I love a Highdown Vineyard wedding. As a wedding photojournalist I’ve shot there a number of times and it’s without doubt one of the best wedding venues in West Sussex. So when Sienna and Phil asked me to be their wedding photographer there, I just couldn’t wait to get started!
To be honest, there are lots of things I love about this image from Crystal & Dom’s Highdown Vineyard wedding in West Sussex.
It was early evening, during the wedding reception, and the warm summer sun was setting on the Sussex countryside. A number of the groomsmen and male wedding guests had sneaked outside to enjoy a celebratory wedding cigar.
At the time I was experimenting with a new lens on one of my cameras, and a plastic toy lens at that! Made by SLRMagic and near on a 50mm field of view, it’s a lens that gives a quirky and imperfect view of the world. In many ways it’s the closest I’ve come to an old film analogue look on a digital camera – without any post processing that is.
There was definitely a real retro and timeless vibe to the scene, which was perfectly enhanced by the toy lens. This is really helped by the central standing male, sparking up his cigar, and with a vintage look straight out of the TV historical crime series Peaky Blinders (or rather, as I hear it in my head, “Peaky Bloody Blinders” said in a very strong Brummie accent!) The rural setting and rather old looking pylon in the background also add to this.
Of course, the photo is also a great depiction of a natural moment being quietly enjoyed by the groomsmen – away from the music and dancing back inside – and great subject matter for my documentary wedding photography approach. You can really imagine the male conversations and reflection being made on the wedding day!
I was delighted the image itself was granted an award by the Wedding Photojournalist Association in a 2016 Reception category.
You can also see more images I love and read why in my Why I Love This Image series.
Contact Me To Discuss Your Wedding Plans
If you are getting married at Highdown Vineyard or simply enjoy my award-winning documentary wedding photography approach and think I’d be a great fit for your wedding plans, then I’d love to hear from you.
There is absolutely no obligation to book and I also offer a unique 100% money back guarantee if you are not satisfied with your photos. So there’s really no risk whatsoever! Check here for more details about my services and fees.
You can call me on 07920 422144 or send me a message with details about your wedding via my contact page.
I look forward to hearing from you.
As a wedding photographer I’m so lucky to visit so many beautiful wedding venues around the country. Highdown Vineyard, nestled cosily on the slopes of the South Downs, in-between Worthing and Littlehampton in West Sussex, is easily one of the most beautiful. I also count myself very fortunate to have photographed a number of weddings at Highdown.
So when I met up with Crystal and Dom, 6 months earlier on a cold grey day in south west London, and they told me they were having their wedding reception at Highdown Vineyard, I knew I had to be their wedding photographer.
A Sussex Wedding Photographer
In fact, the reason Crystal and Dom had contacted me about being their wedding photographer was because they had seen some of my previous Highdown Vineyard wedding photography whilst visiting this most beautiful West Sussex wedding venue.
So once they had booked me, I couldn’t wait for their wedding day to come around. And when the day came around I definitely wasn’t disappointed. The sun was shining beautifully and I found myself down on the Sussex coast, ready to shoot the bridal preparations at Crystal’s parents in the seaside town of Bognor Regis.
I have to confess I’m still a kid at heart and the merest mention of the seaside gets me all excited, so I arrived early in Bognor Regis and enjoyed a light breakfast looking out across the beach and sea beyond. I just knew this was going to be an idyllic wedding to remember.
Bognor Regis Wedding Preparations
I’d agreed to meet Crystal and the bridal party at a hair salon called Lotus Styling in Bognor Regis town centre. As you’d expect everyone was really excited for the day ahead and the salon itself was a really cool setting, with Banksy graffiti on the walls and woodland murals. As a documentary wedding photographer I couldn’t fail to get some great shots of such a fantastic hairdressers.
One hair was styled and veils in place, it was back to Crystal’s parents home for the bridal preparations ahead of the wedding ceremony. Of course, the excitement continued as more family members and guests arrived, including the flower girls.
Getting Ready at Home
Everyone by now knows I love the preparations part of the day – be it a bride or a groom – it’s always a time of laughter, nerves and, yes, the occasional tear. I see it my job, as a documentary wedding photographer, to capture all these natural moments, genuine emotions and real stories. And Crystal’s wedding preparations lived up to expectations.
Preparations done, it was then time to get down to the delightful West Sussex coastal village of Pagham for the wedding ceremony itself, at the stunningly beautiful and historic St Thomas à Becket parish church, or often simply referred to a Pagham Church. I say historic, as there has always been a church on the site going back 1300 years to the 7th Century Saxons. The current church is much the same as it was 800 years ago and is largely considered to be one of the best of its kind. I will say it’s definitely one of the most beautiful churches I have shot a wedding at. It’s the perfect English rural wedding setting.
Pagham St Thomas à Becket Church Wedding Ceremony
Inside the spacious and airy church, Dom was waiting nervously for Crystal to arrive. He’d certainly brushed up well since I’d last seen him a month or so before for the pre-wedding portrait shoot in Richmond Park, in south west London. He definitely cut a dashing and handsome groom along with his brothers-come-Best Men.
Crystal arrived with a huge and dazzling smile on her face – could there be a more fitting example of the blushing English bride? The wedding ceremony was the expected mix of smiles, laughs and, at the end, a very entertaining and carefully choreographed dance to a particular hymn, which made it all huge fun.
A Quiet & Touching Wedding Moment
Once the wedding ceremony finished, it was out into the beautiful grounds of the church and some glorious Sussex sunshine. After mingling with guests for a while, Crystal then took herself away to spend a quiet moment at the resting place of her grandmother, Patricia, who was buried in the churchyard where the wedding had taken place – such a lovely and touching connection.
Highdown Vineyard Wedding Reception
The wedding reception took place a few miles away at the beautiful Highdown Vineyard, where I’ve shot weddings before – so I knew it was a fantastic Sussex wedding location. Such a beautiful setting makes life as a wedding photographer that much easier. The vines are a wonderful backdrop for portraits, the lawns a great spot for games and mingling and the buildings and marquee fantastic for eating, drinking and dancing – none of which were in short supply on Crystal and Dom’s day!
The speeches were full of emotion – both laughs and tears in equal measure. Then as the sun set and the band entertained dancing guests inside, the groomsmen sneaked outside to enjoy a wedding cigar and reflect on the day.
This was also a perfect opportunity to try out a new “toy lens” I’d gotten hold of. I’m always looking for a new and unique way to document a wedding day. The SLR Magic 50mm lens is definitely a quirky and imperfect lens that captures unique images. I’d much rather capture a perfect moment than worry about technically perfect photos. The cigar image above, was one of a few images captured with this interesting lenss
I’m sure you’ll agree, from a small selection of the wedding photographs that follow, it really was the idyllic wedding day I promised it would be!
West Sussex Wedding Photography
Book a West Sussex Wedding Photographer
Are you getting in married in West Sussex? Perhaps in Bognor Regis? Or maybe at Pagham Church? Or you’re having your wedding at Highdown Vineyard?
Alternatively, you may just enjoy my natural and unobtrusive documentary wedding photography approach and think it would be a great fit for your wedding day? I’m a London wedding photographer but cover the whole of the UK and destination weddings overseas.
Whatever the reason, I’d definitely love to have an friendly and informal chat with you about your wedding plans. So give me a call or SMS on 07920 422144 or send me a message via my contact page and lets start making plans for your wedding.
I’m delighted to post this short 5 minute video of me shooting a real wedding down at Highdown Vineyard earlier this summer. In it I discuss:
- My approach to wedding photojournalism
- How I approach a wedding day
- And the kind of moments I look out for on the wedding day
Hopefully it gives you an idea of, not just my wedding photojournalism style, but also me as a person.
If you’d like to talk with me about your wedding plans, you can call me on 07920 422144 or send me a message via my contact page. I’ll be delighted to hear from you.
I’m delighted, thrilled and truly honoured to have recently been awarded two wedding photography awards by the prestigious Artistic Guild of the Wedding Phototojournalist Association (AGWPJA). As a London wedding photographer I feel it’s incredibly important to enter my wedding photography into awards. It helps me gauge how I stand against my most talented peers, keeps forcing me to continually improve, as well as reassuring wedding couples that my work is worthy of winning industry respect award.
A Fine Art Approach to Wedding Photojournalism
The AGWPJA is a sister body to the Wedding Photojournalist Association (WPJA) and concentrates on a more fine art approach to wedding photojournalism. As they say themselves:
“The Artistic Guild of the Wedding Photojournalist Association AG|WPJA is comprised of outstanding wedding photographers, who are at the forefront of the wedding photography industry when it comes to enhancing images. The chief objective of the AG|WPJA is to provide members with a platform where the finest enhanced, manipulated and/or artistic wedding photojournalism in the world is spotlighted and promoted for the bride and groom.
The AG|WPJA is a separate division of the Wedding Photojournalist Association (WPJA). Whereas the WPJA upholds strict guidelines that forbid excessive picture manipulation, the AG|WPJA encourages and fosters creative image enhancement, with the vision of promoting Fine Art Wedding Photojournalists.
The AG|WPJA establishes and upholds high standards that are taken into consideration during the judging process for our wedding photography contests. Using all artistic tools at their disposal, members skillfully enliven their work in post production processing.“
So as you can most probably appreciate winning an award from AGWPJA is a huge thing for me as fine art wedding photojournalist.
The Award Winning Wedding Photography
So above are the two photos which picked up the recent awards in the 2nd quarterly awards of 2016 with the AGWPJA.
The black and white image on the left is from Jodi and Simon’s wedding at the Hyatt Regency Churchill hotel in Central London. It received 2nd place in the Other Vendors category. The judges commented as follows:
“Nice composition with strong graphic appeal and a great sense of gesture.”
“Subtle and quirky moment, but I like it. Thank you to the photographer for finding an interesting detail from something so ordinary and sharing it with us.“
The colour image on the right is from Crystal and Dom’s wedding, taken during the evening reception at the beautiful Highdown Vineyard in Ferring, West Sussex. It picked up 6th place in the Wedding Reception category. The judges comment was as follows:
“Great subjects, mood, tonality and color.“
Picking up two awards in one competition is extremely flattering and pleasing.
Book an Award Winning London Wedding Photographer
If you enjoy my award winning approach to fine art wedding photojournalism and think it would be a good fit for your wedding story, then I’d love to chat with you about your wedding plans. Give me a call on 07920 422144 or send me a message via my contact page. I will be thrilled to hear from you.
The Beautiful Highdown Vineyard – The Most Perfect of West Sussex Wedding Venues
Set on the beautiful southern slopes of the South Downs in West Sussex, the picturesque Highdown Vineyard is a wonderful West Sussex wedding venue. I recently had the pleasure of shooting Imogen and Seb’s evening wedding reception there and I was taken by how fantastic a setting it was. Not only is Highdown Vineyard a perfect wedding venue but is a producer of award winning wines and was a Grand Finalist in the Sussex Food & Drink Awards 2015. So you can be certain of fantastic food and drink to complement such a beautiful location.
Beautiful Setting, Beautiful Wedding Photography
The vineyard itself is a stunning and natural location in which to capture some beautiful wedding photography portraits. The vineyard was first planted in 1985 and with the gentle westerly breezes, that blow down from the South Downs, leaves rustle soothingly as portraits are captures. Whilst my approach to wedding photography is very much photojournalistic – I do offer more traditional and formal portraits with my Wedding Storyteller and Wedding Photojournalist packages.
Marquee Style Reception Room & Scrumptious Food
A light and airy marquee is attached to the main restaurant at Highdown, which itself is a stylish barn conversion structure and is ideal for weddings, receptions and any other event and private parties you can think off. With ample parking space it’s not hard to see why it is one of the best wedding venues in West Sussex. Then of course, there’s the food menus which saw them make the final of Sussex Food and Drink Awards as well as their own award winning self-produced wines.
So if you are getting married and looking for a fantastic wedding venue to host your celebrations, then Highdown Vineyard should definitely be on your list to check!
Looking for a Wedding Photographer in West Sussex?
Are you getting married at Highdown Vineyard or are looking for a wedding photographer? I am an award winning wedding photographer who specialises in a candid, natural and unobtrusive reportage style wedding photography that captures the genuine moments and authentic emotions of your individual wedding story. I cover the whole of the UK and beyond and would love to chat with you about your wedding plans.
You can call me on 07920 422144 or send me a message via my contact page. Alternatively, you can leave a message in the form after the photos below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. Don’t worry, your comments won’t be seen by anybody else and I hate receiving spam as much as you most probably do, so I will never pass on your details to anyone else. I usually respond within a couple of hours to most messages, so you have not heard back from me after 24 hours please check any spam folders in your email client or just get back to me. I would never not reply! You can see all my wedding photography packages and prices here.
Here are some more images from Highdown Vineyard. Also click here to see more photos from Imogen and Seb’s wedding photography.
Are you getting married at Highdown Vineyard? Or are you getting married somewhere else and enjoy my approach to wedding photography? Then I’d love to chat to you about your wedding plans. You can give me a call on 07920 422144 or send me a message via the contact form below. I endeavour to respond withing 2 hours however if you haven’t heard from me within 24 hours, please do check your spam and/or get back to me.
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
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
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
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.
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.