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!


The Wedding Industry Awards – Best North West Photographer is…

Personal | 19.12.2012

…Jonny Draper Photography!!!  How awesome is that?!?!

A massive thank you to all my amazing brides and grooms who voted for me to be shortlisted initially and a huge thank you to the judges at The Wedding Industry Awards for recognising what I do :)

It is a huge honour to have won – I was standing shoulder to shoulder with some of the best wedding photographers not only in the North West, but in my opinion, the UK, and to be judged as being the best is something that I can’t quite get my head around…

This blog post contains a single image from each wedding that I shot within the voting period (which was REALLY hard to choose!) as an extra thank you to my amazing brides and grooms for trusting me, for pushing me to raise the bar at every wedding, for not thinking I’m a little bit mental with some of the suggestions I sometimes make and for voting for me in these awards.  Thank you so much to each and every one of you :)

These images are in no particular order – I love them all equally :)

So here we go:

































A big thank you once again to all of my amazing brides and grooms and a special thank you to the following people for all of their help, love, advice, support, constructive criticism, recommendations and mickey taking (not necessarily in that order and all of those things don’t necessarily apply to everyone in the list below ;)
Chris & Pete Draper
Jo, Paul, Megan & Jake Pike
Kate & Ant Roberts
Clare Draper
Keith & Pauline Latham
Lisa, Simon & Jacob Johnson
All of our respective extended families!
The Higham family at Styal Lodge
Tom Harrington from Silk Wedding Videos
The Heath family at Heaton House Farm
Annette, Rene & Nic from Top Table
Jane & Jason Thompson from Flower Design
Collette Northover from The Belle Epoque
Howard Wing

So now on to the national finals in January in London! I’m excited to be heading there with some of my great wedding industry friends who won their own respective categories, most notably my great friend and TOP entertainer, Howard Wing, to see how we get on against the best in the country…we can dream can’t we…???