Horsley Towers wedding

Horsley Towers wedding

The epitome of a victorian gothic, Horsley towers wedding venue is a uniqueness all to itself. Originally designed in the eighteen twenties by Charles Barry the one and the same architect who designed the house’s of parliament and also Highclere, as we all know as Downton abbey. The similarities can be seen in the design of East horsley towers. Subsequently owned by the lovelace family

For the wedding of Danny and Rebecca in November of this year what a wonderful venue

Horsley towers wedding venue displays that thinking of a victorian gothic folly. Not quite medieval, then again not quite Victorian. A mish mash of the two. The main tower with its cylindrical towers in liking with a castle keep giving that look of a walled castle. But as a wedding venue.

Horsley towers  is so different from every other venue out there that it makes sense to be different. As a Wedding venue Horsley towers has everything and more for a perfect wedding. The lake with its towering reflection, the massive manicured lawns which are just superb, the gilded Banqueting hall with is coats of arms all around the hall. But the secret chapel is every wedding photographers dream. With its Blue and white tiling, vaulted ceiling and dark atmosphere, could almost be from a film studio set.

With the ceremony taking place at St james’s church at Hampton hill, although a lovely Victorian church, almost no room for group shots, with just a small courtyard area for the confetti shot, It’s off to De veres east horsley for the reception.

With most weddings of this quality you would expect a wedding car as part of the day, wedding car yes, £180.000 mclaren, well what can i say definitely a head turner. Although a beautiful sunny day it was bitterly cold and by the time we had finished all the group shots it was time for Danny and Rebecca’s  shots around the grounds, of course the mclaren had to take centre stage. Lit with off camera flash, Elinchrom Elb 400 and gridded softbox and my fav lens the sigma 35mm 1.4 ART for the very best in sharpness. The best shots of the day were definitely in the secret chapel

. Although very cold, it was worth it to get superb images of this venue included on their wedding day.

Horsley Towers wedding

Sigma 35mm 1.4 ART Lens

Sigma 35mm 1.4 ART Lens

Sigma 35mm 1.4 ART Lens

Most professional wedding photographers who truly understand the meaning of quality in the sharpness and clarity of an image would no doubt agree that one of the best lenses for wedding photography is the Sigma 35mm 1.4 ART

As a wedding photographer. We are always chasing the fastest and sharpest Len’s that money can buy. In my time of using a multitude of a different lens from primes to Zoom’s, this must be one of the best.

My initial thoughts when buying this lens was all the hype regarding how sharp it is, oh and the price, not cheap at seven hundred odd pounds. But then again, a lot cheaper than the Nikon equivalent and to be brutally honest it’s just as good as the Nikon 35mm 1.4, if not better.

This is now my go to lens for the majority of my work.The Sigma 35mm 1.4 Art lens can be used for shooting a variety of poses and it is super effective when it comes to taking close range shots with couples. You can close in on the couple and not have to worry about the distortion on the edges of the frame. It makes you feel right there in the moment – in that image, and pushes you to be closer to the couple – and the closer you are to your subject, the better image you will get.

It is wide enough to allow you step back and tell a complete story with your composition. You will be able to share unique versions of an otherwise ordinary perspective, inviting the viewer into the moment and creating the perfect wedding story picture. The Sigma 35mm 1.4 Art lens is also super versatile – not only is it great for low-light on the dance floor or for getting that sunset shot, but you can also use it to effectively isolate subjects from the background due to the shallow depth of field, thus rendering bokeh in a beautiful light. It is certainly a masterpiece equipment that is designed to perform and one essential tool every professional wedding photographer should have

The sharpness performance of the Sigma 35mm 1.4 Art lens is also absolutely stunning, it is by far the sharpest 35mm lens that is perfect for wedding photography. Its center sharpness is amazing and it reaches extremely high levels at the largest aperture of f/1.4, also providing quality mid and corner frame performance as well. It also boasts of a superb micro contrast, which would make your wedding photos glow brilliantly.

Another fantastic feature of this extraordinary lens and why I always recommend it for use in wedding photography is its ghosting and flare handling capabilities. The Sigma 35mm 1.4 Art handles flares and ghosting excellently well, especially on a bright sunny wedding day when you take shots against the sun, with the sun in the corners, it produces some nice visible flare and ghosting. It is the best lens when it comes to handling ghosting and flares and is second only to the Nikon 35mm f/1.4G. Though it has very little barrel distortion, it is almost invisible when compared to other lenses.

Wedding photographers would no doubt enjoy using the Sigma 35mm 1.4 Art lens, its main feature is its constant and fast f/1.4 aperture. It also has an internal floating focus mechanism which is designed to give a better optical performance at close distances. You will be able to capture clear, sharp, close up images of the bride and groom without leaving room for errors, and with its minimum focusing distance of 30cm/11.8in, every shot you take is guaranteed to produce high-quality photos.

There hardly is anything not to like about the Sigma 35mm 1.4 Art lens, it offers great results for sharpness, high-quality bokeh, low chromatic aberration, low distortion, and so much more. Every aspect of the lens can be adjusted to enable you to capture the perfect picture, including stopping down to shoot corner-to-corner image sharpness.

Elinchrom Elb400 Wedding

Elinchrom Elb400 Wedding

Elinchrom Elb400Hs

As an experienced wedding photographer, well versed in the use of speedlights for weddings I often find they have their limitations. Portable and easy to use, in bouncing the flash off a wall or ceiling to give that nice soft light and inside of a venue they work very well. Outside on an overcast day with a small aperture and depth of field and a low shutter speed, can produce a lovely evening sunset shot. My signature spiky sun shot is brilliant when using a speedlight, on Full power at F11,  the spiky sun comes out. Doing the same set up in bright sunlit daylight means having to get the flash extremely close to the subject. Just a couple of feet away and literally right on top of them. Not an ideal situation, any further away and they just can’t overpower the sun.

Elb400 research

Things needed to change for the better and the search was on for a better lighting system. With the majority of the weddings I film I do on my own and for the odd one or two have an assistant. More often than not someone just starting out and wanting to learn. So it had to be a portable system and easy to use for just me alone. I looked at the various options. The Chinese systems were nice and cheap but reliability could have been an issue especially when shooting forty to fifty odd weddings per year. This narrowed it down to three contenders. The Elb400hs. Profoto B1  and the  Profoto B2.  The B1 head was just too heavy and the B2 not enough power to overpower the sun and only 250 watts opposed to 424 watts and I don’t do TTL, manual all the way for me. The Elinchrome Elb400 won. The flash Center was the ideal retailer to buy from. Really helpful guys and more than happy to answer my questions. Felt really at ease with them.

The wedding of Sam and Sophie at the orchard suite in Maidstone was going to be the first real test of the system.  Perfect conditions for overpowering the direct harsh sunlight. Shooting at shutter speeds of 1/160 to 1/4000th of second and wide open apertures, something I could never do with regular speedlights. The system itself performed flawlessly and the ability to shoot at 4000th at 2.8 was superb. Overpowering the sun from several feet away with bare flash and with a lastolite Ezybox. Something I could never do with a speedlight. We even did a few shots with depth of field. But really the whole point of the system is the ability to overpower the sun, shoot wide open and get lovely Bokeh shots.

I ummed and erred before I bought this system wondering if £1420.00 was a worthy investment for such an expensive flash setup. I’m now a convert to Elinchrom flash systems. If I had a choice, would have made the purchase a long time ago. From a wedding photographers point of view, the Elb400 is a superb flash system. The flash head is as light as a standard speedlight. The battery pack is light and can be easily worn by its strap from a shoulder and  feels very light considering the job it has to and holds enough juice to shoot all the points of an all day wedding and coupled with the ability to get those wide open bokeh shots in bright sunlight, you can’t go wrong.

Elinchrom Elb400 Wedding

Alex & Jenny Crabbs Barn Wedding

Alex & Jenny Crabbs Barn Wedding

Crabbs Barn

Alex & Jenny Crabbs Barn wedding. April showers. I think not this year, more like the middle of summer. As we all know the weather in the UK can be a bit weird, to say the least. Lovely warm almost summerish days in April and next pouring in early May and as we move into the Britsh summer hopefully blistering hot days. From a couple’s point of view, this is what they want although not too hot!. But not so much from the photographer’s standpoint. We want slightly overcast puffy white clouds and a little bit of shade, on a perfect wedding day the sky will be overcast with no chance of ugly shadows appearing in people’s faces, in the eye sockets, panda eyes so to speak or dappled shadows from the leaves of trees overhead. Lots of manual flash in high-speed sync to create those lovely warm out of focus background shots or the sunny 16 rule for lots of depth of field. This also gave me a chance to try out my latest lens. The Sigma 35mm1.4 ART, a truly stunning lens with a sharpness unparalleled and normally third party lens’s aren’t as good as the main manufacturers so this one is exceptional in image quality and just as good as the Nikon equivalent. The wedding of Alex & Jenny at Crabbs barn was going to be just such a beautiful warm day at the end of April.

Dedicated wedding venues all have their best spots for those unique and intimate shots and Crabbs barn is no exception. The walk from the cottage to the Rustic Tudor looking barn, The lover’s kiss of just married over the field gate to the stone tiled dance floor and with brilliant staff to attend to all your needs. Crabbs barn has all the features of a lovely private wedding venue. And to top it all off a beautiful shot of the couple in a stunning sunset setting at the end of the evening.

Jenny the stunning Bride and the Groom Alex looked pretty good as well. A wonderful wedding with lots of Laughter and fun had by all.  And with a little photoshop trickery even Thomas the cat came to the wedding.

Alex & Jenny Crabbs Barn wedding

Northcote House Wedding venue

Northcote House Wedding venue

Oh my, what a wedding venue! As a wedding photographer, we get to see our fair share of wedding venue’s that we all love film to at and Northcote house wedding venue is definitely one of those more exclusive venues.
Northcote house has the appearance of a grand 18th-century neo-Georgian opulent manor house. In fact, it was built in 1931 by the president of the British American tobacco company. A photographers dream. Northcote house has it all, the grand double staircase with its moon dome, The medieval stone carved balcony. High ceilings, grand fireplace. superb gardens and the facade of a classical English country mansion. Lots of off camera flash and a really good excuse to get the Fisheye lens out to exploit that staircase.

The civil ceremony wedding of Matthew and Wayne in late April 2017 was going to be a wedding to remember. I love weddings and with a love for photography, the two go hand in hand. So when I get the chance to film at a classical wedding venue, great!. Even better is when that wedding is a same-sex couple. Now don’t get me wrong I really enjoy a heterosexual wedding but a gay wedding is something else, quirky and unpredictable, all in a good way. The Bridal prep or in this case the Guy’s prep. The struggle to get the Bow ties on (Wayne!). The nervousness of the impending nuptials, not really that much different from a girl and guy wedding. The walk down the grand staircase to the joy of all the family and friends, and a few tears….

The service and then the look of joy that its all over and the tension begins to fade (Matthew!). The walk back down the aisle. Northcote Wedding venue really is what wedding dreams are made of. Confetti shot with the boys which appeared to almost blind them, or that could have been the sun, difficult to say which. But anyway it was good. Speeches with lots of emotion and laughter then it’s party time and boy this lot know how to party and everyone’s up for it. I’m sure Waynes’ brother in law taught Wayne to drink a bottle of wine through a straw, that’s another wedding blog from the brother in laws wedding from last June. Suffice to say Northcote house is one of the best wedding venue’s i have had the pleasure to film at. I would normally highly recommend Northcote to get married in but sadly Matthew and Wayne’s’ wedding was one of the last as the venue is due to close on the 10th May 2017 and turned into a retirement home.

Northcote wedding venue

Stock brook Manor wedding venue

Stock brook Manor wedding venue

The wedding of joe & jade

Wow! what a wedding Venue. Stock brook Manor wedding venue Billericay has to be one of the best wedding venues in Essex. A mixture of the modern and traditional. The venue itself, modern and welcoming from the outside with lovely grounds for those all important couples shots. As soon as you step through the large windowed oak door it’s like taking a step back in time to a grand Georgian manor house. The large open windows with lots of natural light, almost cathedral-like.

The wedding of Joe & jade in late march of this year. Bridal prep in the newly developed stables accommodation. Shots in front of the 17th-century grade 2 listed building, great blunts Manor house with the Bride and bridesmaids, all to add to the ambiance of the perfect wedding day. One thing that can’t be relied upon is the lovely British weather and as we wedding photographers know it can be so changeable from one day to the next. With this wedding being at the end of March I was expecting it to be rain and cold. But behold no!. This was like an almost perfect summers day. We couldn’t believe how perfect this day was turning out. It could have been the middle of June… well almost, perfect blue skies with the just the puff of cloud to hide away the glaring bright sun. Solid ground so no sinking heels. The timing was crucial to get those perfect shots just as the sun disappeared in a cloud for a few seconds. Simple off camera setup and all done in a few minutes. With the speeches all done it was time for everyone to chill out and relax outside for the fireworks followed by the cake cutting and first dance.

So if you’re looking for a great wedding venue, run by great attentive staff, who allow you to enjoy your day and dont try to micro manage you, great service and beautiful grounds for all those great images of your wedding day. Then stock brook manor wedding venue is the place for you.

A wonderful day had by all.

Stock brook Manor wedding venue