Real weddings

Having just been asked to submit a series of images for an online wedding blog, I thought I’d take the opportunity to have a quick round up of all the ‘real weddings’ I’ve had been featured by wedding blogs during the past couple of years.

Not only will this give you a good feel for my documentary approach to photography, but may even present you with a smidgen of inspiration for your forthcoming celebrations. Click on the names of each couple to be taken to the relevant blog feature.

1. Gary & Heather were married in Somerset, with a reception at the splendid Maunsel House. Enjoyed on a glorious summers’ day, with oodles of style including split screen VW campers and Vespas, this is a wedding that the uber trendy amongst you are sure to enjoy. Featured on The English Wedding.

A bride and groom take a stroll round the beautiful grounds of Maunsel House

2. Steen & Georgina celebrated their wedding at one of the oldest Baroque churches in the UK which made for a glorious photographic backdrop to the day! Add to that a traditional English tea party with a drinks reception on the banks of the River Severn, and you have yourself a rather fabulous wedding day. Kindly featured on The Wedding Vine.

3. Claire & James‘ rustic Easter wedding, celebrated at Kingscote Barn in the Cotswolds, was featured on The Natural Wedding Company. With LOADS of ideas for DIY personal touches, this wedding really was a very special day, full of thoughtfulness and love.

A black wooden sign points guests towards James and Claire's wedding at Kingscote Barn

4. Kieran & Luci (a self confessed weddingplanaholic!) chose Rivervale Barn, Yateley as their Hampshire wedding venue. With colour accents of vintage pinks and dusky greys, and a gentle nod in the direction of Alice in Wonderland, this wedding was featured on the undisputed Queen of UK wedding blogs, Rock My Wedding.

5. Nathan & Lucy chose one of my favourite Berkshire wedding venues, Wasing Park, to host their celebrations, and was featured on The Wedding Vine. Punctuated by bright colour accents in stunning floral arrangements, this was a wedding full of fun, laughter and a flash mob!

Two flowergirls and a page boy lead the bride and her bridesmaids at Wasing Park

Once you’ve had a chance to look through some, or all, of these real weddings, if you feel my documentary approach would best capture your wedding day celebrations, I’d love to hear from you via the contact form on the main menu. And if you’ve been inspired by any of the details, please do share via the comments boxes below. I’m sure my past brides and grooms would love to know they’re inspiring the weddings of the future!

The eyes have it

WEDDING 365 SERIES #209

I’ve been working on a wedding album today for the incredible Forbury Hotel in Reading. Shot right at the head of this year, this is an image captured from that wedding, though in church – the reception was at the FH. When provided a level of latitude by the minister, I’ll often subtly place myself in the wings, as sooner or later, you just know, you’ll capture ‘the glance.’ And here is that glance, in all it’s glory. It’s that ‘I love you darling’ moment that I’m eager to record as a wedding photographer.

SHOOTING DATA: Canon 5DMk2, EF135mm, F2, 1/100, ISO 2000, exposure compensation +2/3

Berkshire wedding photographer | Wedding 365#89

So I chose this one for it’s simplicity as record images from the day are equally as important as the complex light solving signature wedding photographs. ‘Parent sees daughter’ moments are often the first open emotional contacts, but they don’t have to be joyfully tearful. This relaxed family photograph brings three key members of the day together in one frame. Daughter, father, mother.

SHOOTING DATA: Canon 5DMk2, 24mm lens, F1.4, 1/200, ISO 1600, underexposed by a third.

Reportage wedding photography | Wedding 365#84

In composition terms this image wouldn’t win a heap of wedding photography print competitions. Geometrically it breaks several rules on that count. But if there were a ‘grab shot’ category, well, maybe it would fair a little better. This is a photograph that describes my photographic approach to reception shooting, which in colder months can often be quite a cosy affair. The grand vistas that frequent the summer catalogue are replaced by nooks and low lit saloons. These are the times I opt for shorter focal length lenses, such as my workhorse kit glass; the 24mm prime F1.4. I can get in tighter, move around in space that can be cramp as guests mingle in rooms that were not necessarily designed for that many people all at one time. Ears are as useful as eyes at this point and mine are tuned to listen for excited chatter, laughter, conversation; expression that gathers what I refer to as character shots. This is an example of that. Their faces are lit by pin spots in the bar and perhaps a faint dab of the back screen illumination from the camera they’re looking at. The girl has noticed my presence, but I don’t think that steals away the focal point of this photograph; the amusement they are receiving from whatever it is they’re looking at. It’s a grabbed moment, though there is a little injustice in that description. It’s grabbed from an awareness of my surroundings and understanding of light (there’s no flash deployment).

BERKSHIRE WEDDING VENUE: The Olde Bell, Hurley

WEDDING 365#7 | Documentary wedding photography

WEDDING 365 PROJECT – Daily choice of a documentary wedding photograph selected from my catalogue, collated from time spent documenting these unique events. Ethos provided for prospective brides and grooms, shooting data for the togs intrigued by that kind of information. Please comment, it makes a World of difference.

SHOOTING DATA: 5DMk2, 24mm, F1.4, 1/500, ISO 1000.

ETHOS: I sometimes describe what I do flippantly as a series of happy accidents. With each successive year my work becomes more documentary in form and capture. My eyes are less script led and there’s a maturity developing that seems to find photographic opportunities. Here’s a very simple image. I love the way grandparents connect with their grandchildren. Add to that some artwork in the background that shouts story story story, this one could be titled; “Fly like a bird my son, fly like a bird.” My wife incidentally sees something entirely different; their clothed synergy, in shirt form.

WEDDING 365#4 | Documentary wedding photographer

WEDDING 365 PROJECT – A favourite documentary wedding photograph collated from my time spent photographing these unique events. Ethos provided for prospective brides and grooms, shooting data for the togs intrigued by that kind of information. Please comment, it makes a World of difference.

SHOOTING DATA: 5DMk2, 24mm, ISO 250, F4, 1/5000.

ETHOS: If 365 is designed to showcase a ‘click in the life,’ it seems fitting to show what I see when I walk ‘on set’ most wedding mornings. This, is so often the start of each wedding story. The fact that the scene is somewhat cluttered with the props of the day ahead, is perfect. This very real photograph tells the story far more than a pristine invention of the truth. “Let me clear the table at least?” No thanks, I’ll answer, everything is perfect, just where it is.