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        My Approach To Wedding Photography

        It’s an over used term, but I love being a storyteller, not a story maker. The fun, tears, emotion and craziness are all captured for you to remember in years to come. I honestly think that it’s the best approach to wedding photography, always looking for the creative image, but the moment captured trumps everything! The most common advice I see about weddings from recently married couples is that the day goes by so quickly, I want you to take in every minute possible. I’ll be documenting the day as you enjoy it.

        This is a sample of how I approach weddings, a story from beginning to end. Weddings are jam packed with moments, big and small, and that’s my focus throughout a wedding day. I’m a solo shooter, it’s more discrete that way, and I utilise natural light most of the day. I won’t ask you to look at the camera and ‘say cheese!’ and I can be there all day from beginning to end. Below is a breakdown of a wedding day with some stories about some of the photo film images…

         

        A Walk Through A Wedding Day…

        Getting

        Ready

        I love documenting the preparations! Every bride and groom approach their wedding day in their own way, and there's so much to capture. Everything from nervous hands with the bow ties to the anticipation leaving for the church. No posing, just real moments. This is a great way to start the photo collection, especially as this is the one part of the day the bride and groom aren't together, making the images a surprise upon delivery.

        Getting

        Ready

        Often the beginning of a wedding day is full of smiles and laughter. You're with your best friends getting ready for one of the biggest days of your life. To be honest, it was probably harder to get a photo of Zizi not smiling for his wedding. Here, getting the tie just right, he's getting the final touches sorted before meeting Katie at the end of the aisle.

        Getting

        Ready

        I think it's important to offer a different perspective to images when possible. I often return from a wedding day with dirty knees from lots of kneeling for lower angle shots. This time however it was a top down view of Georgie making her exit for the church. This also has the benefit of creating some leading lines and shapes not normally seen. It's easy to always shoot standing, but it gets more interesting if different to the normal angle of view.

        Getting

        Ready

        I focus on natural documentary moments, that doesn't mean I have to sacrifice creativity. I want to provide a variety of wedding images, in this case I utilised the bridal suite at Ever After. Victoria was a almost done with her preparations and I borrowed some decorative glass from the chandelier to make a foreground interest eliminating any distractions and focus on the smile.

        Getting

        Ready

        Kids at weddings are great subjects for photos! Whilst getting ready at Anran in Devon there was lots going on, but I couldn't resist getting an image with this expression in the wedding collection. Mum, son and daughter getting ready, and one of them being a bit cheeky about it all.

        Getting

        Ready

        I think grooms and groomsmen are often over looked at weddings. With most of the focus on bridal prep it's nice to pop in for 15 minutes, say hello and get some images. I've lost track the number of times I've seen YouTube on the go to help tie the ties! Frank and his groomsmen were no different, one had sussed it, so the others followed.

        Getting

        Ready

        This was a really special wedding to photograph, it included a few firsts for me. Annie had a super quiet start to the day, just with her mum and makeup artist in the room. I'm a fan of creating layers in images, foreground, middle and background. Here I have Annie's mum clapping in joy about her daughter getting into her wedding dress, proud moment indeed.

        Getting

        Ready

        Taking layers one step further, it helps create depth to an image, and in turn interest. With lots of final touches being put together at once, it's one of those fleeting moments that a photo freezes and stores forever. Headdress, lipgloss and vail all being arranged by friends before making our way to the church.
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        The

        Ceremony

        From churches to outdoors, vicars to humanists, I've seen a lot of different wedding ceremonies. The entrance down the aisle and the first kiss are key moments for sure, but not everything. There are many moments, reactions, expressions that I'm looking for. This is often when the bride and groom are in their own world, unaware of what's going on around them, making for great photos!

        The

        Ceremony

        What a wedding day! The lovely Amy and Paul hearing the announcement that they are now husband and wife, so much joy. This is an example of photographing a church ceremony, sometimes limited to one space. I still want to capture moments, context and interest.

        The

        Ceremony

        That 'end of the aisle' moment. I have a series of images from Sarah's entrance, some focused on Matt taking a moment to compose himself, and some focused on Sarah smiling with friends and family. It's the look that makes it for me, so much happiness, exactly as a wedding should be.

        The

        Ceremony

        One of my favourite all time weddings, non stop fun and laughter. I love an outdoor wedding, and in this case Sammy and Helen were getting reading next door to each other, and walked the 50ft to get married. This is their first kiss as a married couple, a big moment, and I wanted to include their bridesmaids in celebration as well.

        The

        Ceremony

        Laura and Josh, shot on one of my favourite lenses, the 85mm. My back is against the wall to get the framing. You might have noticed I like to place subjects at the edge of the frame, in this instance to focus on the moment. You can see their friends in attendance celebrating, but separated and in focus is that first married hug!

        The

        Ceremony

        I think it's rare for a photographer to have an image from one of their first weddings on the portfolio, but I can't let this one go, I love it. A quiet moment to contemplate what's just happened, with their son Albie looking on. He's no longer a toddler, but I hope that this becomes an important photo to him and the family in years to come.

        The

        Ceremony

        The walk to the church with dad. In this case the church in the middle of Chudleigh town and I quickly realised it has that community feel to it, something I think happens less often nowadays. People come to witness the entrance and exit, giving support for the bride, Chloe.

        The

        Ceremony

        A smiling bride in Megan, a proud dad and Matt the groom experiencing some emotions, everything I want in a church entrance photo! All kidding aside it was lovely to see two childhood sweethearts become husband and wife and I think this images shows a lot of that.
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        Couple

        Shots

        Do I photograph couple shots? Yes, absolutely! It's often just 15 minutes out of the day, finding a moment and taking a stroll around the venue. Relaxed and natural is still the intent, representing the feel of the wedding day. There's no big lighting set up, no 'tilt your head this way', just a fun and relaxed walk with a camera in hand.

        Couple

        Shots

        I'm a fan of including and utilising the surrounding environment in photos, and there's an increased flexibility for this in couple shots. I never ask for people to look at camera, just to be yourselves. In this case Jasmine and Will surrounded by trees, trying to embrace the vertical pattern and tones.

        Couple

        Shots

        A classic example of taking a stroll and allowing the bride and groom to relax and be themselves. I'm terrible in front of camera, and so why not encourage couples to forget that I'm there and capture sincere moments.

        Couple

        Shots

        Shooting at night gives a different look to images. The 'blue hour' provides a colour that doesn't last long, especially in winter. This is all ambient light. There is no doubt that setting up a big soft box and spending time getting the power and angle right can make a nice photo, however I want to embrace what's there take much less time in setting up and be realistic.

        Couple

        Shots

        Most of the images I deliver are colour, and I look for contrast in colour. Mike had this great yellow and blue theme in his suit, and come portraits I wanted to add some green! As always, never looking at camera, only at each other. If that creates a smile, a laugh or that 'look' I'll photograph it!

        Couple

        Shots

        Half portrait, half real moment. I love working a sparkler line, no doubt it's not always easy to photograph, the amount of light varies wildly, I'm at risk of bring burnt but it can make fun images. Sophie and Frank paused here with nothing but sparkler light illuminating the scene on a dark autumn night.

        Couple

        Shots

        Some people, like Rosie and Dom here, need no advice what so ever during couples shots. I can help provide some ideas on where to go, in this case the nearby canal locks, and just let them be them. On a dull weather day I wanted to provide some colour with the trees and a leading line. The rest is all them!

        Couple

        Shots

        What ever your wedding venue has to offer I want to include it, you've picked it for a reason, and here I wanted to show what Cranberries Hideaway is, a great venue surrounded by Devon countryside. The focus is people, like the whole day, and here we just took a quick stroll around the venue and keep it relaxed and real.
        /

        The

        Party

        This is typically where celebrations are in full swing. I'm not just there for the first dance, I'm there until late and getting images of everyone enjoying themselves. Again, no posing, just some great dance moves with some added light. I get stuck into the dance floor, creating images that make you feel you were in the middle of the action.

        The

        Party

        What a fantastic wedding day, the wonderful Katherine and Calum. From the beginning of the day it was clear to see the close connection they had with their friends. This photo is after the first dance, it's 15 minutes or so into the party, but it's one of those moments I'm so happy to photograph. Literally surrounded by friends with smiles.

        The

        Party

        My first Jewish wedding, and what fun it was. It wasn't for certain that Daniel would be lifted in the chair, but it happened quickly, with a look of excitement and terror across his face. With friends and family from around the world included in the frame it's one of those photos that I hope is fun, but also important.

        The

        Party

        It's super flattering to be asked by friends to photograph their wedding day, this is the lovely Izzy and Nick and the very start of their first dance. I love the smile on Izzy's face in this image. When it comes to the party I often add light to the scene, not relying on the often unflattering room lights. Including a flash here helps add interest and subject separation.

        The

        Party

        I think the dance floor is the best time to get creative with artificial light. I avoid it throughout the day, opting for natural light and remaining discrete. When the sun's gone down why not go crazy with it! Gemma here is in full swing and I want to add colour and craziness to that moment!

        The

        Party

        I love ending a wedding day with a great dance floor. This one was at the Double Locks, a popular pub on the outskirts of Exeter. This is an example of me getting low and trying to show off these great dance moves. A look of pure happiness and not caring, just celebrating with friends.

        The

        Party

        This image is three years old now and I still really like it. Friends arm in arm in Torre Abbey. Really getting into the music with Mark the groom stuck somewhere in the middle. It's one of those fortunate moments when multiple people in the photo contribute something, a laugh, a smile or even a song.

        The

        Party

        It's not always a given that both the bride and groom are comfortable on the dance floor, maybe a bit shy or embarrassed. Not in this case, Janine and Tom getting stuck right in. A classic barn type wedding with a great live band providing the music.
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