Cornwall Wedding Photography : Lottie & Maurice

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It was at Abi & Matt’s wedding way back in yesterday ago that I observed, and photographed, a particular act of singular kindness and inclusivity. Two page boys and a flower girl were lined up outside the church doors, two metal pails and a wood woven basket filled with confetti for each emerging guest to take a handful. One guest stopped in front of the first page boy, stooped down and I heard her say, “A bit from you,” then from the next, “A bit from you,” then moving to the flower girl, “And… a bit from you.” And that guest was Lottie. A simple but deeply resonant act.

I’ll confess that at that very point I found myself thinking, “That’s a person whose wedding I’d love to photograph,” and a wish of sorts very firmly came true when a little time after Abi & Matt’s wedding, Lottie got in touch with me to share her own wedding day plans and to ask if I’d like to come to Cornwall to photograph her and Maurice getting married and the ensuing celebrations. I’m always excited by the prospect of a visit to Cornwall, doubly excited to combine such a trip with a wedding to photograph and triply so to immerse myself in such a day amongst what promised to be an especially fine company of people.

Lottie & Maurice chose a church in the Cornish village of Carantock to make their vows and a field on the West Pentire headland as a base for celebrations, overlooking a particularly charismatic rock emerging from the sea that served as an idiosyncratic motif from morning through to night. This is the story of their wedding day… View full post »

Gloucestershire Wedding Photography : Camilla & Tom

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So this is my typical weekday routine… bear with me, I’ll get to the actual point in due course, as ever. This is my mind at work though. This is, ultimately, how I photograph things and why I photograph them the way that I photograph them. It’s entirely underpinned by the way that my mind works. The all and the everything of me. This is my typical weekday routine: Having had breakfast together, I take my daughter to school, I come home, I sit at my computer and edit images (and a few other things interspersed throughout that process; responding to emails and the like). I take a break for lunch, return to editing images (or as and when I’m able – as it’s such an important thing to me – I sit and do what I’m doing now and pen a blog post the penning of which will most likely come to a conclusion several hours hence), collect my daughter from school and then it’s a whole tombola of homework and dinner and out for weekly activities and brushing teeth and bed-time and then I… sit down to edit images (or as I’ll do tonight, continue with the penning of a blog post) until midnight. Give or take five or ten minutes.

Now I need to remind myself where I was going with all of this :~)

That was it! Lunch. It’s my habit to watch something whilst eating my lunch each day; maybe an episode of some series or other that I’m working my way through or perhaps a one off programme of some genre or other. In the lead up to Camilla & Tom’s wedding I’d been spending my lunch times working my way through The Brain with David Eagleman on BBC iPlayer. It’s a fantastic series and I dare say a transformative one. At least it was for me and my understanding of myself and the world that surrounds me; most importantly the variety of ways in which people think; more so again how broad clusters of types of thinking seem to come about.

The truth of the matter is that I consistently find myself working with clients that are fundamentally decent people. Quite naturally, they tend to be surrounded by people of similar natures. It’s a real boon to job satisfaction. I always find myself coming away from a wedding thinking, “Why isn’t everyone like this? It doesn’t seem to take them any effort to be what they are. Surely it’s simpler to be this way than otherwise?” Then I watched The Brain with David Eagleman, learnt a great deal more about the concepts of mental programming than I’d already pieced together for myself through a life-time of experience and, well, thinking about such things, and realised that no, there’s nothing clear cut and simple about the matter. As a result of watching that series I found myself quite a bit more tolerant of people that think in different ways to myself. I also found myself at Camilla & Tom’s wedding – notions from the series still rippling through my mind – thinking, “How marvellously programmed the minds of these two people are!”

I would have liked to have borrowed some of the subroutines from their minds and used them to refine some of those that inform the way my own mind works.

Just a couple of examples: Camilla devoted a sizeable amount of time in the final few hours of preparation leading up to the ceremony engrossed in writing cards to other people; one to Tom, naturally enough, another for her mum and yet another for an aunty both of whom shared birthday dates that coincided with the wedding. She clearly devoted a great deal of thought to the content of these cards, each ultimately filled with writing from corner to corner, top to bottom, across the two inner surfaces. I half expected to find her fitting in a little more card writing under cover of signing the register once the marriage ceremony had been concluded. Tom, in the few months leading up to the wedding, subtly extracted from a range of friends whose weddings he and Camilla had attended the titles of their first dance songs so they could compile a list of said songs to play throughout the reception, to see if these friends noticed, to add more again to their enjoyment of, their sense of inclusion in the day. These examples and a great many others linger in my mind. Two people that think a great deal about and a great deal of other people. Good programming :~)

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Somerset Wedding Photography : Becky & Tom

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There is the notion that too much of a good thing might be a… well, not such a good thing – interestingly enough a notion most famously first-penned by Shakespeare in relation to a wedding, an occasion of the sort that does indeed feature herein. Mae West asserted that, “Too much of a good thing can be wonderful!” So there is that outlook too. “The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom,” quipped Blake. At least I assume he was quipping. It sounds like the ideal license to travel such a road, whatever the case. And where does all of this lead us to? I’ve gone off piste again, but I’m sure I’ll be able to traverse my way to my intended destination in due course.

I can’t imagine that I’ll ever suffer negative returns to scale from a surfeit of meeting and spending time with people that have a positive attitude towards others and show care for their wellbeing and inclusivity in their dealings with them. Meeting and spending time with Becky & Tom added perfectly to all that I’ve accrued in this respect, in these gentle adventures of mine. Right the way from first enquiry through first meeting in person, their wedding day itself and in subsequent communications, they’ve elicited one big smile (and quite a few bouts of laughter, too). The wedding aside – plenty of which will be related in the images – I particularly enjoyed receiving via SMS, in response to my delivering a preview set of images, a photograph of them amidst snow covered mountains as they skied their way through their honeymoon. In response to my sending out the final image set I received another photograph, one displaying the matching arm injuries they’d sustained whilst skiing. Feeling every sympathy with regards to the injuries themselves, I couldn’t help but laugh at the sight of the complementing, colourful his and hers casts they were sporting on their arms. I sensed great humorous fortitude at work, something that tallied well with all that I’d experienced of them beforehand.

Becky & Tom’s wedding day played out just above the northern backcountry fringes of Dorset, hopping back and fore between Somerset and Wiltshire, three counties that I have a great affection for (one of which makes my home, indeed). The weather behaved itself perfectly well, the guests with aplomb, Becky & Tom just as I imagine they always are and then more so. This is the story of their wedding day…

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East Sussex Wedding Photography : Claire & Paul

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It’s not that I give out prizes for being lovely or anything but Claire & Paul won one from me anyway. It’s not a physical object that one might hold but were it so, I imagine it would be crafted from the most exquisitely polished space rock and it would twinkle in the light like a firmament of stars. Not having possession of a stone polisher though, let alone a lump of space rock, they have my esteem instead for what they are and how they deal with the people that surround them.

It strikes me just now that the expression, “I couldn’t have wished for,” is one that might itself already be polished to a wisp in the course of describing our reactions to events and occurrences in time but in reflecting upon Claire & Paul’s wedding day and the experience that I had in photographing it, I can say with solid conviction that I could not have wished for a better start to my 2016 wedding season. To be so warmly welcomed and accepted into the very weave of the fabric of their wedding day, to spend time in their company and furthermore the company of their families and friends – a resounding cohort of folk capable of taking the celebratory brakes off completely whilst engaging in it all with style – made for an episode as fulfilling socially as it was fulfilling in the conduct of my craft (I’m accepting re-application of the term, ‘craft,’ Paul’s dad :~).

Whilst my limbs might ache a little more, year on year, I could never tire of this.

Claire & Paul chose The Gallivant at Camber Sands, East Sussex, as the setting for their wedding day. Whilst The Gallivant hosts around fifty weddings each year, I was left feeling that Claire & Paul’s was treated as though it were the only wedding in the world, the only one that this space would bear witness to. I have a sensitivity to such things and this place wins a non-material prize of its own from me. I find, consistently, that my clients seek venues for their weddings where celebrations will be unfettered by the mechanics of what best suits an ongoing operation and this place scored perfectly on that count. Considering their wedding took place in late-February, they enjoyed weather that was uncharacteristic for the time of year, a palpable promise of Spring in the air. Layer upon layer of things that were positive. This is the story of Claire & Paul’s wedding day… View full post »