castle hedingham tudor wedding

castle hedingham tudor wedding

Wow, what a wedding venue. A Castle Hedingham Tudor wedding. What bride doesn’t ever dream of a romantic wedding in their very own fairytale castle and a themed Tudor wedding to match.

Castle Hedingham situated in North Essex close to the Suffolk border. Built in the 12th century by a Norman baron. Although much of the original castle has long since disappeared, the keep very much remains. With its four floors rebuilt in the Tudor period, the minstrel’s gallery with its original stone carvings and the Tapestry room where famous Kings and Queens such as Henry V111 and Elizabeth 1 once dined. The banqueting hall with its grand arch Perfect for that atmospheric wedding ceremony. One hundred and sixty acres of beautifully manicured grounds. Castle Hedingham is the epitome of the perfect English castle and as wedding venues go, you just can’t get better.

Dan and Nina. A Castle Hedingham Tudor wedding. From a Photographers point of view, Castle Hedingham just can’t get any better. Everywhere is a photo opportunity. The minstrel’s gallery with its natural light looking down into the Grand Banqueting hall. Tudor bridge with its grand arches,   reflections in the lake. The long sweeping driveway. If ever there was a romantic wedding venue then Castle Hedingham has to be it.

Castle Hedingham Tudor wedding

Wedding photography backup

Wedding photography backup

As a photographer i may be shooting three or four weddings per week. That can equate to thousands of images. Lately wedding clients have been asking me how do i protect all their precious images from getting lost or deleted accidentally. Well here goes. At an average wedding i may shoot 700 to 1000 images all recorded in RAW file format That is an awful lot of memory space.
Shooting with a Nikon D4 i have the option to record onto a dual card slot system, one a Cf card and the other onto XQD format, one backing up after the other or i could record one in RAW and the other in JPEG but for peace of mind, main and backup. So at least if the Cf card fails i have the same images on the XQD card. In the last three years of using the D4 i have only had  one instance of a partial card failure, that CF card stopped recording after 115 images, luckily the XQD card saved the day and the guilty CF card was instantly resigned to the bin. Once the wedding is over and im back in the office, i will upload the card to lightroom, convert to Digital negatives and then from there export as a catalogue to three external hard drives tagged as “backup” and then to another three external hard drives and tagged as “edit file”. With one main drive from which i work from for the editing. Create a desktop folder with the clients first names and date of the wedding and edit all the completed jpegs into that folder. Now lots of other photographers have there own ideas on how they back up and tag their images, ie, by date or times etc, my workflow system works for me and i can edit a complete wedding of average 800 images onto a folder of approx 350 to 400 images within a few hours. From there the completed JPEGS folder is again backed up onto two separate hard drives solely for the storage of JPEG files. Once all the backups are completed onto their multiple redundancy drives then and only then will i reformat the CF and XQD cards. From there i will export the complete JPEG folder to my online gallery system.

Mag Mod 2

Mag Mod 2

Mag Mod 2

Any experienced wedding photographer will tell you that speed and image quality are the name of the game. With most weddings nothing ever stops even for a moment, well almost. Maybe the group shots and even they have to be taken pretty fast in order to avoid people getting bored. I really don’t have time to think, literally i know what my image settings will be without thinking about it. I can look at the light, where is the direction of light. Is there any good light at all or is it a bland grey day and i know what manual info i have to feed into my DSLR without thinking about it, because with wedding photography it really is all about speed. Aperture, shutter speed, ISO, lens setting, what lens, what lens settings, angle of light, background. All these settings have to be thought up more or less instantaneously. If the light is bad and i have to add my own light i want equipment that i know is going to be easy and convenient to use and do the job properly. A light box or a Rogue flash bender or even bare light the set up has to be simple. Mag Mod 2 is the answer.

A relatively new product on the photography market. The Mag Mod 2. Any photographer that has ever used coloured gels on their flash to balance the light, whilst bouncing flash off a wall or ceiling behind you in a room with ugly incandescent lighting, fluorescent lighting or sodium lamps or even sodium lighting mixed with natural ambient light such as a church  can cause an uneven colour cast and the best way to correct for this is to balance one’s flash to the colour temperature of the room. In the past i have used CTO and CTS colour correction gels taped over the head of my flash to get the desired results, problem with this setup is when moving from a room with incandescent light to natural ambient light you have to quickly remove the gel so the flash is firing at daylight ( manual 5000k)  settings then when moving back to incandescent re apply  the gel, which is a major pain especially if the gel is held over the flash head with rubber bands or velcro, Hence the Mag Mod 2. Quick and easy to apply. The main rubber silicone holder attaches around the flash head and the gels are mounted in a rubber ring that attaches to the mount by magnets. Now there’s plenty of product reviews on the Mag Mod 2 on the internet so i won’t go into what you get for your hard earned pounds but suffice to say it’s an extremely convenient product if you ever wanted to apply gels to your flash head in a very quick manor.

In researching better alternatives to rubber bands and velcro i found it almost impossible to find a stockist of the Mag Mod 2 in the uk, even Amazon uk don’t stock this product and could only find one online retailer in the uk selling this product www.essentialphoto.co.uk

So all you wedding photographers out there take note of a great product that makes our working lives just that little bit easier.

weddings simple off camera flash

weddings simple off camera flash

weddings simple off camera flash

Simple off camera flash for those dramatic different wedding images.

So how do i as a photographer produce those perfect images that every couple wants that they have seen in a magazine and hope to reproduce on their wedding day. Speed, imagination and off camera flash. With every wedding moving along at a million miles per hour it can be pretty hard to get those “glossy magazine style shots” but if the time is going well and nothing has been put back then yes i can produce those glossy shots. My signature wedding images are the spiky sun shots, shooting into the sun and lighting the couple, firing the flash into the sun and producing that spiky sun image “spiky sun”

To the layman its that simple and as an example of how i take images with a simple off camera flash setup.

A flash unit, 30-45 degrees off to the side of me, remotely fired with triggers, pocket wizards, mini TT1 and flex tt5 and then my choice of lens, to keep things as simple as possible, normally. Manual settings, so for example if i’m filming into the sun and want to produce the spiky sun shot as seen below. I will set my aperture quite small f13 to f16, shutter speed to about 1/100 of a sec and my iso to 100. Flash to full power and to make that shot stand out i lie down on the ground for a great angle, use a fisheye lens to give that sweeping bowing effect, nice natural directing of the couple. I like my images to be as natural as possible, no cheesy poses, with just a little input from me to get the body postures just right. Test shot, and all done in about 60 seconds. I’ve got four or five really good images.

In post production, skin smoothing, eye sharpening, . Image straightening, image sharpening, white balance adjustment and then i might use a NIK software filter preset to give the image a warm soft focus feel, little burning of the clouds to make them stand out and all done. In the gallery below you can see an example of the image in camera and the final polished image.

weddings simple off camera flash

ye olde plough House

ye olde plough House

ye olde plough House

wedding photographer Essex

The Ye olde plough house, Bulphan Essex. If there was ever a wedding, which stood out from the rest, then it has to be the wedding of Del and Bec at the Ye olde plough house in Bulphan.
All weddings are fun and quirky in their own way. Some couples are quiet, some brash and loud, hey, each to their own. With Del and Bec The humor was quite dry bordering on a little dark, but all in a good way A really fun couple to be around.

The venue, it’s self, from the outside as you approach from the A128 either from Orsett or Brentwood really isn’t anything special. It’s when you get inside it feels like a time warp, almost stepping back in time, has that Tudor feel about it. The grand hall feels like a medieval banqueting suite with high ceiling and exposed beams, stone floor tiles. “The Monks barn” as it is known really does have that oldly world atmosphere about it. The gardens are superb, laid to lawn, a stream, stone bridge and the centerpiece being the library arch, many a fine romantic image I have taken at this spot. Yes, there are majestic venues that give off that wow factor, but the Ye olde plough house has a uniqueness all of its own.

The wedding in full swing, it was the evening where everything and everybody came alive, yes the speeches were nice and there was the usual banter and joking, father of the bride reminding his daughter of what a typical teenager she was. Everyone and I mean everyone was on the dance floor and not just for a few minutes, practically all night long.

I got on so well with Del & Bex that night, they literally forgot I was their recording their wedding and it shows in the images.

2015 wedding photographer

2015 wedding photographer

wedding photographer Essex

Affordable wedding photographer

2015 wedding photographer

Out with the old and in with the new. The 2015 wedding photographer season is almost upon us. Yes, it is February, cold, freezing cold, not so wet, and no snow, summer just around the corner and hopefully a summer just like last year. Last year was a Glorious summer with hardly any rain. What will 2015 bring to the world of wedding photographers.

A new website, better rankings, more wedding bookings. What will I be looking to do to advance my business. As is usual in the Winter, not as many weddings, and who can blame anyone with the cold, we’ve had recently, winter wonderland weddings would have been nice if we’d had some snow. Not to say it’s been all bad, have been filming weddings right up till Christmas day, January being the down time, needed the rest. I wish, no time, new techniques to learn and old one’s to brush up on

The advertising is starting to gear up, Google AdWords campaigns are set up and running, Organic keywords are looking healthy, all is looking good. Inquiries are coming in with bookings for 2016 and 2017, with this year totally booked out apart from some weekends in September with some excellent weekday packages on offer soon, How about a free pre wedding shoot. New venue’s and some classic wedding venues, I’m looking forward to them all. The pre wedding shoots are booked up for the next few months, just need time to aqueeze them all in.

Another Nikon D4 to add to my D4, big brothers to my old and faithful three Nikon D700’s might have to get some more pocket wizards, wrecked my last two. No new lens this year. But might buy a new Nikon sb910.

So will it be a busy 2015, definitely, with at least four weddings every week from March till Christmas and that’s all bookings from 2014.

2015 wedding photographer