Small Wedding Big on Love, Hand Gel and Safe Photo Coverage

When Beth and Andrew recently exchanged vows at St. Mary’s Church in the seaside town of Scarborough, on the Yorkshire coast in the UK, wedding photographers Emma and Rich were on hand to capture the intimate and abridged ceremony while practicing safe photo coverage. “There was plenty of hand gel and social distancing all around,” they say. “Not the easiest thing to do at weddings, which are usually the huggiest, kissiest, hand-shakiest events ever. Instead, we all shared big smiles and hand waves.”

[Read: Documenting Weddings in the Age of Social Distancing]

Beth and Andrew married at St Mary's Church with safe photo coverage in mind.
All Photos © Emma and Rich

Safe Photo Coverage Prevails

Luckily, Beth and Andrew did not have to postpone or cancel their wedding, but they did have to cut it way back. Only 30 people were allowed in to the church due to COVID-19 restrictions but the photographers say the doors were opened up so folks could watch from outside. “We had to be aware not to stand in the aisle for the whole ceremony as people wouldn’t appreciate watching the back of our heads,” the photographers recall. “Fortunately, the weather was on our side so the spectators stayed dry, and we got to head to the beach on North Bay afterwards for some fun wedding portraits of Beth and Andrew.”

[Read: Navigating the Micro Wedding for Your Photo Business]

The photographers made sure to have extra masks on hand for not just themselves but for the wedding couple and Vicar as well, just in case. “We carried hand sanitizer gel for ourselves and the couple. We also used the hand gel that was available upon entering the church. We had to forgo the hugs and handshakes we would normally engage in on greeting people, but that was okay.”

At the time, the guidelines in the UK were for wedding guests to keep a 2-meter distance (6.5 feet) at all times, but since this wedding, Emma says that attendance number has been reduced to 15 people and is staying in place for the foreseeable future.

Love and hand gel prevail for these newylweds.
A fun beach shot of couple with safe photo coverage in mind as no one else was around.

Safe Photo Coverage While Maintaining The Fun Factor

“We always work together when shooting set pieces (like group shots and portraits) and use the chemistry we have to encourage people to smile, relax, have fun and get the best from them,” say Emma and Rich. “We’ve been together 18 years and married for 11. We just have a knack for making people laugh. This is how we always work and the only difference at this wedding was that we couldn’t touch people or clothing!”

Emma says she and Rich asked the wedding couple if there was anything on the beach they most wanted us to capture. “They asked for some walking shots and some where they were facing the beach. They also love to partake in ‘thumb wars,’ so of course we had to capture that! It was a small wedding but big on love and fun.”

Gear of the Day

Emma shoots on Canon cameras, a 5D Mark III and a 6D, with a 24mm f/1.4 and a 50mm f/1.8 lens. “I swapped the 50mm to a 100mm f/2.8 when we shot in the church as I was right at the back,” she says.

Rich shoots on two Fuji X-Pro2 cameras, with a 16mm f/1.4 and a 35mm f/2 lens. “The Vicar usually doesn’t allow photography during the whole service, but changed his rules due to the pandemic,” Rich explains. “He allowed us to shoot at the front if we could do so silently, so I covered the front of the church with the Fujis.”

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