London Street Photography

Blog Article, Non-Wedding, Street Photography

My personal street photography work is very much the creative engine that drives my storytelling approach to wedding photography. It’s out on the street where I am able to hone my skills, get creative and develop my instincts.

Like my wedding photojournalism, it’s all about capturing the perfect moment rather than worrying, too unnecessarily, about technical perfection. I firmly believe that if you can succeed as a street photographer then you have the skills, instincts and experience to succeed in any form of photography – but especially as a wedding photojournalist who relies on fast reactions, seeing moments in a split second and ensuring the integrity of those moments.

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Therefore, you may be interested in viewing more of my personal street photography work at www.londonstreet.photography which contains all my London based street work from the last 10 years or so. Here you will see how I have developed my natural, unobtrusive and storytelling approach which I utilise so effectively when shooting weddings and delivering a real wedding story.

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If you are getting married and enjoyed my street photography work and how it’s underlies my wedding photojournalism approach, then I would love to hear all about your wedding plans. You can send me a message via my contact page and I’ll get right back to you. Or, alternatively, you can give me a call right now on 07920 422144.

I look forwar to hearing from you and discussing your plans and all about my wedding photojournalism.

 

Northamptonshire wedding photographer captures a flower gil playing with the hat of the mother of the bride during the wedding toasts and speeches at Grendon Lakes, Northamptonshire

Taking on the World’s Best Wedding Photojournalists

Blog Article, Competitions

It’s that time of the year again when I submit to the quarterly wedding photojournalism contest with the Wedding Photojournalist Association (WPJA) of which I am member.  Some of the world’s best wedding photojournalists enter these contests, so it’s a real challenge just entering!

The 4th quarter’s categories which I entered, were as follows:

Bride Getting Ready

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“Bride Getting Ready” entries spontaneously capture the prepping, grooming, arranging, outfitting, and nail-biting before the ceremony.

Groom Getting Ready

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“Groom Getting Ready” entries spontaneously capture the prepping, grooming, arranging, outfitting, and nail-biting before the ceremony.

Ceremony

These are authentic images of the actual marriage portion of the event, from the pre-ceremony to the vow-exchange to the receiving line.

Reception

Ashridge House wedding photography of an emotional moment as the bride hugs her father during their last dance

This is the big party. “Reception” photographs catch all the post-ceremony festivities from the cocktail hour through to the last dance and the bride and groom’s departure.

Ring Details

Entries that depict shots of the rings, either set-up and controlled by the photographer or as they were found.

Symmetry

Woodlands Park Hotel Surrey Wedding Photography

This a challenge to find that perfect sense of “equality” through light and composition. Weddings present numerous opportunities via dress, mannerisms, scenes, tone, textures, and sometimes….emotions.

Fluid

There are plenty of representations of liquid at a wedding event. Give this challenging category some extra thought, and show us your take on what makes a moment ‘fluid’.

Toasting/Speeches

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The “Toasting/Speeches” category incorporates images of individuals or groups toasting, as well as those giving toast-related speeches throughout the day.

Cake Cutting

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These images should demonstrate the photographer’s ability to anticipate a moment and/or look beyond the ordinary ‘Cake Cutting’ images that many would come to expect from a wedding.

Transportation

One of the best Northamptonshire wedding photographers captures a candid shot of a flower girl, and daughter of the groom, practicing her wedding speech in the back of a car, en route to the wedding at Grendon Lakes, Northamptonshire.

“Transportation” images include brides in limos or carriages, bridal parties en route to the ceremony or reception, trolley rides, antique cars, buses and other transporting themes.

Other Vendors

Ashridge House wedding photography of the wedding videographer adjusting settings of the video booth

“Other Vendors” submissions include images of musicians, DJs, bands, wedding planners, reception hall staff, florists, caterers, etc., performing their job to make the wedding day possible.

Mobile Devices

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This category is for images where the key element is a mobile device, such as mobile devices, mp3 players, portable gaming devices, etc.

Wildcard Portrait

Northamptonshire wedding photography at Sedgebrook Hall in Chapel Brampton, Northants

Anything related to the big day goes into this new category. It?s all about your creative approach to portraiture during a pre-wedding engagement session or capturing the bride, groom, bridal party, family, friends, children and/or any other posed wedding party member on the big day. We are open to images that display the photographer’s skill in using lighting techniques like off-camera flashes and strobes.

These aren’t my only submissions, as I had missed the first two quarter’s contents of this year (OK, read “forgot to get in on time” rather than “missed”!) I had a number of submissions stored up for the final contest of 2015 (you get 60 submissions to use throughout the year.) so was able to enter multiple times under a few of the categories in this contest.

Results won’t be announced till late April, most probably.  Given the amazingly talent that enters the WPJA contests  just getting placed is a MASSIVE achievement.  I’ll no doubt give an update later in the year, and let you know how I did against some of the world’s best wedding photojournalists!

Meon Valley Marriott Hotel wedding photography of the Groom and wedding party laughing during the wedding speeches

Back In The Day: The Groom’s Speech

Back in the Day

A random look back through my wedding photography archives

It was a cold and wet October day at the Marriott Meon Valley Hotel, near Southampton, for Sam and Kevin’s small and intimate Hampshire wedding. Yet, despite the damp weather outside, there were laughs a plenty inside, as this image of Kevin delivering his Groom’s speech ably demonstrates.

As a wedding photojournalist I love capturing these kind of real moments and genuine emotions of a wedding story.

Are you getting married at the Meon Valley in Hampshire, or elsewhere, and like my natural storytelling approach to wedding photography? Then I’d love to hear all about your wedding plans. You can call me now on 07920 422144 or send me a mail via my Contact Page. I look forward to hearing from you.

Old Ship Inn Brighton wedding photography of the bride receiving comments about her wedding dress, during the bridal preparations

Back In The Day: Father of the Bride Looks On

Back in the Day

A random look back through my wedding photography archives

The bridal preparations can often be a slighty awkward time for the father-of-the-bride.  After all, he steps into the excitement and frenzy of the preparations which have usually been ongoing for a good few hours already.  The bride is getting ever more emotional as she gets into her dress and the wedding ceremony is getting ever near.  The bridal party are excitedly helping with hair, make-up, securing the dress and doing all those girly things that girls are normally used to doing.

On the other hand, the bride’s father – normally a little nervous and emotional himself – is seeing his daughter for the first time in her wedding dress but often feels a spare part in the proceedings.  It can be a little like standing in the middle of Piccadilly Circus at rush hour and not being entirely sure on how to cross the road!

And this image, from Gemma & Rich’s East Sussex Wedding a few years ago, at one of the best wedding venues in Brighton, the  Old Ship Hotel , is a wonderful example of that.  Both mother’s are busy helping the bride, who is focused on her beautiful wedding dress, and all the father can do is look on – but look on he does with immense love and pride for his beautiful daughter. It’s those fleeting little moments captured that are key to my wedding photojournalism approach.

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Are you getting married at the Old Ship Hotel, or elsewhere, and like my natural storytelling approach to wedding photography? Then I’d love to hear all about your wedding plans. You can call me now on 07920 422144 or send me a mail via my Contact Page. I look forward to hearing from you.

Wedding Photojournalist Association

About Wedding Photojournalism, Blog Article

Why I’m Proud To Be An Active Member of the WPJA

Something I mention quite a lot is the fact that I am a qualifying and active member of the prestigious Wedding Photojournalist Association (WPJA). So I thought it would be a good idea to tell you a little more about the WPJA and why it means a lot to me to be a member.

What is the WPJA?

The Roebuck Sussex Wedding Photography-47

As the WPJA explain themselves on their website:

Since 2002 the WPJA has been helping couples capture the story of their wedding.

The Wedding Photojournalist Association (WPJA) is a professional organization composed of photojournalists and wedding photographers from around the world. What sets our members apart in the industry is their candid, documentary approach – a distinctly artistic vision toward wedding photography. 

The Wedding Photojournalist Association puts the world’s best wedding photography at your fingertips. We offer a new perspective on wedding photography – quietly capturing the real moments as they happen for the bride and groom. It is our goal to use photography to tell the story of your wedding day, not dictate it for you.

So the WPJA is not just any old wedding photographer’s association it is one specifically for those who pursue a photojournalistic/documentary/reportage approach to photographing weddings.  You can read more here about what wedding photojournalism is but, to quickly explain, it’s capturing the real moments and emotions of your wedding story in a candid, natural and unobtrusive way.

To read more about the WPJA’s mission and vision please click here.

Qualifying as a Member

Documentary wedding photography at South Lodge hotel in Horsham, West Sussex

One of the key and important parts of being a member of the WPJA is that you have to apply and be accepted after a review of your wedding photography portfolio.  Unlike a number of wedding photography associations and societies you cannot simply become a member by payment of a fee.

In other words, you work has to be deemed not only as wedding photojournalism but also of a standard good enough to be associated with the WPJA.  That’s very important as it gives wedding couples the confidence to know that the photographer’s work is deemed good enough by fellow pros.

Also, it never fails to disappoint me the number of wedding photographers I see around who use the “wedding photojournalism” label to apply to themselves, yet their work is full of posed and staged imagery.  At least you know that if a wedding photographer has qualified for membership of the WPJA they most definitely are a wedding photojournalist.

As the WPJA say themselves:

The WPJA only accepts into membership gifted, honest wedding photojournalists who work tirelessly to deliver excellent photography to their clients.

Strict Code of Conduct

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Which brings me on to another important part of being a member of the Wedding Photojournalist Association…you have to abide by their strict code of conduct and professional values or risk being thrown out of he association and losing all the benefits that brings.

Once again this gives wedding couples the confidence to know they are not just hiring a talented documentary wedding photographer but they are also getting a complete professional who values not only their work but also the way they conduct themselves.  Wouldn’t it be nice if all wedding photographers had to be abide by such an undertaking?  It would certainly reduce a lot of the wedding photography horror stories you see and hear about in the news!!!

So what does the WPJA demand of all the wedding photographers that represent it?  Trust,  accuracy, guaranteed excellence, exclusivity and best business practices.

Can you say that all wedding photographers out there have to adhere to such requirements?  No. It’s one of the reasons that membership of the WPJA is so important.

Inspiration & Influence

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Another reason I love being an active member of the WPJA is the fact that so many of the world’s best wedding photojournalists belong to the association. It’s why it’s so respected throughout the wedding industry.

Being able to review and look at the work of so many talented wedding photographers cannot not fail to inspire you to even better work.  I firmly believe that the very best wedding photographers never stop learning so with so much talent around it’s a huge privilege to be included amongst them.  After all, the day I stop learning as a photographer is the day I will hang up my camera for good!

There’s also the highly competitive quarterly wedding photography competitions – and with so much international talent even just getting a placing is high praise indeed, especially when you consider that the competitions themselves are judged by award-winning photojournalists (including many Pulitzer Prize-winners) and news photo editors.  Such high standards cannot fail to drive you on in achieving the very best results from the weddings you photograph!  Again, how many wedding photographers out there are continually pushing themselves to produce work of the highest standards all the time?  It’s why belonging to a collective like the Wedding Photojournalist’s Association is so important and rewarding!

What It Means For You

Rowton Castle Wedding preparations

So as a wedding couple looking to get married and have a wedding photojournalist provide you with stunning, authentic and candid imagery from your wedding story you can be sure that I am:

  1. An authentic and genuine wedding photojournalist;
  2. My work has been deemed of a quality good enough to represent a professional and international wedding association;
  3. I will work to the highest professional standards;
  4. I am looking to always provide the highest quality work and creativity;
  5. Am continually learning, influenced and inspired by some of the wold’s best wedding photographers.

So if you are planning to get married then I would love to hear all about your unique wedding plans and discuss how my wedding photojournalism approach will provide you with the authentic, candid and stunning images from your wedding.

You can call me on +44 (0) 7920 422144 or you can send a message to me via my contact page.  I will be delighted to hear from you.

 

Bromley Court Hotel Wedding Photography in Kent – Steph & Paul’s Fun Wedding Story

Wedding Stories

Kent Wedding Photojournalism

It would be fair to say that from the moment I first met Steph and Paul I knew they were a really fun couple who saw their wedding day as an opportunity to have fun, laughs and really enjoy.  This was reinforced on their pre-wedding portrait shoot in Greenwich Park a month or so before their wedding day.

So I knew coming into their wedding that my reportage style wedding photography approach was going to be a perfect fit for catching all those fun moments.

And I definitely wasn’t disappointed!

Bridal Preparations in Welling, Kent

My first call on the wedding morning was to Steph’s Dad’s house in Welling, Kent where the stunning bride and her beautiful bridesmaids were getting ready for the day.  In the run up to the wedding the weather had been pretty wet and miserable but on my way to Welling the sun was shining brightly and it was promising to be a beautiful day.

The bride and bridesmaids were already having their hair and make-up beautifully done when I arrived – all in their delightful wedding gowns. As I expected there was already lots of fun and laughter as the bubbly started to flow.  Steph was definitely a cool and calm bride ahead of her big day.

Mario, the father of the bride, was on hand to provide reassurance and ensure the wedding car had the ribbons and bow properly attached.

Steph looking stunning as she stepped into her wedding dress – a moment when the wedding starts to feel real.  As a wedding photojournalist I love capturing all the moments and emotions of the wedding preparations – they can be some of the most fun and natural elements of the wedding story.

Fun Wedding Ceremony at the Bromley Court Hotel in Kent

The Bromley Court Hotel is set in 2 acres of landscaped gardens, just 10 miles south east of central London – so is a perfect setting for a wedding, especially with the sun shining as it was for Steph and Paul.

As you’d expect of a fun couple, all the wedding guests were full of smiles and excited for the happy couple.  The entire wedding ceremony was full of laughter and a light hearted approach – in keeping with the overall mood. This was just perfect for my documentary wedding photography approach – there were so many fun, interesting and truly emotional moments to capture.

Standing Applause for the Speeches

The good fun and humour carried on into the speeches. Paul, as groom, was determined not to be upstaged by his best men and got a lot of good natured digs in, before the best men could do their worse.

As is usual with the speeches there was laughter as well as tears and its this variance in emotions that gives me, as a wedding photojournalist, so many moments to capture and document.

Disco Fun Into The Night

The evening reception saw the excitement carry through to the dancefloor.  There was the cutting of the cake, Paul and Steph’s first dance and a touching dance between Steph and her Dad, Mario.  Being a wedding photojournalist it was all about capturing the decisive moments of the evening and truly reflecting the authentic mood and emotion of Steph and Pauls real wedding story.

With their wedding guests in high spirits that was a lot fun on the dancefloor – again giving me ample opportunities to document all those real, natural and candid moments I specialise in as a wedding photographer.

I can safely say, Steph and Paul’s wedding at the Bromley Court Hotel in Kent was a fun and great wedding to photograph.  I’m sure you’ll agree my wedding photography really shows what a wonderful wedding day it was in the wedding photography that follows.

Affordable Wedding Photography Kent

Are you getting married at the Bromley Court Hotel in Kent and are looking for an affordable wedding photographer who will document your wedding in a natural, candid and unobtrusive manner?  Or perhaps you are getting married elsewhere and are looking for a documentary wedding photography who provides a unique reportage approach to documenting your real story?  If so, I’d love to hear from you and to discuss your wedding plans in more detail.  You can give me a call on 07920 422144 or send me an email via the contact page. I look forward to hearing from you.

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You can also view their audio wedding photofilm here.

Book Me

If you enjoyed my natural and candid approach to wedding storytelling and would like to discuss your wedding plans with me, then please give me a call on 07920 422144 or send me a private message by completing the form below.

Why I Love This Image: The Faith & The Devotion

Why I Love This Image

Why I Love This Image of Imogen & Seb Hand-in-Hand

My Why I Love This Image articles aim to give you an insight into why I took or love a particular image from one of the many wedding stories I shoot. As a wedding photographer I believe in being as open and transparent about the work and, I hope, by sharing my thoughts on some of my images you can both see and feel my passion for wedding photography.

On The Southern Slopes of the South Downs in West Sussex

Highdown Vineyard West Sussex Wedding venue

I captured this moment fairly late on during Imogen & Seb’s wedding story in Worthing in West Sussex.  Having arrived at the stunningly beautiful setting of the Highdown Vineyard, which is situated on the southern slopes of the South Downs in-between the seaside towns of Worthing and Littlehampton, we ventured into the vineyard itself to get a couple of more traditional posed portraits of the happy couple before the sun set.  Afterwards, as Imogen and Seb walked hand-in-hand back towards the restaurant, where their weddings guests were waiting for the evening reception I saw the opportunity to capture this beautiful and tender moment.

A Moment of Faith & Devotion

As they walked towards me I immediately thought it would be fantastic and somewhat creative to get a candid shot of them as they passed over me, making a feature of that big Sussex sky, so I literally laid down on the ground and waited for them to pass over me.  Of course, shooting up against the sky I knew Imogen and Seb were going to be silhouetted against it so I needed to get shot that was both dramatic and graphic to make up for the loss of detail in the shadows of their silhouetted form.  I had to encourage them a little to carry on walking over and past me without letting go of their hands – but I’m so glad I did.  The final image really shows, in a very graphic form, the togetherness of the couple as the husband leads his new wife into the future of their married life together.  Also, given that Imogen and Seb are Mormons and that their faith is very important to them, the low angle of the shot up against the large expanse of sky, clouds and sun really does give the whole image of spirituality which really did echo throughout their day.  I’m really pleased, as a wedding photojournalist, that I could capture an image that summed up that spirituality and faith in a single frame.

A Moment In-Between The Moments

One of the best wedding photographers West Sussex shoots a portrait of the bride and groom at Highdown VineyardWest Sussex wedding photojournalist shoots a portrait of the bride and groom at Highdown Vineyard

I have talked about it before and the importance of wedding photography that captures the smaller moments that happens in-between the bigger more traditional moments of the wedding day.  Whilst I am predominantly a wedding photojournalist who specialises in capturing the wedding story in a more natural, candid and unobtrusive manner I also realise that a lot of couples also like to include some posed portraits within that.  That’s why I offer portraits with both my Wedding Storyteller and Wedding Photojournalist packages.  However, that doesn’t mean that during the more traditional posed portrait shoots I switch off and don’t think about the natural moments – my eye is still always looking out for those moments in-between.  The relaxed and natural mood of this moment came after the couple “switched off” after some posed photos (as above) and for me personally that’s what really makes it a stronger, more authentic moment.  And that’s what wedding photojournalism is about…authenticity.

The Geeky Technical Stuff

One of the best wedding photographers in the UK shoots the bride and groom at Highdown Vineyard in Worthing, West SussexOne of the best London wedding photographers shoots the bride and groom at Highdown Vineyard in West Sussex

As with all my wedding photography, this image was shot on one of my Olympus OMD EM5 camera bodies (I shoot with 3 bodies at every wedding) – light and discrete cameras that are perfect for my wedding photojournalism approach.  The lens itself is the s Olympus 12mm f2.0 prime (I always shoot with prime lenses) – a fantastic wide angle lens which was perfect for enhancing the expanse of sky and the drama of the moment. My aperture was set for f/9 – which ensured I a was able to keep a good deal of sharpness throughout the frame.  As the dawy was starting to draw in somewhat I had set ISO 400 and to ensure I froze the couple in moment and maintain the silhouetting I had a really fast shutter speed of 1/2500, helped by shooting up towards a bright sky.  It was then converted to black and white in Adobe Lightroom in post production in which I did the draw the shadows out slightly and lessened the contrast a tad.  A couple of alternate colour shots, immediately before and after this moment, are shown above.

Love this image too and are getting married? Or maybe you are having a wedding at Highdown Vineyard in West Sussex? Then I’d love to talk with you about your wedding plans and how my wedding photojournalism approach can capture the real story of YOUR wedding day. Call me on 07920 422144 or send me an email here. Alternatively, you can send me a private message in the form below and I’ll get back to you as quickly as possible. You can find full details of all my wedding photography packages and prices here.

My Why I Love This Image series hopefully gives you more of an insight of why I took particular images, their context and my thought processes. As a wedding photojournalist I strongly believe in providing an open, honest and transparent explanation of the photography I capture.

Contact Me

Your message will be entirely private and cannot be read by anyone else.  Alternatively, you can call me on 07920 422144.  I hate spam as much as you most probably do, so I promise your details will never be passed or sold to anyone else. In fact, I will only use them to reply to your enquiry. If endeavour to reply to all emails within 2 hours, but if you do not hear back after 24 hours please check your spam folder or come back to me. Thanks.

Soul Muzak – The Beauty of Noise

Blog Article, My Style

Why I love Grain in my Wedding Photography

Modern digital cameras are amazing.  There’s more technology in a basic entry level one than was in the spacecraft that took Neil Armstrong and Co to the moon.  As a tool they make things ever easier for people to take great photos with (but they’ve not yet replaced the need for a talented and creative eye – an idea for a future post, perhaps?) and can do things that photographers in years gone by could only dream about.  The sensors in most camera bodies now allow photographers to shoot handheld in low light conditions whilst still giving us clean and sharp images without the need for the harsh and artificial light of flashes.

As a wedding photographer I prefer to work with natural light wherever I can.  That’s not because I don’t know how to use on camera flash (or even off camera lighting) – I do, and spent a lot of time learning how to do it. It’s simply because I think natural light is more flattering 99% of the time for wedding photography. It’s certainly less hassle and, as a documentary wedding photographer who specialises in capturing real moments and emotions, it doesn’t slow things down.  The only time I really resort to using a flash is during the dancing of the evening reception – but again that’s an article for another time.

Now of course this is all sounding great so far, but the big problem I have with modern digital cameras is the fact that they produce images that are almost too clean, too perfect.  This may sound odd – how on earth could photos be too good?  Well, let me explain…

The Beauty of the Flaw

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You’ll often hear a lot of photographers bemoaning that digital images don’t look the same as film photos used to, not quite a good.  Of course, this will be photographers like me who are old enough to pre-date digital cameras.  But it also explains why film has refused to go away and in fact has seen a recent trend and popularity for film in wedding photography.  I firmly believe the reason digital never looks quite like film is because back in the “old days” film often produced flaws that gave the images more of a mood and atmosphere that is lacking in pin sharp and crystal clean digital images.  If you think about it, that’s why Instagram is so popular – it actually recreates those old film flaws, making the images less perfect but arguably more beautiful.

One of those old film flaws that I always loved was a bit of grain in photos. In fact, it’s no coincidence that a lot of my photographic influences and inspirations like Anton Corbijn or William Klein were not only were happy to increase that grain in their photography, but often made a feature of the grain itself.

Sensor Noise & Film Grain

Warborough wedding photojournalism of bridal prarparations

In the modern, digital world grain is known as “noise” and is often sneered upon as the best cameras (and sensors) can make it possible to do away with noise in the vast majority of cases.  Without becoming too technical, noise is more of an issue in lower light shooting where you have to increase the ISO settings on a camera to let in more light, without having to risk a slower shutter speed (that increases the risk of blurring) or resorting to the use of flash.

And that’s the problem with modern digital photos for me. They look almost sterile and lacking in mood for my tastes. That’s why, especially in low light situations, I’m not afraid of incorporating and making a feature of “noise” in my images

I firmly believe that noise (or grain as it was called in the film days) used and enhanced in the right way actually adds to the characteristics of photos.  As I say above it adds mood and atmosphere and it’s definitely part of my style and approach. It’s what makes me different from a lot of other wedding photographers who do everything to eliminate noise in their images (either in camera or in post production).  Now I’m fortunate that, as a documentary wedding photography, I’m more interested in capturing the real moments and true emotions of your wedding day rather than fretting about technical perfection and missing those shots.

The Idiosyncrasies of the Paints

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Fortunately I choose to shoot with Olympus OMD EM1 MKII cameras which, in mine and a lot of others opinions, actually create a “noise” that is quite beautiful and similar to how film grain was. Yes, some cameras can produce a really ugly noise – so I’m always clear that not all noise is good. You have to understand how and when it works as an enhancement to the photo – and as a wedding photographer, that’s my number one priority: doing what’s right for the photo itself.  Sadly modern digital photographers who have never shot with film don’t really understand, or appreciate, how to use grain to their advantage.  Like any great painter, it’s not just the colour of the paints you paint with, but the texture and idiosyncrasies of the paints itself that can make, or break, a picture.

Also, being passionate about b&w photography – which is synonymous with a photojournalistic approach – means I shoot a lot in b&w and there’s no argument that noise (or even old film grain) looks better in b&w images.  Again I think that’s all to do with b&w being more about mood and atmosphere, which the noise/grain helps to enhance.

It’s Soul Music, Baby

Wedding photojournalism at South Lodge hotel in Horsham, West Sussex

Another good way of explaining this whole issue is to draw parallels with the music industry.  Think of modern digital music – with its state of the art production, note perfect vocals, cutting edge technologies that all sound amazingly crystal clear.  Now think of those old soul classics from the 60’s or jazz standards from before then. Often recorded in mono, on inferior technology and with the hiss and crackle of needle-to-vinyl static.  There’s no arguing about which recordings are technically better but which are more real, more authentic?  Which stand the test of time and evoke feelings and emotions in the listener more.  I’d argue those old soul classics are more fondly recalled that the modern overproduced by technically perfect recording by the latest X Factor contestant.  Noise, or grain, in digital photography is very much the static of vinyl recordings. It’s the heart and soul of the picture, it’s what creates that undeniable authenticity of your wedding photography.

Of course, none of this is to say that there’s anything wrong with modern digital photography.  There’s plenty of wedding photographers who produce outstanding images that are completely clean, snappily crisp and dangerously sharp. It’s just not me or how I do things. I want you to feel my wedding photography, imperfect or not; to feel its heart beating from the inside out.  Because for me, the very beauty of wedding photography that is compelling and genuine go beyond the surface.  I love nothing more than when people say they feel my wedding photography.  And isn’t that the very thing you want from your wedding story? Feeling and emotion? So as a wedding photojournalist that’s what I strive for – and clearly it’s not about capturing all those special moments and expressions in a candid and natural way. It’s how that mood and atmosphere of a scene or moment are expressed.

So yes, in the right circumstances, I love noise and I’m happy to shout about it!  Or, rather, given my wedding photography style is often called melodic, I want to sing about it.  So let me be the Marvin Gaye to your wedding photography.

Contact Me

Crockwell Farm wedding photography of guests taking a peek at the arrangements for the evning wedding reception

If you are getting married and think my unique and creative approach to wedding photography will capture the narrative and authenticity of your personal wedding story, then I’d genuinely love to hear from you.  You can either call me on 07920 422144 or send me a message via my contact page.

 

 

Grendon Lakes Wedding Photography – Hollie & Dan’s Northamptonshire Wedding

Wedding Stories

Hollie and Dan’s Fun Northamptonshire Wedding Story

When Hollie told me that her wedding to Dan was going to be at the Northamptonshire wedding venue of Grendon Lakes I knew I had to be their wedding photographer. After all, it was the very same wedding venue where my brother and sister-in-law held their wedding reception.  As a wedding photographer I love nothing more than when a couple come to me having been guests at a previous wedding.  This was most definitely the case with Hollie and Dan who were guests at Tracy and Gary’s lovely wedding at the Saracen’s Head in Little Brington in Northamptonshire the year before. In fact, Hollie is Gary’s sister – so it’s always a huge compliment for a wedding photographer to book a wedding in this way.

Pre-wedding morning preparations

Northamptonshire wedding photography captures a flower girl pulling a face at a bridesmaid during the bridal preparations in Moulton, Northamptonshire

The bridal preparations were already underway at Hollie’s parents beautiful house in the Northamptonshire village of Moulton – literally just down the road from where my own mum and step dad live and where I was staying whilst up in the Northampton.  The first thing that struck me about the bridal preparations was how beautiful and nigh on perfect the room was; what with its white walls, lots of natural light, love hearts and wedding related decorations all around. So it came as no surprise when Hollie explained that the room, that used to be her brother Gary’s old bedroom before he marred Tracy, had been specially decorated for the morning bridal preparations.  As a wedding photographer I just knew it was going to be a beautiful setting for capturing and documenting all the emotions, joy and excitement that makes up the pre-wedding preparations. With two bridesmaids and two flower girls, one being Hollie and Dan’s daughter, it really was filled with lots of laughter, fun and amusing moments which makes my job, as a documentary wedding photographer, so much easier.  Hairdresser Gavin McIntyre was already hard at work and doing a great job of dealing with all the hair requirements of all the girls present!

Wedding Helicopters & Bogodas

Northamptonshire wedding photojournalist captures the bride and groom, with a witness looking on, during the weding ceremony at Grendon Lakes,Northamptonshire

The big secret of the day – which I didn’t know about until just before the wedding day – was that Hollie would be flying to the wedding venue at Gendon Lakes by Helicopter, via the nearby Sywell Aerodrome.  Interestingly, this was my second wedding inside a year where a helicopter was used for transportation! Perhaps flying by choppers is the next big thing for weddings? So, I jumped in a car with the bridesmaids and flower girls, in order to get ahead of the bride and be at the wedding venue to ensure I was able to document her arrival in the helicopter – which none of the wedding guests knew was happening and, of course, which excited them no end when Hollie arrived.

The other coincidence with Hollie and Dan’s Grendon Lakes wedding was that it was outside and within a bogoda styled structure.  Only a few weeks before, at Emily and Phil’s wonderful wedding at Sedgebrook Hall, also in Northamptonshire, I had shot my first wedding in a bogoda as a wedding photographer.  Of course, bogoda’s look beautiful, especially the way it had been decorated for Hollie and Dan’s big day, but they do present a challenge for a wedding photographer.  Being fairly small and confined they can often obscure and hide the ceremony a little – but having now shot bogoda weddings twice in as many weeks I do feel I know the best way to shoot around them to ensure the wedding couple do get the very best wedding photojournalism coverage.  One interesting fact I did learn from the Registrar, was that as it’s the bogoda itself that is licensed for the civil ceremony, the vows do have to be undertaken under the roof of the bogoda itself.  So, as I’m sure you can imagine, fitting in the bride, groom, witnesses and registrars into such a small structure is quite a task.  It definitely didn’t leave any room for me, as the wedding photographer, to get in and get close-up which, as a reportage style wedding photographer, I like to do – so I did have to quickly work out the best way of shooting things which, thankfully, the experience from the previous wedding helped no end with.  That’s why experience is such an important part of being a wedding photographer and, specifically being a documentary wedding photography, being able to react quickly on instinct – no matter what events throw up at you – is such a great thing to offer couples.

Fun, laughter and games

One of the best Northamptonshire documentary wedding photographers captures a young boy playing with a large during the wedding coctail hour at Grendon Lakes, Northamptonshire

However, none of this got in the way of a beautiful ceremony or beautiful wedding photos.  Much amusement was caused when the Registrar almost forgot the exchange of rings during the ceremony – but this only added to the fun and laughter (which was a feature of the whole wedding day) of proceedings and allowed me to capture those moments and emotions that I specialise in documenting as a wedding photojournalist and provide the special moments of the wedding story.

The cocktail hour, prior to the wedding breakfast, took place in the grounds of the venue itself and with the beautiful views of Grendon Lakes beyond.  And, of course, with so many children at the wedding it made for so many great and natural candid shots of them playing and having fun.

The Comedy of the Best Men Speeches

Northamptonshire documentary wedding photographer captures the best men during the wedding toasts and speeches at Grendon Lakes, Northamptonshire

The wedding speeches and toasts took place after the wedding breakfast and within the large and beautiful marquee that is a feature of this particular Northamptonshire wedding venue.  Dan had chosen to have 3 best men for his wedding day and their speech was delivered like a comedy sketch, with perfect timing between the three guys.  It went down really well with the wedding guests and again provided all those real and natural moments I enjoy specialising in as a documentary wedding photographer.

Wedding Magic and Jetskis

Leading Northamptonshire wedding photographer captures professional magician Jamie Docherty at Grendon Lakes, Northamptonshire

There was more time spent in the gardens after the wedding breakfast, which allowed guests to enjoy the fantastic entertainment of award winning professional magician Jamie Docherty. Jamie definitely wowed and mystified guests with his fantastic close-up magic, card tricks and other psychological illusions.  There was also an impressive chocolate fountain for guests to enjoy and sample, with Chris Tabor of Passion For Chocolate, talking them through how to enjoy the dips and skewers.  Outside, some of the guests even managed to be taken for rides across Grendon Lakes on the back of jetskis again making for fabulous wedding photography!

Funky Moves and Disco Grooves

One of the best wedding photographers Northamptonshire captures a male wedding guesting enjoying the evening wedding reception at Grendon Lakes, Northamptonshire

Having been such a fun filled wedding day, it was no surprise that the evening wedding reception and disco was such a great time.  No one was shy about getting up and dancing and being a wedding photojournalist I was right there in the middle of it to capture people’s funky moves and disco grooves!  The dancing part of the evening is really the only part of the wedding day when I revert to shooting with flash.  However, I always ensure I have my camera set for a slow 2nd curtain synch which means I can illuminate the main subjects whilst still allowing the frenzy and fun of the dancefloor to be evident to.

All in all Hollie and Dan’s wedding day at Grendon Lakes was such a pleasure to be a wedding photographer at – with a fab couple, beautiful bridesmaids, lovely parents and family, great guests and some familiar faces!  Grendon Lakes itself is a fabulous Northamptonshire wedding venue and as a professional wedding photographer is one I cannot fail to get great wedding photography of.  I hope you enjoy the small selection of the wedding photography from the day.

Getting Married Too?

One of the best wedding photographers Northamptonshire captures a guest taking a photo of the bride and groom on her smart phone, during the wedding coctail hour at Grendon Lakes, Northamptonshire

If you too are getting married at Grendon Lakes, or anywhere else throughout the UK or beyond, and like my wedding photojournalism approach to wedding photography, then I would love to chat to you about your wedding plans.  You can phone me on 07920 422144 or send me a message via my contact page and I’ll be delighted to get back to you as soon as I possibly can. Alternatively, you can send me a message in the contact form after the photos below. Don’t worry, no one else can read your comment and it will be sent securely to me by email.  I look forward to hearing from you. For my wedding photography packages and prices please click here.  Thanks!

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Contact Me

If you re getting married and would like to talk to me about your wedding plans and how my unique and creative wedding photojournalism would help capture your personal wedding story, then please do give me a call on 07920 422144 or, alternatively, send me a message from the form below. Don’t worry, it’s entirely private and no one else will see what you’ve written.  I promise to get back to you as quick as I can! Thanks.

Sedgebrook Hall wedding photography

Wedding Photojournalist Association Contest

Blog Article, Competitions

Wedding Photojournalism Contest – Q2 2015 – Wedding Photojournalist Association (WPJA)

I’m always extremely proud and honoured to say how I am a qualifying and active member of the Wedding Photojournalist Association (WPJA), which is a professional organisation composed of photojournalists and wedding photographers from around the world. What sets us members of the WPJA apart in the industry is our candid, documentary approach – a distinctly artistic vision toward wedding photography.  Also, unlike a lot of other professional wedding photography bodies, you have to qualify for entry into the WPJA and adhere to their strict code of professional conduct.  So it really does mean something to have been accepted into the WPJA.

One of the cool things about being a member, is the opportunity to enter their quarterly wedding photojournalism contests – submitting wedding photojournalistic images from real weddings during the current calendar year. The Wedding Photojournalist Association upholds the highest level of ethical standards, especially in the area of their wedding photography contests. The purpose of the WPJA is to celebrate photographers who creatively document and record the found moment. Therefore all wedding photography images submitted in the WPJA contest must always be true representations of what actually took place the moment the shutter was released. They are absolutely uncompromising in their conviction that contest images come from situations unprompted by the photographer, except in the case of portraits.  So as you can guess, entering their contests is a big deal.  So here are my submissions, by category, for the 2015 2nd quarter competition.

Getting Ready

The Getting Ready category is for images which spontaneously capture the prepping, grooming, arranging, outfitting, and anticipation before the ceremony.  The following are what I submitted for this category.

Sedgebrook Hall Wedding PhotographySlaley Hall wedding photographySedgebrook Hall Wedding Photography

Ceremony

This category is for those captured moments of those who participate in the wedding (guests, family, and bridal party) during the processional, ceremony, and recessional. Here’s what I submitted:

South Lodge Horsham Wedding PhotographySlaley Hall wedding photographySlaley Hall wedding photography

 Reception

“Reception” photographs document the festivities from the cocktail hour through the last dance and departure.  Here’s what I entered for this category:

Slaley Hall Wedding PhotographySouth Lodge wedding photographySlaley Hall wedding photography

Details (Found)

“Details (Found)” encompasses tighter shots of the day’s small slices as they were found. This includes clothes, rings, food, linens, flowers, faces, etc. This category is not for set-up detail shots. It’s important that images submitted in this category don’t contain content controlled by the photographer. Here’s what I submitted:

Slaley Hall wedding photographySedgebrook Hall wedding photographySedgebrook Hall wedding photography

Emotion

“Emotion” entries unobtrusively freeze intriguing expressions ranging from joy to tears, so here’s what I entered:

South Lodge Horsham wedding photographySlaley Hall wedding photogrpahySedgebrook Hall wedding photography

Great Natural Light

“Great Natural Light” entries capture moments brilliantly lit under natural and ambient lighting conditions, without the help of any flash or strobe. Here are my submissions:

Sedgebrook Hall wedding photographySlaley Hall wedding photography

Creative Portrait

“Creative Portrait” employs a fresh and artistic approach to portraiture in capturing the bride, groom, bridal party, family, friends, children and/or any other posed wedding party member. This is a rare WPJA category where candid moments are not eligible. This is what I entered:

South Lodge Horsham Wedding PhotographySedgebrook Hall wedding photographySedgebrook Hall wedding photography

So there you have all my entries into the WPJA wedding photojournalism contest for the 2nd quarter of 2015.  If I should happen to place, when the results are announced, you can be sure I’ll be posting about it here!

Getting married and like my wedding photojournalism approach?

If you are getting married and would like a wedding photojournalism approach to capturing your real wedding story, then I’d love to chat with you about your wedding plans.  You can give me a call on 07920 422144 or send me a private message in the form at the bottom of this page. Alternatively, you can send me a message via my contact page and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.  For details of my wedding photography packages and prices please click here.

Thanks for reading and I’d love to hear from you.

Contact Me

Please leave me a private message in the form below.  No one else can see your message and it will be sent to me by email. Alternatively, if you prefer to chat, then please do give me a call on 07920 422144.

 

 

 

Northamptonshire wedding photography at Sedgebrook Hall in Chapel Brampton, Northants

Sedgebrook Hall Wedding Photography – Emily & Phil’s Wedding Story

Wedding Stories

Real Wedding Photojournalism – Sedgebrook Hall, Chapel Brampton, Northamptonshire

There’s nothing better for a wedding photographer, then to feel like you know the couple pretty well come the wedding day itself.  By the time of Emily & Phil’s wedding at the delightful Sedgebrook Hall in Northamptonshire I had already got to know them a year previously at Lois and Dan’s wedding, also in Northamptonshire – what with Phil being Lois’ brother. Then more recently I’d had the pleasure of shooting a pre-wedding portrait shoot with Emily and Phil at Kelmarsh Hall, again in Northampton.  So in lots of ways it really did feel like I was shooting the wedding of a pair of friends – and that does mean everyone is already relaxed and comfortable.  Ideal for a wedding photojournalist looking to document the couple’s beautiful wedding story in a natural, candid and unobtrusive way.

Country house hotel wedding venue in Northampton

Northamptonshire wedding photographer at Sedgebrook Hall in Chapel Brampton, Northants

Sedgebrook Hall is a stunning wedding venue set in the idyllic English countryside of Northamptonshire. A Victorian building, that also mixes in many modern features, it was a suitable backdrop for Emily and Phil’s wedding day.  As luck would have it, the sun was shining throughout making it a perfect English country wedding but, what’s more, meant that Emily and Phil could marry in the bogoda in the lush gardens.  Arriving early that morning, with my trusted second photographer Steve, we set about shooting the building and beautiful grounds. It was obvious early on that it was going to be a wedding day to remember.

Relaxed and tranquil bridal preparations

Northamptonshire wedding photographer at Sedgebrook Hall in Chapel Brampton, Northants

Some bridal preparations are frantic, noisy and highly excitable affairs. Others are calmer, reflective and relaxed. Emily’s was definitely the latter, with an air of calm and confidence that comes with a bride who has every detail of the wedding day organised.  The preparations took place in the airy and spacious Birch suite, which overlooked the grounds to the front of Sedgebrook Hall, with lots of beautiful natural light – ideal for wedding photography!  Along with her Emily were her bridesmaids, her mum and her young son.  The make-up was beautifully applied by Sophie, of Blushing Orchid.  It was the first time I had worked alongside Sophie but clearly she was a talented make-up artist, great fun and sociable. And the bridal party were definitely very happy with their make-up!  As a wedding photojournalist I love to document the hair and make-up sessions, during this part of the day, as it really gives an extra detail and context to the wedding story.

Second photographer and the Groom’s preparations.

Northamptonshire wedding photography at Sedgebrook Hall in Chapel Brampton, Northants

One of the real benefits of offering an optional second photographer to go with my wedding photography collections is the fact that the Groom’s preparations can also be documented within the wedding story.  Emily and Phil had decided on a second photographer from the outset, so I was delighted to offer them the services of my second shooter Steve – who has shot many weddings with me.  Having worked together so regularly Steve knows exactly the wedding photojournalism style I provide and is able to document the groom’s preparations in exactly the same way.

An outdoors wedding ceremony and a bogoda

Northamptonshire wedding photography at Sedgebrook Hall in Chapel Brampton, Northants

Emily and Phil’s wedding provided a couple of firsts for me as a wedding photography. It was the first outdoors wedding ceremony I had shot.  For overseas readers, especially those from warmer climates, might be a little surprised by this but the fact is that the good old British weather is so unpredictable it’s always a risk planning outdoor weddings in the UK, even at the height of summer!  Even Emily and Phil couldn’t be certain their ceremony would go ahead outside until just a few hours before it was due to start. As a precaution, an indoors location was also prepared – but in the end the weather was kind enough to allow the ceremony to go ahead in the glorious summer sunshine. Either way, being a wedding photojournalist, I’m flexible enough to work with whatever the situation is and, quite literally, whatever the weather throws at me!  The other first for me, was a wedding in a bogoda – which is a unique feature of Sedgebrook Hall’s outdoor weddings. I’m sure you’ll agree it makes for an eye-catching backdrop for a wedding!

Wedding photojournalism and the emotions of the wedding speeches

Northamptonshire wedding photography at Sedgebrook Hall in Chapel Brampton, Northants

Most people tend to think of the wedding speeches and toasts as a time of great laughter and fun.  After all, it’s the Best Man’s speech that a lot of people look forward to and remember for the laughs and amusement it provides – often at the Groom’s great embarrassment and expense. But, often, they can also be emotional affairs and certainly Phil’s Groom’s speech was emotional enough to reduce quite a few people to tears – as I paid a fitting tribute to a family member sadly no longer with us, but no doubt looking down fondly on the happy couple.  It’s these contrasting emotions that wedding photojournalism is so adept at documenting.  You can fake or stage this kind of emotion and it’s why I talk about ensuring the integrity of the moment with my wedding photojournalistic approach.

Burning up the dance floor at the evening reception

Northamptonshire wedding photography at Sedgebrook Hall in Chapel Brampton, Northants

Unlike some wedding photographers, I’m always delighted to stay on past the couple’s first dance, whenever possible, and capture the fun of the evening entertainment – whether that be a band, the traditional disco or some other kind of fun.  Again, for me, it’s all about providing not just wedding photos but a photojournalstic narrative that tells the whole story of the wedding day.  And people letting their hair down on the dance floor is perfect lens candy for wedding photojournalism!  And there was certainly lots of fun on the dance floor at Emily and Phil’s Sedgebrook Hall wedding – in fact twice the energy was so much that the fuses tripped twice!

All in all it was a fantastic wedding day and I was honoured to be part of Emily and Phil’s big day.  I never lose sight of how important wedding photography is in ensuring the memories of the day can live on and be treasured time and time again, even decades in the future.  That’s why I think wedding photojournalism is the perfect way to capture the real story of your wedding day.

Are you getting married at the Sedgebrook Hall in Northamptonshire? Or perhaps you are looking for a wedding photographer who provides a unique and beautiful wedding photojournalism approach? In either case I’d love to talk to you about your wedding plans and how I can beautifully document your real wedding story.  Please give me a call now on 07920 422144or send me a message via my contacts page here.  Alternatively, you can send me a private message via the form at the bottom of this page. I’ll be delighted to hear from you.

Below are a small selection of wedding photography from Emily and Phil’s special day – I’m sure you’ll agree it was a fantastic wedding. You can also see more of some of my other real Wedding Stories here.

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Documenting The Real Story Of Your Wedding. Never Dictating it.

My Wedding Stories show you a chronological selection of photos from throughout a REAL wedding day, rather than just images specially selected for a portfolio (us photographers love to do that.)  After all, your wedding photography should be about your entire day rather than the very best images from the day.  I hope this not only gives you a feel of a whole wedding day but also demonstrates how my wedding photojournalism captures the natural moments, candid emotions and real events of the day – without the need to set up or stage fake moments. If you are getting married and enjoy my documentary wedding photography approach, then I’d really love to chat to you about your plansSend me an email here or leave a private message in the form below and I’ll get back to you as quickly as I can.  You can see my current collections and prices here.

Send me a private message about your wedding plans

Candid street photography of a wedding party, posing for their traditional wedding portraits, in Central Park, New York City.

Candid Street Wedding Photography

My Style, Non-Wedding, Street Photography

Weddings Captured by a Street Photographer

Street photography is very much my personal passion – it’s what I shoot in my spare time. In many ways it is what drives my approach to wedding photography.  There are a lot of similarities between street photography and wedding photojournalism. Both employ a candid and unobtrusive approach that attempts to capture the integrity of a moment and produce a storytelling narrative within the frame.  So it’s not surprising that I often think of myself as a street photographer who just happens to be shooting a wedding.

There has been a small number of occasions whilst I’ve been out and about shooting street photography where I’ve stumbled across a wedding.  Of course, as a wedding photographer, I can’t resist capturing what’s unfolding before me – in a candid and discrete way- but without the expectation of being the official wedding photographer. So here are three examples of weddings I’ve captured in such circumstances.

Central Park, New York City Wedding Photography

Candid street photography of a wedding party, posing for their traditional wedding portraits, in Central Park, New York City.

Back in the spring of 2010 I was on a short trip, my first ever, to the US, which took in both New York City and then Los Angeles. Whilst wandering through Central Park, on the first day of my trip, I happened across this wedding party posing for their official wedding portraits.  I just loved that lime green wedding dress of the bride, and the white suit of the groom. And that hands in pocket too-cool-for-school attitude of the young boy was just fantastic. It was too good an opportunity for me to miss.

By intentionally standing behind a couple of family members looking on, I really wanted to give the impression of someone on the outside looking in.  It was very much how I felt at the time – an “outsider” in a foreign country I was visiting for the time, so it really reflects my feelings as much as capturing a wedding itself.

Labin, Croatia Wedding Photography

Street photography of a wedding photographer capturing the bridal party arriving for a wedding in the town of Labin in Croatia

Once again, I was away on a trip to the delightful Istria region of Croatia although, unlike the New York trip (above), it wasn’t my first time here having visited the same area when I was just a kid back in the late 1970s (although it was part of Yugoslavia back then.)  On this occasion we had taken a day trip up to the small historic town of Labin, which overlooks the coastal resort of Rabac, and whilst there happened upon this scene as a fellow wedding photographer captured the moment the bride and bridal party arrived for a wedding in the small church.

I had only taken a small compact camera away with me on this trip (a Ricoh GRD IV for the camera geeks amongst you!) so was able to snap this moment pretty discretely and silently – without drawing attention to myself.  It did actually feel a little odd being a wedding photographer looking in on another wedding photographer as he worked – almost quite voyeuristic in a way, but you could say it was a busman’s holiday in effect!

South Bank, London Wedding Photography

A Chinese wedding is captured, in a street photography style, on the South Bank in London

This was a fairly recent wedding that I stumbled across on the South Bank in London.  I was out on a rare opportunity to spend the day shooting street photography when I spotted this wedding group having their official wedding portraits taken.  Alternatively, it may have actually been a Chinese pre-wedding shoot – as I know some, more affluent Chinese wedding couples will travel to different iconic travel destinations around the world to have pre-wedding portraits shot, in their formal wedding attire, in the year running up to their actual wedding day.

What really caught my eye with this scene, was the way the wedding party contrasted with the families having picnics in the Jubilee Gardens as well as the 3 girls, in odd masks, dancing in the background.  I really love capturing these odd and surreal juxtapositions in my street photography…amusing photos but also ones that raise a few questions too.

Candid Wedding Photography for Your Wedding

Hopefully this small selection of candid photos demonstrates how my personal passion for street photography not only fuels my candid wedding photojournalism approach but they can also sometimes cross over too!

So if you are getting married and looking for a more candid and natural approach to your wedding photography then I’d really love to hear from you.  You can either call me right now on 07920 422144 or send me a message via my contact page here. We can then talk about your wedding plans and I can explain my wedding photojournalism approach in more detail. You can see my current wedding photography packages and prices by clicking here.

Alternatively, you can send me a private message directly from the contact box below.  Please ensure your email details are correct if you would like a reply. It’s also helpful to leave a mobile telephone number so I can text you to say a reply has been sent. Sometimes my replies can end up in a spam folder – so getting a text will alert you to the fact that I have replied.

Send Me A Private Message

I look forward to hearing from you. And if you do have any comments about this particular post, do feel free to leave a comment (or two!) in the comments box below. I love to get comments and hear people’s views. Thanks!

Shooting wedding photography with micro four thirds prime lenses

Prime Focus On Your Wedding Photography

Blog Article, My Style

Shooting Wedding Photography with Prime Lenses

I’ve already covered elsewhere why I shoot weddings with three Olympus OMD EM5 camera bodies. Today I thought it would be interesting to delve a little further into why I shoot wedding photography specifically with prime lenses.

For the uninitiated a prime lens is a camera lens with a fixed focal length. Unlike zoom lenses, which can cover a range of focal lengths, from very wide to extremely long, in a single lens, a prime only lets you shoot at one specific length – depending on the prime lens you have attached to your camera body.

Now, of course, and quite rightly, you’re most probably thinking why would any wedding photographer choose to shoot with prime lenses which sound like they restrict the kind of lengths you can shoot at a wedding?  This is a good question but, as I’m sure you’re expecting, I have a good answer (or two.)

Low Light, Focus and Image Quality

Harlestone Village Institute wedding photography of the bride and groom being toasted by the guests during the wedding speeches

One of the distinct advantages of prime lenses is that they are usually much faster lenses than zoom lenses.  What this means is, that in low light situations, like at a church wedding where the interiors are quite dark and gloomy, you can carry on shooting hand held without gutting blurry camera shake or have to resort to a camera flash – which can be harsh, a mood killer and often forbidden during the ceremony. This achieved by setting a wide aperture (or a low F number such as f/1.4 or f/1.8) that allows in more light and lets you shoot at a faster shutter speed (which helps to eliminate camera shake and blurred movements.)

Connected with the ability to shoot at a wider aperture is the ability to get a much shallower depth of field with prime lenses – which helps blur distracting backgrounds and ensuring the main subject, like a bride or a groom, remains the most important part of the photo.  Yes there other factors that also assist with a shallow depth of field (such as distance to subject, distance from subject to the background and the length of the actual lens) but on the whole the wider aperture of a prime lens is going to help with the blurred background which, based on my experience as a wedding photographer, is what the majority of wedding couples love in their final wedding photography.

The other big advantage of prime lenses is a better image quality over zoom lenses. The simple fact is that a prime lens has a lot less glass and elements in it than a zoom lens does – which after all needs more to cover all the focal ranges it can move between. Therefore, the less glass you have between the end of a lens and the sensor inside the camera body (which records the image) the sharper the image quality will be.  And who doesn’t love sharper better quality images for their wedding photography?  And don’t forget, because they have less glass and elements they are smaller and lighter than bulkier and longer zoom lenses – again reducing the risk of camera shake. So it does all add up to better image quality overall.

Have Feet, Will “Zoom”

Old Ship Inn Hotel Brighton wedding photography of bride and groom cutting the wedding cake

But what about the “inconvenience” of only being able to shoot at one focal length? I hear you ask. Well, for starters, I can simply move my feet to either move in closer or pull back if required.  I have found in the past that zoom lenses can make you lazy and as a result you’re more likely to favour the longer focal length and stand back on the edges more.  As a wedding photojournalist I prefer to get in close to the action, rather than being a “voyeur” of sorts standing on the edge of things. Prime lenses encourage me to do this and get in closer. And because of their smaller size they are far more discrete and much less obtrusive than having some bulking big telephoto stuck in your face.

And in addition, that’s where my 3 camera set-up to shoot wedding photography comes in to play, it means I can attach 3 lenses which will give me wide, medium and longer focal lengths without having to continually change lenses.  That’s why I attend every wedding with a total of 6 prime lenses in my kit bag.  The wider focal lengths are covered by 12mm f/2 and 17mm f/1.8 lenses.  The 25mm f/1.4 covers the mid range and the longer focal lengths are covered by a 45mm f/1.8, a 60mm f/2 and a 75mm f/1.8 lenses.  The 60mm also doubles up as a fantastic macro lens – great for those detail shots like rings and table decorations.

Wedding Photojournalism for your Wedding Day?

Rowton Castle wedding photography of bride shedding a tear during the speeches .

So as you can see, I have a carefully thought out and professional approach to capturing your wedding photography. So if you are interested in my wedding photojournalism approach for capturing the real story of your wedding, then please do give me a call on 07920 422144 or send me a message via my contact page. I’ll be delighted to hear about your wedding plans and discuss my wedding photography packages in more detail with you.  You can also find my latest prices by clicking here.

Sussex Wedding photographer captures the bride and groom playing on a swing in the gardens of the Roebuck Hotel in Forest Row, West Sussex

Why I Love This Image: The Swingers

Why I Love This Image

Unobtrusive Wedding Photojournalism

One of the key elements of wedding photojournalism is the ability to capture moments discreetly and unobtrusively, that ensure the integrity of the moment isn’t compromised.  Had I tried to stage or direct this lovey moment of Nicole and Eugene, playing on a swing in the gardens of the Roebuck Hotel, in Forest Row, East Sussex, or had they even been overtly aware of my presence then the mood would have been killed, the moment would have been lost and this lovely photo wouldn’t have become part of their wonderful wedding story. That’s why wedding photojournalism is perfect for capturing the genuine moments of a real wedding story.

A Beautiful English Wedding Setting

The main reason why I love this image is the way it encapsulates in one frame the mood of a perfect English summer’s evening in such a timeless fashion. Maybe it’s the tree swing that makes it so evocative of a romantic rural setting.  Certainly the low evening sun casts a magical light across the scene, with deep shadows adding to that magical mood. You can almost hear the birds chirping and wildlife scuttling into the greenery that surrounds the couple – so fitting given the bride and groom’s love of animals and nature. And, if we didn’t know any better, it could have been a moment from the 1920’s as it could contemporary Sussex!

The Perfect Romantic Moment

Then, of course, there’s the wonderful romance of the very moment itself.  A newly wed couple sharing a quiet and playful moment, in a quiet corner of the Sussex countryside. It sings of happiness and joy and the complete togetherness of the couple. And then there’s the fact it’s Nicole who’s pushing Eugene on the swing, giving a humourous twist to the convention of man and wife.  It really is an image that delights me every time I look at it – and makes this city boy yearn for a summer’s evening in the English countryside!

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Love this image too and are getting married? Or maybe you are having a wedding in Sussex? Then I’d love to talk with you about your wedding plans and how my wedding photojournalism approach can capture the real story of YOUR wedding day. Call me on 07920 422144 or send me an email here.  You can find full details of all my wedding photography packages and prices here.

My Why I Love This Image series hopefully gives you more of an insight of why I took particular images, their context and my thought processes. As a wedding photojournalist I strongly believe in providing an open, honest and transparent explanation of the photography I capture.

Northamptonshire Wedding Photography – Tracy & Gary’s Wedding Story

Wedding Stories

Real Wedding Photojournalism – The Saracen’s Head, Little Brington, Northants

Tracy & Gary were clear from the outset that they wanted a very natural and unobtrusive approach to their wedding story and that’s why my wedding photojournalism approach really appealed to them.  Their wedding was to be in the rural heart of England, in a little Northamptonshire village called Little Brington, so they wanted wedding photography that would be low key but captured all the key moments and natural story of the day. Hence why wedding journalism perfectly matched their needs.

An Historic and Charming Northamptonshire Wedding Venue

Wedding photojournalism of the bride with her hairdresser, during the bridal preparations at the Saracens Head in Little Brington, Northampton.

The Saracen’s Head, which hosted the entire wedding, is a 17th century village inn, constructed in traditional Northamptonshire stone and still boasts original beams and wooden floors. It would be fair to say that as a Northamptonshire wedding venue it is full of intimate charm, character and rural history.  The bridal preparations took place in a number of rooms above the inn itself. As you’d expect of such a historic building that meant low ceilings and creaky floors – all of which added to the charm of proceedings.

The Fun and Laughter of the Bridal Preparations

Northampton wedding photographer captures the moment that the bride is helped into her wedding dress during the bridal preparations, at the Saracen's Head in Little Brington

By now, regular readers amongst you will know that, as a wedding photojournalist, I love the bridal preparations.  It’s the part of the day where there’s an intriguing mix of excitement, anticipation and high emotions – all of which make for fantastic wedding photos and the kind of natural moments that a wedding photojournalist thrives on – and Tracy’s preparations weren’t to disappoint. Although things did start to get a little frantic with the tying of the wedding dress taking a lot longer than expected, ensuring the bride was both traditionally and fashionably late for the wedding service.

The Flower Girl Reduces Everyone to Tears.

Northampton wedding photographer captures the bridesmaid coming down the aisle at the Saracen's Head in Little Brington, Northamptonshire

The wedding ceremony was an intimate and moving service, with Gary looking dapper next to his beautiful and blushing bride. However, it was Tracy’s daughter Kirsten, acting as flower girl, who virtually stole show with a very moving yet confident reading that reduced everyone to tears, including the bride and groom themselves.  It’s these fleeting movements that wedding photojournalism excels at capturing and ensures the wedding story is both a genuine and honest one.

Bouncy Castles & Horses

Northampton wedding photographer documents the groom and a groomsman feeding a horse, after the wedding ceremony at the Saracen's Head in Little Brington, Northants.

Having opted for my Wedding Storyteller collection, once the ceremony was complete, it was out into the rural setting of the village for the more traditional wedding portraits, included in my most popular wedding photography package. In addition, Tracy and Gary had laid on a bouncy castle in the inn’s grounds – which the adults enjoyed as much (if not almost more so!) than the kids. Again, this was a fantastic opportunity as a wedding photojournalist to document some really fun and amusing wedding photos.  Behind the bouncy castle was a small paddock, in which were a couple of horses that attracted a number of guests to make a fuss of them.  Again, this too good a situation to miss as a wedding photojournalist.

The Marquee of Love & Chin-Ups!

Northampton wedding photographer captures a couple kissing romantically during the evening wedding reception at the Saracen's Head in Little Brington, Northamptonshire.

The wedding reception itself took place in a light and airy marquee, attached to the rear of the Saracen’s Head.  This really was a perfect setting for the toasts and speeches and the evening entertainment.  Tracy’s father, Len, gave an amusing speech about his daughter but here the show was stolen by the Best Man’s son giving him a reassuring hug before the speeches. Much of the entertainment was provided by the fantastic singer Joe Seagar before the wedding disco kicked in for the evening.  The pub’s old beams did provide an opportunity for guests to practice the odd chin up or two – again too good an opportunity for a wedding photojournalist to miss!

Are you getting married at the Saracen’s Head in Little Brington? Or perhaps you are looking for a wedding photographer who provides a unique and beautiful wedding photojournalism approach? In either case I’d love to talk to you about your wedding plans and how I can beautifully document your real wedding story.  Please give me a call now on 07920 422144or send me a message via my contacts page here.

Below are a small selection of wedding photography from Tracy and Gary’s special day. You can see more of my real Wedding Stories here.

Wedding photojournalism documents the bridesmaid having her make-up applied, during the bridal preparations at the Saracens Head in Little Brington, NorthamptonshireNorthamptonshire wedding photographer captures the make-up artist during the bridal preparations, at the Saracens Head in Little Brington.Northamptonshire wedding photographer captures the bride enjoying a quiet moment, during the bridal preparations at the Saracens Head in Little Brington.Northamptonshire wedding photography captures the make-up artist applying make-up to the bride, during the bridal preparations at the Saracens Head in Little Brington.Northamptonshire wedding photographer details the bride's shoes and flowers, during the bridal preparations at the Saracens Head in Little BringtonNorthamptonshire wedding photographer captures the father-of-the-groom arriving at the Saracens Head in Little BringtonNorthamptonshire wedding photographer captures the bride admiring her mother's hat, during the bridal preparations at the Saracen's Head in Little Brington.Northamptonshire wedding photographer captures the mother-of-the-bride looking on as make-up is applied to the bride, during the bridal preparations at the Saracen's Head in Little Brington.Northampton wedding photographer captures the bride's wedding dress being tied, during the bridal preparations at the Saracen's Head in Little Brington.Northampton wedding photographer captures the father-of-the-bride looking on at the bride in her wedding dress for the first time, at the Saracen's Head in Little Brington, NorthamptonshireNorthampton wedding photographer captures the groom putting an arm around the bride, during the wedding ceremony, at the Saracen's Head in Little Brington, Northamptonshire.Northampton wedding photographer captures the wedding rings in their boxes, during the wedding ceremony at the Saracen's Head in Little Brington, Northamptonshire.Northampton wedding photographer captures the moment that the groom places the wedding ring on the bride's finger, during the marriage ceremony at the Saracen's Head in Little Brington, Northamptonshire.Northampton wedding photographer captures a young guest pulling a face, during the marriage ceremony at the Saracen's Head in Little Brington, Northamptonshire.Northampton wedding photographer captures a guest standing to take a photo during the marriage ceremony, at the Saracen's Head in little Brington, Northamptonshire.Northampton wedding photographer captures the bridesmaid wiping tears away, during the wedding ceremony at the Saracen's Head in Little Brington, Northamptonshire.Northampton wedding photographer captures a funny moment as the best man moans about his tight collar, during the wedding service at the Saracen's Head in Little Brington, Northamptonshire.Northampton wedding photographer captures a guest taking a photo of the guests, during the marriage service at the Saracen's Head in Little Brington, Northamptonshire.Northampton wedding photographer captures a guest taking a photo of the bride and groom, as they depart the wedding service at the Saracen's Head in Little Brington, Northamptonshire.Northampton wedding photographer captures a guest taking a portrait of the bride and groom, after the wedding at the Saracen's Head in Little Brington, Northamptonshire.Northampton wedding photographer captures the bride and groom being showered with confetti, after the marriage service, at the Saracen's Head in Little Brington, Northamptonshire.Northampton wedding photographer captures the Best Man preparing his speech prior to the Wedding Breakfast at the Saracen's Head in Little Brington, NorthantsNorthampton wedding photographer documents a wedding guest taking a photo on her smart phone camera, of the bride and groom, during the wedding reception at the Saracen's Head in Little Brington, Northants.Northampton wedding photographer captures the tender moment the Best Man gets a reassuring hug from his son, prior to the wedding speeches at the Saracen's Head in Little Brington, NorthantsNorthampton wedding photographer documents guests on their mobile phones during the wedding reception at the Saracen's Head in Little Brington, NorthamptonshireNorthampton wedding photographer captures the father-of-the-bride delivering his speech at the Saracen's Head in Little Brington, NorthamptonshireNorthampton wedding photographer captures the father of the bride reading his speech, during the wedding reception, at the Saracen's Head in Little Brington, NorthamptonshireNorthampton wedding photographer captures the Best Man delivering his speech during the wedding reception, at the Saracen's Head in Little Brington, NorthamptonshireNorthampton wedding photographer captures the amusing moment as the groom wipes cream from the bride's nose, during the wedding reception at the Saracen's Head in Little Brington, Northamptonshire.Northampton wedding photographer captures the wedding singer, Joe Seagar, performing during the wedding reception at the Saracen's Head in Little Brington, Northamptonshire.Northampton wedding photographer captures guests chatting whilst the wedding singer, Joe Seager, performs in the background during the wedding reception at the Saracen's Head in Little Brington, NorthamptonshireNorthampton wedding photographer captures the wedding guests having fun on a bouncy castle at the Saracen's Head in Little Brington, NorthamptonshireNorthampton wedding photographer captures wedding guests posing for photos, during the wedding reception at the Saracen's Head in Little Brington, Northamptonshire.Northampton wedding photographer captures the father-of-the-bride during the wedding reception at the Saracen's Head in Little Brington, Northamptonshire.Northampton wedding photographer captures guests in playful mood during the wedding reception at the Saracen's Head in Little Brington, NorthamptonshireNorthampton wedding photographer captures the bride and groom preparing to cut the wedding cake, at the Saracen's Head in Little Brington, NorthamptonshireNorthampton wedding photographer captures guests taking photos of the wedding singer, Joe Seagar, whilst the bride and groom cut the wedding cake at the Saracen's Head in Little Brington, NorthamptonshireNorthampton wedding photographer captures the wedding singer, Joe Seagar, serenading the bride and groom during the cutting of the wedding cake, at the Saracen's Head in Little Brington, Northamptonshire.Northampton wedding photographer captures guests enjoying themselves during the evening wedding reception, at the Saracen's Head in Little Brington, NorthamptonshireNorthampton wedding photographer captures guests having fun during the evening wedding reception, at the Saracen's Head in Little Brington, Northamptonshire.Northampton wedding photographer captures wedding guests enjoying themselves at the evening wedding reception, at the Saracen's Head in Little BringtonNorthampton wedding photographer captures wedding guests enjoying themselves as the wedding singer, Joe Seagar, performs in the foreground at the Saracen's Head in Little Brington, Northamptonshire.Northampton wedding photographer captures guests dancing during the evening wedding reception, at the Saracen's Head in Little Brington, Northamptonshire.Northampton wedding photographer captures the wedding singer, Joe Seagar, performing during the evening wedding reception, at the Saracen's Head in Little Brington, Northamptonshire

Documenting The Real Story Of Your Wedding. Never Dictating it.

My Wedding Stories show you a chronological selection of photos from throughout a REAL wedding day, rather than just images specially selected for a portfolio (us photographers love to do that.)  After all, your wedding photography should be about your entire day rather than the very best images from the day.  I hope this not only gives you a feel of a whole wedding day but also demonstrates how my wedding photojournalism captures the natural moments, candid emotions and real events of the day – without the need to set up or stage fake moments. If you are getting married and enjoy my documentary wedding photography approach, then I’d really love to chat to you about your plansSend me an email here.  You can see my current collections and prices here.

Or call me on 07920 422144.

Wedding Photojournalism: The Integrity of the Moment

About Wedding Photojournalism, Blog Article

The Wedding Photojournalism Approach

As a wedding photojournalist I often talk about ensuring the integrity of the moment, but what do I actually mean by this?  What is the integrity of the moment?  For me, it’s the very thing that sets aside a wedding photojournalism approach from that of a more traditional wedding photography approach.  In essence, it’s the very reason you should be looking to book me as a wedding photojournalist.  But let me explain it in more detail.

The Decisive Moment

The decisive moment by Henri Cartier Bresson

Plate 1: Cartier-Bresson’s famous defining “decisive moment” photograph. Taken at Gare Saint Lazare railway station in 1932.

I’ve discussed what wedding photojournalism is elsewhere so don’t intend to go over that again, but you can follow the link if you’d like to start there first.  When talking about the integrity of the moment it might be helpful to start with another important philosophy of photojournalism and that is the decisive moment, a phrase first coined by the late, great French photojournalist Henri Cartier-Bresson. He considered the decisive moment was that split second, that fleeting moment when everything came together to create one magical moment within the frame of the photograph. To quote the great man himself:

“To take photographs is to hold one’s breath when all faculties converge in the fleeting face of reality. It is at that moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy…it is putting one’s head, one’s eye and one’s heart on the same axis.”

For me, that last part of putting one’s head, one’s eye and one’s heart on the same axis is the most perfect and most beautifully poetic description of photography ever made.  It’s what makes the difference between the eye of a talented wedding photojournalist and just anyone clicking away with a camera without much thought or appreciation for the craft.

Anyhow, back to the decisive moment, it can be the moment a couple embrace for the first time; it can be an expression that passes between two people in the fraction of a second or, in Cartier-Bresson’s most famous image that came to define the decisive moment itself, it is the instance a man leapt across a puddle behind a station in pre-war Paris (see Plate 1 above).

The Truth & Honesty of Wedding Photojournalism

Le Baiser de l'Hotel de Ville photograph of a couple kissing in Paris

Plate 2: This famous photo by Robert Doisneau, of a couple kissing in Paris, is sometimes questioned as to whether it is a genuine decisive moment.

Sometimes though, photographers will attempt to fake a decisive moment. In other words, they try and stage or pose a decisive moment.  After all, there’s a famous photograph by another French photographer, Robert Doisneau, of a couple kissing amongst the crowds of Parisian promenade (see Plate 2 above).  Some have suggested this isn’t a true decisive moment as it was “set up” and staged by Doisneau himself.  This is debatable, but it is an argument that has raged on for years – but if nothing else, it demonstrates how precious some photographers can be about true decisive moments.

So, for me at least, this is where the integrity of the moment comes in.  If the decisive moment can be faked, or at least have the whiff of suspicion about it, then it’s important to strive for the integrity of the moment – ensuring it is truthful, honest and naturally occurring. Of course, you may be wondering what’s wrong with faking or staging key moments of your wedding photography?  In truth, there’s nothing wrong with this more traditional wedding photography approach if that’s what you want.  After all, different people want different things – that’s the beauty of having choice. But it’s important to be educated about the choices you do have.

3 Reasons for Ensuring the Integrity of the Moment

Meon Valley Marriott Hotel wedding photography of the Groom's parents laughing during the wedding speeches

So when it comes to deciding on you wedding photography and whether to opt for a wedding photojournalism approach, like mine, or not, let me give you 3 good reasons why ensuring the integrity of the moment is infinitely much better than staging it with a traditional wedding photography approach.

  1. Firstly, it’s what really happened.  It’s a genuine part of YOUR wedding story. When you look back at your wedding photos, whether it be 5, 10 or even 50 years in the future, do you want to be looking at genuine moments that occurred naturally on your wedding day or do you want to be looking at something that you’ll just simply remember as the wedding photographer creating for you? Wedding photojournalism or, at the very least, my personal and puristic approach to it ensures you get a real wedding story that is about you and your wedding day rather than my rather fake interpretation of what it should be like.
  2. People just look better when things are happening naturally. They look happier, look more relaxed and look more genuine. An experienced or talented wedding photojournalist, such as myself, will work in an unobtrusive way which means people will forget or won’t even realise I am there.  That doesn’t just happen, it comes from years of photojournalistic experience as well as, in my case, years of shooting candid street photography. Getting in, getting the shot and remaining invisible is a real skill and part of the reason you want a wedding photojournalism approach to you wedding story.  If there is a common thing a lot of wedding couples say to me when they get the images from their wedding day is they simply don’t remember me being there to get the photos. Which leads me on nicely, to the third reason…
  3. Which is, you and your wedding guests ultimately remember the wedding photography and not necessarily the wedding photographer.  When the photographer is setting up faked and staged moments they become a director, having to step into the centre of things and, in the worst case scenario, become bossy and ordering people about.  With a wedding photojournalism approach to ensuring the integrity of the moment I work discretely, unobtrusively and quickly in getting those real moments that tell the real story of your wedding.  That doesn’t mean I don’t get in amongst things, I most definitely do (but maybe that’s a blog post for another day!) but I do that thoughtfully, sensitively and discretely.

So hopefully now you understand a little more about why I will constantly talk about ensuring the integrity of the moment in terms of your wedding photography.  It really is central to all that I do and is the driving force of my philosophy towards wedding photojournalism.

Want a Wedding Photojournalism Approach to Your Wedding Photography?

Rowton Castle wedding photography of first kiss

So if you are getting married and feel a natural, candid and unobtrusive wedding photojournalism approach is exactly how you want your real wedding story being documented then I’d be delighted to talk about your wedding plans in more detail.  You can call me now on 07920 422144 or simply send me an email via my contact page here and I’ll get straight back to you.  For my current prices and packages please go here.

I look forward to hearing from you.

My 5 Favourite…Brides Getting Dressed Photos!

Blog Article, Five Favourites

Wedding Photojournalism of 5 Brides Getting Into Their Wedding Dress

The bridal preparations are fantastic for wedding photojournalism.  I know I’ve said it before, but the early part of the wedding morning, when brides and the bridal party start getting ready, is a great time for all the emotions you’d want as part of a wedding story.  There’s excitement, nerves, laughter, tears and everything else in-between. As a wedding photojournalist it’s such emotions, expressions and moments that I specialize in documenting.

When brides and the bridal party are having their hair done, make-up applied and getting into their wedding dresses they really do forget I am there (I’m sure it’s nothing to do with the alcohol that can appear during this time!), meaning I do get some fantastic and natural shots at this part of the day.  This is, after all, why you have booked a wedding photojournalist – to capture the real story of your wedding in a natural, candid and unobtrusive way.  So how could I not love the bridal preparations?

So here are 5 of some of my favourite wedding photojournalism images of brides getting dressed and into their wedding dresses.

#1 The Whole Bridal Party

Rowton Castle Wedding preparations

What I really love about this photo, from Kara & Jason’s Rowton Castle wedding photography, is how so much is going on within that one frame. The beauty of wedding photojournalism is capturing single moments that can tell an entire story in their own right. Yes, of course, you are immediately struck by a beautiful bride in her dress, the stunning scarlet dresses of the bridesmaids and the luxurious surroundings of the bridal suite at Rowton Castle.  But, then, as you look closer you notice one bridesmaid is sewing an adjustment to another bridesmaids dress; an another bridesmaid is adjusting a shoe whilst another is helping to tie the bride’s wedding dress whilst the bride herself looks on, almost regally, at all the mini stories going on around her. This really is the best example of the power of a wedding photojournalism narrative.  It almost captures the nature of bridal preparations in a single, powerful image. In lots of ways it raises as many questions as it answers.  And isn’t that what all the best stories do?

#2 Strike That Pose!

Old Ship Inn Brighton wedding photography of the mother-of-the-bride making a final adjustment to the bride's wedding dressing, during the bridal preparations

The mother of the bride spots a last minute adjustment to the back of the wedding dress, just moments before the wedding service was to start at the Old Ship Hotel in Brighton. The bride stops in the natural light of a large bay window and strikes a pose that accentuates her figure and the beauty of her dress.  Behind, almost redundant in this intimate moment between mother and daughter, the father of the bride looks on.  It’s such a strong and striking moment, that you’d expect of wedding photojournalism – the simplicity further enhanced by black & white processing. And it’s for those very reasons it remains one of my firm favourites from the wedding story of Gemma and Rich.

#3 It’s All About Team Work

Holiday Inn Brighton wedding photography of the bridal party each during the bridal preparations

It always makes me smile when I look at this image from Steph & Dan’s Brighton wedding photography at the Holiday Inn.  It really sums up the togetherness of the bridal preparations and the efficiency of ensuring everyone is ready in time.  What I also love is the suggestion of evolution in one frame, from the bridesmaid’s dress hanging in the background up to the almost ready bride with a relaxed contentedness about her. Of course, being a wedding photojournalist this is a naturally occurring and truly spontaneous moment that’s not been setup, staged or faked. That’s what makes wedding photojournalism perfect capturing for what is truly your real wedding story – rather than a wedding photographer’s interpretation of it.

#4 Wedding Dress Detail

Slaley Hall Northumberland Wedding Photography

Wedding photojournalism doesn’t always have to be about candid moments, expressions and emotions. The small details are also an important element of the wedding story.  Here, this image from Lisa and Steve’s Slaley Hall wedding photography, really shows the intricate and stunning details of the wedding dress.  Add to that the actual tying of the dress and you add a real moment, albeit a slightly abstract one, to the overall image.  Once again, the black & white processing ensures nothing detracts from the small, intricate details.

#5 More Humour & Teamwork

Documentary wedding photography at South Lodge hotel in Horsham, West Sussex

Again humour and teamwork play an important part in this image from Kelly and Ryan’s South Lodge wedding photography, down in Horsham, West Sussex.  The bridal party do whatever is necessary to help the bride into her beautiful wedding dress. One bridesmaid is up on a chair, holding the dress up, so the mother-of-the-bride can get in under the dress to secure a clip. It’s looking for the humour, in what can often be very stressful moments, that sets apart wedding photojournalism.  By capturing moments as they happen ensures the image looks natural and the integrity of the moment is maintained. It’s that integrity that is so important to me as a wedding photojournalist and ensures a strong reportage narrative.

Getting Married? Get in touch now!

Of course, there are so many other photos that I could have featured of brides getting dressed  – but I hope this small selection do reflect the kind of images my wedding photojournalism approach will provide in your unique and personal wedding story.  You can also see my other personally selected 5 Favourites series here.

If you did enjoy these photos and are getting married soon, then I would love to chat with you about your wedding plans and how my candid, natural and unobtrusive photojournalistic approach can fit your wedding story. Give me a call right now on 07920 422144 or leave me a message here and I promise to get straight back to you. You can see details of all my packages and prices here.

Meon Valley Marriott Hotel wedding photography of a silhouetted bride and groon sharing a kiss.

My 5 Favourite…Hugs & Kisses

Blog Article, Five Favourites

 

My Five Favourite “Hugs & Kisses” Photos

As a wedding photojournalist if there’s one thing you’ve got to love shooting then it’s hugs, kisses, cuddles and even snogs! Weddings are full of them.  And that’s what makes it a joy to specialise in wedding photojournalism.  After all, most people most probably associate photojournalism with gritty issues, tragedy and suffering.  So wedding photojournalism definitely bucks this assumption. But you still have to be quick and alive to whats happening in capturing that decisive wedding moment. Kisses and hugs can be over in a blink of an eye. Hence why a wedding photojournalist is an expert at documenting that fleeting happenstance for your wedding story. Yes, you could set up a kiss or a hug, but it’s never the same as one caught naturally and unobtrusively.  Wedding photojournalism ensures the integrity of both the moment and your wedding story – and it’s that that ensures the blink-in-an-eye moment is captured and cherished foever.

Understandably most people will think of the happy couple kissing and hugging on the wedding day – but all that romance and happiness infuses everyone – so wedding photojournalism is also very much alert to guests, friends and family sharing beautiful and touching emotional exchanges. It’s these moments that do complete a personal wedding story for you. Why spend time staging and faking them when you can capture them more easily naturally.  I think we’d all agree, that genuine emotions are much nicer than faked ones.

So here are 5 of my favourite hugs and kisses wedding photos. I hope you enjoy.

#1 The Silhouetted Kiss

Meon Valley Marriott Hotel wedding photography of a silhouetted bride and groon sharing a kiss.

Shooting against a large, backlit window like this, it would have been tempting to expose for the couple or even use a flash.  But instead I purposefully exposed for the window light which ensured the couple were underexposed and made for a graphically striking silhouette. Add to that the very fact they are kissing and you have a unique take on a wedding couple kissing photo.

#2 Sisters Hugging

Old Ship Inn Brighton wedding photography of the bride emotionally hugging her sister, during the drinks reception

This is a lovely, tender and touching moment. The wedding ceremony has just finished and the bride is hugging her sister close. It’s a moment that says much about familiy ties and sibling bonds. Yes, of course, the lovely light and soft, almost pastel-like colours add to it – but for me, as a wedding photojournalist looking for those elusive decisive moments, this really captures the power of an emotional release immediately after the bride has gotten married.

#3 The Power of the First Kiss

Crockwell Farm wedding photography of bride and groom having their first kiss during the wedding ceremony

Of course, the first kiss is one of the “must have” and traditional shots that all wedding photographers will wish to capture during the wedding service. What I love about this particular one is the power and passion of the groom’s hold on his new wife. It really demonstrates the power of the couple’s love for one another.  She clearly means the whole world to him and he’s not letting her go…ever!

#4 The Love of a Mother

St Laurence Warborough wedding photography of a bride cuddling her daughter during the wedding ceremony

How can you not be moved by a classic example of a mother’s love for her child? The fact it is occurring in the middle of the wedding itself, only adds to the photo’s emotional impact. It’s these moments, that I often call the “moments inbetween the moments” that I love to capture for the wedding story. These are the real moments that may pass in the blink-of-the-eye but, thanks to the wedding photojournalist, become a moment that can be treasured forever.

#5 The Guests Kissing

Saracen's Head Little Brington wedding photography of young couple kissing during the evening wedding reception

As I said in the intro, people often associate the emotion of the wedding day with the happy couple themselves. But as a wedding photojournalist I do see it as my job to seek out the passion and romance that spills into the day itself, as it did here. A young couple, clearly in love, share a tender embrace and kiss during the evening reception. Again, it’s another image that makes up the fuller wedding story and truly depicts the real events of the day.

Of course, there are so many other photos that I could have feauture here of kisses, cuddles, hugs and snogs – but I hope this small selection do reflect the kind of images my wedding photojournalism approach will provide in your unique and personal wedding story.  You can also see my other personally selected 5 Favourites series here.

If you did enjoy these photos and are getting married soon, then I would love to chat with you about your wedding plans and how my candid, natural and unobtrusive photojournalistic approach can fit your wedding story. Give me a call right now on 07920 422144 or leave me a message here and I promise to get straight back to you. You can see details of all my packages and prices here.

 

Meon Valley Marriott Hotel wedding photography of the Groom and wedding party laughing during the wedding speeches

When Should The Wedding Speeches Take Place?

Blog Article, Wedding Advice

When should we do the wedding speeches?

As a wedding photographer one of the things I often notice that wedding couples often can’t decide upon is when to do the wedding speeches.  Then, of course, it’s also one of those things that some couples never really think about – not realising there are actually pros and cons on when to do the speeches.

So here are my views and tips on when to have the wedding speeches during the wedding day – solely from myview as an experienced and professional wedding photographer.

1. Before the wedding breakfast.

Rowton Castle Wedding Photography of the groom laughing out loud, during the speeches in the Cardeston Suite

This is becoming increasingly popular. Undertaking the wedding speeches and toasts before anyone starts eating often means those who are doing the speeches can get them done and then enjoy the wedding breakfast without the nerves and apprehension of a speech to come. After all, you’ve put a lot of thought into the menu and paid a lot of money for it and this approach ensures everyone gets to enjoy it.  The downside of doing the speeches first is that it does give an impression of getting them out of the way – that they’re something to be rushed and done before the important issue of eating starts!  The other problem is that often guests are still a bit more formal and introverted at the start – so they can be a harder crowd to play to!

2. After the wedding breakfast.

Harlestone Village Institute wedding photography of the bride and groom being toasted by the guests during the wedding speeches

This is the traditional and widely accepted time. Food has been eaten, drink has been quaffed and now it’s time to enjoy and be entertained by the wedding speeches. Well, except for those about to stand up and do the speeches – who most probably have been dreading it all the way through the wedding breakfast and haven’t enjoyed the food and drink like everyone else.  But, equally, because drinks have been flowing, the guests are more warmed up and maybe more receptive to a good speech. Of course, the other side of the coin is that they are a little too warmed up and more likely to get a bit too interactive with the speeches.  But still, it’s the traditional time of the day that your guests will expect the speeches to be done.

3. During the wedding breakfast.

Holiday Inn Brighton wedding photography of best man making his speech during the wedding ceremony, caught on a mobile phone

As a wedding photographer this is the one I am seeing a little more these days. Couples are now doing the speeches inbetween the main course and the dessert – almost as a happy medium between the two approaches above. I guess this allows those doing the speeches to enjoy some of the meal without the thought of a speech hanging over them and guests have been partially fed and knocked back a few. I’ve even heard of weddings where a speech has been done inbetween each of the courses! Of course, the downside here is it does draw out the wedding breakfast for your wedding guests and, if the speeches do ramble on, they can end up waiting an age for their next course.

Ultimately though there is no right or wrong way really. It’s simply about choice and what suits you both best for what is your wedding day.  The important thing is just to remember you do have the choice and to think it through.

Are you looking for a wedding photojournalist?

If you are getting married and would like a wedding photographer who will approach you wedding day in a natural, candid and unobtrusive way then I would love to talk with you about your wedding plans.  Please do give me a call on 07920 422144 or send me a message here and I’ll be delighted to get back to you.

 

Slaley Hall Northumberland Wedding Photography – Lisa & Steve.

Wedding Stories

A Real Story of a Real Wedding: Lisa and Steve at Slaley Hall Spa Hotel, Near Hexham in Northumberland –  a documentary wedding photography approach.

Slaley Hall near Hexham in Northumberland is, to date, the further distance I’ve travelled to shoot wedding photography – easily beating the distance I travelled to shoot Kara and Jason’s wedding at Rowton Castle in Shropshire, back in 2012.

So loving travel, nearly as much as I love photographing weddings, how could I resist the opportunity when Lisa and Steve asked me to be their official wedding photographer? Although they both now live in Berkshire, Lisa is originally from the North East whilst Steve was born in Scotland. So it was only naturally they chose to tie the knot at a small, intimate wedding in the North East.

So after a short flight up to Newcastle and a 40 minute taxi ride from Newcastle International Airport I arrived at the impressive and beautiful Slaley Hall Spa Hotel, deep in the wild but stunning Northumbria countryside.

On arrival the sun was shining and I met up with groom-to-be Steve to have a look around the hotel and grounds it is set within, including an impressive golf course, so as to be ready for the nuptials that were to come the following day.

Waking up the following morning it was disappointing to find the sunshine of the previous day had disappeared, instead to be replaced by a persistent drizzle and misty, dank conditions. Still, as a wedding photojournalist, I’m prepared for any circumstances and I firmly believe in making a feature of the weather, whatever it is. After all, you can’t do anything about it and my job in providing wedding reportage photography is to document the day as it actually is. Besides, I’m sure when most of you think of the wild countryside of the North East you think of dank, misty but atmospheric weather more often than glorious, warm sunshine.

After a hearty breakfast, I headed out into the drizzle just to get some location shots of the Slaley Hall. Even in the wet conditions there was no denying this was a stunning Northumberland wedding venue.

Once those shots were completed it was down to the hotel’s spa where Lisa and her 3 close friends Gillian, Janki and Michelle were having their nails done ahead of the big day. Now, as a guy who rarely gets to see the inner sanctum of a manicure, it was a real eye opener!

Once nails were done, gelled and set it was up to the bride’s room where her hair and make-up was to be done by the bubbly and highly fun Michele Bailey. If it’s laughs, singing and dancing you want as you’re made to look beautiful for your wedding day, then Michele is definitely the girl for you.

As always, during the bridal preparations, there were lots of laughs, smiles and tears – especially when the mother-of-the-bride and father-of-the-bride dropped in. It was clear that there was a very special and loving bond between the bride and her parents.

Steve also didn’t miss out on the make-up fun – as Michele paid him a visit for some complexion touching up. She was a bit a concerned about me documenting Steve’s make-up session – but Steve seemed fine with it and as a wedding photojournalist there was no way I was going to miss out documenting this for their wedding story!

Both bride and groom looked stunning during the intimate wedding service – as did the small number of friends and relatives. At this point I do have to mention the special guest of honour, Lisa and Steve’s highland terrier, Hamish. And, of course, Hamish stole the show as during the part of the wedding ceremony where everyone was asked if they knew of any lawful impediment as to why the bride and groom couldn’t marry Hamish gave a bark! You really couldn’t make it up. It was pure comedy gold!

Following the ceremony, drinks and canapé’s were served in the Hotel bar and the more formal portraits were undertaken. Thankfully the rain had stopped, but the grounds were far too saturated for us to venture down to some of the areas I had hoped to do portrait shots in. Never mind though – we still got some lovely portraits in the bag.

Speeches and toasts were given ahead of the wedding breakfast – and, of course, there were plenty of tears, laughs and tissues on show – especially when those not present were remembered. After the wedding breakfast and cutting of the cake it was into the hotel’s whiskey snug for the rest of the evening for pleasant conversation and background music (each guest having pre-selected 3 songs to be included.)

As a wedding photojournalist, documenting the real wedding story, I couldn’t have asked for any more. There were plenty of genuine and decisive moments, lots of real emotions, a beautiful bride, a handsome groom and a stunning location in Slaley Hall. Such combinations really does make my job providing wedding reportage photography a completely enjoyable task.

And I’m sure you’ll agree, from the small selection of photos that follow, this Slaley Hall wedding was a very special and memorable one…for everyone concerned!

Part of my real Wedding Stories series.

Getting married at Slaley Hall near Hexham in Northumberland or elsewhere and are interested in my candid, natural and wedding photojournalism approach to your wedding day? Then lets have an informal chat about your plans. Call me on 07920 422144 or leave me a message here.

Here is a very small selection of photos from Lisa & Steve’s real wedding story at the Slaley Hall Spa Hotel near Hexham in Northumberland. I hope you enjoy them as much I did shooting them! Click on an image to view larger version.