Real people, real moments, real stories; capturing life's most precious moments.
Welcome to my blog - hopefully I've updated it recently. If not, it's probably because I'm too busy - sorry!
This picture was taken in front of a wall mural at The Vineyard Hotel and Spa at Stockcross near Newbury. The mural depicts, as is written on the hotel website:
"Judgement of Paris
In 1976, in small room in a Paris hotel, a strange thing happened.
Something that changed a centuries-old status quo and rocked the 'civilised' world to it's roots.
A cataclysm, or a revolution, depending on your point of view.
In a blind tasting with some of the leading French wine aficionados of the day, Californian wines were chosen over France's very best. Big names were knocked right out of the park in a comprehensive whooping."
On first looking at the photo the background appears to be guests, with very strange expressions! I love the young couple's oblivion to their busy background - they only have eyes for each other.
There were many beautiful places inside and outside to take pictures of the bridal couple and I have many more favourites from this wedding!
This is a difficult one to get right - the photographer/s need to be close enough to be able to see what is going on but far enough away not to impose on proceedings. I tend to come in with the bride and stay towards the back of the aisle to get full length shots of the couple and the room (be it a church or register office).
My assistant comes in with the groom and stays towards the front to get pictures from the other side. Sometimes these two angles line up brilliantly!
Simon has kept the depth of field small to let maximum light in, but you can still see the lovely expressions of the bride's family in the background.
From the back of the church I use my long length lens which is perfect for zooming in to get "closer" to the action.
This church was a very colourful Catholic church on a hilltop town in Italy.
For smaller registry office weddings I don't bring an assistant along and try to be as discrete as possible by keeping back from the bride and groom but using my zoom lens again.
Posed pictures are really nice to have, but I love capturing the emotions of the day through photographing not only the bride and groom, as above, but also family and guests sharing the celebrations with their loved ones.
Tears are not always bad!
Photographing the wedding ceremony is not always easy as we don't use flash, which would be far too intrusive. Instead we have to work with whatever light there is and make the most of it.
Isn't it great to be able to document these amazing times in a person's life? I often have tears in my eyes, even when I've only met the couple once or twice! I feel very privileged to be a part of these days.
Last Saturday I took some pictures of Mayella, who is in the process of building a new website for her healing business. The pictures had to be natural looking, show Mayella's spirit and sense of fun and also, of course, to make her look good! We went to Lacock as I know the good spots for background and light as I teach portrait photography there with Lacock Photography.
For this first picture I got Mayella to turn her face towards the light; the shading on her cheek gives good definition and helps to narrow the face. The shade of a tree takes away light from above.
We then moved into the open and I put the sun behind Mayella. To give sparkle to her eyes I shot through a metallised reflector to light the face.
What a different shot! The light is softer and more even which is good for more mature subjects. The sun makes the hair appear white. The background is far enough way to make it appear soft and diffused. The reflector is an important part of getting the light right, but you could use anything that reflects light back into the face - even a white t-shirt on the photographer would help!
For this next shot we walked down to the stream in Lacock and had a little play. Hands are often difficult to photograph well - what do you do with them?! Leaning against something helps, especially if your model also leans towards the camera which makes for a flattering picture.
On our way back to the car we walked up an alleyway at the top of the village and stopped by the gate for a picture. The light here was good, but not quite where I wanted it, so I asked Mayella to look towards the light and laugh hysterically - it sounds ridiculous, but you have to wait until a natural laugh takes over - try it! I moved Mayella around so the background bushes would frame her. The lighter background gives depth to the image.
We had a lot of fun taking these images, and many more, and Mayella loved Lacock, which she had never seen before. I look forward to seeing them on her new website.
Last Friday I photographed a wedding in Bath Botanical Gardens. I was really looking forward to this wedding as the location is fabulous - so luxurious, verdant and romantic! However, the day started with the rain just pouring down. With the promise of a free lunch I persuaded my sister to come along to be my umbrella holder and we arrived with 4 white golf umbrellas for the wedding party photography and 4 multi coloured umbrellas that I borrowed to try and get guests to come outside for photographs.
As soon as Leilai arrived just before 1, the sun came out and it stayed out the whole time I was there - it was the most perfect afternoon!
The ceremony was in The Minerva Temple which only holds around 35 people, so there was a gazebo outside to seat the rest of the guests. Access to the couple was not easy but I love this wide angle shot showing the newly married couple and the family in the temple.
I apologise to the guest with the bald head whom I accidently clobbered with my lens hood whilst trying to find a good vantage point. He and his neighbours then got the giggles during a quiet bit of the ceremony!
As the weather was so beautiful the drinks were served outside and there was plenty of opportunity to get pictures of the guests enjoying themselves and the lovely surroundings.
I plan to start the group pictures shortly after everyone has had a drink, but am always ready to jump in and take any pictures that the bride wants!
I love taking the confetti throwing pictures - we organise 2 lines of guests and ask the bride and groom to walk through, with guests throwing the confetti up in the air and not, hopefully, straight at them.
I'm always on the look out for taking unposed pictures of the bride, especially, as posing can sometimes look fake. This is one of my favourites. The colours of the flowers in the herbaceous border of the Bath Botanical Gardens really compliments Leilai's flowers. The flowers were from The Wild Bluebell florist and were beautifully fresh and natural and totally complemented the Botanical Gardens.
I always make sure there is time to take the bride and groom away for a few relaxed, posed pictures and we were spoilt for choice in the gardens.
I love taking "walking away" pictures with the couple looking at each other. Getting movement in the dress always looks amazing and the connection between the couple is important.
Such a lovely couple and such a lovely location, especially when the weather is good!
When it rains, most of us put our cameras away and hide from the wet weather. I know I miss many opportunities because I don't want to get the camera wet and/or I don't think pictures will look good. But everyone has pictures of lovely sunny days, blue skies and fluffy clouds - let's try and do something different! On our holiday in Denmark last recently we had the lovely sunny weather with fluffy clouds, and I took lots of pictures of family members socialising and playing.
But some of the clouds were a little darker and heavier and brought some heavy downpours and we got caught in a heavy shower; there wasn't time to get Isla out of her pushchair so Jane made sure the umbrella stayed over her and the pushchair. The older children came and hid under the umbrella because it was exciting and they were all so happy... apart maybe from Jane!
I slowed down the shutter speed to make the rain trails show up and took several pictures of the hilarity of a bit of rain!
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