Bolton-Tillbrook Wedding

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of photographing the wedding of the new Mr and Mrs Tillbrook at a beautiful setting in Oxfordshire. I had visited them at the end of last year to visit the venue and take a few engagement photographs in order to familiarise myself with the area and to help the couple be comfortable in front of the camera. Just a couple of weeks before the big day the bride asked if I would bring a second photographer to the wedding in order to photograph people arriving at the church and take some of the more candid shots so I arranged to take along a friend that I have worked with previously.

We arrived in Oxfordshire in time to go to the rehearsal at the church and speak to the parish priest about where best to stand. The bride was asking guests not to take photographs during the service – only the official photographers, so we wanted to get the usual shots but also didn’t want to be intrusive and distract from anything that was going on in the church.

The next day, my friend went to the church and I spent some time with the bride.

These area few of the photos I took at the bride’s home.

These are a few of the photos we took at the church.

There were a few formal photographs taken at the church, but most were taken at the reception venue. The bride and groom were a very willing couple and I perhaps took longer doing these than I should have done. There are a few improvements I would like to have made but on the whole I am actually quite proud of these.

The speeches were very good and had the bride and all the guests laughing one minute, crying the next and then laughing again within moments. More guests arrived in the evening and the party went on much later than I could stay up for.

We took so many photos that it has been very hard to select just a few that tell the story of the day. When Tom Arran came to visit us in class he said that he uses short bursts of photographs so that in at least one of them everyone should have their eyes open. I tried this and it is a technique I will use again but it does mean that there are loads of photos to sort through.

I also need to remember to synchronise the times on all cameras so that when I drop them into Lightroom they automatically sort into time order.

I spent a lot of time editing the photographs, not because they needed lots of editing but because I wanted to give all the photographs a uniform romantic look. I started by doing a large batch and then decided that I wasn’t happy with it. I also spent time creatiScreen Shot 2016-05-19 at 13.10.18ng a vintage look but again I didn’t think it really suited the feel of the wedding. In the end I set up presets in Lightroom, one that simply boosted the vibrancy and softened the clarity of the colour photos and another that gave me the black and white settings and a slight vignette that I liked.

I have spent a good 30 hours editing the photos just this week and I shall need to build that editing time into the fee that I charge for future weddings.

The bride was impatient for the photos so I have used WeTransfer to send her copies. Feedback has been very positive so I can breathe a sigh of relief. I have been unable to afford to keep my Smugmug account this year so I have also uploaded the best of the photos to a Photobox free gallery that she can use to share and order prints with friends and family. Since doing that I have also come across 3XM which is a kind of pay-as-you-go service for photographers. As a trial I have uploaded a few photos onto a gallery there and will perhaps use this for my next wedding in a couple months time.

Family Portraits

This week I was asked to take some portraits of Sarah and her daughter, Abigail. They simply wanted some photographs of themselves, individually and together that they could hang on the wall and give out to family members as gifts. They had no particular style in mind, just something fun, simple and that reflected the images I took for them a few years ago.

I set the studio up at college with a simple white background highlighted by two lamps, one with barn doors and one with a standard hood. I added red and purple coloured gels part way through the session just to give some of the images a subtly different look. To light the subject I used two more lamps, one with a softbox and another with a snood. I set the lights so that I could use the camera at ISO100, f8 and 1/125sec all with my Sony camera and a 50mm prime lens.

When they arrived at the studio the daughter was a little tired and perhaps a little shy. We had a bit of a joke and she soon cheered up and got into the mindset of a catwalk model. These are a few of my favourite photos from the shoot.

I have done very little editing of these photos. Sarah is a very good photographer and editor herself and will amend the photos or turn them black and white to suit her own taste.

I’m pleased to say that Sarah has sent me some very positive comments about them.

1st Birthday Party

This week I was offered an opportunity to take some photographs at 1st Birthday party. I imagined it was going to be a very noisy affair and was a bit apprehensive about it all but as the children were so small and with a ball pool to keep the children entertained it was a reasonably calm afternoon.

These are just a few of the photos I took that day. All were taken with my 50mm prime lens.


Freedom Festival

A couple of weeks ago myself and Anete were asked to take some photographs of the Freedom Festival team for their website. They wanted both head and shoulder shots as well as full-length shots so we divided the work between us and set up two studios so that the visitors could move quickly between the two set-ups.

Anete chose to do quite a complicated lighting set-up that involved seven lights, light boxes, snoods, black card and more. As the decision about having full-length shots hadn’t been communicated to us we had to set the second studio up very quickly and use what we had to hand. I chose to use a grey background, to match Anete’s set, with two soft boxes pointing at it and the portraits would be lit from the front by a lamp shining through a 6ft softbox. One of the lamps in the studio was not working so this was the best I thought I could do with the time and equipment to hand.

When Anete had to leave I needed to take over both studios and take a few of the last visitors using her set up. These are a few of the photos that I sent to the marketing agency Sowden and Sowden.

Not all of the Freedom Festival team were available on this day so we have set the studio up a couple more times and Anete has taken those photos.

Mr and Mrs Marwood

Last week I had the pleasure of photographing the wedding of the new Mr and Mrs Marwood. It was a small registry office wedding surrounded by friends and family.

I began at the brides home, followed her to the registry office and then continued on to the reception venue. We took the ‘official photos’ outside but it was a bitterly cold day and I had to work very quickly so that the wedding party didn’t freeze.

It was a lovely day and I have included here a few of my favourite photographs of the day.

Thankfully Mr and Mrs Marwood are very happy with their photos.

Bolton Tillbook Engagement Photo Shoot

This week I travelled down to Oxfordshire to take some photos of Hannah and Mike before their wedding next spring. After a lovely morning visiting the church and the reception venue we headed over to Wittenham Clumps to practice some poses that we might use in the wedding photographs.

The couple had some ideas of poses that they wanted to try and chose the location as one that was sentimental to them. It had been a sunny morning but as we climbed the hill it became quite overcast, windy and very chilly. So I needed to work quickly in order to get us back into the car to warm up.

All of the photos from the shoot can be seen via my website

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