A Devon Wedding & New Years Eve celebration at Huntsham Court.
Hayley & Matt wanted to combine their wedding with a huge New Year’s Eve party, and when they asked me to photograph it for them, I was very excited! Huntsham court is a wonderful venue, well hidden deep in the Devonshire/Somerset hills. There is a beautiful Church on the grounds where they were married, but Hunsham court itself is registered for marriages too.
Matt and Hayley both got ready at the house which gave a very relaxed feel to the start of the day, and also allowed me to move between the two of them as they were getting ready and I was able to get some great shots. Fortunately the rain subsided, and we were blessed with stunning sunshine while we walked across to the church. The ceremony was beautiful, and felt quite intimate in the small setting, lit with only candle light. I was able to stand at the front behind the alter, where the choir would normally be – giving me the best angle to photograph them both as they were wed. After the ceremony the light was dropping fast, as was the good weather. We managed to get a few formal photos and a group shot in the best of the light, and then we walked around the grounds just as the sun was setting. I decided to used the Leica with the Noctilux 1.0 to get some interesting flarey portraits while they were back lit – Never quite knowing what the camera will get, it’s always fun uploading these images to the PC! The rest of the celebrations were held indoors, with The Rustiques providing the entertainment into the evening and the countdown for NYE!!
Winter weddings are always a good challenge for any photographer, the light is limited, and the weather can be very unpredictable. I took this as a good opportunity to really test the Leica M240 with the Summilux 21mm & 75mm, and the vintage Noctilux 50mm F1 lens. The results are magical, and the older drawing style of the classic lenses worked really well with the Art-Deco interior of Huntsham court. It makes a real difference from photographing purely with the Nikon and Zoom lenses, not only with the extra amount of light the lenses draw in, but also the wonderful shallow depth of field that the faster glass renders.
Coombe Lodge & St Andrews Church
Coombe lodge in Blagdon has to be an all time favourite for me, and when Rachel & Howard asked me to photograph for them their I was over the moon! The light, and the beautiful warm wooden features of the lodge work so well with the vintage prime lenses I’ve started to use in my photography. Everyone at the wedding was so welcoming and friendly, which makes taking fun and natural photographs all the more enjoyable. The weather was kind to us, and we managed to get some time outside to take some portraits.
Photographing in the church (although it’s very roomy and bright) is always a little tricky because of the wooden framework behind the alter, and the fact that the Vicar isn’t very keen for anyone other than the Bride and Groom to be at the front. She’s learnt that my style of work is very unobtrusive, and most often doesn’t seem to mind me photographing from my favourite spot at the front now! – i’m very happy about this!
The photos came out so well – I’m very pleased with these!!
An Alternative Wedding
Danie and Mark wanted to do things differently, their own way. They certainly did just that! The ‘paperwork – making things official’ part of their wedding took place in Scotland, a week before their celebrations at Penny Square Barn. During their travels to Scotland they were upgraded to 1st class by National Rail, and serenaded by an acoustic set from the Doves. These guys always seem to land on their feet. They picked up a mime artist from the streets who was to be the witness, and a Greek tourist they had found took the photographs – Just amazing!!
After driving around Scotland for the week in their hire car (Austin Healy soft-top, of course) it was time to celebrate with friends. Danie got ready with her friends at Charlton House in Shepton Mallet, and the main celebrations were held at the Penny Square Barn in Batcombe (Somerset). The three “Love Conductors”, clad in capes of gold, blessed Danie and Mark with a warm (and at times, hilarious) ceremony in the field south of the barn – wands and glitter included!!
The party was held at the barn, with guests running the bar on a rota. The sun stayed out for the huge picnic in the yard where everyone was invited to each bring some food (organised via a wedding list style website – which worked very well). Music was everywhere! FittyGomash from Bristol played a ceilidh and got everyone up and dancing around, this was followed by a huge DJ set from Bristol’s Alfresco Disco, who are renowned for putting on the best free-parties. They played well into the early hours.
Not content with just dancing, there was a wood stove fired hot-tub in the yard which got to an impressive 39°c – insulated with hay bails, this tub was HUGE! It must have held around 70,000L – needless to say it went down well!!
I’m so pleased that Danie & Mark asked me to photograph their wedding celebrations. I love alternative weddings – I love the impulsive nature that they encourage, and the challenges they give me in trying to photograph it all. My unobtrusive, reportage style and using fast Leica prime lenses led to some stunning photographs. An amazing day. Enjoy the pictures!!
A full download of the photographs can be found here: Danie & Mark
Tania & Pete’s Wedding at Shustoke Barn
Tania & Pete were married at the stunning Shustoke Barn wedding venue in Warwickshire. The days started with Tania getting ready with all her Bridesmaids at her local hair salon, just around the corner from her parents house. Bucks fizz was poured out to celebrate the day ahead and perhaps to calm the nerves! The Rolls Royce awaited outside while Tania got into her Wedding dress in her old bedroom – The room was a little too small for me to get the photographs I had wanted, which was a shame, as Tania was looking so beautiful… Fortunately there were many more opportunities throughout the day!
I rushed ahead of the wedding cars to the Shustoke Barn where Pete and his best man were waiting anxiously… Of course his Bride was running a little late, but spirits were high, and the ceremony was lovely. I managed to get some wonderful portraits using the Leica M9 and the vintage Summilux 75mm lens, I always try for these shots as they’re taken from an angle that the guests would never normally see.
Once married Tania and Pete went off for a little drive in the Rolls’, while the guests mingled with drinks and canapés. On their return we all went outside for confetti and a group photograph in the main yard area. Lots of effort had gone into the breakfast room, the tables we covered in little cups and saucers filled with wild flowers, and every guest had a National Lottery scratch card – the guests had lots of fun with these!! The food was delicious, and there was plenty of it.
After dinner we went out to catch the last of the sun, and to capture some photographs of just the two of them – the light was golden and we got some beautiful shots with the light behind them in the trees. The band has set up while we were out, and were all ready for the 1st dance. The music was lively and everyone got involved – it such a fun party!!
Thanks guys for making me feel so welcome, you’re amazing and I wish you a lifetime of happiness together!
A Wedding at Minehead’s St Michael’s church.
Beki & Harry phoned me up late on the Thursday night before their church wedding on the Saturday – their photographer friend could no longer photograph for them, but fortunately I was still available! The wedding was in my home town, Minehead – it was so wonderful to return and to photograph at St. Michaels church up on North Hill. With a marquee set up in their garden the wedding had a very relaxed and fun feel, much more of a celebration with minimal formalities, which is where my photographic style definitely works best. The reception started with a beautiful tea party with live Jazz, and with incredible bunting ( some of the best I’ve seen – made from lace doilies ) hanging from the canvas. Later the caterers cooked up fresh paella which was served up after the cutting of the cake. Beki and Harry then got on the dance floor where Bristol’s Soul Strutters where putting on a lively performance!
A fun and lighthearted wedding, good food, and good people! Thanks guys!!
A Bristol Wedding at the Barkley Square Hotel.
Jess & Paul wanted a documentary style of photography for their wedding day, capturing moments as they happened, telling the complete story. The Leica cameras I use, and my experience from years of working as a street photographer allows me to capture these moments discreetly as everyone gets on with the celebrations! They weren’t afraid of the more gritty black and white style that goes hand in hand with reportage photography – this allowed me a lot more creative freedom in the edit which I really enjoyed.
Their wedding was at the stylish and modern Barkley Square Hotel in Bristol’s city centre, and it worked perfectly with the relaxed feel they had wanted. After the intimate ceremony, drinks were taken out to the lawns on the square where we took some family portraits and some relaxed photographs as they walked through the gardens. Jess had set up a hanging picture frame (along with a box of fancy dress goodies) for the guests to take their own ‘photo booth’ style images, which came out really well and certainly kept people amused!
The evening’s celebrations were in the downstairs cocktail bar, a funky and stylish bar with colourful furniture, mood lighting, dance floor and plenty of room for the band. Unfortunately very dark! A great excuse to use my Leica & prime lenses…
New Wedding Venue in the Cotswolds
I’m just back from a meeting at Elmore Court in the Cotswolds, it’s stunning! Having only opened the wedding hall this year (early 2014), I’d not visited before. The hall itself is made from pressed earth with an eco grass roof, and has huge windows where the light pours in. The sound system is incredible and because of the way the building has been designed it’s almost inaudible from the outside, meaning that celebrations can carry on through into the night!
The beautiful house is timeless and regal, with fantastic features still in place from days of old – the perfect place for a wedding…. I can’t wait!
- Rock My Wedding: Sophie & Mike05.12.2016 - 11:41 am
Extremely proud to have my photographs blogged on Rock My Wedding. I had a mega day photographing for friends Sophie & Mike, and even got a tractor ride! Take a look: http://www.rockmywedding.co.uk/sophie-and-mike-2/ nick-named the ‘unobtrusive photographer’ – Thanks Guys!!