With wedding season almost in full swing and my calendar filling up fast, I couldn’t help but think about how much I love what I do. Thinking back to when I took the plunge and became a full-time wedding photographer actually gives me goosebumps. It was such a daunting time, but deep down I knew it was right and I’m so happy I did.
Over the past 16 months, my work as a photographer has developed from a passion in what I do, to an absolute love and I have to thank the amazing couples I’ve worked with for that. I find it such a privilege capturing those magical moments and giving them to a couple to treasure forever.
There are so many things about wedding photography that I love, but there are some things that truly stand out for me:
As a wedding photographer, I do get to miss all the chaos and stress that often comes during the build-up to the big day. What I love is being part of the excitement. I love to see the range of emotions that come when a couple’s planning finally comes to fruition, from love to pure joy it’s an amazing experience being in the midst of it all.
Since beginning my journey into wedding photography the relationships I’ve made with my couples is something I treasure. From the first point of contact to meeting the couple, engagement shoots and communication right up to the big day, I love how natural it feels capturing each and every moment when the wedding arrives., due to the relationships we’ve formed. From often being so closely involved a couple’s magical day, I must say I always take something special away on a personal level too.
Wedding photography is definitely a challenge I love. From the technical to the editing it’s these challenges that drive my passion. With every setting being different from weather to lighting I am always learning something new. I’ve also learnt how important it is to always be on the lookout for the emotions most will miss. Every wedding is unique and you never know when the most tender and emotional moments may come, finding those is a challenge I love and it certainly keeps me on my toes.
One of the most wonderful parts of my job is that I am capturing memories to be adored for a lifetime, the I do’s, the first dance and the big family shots are always loved. However. it’s not just the notable moments I look for, I am always mindful that throughout a day the whole wedding party will go through a range of emotions, and being able to capture these often raw moments, give the best memories for my couples too, and their families. It’s touching to know what I do will be passed through generations for years to come, to be able to give that to a couple is something I will always love.
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What a magical start to the new year. A Christmas themed wedding at the stunning Leasowe Castle, with Rachel and Graham.
I’d previously met Rachel while photographing her friend’s wedding last year. She was a bridesmaid and mentioned she had begun preparations for the big day. Her photographer was booked, with half the payment made, so as you can imagine I was very surprised to hear from her soon after asking if I was available. She’d enjoyed my work so much that she decided to forgo the deposit already made and asked me to capture the day. To say I was flattered would be an understatement!
Rachel and Graham were married at St Laurence’s Church, Frodsham. The service was emotional, as sadly Rachel’s dad passed away last year. It was a beautiful moment when Rachel’s mum walked her down the aisle, with her dad’s ashes. It truly felt he was walking with them and there wasn’t a dry eye in the church. There were so many touching moments like this that added his presence to a day filled with happiness and joy.
After the ceremony, we made our way to Leasowe castle, which had been chosen after a visit from Rachel’s mum and dad, who loved it and took Graham and Rachel during their engagement and they fell in love with it too. The castle was still decorated for Christmas, as they had wanted a Christmas theme and it added so much to the enchantment of the setting, especially the beautiful lighting. Rachel and Graham arrived in style, with a stunning white Rolls Royce and a surprise bagpipe player!
Just as we arrived at the castle I was able to capture some amazing shots of the unexpected sunset. There was also a beautiful staircase that provided the ideal setting for more intimate photos of the happy couple. I have to say Rachel looked so elegant in her dress, everything matched beautifully and throughout the day her happiness shone through.
My favourite photo has to be the one of Graham delivering his speech. He had a bit of a wobble as he began talking about Rachel’s dad, and both his mum and Rachel put their hand on his arm at the same time, which was just so beautiful. It really shows the love that was felt during their day.
I’m so happy Rachel changed her mind and decided to ask me to be her wedding photographer, I feel blessed to have been part of such an emotional and magical day.
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One of the questions I’m asked most about the weddings I shoot is, “When will I get the photographs?”
The thing is, there isn’t one specific answer. It depends on many factors, for instance, if your celebration takes place during the height of the season when I am out shooting back to back weddings, it can take up to 9 weeks to get your photographs. Couples often wonder why, so here’s my short guide to what happens to your photographs after the Big Day.
I shoot literally thousands of pictures of your wedding. That may sound excessive but remember, one photograph captures a tiny moment of the day. Once I get back to the office I then have to download and view the pictures. I look at each frame in great detail and this can take hours. Imagine looking at 1000 pictures and you take 30 seconds to look at one image, that’s 8 hours of work alone! Once I’ve looked through all the pictures it can take another few days to decide which will make the final cut of around 600 photographs. This is often tricky as there are so many good shots.
Once I’ve chosen those 600, it’s now time to start editing them. Because I am so passionate about delivering each couple with stunning memories of their day, I don’t like to rush this process. I would never want to compromise on quality!
So, what does editing involve? And why does it take so long to do?
Editing photographs is a creative process that brings out the very best of the images taken. This can include things like:
Cloning – removing exit signs or the odd wine glass that’s been left lying around. At one wedding I had a beautiful picture on the Menai Straits but had a tree coming out of the groom’s head! It was such a good shot I really wanted to use it, so I spent a few hours editing that one image. It was totally worth it.
Dealing with colours – this is a bit difficult to explain but as an example, church colours can be quite yellow and difficult to work with as it can make everything washed out. It takes lots of time to reduce the yellow tones, so everyone looks a more natural colour.
Cropping – I may decide after looking at certain shots that are quite wide and include lots of background that they might actually look better as a close-up. Getting the right composition is really important on any photograph.
Should a photo be colour or black and white? It may seem like a simple decision, but believe me, it isn’t!
Saving a gallery – once all the photographs are edited and I’m happy with them I put them into a digital gallery for you to see. Each photograph is a big file and so this process takes hours.
Backing up images – I like to have 3 backups, one on my iMac, one on a hard drive and one on the cloud. This in itself can take a long time, a good 3-4 hours per back up.
I think we are so used to taking photos on our smartphone and instantly uploading them to our social media pages we expect that it will be the same with wedding pictures. Editing your wedding photographs is truly a labour of love – and you can’t hurry love!
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