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A PHOTOGRAPHERS STORY FROM SUNRISE BEACH

A personal story about how a little boy at a wedding at the Sunrise Beach Hotel in Cyprus changed the way I photograph weddings.

My aim as a wedding photographer is to capture the magic and wonder of human interaction and this is one of my favourites 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.

 

Sunrise Beach Cyprus: Wedding Photography Story | Cyprus | sunrise beach
Marley the wedding photographer

THE GREATEST LUXURY IN LIFE IS TIME

For me, wedding photography is about capturing memories, the raw emotion and the true celebration of the day, images that will trigger memories and transport you back to the event every time you look at them. It’s not about the number of pictures taken but that one magical image that sums you up as a couple and perfectly reflects the day.

I’ve always been fascinated by people, I’m a real people watcher and as a photographer, 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 and the precious memories we have in our lives. Wedding celebrations provide a time to share our happiest moments with the people we love most.

In many ways, I believe hiring a photographer you trust and whose style you like is even more important when planning a destination wedding than getting married at home. Family and friends have invested in travel and a holiday to see you tie the knot in unfamiliar surroundings and everyone back home will want to experience the excitement of your wedding through your photographs.

DESTINATION WEDDING AT SUNRISE BEACH CYPRUS

For me, destination weddings are extra special, the added air of excitement of family and friends all being in an unfamiliar environment always adds to the occasion. Over the years wedding photography has given me many opportunities to travel and meet the most amazing people and whilst on a destination wedding in Cyprus I met this young boy called Marley who was something else.

I was booked to photograph Sarah and Lee’s wedding at the beautiful Sunrise Beach in Protaras Cyprus due to my creative documentary style which is more about capturing real stories than fake poses. My main aim at every wedding is to tell a unique story of the event, to photograph the ‘heartbeat of the day,’ and unbeknown to me at the time, Marley was just 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 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 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.

LIGHTBULB MOMENT

Later in the evening, I spotted Marley 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, prompt or interfere with the true story of the event. Because these unscripted moments are the stories that will be talked about for years to come.

LINK SHOTS

“I now include these types of shots in all my work, they are very important for storytelling. They are the ‘in-between moments’ which I like to call “Link Shots” – They are not so obvious but they help narrate the overall 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, 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. He joyfully distracted me from taking any of the standard posed type of wedding pictures. Would you like a quick 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 oesophagal. His condition affects the liver and kidneys leading to liver and kidney failure and needing transplants in the future.

NOTHING REAL BUT LOVE

Back home in the UK, and 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. These pictures really do sum up our wedding, the love, the adventure, the happiness. They are relaxed, real and truthful. I don’t see how that would have been possible with the traditional or posed/formal type of pictures. Thank you”

For me, these pictures are perfect reminders of the child within us all, a person who was fearless! and that life is for living. As we grow up, I think we lose a little bit of that.

I’m a business-man first and a photographer second and at times I feel pressured to follow the latest trends and to even play it safe and take traditional style posed pictures that would generate extra sales from the family and friends at the wedding. However! Marley reminded the “artist’ within me that being creative and doing/following what you love is a much better way to spend your time than trying to figure out what you think other people will like.”

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 SUNRISE BEACH CYPRUS

About the wedding and the venue:

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 the 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 a choice of two dining rooms. The Levanda Deck (outdoor) and Helios Conference Hall (indoor).

DESTINATION WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER

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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