Last weekend I had the opportunity to photograph a dove release for the first time. Working with Karen from Bridal Dreamz, who supplied the wedding dress and suit, and Kevin from Unity Doves, I was asked to produce several photos for use on their web pages and marketing.
The weather was fantastic with beautiful clear blue sky, just what Kevin wanted, but for the first shots I headed for the shade of some trees.
Kevin brought three doves and we started with the baby. This was his (or her, Kevin wasn’t sure yet) first flight so nobody was very sure what would happen. Opting for a hand release I was pretty sure it would at least fly but I had no idea how fast. The little one was off like a rocket and I was pleased to have caught it at all!
Next was one of the two mature birds and we went for a basket release. The plan was to open the basket on the count of three and capture him as he flew out. Unfortunately, nobody thought to share the plan with the bird. Basket opens, ready on the shutter release and… nothing. A cunning plan maybe, keep us guessing and then shoot out when we were not expecting it!
The final dove also kept us waiting for a moment or two, but it was soon obvious that it was just so he could get his feathers looking good for a little posing on the edge of the basket. Then, after strutting his stuff he was off too.
I spoke to Kevin again the next day and he was happy to confirm that all three doves found their way home safe and well.
A big thank you also to our models for the day. Neither Megan or Reece had done anything like this before but they were great.
It’s a lovely idea for a wedding, and unusual too. I really enjoyed it and will be well prepared should any of my couples decide to release birds on their big day.
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