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 »

Shustoke Barn Wedding Photography : Emily & Dan

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From her very first email to me I was very much hooked into a highly enjoyable conversation with Emily, an engaging narration of her and Dan’s plans for their wedding day, how they became engaged, and what had drawn them to my photographic work; more than that, brushstrokes in what would become a broader picture of their life together as we continued to converse. I was already photographing their wedding day, in my mind, from that very first point of contact.

Emily & Dan chose Shustoke Farm Barns, set in refreshing West Midlands countryside, as the venue for their celebrations; marrying at a church just minutes up the road. Whilst relatively new as a wedding venue – at the point of their marriage – Shustoke Farm Barns certainly seemed to already be proving quite a hit in the arena (having just run a Web search to find the link to their Web site, I noted that immediately after the barns’ search page entry – at number one – the remainder of the page was filled with links to weddings photographed there by some top notch photographers, a number of who I know personally and the remainder who I’ve never met but have always been aware of their work). It proved to be a pleasure going about my work at the barns; a very easy going environment (yet with everything working perfectly in the background) that allowed the day to be just what it was, progressing at its own natural pace and manifesting itself with an identity – true to the natures of the people at the centre of it all – unfettered by any outside or indeed inside agency’s ‘stamp on things’.

On the subject of natural pace there was something quite unique to me about Emily & Dan’s wedding day, in that respect. Later into the day I’d discussed this with Emmelie – a fantastic videographer that Emily & Dan had found to photograph their wedding in moving image form – and we both concurred on that special character of the day, when it came to the passage of time; something that neither of us might usually expect to experience. Emily did indeed tell me after the event that the day had flown by at a hundred miles per hour – a common experience for marrying couples – but whilst weddings do, to a degree, often take on a more accelerated relationship with time for myself, on this occasions each passage of the day seemed to progress at a perfectly gentle pace; self-contained elements, preparations, a ceremony, a gathering devoted to mingling and congratulations, a meal followed by speeches then a party into the deep of the night, all in no hurry to expend their connection with time. Everything was just what it was and was honest to itself in the being. All contributed in it’s own special manner to my enjoyment of a day that I would certainly have enjoyed no less even if it had flown by.

It is my hope, as is always my hope, that my images will for Emily & Dan allow them to relive their wedding day in a timeless manner and on such a note, this is the story of that day… View full post »