Lake District Wedding Photography : Stuart & Bekki

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There is the notion that photographing the wedding of another wedding photographer might make for a somewhat fraught, nerve-wracking experience. I do find the notion a perfectly valid one but for myself have never found it, in practice, to be the case. When I say ‘never’, I should add that I’ve only found myself in such a position twice, the first time back in 2009 with the wedding of Emma & Ian and in this instance with the wedding of Stuart & Bekki (interestingly enough all five of us have found ourselves sat around the same pub table, on occasion, despite living in far flung places). I must say that on balance, I do particularly well in terms of finding myself in a place where there’s a strong correlation between what my clients are looking for and what I would tend to do instinctively; in these instances the correlation seemed one of a mirror image. I sing a certain type of song with a certain accent but if I’m asked to sing La Marseillaise with a North-Eastern Dutch accent then it’s liable to be, I don’t know, a little tricky? That made perfect sense as an analogy, of course. (I won’t actually sing at your wedding, by the way. Count yourself lucky!)

Alors… Stuart is an excellent wedding photographer who rubs shoulders with a good number of top practitioners in the field so I was particularly humbled and, well, chuffed – for want of a more elegant expression – when he asked if I would photograph his and Bekki’s wedding. Maybe all the others were booked already :~) If there was any resultant trepidation on my behalf, it centred around wondering what those others might think of any results that they saw, more so again what Stuart’s dad, Les, might think. Les is the only wedding photographer I’ve met that is approaching retirement age. Decades of experience under his belt, he’s seen more and knows more about the practice than I could yet scratch the surface of and he produces imagery as fresh as any adept relative newcomer to the field on top of significant foundations that many might never match. Down to earth and unflinchingly friendly, meeting Les was a particular additional pleasure in what made for a truly fantastic experience beginning to end, and my offer still stands to carry his kit and a water bottle for him if he ever finds himself shooting in my neck of the woods.

Back to Stuart & Bekki. Professional connection and respect aside, it was a great pleasure to work for Stuart, a caring and constantly thoughtful character, and for Bekki – the fact of her being a school teacher instantly casts her amongst one set of career heroes of mine – her seemingly unflappable enthusiasm and positivity made her a joy to photograph and just, simply, to be in the company of. Their wedding spanned two days. On the first they brought around thirty of their nearest and dearest with them up to Ambleside in the Lake District, an area that they have a long standing love for. On the second they returned south to Staffordshire for an evening party with yet more friends again. This is the story of their wedding… weekend… View full post »

Dorset Wedding Photography : Lizzie & Tom

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Lizzie & Tom’s wedding made for the perfect conclusion to a year of photographing such occasions up and down the country and a highly pleasing completion of a pattern that seems increasingly to permeate my practice. Tom was an usher – he delivered a reading during the ceremony too – at my first wedding of 2015 (that of his friend, another Tom as he married Nicki) and his and Lizzie’s wedding day was to be my last of 2015, on the weekend just before Christmas. It was a cracker of a day. Yes, I just did… that :~)

In fact, Tom was a groomsman at Huw & Kim’s wedding in 2010, alongside Tom of my first wedding of 2015 and another Tom again; Ben (whose wedding I then photographed in 2011 as he married Lit), Gabriel, Matt, Amir and Joel (who was the best man at that one and at Lizzie & Tom’s, and come to think of it, at Ben & Lit’s in the interim) and one additional fellow whose name I can’t put my finger on and wasn’t part of the pattern I’m piecing together though of course that makes him none-the-less important in the context of Huw & Kim’s wedding. The following year, Tom, Tom, Tom, Huw, Gabriel, Matt, Amir and Joel served as groomsmen at Ben & Lit’s wedding, alongside Ben’s brother. Come the start of 2015 we were down a Tom but it was Tom, Joel, Amir, Matt, Gabriel, Ben and Huw ushering at Tom & Nicki’s wedding then come the end of the year and this wedding, we had Tom, Matt, Ben, Huw, Amir, and Joel (doubling up as best man again) serving as groomsmen at Tom & Lizzie’s wedding.

I’m out of breath.

Maybe I should draw a large diagram criss-crossed by lines.

(As I’ve been cross-referencing the photo-sets from each wedding, it’s been fun seeing how their hairstyles have changed over the years, or indeed – in some cases – haven’t :~)

All of the Toms along with Matt, Ben, Huw, Amir, and Joel had been course-mates on the same degree back in… whenever, a while back, a course on which I taught and a couple of them were project supervisees of mine, too. It’s just struck me that I’ve known them all for more years across an epoch of weddings than the years that I knew them as students. Throughout both eras they’ve always been an admirable group of people, it’s been a pleasure to see them all do so well in their careers on top of the pleasure it was to see them flourish as students (as it happens, I’ve just been reading Tom’s – Tom of this wedding, that is – final year undergraduate study, ‘A Spectrally Based Method for the Emulation of the Technicolor Process on Digital Images’, a copy of which I found online) and it’s been both a great honour and fantastically good fun to be involved in a number of their weddings.

Tom had studied not a million miles away from Lizzie’s family home – 9.9 miles via the shortest road route, to be precise – but they met, entirely coincidental of that locale and period in time, some years later in London. I have to say that it’s been an utter pleasure being around Lizzie and spending time getting to know her prior to her and Tom’s wedding, especially seeing her express herself so resonantly throughout the wedding day itself. A person imbued with great positive energy that just rubs off on you. This is the story of Lizzie & Tom’s wedding… View full post »

Dorset Wedding Photography : Stephanie & James

To say that Stephanie & James’s wedding day was a windswept one would be, well, not an understatement, simply an accurate observation. I might quip that this aspect of the weather matched their breezy personalities but I’m not even certain what breezy would particularly mean if applied in such a context. I do know that I enjoyed enormously spending time with two of the most genuinely lovely people one might care to meet, a couple that took it all in their stride and enjoyed their wedding day to the maximum, taking great care of those they brought along with them to share in it all.

Whilst not being from the locale (a sizeable contingent of Yorkshire folk made their way down to the south coast on James’s behalf; Stephanie hails from climes twixt here and there), having a particular fondness for the area Stephanie & James settled upon the surroundings of Poole Harbour as the setting for their wedding with a ceremony in the old quarter of Poole and celebrations into the evening at Shell Bay Restaurant just across the Sandbanks ferry.

This is the story of Stephanie & James’s wedding day. Please read the images as though they were words, if you will… View full post »

2015

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In reviewing the weddings that I photographed during 2014 I stated that it “may well have been the most intriguingly interwoven year that I’ve experienced as a wedding photographer.” I’m not certain that 2015 proved to be any more intriguingly interwoven but I dare say that it proved at least equally so, interlinked from beginning to end quite literally if not throughout exclusively.

My first wedding of the year took place in the middle of January in Bedfordshire, my final in the middle of December in Dorset. That first wedding saw Tom marry Nicki. The last saw another Tom marrying Lizzie. Both Toms served as ushers at each others weddings and indeed the ushers teams at both weddings included grooms from weddings I’d photographed in previous years – Huw whose marriage to Kim I’d photographed in 2010, and Ben whose marriage to Lit I’d photographed the following year – and both Toms had served as ushers at those weddings too. A neatly sewn up pattern that gave me pleasure to behold and all the more pleasure again to weave myself into the fabric of, even more so – yet again – by virtue of the fact that both Toms, Huw and Ben, and a number of others again at all of these weddings had been students of mine during the previous decade.

This is some of what I saw then – and in between – throughout 2015… View full post »

Somerset Wedding Photography : Aaron & Natalie

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My trusty SatNav had told me that the bed and breakfast I’d stayed at was ten minutes drive from Aaron & Natalie’s Bristol home, so I allocated twenty minutes to get there. As it happened, I was ready to leave thirty minutes before my allotted arrival time so off I went. Ten minutes later, I was not much more than a tenth of the way there. It seemed the whole car driving world had a liking for Bristol as great as mine – it is indeed a vibrant city with a great deal to offer – and they’d all set off an extra minute ahead of me. Thirty minutes later I completed that ten minute journey so I was on time after all. Had I been stressed by that journey in the slightest – which I was but very much in the slightest, I’ll add – then my first meeting with Aaron would have dissipated any tension immediately, and indeed it did; a beaming tower of affability and positive energy. He and Natalie would marry at Priston Mill amidst gently rolling West Country hills later in the day and in later meeting her, too, I found the equation balanced perfectly; another positive person to be in the presence of. I had an exciting time of it all from beginning to end, surrounded by people of great warmth and plentiful exuberance, all the makings of a celebration to be remembered. This is the story of Aaron & Natalie’s wedding day, with an occasional detour down the side roads of my mind… View full post »