Naomi & Nige’s wedding was SPECTACULAR!!! (As you can see from the above image!) What a gorgeous and lovely couple they are and what a true pleasure they were to work with When they asked me to take their Great Hall at Mains Wedding Photographs and they told me who else was involved, I was VERY excited! Singing waiters, an Amy Winehouse tribute act, top sound, lighting and pyrotechnics boys, Stardream, the very lovely Margaret Mason Florist and the most stunning Enzoani dress from Dreamcatcher Bridal – it was always going to be an awesome day!
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.
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!)
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?!?!?
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!
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…
Gemma & Matt’s Bartle Hall Hotel wedding. Because sometimes you’ve just got to embrace our wonderful British weather…
Carly & Ian’s wedding at Sandhole Oak Barn. Because we got weather like this in FEBRUARY!!!
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
Happy Easter! Here’s a little peek at Becky & Dave’s pre-wedding shoot in Castlefield from a couple of days ago…
Becky & Dave get married at the amazing The Great Hall at Mains in July and it’s going to be a belter! My great friend and Dad for the 2nd time as of this morning, Howard Wing (congratulations Howie & Sam and your new addition, little Lincoln!) will be doing his thing – always incredible – and everyone is sure to have the best day ever! Can’t wait!
A quick Sunday afternoon sneaky peek at Viki & Chris’s gorgeous Salford Quays pre-wedding shoot! I’m VERY excited about their big day later this year as it’s at one of the very best Lancashire wedding venues, the stunning The Great Hall at Mains and I’ll also get to work with my great, great friends from Flower Design too! (Also, Viki’s dress – which is of course a secret! – is from the amazing One and Only Bridal Couture in Preston. My great friend Sheree helped Viki to choose the most beautiful and perfect dress, which Sheree knows I will be very excited about now I have found out which one it is!!!)
So, a little glimpse at what we shot at one of the coolest locations in Manchester…
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!
A little sneak preview of a VERY special shoot that took place yesterday at Twelve Restaurant and The Great Hall at Mains – two of the North West’s very best! Alongside some of my very best wedding friends, including Jane & Jason Thompson from Flower Design, The White Closet Bridal Boutique and Tom Harrington from Silk Wedding Videos, I invited some of the brightest talents in UK wedding photography to join me shooting some amazing bridal images – big thanks to Olivia Jones, Emily Martin and Amy Rhodes for working tirelessly all day and to Emma Draper for ensuring they looked stunning all day!
Massive thanks to Caroline & Paul at Twelve for making us feel so welcome and looking after us so well and equally massive thanks to Adele & Roger (and Lizzie & Charlotte!) for welcoming us into The Great Hall at Mains that had been beautifully set up for us to shoot!
For now, a sneak peek at our models giving it both barrels yesterday…
More images along with the full story coming soon!
Louise and Olly were such great fun to work with and I’m gutted they’re back in Australia!!! A little bit of background for you…
Lou & Olly booked me from the other side of the world after I’d been recommended to them (the power of the referral!) and I only met them a couple of weeks before the wedding when we did their pre-wedding shoot.
I hit it off with them straight away and knew that their big day was going to be awesome!
I started out in the morning by meeting up with the lads at The Cartford Inn (great place!)…
Count ‘em up…that’s one, that’s two pairs!!!
Prettiest church ever?!?!
The jury’s still out on who was responsible for this….
A very quick Monday morning sneaky peek at the very gorgeous and lovely Louise & Olly’s big day at the magnificent The Great Hall at Mains (I was very excited to be shooting there – but more on that in the full post in a few weeks!)
Louise & Olly got married at St Michael’s on Wyre church…
Who was responsible for Olly’s shoes??!?! The jury is still out…