Dublin Wedding Photography : Stephen & Isobel

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I was bought, as a wedding present, for Stephen & Isobel by Stephen’s brother, Gavin. More accurately speaking, perhaps, my services as a photographer were bought for them by Gavin. I got to return to my other life afterwards with fantastically rich memories of people and place to carry with me, such memories to wrap up and deliver back to Stephen & Isobel. Gavin had been a student of mine, many moons ago. As it happens, I’d enjoyed being a guest at his and Becky’s wedding – Becky having also been a student of mine – several years back, before I’d set out on my journey as a wedding photographer. I’d gone on to photograph the two of them, here and there, as guests at the wedding of another pair or former students, Kath & Ian, during the interim years.

Each of those weddings was populated by brilliant people and such would be the case, I was certain, come time to immerse myself in Stephen & Isobel’s wedding day. My certainty was perfectly well placed. Stephen & Isobel live in London but first got together some years ago as students of philosophy at university in Dublin. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know them on their wedding day; intelligent, witty, warm-hearted characters that knew how to put on and enjoy a hearty celebration.

Now I’ve been to paradise but I’d never been to Meath before (I’ve my fingers crossed that at least a few Irish readers will get the reference, but that particular song is from some way back so I’ll uncross them to facilitate ongoing use of my keyboard) and it was in that county, in the village of Ballymagarvey, that Stephen & Isobel did the deed and partied with aplomb. With a fleeting prologue featuring a day of my own as I immersed myself in a particular aspect of Irish landscape that I especially love myself – I always provide myself with a buffer day when photographing weddings outside of the UK mainland, just to be safe and all – this is the story of their wedding day. View full post »

Sopley Mill Wedding Photography : Harriet & Gellan

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It rubs off on you. People’s energy. It rubs off on you and sinks deep below the pores and when that energy is abundantly positive, when it’s intertwined with compassion of spirit, emotional creativity and a thirst for what’s right in life, well, that’s just so good a thing to bathe yourself in, from time to time, to absorb, to carry with you beyond. Dip a toe in. Take a paddle. Plunge. Glide across the surface and swim deep below. It rubs off on you, it journeys in to you, and it lasts. In memories. Memories that can trigger those same feelings all over again. Energy can be neither created nor be destroyed, but it transforms from one form to another.

Harriet & Gellan married at St. Alban’s church in the Charminster district of Bournemouth, Dorset, and celebrated at Sopley Mill in splendidly rustic countryside just across the border into Hampshire. Working with them, serving as their story-teller in images that are still, relating a story effervescent with the motion of life; all provided me with a solid recharging of the old emotional batteries.

I’ll plug them in here. Tell a story. The story of Harriet & Gellan’s wedding day. View full post »

Lulworth Castle Wedding Photography : Hannah & James

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Something struck me quite deeply as I was performing the initial image review from the set of photographs that I’d taken on Hannah & James’s wedding day. It was something that does often strike me when undertaking such reviews, but on this particular occasion there was something that moved me to put pen to paper (maybe it was the particular alignment of my chair with my computer monitor at that moment, maybe the momentarily distinct hue of the Spring sunlight attempting to radiate its way through the window blinds in my darkened editing room, maybe the cooing of a dove perched on the windowsill at the top of my stairs – at least I assume it was a dove; the blinds on that window were drawn against the light, too). I quickly reconsidered the logistics involved in employing pen and paper and resorted to putting finger to keyboard instead; I sent an email to Hannah & James; it hadn’t been with the intention of weaving those same words into a blog feature on their wedding but now that I come to penning… rather, typing that feature, it seemed fitting to me to relate what I’d had to say.

“It’s always my hope that my clients will not only be reminded of the material and chronological details of their wedding day when they look back on their photographs down the years, but that they’ll also feel the same feelings they’d experienced that day, over and over again. I was reminded of this notion somewhat strongly when curating the full delivery set of your photographs, prior to commencing work on editing the individual images. I met so many lovely people on your wedding day and witnessed so many lovely things, from the tender to the outright hilarious, and it did all come flooding back for me (people I’d spoken with and really, really liked, speeches that only failed to completely buckle me in half with laughter as I had to keep a grip in favour of actually taking photographs, jaw-dropping feats of dancing and so on) so I trust it will do likewise and more again for you.”

And that is what I’d felt, and that is how I’d felt about the people I’d spent that day amongst, and… and what of Hannah & James themselves? I’ll let their vicar speak on my behalf, as what she had to say about the two echoed perfectly what I felt about them myself. I may need to paraphrase – certainly I’ll be able to capture the essence – I wasn’t taking notes as my hands were busy with my camera but I was listening, intently so. What one hears can oftentimes inform the making of an image as much as what one sees. Add to that the remaining senses, usually something more again. Hannah & James’s vicar said that you know good people when you meet them, and that’s just what these two are.

Hannah & James married at Lulworth Castle in Dorset, in a church within the castle grounds, celebrating into the night within the castle walls. This is the story of their wedding day… View full post »

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 »