Amarjit and Andrew are getting married soon in Manchester, with a reception in Dunham Massey. I’m going to be their Dunham Massey Wedding Photographer – but first I had to be their Stanage Edge E-Shoot Photographer! For their Engagement (E-Shoot) they chose Stanage Edge in the Peak District for their folio. Being the lithe, athletic type myself, I jumped at the opportunity of climbing a ridge in 60mph winds – simple! When we arrived at base camp – a suitable car park, allowing for ‘couch climbers’ like me, the cloud level was too low to see anything – an almost total white-out. So, undeterred, we ventured back down towards civilisation and a stunning forest to warm us up. I was travelling light, using the new Nikon D600 on this occasion. The small, lightweight stature of the camera meant I could travel light too – just a trio of lenses in my tiny Crumpler bag. Wish it was like this on wedding shoots!
In keeping with my style of shooting, I just let Amarjit and Andrew be themselves – they knew the territory better than I, since they walk there most weekends. The mist was beginning to lift, and we got some great images in the bag, with virtually no direction from myself. After half an hour we ventured back up to base camp to attempt the ridge shot again. Good news! The mist had gone, replaced with a constant blustery wind which meant everybody was walking around at 45 degree angles. This was going to be interesting! Up we went, to the top, which only took a few minutes, granted, but my word, was that wind strong. The little Nikon did ever so well with the 24-70mm, 85mm and 20mm lenses, and even at fast shutter speeds I was getting camera shake. It really was that rough – laughably enjoyable at the same time too….it was like being a kid again, trying to focus through streaming tears and a flapping North Face jacket. But we nailed it, and the images don’t really show the full force of the weather, but are perfect for what we were after – a raw representation of Stanage Edge.
I just hope it’s not as windy when I’m their Dunham Massey Wedding Photographer.
Keri & Tom are getting married in Spring at Mitton Hall, a truly brilliant wedding venue. I was asked by them to be their Mitton Hall Wedding Photographer around a year ago. From our initial meeting, we knew we were all going to get along like one happy family – mainly down to Charlene at Love Gets Sweeter Films who recommend I go on the couple’s shortlist. After a brilliant meeting over ‘their yard’ near Kilhey Court Hotel, it was all systems go for the Big One at Mitton. And boy, will this be a full-on fun-packed event… 😉 The slight downside to this is Charlene doesn’t get to film the event…nope, she’s a VIP guest and has to rely on her crew to produce the goods, while she (unfortunately – boo!) has to drink champagne and ‘do guest things’ all day. Oh dear – nice problem to have! I remember when I got married, I was directing TV commercials at the time. I had a couple of work colleague cameramen shooting ours, and the temptation to try and subtly ‘get involved’ was difficult. I had to sit on my hands at times! Good luck Charlene with that one!
So…in true, winter E-Shoot mode, we met at Fairy Glen park near Parbold for their pre-wedding session. It rained. Then it stopped. Then it rained again…blah, blah…toying with us to spoil the party, but ha! No chance…we were prepared. Charlene was with us for this one – and we needed her! Marvin, our four-legged star tried to muscle in on all the images…we needed a Dog Sitter for part of the session, so we could concentrate on the happy couple. It worked in theory, but Marvin grabbed a lot of attention..plus a new ball found in the undergrowth too!
With fairy Glen waterlogged from the hideous amounts of rain we’ve had, this was proving to be Top Three on my leader board of wet weather E-Shoots. Does it show? Yep. Does it spoil anything? Nope. Look at their faces – a happy couple being themselves, with minimal direction from me…it can be done Charlene…just try on the day… 😉
With our final shots in the bag, it was off to a local cafe for hot chocolate all-round. A well-earned winter warmer, from our very wet, and very ‘earthy’ E-Shoot. Don’t worry…it’s going to be a lot warmer, with a golden ball in the sky for the wedding… 😉
If you’re planning your wedding at Mitton Hall, why not get in touch to view more of my work?
Fiona & Neil had their pre wedding E-Shoot in Lytham St Annes recently. They are getting married on a specific – very specific date next year, at The Villa in Wrea Green. Fiona (and mum Jackie) booked me for the wedding after meeting me at a wedding fayre organised by Maxine and the team at Little White Books. Neil’s the typical shy, but incredibly hard working type – too busy for the viewing meeting, he trusted Fiona to do all that, since she knew what she was looking for with her wedding photography. I politely request that mums be present at viewing meetings, even if just for a second opinion. They are actively involved in their daughter’s wedding day, in more ways than one, and I find it useful to sit and chat, to answer any questions or concerns they may have. I have to say, Jackie was brilliant to talk to…very relaxed, and confident that her daughter was getting the very best quality wedding photography – her words, not mine!
So, I caught up with Fiona and Neil….and baby Samuel at Lytham Pier on a very blustery day at the seaside. Samuel stole the show, and, having just had his first birthday, wanted to be photographed, take the photographs, and look at the screen on the camera at the same time. He was an absolute star and a nightmare to keep up with at times! We split the session in two, because the cafe on the pier was far too inviting to ignore…and the coffee was on top form too!
So it was back onto the beach for ten minutes for some ‘real’ family shots…nothing staged or set up. I just let the three of them play while me and the Nikon D700 did our thing.
This E-Shoot is one of Little White Books’ featured weddings-to-be in the brand new issue, out now. If you’re getting married in 2014 and looking for a photographer, or ideas for your big day, why not drop in to the Little White Books website and order your copy?
I’m really looking forward to photographing Fiona and Neil’s Big (specific date) Day in 2014….
This is one of my favourite shoots from this year. I met Danielle, Terence and the lovely Elodie in Castlefield for a Family shoot. Postponed a time or two because of the Manchester weather, we finally caught up last weekend. Danielle and Terence were married in New York (without me – boo!), but we’d spoken about doing a natural, unposed, uncheesy family shoot in Manchester. And here it is. Elodie has just turned one, so the main focus of the session was always going to be on this little princess – and she didn’t let us down. Loving the camera…and chasing the local pigeons, Elodie was completely at home with me and the Nikon – as were mum and dad. We spent around forty five minutes for this session, before Elodie…..as all babies do, ‘hit the wall’ and needed a nap. Yeah…me too!
So here are some images from the session, and one of the most enjoyable, unobtrusive shoots I’ve ever done. And like Danielle and Terence – I’m ‘well pleased’ with the images!
Taken on a Nikon D600 with 24-70mm and 85mm lenses, as ever, your comments are welcome…
If you’d like a natural, uncontrived family shoot, why not contact me?
Laura & Andy are getting married soon at Kilhey Court in Standish. Both of them work in the Midlands, so it made a welcome change to catch up with them in Stafford, half way between our homes, for the E-Shoot. Laura was a little camera shy at first…not Andy though. He loved it. So, in true keeping with my working methods, we shot the entire session in around thirty minutes, replicating a similar allocation of time we’ll have on the big day. The weather had been horrible for about three days; constant rain and blustery conditions almost put paid to our session. But the weather broke late afternoon and we met at the park to glorious sunshine and blue skies. Laura and Andy have commissioned me to photograph their wedding in my unobtrusive, natural documentary style…meaning no intrusion or direction from me for the day.
So why the E-Shoot then, when it contradicts my style of wedding photography?
E-Shoots are a great ‘ice-breaker’ – a chance to have some fun on camera, whilst getting used to being photographed. It certainly worked, and from a slightly giggly and nervous start, Laura was ‘at home’ and fully comfortable with the Nikon after a few minutes. And it shows in this small selection of images from the session.
I offer E-Shoots as standard to my wedding packages, plus they can be produced for anybody for a session fee…..why not get in touch and order one for yourself?
Hayley and Dan are getting married next Summer, near Dan’s farm in Brede, near Hastings, Sussex. They have booked me for their wedding photography because they love my approach and style…a classic case of wanting a photographer they can trust, who just quietly ‘gets on with it’ and one who doesn’t force the camera on them.
They were up in Manchester recently, so we had to go for an early E-Shoot in Lymm, since they had to travel back down to Hastings. So…the E-Shoot took around 30 mins or so – around the same time we allow ‘for real’ on the wedding day, to photograph some formal portraits. Lymm was its usual charming self…and quiet since the shops hadn’t even opened yet…apart form the florist, a window cleaner and the gorgeous smell coming from the bakery, we had the place to ourselves virtually.
I’m looking forward to going down to their part of the world next year for what looks like a fantastic wedding in the local village, followed by a full-on celebration back on the farm. Poor Dan’s working flat out to landscape the grounds and get everything ready in time. I’m sure it’ll all happen!
Since time was pressing for this shoot, I travelled light with my trusty D700 cameras and 24-70mm and 70-200mm lenses. The new D600 stayed indoors…..it’s still working its ‘apprenticeship’ yet before being unleashed on my clients. For the photographers out there, these images were processed in Camera Raw 7. I’ve dropped Lightroom for 2013 wedding work, because I find ACR quicker, faster and cleaner to work with…and I prefer the results I achieve, keeping an almost 100% Photoshop-based workflow system.
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