I usually meet wedding couples two or three times before the wedding but Maria and Andy booked me entirely by e-mail for a Mum and "Bump" portrait session before the big event, so we had never met which added an interesting dimension to the shoot. As a photographer, it is essential to make your subject feel entirely comfortable in front of the camera. This is much easier if you have met each other beforehand and have established some form of rapport. It is a touch harder if you have never met!. However, I need not have worried as Maria and Andy were very natural and we very quickly felt comfortable working together. Maria chose Cannon Hall near Barnsley as the venue for the shoot, as this is where Andy and her were married. A low sun blazing out of a cloudless sky proved to be quite a challenge, but we found some shade and got some lovely shots.
As a wedding photographer there are times when you wear the hat of a portrait photographer, at times a fashion photographer, at times a landscape photographer to name but a few. However, one of my favourite hats is that of the architectural photographer. I've always had a great love for history, so when I have the opportunity to photograph a beautiful Norman church then I try to make the most of it, arriving well before the wedding party to have the time to walk around the church to look for the best angles. Last month I found myself in Riccall for the first time for a wedding and the church of St. Mary's is a real gem. Riccall is famous as the landing place for the Viking fleet in 1066 prior to the Battle of Stamford Bridge, which preceded the Norman invasion and the Battle of Hastings. The church of St. Mary's was built shortly after the Norman conquest on the site of an Anglo-Saxon church. The doorway dates back to 1160 and the lovely three stage tower was added on 1180. The church itself is very typical for this particular part of Yorkshire, being built from local Tadcaster magnesium limestone, giving it a very light coloured appearance. It really is lovely and is well worth a visit if you are in the area.
Yesterday's wedding was just down the road at the Waterton Park Hotel at Walton near Wakefield. Stacey and Tom had seen my wedding photographs in the Waterton Park wedding brochure and had got in touch with me from there. Due to the Wakefield registrars being busy on their wedding day (can't imagine why!) they were only able to offer Stacey and Tom a 3 o'clock slot. Since it now starts to get dark just after 4 then it didn't allow us much time to get in some photographs in the daylight. It was decided that the best course of action would be to capture the couple and wedding party photographs outside in the daylight before moving into the library for the family photos. One of the great benefits of Waterton Park is that they always keep this room available, so we can always take great group shots whatever the weather. Besides getting all of our couple shots done while it was still light, we were also very fortunate to have the benefit of a decent sunset. After the meal we took the opportunity to get some rather special shots around the hotel, including a rather unusual shot in the bedroom that they requested, before Stacey and Tom joined their evening guests in the Squires to make full use of Shane's fantastic lights on their first dance.
One of my favourite parts of a wedding is the bridal procession down the aisle. Occasionally there are tears, which is great for me as a photographer as I love to capture these moments of real emotion, but more usually the bride walks down the aisle with such a great big smile on her face. This is Emma walking down the aisle at Swinton Park near Masham last week. Not only has she got a great big smile on her face, but her mum has too! Once I finish editing her wedding photos I will hopefully try and find the time to post some more photos from her wedding at Swinton Park.
Just editing the images from Saturday's wedding and I felt compelled to share this photo. Being a wedding photographer is just a fantastic job to do, but when places like this are your workplace, then it's just the icing on the cake. There are some truly beautiful churches in Yorkshire. This one is practically in the centre of Barnsley.
Last week-end was our busiest of the year so far. Alex and I were at Thorp Park on Friday photographing a wedding while Yvonne had a video at The Old Golf House at Outlane, Huddersfield. Saturday saw us at The Village in Leeds for another video whilst Sunday was long day at the beautiful Oakwell Hall in Birstall. The long week-end finished with a very different wedding - 1 couple with 5 guests at Wakefield Registry Office, followed by photos in Thornes Park in Wakefield. Now at every wedding that I attend I like to challenge myself. Quite often if it is a venue that I attend often, such as the Waterton Park Hotel, then I always try to think of a new photo to take every time. In this case, it was to be how many good quality photos we could take in the two hours that we were going to be there for. I was hoping for around 150 or so. In the event the wedding party were a really nice crowd and we had a lovely, relaxed wedding and managed to get 341 good photos. Result! Here are a few of them. Today it's a video at Wentworth Castle whilst Alex is at Waterton Park, tomorrow wedding photography at Wentbridge House. Busy, busy!