Jess and Russell’s sneak preview!

Jess contacted me some time ago about her wedding and had decided to book until the big day was temporarily delayed. Thankfully a few months later Jess got back in touch with me and it was game on for their wedding a few weeks ago. The sun came out and decided to spend the day with us to shine down on the very happy couple and their friends and family. The preparations were chaotic with so many ladies running around, but this time of the day is always fun to capture, and for me is as important as the rest of the day as so much happens that before the bride knows it, everyone is ready and she is being whisked off to the church! I love to include the preparations where I can as this is always a HUGE part of a couples big day, and the bride especially will spend hours getting ready and will have been planning her morning for months, and its usually at this point in the day that a lot of the little details that matter to the bride become apparent.

The rest of the day was as much of a blur as the preparations, but the sun stayed out, everyone had a great time and the couple looked fantastic! We finished our photos at the church and moved on to the reception venue for the evenings celebrations.

Here are a few of the shots from the day!

The wedding of Jo and Vaughan

I was lucky to have met Jo and Vaughan while photographing the wedding of a good friend of mine last year, and after meeting up for a chat with them to talk about their day, I knew they would be a really cool, laid back couple.

On the day I took with me Jenny to assist me, and yet again she did a great job and produced some lovely images. The sun was out, everyone was calm and the day went like clockwork. It was a really happy day and everyone looked fantastic. The whole event was based just outside Dudley which even meant a short drive home for me. After the meal we took the couple over to the local picturesque grounds of Himley Hall for some photos, and I was quite pleased with the results.

Here are a few images from the day!

DIY, more like Don’t DIY!

I love my camera, its my pride and joy, and I’ve been saying that for years with each new camera I get! Fact is, I am now using a professional camera, rather than one that just looks like it. I can roll up at a wedding and know exactly what I can expect from my camera, and can guarantee I will take better pictures than any of the guests there. The fact is though, we all had to start somewhere, and yes I started with a consumer level DSLR, sure it took great pictures and it helped me learn, and yes it can also take some good pictures on its automatic settings too.

The difference between me and another wedding guest with the same camera, is not just about my pictures looking better, its about the knowledge too. I have spent more time reading, researching, practising and problem solving than I care to think about. I don’t mean to make it sound like a chore, quite the opposite, I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t enjoy it, but now I have the knowledge and experience to guarantee taking not just good, but great pictures. I know where to stand, when to stand there, and which setting to have the camera on. I know what lens to use and how I can edit the image on the computer afterwards, all before I have even pressed the shutter! I also know what brides like to see in their album, and how to make them relax in front of the camera.

So in a time of technology taking over the world, where my camera phone is almost as good as what my first digital camera was, its a concern that so many people are thinking they can “have a go” at wedding photography! Yes a nice camera will take nice pictures, a really good camera may get a few really good pictures (if you’re lucky enough!) and sure a bride and groom who have asked a mate may be happy with “some” of the images that a standard consumer level DLSR from Argos, or Comet can take… but they will also be devastated that you messed up the cutting of the cake as it was so dark, and that none of the group photos came out as the sun was in the wrong place, and that everything in the church was blurred. Its a couples big day, it costs thousands of pounds, even on a small budget, the dress costs maybe a months wages in some cases, if not more, and the suit, well that’ll will end up going back to the hire shop, so why would a couple sacrifice all those memories by trying to save a bit of cash on someone who doesnt really know how to use the big posh camera with the big posh lens that he bought with his bonus, that makes his mates call him David Bailey? Why would he think he even had half an idea of what wedding photography was about? Most weddings now are running on budgets of anywhere from £10,000 to £20,000 for the majority of couples, and typically wedding photography has always been about 10% of the budget. But lately we are starting to see ashift, and if you are going to spend all that money on one day, aren’t you going to want to remember it all in years to come when the dress has spent years gathering dust in the loft, the kids are all grown up, and the photos are all you have left? In a recent survey, nearly a quarter of brides interviewed believed they had not spent enough on their photography, but at that point its too late. Many brides aren’t fussy about the quality as they just want to get the pictures on facebook.

Let’s just remember though, that a wedding day (for the most of us I hope) won’t be repeated, and once those memories are gone, they are gone forever. A good photographer on the other hand, will not just save those memories, but may even help create a few and will make them last a lot longer than facebook ever will!

More weddings to come

Well what a start to the year it has been, getting my new camera at the start of the year has definitely made a difference to my confidence and my approach to weddings so far this year. I have yet again been over analysing each and every wedding photo I have taken to see how I can improve, how I can make things better, how I can impress the couple even more. I don’t just want a couple telling their friends about me, I want them raving about me. So with each and every wedding I always look to change something, to try and make it better than the last one. Next stop is a new lens, my lovely little sigma has been good, but I don’t think its any substitute for its canon big brother! The other thing I changed this year was working alone, where the costs of the wedding have allowed, I have taken an assistant along and it has dramatically increased the range of photos I can offer a couple, but the next two weekends are about taking a step back as it my turn to assist my good friend Phil, who I have known since my school days. Phil has an amazing ability to see an image before it happens, and to work the light to make an image something else, he really inspired me to move into weddings and start making some money from it, and has been a great encouragement from the day I started. Its a pleasure to work with him and I am looking forward to making some fantastic memories for the couple with him.

Stuart and Sam in the sunshine

I was sorry to hear that Stuart and Sam’s photographer had fallen through at the last minute, but delighted to step in and capture some fantastic memories for them on their extremely sunny wedding day. Based unusually locally for me, I could have walked there and back, but still had to take all my equipment for the day, I don’t travel light!

The church was well hidden from the main road, but was lovely inside, and had the friendliest, most helpful vicar i’ve every known, actually encouraging me to get in his way and use the flash if I needed to. I won’t forget that one in a hurry! We took off to a local park in Dudley for the photos after the ceremony and found a lovely little spot where we got some great shots.

Here are some of the pictures from the day!

No time to stop

Its the summer, its hot, and everyone is getting married. I love the summertime and I love the happiness of a wedding day, and being in the position I am in to attend so many reassures me that there is still enough love out there.

In the future I want to start changing this blog, I want to be adding extra features, like the excellent local businesses I feature on the links page of my website, and planning tips for brides and grooms for their big day. I even think I will get a bit geeky and start talking technical about the toys I use on a wedding day.

One of the latest couples I got to meet only live a stones throw from me, and left the shores of England to have a wedding abroad. When they arrived home, they wanted a big reception with their family and called me up to capture a few shots!