Another one of my favourite images from last year. Andy and Sam had their wedding at The Matara Centre. The Matara centre is a gorgeous venue with lots of locations for amazing photography. It is a “centre for wellbeing” so very eastern fusion looking with a Japanese garden, flags hanging in the trees, tibetan bells, lakes and a large stone spiral. All this surrounding a beautiful house where guests can stay.
Sam and Andy’s wedding was Glastonbury themed which suited the free spirit feeling of the venue perfectly. After the wedding breakfast we went off to take some portraits around the grounds and came across a tree with a swing. Sam immediately climbed on. It was a little wobbly and this image is of her – with Andy in front – looking to get off. I love her expression, even though she has had enough and wants to get down she looks serene. Expression is what we are looking for. I spend a lot of time telling people not to look at me. The last thing I want is a bride and groom smiling for the camera. I want natural expressions, laughter and interaction. It’s what’s going to tell your story in a natural way.
If you are planning a wedding at the Matara Centre or anywhere else then please get in touch we would love to hear from you.
Most couples that book me want natural, relaxed, informal wedding photography without cheesy posing. They say that they understand that they must have posed shots but want to keep it to a minimum. That’s odd because although most of the day is spent shooting candid images I consider the directed portraits a speciality. What I’ve learnt is that when they say “posed” they mean the traditional group line ups. The ones that parents and Grans want. The record of who was there.
Wedding group shots your nan likes
Groups are a difficult thing to photograph because usually we are trying to squeeze them in between the end of the ceremony and the start of the wedding breakfast. People tend to wander off to push the baby, to smoke or get to the bar so organising it all is challenging. Even family can be difficult to round up so it is worth, as a couple, planning which group shots you want ahead of time and keeping the number down to around six.
So that’s Grandma out of the way…
Wedding group shots that I like
If we have time, group shots can also be a lot of fun. It’s a laugh to pose with your friends and we can get some fantastic and funny shots. It’s amazing how quickly people will join in when it’s a fun thing to do. I must quantify this with the following statement – I don’t have a list of poses that I follow at every wedding. I won’t set up any “Fixing the car” or “Lifting the bride” you may see brides being held from time to time and if that’s what you want we’ll do it but what I like to do is ad lib so we have spontaneity. I’ll see what the light is like and where we can do it, how many people we have, how much time and figure it out from there. Being a wedding photographer I deal in seconds rather than hours so shots are set up and taken very quickly. I tell people that I have a database in my head that I work from but it’s more like a foundation that we can build from. It means that we concentrate on having fun and not posing. Laughing is a million times better than smiling for the camera.
Individuals, groups, couples, brides and grooms, all the wedding pictures have to look alive, full of energy and dynamic. That’s why I call it Fine Art Photojournalism because it’s real life.
So here are some of my favourite wedding groups. There’s always more coming so keep an eye out on the blog. If you feel inspired and want to do the same then feel free to pin the images on Pinterest or share the post on facebook.
If you want beautiful images, full of energy for your wedding day then get in touch. It’s inspiring to work with couples who love photography.
Not many people see it but my logo has a heart in it. I thought, being a wedding photographer that I was clever integrating the heart into the logo. However most people don’t see it until it is pointed out so here is a very short video that shows how clever I thought I was.
Gabby, gales and Bournemouth Beach
Bournemouth Beach Venue is a wonderful place for a wedding. This is Gabby. She has just arrived at the venue with her Dad and bridesmaids. She is getting her first look at the love of her life – James. You can see the nervous excitement in her eyes. She can see James through a tiny gap in the curtain behind me. This is the moment it has all been leading up to the grand entrance of the Bride.
This is one of my all time favourite images. There are a few from this amazing wedding that will always be in my portfolio. Some images stand out and stay with you. It’s easy to think that your latest work is the best and because it’s new it has a shine like no other, but some images stand out and stay with you. This is one of those.
The day is one to remember also as the windiest wedding ever. If you look behind Gabby you can see that the beach is empty. You can also see the deckchairs being blown over. At one point I laid down to get a shot but had to give up because I couldn’t breathe. The sand was stinging my face and getting in all my gear. You know what it’s like when you come back from the beach and everything is full of sand? That was my camera bag.
Gabby is being helped here with her parasol so she doesn’t blow away. Even though the weather meant that guests went from marquee to marquee and very few ventured outside it was still one of my favourite weddings. Bournemouth Beach Venue is a great place for a wedding. It can get a little crowded on a sunny day and you may get a few budgie smugglers in your wedding images but the staff are amazing and you can ride on the beach train to the cliff lift.
If you are getting married at Bournemouth Beach Venue or any other place between here and the moon then please get in touch. We would love to hear all about your wedding and what we can do to make your big day last forever.
There are a few more from James and Gabby’s big day in the wedding gallery.
A fitting suit
I love the unique, the adventurous, the individual. A lot of grooms go for the tails, waistcoat and cravat combo – maybe a top hat – and that’s fine. However, I do love it when people go their own way.
When we first met, David asked if I could photograph his morning at the tailor, with his best man Matt, having their suits fitted. Of course I would – This is a rare request and I loved the idea.
This is my favourite image from that morning. It’s about the light. It’s not the sharpest image but the light on Matt’s face is perfect, especially the catchlight in his eye. It really highlights the seriousness of the situation. Standing perfectly still while the tailor – Phil – adjusts the collar. The shirt and collar were separate with studs used to attach them. It was a lovely detail and the kind of thing that makes you feel good because you know that you are buying quality.
This image is perfect for Black and White,it wouldn’t have the same impact in colour. In the uncropped image below you can see Phil’s watch and hands at work which add texture and context. You can see Matt’s concentration and thoughtfulness – even if it’s fleeting – in that moment.
Because it was a unique shoot Love My Dress picked it up. They didn’t include this image but they did a really great interview with David about the decision between off the peg, tailored and bespoke suits. They also ponder why when such a big fuss is made about choosing the dress, a groom’s sartorial choices are more low key.
If you click here You can see the full wedding at St Mary’s in Tetbury followed by a reception and black tie ball at Kingscote Barn. Which does feature some excellence award winning images.
If you are getting married, we would love to hear from you. See the contact page for details on how to get in touch.
Canon 5DmkII f/2.8 1/250sec ISO 1600
Our first wedding of the year was at the amazing Grittleton House in February. Approaching Grittleton House seems like arriving at Hogwarts, it is an imposing building in a beautiful Wiltshire village. Dan & Lucy booked us about a year ago but time flies and before we knew it, we were shooting their pre-wedding photography at Stanton Park and then the wedding was here.
It was a glorious day for the wedding, Dan and his Dad arrived in style in the Rolls Royce. It was the first time the chauffeur had driven both the groom and the bride to the same wedding – separately of course. We met Dan and his groom dudes at the gate and I hopped in the car for the drive up to the house. Once Dan was dropped off at the front of Grittleton House the Rolls went up to the stables where Lucy was waiting.
We had been up with Lucy and the girls shooting their preparations and when Lucy was ready I jumped in the car again to get some photos of her and Dad as they made their way down to the house. When we arrived all the guests were waiting and Dan was watching the door for Lucy’s arrival. “You’re not supposed to be looking.” I whispered as I went by. “Wait until she enters the room and then look round.”
After the group shots we took some time to get a few portraits on the stairs and I got one of my favourite shots “The ring inspectors”
It was dark after the wedding breakfast but we still managed to get outside for a few more portraits which gave Dan & Lucy a bit of a break from all the congratulating. Then it was time for first dance, bouquet throwing and the maquerena before we disappeared into the night.
Our next wedding at Grittleton is in June. If you are getting married, we would love to hear from you. See the contact page for details on how to get in touch.
Here’s the highlights –