What an AMAZING year! 2018 has been so much more than I could have wished for. Being nominated for Wedding Photographer of the Year and being awarded for my work have been fantastic but as I look back those accolades are topped by the sheer joy of those couples who had just the best time on their best day ever!
Here’s a few of those moments in this short clip that I’d like to share; AND to wish that they, and you, have yourselves a Merry Little Christmas.
Meet Alice. Alice Hope. Alice is getting married to Ben and I am their photographer for their big day. They are getting married one of the hottest dates available – 23rd May 2020. I could have booked this date 10 times over now! It’s not just about photography, of course; have a read on to find out a bit about Alice and Ben and how they are planning their day NOW so that they get exactly what they want…with NO stress..
This is amazing news! Not only have I’ve been judged by The Wedding Industry Awards panel but the most decisive part is the votes that my couples have given me throughout the last year. I am so grateful for them commissioning me to be their photographer and for their votes that have taken me to the regional final. As will always be the case it is the commissions from the couple themselves that are the true awards, but it’s fantastic to have my photography recognised. It’s privilege to be part of the Top 20 photographers in the North West for the UK right now!
Looking back at 2018, it’s not only being up for Wedding Photographer of The Year that has made me so pleased but I’ve been awarded by one of the three International bodies that I have been accepted onto. WPS Select chose my photo of Cheryl & Joe’s confetti extravaganza for an award. I try to capture the emotion and energy of a couples day and this embodies that very spirit!
I’m chuffed to say I’m an award winner with Wedding Photography Select! Thank you WPS and the judges for this submission. It was fantastic news when my portfolio was accepted into this exclusive club but to have won an award is amazing. That only 3% of all the images entered get awarded just makes it truly special. It’s also brilliant to be named amongst other award winning photographers who are fellow peers and whom I admire. Well done to those guys, too! Many thanks, also, go to Cheryl and Joe for letting me be their photographer – without them I wouldn’t have this. This photo also goes out as a big thanks to all of my past couples. For me photographing their wedding was the ultimate award and, personally, there’s one of these photos in every one I’ve done. It’s also about the inspiration of future couples, too. I want to create special images for everyone I’ll be with and whenever I hear about a couple’s story and ideas this type of photo begins right there.
This is the tale of Ash and Sam’s wedding at The Out Barn in Clough Bottom, Clitheroe.
To be a wedding photographer at The Out Barn, Clough Bottom is to immerse yourself totally amongst this unique place in the Ribble Valley countryside and all of the wedding guests that shared Ash & Sam’s day. Add a humanist ceremony to the mix a for the personal touch and I had the ingredients to create a wonderful story that only personal, natural documentary wedding photography can. From the view of Pendle Hill on the horizon to the star studded moonlit sky which lights the elliptical cedar clad shaped barn, there’s the perfect blend of nature and farmland with contemporary architecture and design for a bride and groom and their guest to spend the perfect day. The Out Barn is family owned and run and has its original roots in the 17th Century as a traditionally stone built barn. How fitting that Ash and Sam, and Taylor their son, decided to do the legal wedding beforehand an then on the day have a ceremony that was all about their family, traditions and roots.
The perfect start to shooting the wedding day took place at The Old Dairy Wedding Cottage for all of the bridal preparations. Just outside the barn itself it has it’s own private lane. There I met a very excited Ash and mum Karen and the bridesmaids. As well as the hair and make up the proseco, tears and laughter were all in full flow. I love to photograph personal effects and the letters swapped between Ash and Sam were so heart felt. This is photography that is truly authentic and tells a real story. Sam wasn’t so far away with his best man, Pete. The lads were staying in the village Waddington which was five minutes away. With only five minutes sleep the night before the lads had a quick brush up, a nip and a splash of after shave and they were out for a few groomsmen photos. I was a bit like Reservoir Dogs had come to Waddington.
After a nervous walk down the aisle the humanist ceremony from Jo brought out all of the emotions. Through my lens I often see and feel the event unfolding with a few goosebumps and the odd lump in the throat. None more so than here. Then that emotion just spilt out into the rest of the day and this is where The Out Barn is so perfect. People can be outside or inside but you always feel together as a wedding party. Once the wedding breakfast was set it was time for The Singing Waiters and the speeches. IF the singing waiters caused an outrageous amount of dancing that felt like we were already in the early hours, then the speeches were something truly unique. The best man, Pete was a Kiwi of Māori decent. When there’s a wedding they Māoris perfrom The Haka and Ash and Sam had their very own haka. I have never had such a rush in photographing a spontaneous, authentic moment at a wedding (he could have warned me beforehand!). Wow! Just, wow! It was so electric and full of emotion that after everyone just chilled out side in the summer sun and I was able to just go with a mix of family photos and just those pure documentary shots that capturing wedding family and friends just having a great time unposed.
Ash and Sam were having such a brilliant day and it was time to have a few photos together. As with all my weddings I like natural photography that is un-staged and unposed. That doesn’t mean you can’t ask anything of them to get the perfect composition and light, so a little guidance as to where to be and stop as they spend some time away from the crowd together is just perfect. I could feel how they were just enjoying the day and I just let that unfold in front of the camera lens. So beautiful. They even had Pendle Hill as a backdrop and in a spontaneous moment we captured one of my favourite bride and groom portraits as the lens looked to the hill and left them just out of focus and their own moment in the foreground.
And so the evening drew in and the party just went on. Italian and Mexican food with plenty of champers kept the wedding guests fuelled and so to the cake cutting and first dance. Surrounded by everyone the purple lights of The Out Barn provided the perfect ambience saw Ash and Sam take to the oval barn’s intimate dance floor with special moments for the family. More partying ensued with people partying on and I was still part of the whole day; swept up in all of the emotion I then took a breather outside and then saw the shot to complete the story. The moon gazed down at this wonderful, contemporary wedding venue and the people within it. The dark but clear skies above the Clough Bottom and Clitheroe landscape at dusk provided the perfect contrast with the purple lights of the cedar barn. Wedding photography is about creating and capturing someones wedding day by telling their story – truly – from beginning to end.
This is Katy & Daryl’s story. From the pre-wedding shoot to the big day and their wedding photography at Falcon Manor.
As with all of my pre-wedding shoots I wanted Katy and Daryl to be in a place where they love to be and important to them. Just like the photography on the big day at Falcon Manor the engagement shoot was just as relaxed. Katy and Daryl chose some beautiful spots near their home in Halifax. Beautiful country lanes, woods and the grand vista of a big reservoir made it easy. It was a simple walk and chat in a lazy summer afternoon and once they had forgotten I was there with the camera and we captured some really spontaneous moments then the photography at the wedding was just going to be a breeze..
I have been a regular wedding photographer at Falcon Manor, Settle. I never go without my camera to The Yorkshire Dales because it is so beautiful. So it’s an even bigger buzz to be the wedding photographer at a venue in the heart of The Dales. As with all James Places you get to photograph historic architecture, contemporary chic decor and all classically sophisticated. On the day we just hit the ground running – wedding photography at Falcon Manor was so easy after the engagement shoot. I went between Katy and Daryl’s rooms to get both the build ups. Excited nerves, the swapping of notes, gorgeous dresses, red socks and a deconstructed set of flowers gave the opportunity for some quirky, spontaneous photography. Katy looked absolutely stunning in the bridal suite silhouetted in her dress and Daryl was taking it easy with the lads after a few cheeky beers with the night porter the night before..
And so to the ceremony and party. The wedding ceremony room at Falcon Manor is so perfect. Intimate and beautifully set I, like all of the wedding guests, had a wonderful view of Katy and her dad as the doors opened and she walked down the aisle. They had a fantastic bunch of friends and family and the party began straight after the ceremony. The champagne flowed as did the sunshine and it felt so easy to be amongst the newly weds and capture the day as it happened – true documentary photography! The portraits were shot in a perfect little lane by the side of Falcon Manor and the gorgeous lawn. The photography was even easier because of our pre-wedding shoot! The bridesmaids and ushers were a top laugh and got together for their own mini shoots. So cue umbrellas, confetti and jumping off walls to add to the laughs and then onto the first dance and the party. What brilliant energy! Just the right mix of romance and ripping it up on the dance floor. I really didn’t want to leave.
If you like my wedding photography at Falcon Manor then take a look at my pre-wedding shoot offer and get in touch. I’d love to hear from you!