Wedding photographer Brentwood

Wedding photographer Brentwood

wedding photographer Brentwood

Now here was a little wedding venue i hadn’t covered before. Marygreen manor at the bottom of Brentwood high street, just around the corner from the M25. A 15th century Manorial Tudor house with an all original oak beamed facade. From the road the house or hotel as it is now, stands out from a lost age, Greensleeves playing in the background and you can almost forget you’re in the 21st century. Not strictly a dedicated wedding venue with exclusive use of the building and grounds. Nonetheless a beautiful wedding venue and from a wedding photographer’s point of view the backgrounds and atmosphere are well worth sharing with the general public on any wedding day.

Marygreen Manor

This was a very small wedding that i was hired to cover on the 1st of April this year, literally only two hours long and it’s only down the road from where i live. But i had never been to marygreen manor before, so seemed an excellent way to find out about a venue i had heard so much about and get paid for it. Lovely laid lawns in a courtyard setting with the hotel rooms surrounding the courtyard and the function rooms, named after famous people in Tudor history within the original main building itself. The Samuel pepys Wedding room really is something else. More of a georgian feel to this room rather than the low ceiling and exposed beams of a tudor house, with a mix of paintings of all the wives of Henry the eighth adorning the walls with the vapour lamp lighting giving a warm atmosphere. The staff were helpful and attentive and no pushy managers trying to micro manage the wedding with strict timings, which makes a change from the usual combined wedding / Hotel venues.

The weather was great from my point of view, Slightly overcast but with enough natural light to avoid those ugly shadows from bright direct sunlight. Off camera flash setup. Rogue flash bender and just enough flash to give a nice fill light to the images and all done.

Marygreen manor. An excellent wedding venue for the smaller weddings.

Wedding photographer essex

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

Being a wedding photographer

Being a wedding photographer

Being a wedding photographer

Being a wedding photographer is like a fine wine. It takes time to mature. Gain an exclusive taste and develop over time. The general public attitude is “all you have to do is press a button”. I wish it was that easy otherwise every joe blog out there would be a wedding photographer, in fact, some are (watch the recent judge Rinder episode about the so called wedding photographer from Kent). Or the “nice camera it must take good photographs“, which I read somewhere a photographer answered with “nice meal you must have an excellent stove”

My business model is based upon value for money. I want you the couple whom are thinking of booking me for your wedding to have the best wedding images that my experience can bring to your wedding. The images in my galleries speak for themselves. I can easily charge in the £1500+ bracket and receive bookings, and I used to in the days before digital when roll film was the format of the day and wedding photography was deemed only for the experienced. Nowadays, anyone can pick up a DSLR camera and call themselves a wedding photographer. Although the quality of wedding photography has declined with the arrival of the newbie wedding photographer and in some cases is absolutely awful. This is where the “you only have to push a button”concept goes disastrously wrong. Filming on an overcast day is all very well and the images will look good, maybe, but it’s when the sun is out and all those nasty shadows in the eyes, under the nose and chin that will make Mr newbie wedding photographer wobble at the knees, make a cock up, because program mode and auto flash don’t mix with bright sunlight. Auto mode inside a church with incandescent lighting leaving the image yellow and in a lot of cases the camera is so cheap that it cannot deal with the low light of a medieval church, the camera has to lower the shutter speed to let more light enter  and hey presto all the images are blurred.

There are lots of good wedding photographers in the UK market place and you don’t have to invest a fortune to get good wedding images. Look through my portfolio (client galleries) and see complete weddings, don’t just look at the cherry picked images on a photographers website, view a whole wedding. From the getting ready in the morning, the detail shots of the dress, shoes, Bocquet, jewelry and all the fine details never remembered, walking down the aisle with dad, the tear of love in mum’s face, the nervousness of the groom constantly looking around. The detail of the ring slipping on to the wedding finger, the over the shoulder shot of the bride looking into her new husbands eyes for the first time. Then the kiss and the applause from all the family, friends and guests. its the little details that know one ever sees or remembers that make people smile when hey look back on their wedding day.

Anyway a few shots from last weeks wedding of George & Emma at Leez Priory. Enjoy!

 

Channels Chelmsford

Channels Chelmsford

Channels chelmsford

The wedding of Olli and Jo in late December at the Channels Chelmsford wedding venue, just outside of Chelmsford.

A venue I haven’t been to in a long time and to be honest had forgotten about, since just about everywhere is a wedding venue nowadays. A great venue from both a couple and a photographers point of view. The working farm, 17th century restored barn, Laid to lawns, the golf course, albeit with golfers getting in the way of the shots. Two ponds and if its raining the flagstone courtyard and paths to avoid those high heels sinking into the grass.

Being a December wedding the norm is for it to be freezing cold and normally raining. Not on this late December wedding, bright blue skies and at least ten degrees, could have been an early spring wedding. As with any winter wedding the available natural light can be very poor with long shadows from the low winter sun. Off camera flash was the order of the day. Simple single flash unit, remote fired by pocket wizards, manual flash with a little help from a hand held meter, and we were off. Nice romantic shots around the grounds, trying to avoid the many golfers getting in the way to avoid those nasty backgrounds. Catching the sun going down at the end of the day is a must have shot for any wedding couple, not always possible if the clouds are everywhere, but when it is out, really adds a romantic twist to any wedding.

With the light fading away, evening guests arriving, The superb live band who were truly very good and we were off into the first dance.

A great wedding thoroughly enjoyed by a great couple with great guests and even better blessed with great weather. What more can you ask for.

The Essex barn, Channels Chelmsford

Recent Weddings

Recent Weddings

Recent weddings

The last few weeks have been absolutely mad. What with recent weddings, All of a sudden everyone wants to get married, it’s not even the long range bookings that seem to be popular, weddings with a week’s notice and one wedding with four hours notice, customer rang me at 9.30 in the morning and I was doing their wedding at 1pm. Normally the festive season is the quiet time within the wedding industry, not this year and to be honest, I believe this the way the industry is heading. The wedding business is more popular than ever, no longer the restriction of a traditional church service and evening do at the local village hall, Now you can get married anywhere, local pub, club and wedding venue’s galore.

The wedding of Igor and Cheryl at Great Hallinbury manor on the 18th October, a real character Igor. Full of laughter and fun. Then there was the wedding of peter and Debbie at the Brasserie at Marks tey, great barn venue with flying owls, if a little cold on the day. A great day had by all. The old rectory at Dunton for the wedding of David and Natalie, beautiful sunny day almost reminiscent of the weather of 2014.

The wedding Buisness

So the business of wedding photography moves on, another six weddings to be photographed before the end of December. 2016 a new year and a new season, which is already proving to be busier than 2015 with over 40 bookings for next year and bookings flying in for 2017 as well. I believe 2016 is going to be the best year ever, lets just hope the weather is just as good and not your typical British summer.

Recent weddings