Polhawn Fort Wedding Photography


The view from Polhawn Fort wedding venue.

I had been warned by a colleague that Polhawn Fort wedding photography could be a challenge, the sort of thing that separates the men from the boys so to speak. Undaunted a couple of weeks ago I nipped down to Cornwall to cover Aisha and Ali’s two day wedding at Polhawn Fort. the fort is a Napoleonic gun battery built around 1862 and sitting atop the Rame peninsula overlooking Polhawn cove. It was built to defend against hostile landings along Whitsand bay and It’s definitely  the “real thing ” with cannons, massive thick walls and a drawbridge. It also has views to die for and exclusive access to the beach below.

Wedding photography at the fort can indeed be challenging. It’s quite dark inside due to its very nature but at the same time hugely atmospheric and the views outside are spectacular. It’s recently been voted best UK coastal venue as well.  Polhawn Fort offers its guests the opportunity to be in full control of their time there. There’s no other guests, no housekeeping to bother you and all this surrounded by stunning sea views and secluded beach within easy reach. I’m not really phased by low light, I take it as an opportunity to make what I like to think of as atmospheric and emotive wedding photography. I wasn’t disappointed with some lovely light for Aisha’s preparation on the morning of her wedding and I really do look forward to a return trip.

The first day of Aisha and Ali’s visit to Polhawn Fort saw a traditional henna party in the evening, with plenty of colour and dancing. Day two was the day for the civil ceremony held under the walls of the fort and on the lawns overlooking Polhawn cove. The weather had been changeable that week but on the day, there was a clear sky and plenty of, or possibly too much, sun.  I started in the morning with Aisha’s preparation, later – after the ceremony – we had an impromptu basket ball match, a stroll on the beach, speeches, ice cream and more dancing. OH! and there was a parrot.  Here’s a large pile of my favourites from the day.

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    Michael Riley Photography


    I am a a multi award winning UK and destination wedding photographer. Based in Devon, I offer wedding coverage throughout the UK and anywhere else in the world for couples who like my work and approach to a wedding.


    My wedding photography is entirely unposed, natural & candid. My style is documentary wedding photography or reportage wedding photography which means that I don't intervene in the day for the sake of a shot. I don't pose, interfere or otherwise fuss and faff. Everything is relaxed, laid back and fun allowing for those natural moments to come through and be recorded as memories. You get all the moments observed not orchestrated. If you like the sound of this get in touch via my contact page.

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