It’s been a while since I’ve updated my blog, but in the back room business has been bubbling away as normal. Wedding photography traditionally took up the ‘peak’ months of the year (May-Sept), but over recent years has crept into the previously quieter months too. This was the period of time I used to sort my accounts, marketing, new sample wedding alums etc for the year ahead.
Nowadays this isn’t the case, especially this year, where I have around 30% of my weddings to photograph ‘out of season’, with a staggering six in March. It’s been a battle therefore to get on with reviewing last year, and pick out some favourite wedding photos to create an updated portfolio. But, I’ve managed it, and better still created a web page specifically for it.
If you’re keen to see my highlights from 2012, please check out the wedding photographer portfolio 2012, you may even find your own wedding photos included. A few awards have been given out too, for most attentive bridesmaids, proudest father, celebrity wedding couple of the year……are you one of these?
Alongside this rather sizable collection of favourites, I’ve also picked out an image from each wedding last year, and put them up on my FB page, giving you the opportunity to win a 12 x 16 print. All you need to do to win is ‘like’ my business page, and then get voting. The image with the most likes by the cut off date will clean up, simple! Let your friends and family know too by sharing it on your wall.
And because every blog post needs a few photos, here are my top 12 from a fabulous year of weddings, with a few thoughts about what appeals to me in each image.
The anticipation of a bride walking down the aisle is what most people associate with a wedding. This is the point for me where wedding photography gets serious. It’s a frantic 30 seconds, where a lot happens. You have no control over the light, so have to work with whatever the day deals you, and inside a dark church this isn’t usually much. There is no formula as to who should walk down the aisle first; the bride or the bridesmaids, and on some occasions it’ll be the vicar who takes the limelight! But despite all this, sometimes you are awarded with a cracker of an opportunity, and this was it. Kiki’s entrance to the church at Berkeley Castle was epic.
A significant part of every wedding day should be spent enjoying time with your guests. Photographing the drinks reception is really enjoyable for me, I get to move amongst your guests and build a portfolio of pictures that give a real feel for the day. This photo catches many of those elements all in one frame. In the foreground you have the violinist, part of a string quartet, who were playing throughout the drinks reception. Behind a bride and her father posing for a photo, whilst chatting to guests. And surrounding all of this are friends and family….with a drink in their hand!
It’s a complex photo, and one that doesn’t ‘just happen’. You have to be aware of what’s changing around you as people move about, consider your framing before the critical moment, then make minor adjustments to your composition in order to have the perfect photo. Two key elements needs to coincide in this photo to make it work. 1) The violinist bow had to fall between vertically (ideally) or at least not obstruct the bride and fathers face. 2) The former had to happen before the moment was over and the subject taking the photo had got their shot.
Wedding days are often emotional and non more so than Dominic & Jannene’s wedding at Berkeley Castle in September. A photo often works best as a set of images, and the above shot is one from a series taken during the speeches. At this moment, Dominic talked about loved ones who were no longer with us, and as you may expect found it hard to find the right words. The gesture of his son moving across to give support with a reassuring touch is what makes this photo extra special for me.
Taken from the same wedding as above, but much earlier in the day, this is just a beautiful moment, with complementary light falling perfectly across Jannene’s face as she sees the groom for the first time. Magical in most brides minds, and certainly the case on this wedding day. Finished in Black and white, this photo has a timeless feel and helps to accentuate the radiant smile and light across Jennene’s face.
Light, light, light, light, light.
Late evening golden light, a fun couple, impromptu dance and this shot just sings. If it doesn’t give you a warm glowing feeling inside I’m not sure what will.
The smile says it all. A wonderful wedding, with the most flamboyant of brides. This photo works for me because the couple are engaged with what’s happening around them, and not worrying about me. Again, finishing the photo in black and white complements the black tie wedding, and leaves you to focus only on the brides smile.
This is a photographers photo. What I mean by this is, only a wedding photographer would know how hard it is to achieve this (and it’s certainly not posed!). Not only difficult but fueled by the fact Heulwen is more of a fidget than my 5 year old daughter, getting anything where she was relatively motionless was an achievement in itself.
When you choose to get married at Gloucester Cathedral, one thing you’ll realise once you step inside is, it’s a big place. Wedding photography isn’t about a series of tick list shots, but an interpretation of what you see on the day to include all the elements from that day. Here I wanted to show Gloucester Cathedral’s scale and used the couple as a measure of it’s size.
Producing variety in wedding photos is important for me. I always work alone, yet achieve this by covering as many angles as possible, combined with a mixture of compositions. This was taken at a typically non-eventful time during the ceremony, hence I was able to step away from what was happening at the front of the church, to set the scene of the wedding ceremony in it’s environment (in this case Gloucester Cathedral).
‘The nervous groom’
I know from my own experience of being married, wedding photography shouldn’t solely be about the bride. Often if one half of the couple is relaxed, the other is perhaps a bag of nerves. Knowing when to focus on the groom v’s the bride in this situation requires quick thinking, switching between the two in a matter of seconds. The final shot says it all, you can tell clearly who’s nervous and who’s in their element. As to what the best man is doing, who knows…..you don’t win ’em all.
Wedding days are full of laughter and tears. Not often together, but this double act with hankies, flanked by the groom and MOB laughing work really well together. I also love the fact, (with respect to the wedding clothing), the scene reads from left to right as: black, white, black, white.
You’ll see me hang around by doorways (or window light) a lot as a photographer. The shot above is the prelude to the earlier photo from Kiki’s wedding entrance and has all the elements that form that moment just before you walk down the aisle. Attentive bridesmaids are seeing to the wedding dress. Flowers are at hand and the vicar has come to greet the bride.
My last choice in the top 12 photos of 2012 pretty much sums up the summer we had…..WET. It’s officially been the wettest year on record and has made for challenging wedding photography to say the least. There have been days of little to no let up in the rain, and days where it stops and starts, which are equally as difficult to deal with. This photo taken at Eastnor Castle, is of two ushers, walking back to the church to collect guests who didn’t have umbrellas.
Natural framing of the subjects using the wedding venue and showing the inclement weather (that became a memorable part of the day) are what gives this photo credibility. It’s not what most brides want their wedding day to be like, but this IS what it was like.