Tag Archives: Manchester

Wedding Photography Workshop / Locations, Lighting and Posing

Masterclass | 29.05.2014

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!)




Pre-wedding shoots – A showcase

Pre-wedding | 28.11.2013

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 :)


Ash & Paul:

Sam & Rob:

Naomi & Nigel:

Gemma & Ross:

Francesca & Mike:

Chloe & Mark:

Gem & Mike:

Laura & Dave:

Jack & Stephen:

Emma & Chris:

Charlie & Dan:

Ella & Lee:





Didsbury House Wedding Photographs – Karin and Joe

Weddings | 05.11.2013

This is a special wedding :)   Amazing venue (Didsbury House Hotel) amazing couple (our great friends Joe & Karin who own one of our favourite restaurants in the whole world, Pinchjo’s in West Didsbury) amazing dress (from LOVE Bridal Boutique) and amazing flowers (from Didsbury Flower Lounge) – it was so lovely to be involved and I had a LOT of fun with these guys!  :)   I genuinely loved shooting Joe & Karin’s Didsbury House Wedding Photographs – Here’s the story of their amazing day…


Congratulations again guys!!!




A Masterclass in Pre-Wedding and Engagement Shoots

Masterclass | 07.10.2013

Last month saw the launch of another Jonny Draper Photography Training Experience – this time in the art of Pre-wedding & Engagement shoots.  It was a LOT of fun.  I had a great group of photographers join me in Castlefield & Didsbury, shooting my lovely, real life couple, Ailsa & Anthony (thanks for your relentless hard work guys!)  A huge thanks goes out to Chelsea Shoesmith for assisting me on the day and to my friends at The Metropolitan in West Didsbury (thanks Mel!) for giving us a warm room at the end of the day to do a bit of editing (and drinking!) in :)

The day was very much focused on shooting, but we also spent a lot of time talking about the business of wedding and lifestyle photography and we even had time to do some editing at the end of the day.  Below are some of my photographs from the day along with some of James Jebson and John Versfeld’s behind the scenes photos (thanks for letting me use them guys!)

You’ll also find some nice words said by some of the lovely photographers in attendance – thank you guys, I’m so pleased you got so much out of the day :)

The next Masterclass in Pre-Wedding and Engagement Shoots is on Tuesday 12th November – email me for more information:  info@jonnydraper.co.uk

 Charlotte Boothman, Lottie Designs:

“I loved attending the masterclass as there are not many courses out there that cater for the professional photographer who knows the camera settings to take certain photos but would like to talk the business bit. Pitched at my level so totally perfect for me. Most trainers don’t share the business side as easily as you do Jonny, in a way we all understood. Couple were great, and brilliant as they are a real couple too. I’ve done courses where models were used and it just didn’t work in the photos. Too easy to make them look good but no emotion in the eyes.

A Masterclass it was. Loved it.

Excellent value and lots packed in. Would definitely recommend. Thank you x”

Kyle Hassall – Gold Standard Photography:

“It was awesome. I felt like no question was stupid and anyone could ask anything. The support afterwards with the ‘secret’ group on Facebook is great. It’s only a small group but someone will always have the answer.

I had a shoot yesterday morning and what I learned really helped with it.  Thank you!”


Zoe Taylor – ZT Photography:

“It was a pleasure to see the Jedi Master of wedding photography in action”


Kate Scott – Kate Scott Photography:

“It was great to understand how Jonny approaches these sessions from putting the couple at ease to composition, locations and shooting techniques. Every bit of the day was as valuable as the next, as I’ve come to expect from Jonny’s masterclasses. It’s a total cliché, but miss them and you really do miss out. Big time.

For a one-day course I thought it was great value – as someone just starting out it’s a compromise of where to spend your limited cash – kit versus course. I chose well. You can have all the kit in the world and be completely lost if you don’t know where to start with your clients”

James Jebson – James Jebson Photography:

“The day was awesome, really very useful and for me took a lot of ‘the fear’ away from a pre-wedding shoot.  The shooting was brilliant and really gave great opportunities to improve on portfolio”


Join me on Tuesday 12th November in Castlefield & Didsbury for the next Masterclass in Pre-Wedding and Engagement shoots and keep your eye on my website for more wedding photography workshops which will be added soon :)


Jonny Draper Photography and Jessops

Commercial | 02.08.2013


Well this is a rather exciting blog post for me as I’m delighted to announce that I’ve recently established a professional relationship with the guys at Jessops and they have asked me to write an article about my experience with them from a wedding photography point of view!





So firstly, a little reminder as to who they are – yep, they’re the same guys that closed all their stores not that long ago. Who were then relaunched with the help of Peter Jones of “Dragon’s Den” fame & reopened a number of their high street retailers and most importantly, reworked their online retail operation which was one of the original problems which led to their closure.






They’ve turned a massive corner and are now one of the go-to retailers, both on the high street and online, not just for amateur photographers, but for professionals too.

I think that people often used to treat Jessops rather selfishly (myself included)  They’d decide they were in the market for a camera, they’d head to their local Jessops, get some advice from the staff, have a play around with a few cameras, decide which one they wanted and then go away and find the cheapest place to buy it online.

Well, since Jessops relaunched, they themselves are now one of the cheapest places to buy online! So they’ve solved that problem straight away! In fact, at the time of writing, according to Camera Price Buster (my go-to ‘where’s the cheapest place to buy a specific camera online comparison website) Jessops are the cheapest UK online retailer for the Canon 5DMKIII. And you get free delivery. And you get a free copy of the latest version of Lightroom. What’s not to like???






I’ve got quite a bit of history with Jessops as I actually bought my very first DSLR (a Canon 350D) from the old Deansgate store in Manchester – I knew I wanted an entry level SLR, but I needed a bit of advice, which is what I got! I bought it there and then (and they even chucked a free camera bag in for me!) and I’ve never looked back. That was my first introduction to what you can actually do with a DSLR and now I earn my living from it. Thank you Jessops!

I’ve fallen in love with Jessops all over again recently as I’ve been in the market for some new kit to use at weddings and I’ve been delighted with what I’ve been able to buy there.  I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting to be able to buy as much professional level kit at the kind of prices I have been able to. I was still of the opinion that they were very much aimed at the amateur and casual photographer and that they wouldn’t be able to help me.

So wrong.

I needed some new Sandisk compact flash cards (my preferred brand) of low capacity (4 & 8GB as I always like to spread my images across a lot of small cards when I shoot a wedding – the theory being that if one of them fails, then that specific part of the day will probably be spread across at least a couple of cards so that not everything would be lost) One of the more worrying aspects of buying memory cards is that there are a lot of fake/pirate versions of the big brands – so it’s always safer to buy from a big retailer as you know the products will be genuine – and you get that piece of mind with Jessops.






I also needed a new bag recently as I have tweaked the way I use and carry my kit at a wedding. The beauty of buying from Jessops was that I could actually go in and have a play around with the bags (one of the times that you really do need to be able to do that as you need to be able to see the different carrying systems and the different capacities) and then buy online so that I didn’t have to carry the bag round with me all day whilst I was in Manchester.






A couple of months ago I picked up a Canon 50mm 1.4 prime lens from Jessops – a great bit of kit to have in your bag.  Stupidly good in low light for not very much money. Pretty much a must have for any wedding photographer as it can get you out of some tricky situations in a particularly dark church or venue!






And last but by no means least – my brand new, gorgeous, most amazing piece of kit – my Canon 5D MKIII was bought from the  Jessops website. I don’t need to go on about how amazing it is as any keen photographer will know how it’s revolutionised the life of a wedding photographer!


And I got it from Jessops.


Who it turns out, like I said before, are for professionals too :)

Pre-wedding shoots – why are they so important?

Pre-wedding | 29.05.2013

I love pre-wedding shoots.

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…

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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!!!


Castlefield Pre-Wedding shoot – Rachel and James

Pre-wedding | 09.03.2013

BRILLIANT afternoon yesterday with the very lovely and gorgeous Rachel and James for their pre-wedding shoot in Castlefield :)

Can’t wait for their big day at The Mere Resort in a few months – it’s going to be LOT’S of fun!!!

Here’s a little sneaky look at a couple of images from yesterday…







2people1life photographs in West Didsbury

Weddings | 08.02.2013

A very quick blog update – about our lovely friends at 2people1life – or Lisa & Alex as they’re known in real life! Lisa and Alex’s adventure is now about 18 months in (in a very brief nutshell – Lisa & Alex are travelling the world getting married almost everywhere they go in order to experience different cultures and meet loads of awesome people. Then, in another 18 months or so, they’re going to go back to their favourite place and do it for real! To really get your head round what they’re doing, check out their blog here :)

I was lucky enough to be involved in the very first 2people1life wedding way back in June 2011. And seeing as though they were passing through Didsbury a few weeks ago before they headed out to South Africa on the latest leg of their journey, I thought it would be a shame not to grab a couple of photos of them back where it all started – Burton Road in West Didsbury, Manchester.


What a gorgeous and genuinely lovely couple!

Can’t wait to see what they get up to next and I’m seriously hoping that they give plenty of notice as to when their real wedding will be – as I’d LOVE to be there (not to photograph it – to PARTY with them!!!)


Lowry Hotel Wedding Photographs – Katie and Mark

Weddings | 04.02.2013

I can’t believe I haven’t blogged this wedding! It was AMAZING! To be fair, it was featured on Boho Weddings Blog soon after the wedding, so I did show it off a bit through that ;) But here’s my full take on it…

Gorgeous bride and groom with the most gorgeous set of friends and family, 2 stunning venues, a ‘march’ through the city led by the bride’s Dad and brother on snare and bass drum respectively – and the most hilarious speeches – it was a truly amazing day!!!

Here are my favourite pics from Katie & Mark’s big day:




























































Congratulations again Katie & Mark!


2012 – A year in wedding photographs!

Personal | 02.01.2013

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.

Really 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!)

Enjoy :)

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?!?!?

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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!

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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…

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Gemma & Matt’s Bartle Hall Hotel wedding.  Because sometimes you’ve just got to embrace our wonderful British weather… ;)

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Carly & Ian’s wedding at Sandhole Oak Barn.  Because we got weather like this in FEBRUARY!!!

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Becky & Dave’s wedding at The Great Hall at Mains.  Because my great friend and TOP entertainer, Howard Wing, really got the party started!!!

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Hayley & Matt’s wedding at The Midland at Morecambe.  Because the ushers trying to tie their bow ties was one of the funniest 20mins of my life!  Great fun!

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Katie & Andrew’s wedding in Wigan and at Great John Street Hotel.  Because you almost feel like you’re there through their expressions :)

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Katherine & Spencer’s Manchester wedding.  Because these two really are as cool as they look :)

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Kavita & John’s Sefton Park Palm House wedding.  Because I found out that this is Kavita’s favourite photo too!

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Kerry & John’s Davenport Green Hall wedding.  I LOVE the excitement and anticipation as Kerry is about to appear…!!!

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Kirsty & Dean’s Egerton House Hotel.  Because it’s such a beautiful, intimate moment…

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Lucy & Chris’s Macclesfield wedding.  Because they’re my friends and I loved spending this time with them on their special day :)

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Katie & Paul’s Sandhole Oak Barn wedding.  Because they look BANGIN’!!!

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Zoe & Mark’s Styal Lodge wedding.  Because it just looks perfect.

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Suzie & Mark’s Styal Lodge wedding.  Because it’s the calm before the storm…. (in a good way of course!!!)

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Sarah & Tom’s Belle Epoque wedding.  Because it’s Christmas!!!

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Sarah & Andy’s Samlesbury Hall wedding.  Because I love their reaction to the speeches!

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Ruth & Paul’s Manchester wedding.  Because it’s so out of place it works!

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Rosie & Nick’s Belle Epoque wedding.  Another tough one as I’ve left Rosie out (and she’s the most beautiful bride!) – but there’s just something about this photo of Nick and his mates that I love :)

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Becca & Paul’s Peover Golf Club wedding.  Because it doesn’t need any explaining…

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Seb & Andy’s Styal Lodge wedding.  Because I LOVE this much confetti!

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Chrissie & Louis’s Belle Epoque wedding.  Because this really happened.  Seriously.

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Gemma & Martin’s Albright Hussey Manor wedding.  The moment between Gemma & her Dad, I just love it…

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Dolan & Varun’s Woburn Abbey wedding.  ‘Cos it’s cool to arrive on a horse!!!

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Gemma & Dave’s wedding at The Lowry at Salford Quays.  Standard groom/groomsmen ridiculous behaviour!

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Hannah & Ian’s Heaton House Farm wedding.  Because I love that little tear in Hannah’s eye…

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Hazel & Ross’s Ripley Castle wedding.  It’s about the venue, the setting and the moment between Hazel & Ross.  Gorgeous.

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Jules & Rick’s Wilmslow wedding.  Just because I love a Stormtrooper that can DJ…

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Jess & Matt’s Styal Lodge wedding.  It’s all about Jess and her dress…

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Kim & Mike’s Stanley House wedding.  The chandelier, the kiss, the shoes.  Yes.

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Laura & James’s Mitton Hall wedding.  Because Laura looks so serene and calm.  Love this :)

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Pam & Ged’s Manchester wedding at The Restaurant Bar & Grill.  Spontaneous, cheeky and ridiculously cool :)

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Lindsay & Chris’s wedding in France.  Because this is so uber cool.  Oosh.

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Caroline & Darren’s wedding at The Belle Epoque.  Because it’s like an ethereal, magical forest.  Inside.

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Selina & Mike’s Heaton House Farm wedding.  Because it’s so emotional…

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Shahad & Simon’s wedding at The Belle Epoque.  Because we sneaked off for five minutes!!!

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Rach & Andy’s Bartle Hall wedding.  Because they’re so bloody happy!!!

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Paula & Ben’s wedding at Manchester Town Hall and Room.  The architecture….and the look…. :)

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Nicola & Mark’s Mitton Hall wedding.  Because it rained non stop ALL day.  But everyone still had the best day ever :)

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Lucie & Quinn’s wedding at Meol’s Hall, Southport.  Have you ever seen anyone so excited to do their first dance?!?!?

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Marcelle & Chris’s Davenport Green Hall wedding.  Because the speeches were ace!  (And Marcelle was the first Love Bridal Boutique bride!)

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Sarah & Nick’s wedding in Santorini.  Because it was in Santorini of course!  (And it was an AMAZING wedding!)

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Kim & Matt’s wedding at Styal Lodge.  Because they just wanted to have fun :)

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Kate & Ben’s West Didsbury wedding.  Because we ignored the ‘no walking on the bowling green in high heels’ sign!!!

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Helen & Graeme’s wedding at The Alderley Edge Hotel.  Because these were proper belly laughs!

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Ally & Matt’s Sandhole Oak Barn wedding.  Look at that sky!!!

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Laura & Mike’s Nunsmere Hall wedding.  Because Laura looks proper Hollywood glamour…

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And last but by no means least, Bex and Matt’s wedding in Lytham St Annes.  Because I love a full dance floor.  Especially one that contains no fewer than three of my brides and grooms :)

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And there we have it!  What a year!

I’m going to swerve the temptation to do a big thank you list – as I did one very recently in my blog post about The Wedding Industry Awards!!!

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 :)