Massimo & Pembe, 29th June 2013

St Luke’s church Orpington Kent

A traditional wedding service with top hat and tails set in a beautiful church in Orpington Kent. A lovely bright blue day with puffy clouds and warm , started with bridal pre wed shots at Pembe’s house.

Arriving at the church, St lukes in Orpington , shots of guests arriving, best man and groom and all family shots, as the sun was in front of entrance of church it gave a nice rim light to the back of guests and with fill flash lots of nice shots. groom and best man shots with rings outside church, by this time the puffy white clouds had evaporated into blue skies and blazing overhead sunshine , managed to move people into shaded archway in the church , fill flash to fill out the shadows. The main problem was going to be pembe’s arrival as there was no shadow cover and I knew the sun would be intense. As pembe arrived I managed to get bounce flash off the ceiling of the car and as luck would have it a magical cloud appeared out of no where giving me the chance to get her outside car and church entrance shots but just in case I had settings ready for high speed sync on the flash. The actual service was restricted to me getting shots from the sidelines , 70mm of the 24-70 just about made it and I was worried there would be images quality deprivation at that zoom length ,tried to keep ISO below 1000 and shutter to 1/60-1/80 sec and F4 , meter was showing 1 stop over exposure , this could be easily corrected in light room and just in case had my 70-200 and another d700 ready if I need to fill the frame. All in all excellent shots with only a little noise reduction needed in light room 5.Service done , processional , lots of natural window light so just a little fill at minimal power. There was no outside space to take the formal group shots so we went to priory gardens just off Orpington town centre. The plan was to do several posed shots that pembe had selected out of a magazine , time was now against us with only 45 minutes till the wedding breakfast , we managed to get several Nikon cls off camera shots with the best man holding a Nikon sb910 45 degrees to the couple and TTL metering with negative and positive flash compensation depending on where the sun was at the time but no time to set up a dedicated two flash system but hey that’s weddings , never enough time.

From a couples point of view of a perfect wedding that day was it , lovely and sunny no wind , warm and no cock ups , from my point of view as the photographer no real problems , yes the powerful mid day sun can cause problems but experience and knowledge can over come that ( sunny 16 rule and hss ) , just wish we had more time for the directed shots…..till next time.

Rogue Flash Bender for Wedding Photography

Rogue Flash Bender for Wedding Photography

Trying out the rogue flash bender diffusion panel. it really does make a big difference to the quality of light being projected on to a face , the standard large flash bender is brilliant to use and i love using mine all the time at weddings , it can be slightly unwieldy when using it with a smaller flash such as a Nikon Sb-700 as it tends to be top heavy and causes the flash head to pull down but with my Sb-910 its just about perfect. The diffusion panel does exactly what it says on the tin , it diffuses  the light to make it a softer light and it takes a minute to snap into place on the front of the Rogue flash bender itself. At weddings were there is no time to set up off camera flash set ups because everything is moving to fast this is perfect and although by all means not as soft as using a brolly off camera it still gives excellent results on camera.

Lawrence & Kelly Bloom, Rochford Hotel

Lawrence & Kelly Bloom, Rochford Hotel

A lovely all in one venue set in the heart of rochford near southend. The day started well with very fine weather , blue skies with broken puffy clouds and from the couples point of view a perfect day , from my point of view , i was looking out for the bright sunlight and shaded areas because as all photographers know direct sunlight is a killer to us.

First shots were Kelly getting ready for her wedding accompanied by her daughter for support , a bedroom in the hotel with no natural light as to speak of and horrible brown walls , set up was d700 , 24-70 and sb910 , manual meter reading and bounce flash of the ceiling minus two stops , couple of test shots and we were off. Bridal completed on to seeing the guests arrive , by this time the sun was breaking through in strength and with no cloud cover i had to be very careful of sun spots on faces and this was were the sunny 16 rule came into play albeit in a modified form , varying between 1/400 – 1/500 sec at f8/f11 with high speed sync on the flash. guests done back to the arrival of the bride whom looked stunning in her dress although a little nervous and by the time of reaching the alter was in full blown tears. Ceremony shots completed and signing of the register of which we got really excellent images.

The confetti shots i knew may be a problem as little or no shade and it was very sunny outside now by this time and i knew i would have to seriously judge the right aperture and shutter speed , full manual 1/640 ISO 500 between f8 and 11 and a bit of strategic positioning to offset the direct sunlight as much as possible , , and the shots turned out well with just a few shots burnt out the majority of the key confetti shots turned out well , with the informal post wedding gathering in the garden we were able to position people under trees and use fill flash to bring out the shadows at minimal power and as with the formal group shots the same again fill flash minus two stops and great fun was had by all in getting the formal and informal jokey shots. little did i know why were guests asking me what i was going to do with the images afterwards ? , and found out that most of the charlton football team were at the wedding and were afraid i was going to sell the images to a tabloid , i assured them that this would not happen as i have no interest in football and wouldn’t be able to tell one famous footballer from bugs bunny which helped put everyone at ease and assured everyone the images would only be available on the couples wedding gallery ( mind you i did look up the faces on Google images afterwards ). I had hoped to be able to use off camera flash but with the speed of the day this would not happen and so opted for rogue large flash bender and diffuser mounted on nikon sb910 on camera.

Wedding breakfast and speeches completed , the evening party went very well and the booze really started to flow and as this lot were quite buzzy i knew the evening do would be full of characters and lots of fun to be had with lots of random natural images and a few quickie posed , as it was quite dark on the dance floor settings were d700 24-70 iso 1250 100 f4 with bounce flash off white ceilings and wall at minus 1 stop.

And so a wonderful wedding with a very outgoing crowd , bride and bridegroom which added to the atmosphere , decent weather and lots of excellent images , back home to base loaded into LR5
catalogue backed up to hard drive and secondary hard drive and so the process begins…..till next time.

Leanne & Gareth

Leanne & Gareth wedding at valentines mansion in Ilford Essex , a beautiful Georgian mansion situated in park grounds within a stones throw of Ilford high street and to be honest i would never have believed such a place could exist in such an urban setting. A lovely small wedding with approx 40 guests.

The day began well, slightly overcast , perfect from my point of view as the wedding photographer ( no harsh ugly shadows ). Lots of natural light and with just the use of on camera flash for fill. As this was a small wedding i decided to use just one camera body , Nikon d700 & my new tamron 24-70 2.8 vc di usd lens and sb-910.
As this was its first outing in a real world environment , this would be a good test without pushing too hard in low light conditions. manual metering, mr sekonic 100 f5, just about right , flash exposure dialed down 2 stops, test test test and we were off.

Dan & Emma, Thurrock Hotel 22nd Feb

Friday 22nd Feb, Dan & Emma’s wedding day at the Thurrock hotel aveley, the day started freezing cold again well there’s a surprise and snowing as well. Dan & Emma were getting married at 2.30. The day started out well all equipment checked, all batteries charged and all memory cards formatted and I was off. First stop was Emma’s house for bride getting ready whom was already ready by the time I arrived by a couple of hours ahh well a handful of posed mirror head shots and  some portrait shots with Emma and her two daughters and mum and dad , simple set up Nikon D300s 17-55 2.8, sb910 with a rogue flash bender to bounce vertical flash , quite a bright room but the flash was there to just take the shadows off under the eyes ,nose and chin , quick manual meter read  1/125 f9 and all done and off to the hotel for the rest of the day.

Dan and his best man were first and both looked very nervous but a good chat of jovial banter helped relax them and as I had help from a fellow photographer Mr Savash djemal we could get multiple angle shots , the light was ok , no sunlight and very overcast so I decided to use “p” with ttl-bl fill flash minus 0.3 0.7 ev for fill and then tried the same on full manual and used a mixture of the two right up to the service always checking flash exposure compensation to get the best results , and as the day went on everything went smoothly until the service had finished. As it was really really cold outside and snowing neither the bride and groom or guests wanted to go into the garden for photo’s so we set up shots in the service room so I was unable to get the planned group and posed shots done , but hey that the life of a wedding photographer always having to adapt to ever changing situations , but easy to fix , set up was a d700, tokina 12-24 f4 on camera flash sb910 bounced off the ceiling , I would have preferred to set up two cls 910’s on stands with shoot through umbrellas for a softer light but time was now against us before the wedding breakfast. We got lots of excellent shots and some really good ad hoc improvised posed shots as we went on and the only part of the shoot I didn’t like was not getting outside.
After the wedding breakfast which I don’t film as guests get put off by someone sticking a great big 70-200 in their face, we moved on to casual ” natural life ” shots of everyone letting their hair down and generally having a good time , savash got some really good images of all the kids and then we moved onto the first dance, which was a D700 for the high iso ability , no flash with a 24-70 2.8 iso 1200 1/8 second at f8 tripod mounted for the dance which again went really well getting nice blurred romantic movements of the couple.
After the dance the booze was flowing quite freely by now so a good time for candids and as the evening went by lots of really good shots for the couple to enjoy later on.
Back home cards dumped onto pc then backed up onto hard drives and so the process begins….. till next time.

Hello and welcome to my blog!

I’m a photographer based in Essex, covering the whole of the UK and beyond. Here I will keep you up to date with my recent work, adventures and news. Enjoy!

Today we had a small outdoor shoot for a young lady called Catherine for her birthday invitations. Myself Catherine and her mum and dad met me at Davy down park near lakeside shopping centre, a park so small you could blink and miss it just driving past. We met up at 10 am and it was freezing cold and very very muddy, but hey everyone was up to get some good shots, and some good shots we got… In Davy down there is small footbridge over a pond which is quite scenic and with a decent background, set up was a single Nikon sb910 mounted through a white brolly set 45 degrees and later head on to Catherine and about 4 feet way, I decided to use Nikon cls ttl manual for convenience and since it was so cold didn’t want to keep poor Catherine from getting too uncomfortable by which time the wind was picking up and dad had to hold the brolly to stop it falling into the pond! and Catherine whom by now was almost frozen before I had even started to set up my gear, a quick bit of manual metering with mr reliable sekonic , test shot , and we were off . I got some really good shots and if the weather had been a little warmer we could have spent more time getting some decent posed shots, 30 shots and 20 mins later back to base, card into lightroom 4, a quick bit of levels, highlight reduction and sharpening and hey presto what you see is what you get……till next time.