Bournemouth Wedding Photography : Susan & Alejandro

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I worked with Susan for a good number of years, members of a broader and downright brilliant team that taught undergraduate and post-graduate students, a great many of who in turn went on to do fantastic things in the realms of visual effects in film, in computer games, in animation for television and in myriad other areas. I’d always found deep fascination in her personal work as a fine artist and had enormous respect for her work with our students. I count her as a good friend and she proved a trusted ally in a world within a world that might have become… a wee bit mad. She’s like a force of nature that went to finishing school (and attended most of the… most important lessons :~) and when it came to matters social, it was always guaranteed to be a blast when you got to spend time with Susan.

Alex came along, as the figure of speech goes, and was received warmly – to say the least – by all that surrounded Susan; a man of great wit, intelligence and fierce social conscience. I’ve liked Alex very much, from the off. When I met with them at a gathering at New Year’s Eve just gone, they told me of their plans to get married and how much they hoped that I could photograph the occasion, and that made me very happy, both their news and the prospect of my involvement in that day.

The notion of what a wedding day is, what one is ‘meant’ to be like, has a propensity for enclosing a couple’s sense of identity and self-expression in a corset; one size fits all and in to it you jolly well squeeze. I’m lucky to consistently encounter clients that are quite wilful in popping buttons or cutting strings (however you want to visualise the metaphor) when it comes to confronting the constraints of that corset. Susan & Alex practically threw it into a hedge. “We’re getting married then going down the pub!” The makings of a completely unfettered wedding day there, then :~) And that’s just what their wedding day was, unfettered, unrestricted fun with stuff added in because it was just right. This is the story of Susan & Alex’s wedding day… View full post »

Devon Wedding Photography : Helen & Darrin

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“Do you remember Helen?” I asked. I’d used her surname, as well, in asking the question. There had been other Helens that we’d known. “Is she the one that went on to work for such and such a company?” came the response [slightly paraphrased]. “No, that was so and so,” I replied [slightly paraphrased]. “Oh! Helen! The one that was always smiling!” came the realisation. I was photographing the wedding of a former colleague, a few weeks after Helen & Darrin’s wedding day, and was discussing with that former colleague the weddings of former students of ours that I’d enjoyed photographing. Every encounter that I’d had with Helen when she was a student had left me feeling that much more optimistic than I might already have been feeling; photographing her wedding day, likewise. She seemed to have an abundance of the stuff about her, an abundance of optimism or at least always the constituent energies that could give rise to such feelings and those energies were not self-contained, they pulsed outwards and were readily absorbed by those around her; those with a propensity for absorbing positive energy at least.

I’d kept in touch, on and off, with Helen since she’d graduated; mostly online and a couple of times in person through the wedding of another former student, a peer of Helen’s, whom she had introduced to one of her best friends from days back and still ongoing and the two had then gone on to marry. Helen had proselytised my photographic work to them (she’d blogged about my work to wider audiences, tweeted links to my blog posts to boot). She’d also told me that if she got married one day, she would want me to photograph her wedding. This was some time before that wedding, the marriage of her two friends, before she had met Darrin even and I’m so glad that she did meet him, not just because that ultimately led to me having such an enjoyable wedding day to photograph but because he’s a thoroughly fine fellow with a grand sense of humour and a highly evident abundance of compassion about him and it makes me happy that someone so giving to others has met with someone else so giving to others and that they’ve found all the more happiness in each other.

Helen & Darrin made a really rather special wedding day for themselves. Eighteen people, themselves included, plus me making nineteen; the whole occasion was designed like a great big family day out (and it really was utterly lovely spending the day with all of these people) all getting together at a harbour side hotel before making their way on a foot-passenger ferry across Dartmouth Harbour in Devon, taking the Dartmouth steam railway (worth a click onto the Web site if only for the opening sound effect :~) to a restored railway station with a license for the conducting of marriage ceremonies. Then back again to Dartmouth by steam train and by ferry to warm up a little in the hotel before adjourning for dinner at a fantastic harbour side fish and chip restaurant. The day was rounded off in a beautifully appointed rented house perched high on a hill above the harbour, with cake and fizz and a fun-filled quiz. This is the story of Helen & Darrin’s wedding day… View full post »

North Devon Wedding Photography : Nathan & Zoe

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Across distances sometimes great, sometimes small – sometimes geographical, sometimes chronological, sometimes both combined – I take pleasure in discovering the connections between where I have been and what I did there, then where I am now doing that which I do. As I weave my way across years of weddings experienced, this thread in the broader tapestry connects the South of Spain with North Devon; joins with a line a dot on a calendar in 2011 and another in 2015. The picture that was formed in this instance only became apparent to me when on a February day this year – on Valentine’s Day as it happens; what more romantic in connotation a day for a wedding to be set upon? – I found myself in North Devon to photograph the wedding of Nathan & Zoe.

What I learnt on the eve of that day, learnt in respect of how it was that I would ultimately find myself there, stemmed from the fact of my having travelled to Spain all that time back to photograph the wedding of Rommalee & Dan, who at the time lived just a short distance away from me in Dorset (practically next door to me in relation to the distance we all travelled for their wedding day :~). Dan’s brother, Olly, had been at that wedding, travelling down from his home in North Devon. When the photographs from Rommalee & Dan’s wedding were completed and released, Olly had shown them to his good friend, Nathan (an accomplished photographer with a string of published works under his belt), and Nathan had kept an eye on my ongoing work since.

And thus I found myself in North Devon, on Valentine’s Day, photographing a wedding populated by people as lovely as you might wish to meet and spend time amongst; a deeply personalised wedding ceremony in the village of Bratton Fleming followed by celebrations on a lofty headland overlooking Saunton Sands. This is the story of Nathan & Zoe’s wedding day… View full post »

Woburn Abbey Sculpture Gallery Wedding Photography : Nicki & Tom

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I couldn’t have wished for a better start to my 2015 season of weddings – the start of my seventh year photographing them as it happens (and not an itch in… sight; mixed metaphors aplenty on the horizon though) – than to find myself at that of Nicki & Tom. Tom was a student of mine, a little while back, a little while beyond what I’ve been able to keep clear count of but not that far back, surely? It feels like it was yesterday anyway. He was part of a close-knit group of friends that were drawn together as students and have stayed thick as thieves ever since… which is maybe an inappropriate metaphor considering Tom’s change of career several years ago (one that saw him perhaps in pursuit of rather than becoming party to); maybe let’s try… remained closely bonded as the years progressed, sharing holidays together, attending each other’s weddings, the menfolk amongst them serving as ushers in turn for each of their number that married, others and sometimes the same delivering readings, all giving the dance floors at those weddings a thorough run for their money and I’ve no doubt, if indeed dance floors could be said to have feelings, leaving those spaces eminently happy to have achieved peak destiny. They were all a thorough pleasure to teach – bright, shining stars with abundantly good natures – and it’s been a thorough pleasure to have photographed a number of their weddings down the years; first Huw & Kim’s in 2010 then Ben & Lit’s in 2011, Tom & Nicki’s as my opening foray of 2015 and I very much look forward to my final call of the year photographing the wedding of another Tom, when he marries Lizzie, shortly before Christmas. So it looks set to be another year inter-twined, topped and tailed, framed beautifully by strong connections.

Equally so it has been a consistent pleasure to meet the women that these men have married, all resonant characters, all becoming integral members of the group they have married into… now there’s a concept that just snuck up on me, but it is how it strikes me as being. Individual people marry individual people; there is certainly the notion of marrying into families; this group do though have something of the family about them, the strength of family, to my mind. Nicki’s intelligence and industriously creative nature was a joy to encounter and her steady calmness made it an additionally great pleasure to me to serve as her photographer.

Nicki & Tom married and celebrated at Woburn Abbey Sculpture Gallery in Bedfordshire. More often than not I’ll simply mention a venue by name then focus most of all, in my writing, on people; my photography will of course give ample attention to space and to place, also, as the choice therein is important to the people that have chosen it as the setting for their wedding and it is therefore important to the story at hand. I’ll have more to say about this place in due course though as, through its people, it has something that to me sets it above many other such places, such places in terms of the function they are set to. In the meantime and certainly beyond that again, this is the story of Nicki & Tom’s wedding day… View full post »

Moonfleet Wedding Photography : Ross & Alice and Imogen too!

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In a year that saw a good number of coincidences between weddings that I photographed, 2014 was brought to a perfectly interlinked end with the wedding of Ross & Alice and joint headliner of the show, their daughter, Imogen, whom was an absolute star. My very first wedding of the year had been that of Cheryl & Matt, on the Isle of Portland in Dorset. At their wedding, amongst the guests, were Paul and his then fiancée, Kayleieh, whose wedding I then photographed that summer. Paul is Ross’s brother and the latter served as the former’s best man at that summer wedding, at which, also, Cheryl & Matt were guests (the two were also guests at my last but one wedding of 2014 – the week before Ross & Alice’s marriage – that of George & Will who had also been guests at Cheryl & Matt’s wedding). At Paul & Kayleieh’s wedding, as I photographed Paul getting ready, assisted by his brother (maybe at times it was the other way around :~), Ross mentioned to me that he would be getting married towards the end of the year and that he would be looking for a photographer that photographed things in the same manner that I did. “Who better than me?” I said, in my head, though I’m certain not out loud. He heard what I was thinking, none-the-less, or maybe it was seeing the photographic results from Paul & Kayleieh’s wedding that said what needed saying and he and Alice proceeded with booking me to photograph their wedding, and for that I was really very happy.

They married at Moonfleet Manor in Dorset and celebrated into the night at Portesham Village Hall, a wedding day that had a great family feel to it, enormous warmth of spirit, resonantly down to earth and expressed with great thought and creativity, all at once. I couldn’t have found myself in a happier place to bring my year of weddings to a conclusion, amongst a circle, that circle part of a Venn Diagram of people whose company I have valued, whose inclusion of me in their wedding days has enriched my soul.

Oh, and the registrar that conducted Ross & Alice’s marriage ceremony… he was the same one that had officiated over Cheryl & Matt’s ceremony, with great warmth and good humour on both occasions, I would add. Considering I’d never encountered him at a wedding before Cheryl & Matt’s, nor did I again until Ross & Alice’s, that was something that added all the more to the inter-linking of cast and characters that wove all of these experiences together. This experience, this story… this is theirs, Ross & Alice and daughter, Imogen too… View full post »