I consider myself very fortunate to be in my job and privileged to work with some amazing couples. I tend to get very excited before weddings and this one was no different. However, I must admit more excited than normal! I was asked by Jayne and Kip to photograph their wedding in May 2019. They chose a very unique and very special venue; the Great North Museum Hancock in Newcastle upon Tyne. It was to be the very first wedding at the museum and I can say it was an absolute hoot to photograph there.
A month or two before the big day I met the couple to have a chat about their requirements and ideas for the day. I was blown away by their fun approach to weddings and it was clear from the outset that this was going to be right up my street. I’m a self-confessed geek and I am well known for my love of all things a bit different or nerdy. Kip and Jayne have a very similar mindset and we ventured around the venue scouting for photo ops. ‘We want a photo with the T-Rex!’. I got excited there and then!
The lighting in the venue is quite dark and moody in parts due to the nature of the exhibits and their sensitivity to light. This meant I had to work a bit more with off camera flash than I would normally but some of the results were fantastic. We only had a half day booking to capture all of the photos and that time seemed to fly by in the blink of an eye. I could have easily stayed for an entire day and still not have captured all the fun locations/props I wanted! There is so much to choose from there, you are really spoiled for choice, it is a playground for creative couples and photographers alike.
A strong Jurassic Park and Star Wars theme were in place for the day. Which suited me to a tea! The day featured what is easily my favourite wedding shoes of all time. Along with some rather stunning handmade paper bouquets as floral ones are not permitted in the museum to protect the exhibits.
Below is my favourite shot from the day is of the couple posing with Dippy the Dinosaur. I love this one, their pose is just so comfortable and natural. Again this was lit with two off-camera flashes alongside the venues ambient lighting. I was able to bring out more of Dippy by utilising a flash with a bounce fitted to re-direct the light for a more dramatic effect. It was quite a challenge to light and ensure the couple were lit correctly and in focus too. It’s quite a tight space to photo and fit everything in but I managed it with my trusty 24-70mm Sigma Art on a fullframe camera.
My tip for anyone photoing at the Hancock is to expect a lot of fun and some frustration. Do take speedlights with you! The lighting is incredibly challenging in some parts of the venue, we were extra unlucky with the weather and it was quite an overcast day so natural light in the venue was minimal. I had a blast working here and I’d love to do many more weddings at this fantastic and unique place. I shall remember this day fondly for years to come 🙂