Laura & Daniels Kent winter wedding at The Shepherd Neame Brewery in Faversham

What could be better than having your Kent winter wedding at Shepherd Neame, the brewery in Faversham, when you enjoy a beer or two! London based couple Laura and Daniel enjoy getting out to some pubs and after visiting faversham felt this particular wedding venue would be perfect!

There are many different venues for us wedding photographers in Kent to work at and I’m lucky to see a good variety and although I’m not much of an ale drinker, preferring the odd glass of wine!, I loved the atmosphere of the place and have been back since for a comedy night and another wedding.

Before their wedding I met up with Laura and Daniel in Faversham for their pre wedding photoshoot and clicked with them immediately, what a great couple!

Their wedding day started with me meeting Laura at the pub round the corner where she was getting ready, seems it was to be pub based all day long! I photographed her and her two flower girls getting ready and had to laugh when one of the little ones proclaimed in all seriousness that her shoes didn’t fit ( she was buckling up the brides!).The hair was done by Alex from MakeMeSparkle who is a genius when it comes to your do, I can highly recommend her!

Once all the necessary preparations were done I headed off back to the brewery to photograph Daniel and some of the guests before the ceremony. The ceremony itself was pretty emotional, Laura’s dad escorted her down the aisle and the little flower girls scattered their petals while Daniel couldn’t keep a little tear from his eye.

With their vows completed and a punch to the air from Daniel, they were officially announced as husband and wife and couldn’t have looked happier walking back down the aisle together. A few group photos followed by food and then it was time for some entertainment from some simply brilliant young Irish dancers ( there was a strong Irish contingent being Laura’s side of the family) and also a very funny slideshow showing Laura’s dancing skills!

Despite it being a winter wedding the weather was actually ok and we managed to get some photographs by the ‘Spitfire’ car in the courtyard outside which was great as I like to try and do some interesting couple portraits were possible.

Being Laura and Daniels wedding photographer was an absolute pleasure and I’d like to wish them  long and happy life together.

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Although Emma & Ollie’s St Clements Church wedding in Kent took place back in November, the weather still hasn’t got a lot warmer and we’re all wishing for the temperature to rise I’m sure. Thankfully it stayed dry on the day and it was only the wind that caused some ‘wedding veil’ issues but nothing anyone was going to get stressed about.

Emma and Ollie celebrated their wedding in the town of Sandwich up on the north coast, and with a church ceremony and marquee reception you could say it was fairly traditional. As a wedding photographer in Kent these are the types of wedding I find myself working at a great deal and I love the architecture of the lovely old churches and rural settings for the marquees.

After the ceremony, due to the weather, it was necessary to do a few group photos inside and then it was a quick dash through the confetti out to the vintage car to transport the newly married couple to Goss Hall  where they were holding their marquee reception in the grounds. Being November it wasn’t long before the light faded so we weren’t able to capitalise on photography by the meandering river that runs through the garden unfortunately, but that’s the compromise you make having a winter wedding. Even at summer weddings I often find that the best light will coincide with the wedding breakfast so there are always compromises to be made.

As is the usual running of the day, the speeches followed the wedding breakfast and very much enjoyed by the attending guests, it’s always good to hear amusing speeches even when you don’t know the couple as well as everyone else. After a short interlude it was then time for the first dance which they performed brilliantly,  followed by what looked likely to be a great party well into the night.

Emma and Ollie were a fantastic couple to photograph, easy going with great smiles and I really enjoyed photographing their wedding, it was full of fun and lots of laughs, just as  a wedding should be.

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Catherine & Jonny-81P I N

 

Winning a Wedding Photojournalist Association award this year was a great surprise and at this time of year when the wedding season hasn’t really got started, it was a little reminder of why I love to do this job.

The WPJA is one of the most highly respected professional associations within the wedding photography industry, composed of photojournalists and wedding photographers from around the world specialising in documenting weddings in a style that’s both candid and creative.

I strive constantly to deliver the best wedding photos I can for every couple who’s wedding I photograph and to win this award has meant my efforts are not going unnoticed. Obviously I don’t approach a wedding with the aim to take an award winning photo, that’s a bi product of working to deliver a set of beautiful natural wedding photos that tell the story of the day.

With that in mind, I’m again very much looking forward to photographing this years weddings and looking at capturing something special and different at every one, as in the words of the great photojournalist John Stanmeyer, who’s knowledge and expertise I have been able to draw from, ” it’s got to be brilliant!”

 

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Everyone has seen beautiful wedding photos online and in magazines and everyone deserves to have a wonderful set of wedding photos as a record of their special day. Here I have compiled a short list of the factors that influence the kind of photos you can expect to receive form your professional wedding photographer and what you should consider in order to get what you want.

Your Wedding Venue

Not everyone can afford, or would perhaps want, a grand stately home in the countryside or a top London hotel to get married in, but that shouldn’t mean you don’t get beautiful photographs at your chosen venue. If you have chosen your local village hall or a marquee in your garden you can of course still have stunning photos, you might just have to think a little more about the lighting and decoration which isn’t already in place for you.

Interior Lighting and Decor

Obviously the appearance of the exterior and interior of your wedding venue is something you consider when booking your venue but have you thought about the lighting?

Some venues have wonderful lighting, it may be natural light coming in through huge bay windows with elaborate chandeliers hanging from high ceilings for when the sun goes down, or interesting modern interior lights of different colours. Others however may have little in the way of interesting wall and ceiling lights and simply have fluorescent tubes which is far less attractive in photographs.

When looking at wedding photos, particularly at venue interiors, take note of the lighting as this will impact on the sort of photos you can expect and if you have blank canvas such as a barn or marquee to decorate, think lights! i.e. fairy lights, chandeliers etc, the more the better!

The Time of  Year & Weather.

Here in Great Britain you cannot guarantee what the weather is going to be like at any time of year, I have photographed wet, cold and windy weddings in August and warm and sunny weddings in November, in terms of weather it’s a lottery.P I N

The best advice I can offer is to be prepared and not just hope it’s going to be dry and sunny for your picnic out in the orchards after the ceremony. Have a backup and make sure you’d be happy to have lots of your wedding photos taken where that place might be. Again if it needs decorating use plenty of lights as it makes such a difference.

The Time of Your Ceremony & Wedding Breakfast

Another big consideration to take into account is the amount of natural light available at different times of the year and when the sun sets. If you are looking for some beautiful portraits of the two of you as the goes down, having your wedding in June and hiring a photographer only up to the first dance at 8.30 isn’t going to work. Be aware of timings for your ceremony and wedding breakfast as well as you may be eating at the best time to get some sunset portraits.

 

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Themes and Entertainment

It’s not for everyone but sometimes a theme can add a little something different to your day, whether it’s 1940s Hollywood Glamour or 1920s Great Gatsby, it can often help you with all sorts of decisions regarding your wedding, from invites to table decorations as well as creating wonderful images of you and your guests on the day.

Entertainment is another aspect of a wedding day that can lead to some wonderful photos, a magician gets all sorts of reactions from guests while a dance class can get everyone up and on their feet early on without feeling self conscious, all leading to some great photos.

To summerise, it’s important to think about how your photos will be influenced by where and when you have chosen your wedding to be.

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Abigail’s and Peter’s St Johns Church, Tunbridge Wells wedding took place on an overcast but mostly dry day last October, but with a beautiful blue and yellow colour theme and Abigails constant smile, the grey sky really didn’t matter.

Their involvement with the church is very important to them and on their wedding day it was full with their friends and family, so much so they couldn’t accommodate everyone at their reception so put on tea and cake at there after the ceremony.

After having some group photos taken and some time to enjoy the refreshments and conversations with their guests, they were then transported to their reception venue in a beautiful vintage car, which thankfully just made it.

Their reception venue was the school Peter works at and on arrival there was time to enjoy drinks of the alcoholic variety this time in the main house before sitting down for the wedding breakfast. With the weather improving we managed to get some lovely photos of the two of them in the school grounds while a couple of guests enjoyed a go on the swings!

The dining hall where they were eating had been carefully decorated the day before by family and friends and with all the fairy lights and flowers looked a far cry from being a school dining hall area.

With the meal finished and the speeches taken care of it was time for Peter and Abigail to perform their first dance. They had a live band to accompany them and had been practicing hard which became apparent once they began. They showed off some fantastic moves and glided around the dance floor brilliantly which was greatly appreciated by their observing guests! I applaud you both for your efforts and wish you every happiness for your future together.

To view another church wedding take a look at Gaby & Mark’s  blog post from the summer.

 

 

 

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Armenian Weddings – Gyumri

The photos I took of Armenian weddings are only a small percentage of what I captured with my camera while away in what is  an amazing country. I will be posting some of this personal work on Facebook with an idea to perhaps launching another website to show what else I can do as well as photographing weddings.

I’ve just returned from a 9 day photography workshop in Gyumri, Armenia with the brilliant National Geographic photographer John Stanmeyer. This is the second trip I have attended led by one of the worlds best photographers, my first being in 2013 with a  trip to Varanasi, India.

They are not only a means to improve and push my photography but also serve to enlighten and develop me as a person, seeing other cultures and experiencing new places opens your mind and how you see and feel about things.

The people I met were truly wonderful, as I walked around the streets and villages taking photographs I was greeted with invitations into their homes to drink coffee with them and eat cake, homemade preserved fruits, chocolates and anything else they had to hand, where else do people invite total strangers in like this I wonder?

This short series of wedding photos were from a number of weddings that I happened to come across in the church a short walk from Villa Kars in Gyumri where we were staying. They are not weddings that I was booked to do but ones that I was invited to join in as another photographer, the hired photographers were very gracious in letting me photograph the weddings they were working.

The weddings mainly occur on Saturdays and Sundays but like here in Britain they do take place on weekdays. On Saturdays the turn around can be pretty quick in the church and as you will see from one image they can at times overlap! Like a traditional Greek wedding the groom meets his bride at her house before the ceremony and then they enter the church together. The guests all stand as there are no pews and the general public come and go as they would normally do to say their prayers, it is a lot less formal than an English church wedding and far less restrictive for the photographers who at times are almost on the shoulders of the priest!

It seems also to be a tradition for the couple to release two white doves after the ceremony, although I’m not sure tying balloons onto it’s feet is! However it seems they return to the same place by the church each time so I guess they’re soon removed.

I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to visit and experience Armenia and photograph some Armenian weddings, maybe I will get the chance to photograph an Armenian couple in the UK some day?

 

 

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