I couldn’t believe my luck when Jenny & Jim booked me to shoot their Blackpool Tower Ballroom Wedding Photographs – what an incredible venue! An icon, not just in Lancashire, but in the whole of the country! This was a BIG wedding too – but it could not have been more fun! It was brilliant working with my great pals Rowley’s Catering and I still can’t quite believe how awesome Jenny & Jim’s wedding was Here’s the story of their special day….
So we’re rolling back the seasons with this gorgeous winter wedding – allow me to introduce Ella and Lee who had the most fun wedding day at Bartle Hall in Lancashire They just wanted to feel relaxed and have a great time – and that’s exactly what they did! Ella looked amazing in her gorgeous dress from Dan Kerr Brides and it was a genuine pleasure to take their Bartle Hall Wedding Photographs
Here’s the story of Ella and Lee’s day:
Congratulations again Ella and Lee and thank you so much for asking me to take your Bartle Hall Wedding Photographs
Naomi & Nige’s wedding was SPECTACULAR!!! (As you can see from the above image!) What a gorgeous and lovely couple they are and what a true pleasure they were to work with When they asked me to take their Great Hall at Mains Wedding Photographs and they told me who else was involved, I was VERY excited! Singing waiters, an Amy Winehouse tribute act, top sound, lighting and pyrotechnics boys, Stardream, the very lovely Margaret Mason Florist and the most stunning Enzoani dress from Dreamcatcher Bridal – it was always going to be an awesome day!
I love this venue – and I love these guys Francesca and Mike were married at the stunning West Tower in Lancashire in January and it was just perfect. So relaxed, so intimate and a great party! It was also a pleasure working with my lovely friends Andy Murphy DJ and Airy Fairy Cupcakes Here’s the story of Francesca and Mike’s awesome day…
Congratulations again guys and thank you so much for having me along to take your West Tower Wedding Photographs
This was a wedding that I had been looking forward to for a long time. My lovely friend Zoe was marrying Chris at Stanley House Hotel in Lancashire and I was so excited to be taking their wedding photographs for them. Zoe & I used to work together back in the day when I had a ‘proper’ job (!) and she was my number one fan from minute one of establishing ‘Jonny Draper Photography’! She passed my details on to everyone she knew, shouted my name from the rooftops and convinced some of her very good friends to book me to shoot their weddings in the early days of my wedding photography career. For which I will be forever grateful
Zoe and Chris, it was amazing to shoot your wedding – It was everything you described it would be and much more. Stanley House Wedding Photographs are always beautiful, but you guys lit the place up and were a pleasure to work with (talking of pleasures to work with, it was as always lovely to see my great friend Paul Guard do his thing – with his big band too, which is always brilliant to see!)
I’ve been really bad at blogging recently. I’ve shot some amazing weddings this year and they will all appear on these very pages I promise! But a lot of other crazy stuff has been happening recently…like LOVE Bridal being crowned joint ‘Best Bridal Retailer in the North West’ in The Wedding Industry Awards! (Had to get that in!)
And I’m shooting a lot. A lot of weddings. A lot of pre-wedding shoots. Which made me realise that although I post images from all my pre-wedding shoots on my Facebook page, recently they haven’t made it onto the blog. So tonight that changes! I work with brilliant couples. Brilliant couples who are so excited about their wedding days, all of the different parts of the wedding day and the photography too! Which makes them a dream to work with. Which results in stunning pre-wedding shoots like the ones below.
I’ve literally just grabbed a handful of recent shoots to showcase – just to show the sort of thing you can do, the kind of location that you can use and that you can actually have a bit of fun along the way. It doesn’t have to be all rigid and staged. In fact it should really reflect each bride and groom’s personality. Which I’m sure you’ll agree these shoots do that perfectly
They’re my favourite part of the build up to my brides and grooms big day. But why are they so important? It’s an opportunity for the bride and groom to experience having their photograph taken ahead of their big day, so that they really understand what happens when the camera comes out the bag. So that they’re reassured that I’m not going to have them doing anything weird or anything that makes them feel uncomfortable.
And it’s a great opportunity for me to get my head around what the bride and groom are like, not only as a couple, but as individuals as well. And that is so important heading into their wedding day.
Everybody’s different, everybody has different priorities and different things that are important to them. But there’s one constant. Every bride and groom to be tells me that they don’t like having their picture taken before their shoot! And the shoot is designed with this in mind. For me, it’s about putting the bride and groom at ease, making them understand that I’m on their side and I’m there to make them look awesome.
Just like all these gorgeous guys below…
Sure, it’s great to choose a cool location, somewhere you like, maybe even somewhere that has a bit of meaning to you both, but it’s more than the location. It’s going through the initial nerves of not knowing what to expect, to the realisation that actually, it’s not that bad….in fact, you’ve just realised you had good fun doing it…
…And the ultimate realisation and understanding that you’re actually going to enjoy it on the big day too – because you both look amazing!!!
I was REALLY looking forward to this wedding. Amazing venue that I was going to be working at for the first time. BRILLIANT couple who I was excited to be spending the day around – and it was New Year’s Eve too! Time to party!
Katie & Andy were celebrating their wedding and reception at the stunning Eaves Hallin Lancashire, so I arrived in the morning to start photographing all the preparations…
Jason from Flower Design giving the girls their bouquet holding lesson
I LOVE winter weddings. I love them even more when they’re around Christmas time – even more magical and atmospheric! Gemma & Matt’s was exactly that. Yes, it was cold. Yes, it rained. But the great thing about getting married in winter is that you have no weather expectations – so it doesn’t matter what it does! As long as the mulled wine is hot and the lights are low, then you’re in for a great day
Bartle Hall is a gorgeous place to photograph weddings. Amazing staff, nothing’s too much trouble and they really care about their brides and grooms. So I was really excited for this one!
I started off meeting Gemma at The Marriott at Preston where she was getting ready…
Gemma’s gorgeous dress was from my great friends, the ridiculously lovely Gill & Georgina at Dreamcatcher Bridal in Kirkham
“What happens if it rains” is a question I get asked quite a lot. Well – if you can’t beat it, join it! We used the rain as a feature of these photos and I LOVE them!
First dance time! Was great to see Robin from Dancefloor Couture in the evening – his dancefloors are awesome!
For the past couple of years I’ve done a round up of my favourite photographs from the previous 12 months, from weddings, pre-wedding shoots, other wedding related styled shoots and personal stuff.
I seem to have shot more than ever this year and with so many amazing things happening this year (Opening Love Bridal Boutique with Emma, winning North West Wedding Photographer of the year in The Wedding Industry Awards, working closer than ever with some of the UK’s top venues and wedding suppliers) I’ve decided to dedicate this blog purely to weddings. I didn’t want to water down the amazing wedding experiences I’ve had this year and so I’ll be adding 2 or 3 more ‘A year in…’ blog posts over the coming weeks…so watch this space…!!!
So, I’m sticking rigidly to the formula I’ve always used for these ‘Best of’ blog posts – only ONE image from each wedding I’ve shot in 2012 is allowed.
Which is hard.
I’m lucky enough to work consistently with brides and grooms who are 100% excited about their day. Not just about the photography, but about their venue, their entertainment, their videographer, their ceremony, their florist.
Which makes my life really easy.
I don’t have to convince people that certain things are a good idea – they’ve got their own ideas that they involve me in and we work on ideas and are creative together.
This is an awesome way of working And this means that I shoot A LOT of images at every single wedding that I absolutely love. And to cut them down to my very favourite, single image from each wedding is something that breaks my heart! But I do it because it’s fun too!
Some of the choices are really hard but I make these decisions with my head AND my heart.
What I love about them from a technical point of view in some cases, but more often than not, what I love about the moment, the look, the tears, the laughter, the feel of the photograph.
And there they are below.
Some of them were easy, some of them were really hard, for very many different reasons.
Some of them don’t feature the groom, some of them don’t feature the bride – some of them feature neither! (And they’re the REALLY difficult ones to actually finally make a decision on – but it’s just because something grabbed me that represents the overall day)
So one image, from every wedding this year, with a single line to describe why I love that image (and they’re in no particular order!)
Katie & Mark’s wedding at Manchester Town Hall and The Lowry Hotel. Seriously? You need me to tell you why I love this photograph?!?!? How much fun?!?!?
Katie & Kelvin’s wedding at Mitton Hall. I love this because Katie and her bridesmaids had brought umbrellas and wellies in case of rain – and then insisted on wearing them even though the weather was gorgeous!
Katie & Andrew’s wedding at Eaves Hall on New Year’s Eve. I’d promised them something spectacular ahead of the day…and didn’t quite know what that was going to be until it went dark…
Gemma & Matt’s Bartle Hall Hotel wedding. Because sometimes you’ve just got to embrace our wonderful British weather…
Carly & Ian’s wedding at Sandhole Oak Barn. Because we got weather like this in FEBRUARY!!!
So a very brief thank you to all my brides and grooms for being nothing else but awesome! And thank you for continually giving me the opportunity to have such an amazing day ‘at the office’ every time I shoot a wedding