I get to photograph in some fantastic places, but, this Cinnamon Hill wedding is one I will remember! The history that surrounds this “Great House” in Jamaica is long and fascinating. However, nowadays, when you visit the property, you will instantly recognize that you are in the home of Johnny Cash.
As soon as you enter the Cinnamon Hill House, you can see photos of country music legend Johnny Cash. The pictures of Johnny and his wife June Carter-Cash adorn the furniture alongside images of family and many celebrity friends. The house also appropriately contains many musical references, such as platinum discs. Of course, it is also full of their own personal possessions. These items are both general and others specific to their careers and awards.
Given the opportunity to photograph a wedding at Cinnamon Hill, Johnny Cash’s house, I choose to incorporate a few subtle elements that acknowledge where we are without being too obvious, as that would be inappropriate. After all, I am photographing a young couple and not doing a shoot for Johhny Cash. Even though it is tempting!
My goal is to capture the atmosphere and intimacy of this fabulous location. I want to embrace the colors and mood of a slightly overcast day in the forests of Jamaica. The focus is to avoid making it dreary or dull looking; it needs to feel luxurious, romantic, and dreamy. I start photographing this Cinnamon Hill wedding with photos of the gardens. Next, I move inside and visit the rooms of the house, and this also gives me a chance to see the light as I move around.
On completing photos of the wedding accessories, I catch up with the groom and get some shots of him as he finishes getting ready. The outside natural light level has dropped due to heavy clouds. I decide to use some window light to light my subject. However, the room is very dark, so I use a Profoto B1 with a White Large Umbrella and diffuser to increase the ambient light levels to allow the background to become better exposed in the images.
I use precisely the same technique for the bride. It works wonderfully as the bedroom is even darker than it is downstairs. With the couple eloping, the preparations are quick and easy. I only need to photograph them, so there is little fuss. We chat away, and it helps them to stay calm as the silence can be a bit uncomfortable. We have fun and enjoy what we are doing!
Cinnamon Hill House and gardens are beautiful, so it is no surprise that the service takes place in the patio off the end of the house. The groom and local priest are waiting patiently. The bride descends from upstairs and glides down the steps into the garden. The groom is smiling infectiously with excitement. The ceremony is short but very touching and contains some very memorable humorous moments.
After the ceremony, it starts to spit with rain, so we quickly take some photos in the gardens. We don’t need to go far as they are a beautiful couple and the location provides ample scope for moving images.
With the photos done, it is time for them to have a romantic evening together. They have a private dining table set up on the terrace in front of the home. The table has flowers and candles and a photo of Johnny Cash beaming from ear to ear. I want to leave them for a quiet evening, so we cut the cake before they sit down to enjoy their special evening.