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!!!
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
Yey! Easter Sunday saw the amazing wedding of Hannah & Ian at the absolutely stunning Heaton House Farm. A truly bespoke wedding venue run by some of the most wonderful people and staff you could ever wish to meet! I was lucky enough to work with Catherine, one of Heaton House Farm’s awesome events managers, for the second time in a relatively short space of time and it was a genuine pleasure. The day ran so smoothly, nothing was a problem and Hannah & Ian had the best time ever!
So I started off in the morning meeting the boys in the pub down the road from Heaton House Farm…
And then on to Heaton House Farm…(how about Hannah’s stunning gown from The Wedding Shop in Alderley Edge?!)
There was loads of time for Hannah & Ian to spend with their guests after the ceremony…
Steele’s Barn looked stunning…
Hannah & Ian in The Green Oak Reception Barn – just gorgeous…
I LOVE speech time!
After the speeches we spent a few minutes outside using the stunning scenery that surrounds Heaton House Farm to shoot some gorgeous images of Hannah & Ian…
First dance time! Hannah & Ian had used the amazing Ailsa Baker (choreography genius!) to put together a beautiful first dance that wowed all of their friends and family!
Congratulations again Hannah & Ian! And huge thanks to all the guys at Heaton House Farm for making it an absolute joy to work there!
What a glorious day today! You’ve got to love the great British weather – you never know what it’s going to do and today it surprised us by being sunny, warm, beautiful – love it! I met up with Hannah & Ian at Alderley Edge for a wander round the forest to shoot some pre-wedding images. I’m pretty sure they won’t mind me telling you that they were slightly apprehensive about what lay in store, which I guess is one of the main points of the pre-wedding shoot – get those feelings out their system, so that on their big day they know I’m not going to have them doing things they’re uncomfortable with, that make them feel awkward – they’re going to be totally relaxed and trusting in me that we’ll shoot the most beautiful set of images for them.
Hannah & Ian were amazing this morning – I didn’t actually believe that they were apprehensive about the shoot because they looked so damn good through the lens! I’m sure you’ll agree…
How amazing do Hannah & Ian look?!?! I really can’t wait for their big day at Heaton House Farm now – it’s going to be awesome!
Helen and Graeme had the PERFECT winter’s wedding day! Sunny, crisp, cold – spectacular! I started off meeting Helen and her family at her Mum and Dad’s house in the morning…
On to the church…
I love this bit! This is when the vicar realised that he’d locked the door Helen was supposed to be making her entrance through! And had to leg it back through another door to let us in – I do love a sprinting vicar!
Helen and Graeme really wanted to use this particular area of the bar for a couple of group shots with their friends and bridal party, but knew that it would be impossible during the drinks reception as the bar was going to be completely full of all their guests, so we wouldn’t be able to access it. So we did these couple of group shots inbetween the starter and main course of the wedding breakfast. Great idea – all the people involved in the photos knew that they were required at that particular time, I set the area up while they ate their starters and we had them in and out in a few seconds with nobody in the main room even noticing. Proof that you don’t always have to do things a ‘certain way’ – it’s so important that every bride and groom does what is right for them on their big day.
A quick sneak preview of a very cool pre-wedding shoot from yesterday at Alderley Edge in Cheshire.
I met Jenna & Chris by The Wizard pub and we set out following the trails through the woods up to the edge itself. I’m so excited about their big day (they’re getting married at Mitton Hall – gorgeous venue!) as they have so many ideas, so many personal touches – I love all the little details!
So here’s a little look at what we were shooting yesterday…
What a great start to the day with Hannah & Jason up at Alderley Edge this morning! Moody skies, a little bit of sun peeking through the trees – loads of atmosphere (in a gorgeous, Valentine’s Day style!) and great fun too! Hannah & Jason are really great fun to be around and look so great together! I can’t wait for their day now! (At the AMAZING Styal Lodge!)
A little look at a gorgeous image from yesterday’s pre-wedding shoot. It rained. All day. We met at the carpark and it was still raining. We abandoned the shoot and went to the pub. We had one drink and the rain stopped. By the time we were half an hour into the shoot, the light was like this. Happy days!