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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This weekend we shot Cheryl & Julian’s pre-wedding photography in Savernake Forest. It was a fabulous day and they were looking forward to it. It’s always fantastic when people are excited about their photography. Many people are a little nervous in front of the camera, some more so, but by the end of the session even the most reluctant clients are usually having a blast.
Cheryl had chosen Savernake and being still early spring the ground was still clear. We found a road I had never been down before and began to explore. Carol manned the reflector and I kept everyone amused with my never ending stories and amazing camera skills. I keep saying it but having a pre-wedding shoot makes your wedding images so much better and more relaxed. When we turn up people are happy (and sometimes relieved) to see us.
Cheryl and Julian are holding their wedding at Whatley Manor in July. Whatley Manor is an amazing place for a wedding and we are very excited to be shooting there.
Yesterday we took a trip out to see some of the Wiltshire wedding venues that we are shooting at this year. We always like to visit the wedding venues that we haven’t been to so that we can get an idea of where the light is and where you are going to look your best.
We started at a beautiful venue where we will be shooting Cheryl and Julian’s wedding at Whatley Manor. Whatley Manor is a gorgeous mix of traditional and contemporary and it will be an amazing place to add to our collection. Here’s some shots from my phone –
The Great Tythe Barn
Then it was on to where we are shooting Julia and James’ wedding photography at The Great Tythe Barn in Tetbury. The venue is fabulous and the house is gorgeous. We should get some fantastic getting ready shots and let’s hope the weather holds because the outdoors is really where it’s at with this venue.
The Hare and Hounds
Last but certainly not least the Hare and Hounds. When we first met Lucy and Keith they told us that they where getting married in Church followed by a reception at the Hare and Hounds I must admit thinking it was a pub. But it’s not. It’s an gorgeous venue.
We are really lucky to be shooting such incredible Wiltshire wedding venues this year. Look out for Lucy and Dan’s Grittleton House wedding on the blog very soon. Another amazing venue that we will be back to in July. In the meantime here’s a quick look at the Hare and Hounds.
Lucy and Neil are getting married in April at the Hilton in Swindon. We got together for their pre-wedding shoot in Queens Park. It was a freezing cold day and Lucy had a cold so we started off indoors and then worked quickly in the park to make sure that no-one suffered more than necessary.
We still managed to have a great time and Lucy & Neil loved their images.
This weekend we shot Julia and James’ pre-wedding photography in London. We timed it to fit with the SWPP convention so that we could go and have a look at some new albums, meet some of our existing suppliers and take advantage of some show offers.
On Sunday we met up with Julia and James in Docklands for their shoot. We hadn’t met before so it was great to meet up and talk about their wedding at The Great Tythe Barn in May. Being January it was freezing cold but glorious sunshine. I had heard horror stories of the security guards being over officious but apart from being questioned by a new guard every five minutes they were very nice and let us get on with it.
I love doing pre-wedding shoots. It’s great to work with real people who aren’t used to being photographed. Julia and James were brilliant and although we had to work quickly due to the cold, we got some amazing images. Docklands is an awesome place and I would love to do some more shoots around there. We only saw a tiny part and it would be great to be able to explore some more.
Now we’ve met I can’t wait for the wedding. We haven’t shot a wedding at The Great Tythe Barn before so it’s a new venue to look forward to with a fabulous couple.
As the hardest working of all the wedding suppliers, us wedding photographers deserve a break sometimes. That usually comes when you and your guests sit down for the wedding breakfast. The morning of a wedding is the hardest for us, we start early and we have all the “must have” images to get. The bride getting ready, arriving, rings, kiss and so on. After the speeches it’s usually time to have a little break and something to eat. We don’t ask to be fed during the day as that can be more trouble than it’s worth so I usually grab a sandwich while travelling between venues as we are in a different time zone to you and waiting until 3pm or later can be an issue.
Having said that during the wedding breakfast there is still plenty of work to be done. Downloading a backup of the images on to the laptop, getting lights ready for the evening – especially in for Autumn and Winter weddings and testing out shots with the aid of my trusty (wife and) sidekick Carol. It may be dark when you leave the table and we need to be ready for that.
Here’s a couple of set up test shots that we did at the Riverstation while you were all eating and the resulting images that made it into the album with one even winning an excellence award. When Marcus and Kelly were ready we were already set up for both shots and took them with plenty of time for some groups and the first dance. It’s important that we get the cool shots but more important that we don’t interfere with the running of your day.