Tag Archives: Dukes 92

Helen and Graeme’s Castlefield Pre-Wedding Shoot – Sneak Preview!

Pre-wedding | 01.12.2011

In the past I’ve banged on about weather, about being lucky, about the boot full of brollies I carry at all times, but yesterday was a kind of weather I’ve never even seen before never mind shot in! Sideways torrential rain.

Put yourself in Helen & Graeme’s heads as they drove into Manchester to meet me yesterday afternoon. I’m pretty sure they were cursing me. I’m also pretty sure that they thought it would be a pointless exercise!

Now I’m not one to use my blog as a preaching platform, for me it’s just a nice way of sharing the images I shoot with my brides and grooms. BUT, what I will say (as briefly as possible!) is that yesterday was a perfect example of the kind of thing I talk about when I meet a couple for the first time, before they actually book me.

The fact that you can’t cancel or postpone your wedding day because of the weather. You just have to go with it (and every time I’ve ever shot a wedding in less than perfect weather conditions, it’s actually added to the day. Friends and family slip into that British ‘Second World War mentality’ and all pull together and actually have great fun dashing from cars to churches, sprinting across carparks to venues – it all adds to the story of the day!

Anyway, with all that in mind I never cancel a pre-wedding shoot. It’s slightly masochistic, but I insist to my clients that it’s the perfect opportunity to prove to them that the weather doesn’t matter, that they will still get stunning images on their day no matter what falls out of the sky!

Thank you Castlefield for having so many awesome bridges and places we could shelter from the wind and rain and thank you to Dukes92 for saying yes when I cheekily asked if we could shoot a couple of images while we had a drink at the end of the shoot! If you don’t ask you don’t get ;)

So with the help of several umbrellas to get us between locations and a bit of funky lighting kit, we managed to beat (‘survive’ is probably the best word to use!) the weather and get some awesome images of Helen and Graeme.

Thanks for your hard work guys and thanks for trusting me when I said we’d still get some great shots!

Here’s a few of my faves…











Once again, brilliant work Helen and Graeme!  Can’t wait for your big day at The Alderley Edge Hotel now!


Arthi and Jon’s wedding in Castlefield

Weddings | 14.07.2010

Here it is! My absolute favourites from Arthi & Jon’s amazing Castlefield wedding a few weeks back.

First of all – it was unbelievably hot! I don’t think any of us expected to get weather as good as we had and it made such a difference to how I approached the photography on the day. Drinks were served outside and being pretty much the biggest outdoor area in the centre of Manchester, all the local watering holes around us were heaving – which meant we could incorporate this into the imagery, which is exactly what we’d been praying for! If Manchester had done it’s usual thing and rained all day, this wedding would have looked very different!

I started off meeting Arthi & the girls at The Midland Hotel in the centre of town…


Arthi arrives at The Castlefield Rooms


Arthi with her Mum and three gorgeous bridesmaids, Sruti, Shraddha & Alex…


Drinks were served outside by the canal – could it have been anymore perfect?


This is where the really cool stuff starts!  I went for a wander with the bridal party, through the heaving throngs of drinkers and sun worshippers and we got some amazing stuff…


From the first time we discussed the wedding, Arthi always said she wanted to incorporate a barge into one of the shots!  So we did!  Check out the original ‘sneak preview‘ of Arthi & Jon’s wedding to see the behind the scenes version!



The speeches were great, Arthi’s Mum spoke first…


Shraddha said some lovely words to Arthi & Jon…


After the speeches Arthi & Jon and I spent a couple of minutes together…


Arthi looked stunning!  I think it would be impossible to take a bad shot of her!


Arthi & Jon are not long back from their SECOND wedding in India!  How cool is that?!?!

Congratulations guys, it was an amazing day and I wish you all the very best for the future!


Jo and Mark’s pre-wedding shoot in Castlefield

Pre-wedding | 23.06.2010

Excitement levels are at an all time high! The Studio Director and I head off to Tuscany, Italy tomorrow morning to shoot the wedding of the very lovely Jo & Mark! And it only seemed right to stay a few days afterwards…!!!

So we’re off to the beautiful Tuscan town of Cortona – which by a complete stroke of randomness, we’ve actually been to before on holiday! So the bonus is that I already know my way round. Something that is always in the back of your mind when you’re shooting a destination wedding. Sometimes the worry of getting lost in this country on the way to a wedding is bad enough (that’s why sat nav, roadmap and route finder map are always involved in getting me there – to make sure I do get there!) but it’s that little bit scarier in another country. Especially the thought of having to nip into a petrol station to ask for directions when your absolute best Italian is being able to order another bottle of wine…

So back to the pre-wedding shoot. Jo and Mark chose one of my favourite locations, Castlefield in Manchester. It’s so versatile, there’s so many locations within it and you always find something new and interesting to shoot there!

Here’s some of my favourites from their shoot…

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Jo & Mark – I can’t wait!  It’s going to be an amazing day and I’m looking forward to seeing you both out there!


Arthi and Jon’s wedding in Castlefield – Sneak preview!

Weddings | 24.05.2010

A little sneak preview on a Monday morning of Arthi & Jon’s amazing Castlefield wedding at The Castlefield Rooms at Dukes92 on Saturday. What a day for it! I’m still sweating now!

The full story will be here in a few weeks, once Arthi & Jon are home and have seen their images and I’ll go into all the details of the day then. For now, enjoy this little look…

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It’s so important to me to tell the story of the day through my photography.  To give the bride and groom the opportunity to say to their friends and family – ‘this is where we got married and this is what happened on the day’.  Regardless of whether you’re at a country house venue, a hotel, or in the middle of a cool and vibrant city like Manchester.  I spent some time with the bridal party walking through Castlefield, amongst all the afternoon sun worshippers outside Dukes92 and Barca (we got, or I should say, they got, spontaneous rounds of applause, cheering – it was a lovely atmosphere!) to really show off the area that Arthi & Jon chose to get married in.  And we got some fantastic stuff, more of which you’ll see in a few weeks!

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This is a ‘behind the scenes’ look at the barge shot that Arthi was so keen to get!  We asked this lovely couple if we could use the front of their barge (they were sat there at the time reading their books!) and they were delighted to let us!  They moved their chairs, they took down the tv aerial off the roof, they even put the little chimney on for us to make it look even more beautiful!  The shot is an absolute killer – but you’ll have to wait to see it!!!

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So – Arthi & Jon, enjoy your second wedding in India (you lucky things!) and I’ll see you when you get back!  Congratulations!


Arthi and Jon’s pre-wedding shoot at Dunham Massey

Pre-wedding | 17.05.2010

This is the very lovely and gorgeous Arthi & Jon who get married at the weekend! Their pre-wedding shoot was a couple of weeks ago and we went for a stroll around Dunham Massey near Altrincham and got some great shots of them. We arrived nice and early and even saw some of the local residents before they disappeared once it busied up!

Arthi & Jon are getting married at The Castlefield Rooms at Dukes92 in Castlefield, Manchester – it’s going to be a seriously cool, urban wedding with a couple who are so exciting to work with. Arthi knows what she wants and from the photography point of view is a dream to work with for that reason. She knows that we have the potential to shoot some truly unique wedding imagery and is grabbing that opportunity with both hands – there’s one idea that she has that if we can pull it off, will be amazing, hilarious, unique, totally creative and completely in keeping with the area that they are getting married in. So fingers crossed we can make it happen…but more about that as/if/when we do it…!!!

Here’s some of my favourites from Arthi & Jon’s pre-wedding shoot at Dunham Massey…


Can’t wait for saturday now!!!


Manchester shoot with Jonathan Harris and Christine Ware

Fashion | 27.04.2010

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!


End Polio Now Charity bash at Dukes 92 in Castlefield

Events | 05.03.2010

My good friend Christy who was working at Lytham Hall last year was part of a team organising a charity event at Dukes92 in Castlefield as part of their uni course a couple of weeks ago.

She asked me if I would pop along and document it for them, which of course I was delighted to do. The charity they were raising money for was ‘End Polio Now’ which is a fantastic cause. It was a James Bond themed evening, with cocktails, casino’s and a few surprises’s along the way…


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These guys were awesome!  Vodka martini anyone?  I don’t think there was any danger of these cocktails being stirred instead of shaken…


The roulette and blackjack tables proved to be a hit.  I did have a go, but quickly realised that I won’t ever be bringing down the house.


Andrew Carter did a great set of classics and modern classics…


This was great fun – these guys were a bit of a ‘flash mob’.  They were wandering round the room, nobody knew who they were and they started out with a bit of spontaneous dancing which turned into a great routine.

They had some moves I tell you!



I love these last few shots…


Great job with the evening guys, it was great fun and loads of money was raised for a fantastic charity.  Job done!

Michelle and Nick pre-wedding shoot in Castlefield

Pre-wedding | 23.02.2010

This is the very lovely Michelle and Nick – they’re getting married in a few weeks in Chorlton and then having their reception at the Town Hall in Manchester so they decided they’d like the pre-wedding in Manchester as well.

We met in Castlefield early on the saturday morning and just started shooting! Michelle and Nick’s first date was actually at Dukes 92 in Castlefield, so we made sure we incorporated it into the shoot as well!

I really do love pre-wedding shoots, it gives me the chance to get to know the bride and groom better and they’re great fun as well. By the time we’d finished and ended up in Dukes for a coffee afterwards, I had a much clearer idea about how Michelle and Nick want their day shooting, something that you can only understand when you spend time with the bride and groom. We got some great stuff on their shoot and it’s always nice to hear the images from a shoot are well received by the bride and groom and their friends too. There were some lovely comments on Facebook when Michelle posted some of the images onto her profile – always great to see.

Here’s a few of my favourites from the shoot…


I love this shot!  I’d sent Michelle and Nick over the bridge to the other side of the canal while I changed memory card.  When I turned round, they’d sat themselves on this bench – always great to work with people who realise that it’s good to have a sense of humour where the photography is concerned!


The heart is real!  My wife Emma was convinced I’d photoshopped it in!  But it’s there on the wall.  Probably the friendliest graffiti ever!

Outside the venue of Michelle and Nick’s first date!


Really can’t wait for Michelle and Nick’s day now – it’s going to be great fun and we’re going to get some amazing stuff!