I chose the image of the castle ruins seen on my Welsh Dragon Haggis Tour back in 2005. I managed to find the original image I wrote this prompt to despite the compute drive kerfuffle that lost my originally planned image prompts for this month.
You may recognize a couple characters from Image Prompt responses 20 and 62 if you’ve been reading here for a while. They don’t have a book of their own yet, but there are some scenes lying around that could develop in that direction one day.
Ian angled the camera up toward the second story of the structure while he waited for the wedding planner to finish positioning people. He made sure there was just enough of the sky above the wall in frame to add a nice lighting effect to the finished shot, making the sky seem like a bright white haze above the wall. With any luck it would turn out artsy enough to get some prints ordered online.
He turned back to the group and made sure he was ready to start snapping pictures as soon as the wedding party and family members were arranged as requested. This was the set of formal photos the bride and groom’s families wanted. Posed shots with certain members in them. After this, he and the wedding party would have time to do the pictures the couple wanted for themselves.
“I think that’s everything,” the wedding planned said after Ian had finished taking several shots of the entire two-family group. “I’ve got everything on my list for the families,” she said to Ian. She turned back to the group and raised her voice. “Family members, thank you for your patience and cooperation. We’ve got everything we need from all of you, so please make your way carefully back to the path and down to the reception tent. The wedding party will remain here to get a few more photographs before joining you.”
Ian sighed quietly and glanced about as the group began to disperse. The bridesmaids and groomsmen had formed a bit of a huddle to one side, between the families and the couple, who were standing a little away, her leaning in and his arm around her shoulders.
Ian quickly got a few pictures of them enjoying the quiet moment, as well as a few that showed their wedding party being a buffer for them. He really liked this couple. Weddings usually weren’t his favorite thing to shoot, especially when they involved travel, but they’d wanted him because of all his pictures of ruined castles and other structures as much as for his portrait work. They liked his versatility and that he loved the old structures like they did. The groom was just starting out a career as an archeology professor and the bride was an engineer who specialized in restoration and preservation of stone structures like the one they were standing in.
Ian caught a movement in the corner of his vision and turned to look. Up on the second floor, somewhere visitors were barred from going without special permission, stood a petite man with pastel blue hair and blue butterfly wings. Well, man was a bit of a misnomer. One of the Fair Folk. Ian smiled up at Ailill briefly before returning his attention to the wedding party. He still had work to do, and he knew Ailill would just watch quietly, hidden by his glamour from anyone but Ian, until Ian was done with work for the day.
“We’ve got at least half an hour before anyone starts getting restless,” the wedding planner said. “I advise wedding party shots as quickly as we can manage, then we can send them down to keep everyone happy while we get the couple shots you want.”
“Sounds good,” the groom replied. “Mostly we just want to find interesting backdrops to use and situate ourselves less formally.”
“I know you wanted to rely on the eye of the photographer more for these,” the wedding planner said. “I’ll try to stay out of the way and be helpful.”
The bride smiled. Ian was pretty sure she’d hired this wedding planner specifically because the woman was willing to back off and give them control again when the situation warranted it.
“I think we can get some good variety with different angles in here,” Ian said, “and it would be nice to try a few in the two smaller rooms as well.”
“I agree,” the bride said, beaming at Ian. “I wish we could go up to the second floor, but they were very adamant that it wasn’t safe yet.”
“I took a look at the stairs,” Ian said. “they’re right.”
Ian spent the next ten minutes giving stage direction to the group, and the wedding planner was actually great at helping when he wanted to do something like vary the heights across each row and things like that. She knew everyone’s names.
By the time they’d gotten enough with the wedding party, the sun had shifted just a touch, giving the whole place a slightly more mysterious look. Ian was pretty sure it would give the couple shots a slightly surreal and out of time look to them.
“Do you need anyone to stay and help with your dress?” the wedding planned asked.
“I can help,” the groom said.
“And with just them I can do anything that he can’t,” Ian added.
“You can go on back with the party,” the bride told the planner. “Thank you for everything.”
“I’ll keep everyone happy and settled until you arrive,” the wedding planner said.
The bride waved to her party as they headed out of the castle ruins.
“Now, take a breath and relax,” Ian advised.
The bride laughed. She looked truly joyous. She then took a deep breath in and let it out slowly. Her groom followed along with her breath, and they leaned in, foreheads touching.
Ian got pictures.
“How about the two of you just wander and explore and I’ll get candid shots,” Ian said. “If there’s anywhere you’re particularly fond of, we can do some more posed and composed images as we go.”
“Thank you for being so wonderful today,” the bride said as her groom offered her his arm. They began to stroll through the ruined castle together.
“It’s wonderful to be here to capture everyone’s joy, especially yours,” Ian replied. He did like that aspect of wedding shoots.
“And that’s why we picked you,” the groom said. “No one else ever said anything about capturing the emotions of the day, just the memories.”
“We all think of it differently,” Ian replied. He didn’t know how other people talked about their photography. He hadn’t talked with other photographers much about it since university.