Husband and wife duo Chris and Verity Sansom, of Sansom Photography in Leeds, England, started shooting weddings straight out of university (a little over four years ago), having never before attended a wedding!
"In many ways, much of our success came from choosing not to second-shoot for local photographers, instead booking cheaper weddings ourselves and being completely open with our clients," Chris explains. "Our idea of how a wedding ‘should’ be photographed came from the pages of Rangefinder and American Photo. Our style has evolved over the years but remains primarily a photojournalistic approach, with a little more emphasis on the couple shoots than we did when we first started out."
This wedding, of Zoe and Tom in Victoria Baths in Manchester, England, had a very cozy, intimate feel. "There’s not really much outside of the Baths to shoot," Chris says, "and while we usually love to get some awesome landscape-type shots outside, this was one venue where the best opportunities lie inside."
"The obvious problem with a day like that is dealing with light," he continues, "trying to utilize natural light when you can. With a venue as detailed and with architecture so prominent, we had to be very aware of our surroundings and how best to make the focus of any one shot stand out."
This shot (above) was one Chris says he had in mind before the day arrived—he just didn’t know if there would be anything in the way. "I also didn’t know about the curtains, but it turned out even better than I’d planned it. I really love this shot too (below) that I took from between the chairs, where you can just see the edges of Zoe's and Tom’s faces with his hand on her chin—for me that’s all you need!"
"As much as the architecture was a challenge, it was also one of our favorite things from the day," Chris says. "We really love Victoria Baths for exactly that reason, and there are not many places where there’s quite so much variety, none of which is weather-dependent!"
In the Sansoms' Gear Bags
CAMERAS: Canon 5D Mark II and 6D
LENSES: (Verity) Canon 17-40mm and 50mm | (Chris) Canon 35mm, 50mm, 85mm and 100mm
LIGHTING: Radio triggers and a couple of flashguns just for the evening dancing. "Otherwise we forego the flash in the evening," Chris explains, "as we prefer to use available light as much as possible."
Chris says Verity’s favorite shot is the shot in the pool (above). "She loved the way the light was pouring in from the windows above and the shape that it made on the tiles below. It’s one of those shots that makes you feel that the couple are having a moment out from all of the congratulations and celebrations to take time to appreciate one of the most important days of their lives. The first dance shot with the couple off to the left side is another of her favorites (below), with the ‘Well Loved’ sign visible behind and the rest of the dance floor empty—it kind of epitomizes everything we want from a first dance shot!"