The Scottish Highlands is one of the most popular places for couples that want a destination wedding. They travel from all over the world, drawn by our incredible, rugged scenery and vast open spaces, steeped in romance. Pretty much the perfect backdrop for eloping I guess!
I shot my first wedding in 2007 but it was in 2015 that I decided to specialise in elopements and that is what I have done for the past five years. I love this type of wedding, primarily because they are incredibly intimate and emotional, and I am very drawn to emotion. When I am creating images, my main objective is to capture the connection between the couple as well as their connection with the landscape around them.
I have three SIGMA lenses: the SIGMA 35mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art, the SIGMA 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art and the SIGMA 85mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art which is my favourite! I have loved this lens since the day I bought it three years ago and if I could only have one lens in my kit bag it would be this one, for sure. At least half of the images I shoot at an elopement are with the SIGMA 85mm | Art. I shoot a lot – typically around 60 elopements a year, so it is very much put through its paces and never fails me.
I have always used Canon bodies –currently two 5D Mark IV bodies – and the SIGMA 85mm | Art is permanently attached to one of them. It focuses really well and the bokeh is just so beautiful, perfect for isolating a bride or groom in a portrait, or a couple against the landscape.
The other reason I like using it so much is because I can get really impressive shots of the important parts of the ceremony – such as the rings being given or the vows being read – without being too close and ruining the moment.
Also, I’m always looking for little glances between the couple so it’s absolutely perfect for composing that sort of nice clean shot, without any distractions.
After the ceremony is concluded, I spend a few hours with making portraits at different locations and again, this is where the SIGMA 85mm | Art excels. I can get intimate images without being too close, so the couple doesn’t feel uncomfortable at any point
Working outdoors can definitely be testing because you are at the mercy of the weather and Scottish weather is nothing if not unpredictable! A bit of rain or wind can make photographs really atmospheric though and I think some of my best images have been taken on days where the weather has been a little challenging. Typically, I have very hardy couples that are ready to take on whatever the elements have to throw at them, which always helps!
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