Secrets of stunning photos of Northern Lights at Perthshire wedding

Newlyweds in Perth have a wedding photo like no other after the Northern Lights gatecrashed their big day.

Bride and groom Claire and Alasdair Macdonald were tying the knot at Abercairny, near Crieff, on Sunday when the chance of a lifetime presented itself.

And it came down to the quick thinking of wedding photographer Iain Struthers, who had been alerted to the heavenly lights show taking place outside.

Persuading the couple to step away from family and friends paid dividends, resulting in the shot of a lifetime for both the couple and the photographer.

Northern Lights spectacular for newlyweds

Wedding photography expert Iain, who owns Iain Struthers Photography, told The Courier that it takes a large slice of luck and to be in the right place at the right time.

Bride and groom - Claire and Alasdair Macdonald.
Bride and groom – Claire and Alasdair Macdonald. Image: Iain Struthers Photography

Iain, from Aberfeldy, said: “I had a friend who texted me to say there was a good chance of capturing the Northern Lights, but I was covering Claire and Alasdair’s wedding.

“It was around 7.15pm so I popped outside to see if it was a good night to spot the lights and it was – you could make them out with the naked eye.

“I realized it could make for a unique photo opportunity so asked the couple if they would step outside for a few minutes.

“Abercairny is a stunning venue anyway and the staff kindly turned off the outside lights to reduce the light pollution.

Iain Struthers' uncropped full image capturing the couple and with the Northern Lights
Iain Struthers’ uncropped full image capturing the couple with the Northern Lights. Image: Iain Struthers Photography

“Then I messed around for 10 or 15 minutes trying to set up the best way to capture the shot.

“It was quite a complex process as it required the couple to remain absolutely still – the camera shutter was open for about a second.

“I used a flash to backlight them which would help dispel any slight movement and that quickly managed to take three or four shots.

Aurora Borealis photo a ‘wedding picture like no other’

“I really wasn’t too sure at first if it had worked but later when I saw the result I was amazed.

Newlyweds Claire and Alasdair Macdonald with their wedding party at Abercairny Estate
Newlyweds Claire and Alasdair Macdonald with their wedding party at Abercairny Estate. Image: Iain Struthers Photography

“There really was a lot of luck involved but it worked out and thankfully it’s given a lovely couple a wedding picture like no other.”

The Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights, is an interaction of the solar wind and the Earth’s magnetic field.

It is a phenomenon that lights up the sky in Scotland several times each year, particularly in the north.

The assignment was for Iain’s 49th professional wedding shoot of 2023 – and the unique image made it one of his most memorable.

Happy couple amazed by ‘unique’ photo

And the happy couple, who live in Ellon, Aberdeenshire, were certainly impressed with the results.

“Iain asked us if we were up for trying to capture the Northern Lights and we thought, ‘why not?’” said Claire, 33.

“We’d seen them before on a trip to Iceland but to witness them on the day of our wedding was something special.”

Alasdair, 33, added: “Iain has been fantastic with us all day and so professional – then he produces something out of a moment like that!

“It’s a brilliant and unique photograph and the perfect way to capture our perfect day.”

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