As I type, there is a screen within view across the office showing several of Sasha and Artiom's book layouts. Such was the scale of this shoot their album is currently at 100 pages - a monster of a story.
I liked these guys immediately, we clicked. Right from the very first chat in central London they were on the case. They knew what they wanted. Young, stylish and wonderfully Russian - they are always fun. During our meetings, the engagement shoot and then the wedding itself, I found our brief relationship never less than thoroughly rewarding.
Cliveden House is epic. It's an overused word, in my opinion, but for this venue it is the only logical reaction as you venture down what must be a quarter of a mile of absolutely straight driveway, right to the door. The hotel recently played host to Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, the night before her wedding - ensuring the eyes of the world would be fixed on that front door.
You are met with faultless, nothing-is-too-much-trouble service from the staff right from the get-go. It is a doorway into another era of quality and craftsmanship, the like of which is extremely rare, in my opinion. Forget an attempt at a tweet, 140 disposable characters won’t even scratch the surface.
The house and grounds are quintessentially English and were first established in 1666 by the 2nd Duke of Buckingham. Ever since, the location has played host to parties, power and politics to a standard of lavish relaxation only the privileged can afford. Character oozes from every corner of every room.
This was a 14 hour shoot for me, with some of my favourite images featuring the staff gradually transforming the house from amazing hotel to an even more amazing wedding venue. On hand throughout and leaving no flake of confetti unturned, the staff juggled significant logistics and numerous live music acts to dovetail with the rolling Russian wedding breakfast - where pretty much anyone and everyone can speak publicly if they wish to. Literally never a dull moment.
It has been said that my style of photography fits the black tie dress code. The clean, crisp lines and monochrome presentation all work well with what I see in my mind’s eye. For this reason I feel Sasha and Artiom’s huge day had it all.
I could only hope to record a fraction of what was happening, and below is small example of that. A wonderful shoot in a truly incredible location.
Click any thumbnail to enlarge...