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 »

Godwick Hall & Great Barn Wedding Photography : Paula & Bill

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Paula & Bill cast their net far and wide when it came to searching for a venue for their wedding. With one working in and both living not too far out of London, they would have had no end of choice had they looked closer to home but they wanted to break out of the urban sprawl and take in open skies, with a location not too onerous a distance away for their families and friends to make the journey with them but far enough away that there would be no temptation for anyone to try to make it back the same night. That way, as many as possible would still be around come the morning to make it more than a single, parenthesised day of celebration.

They cast their net far and wide and drew in the perfect catch; Godwick Hall & Great Barn in Norfolk. The county itself is as far away as one might get – in one direction at least – from the capital and its surrounds but in that direction not so far away as to be a great labour. The barn’s locale offers skies as expansive as the two ends of a protractor might encompass. Not all of Norfolk is completely flat, but this bit – bar the odd mole hill – certainly is and it has an effect on the mind and soul, at least for those conditioned to more undulating topology or indeed to the broken vertical surroundings of cityscapes and townscapes. Enormity and freedom play together in tandem. It truly does make for a breath of fresh air. The barn itself offers an equal degree of freedom, a very easy going space to make use of and shelter to boot should those wide open skies not be wearing and bearing the kind of weather one might prefer. The skies were on their best behaviour though when Paula & Bill came to town. Well, country.

So Paula & Bill brought their loved ones with them to a place that matched their temperaments perfectly; open souled and attentive people that took great care of their guests and very much too of yours truly. This is the story of their wedding day… View full post »

Suffolk Tipi Festival Wedding : Becky & Chris

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As I stood on a fine Suffolk summer’s evening looking back towards the heart of Becky & Chris’s ongoing wedding celebrations I felt as though I were looking into a small village in the thick of a festival special to that community. Though the material fabric of that village was but temporary, the spirit of the place was tangible, rooted and built to last. In correspondence some months before the day, Becky had suggested the plan that her and Chris’s wedding would be disguised in a festival theme. It was more than that though, not a disguise nor a tip of the hat but it had become a festival true and proper, a celebration to be revisited in the mind across decades of anniversaries and no doubt in between as well. It would be great if it could be recreated every year in just that same spot. I don’t know though if Becky & Chris would balk at the magnitude of the organisation (but they did a grand job of it as a one of a kind event, with no end of organisation on their account and a wealth of help from a small army of family and friends).

Two years earlier I had photographed the wedding of Matt & Anna – two good friends of Becky – at the other end of the country in Somerset. Becky had seen the photographs from their wedding and kept tabs on my work until Chris popped the question, and she could in turn pop the question to me. A different question of course; one that I was happy to be able to say yes to; Matt & Anna’s had been an enriching and fantastically enjoyable affair to photograph and I had no doubt by virtue of the connection of friendship that Becky & Chris’s would be too. And I was right. Absolutely, of course :~)

Becky & Chris married in a church of especial character in a small village in the Suffolk countryside, just outside of Bury St. Edmunds and celebrated on a patch of farmland right outside the family front door; very useful indeed to have an obliging and friendly next door neighbour with land stretching as far as the horizon. It was immensely enjoyable to spend time with such an energetic, good humoured and caring couple and the friends and family that they surrounded themselves with for their celebration brought the same characteristics to bear in great measure. This is the story of their festival wedding… View full post »