A wedding photographers story.

How a little boy at a wedding at the Sunrise Beach in Cyprus helped change the way I photograph weddings.


My aim as a wedding photographer is to try and capture the magic and wonder of human interaction and this is one of my favourite ever wedding stories that demonstrates this. This small collection of images from Sarah and Lee’s destination wedding at the Sunrise Beach Hotel, which is situated in Protaras in Cyprus, helped change the way I approach wedding photography, to look beyond the obvious and seek out stories that are real, fun and have true emotional value for my clients.


Marley the wedding photographer


For me, wedding photography is about capturing memories, raw emotion and celebration. I love photographing the uniqueness of people – the little ‘idiosyncrasies’ that make us individual. Weddings are perfect for this, as they are reminders to be grateful for all the beautiful people we have in our lives and the celebration provides a time to share our happiest moments with them.

Over the years wedding photography has given me many opportunities to travel and meet the most amazing couples but whilst on a destination wedding in Cyprus I met this young boy called Marley who was something else. I was booked to document Sarah and Lee’s wedding at the beautiful Sunrise Beach in Protaras Cyprus. My aim at every wedding is to tell the story and to photograph the ‘heartbeat of the day’ and unbeknownst to me at the time, Marley was what I was looking for.

Sarah and Lee are from the North East of England and we’d never met leading up to their wedding apart from a brief chat the day before the celebrations at the Sunrise Beach Hotel. There wasn’t any special requests for pictures of Marley nor was he flagged for attention, but on the wedding day, he was everywhere, smiling and laughing whilst all around him were people crying during the ceremony. His love of life was never more apparent than when he was the first to congratulate the Bride and Groom before they had even had a chance to walk down the aisle and at times I even caught him doing my job, taking pictures with his dad’s camera.

Later in the evening, I spotted him curiously picking the icing off the wedding cake before it had even been cut. As I quickly rattled off a couple of shots I overheard an elderly lady behind me saying “look at the photographer taking pictures of the little boy putting his fingers in the cake, ‘HE’ should be stopping him.” With that statement I had a “light bulb moment.” No, I shouldn’t, it’s my job to document and to tell the story, not to direct, pose or prompt.

“I now include these types of shots in all my work, they very important for storytelling. I like the call them “Link Shots” – they are not so obvious but they help narrate the over all story of the event!”

At the end of a long day I found myself sat chatting to Marley’s Dad as the sun was setting on the Mediterranean Sea and I said “I’ve noticed your son everywhere today, he has a real zest for life and I couldn’t help but take a few pictures of him, I don’t know why, but there was just something about him that caught my eye and joyfully distracted me from taking the standard wedding pictures. Would you like a quick posed picture with him before the sun goes down?” His reply was “We would love one, please wait a moment as he just having his medication.”

I was later informed by Sarah the Bride about Marley’s condition. Sarah told me his condition is portal hypertension, congenital hepatic fibrosis, polycystic kidney disease, Caroli disease and esophageal varices. His condition affects the liver and kidneys leading to liver and kidney failure and needing transplants in the future.


Sunrise Beach Cyprus – Wedding Photography

Back home in the UK, a couple of weeks later, Sarah the Bride wrote to me and stated – “Through the pictures you’ve taken of Marley, you have ‘captured the heartbeat of our wedding day.”

For me, these pictures are perfect reminders of the child within us all, a person who was fearless! and that life is for living. In addition, Marley reminded the “artist’ within me that “doing/following what you love is a much better way to spend your time than following what you think other people will love.”

If you would like to know more about Marley’s condition and how you could help children similar to him, you can take a look at children’s liver disease foundation: ON HERE

Weddings at the Sunrise Beach Cyprus

Sarah and Lee were married at the Sunrise Beach Hotel in Protaras, Cyprus. A beautiful modern wedding destination venue offering the warmth of the Mediterranean Sea, sun and a romantic setting. The Sunrise Beach Hotel is ideally situated on the finest stretch of golden sands on the Protaras strip. Guests of the hotel are a stone’s throw away from  a beautiful beach and just a short distance from the numerous shops, bars, cafes and restaurants of Protaras. For the young at heart, a 15 minute taxi ride takes you to the party capital of Ayia Napa; passing the picturesque views of Cape Greco on route.

As a destination wedding venue in Cyprus, the Sunrise Beach offers two Wedding Ceremony Venues, the Panorama Terrace (outdoor) and the Sea View Wedding Room (indoor). For the Wedding Reception there is the choice of two dinner rooms. The Levanda Deck (outdoor) and Helios Conference Hall (indoor).

If you’re planning a destination wedding in Cyprus or anywhere else in the world, please feel free to contact me for more information (my passport is ready) or visit the gallery  for more examples of work.


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