David & Emma’s Donnington Grove Wedding Photofilm

I well remember returning home from photographing David & Emma’s Donnington Grove wedding eager to download my day’s work. There was a knowledge within where I knew I’d been privileged to be part of something really rather special. As you depress the shutter button there are times where you don’t just watch people exchange vows or pass a knowing glance during speeches, but you hear them entirely engaged in their moment; flutters within voices, a break mid sentence overcome by gravitas.

There are so many factors which can bear influence on a wedding day, from the parts you can’t control, such as the weather, to the approach of the registrar or clergy, the staff at the venue and other suppliers, all of whom have such a large part to play in the ‘success’ of a wedding. But the biggest factor in any wedding is without doubt, the people. It’s not the money thrown at the day, the shade of a cake’s colour or even that everything runs smoothly and to time. The bride, the groom, their family, their friends, they are the influencing factor that make a wedding day magical. You can book the most lavish venue, spend months on detail, employ award winning florists, magicians and superstar musicians but without engaging family and friends there to share and contribute to the celebration, the recipe can taste a little, unseasoned.

During David’s speech, he notes that; ‘All you need is love.’ I think he’s obviously right. Does the rain fall? Continuously, save five minutes I think. Does that matter? Not one jot. I’m really pleased to be able to share this one with you and thank you David and Emma, for allowing me the privilege to be with you both.

If you’re planning a Donnington Grove wedding and enjoy a documentary approach to wedding photography with the option of recording sound to create a Wedding Photofilm, please do get in touch via the contact form on the main menu.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy David & Emma’s wedding Photofilm and if you have any thoughts on the film, please do leave a comment below, or share them via any of the social media buttons.

A thank you note

I know I know, I do rather ‘bang on’ about the legacy of wedding photography. I often moot almost lyrical prose through these posts about expression, personal emotional motivation and so on, but you know what? I genuinely mean what I write. Does that mean at every wedding I’m a sentimentally floored photographic spectator, waiting or rather laden by the responsibility of gathering such emotionally charged social documentary that I can hardly breathe for the experience? Umm, no. See, that’s the beauty and sometimes frustration of this much misunderstood genre. I’ll sometimes be at a wedding where the event’s exceptionally quiet demeanour could fool me into thinking that my presence was only required as a tick on the list of ‘must have’ suppliers, and on those occasions, slowing down the pace of capture, standing back and watching for a while is a necessary form of story seeking engagement.

But just so easily and more often than not, a wedding has something of the feel of an evolving plot; story lines about places, people and their situations. That is why I unequivocally enjoy a wedding, for the many avenues of emotion traversed in say a nine hour day. When asked to shoot birthday parties in the style of my weddings, I’m never quite sure whether the same effect can be reached as these events miss, I think, the rise and fall of delicate human expression that affords me the chance to work the way I do.

So the reason for the words within this post?

I received a mail from a lovely bride who’s wedding I photographed at Donnington Grove in Berkshire early last month. Several lines in particular sounded out in siren like fashion, and although I’m lucky and privileged to receive similar mails, I just wanted to share some lines from that note. I’m always intrigued by parental response when viewing their offspring in wedding attire for the first time. It’s not all high emotion, weeping and Hollywood-esque exchanges. But you know, look a little closer, and I hope you’ll see that strength of feeling runs deep in these rather more gentle exchanges. In the bride’s words;

“For me, there were a couple of moments with my Dad which are so clear in my memory and you have captured them with such sensitivity I had the same swell of emotion looking at them.”

Black and white images of a bride being greeted by her father

But you know, just as potent for me Emma, is what happened next. You moved quietly following this last frame (above bottom right) through to the kitchen and stood looking out into the garden, really very still, save I suspect a dab of the eyes. No high drama, just quiet reflection. And for photographers, this is where the Canon 5D3‘s silent shutter mode is probably the best invention ever.

Black and white window lit portrait of a bride during quiet reflection

I was tasked with the job of capturing an heirloom picture, so if legacy was effectively this post’s sub heading, I’m pleased to share what you may consider a record shot above wedding photojournalism. The car below has been in the family for many decades, the transport of Emma’s parents to and from church just a few years ago (below left). You’ll not doubt date the image by the fashion of the day.

2 images of a bride and groom using the same wedding car - one set the parents of the bride

And to close, a final word from our bride of 2013 once more. The following image is, and I’ll be honest, somewhat of a grab shot. I often train my lens on the out going speaker at the conclusion of a speech, as sometimes the reward for speaking an eloquently textured expression of love, is a good old fashioned hug from someone they know and love. I almost missed this photograph as my eye was drawn to the next speakers preparing to speak. I’m glad I exercise a two eyes open approach of focus and composition, as I saw this moment unfold as I went to pass the line of focus. Oh, and thank Heavens for the 24mm lens. Thank you Canon.

“One which really hit me is of my parents, with mum kissing dad after his speech. I have never, ever seen such a lovely photograph of my parents. Thank you.”

Mother of the bride kisses her husband after his wedding speech

If you’re looking for a wedding photographer in Berkshire, and like my documentary approach to photography, I’d love to hear from you via the contact form on the main menu. In addition, if you’d like to view more of my photography and wedding Photofilms, please click through the galleries.

Donnington Grove wedding photography | Craig and Natalie

We haven’t been blessed with the mildest of winters, so it was a pleasure to omit thermal underwear from the kit list for this one. Touch of drizzle, but definitely kinder climate for an otherwise weather hardy wedding tog. After a church service in one of Berkshire’s most striking villages Ramsbury, guests were Donnington Grove bound in Newbury for the reception. I travel a fair amount to ply my trade, though it’s comforting to sometimes be just round the block from your home once in a while. I know the Grove well, and although it’s fair to say the imposing hotel and eccentric small follies dotted along a river which cuts through it’s sweeping grounds, must be an initial draw for couples, it’s overall a pretty good all weather venue. Some of my favourites from the day.


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