How about a ‘midseason’ review then? I thought I’d showcase my favourite 20 images shot at weddings so far this year. The rules? Only one image per wedding is allowed and I’m not allowed to waffle on for ages about boring technical things! A simple sentence with each image to explain why it’s my favourite from that particular wedding.
The images are in no particular order – I love them all equally!
So we start with a gorgeous shot of Ruth of off Ruth and Andy who were married at The Ashes in April. I love it’s ethereal (ness!) That is all!
Dawn and Phil and the surprise organised by her friends at school – this is Dawn’s class forming a guard of honour with hockey sticks on her arrival at church! What’s not to love?!
Emma & Pete. Drinking with a helping hand from their friends. Need I say more?!?!
Jacqui & Will at Styal Lodge. A beautiful wedding for a beautiful couple. They’ve gone back to London now and I miss them. Sniff….
Sarah (off of Sarah & Martin) and her girls giving it both barrels on the bowling green! Love it!
A timeless portrait of the quite simply stunning Neelum (Neelum & Shabab) at Haigh Hall. Gorgeous.
Leona and Will at Sandhole Oak Barn. This was a hell of a wedding! I was lucky enough to sit on the bridesmaids table for the wedding breakfast – what an experience! (Thanks to CB for looking after me and Katy and Katie for frightening me to death!)
Sian and Dave at The Inn at Whitewell. I actually saw one of their friends comment on Facebook that this shot summed up their day. The weather, the happy vibe, the excitement. So that’s why it’s here! ‘Cos I agree!
Mel & Jivko‘s Conway Castle wedding. This shot is all about Jivko’s flick of the veil!
My sister and her husband. Kate & Ant at our favourite Italian restaurant, The Tarantella in Poynton. What an amazing day…
Woo! I love a good Styal Lodge wedding! And this one was no exception! Hannah & Jason had their full day at the beautiful lodge and I was lucky enough to work with my great wedding friends from Silk Wedding Videos and of course, making sure everything ran perfectly (as it always does!) Styal Lodge’s Wedding Coordinator extraordinaire, Georgina Higham. AND, in her new role as Bar Manager, Poppy Higham made sure the drinks flowed (and they really did flow on the vodka luge!) and the guests were happy all night! It was also lovely to meet the hugely talented Laura Simpson from Laurel Weddings who created all things floral on the day – gorgeous!
So, here’s a cheeky Monday lunchtime sneaky peek at Hannah & Jason’s amazing day…
The weather was a little hit and miss on Saturday, but it stopped raining when we needed it to and I just love a good, ‘moody’ sky…
Hannah’s dress is from the amazing Timeless Bride in Poynton who also supplied her beautiful Flo & Percy headband and wrist band – just love them!
The evening really got going when ‘The Right Stuff‘ took to the stage in a Love Train stylee!
I won’t say too much here as the film explains everything, but what I will say is a huge thank you to Calumet Manchester, Natalie Kelly for modelling for us, Emma Draper MUA for looking after all things hair, make-up and styling and to Tom Harrington from Silk Wedding Videos for shooting the awesome footage.
What a gorgeous evening in Fletcher Moss Park with Katie & Nick last night! Beautiful light, beautiful surroundings – it was just perfect.
Katie and Nick first met at the rugby club right next to Fletcher Moss Park so naturally we included that as a location – I love it when we use locations that have got real meaning to the bride and groom, it really does give the shoot that extra sense of ‘realness’ (is that even a word?!?!)
Here’s a little Saturday morning sneak preview just for the loveliest bride and groom in the whole world, Laura and James! They were married yesterday and had the most beautiful reception at The Belle Epoque in Knutsford. It was an absolute pleasure to be involved in their day, they have the loveliest families and friends you could ever meet and it was just the best atmosphere you could wish for at a wedding!
Great to work with my very good friend Tom Harrington from Silk Wedding Videos – a true pro as always. I even got a cheeky look at a couple of shots he got and they look stunning!
Lovely to see Michelle off of Timeless Bride as a guest! Not something that us wedding folk get to experience too often, so nice to see her relaxing and enjoying the day!
Also caught a fleeting glimpse of Laura from Green Earth Flowers as I was shooting the bride and groom leaving the church! We managed a wave at each other! The flowers looked amazing Laura!
So, here’s the sneaky peek, starting with Laura’s stunning dress from where else? Timeless Bride in Poynton of course!
LOVE this! The girls look awesome!
How cool is this? Just before Laura & James did the first dance we snuck outside to take advantage of the gorgeous exterior of the Belle Epoque, lit up at night…
Congratulations Laura and James! Have an amazing time on honeymoon and I can’t wait to catch up with you when you get back!
I think I’m only just recovering from an amazing blow out of the cobwebs at Tatton Park this morning on Laura & James’s pre-wedding shoot! It was a gorgeous, blustery, fresh spring morning and we got some beautiful shots.
Laura & James get married this Friday at the amazing Belle Epoque in Knutsford and it’s going to be a cracker! Very excited about working with my great friend Tom Harrington from Silk Wedding Videos and the very lovely Laura Taylor from Green Earth Flowers in Poynton (awesome florist!)
Laura’s dress (is a secret of course!) is from the very gorgeous Timeless Bride in Poynton and I’m really excited about seeing Michelle (owner and all round lovely and gorgeous person!) from Timeless Bride at the wedding as a guest! (She’s Laura’s cousin!) It’s going to be a seriously beautiful wedding!
Laura & James’s pre-wedding shoot is a little bit nearer to their big day than we would normally shoot, but they live up in Scotland and don’t get ‘down south’ (!) that often, so we met up this morning and had a stroll out in the countryside! Here’s a little sneak preview…
So at long last, when new year and Christmas seem a lifetime ago, I’ve finally put together my list of favourite images from 2010. I had intended to blog this in the first week of January, but I have to say, 2011 has got off to a flyer and I literally haven’t had the chance! But I can’t leave it any longer – here it is, my TOP 40 images from the last year. I’ve given myself a couple of rules – firstly limiting my post to 40 images (nice round number!) and also that I can’t choose more than one image from any one shoot. So it’s been tough – nobody is more critical of my work than myself, but at the same time, as a photographer you often fall in love with so many of the images you take (especially beautiful wedding images) so I’ve been really hard on myself and MADE myself choose! The list isn’t exclusively weddings – it really is a flavour of everything I did last year.
One last thing – in a rather geeky way, I worked out that I took around 75,000 photographs last year. So whittling it down to my favourite 40 was no easy task. But be thankful I haven’t made you sit through all of them!!!
So let’s start with the very beautiful Laura & Ewan’s New Year’s Eve first dance…
Cat & Pete. The Inn at Whitewell(I got married there! Have I mentioned that before???) Taking five minutes out at the bar. Love it.
Arthi & Jon’s Castlefield wedding. LOVE the local gangsta pimping it past the bridal party…
Ahhhh – the GORGEOUS Alexis! Her fiance, Adam, is equally gorgeous, but, rules are rules and I LOVE this one of just Alexis, which means sadly he doesn’t get a feature…
Self indulgent? Me? So obviously I didn’t take this one (the studio director did!) but I processed it! And it reminds me of an awesome weekend in Ireland last year…
Livy off of Livy & Owen – theirs was the first wedding that I shot at one of my favourite venues in the whole world, the amazing Styal Lodge, and it was just the most beautiful day. I love this shot from the morning of the girls fussing round Livy…
Steph & James on the beach at Lytham. In FREEZING January last year. But how beautiful is that scene?
Sometimes you get lucky…;0)
The most perfect snowy scene at Singleton Lodge for Emma & Karl’s wedding! I love a bride who isn’t scared to get her feet cold!
A very special wedding from last year – Linz & Rick (our very, very good friends) got married at The Swan at Newby Bridge and I photographed it for them. I love this – best man Mike stepping up and delivering the best speech ever!
I love Sarah & Matt! I had such fun with them throughout their entire wedding journey and just adore this shot of them in Fletcher Moss Park in Didsbury…
Cat & Pete’s pre-wedding shoot at The Inn at Whitewell – the stepping stones are truly an iconic part of the area and I love this moment between them…
Livy & Owen’s pre-wedding shoot. This is when you realise just how well you’re going to get on with your bride and groom!
Doesn’t Michelle just look so perfect in this setting? No posing, just the perfect location, the most beautiful gown – it just works beautifully…
A recent favourite of main from Cate & Mike’s pre-wedding shoot. The shadows were too cool to walk past!
A genuine moment of reflection, calm and nerves all rolled into one on Charlotte & John’s wedding. Gorgeous…
Danielle turned into a bridal gown model for a moment…!!! Stunning!
Dawn & Phil at Dunham Massey. I love how unintrusive this image is, yet at the same time has so much atmosphere and emotion…
One of my iconic images of the past year. An image that was conceived with the input of the bride and groom which is exactly the way I love to work. Claire and Andrew wanted something really cool and dramatic that was all about the part of the world they were in. Claire’s stunning Ian Stuart gown was made for this kind of image…
Moments like this are what weddings are all about – Diana and Louisa and Luisa just enjoying themselves!
Ella. Attitude. Amazing.
Emma giving it both barrels on hers and Karl’s pre-wedding shoot – cool as!
A beautiful tender moment between Fran & Joe on their gorgeous summer wedding…
Emily backing up my ridiculous statement that Uggs were going to be big with wedding dresses this winter! Love this shot from Gibbon Bridge!
A timeless image from Jo & Mark’s spectacular Tuscany wedding…
Karey & Kate’s pre-wedding shoot in NYC. I won’t tell you how long we had to wait for a yellow cab to come past! In the movies it looks like the city’s full of them!
Washington Square Park Memorial, New York City. Another couple with creative ideas of their own that came up with this location and actually wanted this shot so badly that we left their reception at night, jumped in a cab and went and got this image. How cool is that?!
And another couple who really understood the role of photography at their wedding. Kirsty & Stuart had idea after idea for locations in St Andrew’s they wanted to use – music to my ears! I love the fact that we’ve got the whole bridal party with us for this…
Laura & Ewan’s pre-wedding shoot on a miserable day. But what a moment…
Weddings are all about moments. And capturing those moments is so important. This spontaneous laughter was due to the congregation setting off at the wrong time in the hymn they were singing – cue the WHOLE place falling about laughing and nobody able to get it back on track! But Lisa and Tom will remember that moment forever…
Louise & Olly. Confetti. Soooooooo happy! That’s why I love it!
Manhattan skyline in black and white. Very cool.
Olivia at dusk wearing her art project. See, everyone thinks that dresses that light up were invented by Big Fat Gypsy Weddings! Olivia was designing them a year ago!
Sarah & Dan steal a moment on King Street just after they’d got married…
A very special shot from Sarah & Matt’s wedding at Sandhole Oak Barn in Cheshire. Shot especially on the car park – just for them!
A really cool image from Steph & James’s post-wedding shoot in Northumberland!
And finally – Vicki & James sneaking a moment together on the beautiful terrace at Styal Lodge…gorgeous…
So there we have it. 40 images. Lots of beautiful people in love. Lots of moments never to be forgotten. What a year.
Special mentions to those who contributed to making my 2010 a particularly special one. Huge and sincere thanks for all the support you gave me – you all know what you did which means so much…
Pete & Chris Draper
Jo, Paul & Megan Pike
Katie Draper & Anthony Roberts
Keith & Pauline Latham
Jane & Jason Thompson
Jonathan Harris & Christine Ware
Andy Cheetham & David Bell
And last but certainly not least – all of my amazing brides and grooms and brides and grooms to be!
What a night last night! An evening of pure wedding inspiration brought to you by some of the best in the business!
We’d sold out the event and welcomed 60 guests made up of brides and grooms to be and their friends and families to come and spend an evening immersed in all things wedding – great food, great entertainment and great ideas to take away with them.
Guests arrived and enjoyed reception drinks and canape’s before being seated at their tables – which is when things really got started…!!!
Flutterby Couture had created all of the stationery for the evening, including the seating plan, table names, place names…
Flower Design had created these amazing table centre pieces – every single one was different with the aim of showing off just how creative you can be on your big day…
Mitton Hall served an amazing 4 course menu (and canapes!) that was designed to be shared which worked so well on the tables. All of the ‘wedding superhero’s’ involved had places at the tables so we got the chance to say hello to all of the guests personally and give them the opportunity to chat to us about their big day and all things wedding!
Top wedding entertainer Howard Wing was our man with the mic and really kept everyone entertained all evening – even letting Dave, Mitton Hall’s Maitre d’, blast out a chorus or two! (He was awesome!)
Meanwhile….while all this was going on out front, our team of make-over experts were working tirelessly in the back, preparing for a very special moment later in the evening…
Back out front, Joe from Specialized Cakes had given everyone the task of icing their own cupcake! Great touch!
The moment everyone had been waiting for! Right at the beginning of the evening we introduced the full team of wedding superhero’s involved in the evening and also some special guests – our ‘brides and grooms’ for the evening, Olivia & Dan and Sarah & Ben. They were introduced in their ‘normal’ clothes and then during the course of the evening backstage, Sheree from One & Only Bridal Couture (who also did an amazing job on Sarah & Olivia’s hair!) and Emma Draper Make-Up Artist gave them a full make-over, dressed them in some amazing wedding gowns and suits and presented them to our guests at the end of the night!
Flower Design had brought along some gorgeous rose petal confetti and we invited some of our guests to do the confetti thing as our brides and grooms entered the room!
Sarah wore an amazing Jenny Packham gown…
Olivia wore Ian Stuart’s ‘Flowerbomb’…stunning…
Then there was just time for the big finish from Howard Wing who really got everyone going for his last number!
The man who coined the phrase ‘Wedding Superhero’s’ Tom Harrington from Silk Wedding Videos shot some amazing footage throughout the evening – which will be coming soon…
Sheree & Emma!
Once we’d bid our guests goodnight, there was just time for me to spend 10 minutes with our brides and grooms shooting some seriously cool images in a truly beautiful venue. I love working at Mitton Hall – it’s in a beautiful part of the world and if you’re lucky enough to get a gorgeous day, the view from the terrace is magnificent. However, if you’re having a winter wedding, or you’re a little bit unlucky with the weather on your day, these images show that you can still produce amazing, creative images that are full of atmosphere and you can do it very quickly too.
I love spending time with my brides and grooms on their big day, but I hate the idea of taking them away from their party to do this. So I ‘steal’ moments with them throughout the day, take 2 minutes here, 30 seconds there – and the images you see below were shot in a very similar way. Everyone was tired from a long evening and the bar was calling…(!!!) so I knew I wanted to move quickly and still get great images and as I said above, it took literally 10 minutes to get all of the shots you see below, which is a great way to work on a wedding. No fuss over the shots, no guests stood around for ages waiting for photographs to happen, just everything happening quietly and quickly!
So a final massive thank you to everyone involved – thank you to Vicky & Vicky for all of their help in the build up to the event and on the night itself. Massive thanks to Dave for being so easy to work with (as always!) and finally a massive thank you to the Wedding Superhero’s! Flower Design, Howard Wing, Silk Wedding Videos, One & Only Bridal Couture, Flutterby Couture, Creative Cover Hire, Specialized Cakes, Emma Draper MUA, Peter Jackson The Jewellers and our amazing models, Olivia & Dan and Sarah & Ben.
This weekend is going to be amazing! The Great Hall at Mains are throwing their doors open from 11am-4pm on both Saturday AND Sunday and are holding a weekend of inspiration & ideas provided by some of the best wedding experts in the business!
Wow – what a week since this shoot! Emma & I are frantically packing our bags ahead of our trip to New York tomorrow to shoot Karey & Kate’s wedding – I really can’t wait! But before we head off, I wanted to do a ‘proper’ post about this shoot last week.
I wanted to organise a shoot that would result in a set of seriously inspirational images for those brides that want something truly unique on their wedding day. Those girls who want something cool and contemporary, but aren’t afraid to weave a tiny bit of tradition in every now and again. Something that would make brides to be really get thinking creatively about their own wedding day. I love working with brides and grooms who embrace every little detail of their day, who are excited about every single element, who are discerning with the suppliers they bring in to help them realise their wedding day aspirations. And I’m a very lucky photographer who seems to get to work with these kind of brides and grooms every single week!
First up was getting a venue on board. Second up was thinking that shooting for one day in one venue would be far too easy to organise, so I decided I wanted to shoot in two venues in one day. Two contrasting venues from a visual point of view but with the same underlying passion and commitment to hosting and catering truly magnificent weddings. So I went knocking on the door of Twelve Restaurant & Lounge barin Thornton and The Great Hall at Mains in Little Singleton and explained my vision and why I wanted them to be involved. Huge thanks to Caroline from Twelve and Adele from TGHM for immediately agreeing to open their doors to us and being so enthusiastic and excited about being involved.
So the venues were sorted. Next on the agenda, some magnificent gowns were required. Cue more knocking on doors! I went to see my very good friend Nikki Graeme, the owner of The White Closet vintage bridal boutique in West Didsbury who immediately agreed to lend us some beautiful Charlotte Balbier, David Fielden and Claire Pettibone gowns – wow. These are some serious names.
Next up, girls to wear said dresses. Two of my very good friends, the very beautiful Olivia and the equally beautiful Emily were recruited to be models for the day – shooting ‘real’ girls on a shoot like this is really important – that’s what brides are after all. They’re not models, they’ve not been involved in shoots before, so it’s great to use girls that brides to be can genuinely identify with and actually realise that they can look as amazing as they do!
I also recently met the owner of bespoke jewellery company, Coco & Me, Amy Rhodes, who by complete coincidence is also a model! In contrast to what I wrote above, it’s also great to have somebody with experience involved in a shoot like this. Amy could really push her posing to the extreme which is really important when you’re shooting images meant to inspire.
So we’re almost into the images now, but there was somebody else I knew I NEEDED to be involved. The ultra creative and talented Jane Thompson from Flower Design. This shoot was all about pushing the boundaries and creating images and details that inspire and I knew Jane would supply us with something extraordinary. I wasn’t disappointed…
My amazingly talented wife was brought in to look after make-up and wardrobe (you’ll see just what an amazing job she did a bit further down the page) and I also invited along my great friend and the only videographer I recommend, Tom Harrington from Silk Wedding Videos to shoot a ‘behind the scenes’ film for us.
Finally, I invited some of the North-West’s most exciting and talented wedding photographers to come and shoot on the day – to work with them shoulder to shoulder, to bounce ideas off each other and to work together to create something really special.
Here’s a few of my favourite images I shot on the day…
I love this David Fielden number that Amy is wearing – very cool and just that little bit different…
Olivia looked amazing in Charlotte Balbier’s ‘Flo’…
The Great Hall at Mains – what a venue! (unfortunately we didn’t get any exteriors of Twelve as it bounced it down in the morning!)
Emma doing her thing!
Another Charlotte Balbier gown (Marilyn) for Olivia – and again, something just a bit different for those brides who really want to do something a bit edgy when it comes to their dress – love it!
How awesome are those Flower Design pedestals? And what about that bouquet! Truly amazing and truly different!
Emily looks soooooo cool – VERY greek goddess in David Fielden’s ‘Wallis Simpson’ gown…
And finally, Olivia just couldn’t leave Charlotte Balbier’s dresses alone! This is ‘Morgan’ and is ultra cool and contemporary in what is quite a traditional pose and setting – which shows you don’t have to go completely over the top with every single set up – sometimes simple is the best way to go, especially when you want the venue to lend it’s natural impact to the image as well (which TGHM does in bucket loads!)
What a fabulous day it was. I’m fortunate enough to work with some of the very best wedding professionals and suppliers in the UK on a regular basis and it was fantastic to be able to work with them on our own project where we didn’t quite face the same time pressures as we do on a wedding day (although I was quite strict with getting us to the respective venues on time!)
Huge thanks once again to everyone involved, especially everyone at Twelve and The Great Hall at Mains, Flower Design, The White Closet, Olivia, Emily and Amy, Tom Harrington and last but no means least, Emma for doing an amazing job with the makeup and wardrobe and for assisting with every other little thing that needed doing on the day!