York House Wedding | 87th Birthday Portraits
It’s not often you get invited by the bride & groom to spend personal time with their family after a shoot. So it was hard to say no to Vidya & Sayijan when they did exactly that.
We first met Vidya while shooting her cousin’s wedding back in 2014, and got to know her quite well since. We consider them both really good friends now. This made it easy to get along with the rest of the family because they already knew quite a bit about us.
After their intimate civil ceremony at York House in Twickenham, we went to spend some time with everyone at Vidya’s aunts’ place and joined them for their grandmothers 87th birthday celebration. They all made us feel so welcome it felt like a home away from home.
I got to talk about photography with Vidya’s younger brother, Rahul, who is a keen enthusiast and was absorbing everything I said like a sponge. I took a break from teaching for a while, but Rahul’s excitement and passion reminded me of how much I love teaching photography.
Everyone seemed to be quite interested by all things creative, and of course, even though we were meant to be there as guests, I couldn’t put my camera down. Especially when I remembered that Vidya wanted a shot of their wedding rings and we hadn’t taken one yet.
Not wanting to give them something we’d already shot before, I looked around the house for inspiration and came up with a concept. I explained to everyone the look I was trying to achieve.
The best part of it was how the entire family got really excited and intrigued about how I was going to do this ring shot. And as soon as I finished explaining my idea, and that I wanted something sparkly, almost everyone went around the house looking for an object I could use. I was given a CD, a jewellery box, some earrings, a big glass crystal ball type thing and a few other bits that I cannot remember because there were far too many items. But then, Rahul found the ultimate jewel, a candle holder. At that moment a light turned on in my head. The concept had to change and evolve a bit, but I had a feeling it would be perfect and possibly better than the original idea. I quickly went over to the kitchen sink, washed the dusty holder and got started.
Naz (my wife) held an Ice Light in different angles until I was happy with the result. But the highlight had to be the reaction of Vidya and Sayijans family. All I heard was “wow” and “oooh”. That is music to a photographer’s ears. :D
Here’s a small section of some of our favourites. We’ve included a behind the scene shot of how we created the image in a very unassuming area of the room on top of a piano. I have also included a few words from the bride herself about the day.
Comments from the bride:
“Saturday the 18th June 2016 was a very special day for me. Firstly, because I got to marry my best friend and secondly, because it was the first time I felt truly alive and happy after what seemed like ages. The simplicity of the registry ceremony itself, coupled with the intimacy of the celebration thereafter was something I’ll never forget. The day showed me how lucky we as a couple were, to be surrounded by wonderful family. I say family as opposed to friends and family, because Jay and Naz are like family to us now. The day showed me what a celebration of marriage should be like and it has definitely proved to me how beautiful life can be.
In the past, when planning events, I have always faced stress and anxiety of some sort and definitely, have felt it many times upon planning the upcoming wedding celebrations in August. However, the registry unfolded in ways I couldn’t have imagined, and required minimal effort in terms of planning, right from the start. You always hear of the saying “what’s meant to be will be”, but in this frantic world, we rarely get the chance to reflect on an event and happily say, what was meant to happen, happened. From Sayijan’s beautiful seven-month-old niece objecting to us getting married in baby speak, to watching my Grandmother celebrate her 87th birthday by cutting not one, but two cakes made lovingly for her, I realised just how wonderful life is when you let things happen in their natural order.
The day was full of laughter and happiness, captured beautifully by Jay and Naz. They really are the perfect duo with creativity oozing from their core- so much so, that all my family members played a part in creating one of their most striking ring images yet. To create a photo of our beautiful rings in an original way, my whole family got involved! How? By searching high and low for an object that would do justice to the beauty of the rings themselves and also to the pair’s talent. After using a jewellery box, bracelets and the piano, Rahul, my younger brother proudly handed Jay a candle holder. Jay’s eyes widened in excitement and he rushed to wash it, burning his hand in the process!
The image below is the result of the collective efforts of a family, inspired by J. Hoque Photography – something truly beautiful to have witnessed first hand!”