Adventures in Wedding Photography

Hi there, welcome to our wedding photography blog. Here we share our favourite weddings, engagement shoots and other wedding related things. If you would like to see more wedding images you can see featured weddings here or view our wedding gallery here.

A girl, her horse (and Andy too)

About a week ago we shot Andy and Sam’s pre-wedding photography. We are excited to be shooting their wedding photography at the Matara Centre in June. The Matara Centre is a new venue for us and it looks amazing. I’ve known Andy and Sam for a few years now. Andy is a fellow photographer and we “grew up together” in photography.

Pre-wedding photography is one of my favourite things about wedding photography. It really gives us a chance to get to know each other, experiment, have fun and ensure that when it comes to the big day the bride and groom are not intimidated by the camera.

We shot Andy and Sam at the stables and gallops where Sam keeps her horse Phoebe. Following the wedding we will be shooting Sam in her wedding dress riding Phoebe which will be pretty unique.

Here’s some of the images. If you like them let me know.

A double exposure of a bride and groom and their horse
Andy Sam Pre Wedding Photography
Wiltshire Wedding Photographer
Andy Sam Pre Wedding Photography
Andy Sam Pre Wedding Photography
Andy Sam Pre Wedding Photography
Wiltshire Wedding Photographer
Andy Sam Pre Wedding Photography

The little things – Father of the Bride at Stanton Manor

Most people want to see the little things that happen during the wedding. When you get married it is a whirlwind of excitement and whilst very thrilling it also means that you miss tiny events that happen throughout the day. I thought it would be nice to start an intermittent series showing candid wedding photography – little moments taken during a wedding that no-one else sees. They are the sort of things that if you are not the photographer you won’t notice. It’s our job to see things happening, sometimes to wait and let them happen and sometimes to snatch a quick shot in a fleeting moment. We are always looking and framing pictures in our minds, we don’t get everything but being constantly alert and with good situational awareness we can capture the laughter, the tears, the looks, body language and gestures that show the emotions of the day. When you look back through your album these little things will bring back the feelings and help relive the biggest day of your life.

Here’s one of those moments.

We are at Stanton Manor. Everyone is sat down and waiting for Jemma, our bride, to enter. The groom, Dhreen, is sat with his heart pounding looking straight ahead and focussed on what he has to do. Meanwhile we are in the bar. Jemma and her bridesmaids make some last minute adjustments to ensure that she looks perfect for her grand entrance. While this is happening Dad whips out his camera and takes a shot of his granddaughters the flower girls as I have just posed them. I need to be running in ahead of the girls to ensure I get the entrance shot but I can’t resist this. So I stop, frame, shoot and run.

I love to take pictures of people taking pictures so I’m always on the lookout over people’s shoulders to see what they are taking. It’s the kind of thing that most people don’t notice because it is constantly happening. Everyone has their phones out and some even bring out iPads (which I think is a little strange as they are so unwieldy) and these images can be hidden in plain sight. All we have to do is see them.

Stanton Manor Wedding Photography

Wedding Albums – Queensberry Duo

I know all the usual arguments for photographers selling wedding albums over digital. I’ve probably even used them myself. I recently read that we should be afraid of what might happen if DVDs or USBs become obsolete, what would we do then with our files? To be honest I don’t believe that one morning we will wake up to find that the World’s DVD players have ceased working or that all USB drives have changed shape. We are just talking about storage. Storage – CDs, DVDs, USBs, etc. have and will change. However the files themselves are digital and that’s not going away for a long while so no need to worry.

I may be a heretic but I don’t have a problem with digital. I think the issue really is this – If all you have is a DVD of images, even if you have backed up and copied on to the computer, they do lose some value. Somehow people aren’t as interested in seeing your slideshow as they are in looking through a physical album. When you look at an album you study every image, you see the expression on people’s faces and you see all the details. That tends to get lost when you look at it on a screen. An album is a beautiful thing. It’s something that will make you smile and make you happy just because you have it. It feels nice.

Give your album to your Mum or a friend and they will take their time and look through it. They will feel and study the cover. It’s a conversation piece and a conversation killer at the same time. The same attention will not be given to your slideshow or your Facebook album.

I always tell my couples that I spend a long time looking at albums; at the quality of the printing, the pages, the covers and the way it’s put together. The albums I have chosen for my clients represent the best quality to display your wedding images that I can find. The Queensberry Duo is a traditional matted album. The mats overlay the pages and beautifully frame the images. The Duo is our *top offering. A contemporary leather cover and thick pages with images printed on silver halide paper. It’s a modern classic; A luxury album that looks and feels extraordinary. It’s an album to hand down.

Below are a couple of my most recent arrivals. Both have a mini replica – An album small enough to keep with you at all times. Top is Jules and David who’s wedding I photographed in September and below is Marcus and Kelly who had their wedding at Riverstation in Bristol.


*I say “top” but we also do the Musée. The Musée is a exquisite piece of art. If you truly want something exclusive then please ask. It’s expensive. It’s decadent. It’s something very few others will have – but will certainly want once they’ve seen yours.

Posing the girls

“I would like some natural shots, nothing too posed and plenty of our friends enjoying themselves and having fun.”

Posing. Everyone wants to look good but no-one wants to be posed – or so they think. I always explain to my couples that I do pose people but I pose them in a natural way. I truly believe that the wedding photography is a big part of the wedding day experience and everyone wants to look good – -and natural.

I have been working on my posing. Training and learning new techniques is all part of my job and all part of my service to my clients. I need to maintain my fitness and ensure that I deliver the best possible images. I do shoot posed portraits as well as candid moments so it’s important to have my skills up to date. This way we can breeze through the portraits and have fun doing it. As I said the photography is part of the wedding day experience and it should make your wedding more wonderful. It’s the day that the bride is the most beautiful girl in the room and every girl wants to be her so her photography should help make that come true.

I often arrange shoots with models and make up artists, especially in the quieter winter months but models learn how to pose – sometimes a little too much – and I need to be able to pose a real woman who has never been photographed professionally before and make her feel great. I need images that future brides can put themselves in and think “That could be me.” With that in mind I offered to shoot my wife Carol, her best friend Tracey and Tracey’s daughter Charlotte. That way I could practice women, girls and groups -which translates into brides, mothers of brides, bridesmaids, flower girls and families. This all goes towards making your wedding day that little bit more fabulous.

Here are some of the results from our session. We didn’t have any hair and make up artists, or stylists. The girls did their own. Carol loves her shots and I’m sure Tracey and Charlotte will too.

Posing for women

Carol -top and Tracey


Wiltshire Children photograher

Charlotte

Stunning Wiltshire wedding venues, Bristol wedding venues and Gloucestershire wedding venues.

Here’s a quick video of some of the amazing Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Bristol wedding venues , brides and grooms we shot last year. Included are weddings at Abbey House Gardens, the beautiful Lainston House, Burcombe Manor near Salisbury, Tetbury Church, the awe inspiring Westonbirt School, the picturesque Kingscote Barn, a Hindu wedding at Stanton Manor, gorgeous Bowood and in and around the modern, urban Riverstation, Bristol. I’m looking forward to shooting some of these again this year along with some new fabulous wedding venues to add to my collection.

It is full HD 1080 so full screen looks awesome. Hint.

UPDATE 2015 – As this video was old (2012) I have replaced it with a current slideshow.
There’s still some of those gorgeous venues above and more.

[video_lightbox_youtube video_id=”0Jn0nQEBTUU?rel=0″ width=”960″ height=”640″ anchor=”https://kevinbelson.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/YouTube.jpg”]
Music “Perfect Kiss” by Marie Hines

bride and groom posing for night time portrait at riverstation, bristol

Award winning wedding photogaphy

I am delighted to share my award winning wedding photography images from 2012. I’m sure that my couples love that they have award winning images in their albums. Hopefully 2013 will bring a few more for some special people.

Wiltshire wedding photographer
Bristol wedding
Stanton Manor weddings
Tetbury Weddings

Pandora – A vintage wedding photography shoot

Even as a wedding photographer I like to tell stories with my images. Either in a single image like this or in a series of images. My influences include the great Annie Leibowitz and Gregory Crewdson along with fantastic image makers like Dave Hill and Joel Grimes. I try to put some of that into my creative wedding photography while still appealing to brides and this I think helps to define my dramatic wedding photography style.

Recently I organised a photoshoot with a large team of people including Katy Pheiffer, Perfect Day Bridal Rooms, iDesign Jewellery, five gorgeous models – Ella, Katherine, Sarah, Andrew and Lewis, Michele Jetzer from Riverstation and My Wedding Workshop, and Evolution Floristry. We shot at the Manor by the Lake in Cheltenham.

Unfortunately the weather was not on our side and in a week that consisted of bright sunny days and fluffy clouds we had freezing rain and snow. Luckily our brave girls were able to brave the elements in between showers so we did get some fabulous outdoor shots (The guys had suits on so had a little more protection).

I organise these types of shoots a few times a year with suppliers that I meet at wedding fairs. It’s fantastic to work with other Wiltshire wedding suppliers and everyone gets some images that they can use.

I wanted to have a theme running through the shoot and although I had to make sure that we got enough shots for all of our collaborators I also made sure that I got enough to tell the story my way.

Pandora.

Prometheus was not popular with the gods. He had upset Zeus by stealing fire and generally siding with humans. Prometheus had a brother – Epimetheus. Prometheus warned Epimetheus not to accept gifts from the gods but Zeus was very cunning. He had Pandora created to be the first woman on Earth and gave her to Epimetheus as his bride. She carried a box with her and had been told not to open it. Epimetheus was given the key.

One day when Epimetheus was away Pandora opened the box. Zeus was surprised as he had expected Epimetheus to open it. There were many bad things in the box which were let loose upon the world and Pandora tried to close it quickly but it was too late. As she closed the box she noticed that there was one thing left inside. This was not a bad thing but was Elpis the spirit of Hope.

So remember although we normally associate Pandora with releasing, greed, jealousy and all the rest – she also brought hope to the world.

Below is my abstract telling of this story:
Vintage wedding Photographer
Vintage wedding photographer
Vintage wedding style
Vintage wedding photographers
Hope remains.

5 Interesting Wedding Trends For 2013

There is a great deal of style involved in planning a wedding, and this means that there are naturally trends to be observed in wedding planning. From popular outfits and decorations, to food items and venues, wedding trends often change from year to year, and can provide you with some great ideas for your own wedding. So without further ado, here are five interesting wedding trends for 2013.

1. Creative Food Options

The key word here is actually “options,” rather than “creative.” While most people are familiar with broad choices, such as chicken or fish, at a wedding, more and more couples are offering smaller, more varied selections instead. The idea is that if you offer gourmet finger food (small baked goods, sandwiches, tacos, etc.) instead of large entrees, your guests will be more able to find and enjoy what they like. Improving selection while keeping quality high is always a great choice!

2. 1920’s Style

The 1920’s are extremely popular in entertainment and culture these days, as evidenced by a number of examples. Popular shows like Boardwalk Empire and Downton Abbey cover this era, and the upcoming Great Gatsby film looks to be a strong endorsement for the glitz and glamour of the period. And, because we tend to associate this glamour with spectacular parties, why not implement it in planning your wedding? Whether in your style of dress or decoration, a 1920’s theme can make your wedding grand and uniquely romantic all at once.

3. Bridesmaid Dress Variety

It has become increasingly popular to offer bridesmaids a choice in picking dresses. Of course, you will likely still want some uniformity between your bridesmaids – which is why many weddings are using a single colour, but multiple styles for bridesmaids’ dresses. This allows the bridesmaids to have some fun picking dresses, and to flatter themselves as individuals while still appearing as a bridal party. So, whether you are dress shopping at the nearest wedding shop or Marks and Spencer, keep this trend in mind.

4. Mint Colour

It may seem strange to highlight a simple colour as a wedding trend, but the bottom line is that mint is showing up everywhere. Whether in bridesmaids’ dresses, floral displays, reception tablecloths, the cake, or other decorations, it seems that a light, refreshing mint green is a new staple of stylish weddings. There’s no need to go overboard with the use of the colour, but if you’re looking for light and easy style trends, this one is certainly worth remembering.

5. Weekend Weddings

Finally, there is also a broad trend toward weekend weddings. This tends to be most appropriate for destination weddings, but the idea is that it extends celebration. Often during a typical wedding the bride and groom are so busy with ceremonies (and each other) that they can barely visit with the friends and family who came to see the marriage. A weekend wedding allows you more time to relax and enjoy your friends and loved ones during this special time in your life.

Matara with Andy and Sam

On Saturday we went for a look around the Matara Centre with Andy and Sam. They are getting married in June and wanted to have a look round and plan their wedding photography at Matara. I haven’t been to Matara before but only passed it on the way to shoot weddings at Kingscote Barn. The Matara Centre is a wonderful place with loads of great opportunities for creative wedding photography. There are Japanese style gardens, small lakes, stone circles and wooded areas. I’m excited to be shooting there.

Andy is a photographer as well so has definite ideas about what he wants but that’s great. It’s nice to be able to work with a couple that know what they want as it pushes me creatively. I love wedding photography because I have to be a fashion photographer, a product photographer, a journalist and a landscape photographer many times in one day.

Here’s a few photographs of Matara. I’m sure it will look beautiful in the summer.

Matara Wedding photographers
Matara Wedding photographer
Matara-3
Matara Wedding photography
Matara Wedding photographer

The wedding is in the details

Where do you go to get inspiration for your wedding? Do you look in magazines and online blogs? Do you see those wonderful real life weddings? Would you like your wedding to be in a magazine or have your photography featured on a blog? If you would like people to “ohh and aah” over your wedding then it’s all about the details. Magazines and blogs love details. Magazines especially want lots of detail shots, dresses, flowers, car, tables, cake and jewellery.

..and then some.

I see a lot of weddings and I really love the ones that dare to be different. Below are some of my favourite detail shots from last year.

The Dress
wiltshire wedding photographer

The Shoes
wiltshire wedding photography

Accessories
wiltshire wedding photographers

Flowers
wiltshire wedding photographer

Not forgetting the groom
wiltshire wedding photographers

and the rings (don’t forget the rings)
wiltshire wedding photographers

Wedding car
wiltshire wedding photography

Table decorations
wiltshire wedding photography

Cake!
wiltshire wedding photographer

Incidentals that help to tell your wedding story
wiltshire wedding photographers

It all adds up.

One last thing to think about. If the magazines and blogs love the wedding details then please don’t leave them out of the album. You may be limited on space but these little things really add to your wedding story. When you look back on the album in years to come or your children do or the grandkids, they will love the fact that you put these details in and it may give them inspiration for their wedding. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?