The Victoria Pub Wedding Photography : Rachel & Ben

Rachel & Ben got married then went down the pub with their mates. Simple as that. Their wedding day had everything that one might expect from such an occasion but they reduced and clarified the philosophy behind it all perfectly, in a manner that perfectly reflected what the two of them are. Having first met each other at the Clapham Craft Beer Co., the two bonded over hoppy imbibements and gratification in sociability.

They found the perfect pub for the job in The Victoria, located on a sleepy back-street of East Sheen in West London. Brilliant, friendly, energetic staff; sublime culinary fare and a perfect selection of drinks a sub-set of which were curated by Rachel & Ben, whose tastes in craft ales I deem impeccable (if only by virtue of the fact that they seem to match mine, perfectly :~). I was impressed by and derived great enjoyment from the fact that the intended vibe of the day came together exactly as intended. It did just feel like an afternoon (and an evening, and a night) in a pub with friends, because it was just that… subsequent, of course, to the all-important marriage ceremony that took place at York House in nearby Richmond upon Thames.

I’ve been bumping in to Ben at weddings – as it happens – since the turn of the decade; a member of a friendship group that I’ve derived great pleasure from photographing the weddings of a number of. It was lovely to catch up with some of them at Rachel & Ben’s wedding, to spend a bit of quality time sitting, eating and chatting with them and to witness them celebrating Rachel & Ben’s turn at tying the knot in the effusive manner that I have grown to become accustomed of from them! It made for a great pleasure too to see Rachel brought into this friendship fold and to spend time with yet another resonantly good character. This is the story of her and Ben’s… day out at the pub (and indeed their marriage ceremony!)… View full post »

Aberdeenshire Wedding Photography : Harriet & Charlie

I’d first encountered Harriet & Charlie, through my camera viewfinder, around a year before their wedding. They had been guests at Emily & Matt’s wedding in Northern Ireland. On a wedding day itself I gather information, visual information, fleeting moments from a bigger story noticed and captured instinctively and intuitively; waves of such moments washing one across another. The story itself, the visual narrative, is something that is forged when it comes time to edit the image set that has been carried away from that wedding and it was during this process a year earlier that it became apparent to me just how marvellously Harriet & Charlie had conducted themselves in their roles as wedding guests. In my role as an image-maker, I’ll admit that I took self-interested delight in how they conducted themselves as, ideally, I want to deliver to my clients images of their guests fully and sincerely engaged in proceedings and enjoying themselves to the maximum. Harriet & Charlie had certainly done so – the images told me so, unshakeably – throughout the day and I thought to myself that I’d rather like to be able to take them to other weddings and plant them in the scene as subjects. It was a particular delight therefore when they got in touch about their own wedding plans; a particular delight to get to know better the character of people that had somehow spoken to me without actually having… spoken with me.

In communicating with Harriet & Charlie in the run up to their wedding and then all the more so in spending time with them throughout their wedding weekend, I took particular pleasure from discovering just how rounded was the sincerity that I had read in the images of them from that earlier wedding; palpable interest in people and firmly rooted kindness towards them. It’s nice to be treated kindly when going about one’s work and on a broader level, reassuring to know one walks the surface of the Earth with people of a certain ilk out there.

I took great comfort too from the kindness of family, being accommodated for the weekend in a little cottage of my own that saw my commute to work being no more than a thirty second walk to where much of the action would be taking place. Harriet & Charlie celebrated their wedding at Harriet’s family home in the Aberdeenshire countryside, a place imbued with a tradition of welcome and hospitality that manifested itself fully not just on the wedding day itself but across the surrounding days. This is the story of their wedding… weekend! View full post »

Warwickshire Wedding Photography : Lucinda & Seb

Every minute of every hour of every day
you are making the world, just as you
are making yourself, and you might as well do it
with generosity and kindness and style.

Rebecca Solnit

Lucinda was once a workmate of Megan, whose wedding I photographed back in 2011 when she married Wayne, and also of Lucy whose wedding I photographed the following year when she married Boyd. I was delighted when she got in touch about her own wedding and her marriage to Seb. I had and continue to have particularly fond memories of both of those prior weddings and the calibre of the people at their hearts. Birds of a feather flock together, as they say, so I felt assured of the prospect of another fantastic experience to be had. That feeling of assurance was indeed perfectly satisfied. In addition to being delighted to receive that enquiry, I was also rather flattered that Lucinda & Seb had not yet set a date for their wedding at the time when contact was made. Lucinda put forward a range of dates across Spring and Summer – checking which ones I might still be available for – and we kept in touch across the span of a few months until everything was in place.

Throughout that process, in meeting up with the two before the wedding – in pixellated form via Skype – and in spending time with them and all of their guests on the wedding day itself I felt personally enriched by my exposure to a wealth of kindness and inclusivity. I enjoyed witnessing all that took place, I enjoyed photographing all that I did; I valued enormously the generosity of spirit I was exposed to in doing what I do.

Lucinda & Seb married at Our Lady & Saint Benedict church in Wootton Wawen, Warwickshire – their priest came out of retirement for the day especially to conduct their marriage ceremony – and celebrated at Wootton Park, formerly a dairy farm that in times of tightening economies in farming had recently been repurposed by the farmer as a venue for weddings and conferences. A fantastic job had been done of it all too. This is the story of their wedding day… View full post »

Venice Wedding Photography : Nicola & Jaime

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I may risk sounding trite when I say that I wouldn’t have enjoyed my time in the Venetian lagoon a tenth as much had it not been in the company of Nicola & Jaime and the small band of their nearest and dearest that joined with them to observe and celebrate their marriage on the island of Mazzorbo. It is though simply the truth of the matter that I am certain that that would have been the case. Absolutely, it was an enchanting place to find oneself but being in such company magnified the experience ten-fold and environment aside, I would have cherished spending time amongst such company in any number of places that might not have quite the same charm.

Having grown up in an Italian town on the mainland just a little way from Venice, Nicola ventured out into the world and found himself working in Australia where, in time, he met Jaime, a highly thoughtful, poetic soul, clearly resonantly loved by those that got to know her so well and in Nicola she found her soulmate. It was very much my luck, as things transpired, that they found a friend in a former student of mine, Danielle, whom had herself left British shores to work in Australia. Danielle showed my work to Nicola & Jaime and thus the seeds of a lovely adventure were sown. View full post »

2017

Some facts and figures, though I am as ever very much about the spirit of things but it is inescapable that I do like myself a few facts and figures. Figures first, followed by facts. 2017.

7: The number of weddings I photographed in 2017 that included a former student of mine in the star line up of the day; that is to say, as the groom or as the bride. Nichola as she married Marcus, Jay as he married Chloe, Catherine as she married Jesus, Jessica as she married Michael, Lizzie as she married Dane, Daniel as he married Daniella and David as he married Emma. 2017 seemed to be the year for it when it came to former students getting married! Graduation dates spanning over a decade and a half left me reeling somewhat in a whirl of chronological reminiscing but in all cases it remained a solid rock to me just how much of a honour and a privilege it was to be asked to take the photographs, to be there for the whole thing and to weave together the story. It always is something special but there was an additional layer of history in place for me in these cases. It always means a lot to me and this meant a lot, again.

6: There is no six but I shan’t let that perturb me unduly. It would have been more elegant had there been; the reason why will quickly become apparent but… it’s all good.

5: The number of weddings I photographed in 2017 where one or both of the couple marrying had been guests at previous weddings that I photographed. Two of those five couples had been sat at the same tables as I had for dinner, at two of those previous weddings, so they knew not just the nature of my work but also that my table manners were impeccable or at least acceptable enough in light of the qualities of my photography :~)

4: The number of weddings I photographed in 2017 where a connection via friends was in place; friends of previous couples whose weddings I had photographed or friends of those friends.

3: The number of weddings I photographed in 2017 where the bride had been a bridesmaid at a wedding I had photographed previously (one of those marrying someone that had been an usher at the same wedding).

2: The number of weddings I photographed in 2017 where the groom was the brother of a bride from a previous wedding.

1: The number of weddings I photographed in 2017 where the couple had stumbled across my Web site. There would be a certain coincidental romance to things if this one were in time to translate into one or more of five, four, three or a derivative of two above.

I do like myself a few facts and figures, particularly when they provide such warmth. With a year of weddings in such large part connected to previous weddings and indeed in additional large part to a previous world of work, I take heart in what I’ll allow myself to see as something of a signal of approval, of a job well done. It’s always good to be back. In equal measure I take heart in being trusted by the newcomers, so to speak, who I very much hope to meet again in this world that I find myself travelling through. Thus was 2017; in figures, in facts; hence in photographs (and I dare say a few more words!) View full post »