynamic contrast of images to the earlier part of the day, when people party hard and let their hair down, it always works well for the photographer (as long as no alcohol lands on the laptop or camera gear :-), which thankfully somehow it didn't...lol). We had already captured some nice traditional reportage style images, a lot of black and white work, and now we were going to be able to use some off camera flash and slow shutter speeds to get some dynamic colourful dancing shots.....
The party went on late, with lots of dancing (there was even a break-dancing act going on with back flips and head spins at one point!) and a great night was had by all. At midnight buses arrived and took everybody off to Central for the after-party...I'm sure there were some sore heads the next day....For us it was time to leave, and spend the next few days buried in Lightroom 3 with masses of images to sort out, select and develop.
All that remains to be said from us is Thanks to Sonya the wedding planner and congratulations to Matt & Katie on their special day, it was a pleasure to be your photographer and we hope the images can help memorise this amazing occasion for you, your family and friends.