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.

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

The Perfect Photo or the Perfect Moment?

About Wedding Photojournalism, Featured Blog Post

My wedding photojournalism approach is all about documenting your unique wedding story as it unfolds and happens spontaneously. I want to capture the real moments and genuine emotions of the day – it’s a natural, candid and storytelling approach in which I’m passionate about ensuring the integrity of the moment.

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

However, I often get asked how I manage to capture those split second, fleeting little moments whilst ensuring my camera settings are right. After all, cameras are often very technical and complicated tools and in order to get the perfect photo you have to take into account so many factors, such as apertures, shutter speeds, white balance, ISO numbers and the like.

Well, the honest answer is I don’t worry too much about getting the perfect photo.  My focus is on capturing the perfect moment. That’s the holy grail of wedding photojournalism.  Real moments you can’t fake.  Yes, you could try and stage or pose them but they never look real, never appear the same or as natural as a genuine moment occurring.

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So imagine if you were fiddling with your camera settings all the time, trying to get the technically perfect photo…you’d spend so much time looking at the LCD screen of the camera you’d miss all those moments as they happen.  Wedding photojournalism cares more about the moment than technical settings. It’s all about the art of wedding storytelling.

That’s not to say I don’t care about the technical side at all. Experience allows me to ensure I’m in the rough ball park area of technical camera settings but I’m not going to fret about the shot being pin sharp, in focus from front to back, devoid of noise/grain, etc. In fact, I don’t personally like perfect looking photos – they often look too sterile, too clean, too bland to me. I want to capture the emotions, the mood, the atmosphere and everything else that goes into making a perfect moment. It’s like the difference between a pitch perfect modern pop star produced to the highest standards and a crackly old record of a soul singer with a distinct but technically imperfect voice.  Jackie Wilson or Jackie X Factor?

Brighton Old Ship Inn wedding photography of guest playing with the flower girk

Ultimately, how many times have you looked at a wedding photo and said you love it because it’s technically perfect.  Or do you get moved by the moments, the emotions and the expressions of a photo?  I’m guessing it’s the latter and that’s why a wedding photojournalism approach is the perfect way to document the story of your wedding day.

So I’d love to talk with you about your wedding plans and explain how my wedding photojournalism approach will capture and document the perfect moments of your wedding story. Give me a call on +44 (0)7920 422144 or send me a message via my contact page.

Details of my wedding photography services and fees can be found here.

Let’s create a memorable story together.

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.

One of the best Northamptonshire documentary wedding photographers captures a young boy playing during the wedding toasts and speeches at Grendon Lakes, Northamptonshire

Why I Love This Image: The Boy Beneath The Table

Why I Love This Image

A wedding is just a fun playground for kids!

Kids are great at weddings, certainly from a wedding photojournalism perspective.  In many ways they epitomise everything that documentary wedding photography is: unposed, spontaneous and full of fun.  After all, it’s the real story of your wedding as it happens that I capture.

Take this young boy, from Hollie and Dan’s Grendon Lakes wedding photography in Northamptonshire.  He doesn’t care about the wedding speeches or the toasts, no.  He’s far more interested in the table decorations that have fallen on the floor – they look far more fun and interesting!

Of course, the fact that the bride and groom are enjoying the wedding speeches and are seemingly oblivious to a child’s world of fun and adventure going on beneath the head table makes the image even more amusing and brings a smile to my face every time I look at it.

Having spotted this happening, I manoeuvred myself into a better position and waited for him to starting playing with the MR letters – after all, he was quite a young and charming mister!

Given the potential for the clutter to being a tad distracting it was definitely a wedding moment that I knew was going to be black & white.

Weddings are often a mix of chaotic fun and more formal moments.  That’s why a wedding photojournalism approach is such a natural way to capture the real and authentic wedding story.  You could never set such a natural happening scene up and you could never get that young boy to do as you wanted.  Thats why ensuring the integrity of the moment is so important in capturing authentic wedding stories. I want to make them as unique to you as you both are. It’s your day. Your story. Your way.

As a wedding photojournalist you put simply put yourself inside the moment and anticipate the story that’s about to happen. It’s not about getting the perfect shot, it’s all about getting the perfect moment. For that you need to see and feel what you are shooting. It’s why wedding photojournalism delivers the most natural and stunning memories from your day without you even being aware it was happening.

And that’s why I love this image.

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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.

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Contact Me

Love this image too and are getting married? Or maybe you are having a Grendon Lakes wedding in Northamptonshire? 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.

 

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

My 2015 Wedding Photofilm

Photofilm

I’m delighted to say that my showreel review of 2015 is now up to be viewed and enjoyed.  The past year, as a wedding photojournalist, was a wonderful year for weddings and the following photofilm shows just a few of the real moments, genuine emotions and true stories that made the year so memorable.

If you have enjoyed my natural, candid and unobtrusive wedding photojournalism approach to narrating real and unique wedding stories and are getting married, then I’d love to hear about your wedding plans and discuss how I can deliver unique and beautiful documentary images of your special day.  I still have a few limited dates available in 2016 and am taking bookings for 2017/18.  I am a London wedding photographer but cover the whole of the UK and destination weddings abroad.

So why not give me a call on +44 (0)7920 422144 or send me a message via my contact page.  I’ll be delighted to hear from you.

Capturing The Soul: The beauty of b&w

About Wedding Photojournalism, Blog Article, My Style

The passion and emotion of b&w wedding photojournalism

There’s a fantastic quote by photographer Ted Grant which goes:

“When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in Black and white, you photograph their souls!”

That is one of the very reasons I have a passion for black and white photography – especially with my wedding reportage approach.  Now don’t get me wrong, I also enjoy and appreciate colour photography but it’s black and white photography that really excites and moves me; it resonates with me personally in a way colour photography can’t quite – and believe me I have tried.

Ashridge House wedding photography of guests looking on at the bride and groom during the wedding ceremony

Ashridge House Wedding Photography in Hertfordshire – Carly & Sonny

Wedding Stories

Carly & Sonny’s Stunning Wedding Story

When I met Carly and Sonny for the first time, one grey and wet afternoon in Welling, Kent, the thing I most loved was the fact they both got the whole idea of a documentary wedding photography approach. In fact, they had been looking for the right wedding photojournalist for a little while when they happened across one of my Facebook advertisements.  So I knew straight away that I wanted to take my own unique wedding reportage approach and photograph their special wedding story.

Then they told me that would be having their wedding up at the stunningly beautiful Ashridge House near Berkhamsted.  Carly had seen the venue in a magazine a year and a half before and had fallen instantly in love with the beautiful Hertfordshire wedding venue – so booked it straight away…without Sonny even knowing about it!

So I just knew it was going to be a fabulous wedding and was delighted when they asked me to be their wedding photographer.

Beautiful Hertfordshire Wedding Venue

Ashridge House wedding photography of one of the best Hertfordshire wedding venues

Despite the wet, windy and, yes, even a light smattering of snow on the journey up, myself and my 2nd wedding photographer (available as an optional add on to any of my wedding photography packages) arrived at Ashridge House in good time for both of the wedding couple’s morning preparations.  We were both instantly taken about by how beautiful the venue and it’s grounds were – it was easy to see why it is considered one of the best Hertfordshire wedding venues.

With a huge hall and stairways coming down either side from the upper levels it reminded me of the wizard’s school Hogwarts from the Harry Potter books by JK Rowling – and there was definitely magic in the air – of the wedding kind!

So I left my second photographer shooting the venue whilst I went off to document the bridal preparations that were already underway in a large ground floor suite called the Compton Room.

Hair, Make-Up & Tears

Ashridge House wedding photography of the bridesmaids tying their dresses during the bridal preparations.

I make no secret of the fact that I love the bridal preparations on the morning of the wedding. As a wedding photojournalist I love capturing all those genuine moments and true emotions that happen as hair is put up and make-up is applied – and Carly’s was no exception with so much going on in the large and spacious Compton Room of Ashridge House.

With 4 bridesmaids, 2 hairdressers, a make-up artist, the mother-of-the-bride, a godparent and, of course, the bride herself there was never a dull moment and when the time came for Carly to step into her beautiful wedding dress, there was hardly a dry eye in the room.

Up on the Stairs for Love

Ashridge House wedding photography of the father of the bride escorting the bride down stairs to the wedding ceremony.

With such a fantastic central hall it makes perfect sense for the wedding ceremony to be conducted up on a raised part of the old staircase – complete with old painted portraits and sculptured statues looking on as Carly and Sonny made their wedding vows to one another.

The ceremony was a short but sweet affair and it was then onto a book lined room for a drinks reception complete with music and some dancing – which gave me a lot of subject matter as a documentary wedding photography.

Speeches, Emotions and Partying

Ashridge House wedding photography of the bride and the father of the bride overcome with emotion during the wedding speeches

As you’d expect, the speeches and toasts raised a lot of laughter, a few tears and even the odd cringe – as we heard about the bride’s Gothic phase amongst other things.  The father-of-the-bride delivered a moving and emotive speech that drew a few tears.  But there was a lot of laughter as we took in funny stories and saw amusing photos. Then the groom and the best men delivered amusing speeches…it really was a wedding of laughter and joy.

The evening entertainment progressed with the excellent singers and a video booth – provided by the videographers – which was based on the TV program Big Brother’s diary room, which invited guests to record videos for the bride and groom, a great idea for any wedding.  As always I was on hand to unobtrusively capture the moments, emotions and little details that go into make up an authentic and individual wedding story – after all, it’s this very wedding photojournalism approach that Carly and Sonny had wanted from the very start.

As I’m sure you’ll agree, the small selection of wedding photos (from the 1000+ images provided) show what a fantastic wedding day it was.  It really was a huge honour for me to capture this wonderful young couple’s unique wedding story.

Are You Getting Married?

Are you getting married at Ashridge House in Hertfordshire, or elsewhere, and have enjoyed my natural, candid and unobtrusive approach to documenting the emotions and moments of Carly and Sonny’s authentic wedding story?  Then I’d love to hear all about your wedding plans and discuss how my wedding photojournalism approach will deliver your own unique wedding story.

Please give me a call on +44 (0)7920 422144 or send me a message via my contact page here

A Small Selection of Wedding Photos from Carly & Sonny’s Wedding Story:

Ashridge House wedding photography of wedding dresses and the bride having her hair done in the background Ashridge House wedding photography of wedding dress and electric pianoAshridge House wedding photography of bridal preparationsAshridge House wedding photography of bride looking thoughtful during the bridal preparationsAshridge House wedding photography of the bride having her make up applied during the bridal preparationsAshridge House wedding photography of bride laughing with the make up artistAshridge House wedding photography of bride having her make up applied during the bridal preparationsAshridge House wedding photography of the wedding flowers being delivered to the bridal suiteAshridge House wedding photography of the bridal flowers in a wooden crateAshridge House wedding photography of the bride shedding a tear as she reads a wedding cardAshridge House wedding photography of the bride using a tear to wipe a tear during the bridal preparationsAshridge House wedding photography of the bridal flowers and flower print pyjamasAshridge House wedding photography of make up artists during the bridal preparationsAshridge House wedding photography of the make up artist applying make up during the bridal preparationsAshridge House wedding photography of the bride caught in thought during the bridal preparationsAshridge House wedding photography of the groom during his morning preparationsAshridge House wedding photography of a groomsman getting dressedAshridge House wedding photography of a bridesmaid taking a photo of the bridal party's wedding slippers on her smartphoneAshridge House wedding photography of the bride giving a thumbs-up during the bridal preparations.Ashridge House wedding photography of the groom laughing as the groomsman gather behind him.Ashridge House wedding photography of the bride laughing as the hairdresser plays around.Ashridge House wedding photography of a bridesmaid checking herself in a mirror during the bridal preparations.Ashridge House wedding photography of the bride getting into her wedding dressAshridge House wedding photography of the bride getting a wedding shoe onAshridge House wedding photography of the bridesmaids watching as the bride gets into her dressAshridge House wedding photography of the bride's wedding dress being buttoned up.Ashridge House wedding photography of a bridesmaid adjusting the bride's veil as she gets dressedAshridge House wedding photography of the bridesmaids assisting the bride as she gets into her wedding dressAshridge House wedding photography of a bridesmaid crying as she sees the bride in her wedding dress for the first time.Ashridge House wedding photography of the bridesmaid seeing herself in her wedding dress in the reflection of a mirrorAshridge House wedding photography of the bride in her wedding dress, as a bridesmaid has her make-up touched up in the backgroundAshridge House wedding photography of the bride overcome with emotion as her father sees her the first time in her wedding dress.Ashridge House wedding photography of the groom awaiting the arrival of the bride, as the bridesmaids enter the wedding ceremonyAshridge House wedding photography of the father of bride guiding the bride to the wedding ceremonyAshridge House wedding photography of the groom wiping away a small tear as he sees his bride for the first time.Ashridge House wedding photography of the groom and best man watching as the bride enters the wedding ceremonyAshridge House wedding photography of the bride taking in the groom for the first time before the wedding ceremony.Ashridge House wedding photography of the bride fighting back tears as she sees the groom for the first timeAshridge House wedding photography of the bride and groom during the wedding ceremonyAshridge House wedding photography of a wedding guest taking a photo on her smartphone, during the wedding ceremony.Ashridge House wedding photography of the groom placing the wedding ring on the bride's fingerAshridge House wedding photography of the bride and groom sharing a first kiss during the wedding ceremonyAshridge House wedding photography of the bride and groom hugging tenderly at the end of the wedding ceremonyAshridge House wedding photography of a bridesmaid talking with the best man during the wedding ceremonyAshridge House wedding photography of the bride and groom kissing during the signing of the wedding registerAshridge House wedding photography of the bride and groom looking on at their guests, during the signing of the wedding registerAshridge House wedding photography of wedding guests taking a photo as the bride and groom prepare to leave the wedding ceremonyAshridge House wedding photography of wedding guests throwing confetti over the bride and groom.Ashridge House wedding photography of the groom's father enjoying a lighthearted momentAshridge House wedding photography of the bride hugging a guest during the drinks receptionAshridge House wedding photography of the bride enjoying a moment during the drinks receptionAshridge House wedding photography of the groom hugging a guest beyond a couple of groomsmenAshridge House wedding photography of the bride having a conversation with an elderly relativeAshridge House wedding photography of a bridesmaid adjusting the bride's dress, as viewed from aboveAshridge House wedding photography of the bridesmaids admiring the high decorative ceilings as they await the formal portraitsAshridge House wedding photography of the bride and groom enjoying a kiss high up in the buildingAshridge House wedding photography of the bride enjoying a dance with a guest during the drinks receptionAshridge House wedding photography of the bride and wedding guests enjoying themselves during the drinks receptionAshridge House wedding photography of the bride and bridesmaid enjoying a kiss against the backdrop of the beautiful gardensAshridge House wedding photography of the father of brides speechAshridge House wedding photography of the bride and groom enjoying the father of the bride's speechAshridge House wedding photography of the bride embarrassed by an old photo of her during the wedding speeches and toastsAshridge House wedding photography of the groom giving the thumbs up to an amusing photo of him during the wedding speeches and toastsAshridge House wedding photography of the groom pointing out a guest during the wedding speeches and toastsAshridge House wedding photography of the bride tenderly kissing her father following his speechAshridge House wedding photography of he wedding party raising their glasses in toast to the beautiful brideAshridge House wedding photography of the wedding party amused during the grooms wedding speechAshridge House wedding photography of the wedding party listening on as the groom delivers his wedding speechAshridge House wedding photography of the wedding party toasting the Best Man's speechAshridge House wedding photography of a wedding guest congratulating the groom during the receptionAshridge House wedding photography of the wedding videographer adjusting settings of the video boothAshridge House wedding photography of guests enjoying the evening video boothAshridge House wedding photography of the bride and groom cutting the wedding cakeAshridge House wedding photography of the bride and groom enjoying their first danceAshridge House wedding photography of a personal moment during the bride and grooms first danceAshridge House wedding photography of the groom pulling a funny face during the first danceAshridge House wedding photography of the father of the bride enjoying his last dance with his daughterAshridge House wedding photography of an emotional moment as the bride hugs her father during their last danceAshridge House wedding photography of a wedding guest enjoying a dance during the evening receptionAshridge House wedding photography of wedding guests dancing during the evening receptionAshridge House wedding photography of the bride enjoying a photograph with a young guest, whilst bridesmaids adjust her wedding dressAshridge House wedding photography of bridesmaids adjust the bride's wedding dress during the evening receptionAshridge House wedding photography of a guest pointing with amusement during the evening receptionAshridge House wedding photography of the bride enjoying a photograph with a wedding guestAshridge House wedding photography of wedding guests having fun dancing during the evening receptionAshridge House wedding photography of a young wedding guest enjoying the evening receptionAshridge House wedding photography of two wedding guests having fun during the evening receptionAshridge House wedding photography of the mother of the bride having a fun conversation with a wedding guestAshridge House wedding photography of a wedding guest enjoying a boogieAshridge House wedding photography of a bridesmaid enjoying a conversation during the evening reception

 

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.

 

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.

 

 

 

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!

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.

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.

Why I Love This Image: The Emotional Friend

Why I Love This Image

A Perfect Example of Wedding Photojournalism

Wedding photojournalism is all about documenting the real story of wedding day in a candid, natural and unobtrusive manner, without ever dictating events or staging fake moments. It relies on the skill, experience and anticipation of the wedding photographer to capture genuine moments, emotions and expressions. And that’s why I love this image of an emotional friend – it perfectly captures the emotions of a fleeting moment during a private but pivotal time of the wedding day.

Small But Important Moments

The bride, Alex, has just been helped into her wedding dress during the morning bridal preparations at home in Warborough, Oxfordshire, by her close friend. I often say that the bridal preparations are a fantastic time for me, as a wedding photojournalist, to capture lots of emotions. At this time of the day everyone is relaxed and excited and enjoying doing the things that girls really love to do…like hair, make-up and dressing up! Wedding photojournalism relies on fast reactions and being alive to the possibility of situations, so as Alex’s friend stood back to admire her in her wedding dress for the first time I had anticipated a small but important moment was about to pass between the friends in the quietness of the bedroom – enhanced by the gritty black & white and low light levels.

The Drama and the Integrity of the Moment

And, wow!, what a moment it was! Her face is positively glowing with pride, excitement and emotion. Her body language, the way her hands are grasping her own thighs, suggests someone doing everything to hold it together and not be totally overcome with her emotions.  It’s completely real and raw. You couldn’t fake or stage this moment – any attempt to set it up would lose both the drama and the integrity of the moment. This is real, genuine emotion passing between two friends, in the quiet privacy of a bedroom, at one of the defining moments of the wedding day.  For me, this is the power of photojournalism. He couldn’t be moved by such a display of real closeness and raw emotion?

And that’s why this is an image I love!

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Love this image too and are getting married? Or maybe you are having a wedding Oxfordshire? 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.

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.

3 Camera Wedding Photography

My Style

So why do use 3 cameras to capture wedding photography?

As a wedding photographer one of the things I often get asked about – especially by guests on the wedding day – is why I am shooting the wedding with 3 cameras.  So I thought it might be useful (and a little interesting?) to explain why here.

Old Ship Inn Brighton wedding photography of the bride putting on a necklace above a tattoo of her daughter's name, during the bridal preparations

Being a wedding photographer who specialises in natural, candid and unobtrusive wedding photojournalism it is important I have cameras small and light enough that allow me to get inside the real moments of the wedding day without damaging the integrity of the moment.  The beauty of mirrorless camera systems is that they offer camera bodies small enough to do this whilst not compacting on image quality that couples would expect of professional wedding photography.  Arguably the Olympus OMD system is one of the best and most professional of these mirrorless camera systems and having shot with Olympus cameras ever since I first picked up a professional camera in the mid 1980s, it was only logical I would stick with Olympus as a brand.  But let’s not get too carried away by brand choice or gear snobbery – ultimately a camera is just a tool. It’s the photographer who puts the word professional into professional wedding photography. And professional wedding photographers have full control over their cameras rather than allowing their camera to control them!

Anyhow, I digress. So, back to my 3 camera wedding photography setup, so with cameras that are much smaller and, importantly, lighter than traditional Digital Single Lens Reflex Cameras (DSLR) it’s so much easier to carry 3 cameras to capture wedding reportage photographer than, say, 2 much bigger and heavier DSLRs – and believe me I know…I did it or years!  And believe me, as a working professional wedding photographer, I can safely say the technology is such now that those big DSLRs will be a thing of the past in just a few years time.

Holiday Inn Brighton wedding photography of the briding crying during the wedding ceremony

Still I guess it still doesn’t explain why I would want to shoot a wedding with 3 cameras, even if they are smaller and lighter.  The answer to this is simply all about image quality.  As a wedding photojournalist it is important, given the dark and low light situations I face in shooting a wedding day (think dark churches, dark receptions and the good old English weather amongst other challenges), that I have a “fast” lens.  Simply put the faster a lens is the more light it will let in and the lower the light I can work in whilst still handholding my camera or without having to resort flash photography (which is often not allowed or is quite intrusive).  The truth is that the fastest lenses are what are known as “Prime” lenses or, in other words, fixed length lenses which unlike zoom lenses only shoot at 1 fixed distance to/from subject.  So given I choose to shoot my wedding photojournalism with prime lenses I invariably need 3 cameras to put these on. After all, I want a wide, normal and longer length lenses to cover all possibilities on the wedding day (and of course I carry a wide variety of prime lenses with me to a wedding – and the smaller lighter nature of these I can carry more a lot easier) so 3 cameras give me this flexibility.

Now, of course, I hear you thinking why not shoot a wedding with 2 zoom lenses that offer a variety of focal lengths. After all, this would perhaps require only two cameras.  And, yes, a lot of the wedding photographers do shoot with 2 cameras and 2 zoom lenses. However, if we put the fact that zooms are much heavier and longer to carry around than prime lenses, they generally are not as “fast” as prime lenses (making it more of a challenge to work in low light conditions) and, arguably, the image quality out of a zoom lens doesn’t match the sharper, crisper images you get out of a prime lens (and don’t forget a camera is only as good as the lens you put on it – but maybe that’s a different post for another day). This is because a zoom lens needs more elements and optics in it to provide all those “zoomable” focal lengths.  The more elements you have been the lens and the camera’s sensor, arguably the softer and less sharp your images will turn out.  That’s not to say there’s not some zoom lenses out there that produce stunning results, there are, but these can be ridiculously priced and  very susceptible to damage (another post for another day is how rugged Olympus gear is compared to other more sensitive brands!).  So shooting with primes gives me the ease and flexibility to capture stunning wedding photos. And being smaller than zoom lenses they are less obtrusive and allow me to get in much closer to subjects and moments, which is vital to capturing the genuine and authentic wedding moments that is demanded of wedding photojournalism.

Rowton Castle Wedding Photography of the bride being helped into her wedding dress

There is one final reason I shoot with 3 cameras on the wedding day and it’s the simple factor of reducing risk.  In the worst case scenario if one camera breaks or stops working I will still have two cameras to carry on shooting you wedding (and yes I do have 2 zoom lenses in my bag should I need to revert to them in a worst case 2 or 1 camera scenario – again all about reducing risk on such a big and important day, where a lot of money has been spent!) Imagine the poor 2 camera wedding photographer who would need to go down to 1 camera at a wedding in the same circumstances (it’s still doable on 1 camera – I had that happen in my 2 camera days – but its a lot more stressful and challenging capturing all the shots expected of a wedding day!) I don’t want to even think about those who choose to shoot wedding photography with just 1 camera (I won’t call them professional wedding photographers as no professional would dare to risk shooting a wedding with 1 camera!) and something goes wrong with the camera.  That’s one of the things you will find with those wedding photographers who offer unbelievably cheap prices to shoot your wedding. Often they will only have 1 camera and maybe 2 lenses (and more than likely not very good cameras or lenses at that).  It’s how they manage to keep their price so low, but I genuinely believe that’s too big a risk. What value do you put on your wedding photography? Are you really wanting to take that kind of risk?

Brighton wedding dress and bride

So what prime lenses do I use and bring to a wedding.  Generally on my cameras I have a 12mm f/2 wide angle lens, a 25mm f1.4 mid lens and a 45mm f1.8 lens. In my bag I also carry a 17mm f/1.8, a 60mm f/2.8 macro lens that also doubles up as a longer portrait lens and a beautiful 75mm f1/1.8 longer portrait lens. In addition to these I have 4 zoom lenses available (should I really need them!) that cover from an ultra wide 9mm right up to a really long 300mm.  So you can see, I really do have all bases covered!

And there you have it, the reasons I shoot with 3 cameras on a wedding day (it’s also worth pointing out that in addition to these 3 cameras I often bring 2 older backup cameras too!)

So if you are getting married and are assured by my approach to wedding photography then please do give me a call on 07920 422144 or leave me a message on my contact page. I’d love to chat with you about your wedding plans and how my wedding photojournalism approach will help you get the beautiful and genuine story of your wedding day. You can find details of my current packages and prices on the Collections & Prices page.

Why I Love This Image: The Couples & The Cross

Why I Love This Image

Why I Love This Image

This is a pretty recent photo from Lisa and Steve’s wedding at Slaley Hall in Northumberland yet already the first thing I get asked about the image is, “did you set this up?”

Of course, as a wedding photojournalist the vast majority of my wedding photography is shot in a candid and natural way – no staging or faking of events. I want to document a wedding story of the day itself, rather than my creation of it and this photo is no exception…this was a real and genuine moment I spotted and photographed.

Now there are two very important reasons why I love this image.  Firstly, of course it’s the symmetry between both couples and the way in which they are both mirroring each others private and touching moments towards the end of the evening.  Try and stage this and it would never look so tender and touching. The couples are clearly lost in one another and my presence is discreet and unobtrusive enough to insure the integrity of the moment is not disturbed or ruined. That’s the strength and power of wedding photojournalism. It’s real and authentic and when the bride and groom look back at this photo they will remember the private moment that they were sharing, rather than looking back and saying “oh remember when Darren made us do this.”  Reality is always more powerful than fiction.

Of course, a lot of viewers won’t realise that the two men in the image are brothers and that’s what adds an even more emotional and strong bond to the image. It has meaning on a number of levels for the couples.

The other aspect of the image that really makes this so powerful for me, is the cross formed by the frame of the window. With the bride and groom sat beneath it, tenderly engaging, it gives a really spiritual mood and atmosphere to the image.  It literally reminds us of the religious traditions of marriage, even if we’re not all religious.

As a photographer you can only be alert to such fleeting moments and why you should never switch off. This image was shot about 12 hours into my working day and proves a wedding photojournalist is always alive and alert to possibilities – even at the end of the night.

You can see other images I love here.

Techie details for the camera geeks:
Body: Olympus OMD EM5  Lens: 12mm (EFL: 24mm)  Aperture: f/2  Shutter Speed: 1/40  ISO: 1600  Flash: Did not fire.

Like this photo and are getting married? Or maybe you are having a wedding at Slaley Hall in Hexham, Northumberland? Then I’d love to talk with you. Call me on 07920 422144 or drop me a quick message 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.

If you enjoyed this post you may also enjoy the following posts

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.

Documentary wedding photography at Slaley Hall, NorthumberlandDocumentaryOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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 plansDrop me a line here.

Or call me on 07920 422144.

If you enjoyed this post, below are some other posts you may also enjoy:

 

Wedding reportage photography at South Lodge hotel in Horsham, West Sussex

South Lodge Sussex Wedding Photography – Kelly & Ryan

Wedding Stories

A Real Story of a Real Wedding: Kelly & Ryan at South Lodge Country House Hotel, Near Horsham in West Sussex –  a documentary wedding photography approach

Being a wedding photographer the three things you always hope for are a fantastic couple, a picturesque wedding venue and perfect sunny weather. Kelly and Ryan’s Sussex wedding provided all three and ensure I was able to get beautiful wedding photography for them.

As you’d expect of a country house style hotel, set on the edge of the beautiful South Downs in West Sussex, the South Lodge hotel is a gorgeous wedding venue, near Horsham. With glorious sunshine bathing the 93 acres of grounds and woodland that surround the hotel, I knew the wedding day was going to be a very special one indeed. In fact, it’s days like this that makes being a Sussex wedding photographer so enjoyable.

I’d met Kelly when she was a bridesmaid at the Sussex wedding of Nicole and Eugene that I had photographed the year before. There’s no bigger compliment, as a wedding photographer, than to be asked to photograph someone’s special day after they have seen you in action at a wedding. It was the wedding photojournalism approach I undertake that had impressed them, as Kelly said, they weren’t a posy kind of couple and preferred their wedding photography to be natural and candid, documenting the real emotions and genuine moments of the day. Perfect for a documentary wedding photographer, like me, who visually narrates the wedding story in an unobtrusive and candid manner.

Arriving early at the hotel, with my trusted second shooter with me, we set about shooting the beautiful hotel grounds of the South Lodge, complete with an impressive wrought iron tree swing – camera candy for any kind of photographer, let alone a wedding photographer! As is normal when I am booked with a second shooter, I cover the bridal preparations on the wedding morning, whilst my second shooter has the privilege of covering the Groom’s preparations.

The bridal suite at the South Lodge is stunning – a large airy room that’s filled with lots of light and impressive views across the hotel’s grounds. Wedding photography in such a venue is a joy to undertake. The bride and her three bridesmaids were remarkably calm and relaxed, ahead of the wedding day to come. The room was full of laughs and excitement as the hairdresser and beauticians went about their easy job of the making the bridal party beautiful – providing lots of candid moments for a wedding photojournalist like me to document. Kelly looked absolutely gorgeous in her wedding dress – which took a lot of well-planned help to get in.

The civil ceremony at the South Lodge takes place in the Wordsworth Room on the “Poets floor” and takes quite a few twists and turns through the hotel from the bridal suite. Fortunately an official toastmaster – complete in his dashing red jacket and formal wear – was on hand to guide the bridal party down – again giving me plenty of wedding reportage moments to capture.

The Wordsworth room was full of beaming guests for the ceremony and triple aspect windows and patio doors, with a sun-drenched terrace beyond, allowed glorious sunlight to fill the room and lighten the smiles and tears I was able to photography. Once the wedding rings were exchanged, the first kiss enjoyed and the happy couple declared husband and wife the room erupted with cheers and applause – perfect fodder for wedding photojournalism!

The formal wedding portraits of the bride and groom took place in what is known as the South Lodge’s Secret Garden – a beautiful natural garden, rockeries and water features set within the Sussex countryside. This allowed for some beautiful wedding portraits of the happy couple. The formal speeches and toasts followed the wedding breakfast. After a moving speech by the father-of-the-bride we moved on to an emotional Groom’s speech by Ryan and, it would be fair to say, a few tears with it. Then it was laughs for the Best Man’s speech, all of which provided lots of natural moments and emotions for me to capture, as a wedding photojournalist.

After the cutting of the cake and the first dance, it was time for the guests to let their hair down and celebrate the marriage of Kelly and Ryan – a very special day for all concerned. Not least me as their wedding photographer. I’m sure you’ll agree it was a fun and beautiful day all round.

Part of my Wedding Stories series.

Getting married at the South Lodge Hotel near Horsham in West Sussex 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 Kelly & Ryan’s real wedding story at the South Lodge Country House Hotel near Horsham in West Sussex. I hope you enjoy them as much I did shooting them! Click on an image to view larger version. 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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 plansDrop me a line here.

Or call me on 07920 422144.

If you enjoyed this post, below are some other posts you may also enjoy: