One of our main areas of expertise is wedding photography and with over 20 years experience we know our stuff. But we are great believers in continued self-development and are ever keen to stay on top of the market and completely up to date with any new technology or new techniques. One of the things couples are keen for us to take pictures of, particularly the groom, is the wedding car. So, with this in mind, we were keen to get some practice in and decided a field trip to the fantastic motor museum, Beaulieu, would be just what we needed.
Armed with our cameras, packed lunch and a thermos, we trundled down to the New Forest in our trusty VW Beetle. Photographing cars is definitely more James’s cup of tea, but I figured a museum that boasts a collection of over 250 automobiles and motorcycles from the dawn of motoring to the present day, was worth a visit. We are used to photographing such cars as Bentleys, Daimlers, Rolls Royce, Mercedes and Limousines, all of which were on show at Beaulieu. From past experience, one of the problems we constantly have to face when taking photos of these classic cars is that because they are presented at their absolute best, they have been buffed and polished up to the very tip of their bumpers. Undeniably, this makes the car look stunning, but with the polished paintwork comes the dreaded shine and reflection. Sometimes you can use this to your advantage. In the past, we have taken shots of the car, which has captured the reflection of the bride and groom in it and it can truly create some very unique photos. However, some people prefer to simply have a photo of the car and this calls for a lot more care. You have to be particularly careful not to get your own reflection in the shot. Your customer may well have liked you enough to hire you to take their photos, but they certainly don’t want you taking centre stage in their wedding album!
This was the main challenge we wanted to set ourselves at Beaulieu today, so we found a classic Austin Healey and set to work. The task was made all the more difficult by the sheer number of visitors to the museum that day. There was a constant stream of visitors, so trying to get a photo of the car without a random person appearing in shot, let alone in the reflection of the bodywork, was virtually impossible. One of the most important things a photographer wants to show when taking a picture of a car is the design lines and unfortunately, reflections can spoil these so called ‘curves’. After, much waiting around, myself more patiently than James might I add, we managed to take some lovely photos. The trick? It is all about the angle. Crouching low and shooting upwards, or even in some cases lying completely flat on the floor, managed to prevent self reflection and helped focus solely on the vehicle itself.
So was our day to Beaulieu worth it, or was it just an excuse for James to visit a car museum? Jury’s out on that one, but I have to say, even if nothing else, we came away with some beautiful shots of classic and contemporary cars and I had a lovely piece of lemon drizzle cake in the cafe, so not a complete an utter waste of time!