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
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
What a wedding. It was just perfect. The amazing weather smack bang in the middle of a run of rain, thunder, fire and brimstone (it felt like it a few times!) and the most perfect couple. Bex and Matt.
I’ve known Bex & Matt for a couple of years now. Last year I photographed Bex’s brother’s wedding – Ben & Jordana. Bex was one of Jordy’s gorgeous bridesmaids. I also photographed Catherine & Richard’s wedding last year. Bex was one of Catherine’s gorgeous bridesmaids. Matt was starting to feel the pressure…!!!
I had a phonecall from Matt last year which is the best phonecall I’ve ever had from a groom (although I didn’t know he was one of my grooms at that exact moment…)
Matt: “Hi Jonny, it’s Matt”
Me: “How Matt, how’s it going?”
Matt: “Great thanks – listen, I’m going to propose to Bex next week and I wanted to check your availability to shoot our wedding next year before I do!”
That is an awesome phonecall to get. I’ve known Matt’s family for a few years now, his gorgeous Mum, Sally, used to work at Flower Design and I’d done some family photographs for them in the past and what with shooting Ben and Jordana’s wedding last year and meeting her family then, I was sooooooooooooo excited about being involved in this wedding. I knew practically all the guests too!
It was amazing fun working with my great friends from Flower Design and Rowley’s Catering and the day was just spectacular. I love my clients. Bex & Matt were so much fun, had amazing ideas of their own, were totally up for shooting something truly beautiful along the way and most importantly – they LOVE to party!
So on with the blog…starting at Bex’s lovely Mum and Dad’s house, Louise and Rod’s, where the girls were getting ready…
Bex’s stunning Stewart Parvin gown. Complete with hand sketch by Stewart himself. Amazing.
Proper shoes. Louboutins. And some sensible sneakers for on the dance floor…!!!
On to the best boozer in Lytham, The Taps, to meet Matt and the boys…
On the way back to the shindig, we swung by a packed Lytham town square for a couple of photos…
What a stunning day…
Matt and his gorgeous daughter, Kate…
Ahhhhhh…Jordy & Ben AND Catherine & Richard, with their new additions!
Time for some fun with the bridal party! (And a local farmer…!!!)
LOVE the speeches!
Bex and Matt wanted to use the very famous windmill on Lytham green in some photographs and we decided that instead of trying to squeeze it in in the afternoon, we’d sneak out for 10mins in the evening before the party started and see if we could take advantage of the beautiful light it looked like we might get…I think it was a good call…
Congratulations Bex and Matt! What a day! And thank you so much for having me along for the ride – it was AMAZING!
I love a good winter pre-wedding shoot – the light, the atmosphere, the going for a drink afterwards to warm up (!) – it’s a great time of year to shoot! I met up with Bex and Matt yesterday in Lytham St Anne’s for their pre-wedding shoot and I knew it was going to be a good one. It’s not the first time I’ve shot them you see… If memory serves me correctly, I think this was actually the 6th time I’ve shot them! Two family shoots for Matt’s family, once for Matt’s business and they’ve been involved in two gorgeous weddings I shot last year – Jordana & Ben’s and Catherine & Richard’s. I love it when you really get to know families and their friends. I’m sooooooo excited about Bex & Matt’s wedding, it’s going to be amazing, a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to seeing all their friends and family again! And as an added bonus, I get to work with my lovely friends from Flower Design and Rowley’s Catering! Score!
So…I met up with Bex & Matt and we headed for the beach by the pier at St Anne’s…
It was FREEZING out there, but the light was just beautiful and we had a great laugh. I really am dying for their day to come around now – can’t wait!
Great work yesterday Bex & Matt – great to see you both as always too!
After church, Becky and Andrew wanted to go for a stroll on the beach at ‘Granny’s Bay’ in Lytham….awesome!
There were so many amazing details that Becky had worked tirelessly on in the build up to their day. Every single thing had meaning and so much thought, time and effort had gone into it all – love it!
The table names highlighted the very different cultural attitudes of our lovely bride and groom…!!!
Flower Design had done a stunning job with the west wing at Lytham Hall…
I loved the scrabble pieces for place names!
No expense was spared on the day – there was even a fly past!
Back inside and I fear that perhaps Becky should have glued the scrabble pieces in place…(I couldn’t possibly reveal what words were ‘arranged’ here, but it doesn’t take a genius to guess the kind of words that were creatively thought up…it was just like being on the set of Countdown!)
Best man Andrew’s speech was a belter – with some quite simply stunning ‘archive’ footage of our groom from years gone by – including my personal fave – the balaclava on the dancefloor!
The video couldn’t have finished more perfectly than with this image from Becky & Andrew’s pre-wedding shoot
Fortunately there was no sign of the balaclava during the first dance!
How about a ‘midseason’ review then? I thought I’d showcase my favourite 20 images shot at weddings so far this year. The rules? Only one image per wedding is allowed and I’m not allowed to waffle on for ages about boring technical things! A simple sentence with each image to explain why it’s my favourite from that particular wedding.
The images are in no particular order – I love them all equally!
So we start with a gorgeous shot of Ruth of off Ruth and Andy who were married at The Ashes in April. I love it’s ethereal (ness!) That is all!
Dawn and Phil and the surprise organised by her friends at school – this is Dawn’s class forming a guard of honour with hockey sticks on her arrival at church! What’s not to love?!
Emma & Pete. Drinking with a helping hand from their friends. Need I say more?!?!
Jacqui & Will at Styal Lodge. A beautiful wedding for a beautiful couple. They’ve gone back to London now and I miss them. Sniff….
Sarah (off of Sarah & Martin) and her girls giving it both barrels on the bowling green! Love it!
A timeless portrait of the quite simply stunning Neelum (Neelum & Shabab) at Haigh Hall. Gorgeous.
Leona and Will at Sandhole Oak Barn. This was a hell of a wedding! I was lucky enough to sit on the bridesmaids table for the wedding breakfast – what an experience! (Thanks to CB for looking after me and Katy and Katie for frightening me to death!)
Sian and Dave at The Inn at Whitewell. I actually saw one of their friends comment on Facebook that this shot summed up their day. The weather, the happy vibe, the excitement. So that’s why it’s here! ‘Cos I agree!
Mel & Jivko‘s Conway Castle wedding. This shot is all about Jivko’s flick of the veil!
My sister and her husband. Kate & Ant at our favourite Italian restaurant, The Tarantella in Poynton. What an amazing day…
There was one thing on everybody’s minds yesterday morning ahead of Catherine and Richard’s wedding – the weather! The forecast had been pretty grim all week, but literally as I arrived at Catherine & Richard’s place in Lytham yesterday, the sun started to shine and things were looking up (I’m by no means claiming responsibility for this…but if I’m honest, it’s not the first time it’s happened…!!!)
I actually started off meeting Richard and the lads in The Taps (Lytham’s finest hostelry) before I went round to see Catherine and the girls, so the sneak preview starts there…
The amazing team at Flower Design had even custom built an arrangement for the gate at Catherine & Richard’s house – love it!
Vera. Wang. Dress. That is all. Oh, and a pair of Jimmy Choo’s…
Gorgeous blue sky at St Cuthbert’s in Lytham!
Loving the Flower Design lych gate!
Catherine’s gorgeous bridesmaids Rebecca, Alice and Sarah eagerly await her arrival!
Catherine arrived to cheers from a very excited crowd outside church!
On to the fabulous grounds of Lytham Hall…
The Gold Room at Lytham Hall. Expertly set up by my great friends at Rowley’s Catering and Flower Design…
Yesterday was awesome! One of my favourite parts of the world, some great local locations throughout the day, the wedding in Ben’s Mum and Dad’s back garden and weather that proved that you don’t need clear blue skies to get stunning wedding photographs (I hope you agree!)
So a little sneak peek for the most gorgeous couple, starting at The Taps in Lytham where I met Ben and the boys in the morning…
People may have thought we were a bit mental as we headed out to the jetty by the lifeboat station… (in what felt like gale force winds!)
A beautiful start to the day this morning in the brisk countryside air with Catherine & Richard who get married at another gorgeous venue, Lytham Hall, this summer (Love it there! AND, I get to work with my great wedding pals Rowley’s Catering AND Flower Design! AND, the coolest wedding band in the land – The Coolers! It’s going to be awesome!)
Here’s a little sneaky peek at what we shot this morning…