Professional photographer Stacey Oliver had the moment of her career at a routine wedding shoot when this happened....
Wrexham couple Jeni Arrowsmith and Mark Wood had their day-to-remember at Peckforton Castle, Cheshire, with the wedding ceremony itself capped by an owl delivering the rings to the best man. Except it didn't quite go as planned and the elegant intention turned into something more like a Harry Potter howler. Stacey said "It was one of those moments I'll never forget."
Look carefully again at the banner image — the guest sitting next to the best man has his arm in the same poise. Speaking to BBC Wales' Jason Mohammad Show, Stacey went on to explain what happened next. "The owl sees it as a sign to fly to the hand. The owl has just dived in and hit the guy —who is terrified of birds. [He] fell off his chair." What's brilliant about the shot isn't the owl (although you are instantly drawn to it as the center of the photo), but all the guests — given that this is the moment, the instant, when the owl is trying to land on him we're seeing the simultaneous reactions of everyone else. And they're all laughing hysterically!
Stacey said she shoots with a Nikon D750 and on this occasion had her favorite Nikkor 70-200 f/2.8 lens using natural light. The shot itself was 1/1250s, at f2/8 and ISO6400 and she totally nailed it. Just shows that it helps to be in the right place at the right time, but chance favors the prepared! And for the record, I asked Stacey what her most embarrassing moment as a photographer has been, to which she replied: "Double booking a wedding." It happens to the best of us!
Images Courtesy of Stacey Oliver