I didn’t hesitate in saying “yes” when Klem and Jamie asked me to be their Oxford documentary wedding photographer. After all, to shoot in such an historic and beautiful university city like Oxford is an absolute privilege and honour.
So following on from the intimate family meal the evening before, it was now time for the Ashby Manor House wedding day itself. In the previous post I spoke about the amazing history of the house itself. So it’s certainly a fantastic and interesting wedding venue in Warwicksire, and close to the Northamptonshire border.
The granduer of the interior and rooms of the house make for a beautiful backdrop for the wedding preparations. And given the size of the house it was possible for the bridal party and groomsmen to avoid one another ahead of the wedding.
The grounds and gardensare enormous and offer so much potential for an Ashby Manor House wedding. Sinead and Fungai had space for a big marquee next to the house, places for a band to play, a terrace for cocktails and drinks and for a saxophonist space to also play.
So there was a hive of activity as things were set up in the gardens during the morning. All perfect for my non-traditional wedding photojournalism approach. However, the groomsmen had the right idea and quickly decamped to a pub just down the road in the village, for a refreshing liquid lunch.
The wedding ceremony itself took place next door to the house, in the neighbouring church The Blessed Virgin Mary and St Leodegarius. This is conveniently placed with gateways into the grounds of the house and with a private churchyard entrance.
Inside it was all beautiful and historic anquity, giving a beautiful air more than fitting for a wedding ceremony. Of course, it was packed to the rafters with Sinead and Fungai’s family and friends.
After the wedding ceremony the beautiful grounds of Ashby Manor House made for a perfect setting for the cocktails and music that followed. From the iconic Lutyens Bridge to the idylic lakes, an Ashby Manor House wedding is without a beautiful setting for any wedding day.
Music was provided by an African band which the guests certainly enjoyed – especially the children who provided almost as much entertainment with their dancing to the music.
The wedding breakfast, speeches and toasts took place in a large, light and airy marquee that was erected in the gardens besides the main house. Guests were also entertained by some traditional Irish dancing – to represent Sinead’s part Irish roots too.
The dancing continued with the traditional wedding disco, plus the fantastic house music saxaphonist, until the guests went outside to enjoy some fireworks late on – a great way to end this Ashby Manor House wedding day with a bang!
Without doubt it was a beautiful wedding day in the beautiful setting that is Ashby Manor House. I’m sure you’ll agree from the small selection of photos that follow, Sinead and Fungai had the perect day.
If you’re thinking of having an Ashby Manor House wedding in Warwickshire, or think my relaxed, storytelling & non-traditional wedding photography approach would be a great fit for your wedding day, then I’d love to hear from you.
Enjoyed this real wedding story? You can also see many more real wedding stories that I’ve shot over the years.
It’s hard to believe it’s now three years ago that I shot Gemma and Chris’ wedding in Northamptonshire in 2016.
It was a beautiful summer’s day that shone down on the historic village of Nether Heyford in the heart of the English countryside. The village is recorded in the Domesday Book and has one of the largest village greens in the country – so it was without doubt a beautiful setting for a rural wedding.
The church of St Peter and St Paul, where Gemma and Chris tied the knot, is a grade II listed building, with some of it dating back to the 13th century. With lots of trees and greenery surrounding the church, its a classic backdrop for an English rural wedding.
The reception was held in a marquee on a friend’s private land, in the heart of the village – a fantastic way to do a wedding your own way.
So happy anniversary Gemma and Chris. I hope you enjoy your day!
Let’s Chat About Your Wedding Plans
If you’re getting married in Northamptonshire or think my relaxed and stress-free approach to wedding photography would be a good fit for your wedding, then I’d love to have a chat with you about your wedding plans.
You can call me on +44 7920 422144. Or simply send me a message via my contact form and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
When Sinead and Fungai booked me to be their wedding photographer at Ashby Manor House on the Warwickshire Northamptonshire border they offered me a unique proposal.
The night before the wedding day they were having an intimate family meal at the venue and invited me to attend to document the evening’s gathering. How could I refuse? After all, I was staying locally that evening so it would be a fun and unique way to spend the night before the wedding after.
Back in 2009, as a photojournalist, I was invited to a special St Georges Day event at Leadenhall Market in the City of London of which, then London Mayor, Boris Johnson would be attending, along with the celebrity chef Gary Rhodes.
Given that Boris Johnson is now likely to be the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, I thought it’d be interesting to dig out those photos from my archives and reflect back on the day.
These events are always closely choreographed and stage managed with quite a frenetic tabloid press pack in attendance. We were instructed to arrive at Leadenhall Market by a specific time where, following being checked off by the Mayor’s Press Office, we were give our “instructions” – usually the do’s and do not’s of dealing with the Mayor.
It was then a case of waiting around for Boris to arrive with Gary Rhodes, on a traditional red double decker Routemaster, no less. With St George’s flags fluttering, city traders mixing with market traders and Pearly Kings and Queens trying to out-tradition Morris Dancer, no St George’s Day cliche was missing.
True to form the Mayor was late – the bus held up in the notorious London traffic. As soon as he did it became the usual media scrum to get the best position to get the shots that would furnish that evening’s front pages and local London news broadcasts.
These media packs are not for the fainthearted in amongst the jostling and positioning, and the slightest sign of courtesy is seen as weakness and you quickly find yourself elbowed out. Thankfully, I’m not so easily budged or moved out the way!
What you have to realise about Boris Johnson is that his “one of the chaps” and buffoonery is very much a public act. For instance, before he got off the bus, he quickly checked his hair and ruffled it up some more.
However, on this particular day, the normally publicly jocular Boris Johnson was missing. He seemed unusually tetchy with us photojournalists, refusing to play up for the cameras.
In fact, he got particularly annoyed being asked to don one of the Morris Dancer’s hats and to dance with them. He downright refused and accused us of trying to make him look foolish, something he didn’t usually shy away from. The best we got was him holding a hat above his head, as if he was worried about messing up the hair he had earlier sought to mess up.
Looking back, it’s fascinating to review photos of man still early on his path to the most powerful seat in the land. Yet still, that carefully stage managed event does demonstrate a determined politician even then, a decade before he was likely to become the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
When the fun fair comes to town, there’s only one thing to do as a local candid street photographer: pick up your camera and had down to Carshalton Park in Wallington in order to document all the fun.
So that’s exactly what I did.
A fun same sex wedding in the Vale of Glamorgan
It’s not everyday you photograph a wedding that’s also being featured as part of a TV series. However, that’s exactly what I faced with Dianne and Kathy’s the Bear Hotel Cowbridge wedding in the Vale of Glamorgan in Wales.
A Mature Wedding Story
This small and intimate Maybridge Community Church wedding down in Worthing, West Sussex was different from your average wedding in a number ways. After all, it’s not everyday you get asked to be the wedding photographer for a couple who are in their 70’s – as Elisabeth and Pete were.
So when Nicola and Jamie told me they were having a Southwark Cathedral wedding and then a boat trip down the River Thames, to a rowing club in Putney for their evening celebrations I just knew I had to be their wedding photographer.
After all, being a London wedding photographer I was excited by the prospect of capturing so many iconic London locations as a wedding backdrop.
You may be looking for a London wedding photographer but I need to be very clear that I’m definitely not just another wedding photographer. In many ways I see weddings a little bit differently. Of course you may be wondering what I mean by this?
So here are 5 reasons why I’m not just another wedding photographer.
The wedding first dance is one of those must have photos from your wedding day. Being a documentary London wedding photographer I will capture it in its most natural and beautiful state. I want to document the essence of you as a new married couple right there in that romantic moment.
Now of course I will never direct what you should or shouldn’t do, as I want to capture what a first dance means to you. But I thought it would be useful to give you five tips to make sure you get the most awesome wedding first dance photos from your day.
Why I Love This Image
This Wicksteed Park wedding photo is a perfect example of why I love staying on beyond a couple’s first dance. Once wedding guests have had a few drinks, it’s time to let their hair down and get uninhibited on the dance floor.
Indian Wedding Photographer in Croydon, London
How I came to be Inderdeep’s London Indian wedding photographer for his Sikh Maiyan Celebrations is slightly unusual. I had a number of years before documented his sister’s baby shower celebrations, so his mother reached out to me to see if I was available for his actual Indian wedding ceremony. I was and she went ahead and booked me but unbeknown to her, the father of the bride had also booked another wedding photographer.
Yes I’m a documentary London wedding photographer. However, there’s a misconception, often fueled by wedding photojournalists ourselves. It’s that documentary wedding photography cannot (or should not) include posed portraits or traditional group shots.
A Long Tradition of Photojournalists & Portraiture
Son and Daughter Day
In honour of today being International Son and Daughter Day (11 August) I thought it would be nice to share with you some wedding photography of brides and grooms with their children on the wedding day.
As a documentary wedding photographer I love to photograph those special and unique bonds between people and there is none closer than the relationship between a parent and child – young or old.
Bonds, Relationships & Emotions
Of course, it being a wedding day often makes that relationship even more intense and, excuse the pun, sharply focused. Emotions often run high as parents forge a new relationship together of which their children will form a central part.
So when I document those often powerful private moments between a bride or groom with their child, I’m recording a truly moving and intimate piece of family life. It’s all part of your wedding’s real and unique story.
Being a natural and genuine moment it’s heartfelt and raw, in a way a posed or set up wedding moment could never capture or recreate. As a wedding photojournalist I truly value the integrity of such moments.
So What Is Son and Daughter Day?
You may be wondering what Son and Daughter day is. To quote from the Days of the Year website, it is:
“…the perfect opportunity to set aside some time to reflect on the joy that children bring to your life. Whether sons and daughters are young or old, teenagers or toddlers, the bond between parent and child is like no other on earth and this annual celebration ensures the miracle of bringing new life into the world is never forgotten. Though the origins of Son and Daughter Day are unknown, it is celebrated widely across the world simply by parents spending time with their children and letting them know how special they are to them. The best gift to give on Son and Daughter Day is the gift of time. If your children are still living at home, take some time out of your schedule to truly enjoy their company. If your children have moved away, make sure they return so you can spend quality family time together.“
So share with me and celebrate Son and Daughter day with this very small selection of wedding photos featuring brides and grooms with their kids on the wedding day.
Book a Documentary Wedding Photographer
Do you enjoy my unposed, candid and natural documentary wedding photography and how it captures real moments and genuine emotions from the wedding day?
Then I’d love to chat with you about your wedding plans and how I can document the real and unique wedding story from your day. Although I am a London wedding photographer I do service the whole of the U.K. and destination weddings overseas.Contact Me Now
Or, if you prefer you can call/text me on 07920 422144.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Tanya and Steve were having a low-key and intimate wedding at Wicksteed Park in Northamptonshire. As part of this they wanted a Northamptonshire wedding photographer who would blend into the background, capture all the natural moments from the day and simply allow them to enjoy their wedding day as they should – with their friends and family.
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!
The evening reception is one of my favourite parts of the wedding day, and this Frilford Heath Golf Club wedding reception was no different.
It’s Time To Celebrate
The great part about the evening reception is that everyone is ready to have fun and party. The serious part of the wedding day is out of the way, everyone’s been fed and the drinks are usually flowing. It’s the part of the wedding day when the couple can properly celebrate their tying of the knot.
As a wedding photographer I always stay beyond the first dance – at least for an hour minimum but often longer – to document all those great expressions, great emotions and, yes, even those great dance floor moves.
Frilford Heath Golf Club Wedding Reception
Here a joyous bride has grabbed hold of an elderly wedding guest and is getting her disco groove thang on.
You simply can’t create that kind of emotion on her face or the genuine nature of the moment. As a documentary wedding photographer I want to capture all those real moments as they happen. I’m not looking to set up, stage or even fake a fantastic moment like this.
It’s All About The Colour Too
Also I love the colour. From the pink hat the bride has put on through to the disco lights that surround the dance floor. The colour and freezing of the moment is assisted by using a flash – something I’ll only revert to during the dancing in the evening.
It’s nice too to have colour splashed across the frame. Too often wedding photojournalism is associated with black and white photography, so it’s nice to show off colour when documenting the wedding story.
So that’s why I love this image of from a Frilford Heath Golf Club wedding.
Book Me For Your Frilford Heath Golf Club Wedding
Are you having a wedding at Frilford Heath Golf Club in Oxfordshire? Or perhaps you want a relaxed, natural and storytelling photography approach to your wedding day?
I’d love to have an informal chat with you about your wedding plans. You can call me on 07920 422144 or send me a message via the contact form below.
I look forward to hearing from you.
I previously shot Andrea and Nick’s Nigerian Wedding Blessing at St Anselm’s church in Tooting Bec in the London Borough of Wandsworth . So as a Wandsworth wedding photographer it was great to be back there again a week or so later for their formal wedding day, before moving on to Wandsworth Town Hall for the evening celebrations.
There’s often a presumption that wedding photojournalists are only concerned with documenting people at weddings and that we don’t really bother with wedding detail shots. Well, that’s why I’ve chosen this photo of a wedding cake at the Marriott Meon Valley Hotel and Country Club near Southampton in Hampshire for inclusion in my Why I Love This Image series.
Wedding Details & the Wedding Photojournalist
As an experienced wedding photographer I realise the importance of details shots. After all, you have spent a lot of time, thought and money on choosing the smaller details of your wedding day. It’s only natural you will want a documented record of these. And a wedding photojournalist is there to capture all elements of your wedding story.
But when I shoot the wedding details, such as a wedding cake, I also like to include some context and, wherever possible, some storytelling too. There’s definitely no reason you can’t pull all these elements together, as this wedding cake shot demonstrates.
The Wedding at the Marriott Meon Valley Hotel
The wedding cake take’s centre stage and I’ve taken a slightly lower perspective to add a little drama – as well as eliminating some of the less desirable things like table legs and carpet. Beyond that you have waiters serving food to the wedding party at the Marriott Meon Valley. This inclusion, ensures the wedding cake is set within the story of the day, rather than just another anonymous wedding cake from another anonymous wedding. And by having it in black and white, it really compliments the strong graphic nature of the image.
In my opinion it really adds to Sam and Kevin’s unique wedding story and that’s definitely why I love this image.
Contact Me To Discuss Your Wedding Plans
So if you think a wedding photojournalism approach would be ideal for documenting the individual and special story of your wedding day, then I’d love to chat with you about your wedding plans. Likewise, if you’re getting married at the Marriott Meon Valley near Southampton in Hampshire then lets definitely chat.
You can give me a call or send a text to 07920 422144. Or send me a message to my contact page with details of your wedding and I’ll get straight back to you.
It’s one of those things I regularly get asked as a wedding photographer by couples: “Can we have the RAW files for our wedding photos, please?”
Of course, it’s a reasonable request and I fully understand why couples would ask for the RAW files. However, there are good reasons why I don’t provide my RAW files.
But first of all, you may be wondering what a RAW file is? Let me explain…
What Is A RAW File?
In a basic sense, as described on Wikipedia:
“Raw image files are sometimes called digital negatives, as they fulfill the same role as negatives in film photography: that is, the negative is not directly usable as an image, but has all of the information needed to create an image.“
In technical speak a RAW file is an uncompressed file that contains the raw image data. It provides the image data exactly as it was captured by the camera, without loss of quality and without compression. It then needs to be converted to an image file, such as a JPEG, via software. This gives much more flexibility and control in editing he final image, as no information has been stripped out the image – as would happen if the image was shot as a JPEG in camera.
Why Couples Often Ask for the RAW Files from their Wedding Photography
OK, you say, but why would a wedding couple ask for the RAW files of their wedding photography? After all, it sounds like a lot of effort having to convert it to a JPEG before it canbe shared online or printed off.
In my experience, there’s usually 3 reasons why a couple may ask for the RAW files:
- They want to re-edit the images themselves.
- By offering to edit the images themselves, instead of the wedding photographer, it may mean a discount in the price.
- They simply think they have “purchased” the RAW files in the price of their wedding photography collection and it belongs to them.
Why I Don’t Offer My RAW Files
All of these reasons are understandable, but let me address them and explain why a professional wedding photographer wouldn’t (or shouldn’t!) give their RAW files to a couple.
- The way I edit my images and their final “look” is all part of my brand identity. That identity is part of why a couple will book me in the first place. I edit the images in a distinct style. In many ways, my edited images are my “shop window” to the world. So I don’t want images out there that are edited in a different way. That risks damaging the brand identity I have built. In other words, it’s potentially damaging to my business.
- Aside from the point above, how they are edited is important to my business reputation, a RAW file would be – if I even did contemplate selling it – infinitely much more expensive than the JPEG files. Why? Especially if it takes away my editing time? That’s kind of wrapped up in the following third point.
- In effect, when a couple books a wedding photographer they are not buying ownership of the images. Instead they are being granted certain reproduction rights for those images. But the copyright of the images remains with the photographer. By not giving up the RAW files it ensures the photographer maintains control over what happens with those files and ultimately their brand identity. To give that up would require a fee that would likely be far too expensive to make it worthwhile for the couple. Ultimately photos are my business and to give up the RAW files is akin away part of my business.
It’s Not That I’m Depeche Mode, But…
It might be easier to compare RAW files with the original sound recordings a music band or artist make. When you buy their music on CD, Vinyl or as an MP3 you don’t get rights to the original sound files, so you can remix the music as you want or even sell them on. No you get certain rights to playing and enjoying that music. It’s exactly the same with RAW files and your wedding photography.
So I’m not being difficult or precious when I say I don’t give away or sell the RAW files. It’s for very sound business reasons.
However, you do of course get beautifully edited high resolution JPEG images from which I’m more than happy for you to print and share freely. The only restriction is that I request you seek my permission if you are going to sell those images commercially – which I’ve never encountered from wedding photos!
Let’s Have a Chat About Your Wedding Plans
I hope you found that informative and understand the reasons why I don’t provide RAW files. If you are getting married and are interested in my documentary wedding photography approach, then I’d love to have a informal and non-obligatory chat with you about your wedding plans.
You can send me a message via my contact page (I will usually get back to you very quickly) or you can call/text/WhatsApp me on 07920 422144. I’ll be delighted to hear from you.
Still Have Questions?
If you have any more questions about my wedding photography, you can find answers in my Frequently Asked Questions. If you don’t find the answer you’re looking for, then please feel free to send me your question and I’ll do my best to answer it for you.
As people may know by now, my personal street photography is very important to me. Not just as a creative outlet but also in my approach as a documentary wedding photographer. It’s why I have on occasion been dubbed the “street photography wedding photographer.”
Urban Street Diving
So I’m delighted to have had some of my street photography featured on the Urban Street Diving (USD) website. It was also nice to have been interviewed as part of the article. Andreas, the guy behind USD had asked me a couple of time if I’d do a contribution for the website. The idea being to do a very short and brisk shoot in a single location.
So being a Wallington wedding photographer I decided to go out to try and shoot some street photography around Wallington. You can see the results and read the interview me over on Urban Street Diving.
The Street Photography Wedding Photographer
So why is street photography so important to me as documentary wedding photographer?
Well, when it comes to your wedding photography story you want the real story of your wedding day being documented. That will include all those emotions, gestures, glances and moments that will evolve naturally throughout your wedding day. As a wedding photographer you have to be alive to these moments happening – anticipating when and where a genuine moment will happen.
Street photography helps me hone that skill. If you can capture such moments in a candid and consistent way, over time, in public of strangers then it really helps when it comes to documenting your wedding story.
So being the street photography wedding photographer really does help me capture the real story of your special wedding day.
Contact Me About Your Wedding Day
If you would like to chat with me about your wedding plans and how I can deliver those natural, candid and unobtrusive wedding photos you crave from your wedding day then send me a message via my contact page. Alternatively you can give me a call, or send a text, via 07920 422144
If you’d like to see more of my candid street photography you can do so at my street photography website.
So if you’d like a street photography wedding photographer you know exactly where to come.
When Andrea and Nick told me they were planning a traditional Nigerian wedding blessing a week before their actual wedding day, at St Anselm’s in Tooting Bec, London, I just knew I had to include that in the wedding photography package I offered them.
After all, as soon as I think of traditional African weddings I immediately think vibrant colours, song, vibrant colour, dance and, did I mention, vibrant colours – everything that my documentary wedding photography approach would love to capture.. And I definitely wasn’t disappointed.