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 who 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 experience. 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, jewellery, 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 onto the wedding finger, the over the shoulder shot of the bride looking into her new husband’s eyes for the first time. Then the kiss and the applause from all the family, friends and guests. it’s the little details that no one ever sees or remembers that make people smile when they look back on their wedding day.

Anyway, a few shots from last week’s wedding of George & Emma at Leez Priory. Enjoy!


Romany Gypsy Wedding

Romany Gypsy Wedding

Romany Gypsy wedding

Romany Gypsy wedding. How many of us have watched the fly on the wall Gypsy wedding documentaries on tv. The big fat dresses and the opulence of a Gypsy wedding. A big stereotype about the Gypsy way of life is that it’s flashy, attention-grabbing and revealing in more ways than one!. In the real world, every couple wants the best wedding in the world. The wedding of Lewis and Whitney in Gravesend, Kent was the perfect day, the weather was superb, Whitney the bride looked absolutely stunning in a traditional white dress, none of the stereotypical wedding dresses as seen on Tv.

With the start of any wedding day, it’s always the hustle and bustle of getting ready, time is flying, the champagne and the Prosecco is out. The excitement of the wedding service ever approaching, tick-tock the clock is counting down. Pre-wedding shots in the garden with family and friends and the day is set.

The wedding

A major annoyance I find with church weddings is the stupid rules that clergy impose upon us the photographers, now if it was a set rule across the board, no photography, photography only at the back of the church, stand in one corner, then I could understand and abide by those rules. But it isn’t, the rules go from one extreme to another, one church will say “yes, do what you like” to another saying “no photography at all”. Roman Catholic, Church of England, it doesn’t matter. I understand the sanctity of the service, but come on, why are all church’s so different in their approach to photographers. At the end of the day it’s the Bride and groom that loses out, not the church. So all you couples out there looking to get married in a traditional church service and want lots of images of the service, make sure photography is ok in the church. Suffice to say the shots of Whitney being accompanied by her grandfather down the aisle was enough to move anyone to tears and she really did look very resplendent in her lovely wedding dress.

Then it’s off to the Hilton Dartford for the wedding breakfast

Romany Gypsy Wedding

King Charles Hotel

King Charles Hotel

Steve & Carrie King Charles Hotel, Gillingham, Kent

Gillingham Kent. Now there’s a town I haven’t been to in years. In fact, I used to live there, 20 years ago, how much it’s changed. The wedding of Steve and Carrie at the King Charles hotel Gillingham was going to be one of those weddings I shall never forget. When I first met Carrie and Steve, I thought a lovely nice quiet couple, though they would probably have a nice quiet wedding, no fuss. Well, appearances can be deceiving, all in a good way.

The first shots of the wedding day at the groom’s parents house were just slightly different from a normal bridal prep shoot, as the wedding photographer, I was about to find out. It was a good thing the weather was sunny and warm as it had been all year apart from a couple of weddings. The guys, bridegroom, best man, and Dad looked smart in their tails and cravats, it was the Hawaiian swimming trunks that threw me initially, but soon got used to the idea, different it certainly was, photographically it definitely was!. Buy Hey each to their own I say. And it all made for nice images, even the Yorkie terrier in his wedding suit. Then it was onto the wedding at The King Charles Hotel Gillingham.

The King Charles Hotel. As with most hotels, they are never really set up for weddings, unlike a dedicated wedding venue, normally lovely reception rooms and restaurants but the gardens are concrete jungles. Not with the King Charles hotel Gillingham, from the outside it looks like it could do with a lick of paint, does have a central courtyard where the wedding was held. The sunshine was glorious from Steve and Carries point of view, lovely and warm, for me not so much, harsh midday sunlight, flash cranked up to the max, just to overpower the shadows that were forming on the couple and guests.

As weddings go, this was one of my favorites. It might not have been the flashiest biggest wedding venue. It wasn’t the most expensive. But it was a fun wedding with lots of laughter and tomfoolery, the couple, guests and friends all laughing at, with and enjoying each other’s company. And as their wedding photographer, i thoroughly enjoyed their wedding just as much as they did.

Steve and Carrie Dooley

King Charles Hotel Gillingham

Lost village of Dode

Lost village of Dode

The village of Dode, medieval chapel deep in the Kent countryside, around the corner from the village of Luddesdown, Kent, An 11th century Norman chapel limited to 45 guests

This wedding is from July 2014, one of the most exclusive venues in Kent. A chapel of its own, set in a valley with a history dating back to the iron age and possibly long before, remains of a “Roman road” next to the chapel. Hay was strewn on the floor, seat benches covered in wool, torches emitting flames, natural light streaming from stain glass windows, Yet privately owned.

The Wedding of Paul & Christine at the Lost Village of Dode, 26th July 2014. A perfect day for any wedding, hot, slightly overcast but not a rain cloud in sight (unusually good British summer).

Bridal prep began at Christine’s parent’s house, moving onto the chapel, Paul and his sons as best men, top hat and tails, without the top hats, jovial and bubbly and up for anything. The guests were bused in on minibuses as the car parking was very limited to a handful of cars. Arriving in a vintage Rolls – Royce, Christine looked very much the stunning Bride, dad in tow.
With the guests seated, Groom ready, a violinist in the balcony, and the bride about to begin her grand entrance, the service begins. A wedding full of laughter is the best in the world, no hiccups, no nervous Bride, beautiful violin music, natural streaming light, lovely wedding, perfect summers day and the professional says it all.

With no bar all refreshments were bused in, lagers and wine chilled in buckets of ice, canape’s served by waitresses from the evening venue, The Duke of Wellington in Ryarsh.

Group and family shots done, confetti shot, bouquet toss, Bride and Groom shots around the grounds, what grounds they are!, valley views into the distance and best of all the chapel itself, finishing with a romantic. shot next to the Rolls.

A  truly romantic wedding venue that has to be seen to be believed, brash wedding venues there are in abundance, small intimate non-denomination chapels there aren’t. A unique experience.