THE BLOG

How to Get the Best Wedding Photos in the South of France

With good reason, the South of France as a wedding destination is more popular than ever. Think France, think romance. Add to that the extraordinary light that has brought famous artists to Provence for decades. Exceptional wedding photos will serve to re-kindle the love and romance of your French celebration for years to come.
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

With good reason, the South of France as a wedding destination is more popular than ever. Think France, think romance. Add to that the extraordinary light that has brought famous artists to Provence for decades. Exceptional wedding photos will serve to re-kindle the love and romance of your French celebration for years to come.

As an English speaking wedding designer and celebrant based in Cannes, I work with photographers who produce beautiful wedding photos in this region.

Rebecca Marshall is a British photojournalist based in the South of France. She regularly photographs portraits and features for international publications, such as the New York Times, Sunday Times Magazine and Stern.

Rebecca photographs a limited number of weddings every summer so that she can take a truly non-formulaic, fresh approach to photographing each one.

About her work she says: "I combine a genuine photojournalistic style with a strong sense of beauty and intuition to create stunning documentary wedding photography. I am a specialist in the locations, unique light and rich colours of Provence."

Rebecca offers these 5 tips to get the best photographic results for your Provencal wedding celebration:

1. Plan the ceremony late in the day. In the South of France, weddings start late -- and end late. There is a good reason for this. No one likes being overheated in a tuxedo and certainly nobody wants red cheeks or a gleaming forehead in their wedding pictures.

2. Make sure that you will be standing in shade during the ceremony. You don't want to be squinting in the sunshine as you say "I do." A simple canopy or small shade sail above the ceremony area will suffice.

3. When planning the floral decorations, incorporate some symbols of Provence. Your photographer will be able to weave sunflower arrangements, fresh lavender confetti, or table decorations made of Provencal herbs into the pictures for a truly French reportage.

4. Discuss possible locations for wedding day portraits with your photographer beforehand -- and don't stick to the gardens of your villa. Nearby medieval village streets, castle walls and doorways can all make excellent backdrops for South of France portraits.

5. Be creative and make sure there is plenty of decorative light at your outdoor banquet. Candles in glass holders hanging from the branches of olive trees, sparklers or soft-screened lamps can all provide excellent opportunities for beautiful photography.

Rebecca says this about her approach to the couples she works with:

I believe that the way wedding photography is conducted is as important as the pictures that result. A photojournalist must be unobtrusive in their work and the bride and groom should be thoroughly comfortable with them. It is not the role of the photographer to instruct, to lighten the mood by cracking jokes, or to ask people to assume standard poses. I see myself simply as a compassionate witness, there to capture the real emotions and moments of this beautiful day, as they unfold. A little after the ceremony, I take the bride and groom to a separate location for the only 'formal' photography session of the day, where I spend around 20 minutes making portraits of the couple. People are often a little apprehensive about this part beforehand: 'I don't feel comfortable in front of a camera; I don't like posed pictures'. Yet, time and time again, couples refer to this afterwards as the most intimate, special moment of their wedding day. They explain that it was the only time they spent peacefully alone together, in the afterglow of the loving union they had just made. They weren't alone, of course, as I was gently guiding them and my assistant was handling the lights and reflector. But we melted into the background and their togetherness is what they remember: the only way it should be.

Enjoy these samples of Rebecca's wedding photos:

1. Beaulieu-Sur-Mer

2016-04-06-1459937723-7883341-marshall_01.jpg

2. Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, St Jean Cap Ferrat

2016-04-06-1459937832-1315778-marshall_02.jpg

3 Eze

2016-04-06-1459937900-8318732-marshall_03.jpg

4 Marriott Hotel, Cannes

2016-04-06-1459937959-2582744-marshall_04.jpg

5 Monaco

2016-04-06-1459938007-8352194-marshall_05.jpg

6 Hôtel Belles Rives, Cap d'Antibes

2016-04-06-1459938055-730684-marshall_06.jpg

7 St Tropez

2016-04-06-1459938101-5159121-marshall_07.jpg

8 Chateau St Martin, Vence

2016-04-06-1459938163-1487576-marshall_08.jpg

9 Eze

2016-04-06-1459938212-3904928-marshall_09.jpg

10 Moissac-Bellevue

2016-04-06-1459938268-5514308-marshall_10.jpg

11 Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, St Jean Cap Ferrat

2016-04-06-1459938356-5748489-marshall_11.jpg

12 Le Mas de Pierre, St Paul de Vence

2016-04-06-1459938406-2625813-marshall_12.jpg

13 Prao Plage, St Maxime

2016-04-06-1459938450-4102358-marshall_13.jpg

To see more of Rebecca's work, you can go to her wedding portfolio. View her editorial and portrait work as a South of France photographer.

To explore your exclusive bespoke Provencal wedding ceremony contact Anne Naylor at
weddingceremonies@mac.com for an initial discussion over Skype or Face Time.

Click Anne Naylor Wedding Ceremony for more information.