Hi guys! Here's a short and sweet February wedding day blog for you all...
It's been a nice steady start to the 2018 season for me, with two weddings in February to kick off the year. I already blogged a little about Matthew and Kevin's day so in this post I'm focusing on Heather and Luke's wedding ceremony at Malvern Registry Office (which has some gorgeous gardens behind it by the way), followed by their reception at the up and coming Mount Pleasant Hotel.
Despite it being the middle of February (and what with all the snow we have been having lately!) it was a gorgeous sunny day with clear blue skies so we went out for a stroll around the beautiful gardens after the ceremony and I captured some lovely romantic moments between bride and groom. I even found use for my new crystal ball (usually used for landscape photography, but I like to be different)!
I was intrigued about Heather and Luke's evening reception, as on their order of the day there was listed a 'silent disco'. Now, I don't know if you have ever attended one of these before - I hadn't - but I really didn't know what to expect! Turns out the bride and groom are very into their heavy metal music and didn't want to subject their (non-heavy metal fans) guest's ears to that all evening, so it was a pretty awesome combination of people dancing to pop/dance music alongside others rocking out and head banging along to whatever was playing through their headphones! I wasn't quite brave enough to have a listen I have to admit - I am a Heart FM girl!!
Photos! Here you go...
So I have been wanting to blog about this topic for a while now based on a few experiences I have had since I started my career as a wedding photographer. Nothing bad, just a few thought provoking happenings that have made me want to share my feelings...
So same sex marriage has been legal for a while now, since March 2014 in fact. That's great! I don't know why it hasn't been longer.
I photographed my very first same sex wedding on 28th August 2016. If I'm perfectly honest I was a little apprehensive in terms of how I would go about shooting it. Should I pose two brides differently to how I would pose a bride and groom and similar thoughts. Well the answer is yes, of course I should, to an extent. It's common knowledge that men photograph well using certain poses whereas women respond better to the camera using entirely different poses. Common sense really. However, in terms of whether I should pose them differently "together"? Well, no.
I always tell my couples - "I will direct you, but mainly I want you to feel at ease and natural; not awkward in front of the camera." With this in mind, I went about Sue and Charlotte's wedding in the same way I had always approached wedding photography - letting the couple react to one another, talk to each other, laugh at each other's jokes (or in some cases initial awkwardness in front of the camera!) I didn't do anything differently. I loved it.
What is a wedding? It is two people, proving they want to be together forever...promising to love each other forever. And so I began to stop seeing the day as a 'same sex wedding'. It was a wedding. Love, laughter, fun, emotion. It made me question why there is even a label to differentiate same sex couples from heterosexual couples. Why not just 'couples'?
My views on this have developed further from experiences at various wedding fayres and things I have read on social media. One conversation that sticks in my mind is from a recent wedding fayre when I was chatting to a bride about her upcoming wedding. About ten minutes into our chat she stopped me and said, "I just want to point out that I'm getting married to a woman - is that a problem for you?" I was so saddened that she'd even had to ask that question. Similarly, when I receive emails from couples who say they have had negative responses from suppliers when they state they are a same sex couple...why?! These are two people in love, wanting to get married. That's all there is to it!
Since November I have had the pleasure of photographing three lovely couples throughout their wedding days. My first Mr and Mr wedding in November was quite honestly one of the most entertaining yet super-relaxed wedding days I have ever attended! Jamie and Nick were awesome and I'm just sorry I wasn't there in the evening to join in what promised to be a hell of a party! Michelle and Lucy tied the knot (literally) in a beautiful candlelit hand fasting ceremony in Glastonbury...and Kevin and Matthew kicked off my 2018 season fantastically in February at The Guildhall in Worcester, ending the night with some very questionable - but very entertaining - dance moves!
Here are the images!
JAMIE & NICK - STANBROOK ABBEY - 18TH NOVEMBER 2017
LUCY & MICHELLE - GODDESS TEMPLE GLASTONBURY - 21ST DECEMBER 2017
KEVIN & MATTHEW - THE GUILDHALL WORCESTER - 10TH FEBRUARY 2018
My blog has been selected by the Feedspot panelist as one of the Top 100 UK Photography Blogs on the web.
Awesome - thanks Feedspot!
This is a question I have come across more times than I can count since I began my career in the wedding industry, and one I have wanted to try to answer for a while now. However I have never managed to find the right words when it comes to putting pen to paper.
It's important to start with a few points; I'm not here to justify what I charge my clients. Nor am I here to put down those photographers who will happily cover a wedding for a couple of hundred quid. If someone has a passion and they find they can make a little extra cash doing what they love at the weekends, then it's not my place to judge. Good on them! There is however, a huge divide between those people who 'do a little on the side', and those who make this their full time career. Why?
I guess, from an outsider's point of view, wedding photography is easy. It's fun. It's a great way to seemingly earn a lot of cash without doing much work. Well, yes, the process of pointing a camera at people and pressing the shutter button IS easy. These days, we ALL have cameras, whether it be a smartphone, a tablet, a point-and-shoot or full blown professional equipment. I see it at weddings - I take a look over my shoulder when I am photographing the bride and groom's cake cutting or their first dance. I don't see people; I see an ocean of faces obscured by the back of a phone or iPad.
Photography is everywhere.
So then, why not just get your best mate or your college friend or your Uncle Bob to take a few snaps at your wedding? How hard can it be right? Now I could go on to list the points that have been argued time and time again; the hours we invest, the cost of our training and equipment, the endless evenings we spend editing images. All very valid points, but for me, not the essence of why wedding photography - and to a point ALL commissioned photography - warrants a high price tag...
Photography is one of the most important things in life.
I can prove this to you simply. Ask yourself this; if your house was burning down and you had time to save very few things that were important to you, what would you grab? I guarantee somewhere in your list there would be a family photograph, an old wedding album, the snap of your baby's first smile...Then, think back to when you lost someone close to you (amazing if you never have you lucky people)...what was one of the first things you did? I'm going to take a guess that you looked through some photographs to feel closer to them. We all know the value of photography. So add one of the most important things in life to one of the most important days of your life - that's why wedding photography is - and in my mind should be - expensive. Because it is invaluable. It is priceless. It is your memories. It is your life.
When you're planning your wedding, you'll have all these ideas in your mind of the key moments you can't wait for. The moment your Dad sees you for the first time in your dress; the second you lock eyes with your husband or wife to be before you say your vows; the humour of your best man's speech (ok well maybe a few of you would prefer for this one not to happen!). Those moments deserve good photographs. Good photographs come from trained and experienced professionals. You want to be able to see the tears in your Dad's eyes, the emotion in the face of the one you love, the connection between the two of you when you think no one is watching...
Don't get me wrong, I'm not sat here thinking that everyone should go out and spend £2000, £3000, even £5000 on their photographer. Not everyone can afford that - spend what you can afford, but go for the top end of that. Don't get yourself into a load of debt over something that is, honestly, a luxury. Getting married is about getting married, about promising yourself to someone for the rest of your life. That's relatively cheap to do. The cost of a registry office or a church. Everything else about your wedding day is a luxury. The flowers, the dress, the cake, the band. You don't need those things to become husband and wife. Just like you done NEED photographs.
So why do you book all of those things? Because they make your day perfect right?
So then, a perfect day deserves perfect memories.
Don't do yourselves an injustice by paying out all that money on everything else to have it documented averagely. Find someone who can capture your day as you visualise it. Someone who gets you. Someone you trust to capture your memories. You're not just paying someone to turn up and press a few buttons. You're paying someone to capture your life. What's more important than that?
Wedding photographers aren't out there to rip you off. We care so much about what we do. Spend what you can afford, but ask yourselves how much you can really stretch to, and go all the way. Invest in your wedding day. Invest in your memories. Invest in you!
Happy 2018!! I hope you all had the most wonderful Christmas and you're going into the New Year with positivity. My first wedding of this year isn't until February however I have a couple I can share with you from last month while I wait for the season to begin, including Hannah and Drew's gorgeous white wedding at Sandon Hall on 9th December.
I've been waiting a while to have the opportunity to photograph a white wedding (I'm talking snow here, not white dresses...) and Hannah and Drew's big day means I can now safely tick that one off my list!
We had the most snow I can remember us having in this country for a long while and it made for a picture perfect backdrop to the day. The drive up to the venue was just stunning and the Christmas decorations in the hotel lobby, complete with fairy-light-lit staircase, were the icing on the very white cake!
Having photographed Hannah's sister Gemma's wedding in 2015 it was so lovely to get together with some familiar faces...the day was beautiful from start to finish and it's so lovely to be able to say I photographed the first wedding in Sandon Hall history (according to the venue's records) where there was snow on the ground :) Here we go...
This will be my last blog post of 2017, so I'd like to take the opportunity first of all to wish everyone reading a very Merry Christmas and I hope you all have some lovely plans and dreams for 2018. It's been a whirlwind of a year for me with almost 40 weddings, my husband's 40th Birthday (which came with a big party planned by myself!), travelling around Europe and, more recently, a beautiful tour of Sri Lanka which really opened my eyes to the fact that happiness is not a product of how much we have in life. The people there were some of the poorest I have seen, but I struggled to find anyone who didn't have a smile on their face or a kind word to say to us. It's set me up for a few resolutions come the New Year...
Anyway, back to the weddings! December has seen me shoot three weddings - the first of which I am sharing with you here. Adam and Victoria got married on the 2nd December at The Welcombe Hotel in Stratford. Their Disney themed day was so lovely throughout and the festive decorations around the hotel finished it off perfectly. I had a LOT of names to learn at this one - 7 bridesmaids and 7 groomsmen - but I think I did OK for the most part! Vicky looked stunning in her Disney Princess white dress and winter shrug while Adam scrubbed up pretty well too! The hotel had a gorgeous rear garden in which to do some group and couple shots and we managed the hoped-for shot at the waterfall despite the wet weather. Possible the highlight of this venue is the stunning staircase where we did some couple shots - scroll down to see a few of these!
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