Greetings from sunny(ish!) Cornwall! I’m writing this blog sat in‘Island House’ in the beautiful fishing village of Polperro, looking over the harbour whilst Emma builds a fire in the log burner! (she’s a very practical Studio Director!)
There’s been some fabulous photography opportunities with more to come, so there’ll definitely be a post about this trip coming soon.
But today’s post is all about the fantastic wedding fayre that I was involved in at Lytham Hall last sunday. Some of the UK’s best wedding experts were there including my great friends,
It was great to meet so many lovely brides and grooms – although I have to admit, Emma did most of the meeting and greeting on the Jonny Draper Photography stand as I was involved with other things on the day, including covering the spectacular Dreamcatcher Bridal fashion show.
Here’s some of my favourites from the day starting with a couple of shots of Flower Design and Rowley’s beautiful tables….
The fashion show really was amazing – I had the opportunity to shoot it from a slightly more ‘behind the scenes’ view as the girls were coming down the stairs before all the guests saw them. I love the staircase at Lytham Hall, it’s spectacular, dramatic, beautiful – just a fabulous part of the venue that really looks so incredible on a wedding day. It was great to be able to shoot some images that will hopefully excite and inspire anybody who is getting married at Lytham Hall…
You don’t often get 6 brides all at the same time on the staircase at Lytham Hall!!!
How beautiful are Flower Design’s bouquets?!
A fantastic wedding event, brilliantly organised – top work from everybody involved!
I had the pleasure of attending another Flower DesignAfternoon Tea at Lytham Hall last week and it was great fun as always! Jane was on top form as usual and it was great to catch up with some of my favourite wedding friends as well!
A little bit of technical nonsense for those who are interested – I shot this whole event with just one lens. A 50mm prime (which is a fixed focal length, so basically means there is no zoom on it)
I decided to do this to make myself work a little bit harder on the day. Shooting weddings and events I usually use two camera bodies with two different lenses attached at all times. A 24mm-70mm and a 70mm-200mm. This is basically to give myself a really good range from quite a wide lens (at 24mm on the Canon 5D body, it almost looks wide angle) right through to the far end of the 70-200mm zoom which brings things up nice and close!
When shooting weddings, exciting and amazing things are happening all the time, so it’s imperative that I can react to situations and nail the shot. By shooting with two bodies with two different lenses, I’m set up well to ensure that I can quickly change between cameras and have the right equipment in my hands to capture the moment.
Anyway, I digress! I was talking about shooting in the complete opposite way! Which sounds a bit strange after what I’ve just said, but there are loads of reasons for doing it. I won’t bore you with them all, but in a nutshell, it forces me to go back to basics. All natural light, framing shots with care and consideration and using the old fashioned ‘zoom’ – my legs!
As you can see, that one little lens has produced some lovely, crisp images…
Rowley’s catering were responsible for serving this fabulous looking food (and I can vouch for how great it was as I was lucky enough to try some!)
Jane’s demonstrations are always great fun but hugely informative in a ‘behind the scenes’ type of way. It’s great to see how the very simplest of flowers come together to form such spectacular arrangements! I’m rubbish at remembering the names of all the different flowers used so do have a look at the Flower Design Blog to see more detail from Jane!
Top singer and entertainer Paul Guard kept all the guests entertained and was fantastic as always!
Ben from Rowley’s Catering ensured everything was running smoothly on the floor and kept the treats coming!
How spectacular do these look?!
I think this was my favourite arrangement from the day…
Another great afternoon out with Flower Design, Rowley’s Catering and Paul Guard at one of my favourite wedding venues, the gorgeous Lytham Hall!
Some very exciting midweek news! My wonderful wife Emma is now a part of Jonny Draper Photography in an official capacity!
Emma has always been hugely supportive of all things related to my business so it’s absolutely fantastic that she will now be actively involved. Coming from an advertising and marketing background, Emma will bring a huge amount of experience to the business that will be massively beneficial to both me and the business.
Even more exciting is the impact her previous experience will have on new and existing clients. Emma has worked in a client services role for the last eight years, where the number one priority in her job was ensuring that her clients needs were met. This will translate beautifully into her role as Studio Director for Jonny Draper Photography. My clients and providing them with an exceptional service and unique product are my number one concern and to have somebody working alongside me who completely understands that can only help to ensure that we always deliver what we promise.
On the announcement of her new role, Emma said:
“I’m really excited about working with Jonny. We’ve already started talking about new ideas for the business, things that we’ll be offering our new and existing clients that will add so much to their investment, but overall, it’s a great feeling to grow Jonny Draper Photography into a family business that means so much to both of us. I can’t wait to get started!”
Emma will be working alongside me at the Lytham Hall Wedding Fayre this Sunday (28th March, 11am-4pm) so it’s a great opportunity for you to meet her, please do come and say hello!
Here’s a little look at a couple of images from saturday’s wedding at Lytham Hall and then The Grand in Lytham St Annes. The full wedding story will be here in a few weeks, once Steph and James have returned from honeymoon and they’ve seen the images.
I’ll go into far more detail when I post the full wedding, but I just have to say what a pleasure it was to work with Steph and James, their families and their bridal party. They were all so lovely and welcoming that I felt like I’d known all of them for all my life by lunchtime (especially Jean and John, Steph’s Mum and Dad!)
So a couple of images to give you a taster…
This image is one I took specifically for my friends at Flower Design. They have an amazing blog that obviously focus’s on the flowers at their weddings and they asked me if I could do this shot which I was of course more than happy to do for them!
I love this shot of Steph on the staircase at The Grand…
So, Steph and James, have an amazing honeymoon, enjoy this little sneak preview and I can’t wait to catch up with you when you’re back!
Just a little note on what is going to be an exceptional day at Lytham Hall for anyone in the midst of planning their wedding. Some of my favourite and best wedding friends, including Rowley’s Catering, Flower Design, Dreamcatcher Bridal and Howard Wing will be there (and me of course!) and I can’t wait! For all things wedding, pop in and talk to some of the UK’s top wedding professionals on a one to one basis. It’s going to be a fantastic day…
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…
Christy, Katie, Matt and the team…
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!
Here’s the follow up to the sneak preview earlier in the week – the absolutely lovely Steph and James who are getting married at Lytham Hall and then having their reception at The Grand (how cool is that? Two great venues in one day!)
Steph really liked the idea of getting onto the beach at Lytham if the weather allowed so that was our starting point. As you can see, we got really lucky with the weather (this was the end of January) although it was bitterly cold in the shade! There was actually ice washing up onto the beach it was that cold!
The most important thing for me with pre-wedding shoots is to get the bride and groom as relaxed as possible as quickly as possible. It’s important for the shoot to be fun, no pressure on anyone and very informal. I try not to get too heavy with posing couples and aim to keep things as natural as possible.
That hopefully means that on the wedding day, they’re not going to be nervous about the photography and actually are going to look forward to having their pictures taken as equally as they look forward to all the other parts of their big day.
Here’s a few of my favourites from the shoot…
After the beach we headed to Lowther Gardens to change the location slightly…
I love these two shots – they really tell a story…
Really can’t wait for Steph and James’s day now – they really know how they want their day to work and how they want the photography to fit into that which I absolutely love. It’s great when my clients have a real passion about their day and the photography and I think that actually shines through the images.
Their day is going to be spectacular, with the added bonus of getting to work with some of my absolute favourite weddings friends, Flower Design and Rowley’s Catering who I know will do an amazing job for Steph and James.
I was invited along to another fantastic afternoon tea by my lovely friends from Flower Design and got to spend some time with some of my other favourite wedding people including fantastic swing singer Howard Wing and the guys from Rowley’s catering who did an amazing job with the food as always.
Jane from Flower Design demonstrated some fabulous arrangements which followed a Valentine’s theme – here’s some of my favourites from the day:
How good does this look?!?!
Chef, Paul Rowley:
Howard Wing going for it!
My favourite arrangement from the day – gorgeous hey?
Really busying up now so the blog will see a lot of new postings over the coming weeks – mainly pre-wedding shoots ahead of the bulk of my weddings starting over the next few weeks.
I’ve already booked in a number of pre-wedding shoots with my brides and grooms in some very cool locations and I look forward to showing you how we get on!
A few images from the afternoon tea with my best wedding friends Flower Design! My good friends at Rowley’s Catering looked after all the guests beautifully and Jane was on top form as usual with her demonstrations!
Jane in full flow!
The magnificent finished arrangements….
A little peek behind the scenes as the team from Rowley’s prepare the afternoon tea….
Ben from Rowley’s is always on the ball and 100% attentive to all the guests needs…
Paul Rowley not only puts the fantastic menu’s together, but likes to get out on the floor and serve the guests personally which I always think is a great touch…
A fantastic afternoon at Lytham Hall as always and I can’t wait for the next one!
This is it! My last post of the year! I’ve decided to pick out my favourite shots from 2009 and tell you a little bit more about some of them, why I like them and why they’re examples of creative, well executed photography.
We start with an image from the pre-wedding shoot of Katie and Rob. This was taken in Castlefield in Manchester on a beautiful sunday morning and I was looking for a way to incorporate the sun and sky into the shot – this was the result…
How could I not feature my gorgeous niece? I don’t think I’ve ever had as many orders for reprints, enlargements, frames, etc. for any single subject before! We shot a series of very natural images at my sisters house and just tried to capture Megan doing her thing!
This is an image that has appeared very recently on the blog – I love how relaxed the lads are, in front of the camera and with each other. Just goes to show that you don’t always need to have your subjects staring straight down the lens to truly capture their personality…
Gina and Matt’s wedding in Devon – I love their reaction to the little boy handing out the confetti and the other guests throwing it. A real moment frozen in time…
I think this has to go down as my favourite reportage shot from 2009. This is from Charlotte and Pete’s wedding and I don’t even really need to explain it for you to understand what’s happening (a little clue – the window in the room where the girls were getting ready overlooked the carpark of the venue) Moments like this are real, you can’t set them up, you just have to be looking for them and ready for them throughout the day. Actually, I think I’ve played down how much I like this shot – I actually LOVE it!!!
There are a few shots from this fantastic shoot I did in spring at Lytham Hall with my friends from Flower Design and Dreamcatcher Bridal. This is the absolutely gorgeous Ella and I love this image as it has such a magical fairytale feel to it.
Another image you will have seen fairly recently – this one of Claudine from the Styal Lodge shoot we did in the autumn. I love the air of confidence you get from Claudine in this shot. It’s beautifully lit and the shot as a whole looks very aspirational, but it’s Claudine that really shows what kind of a bride she is (would be!) in this very simple, elegant yet empowering pose.
This is right up there with the shot from Charlotte and Pete’s wedding when it comes to my favourite reportage moments. People often misunderstand what reportage photography is. You see so many headshots of people at weddings, people laughing and looking lovely, but you don’t actually understand the context of the shot. Reportage isn’t about that. It’s about capturing moments and seeing what is actually happening. I love how much is going on in this shot, but the real magic of it is the glimpse of Christina, the bride, hugging her friend. It really shows the emotion of the moment perfectly.
This is one of my favourites from the portfolio shoot I did with Ailsa. She looks great, the location is great and from a technical point of view, is a very nicely executed shot. Without getting too geeky on you, we used an off camera flash to light Ailsa and ensuring that we were able to retain all the detail in the very dramatic sky. Love it.
Another one from Christina and David’s wedding. I just loved the fact that they wanted to spend a little bit of time shooting while their guests headed to the venue straight from the ceremony. We walked down the street in Durham and got some fantastic contemporary images by doing this. This is my favourite…
I love this shot of Ailsa from the Styal Lodge shoot. She just looks so elegant and beautiful and genuinely looks like she’s enjoying herself. It’s a very simple naturally lit portrait but simple is so often the best way to approach things…
This is where we walked to with Christina and David. The bridge overlooking the river and castle in Durham. What a fantastic backdrop. And Christina looks stunning.
Another great reportage moment from Charlotte and Pete’s wedding. I love her Dad caught winking at his wife and the guest to the right of the frame checking the dress out!
Another shot from the Lytham Hall shoot with Flower Design and Dreamcatcher but a completely different look and style for Ella. A far more modern look and much more dramatic than the ethereal woodland setting at the top of the post. She’s so versatile – and she’s not even a model!!!
Christina and Dave’s wedding. Speech time. I don’t think I need to say anything at all about this shot. Apart from how delighted I was with it! A perfect reportage moment…
A beautiful, intimate moment I was lucky enough to share with Charlotte and Pete at their wedding…as above, I don’t really need to say much more about this shot, it speaks for itself…
Katie at The Ashes – I love how relaxed she looks and I lOVE the colours – it looks very ‘botanical gardens’. Gorgeous.
Charlotte and Pete in full flow during their first dance! They look like they’re having so much fun, as do all their friends and family as they watch/cheer them on!
The only shot that doesn’t have people in that I feel is worthy of being included – a really moody sky, an almost sinister looking scene taking in Cornwall at Easter this year. I loved this shot so much that I have it framed on my office wall.
The happiest little lad I’ve ever worked with! I’d happily shoot Jayden every week he was that smiley. I shot this for his Mum and Dad, Adele and Jamie and they now have this shot on a 24×30 inch canvas on their wall. It looks magnificent blown up!
Another shot from Katie and Rob’s pre-wedding shoot. I just loved the mural and the scale of it. It framed beautifully and it’s a really different way to shoot a couple, almost letting the location overpower them…
Charlotte and Pete also had their pre-wedding shoot in Castlefield, but as you can see, it looks completely different to Katie and Rob’s shoot. That’s why I love it as a location. No two shoots ever look the same there.
Lytham Hall. This is all about the beauty of the venue. The dramatic staircase, the traditional features but a very contemporary take on it…
Paul Guard at Salford Quays. Shot in a similar way to the Ailsa portrait at the top of the post. Off camera flash meant that we could balance the ambient, natural light with lighting Paul and ensure that the moody sky remained. How cool does he look?!
Castlefield with Katie and Rob again. It’s so important when shooting on location to not try and change what is real about it. So that’s why I was happy to shoot Katie and Rob with this sunday morning runner in the frame…it helps to tell the story of the shot and location.
So that’s it! My favourite shots from the past 12 months! I really hope you’ve enjoyed reading the blog and that you’re looking forward to seeing what 2010 has in store for me. I’ve got some really cool jobs coming up, weddings in some of the UK’s best venues including Styal Lodge, The Great Hall at Mains, Lytham Hall, The Grand, Mitton Fold, Shrigley Hall, Alderley Edge Hotel, The Ashes to name but a few.
I’ve also got some very cool location weddings to look forward to, including St Andrew’s in Scotland, Tuscany in Italy and New York in the USA! You’ll get to see and hear all about those!!!
So have a fantastic Christmas and New Year and I’ll see you in 2010!!!