It’s here! The blog post all about my recent Masterclass in Locations, Lighting & Posing. This work shop does what it says on the tin. It was all about choosing great locations, using lighting creatively (a mix of natural light, video and constant light sources, off camera flash and location lighting) and posing your subject.
Me, TWENTY photographers, an amazing team working with me – it was always going to be a blast!
We started off early doors prepping our model, the gorgeous Sarah, for the day ahead. We’d been bold. We wanted to do three full changes on the day, including a bridal look and we knew we didn’t have much time to spare in between shooting. But that’s where the awesome team comes into play. Paisley Gamble Hairdresser and Kerry Baker Make Up Artist alongside my gorgeous wife Emma (from LOVE Bridal Boutique!) ensured that Sarah looked amazing and was ready in an unbelievably short time!
Massive thanks have to go to Jenny from The Lowry for letting us use the interior of this amazing building, Howard Wing for working with the photographers on all things marketing and networking and generally how to be an amazing wedding supplier, to Joe & Karin from Pinchjo’s Tapas bar and restaurant in West Didsbury for hosting the ‘after party’ and to Andy Murphy DJ for spinning the tunes and ensuring that everyone suitable embarrassed themselves singing karaoke
So to start off, some instagram ‘behind the scenes’ photos courtesy of Howard, Kerry and Emma…
Getting things started – this is what I shot on the day…
Some of the attending photographers have been kind enough to share some of their images from the day – I LOVE seeing how differently everyone has framed images, processed them and really put their own stamp on them
And then it was party time….it started off relatively sensibly as overall, this was part of the workshop to encourage a little bit of ‘networking’ – amongst the attending photographers and all the involved suppliers as well as some of my other wedding supplier friends I’d invited to join us for the evening – it was great to see Sian from Didsbury Flower Lounge, Tom from Silk Wedding Films, Helen and Pete from We Are Life, Ben and Kate from Thyme Out Deli and Catering and Helen from Macleod Bradley
But then the rounds of jagermeister started and it all got a bit nuts…!!!
…and got ridiculous quite quickly…!!!
Finally, a huge thank you to Jo Eardley for assisting on the day and shooting the party images for us – great work Jo!
Keep your eye on my Facebook page for more Workshops, Masterclasses and Training experiences (not all finish with a party I’m afraid!)
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
Ace wedding, top venue, gorgeous couple! Gemma & Dave knew what they wanted from their day. They wanted to spend time with their family and friends, get some great photographs that truly captured that and enjoy the party – and what a party!
It was great to see some lovely, familiar West Didsbury faces there too! Bill & Emma, proprietors of the number one restaurant in Manchester, Burton Road’s The Rose Garden, were there. Alex, their top restaurant manager was one of the ushers and it was great to see Kate & Sarah, The Silver Apples ladies, letting their hair down at a wedding for a change instead of catering it!
I love photographing weddings at The Lowry Theatre – stunning architecture and a real ‘wow factor’ for anybody who’s not been there before – a truly beautiful urban setting…
We got away with the weather (it was a bit breezy and nippy but we escaped the rain!) and a truly amazing day unfolded. I’ve been lucky enough to spend a little more time with Vicky & Jamie than the majority of my brides and grooms as they’re good friends with Jess & Terry who’s wedding I shot recently, so I saw them at their wedding as well – Jess and Terry were also at Vicky & Jamie’s wedding and I was honoured to be sat next to them for the wedding breakfast. Thanks for inviting me onto a table Vicky & Jamie and thanks Jess & Terry for looking after me so well (and Ste & Kath and Sam & Liam!)
So, Vicky & Jamie were married at St Paul’s in Hyde and the service was AMAZING! Father Denis should actually be a stand up comic! When he asked ‘if anyone here present knows of any reason that these two should not be married’ he surveyed the congregation quite seriously and then suddenly shouted ‘Yes!’ and pointed as if someone had put their hand up! I’ve never seen so many people all jump out their skin at the same time!
After the service it was on to The Lowry Theatre at Salford Quays, via The Theatre of Dreams…Jamie’s a BIG Red and had arranged for the stewards to drop the bollards outside Old Trafford so we could take the wedding car and get a shot in front of the stadium…pretty cool, hey?
A couple of my faves from The Lowry – including this belter from inside the Lyric Theatre – BIG thanks to Simon and his staff for organising this for us!
Thanks to Simon continue here, as normally you’re not allowed to photograph in this gallery…but Vicky’s a BIG Take That fan…
…and Jamie’s a BIG United fan – love him rocking the serious King Eric look here!!!
How amazing does The Compass Room look!??! Stunning space…
There was a big surprise in the evening – I was in the ‘circle of trust’ and knew this was happening, but none of the guests knew and let me tell you, he went down a storm…Introducing Rickie Arthur, Europe’s No1 Michael Buble act. He was AMAZING!!!
Amazing day and night! Congratulations Vicky & Jamie!
Well, the temperature had dropped and the wind had picked up since the glorious weather of the weekend, but it was still a pretty damn lovely morning down at Salford Quays for Tiziana & Rich’s pre-wedding shoot today! Cobwebs were well and truly blown out and we shot some gorgeous stuff – here’s a little sneaky peek just for them!
A quick Sunday afternoon sneaky peek at Viki & Chris’s gorgeous Salford Quays pre-wedding shoot! I’m VERY excited about their big day later this year as it’s at one of the very best Lancashire wedding venues, the stunning The Great Hall at Mains and I’ll also get to work with my great, great friends from Flower Design too! (Also, Viki’s dress – which is of course a secret! – is from the amazing One and Only Bridal Couture in Preston. My great friend Sheree helped Viki to choose the most beautiful and perfect dress, which Sheree knows I will be very excited about now I have found out which one it is!!!)
So, a little glimpse at what we shot at one of the coolest locations in Manchester…
This is one of the most liberating and creative experiences I’ve had when shooting any kind of imagery, whether it be weddings, landscapes, family portraits, lifestyle or fashion. Nothing beats heading out with a model with no plan in particular. This shoot was all about spontaneity and creativity on the fly. And it was with my photography inspirations, top husband and wife team Jonathan Harris and Christine Ware.
Photography is something that is impossible to master. Because what is right and what is wrong? What is the perfect photograph? Everything in photography is subjective.
When it comes to weddings in particular, you have to get it right on the day. You have to nail the focus and exposure and you have to shoot fantastic imagery with no time at all to do it. So you can’t try new things and new ideas in that situation. You have to go into a wedding knowing what will work where, knowing how to manipulate a scene and knowing that you will shoot amazing stuff whatever the conditions.
So that’s why I feel it’s so important for me to shoot other things as well as weddings. Because how do you find out if your ideas will work or not if you can’t practice them on somebody’s big day?
That’s why I asked Jonathan and Christine to spend some time with Emma and I and my favourite model who’s not a model, the beautiful Ella, wandering the streets of Manchester, bouncing ideas off each other, shooting stuff in places we just happened upon and creating fantastic photographs that have inspired me to bring some of what we did into other aspects of my photography.
We started in Castlefield in the morning…
We took a break for coffee at Dukes92 early in the shoot and the place was empty…so Christine asked the manager if we could use a booth for 10 minutes – if you don’t ask you don’t get!
We headed into the city centre at lunchtime – Jonathan had suggested getting into a busier environment and giving our shots much more of a street photography feel…
I love this – we could have been in Milan!
And then it was time to get serious! We’d discussed with Ella that we wanted to give the third look of the day a much more ‘rock chick’ feel. I think she got it absolutely spot on!
Again, we got a bit cheeky with the guys at this restaurant – in fact Ella just went in herself and asked to sit in the window to have her photo taken! But what a great image, there’s a lot of story in this shot that can be interpreted in so many ways, I love it…
From the northern quarter we headed over to Salford Quays…
A little peek behind the scenes. We’d hired some portable lighting kit that we used here at The Quays and first thing in Castlefield. Jonathan had decided to make life really difficult and shot all day on his seriously bad ass Leica M9. What a piece of kit that is – but it’s manual focus! Ouch!
You can also see Emma shooting some stuff here – there’ll be a couple of her images appearing on the blog soon!
I think Ella looks like a modern day ‘Sandy’ from Grease – beautiful and with bags of attitude. It was great finally shooting Ella as ‘herself’. I’ve shot her as a bride on a number of different occasions now and I’d always hoped I’d get the chance to shoot her with not a white dress in sight! She’s fantastically professional and so good at understanding what you want from her – I constantly have to remind myself that she’s only done a few shoots before! I also love the fact that Ella isn’t afraid to make suggestions around locations and posing, it’s great that she’s constantly thinking about what looks good as well.
So there we have it, my favourites from a great day shooting with the fantastic Jonathan Harris and Christine Ware – we’re definitely going to do something similar a bit later in the year which I’m really looking forward to already!
Massive thanks to Jonathan and Christine for all their thoughts and advice over the weekend. Emma and I had a fantastic time with them and can’t wait to catch up soon!
Finally, a huge thanks to Ella for taking the day off work to come and model for us – let’s get some of this put into a book and get them out there!
This is a sneak preview of the shoot I did with Ailsa for her portfolio recently. Ailsa is a dancer for the amazing Bombshells (the performing company within Bodybarre) and she also teaches burlesque courses and various dance classes for Manchester based Bodybarre.
We spent the day shooting all around Manchester, Salford Quays, Castlefield, The Northern Quarter – we got some amazing stuff so keep your eye on the blog for more images from the shoot coming soon!
This is a good friend of mine from the wedding game – Mr Paul Guard, swing singer, entertainer and all round thoroughly nice chap!
Paul has recently recorded a new album of tracks and needed some shots to use on the album artwork and some of his other marketing material, so we headed out to Salford Quays on a balmy summer’s evening (one of very few this year!) and got some great stuff for Paul to use.
Paul wanted a series of images that had a sense of scale and drama to them – unfortunately we couldn’t get up onto the roof of The Hilton in Manchester city centre to shoot the city scene in the background (!) so we improvised and used the Quays industrial architecture to try and achieve this. I think we did ok!