Still Light Photography: Blog http://stilllightphotography.co.uk/blog en-us (C) 2018 Still Light Photography. All rights reserved. (Still Light Photography) Thu, 12 Jul 2018 22:39:00 GMT Thu, 12 Jul 2018 22:39:00 GMT http://stilllightphotography.co.uk/img/s6/v148/u510532491-o1026916388-50.jpg Still Light Photography: Blog http://stilllightphotography.co.uk/blog 103 120 Gemma and Tom at The Mill Barns http://stilllightphotography.co.uk/blog/2018/7/gemma-and-tom-at-the-mill-barns You know when you meet someone and you just click, and you know you're going to get one really really well? Well, that's what happened when I first sat down with Tom and Gemma for their wedding photography consultation with me. Instantly, Gemma's enthusiasm for the day really shone though and was super infectious and it was evident how much they adore each other...constantly making each other laugh (something that was a BIG part of their wedding day which was so lovely).

The Mill Barns is certainly a gorgeous venue...this wedding was my second time shooting here and I'm looking forward to many more! Gemma got ready downstairs in the bespoke made-for-purpose bridal dressing room. The bridal party were greeted with a very sweet gift and poem Tom had made for Gemma, which set the positive vibes off right from the beginning, and it was such a fun morning getting to know all of the ladies.

Tom met me on his arrival a little later in the morning, and we spent a little time shooting some laid back groom prep, after which I attempted to remember all of his groomsmen's names - there were quite a few! 

The venue was decorated beautifully...less is definitely more at this place and Gemma and Tom had got the perfect balance with their "Jam Jar Wedding" theme...all vintage pallets, ladders, chalk boards and bunting. The colours in the wedding breakfast room were fab and when the room came to life for the evening reception the fairy lights mixed with the bunting across the ceiling was so lovely!

Perhaps my favourite time of the day during Gemma and Tom's wedding was their couple shots. We had a couple of stints to break up the photographs and enable them to maximise their time with the guests, so an afternoon slot right after the group shots, and then a later session in the evening once the sun had dropped...I have never seen a couple laugh together like these guys do! It was almost like I wasn't there how comfortable they seemed (I take this as a huge compliment by the way - ensuring couples are at ease with me and in front of the camera is a huge part of how I work)!

Finish off with some sparklers...oh, and a quick bath in the bridal suite!

The photos really do speak for themselves as to how incredibly fun this day was, so I'll leave you with a few highlights of their wonderful day...

]]>
(Still Light Photography) bride creative creative wedding photography documentary female photographer groom jamjar wedding love mill barns mill barns alveley shropshire still light photography summer wedding vintage wedding worcestershire http://stilllightphotography.co.uk/blog/2018/7/gemma-and-tom-at-the-mill-barns Thu, 12 Jul 2018 22:39:03 GMT
Lucy & Matt at Redhouse Barn http://stilllightphotography.co.uk/blog/2018/7/lucy-matt-at-redhouse-barn So this was the wedding I almost didn't shoot!

When Lucy and Matt first contacted me asking if I was available to shoot their wedding, I told them I would pass their enquiry on to a few photographer friends as I was fully booked for the year. However, every now and then I get a feeling I should (or shouldn't - less often!) do something and this was one of those times. So I went back to them and told them I would take the booking...and wow am I glad I did!

Redhouse Barn is up there in my top 5 favourite venues (and that's not only because of the absolutely amazing food I get from Morgan's Catering - I promise!) and I have LOVED every wedding I have shot there. This one was no exception; although I was only there for a half day coverage (5 hours) we packed so much in and had a great time. Lucy was pretty nervous about being in front of the camera, however the pre-wedding shoot (something I now include in all of my packages for this very reason) had put both her and Matt at ease somewhat so it was much less daunting on the day!

Lucy, her parents and her two sisters got ready in the beautiful bridal prep room at the venue, and after guests had arrived and been greeted by a very dapper looking groom, it was time for the ladies to venture down, through to the intimate ceremony in the barn with Lucy walked down the aisle by her Dad. The little pockets of light that find their way into the ceremony room at Redhouse Barn make great spotlights as the bridal party walk down the aisle, and afterwards, although we weren't blessed with blue skies and glorious sunshine, it was a lovely afternoon for group photos and some romantic couple shots in the gardens...

The reception room was beautifully decoarated, with the table theme being something my husband would have been impressed by; tables were named after famous motorsport tracks, complete with a little track map on the table name card! This, along with other little personal touches throughout the day, injected Lucy's and Matt's personalities into their wedding day and venue, making sure the day was full of fun and laughter!

 

]]>
(Still Light Photography) barn bride creative creative wedding photography documentary female photographer groom love may redhouse barn spring still light photography wedding worcestershire worcestershire wedding photographer http://stilllightphotography.co.uk/blog/2018/7/lucy-matt-at-redhouse-barn Sun, 01 Jul 2018 14:59:15 GMT
Becki & Oli at Wootton Park http://stilllightphotography.co.uk/blog/2018/6/becki-oli-at-wootton-park Returning to Wootton Park to shoot a wedding almost feels like going home...it's the venue I spend most of my 'wedding photography time' at, being linked with the Warwickshire Wedding Collective that I am a member of (visit www.warwickshireweddingcollective.com to see all of the wonderful suppliers in the group). This doesn't mean to say however that I shoot the same angles, ideas etc whenever I'm there. The venue has so many hidden gems where photography is concerned, it's easy to shoot ten weddings there in a year and them all be totally different. The thing I love about this venue is that they allow the brides and grooms to put their own stamp on things, and this is what Becki and Oli did with their slightly vintage themed wedding - making use of old pallets and wooden plinths for their venue decor. The farm buildings made a great backdrop for some of their couple shots to sit nicely with this rustic feel.

Back to the beginning though and it was a fab morning at Becki's home complete with parents, bridesmaids, flower girl, pageboy and their adorable little Cavalier King Charles Spaniel - he had to feature in some photos of course! The gorgeous sunny morning allowed me to get creative in the garden with some of the details!

Arriving at Wootton Park, the sun still shone for some shots with Oli and his groomsmen and then throughout their beautiful lakeside ceremony which finished with the release of two of Wootton Park's white doves. Becki and Oli did not stop grinning all the way through their vows - something that clearly had an effect on the guests as everyone was so much fun and great to work with. After some chill time in the grounds - garden games, drinks, a few family photos - I managed to enjoy a nice hour in the sunshine whilst the wedding party dived into their afternoon tea (so yummy!) before the party fun began! 

I think Oli was quite happy to enjoy a few beers at this point, however I did prise him away for an extra ten minutes of evening shots as we had the most amazing sunset...something that Wootton Park is awesome for! Definitely worth a few shots...amazingly one of the images I took of Becki got me a Highly Commended award from the Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers (see first image below). Super chuffed!

 

Here's an overview of their amazing day...

 

]]>
(Still Light Photography) bride creative creative wedding photography documentary female photographer groom love spring spring wedding still light photography warwickshire warwickshire wedding collective wedding wootton park wootton wawen worcestershire wedding photographer http://stilllightphotography.co.uk/blog/2018/6/becki-oli-at-wootton-park Fri, 15 Jun 2018 17:53:07 GMT
Jason & Charlotte's Cotswold Wedding at Hyde Barn http://stilllightphotography.co.uk/blog/2018/6/jason-charlottes-cotswold-wedding-at-hyde-barn On my drive down to Stow on the Wold the evening before Charlotte and Jason's wedding, the fog started rolling in so thick I could hardly see the bonnet of my car. By the morning, I could barely see my hand in front of my face...not ideal photography conditions! I have to say though, the Cotswolds looks amazing in the fog - I went out for an early morning walk before anyone else had risen to start the creative juices flowing and it was eerily beautiful and silent.

Thankfully, by the time I arrived at Hyde Barn - a venue I last shot at around 2 years ago and one I very much love - the weather had started to brighten and there was hope for some outdoor shots after all...although by this time I had started to gather some epic ideas in my head as to how we would use the fog to our advantage and get some super-cool moody shots. Ah well...I'm sure there will be ample opportunity for that throughout my career considering I'm based in the UK!

Charlotte, her Mum and her bridesmaids - all 6 of them! - were so lovely throughout the morning and the hair and makeup team did a fantastic job making all the ladies look stunning. Jason turned up a few hours later with his infectious smile and enthusiasm (literally I don't think I've ever met a groom who smiled as much as Jason did all day), along with his groomsmen in tow for some groom prep shots in the main house.

The ceremony was very sweet, with very few dry eyes in the room after the bride and groom had exchanged their personalised vows and been announced and husband and wife. I really get into the emotion of wedding days - the whole process of getting married means so much to me and I absolutely love being a part of my couples' ceremonies and being one of the first to congratulate them :)

Hyde Barn was decorated beautifully with Jason and Charlotte's vintage theme, fitting the venue perfectly...white and blue lace, bunting, fairy lights, wooden plinths for the table centrepieces...plus the most awesome cake table I think I have ever seen when it came to the wedding breakfast! We even managed to beat the weather - yay! - and make it into the gardens for some shots...although I'm sure a few of the ladies were cursing having to walk on the muddy grass in their stilettos...sorry girls!!

As always, a fantastic day in the Cotswolds...somewhere I wish I could spend much more time...and a very genuine, lovable and fun couple to make the day just perfect. Congratulations Mr and Mrs Franklin...here's a look at some of your best bits!

 

]]>
(Still Light Photography) april bride cotswolds creative documentary female wedding photographer foggy gloucestershire wedding photographer groom hyde barn hyde house photography still light photography stow on the wold wedding worcestershire wedding photographer http://stilllightphotography.co.uk/blog/2018/6/jason-charlottes-cotswold-wedding-at-hyde-barn Fri, 01 Jun 2018 19:26:07 GMT
Dan & Jo at Pershore Abbey & The Wood Norton http://stilllightphotography.co.uk/blog/2018/5/dan-jo-at-pershore-abbey-the-wood-norton So wow April was a busy month! It kicked off with possibly one of my favourite weddings to date...not that I like to be too biased! The first time I visited Dan and Jo to discuss their wedding back in February last year, we instantly clicked and I knew their day was going to be awesome. They chose the absolutely gorgeous Pershore Abbey for their ceremony followed by a reception at The Wood Norton nearby.

I arrived early at The Wood Norton to meet up with Jo and her bridesmaids for the girly stuff - such a fun-filled morning - and then went across the corridor to meet Dan and the guys while they got ready there too amongst lots of teasing and a few Dad jokes!

The sun shone all day for Dan and Jo which meant there was some beautiful light streaming through the stained glass during the ceremony and brilliant blue skies for their post-ceremony photographs. We kept it pretty chilled out - my favourite kind of wedding - but did throw in a couple of set up off camera flash shots in there too...too hard to resist with such a gorgeous setting inside the Abbey.

Onto The Wood Norton and the wedding breakfast room was decked out amazingly. The bride, groom and their families had made a lot of the decorations themselves, from the cycling themed table plan to a handmade heart decorated with shells found on beaches visited by Jo and Dan. Follow this with some super-tasty food, some of the funniest speeches I've heard in a while (guest reactions were great!), lots of dancing and a line up of the bridesmaids and groomsmen for a shot drinking play-off and there we have it - an absolutely fantastic evening to finish off the most gorgeous day.

 

Dan and Jo - thanks for having me along for the ride - it was a pleasure being part of your day! Now for the images...

 

  

]]>
(Still Light Photography) april bride creative creative wedding photography documentary female photographer groom love pershore pershore abbey spring still light photography wedding wood norton worcestershire http://stilllightphotography.co.uk/blog/2018/5/dan-jo-at-pershore-abbey-the-wood-norton Fri, 25 May 2018 10:42:17 GMT
Emily & Thomas at The Mill Barns http://stilllightphotography.co.uk/blog/2018/4/emily-thomas-at-the-mill-barns It's blog time! On this dreary Friday morning (one of those days where just just want to draw the curtains shut again and go back to bed) I figured it would be a good time to share Emily and Tom's gorgeous sunny wedding day at The Mill Barns in Alveley. This venue is still relatively new, only in it's second year of operation, and with it being only a ten minute drive from my house I have been looking forward to getting an opportunity to shoot there since it opened!

The 26th March gave me this opportunity and, after the 4-week-previous venue visit with the bride, I couldn't wait to get started on some of the ideas that were spinning around in my head. Emily and her bridal party got ready in The Mill's beautifully decorated 'bridal prep' room - as a photographer, when I see a room with lots of mirrors and props I do a little internal happy dance (yep - we are all a little mad like that!) as I know it's going to be a great location to get some creative shots. I love how The Mill's architecture is a combination of rustic barn feel and exposed pipework and geometric design...it's quirky, and it really works! 

So then onto the ceremony...I met Tom (who was just a little nervous I think it's fair to say) and his groomsmen in the beautiful waterside ceremony room and awaited the arrival of the bride, figuring out during this time a few ways to get some creative yet unintrusive angles while Emily and Tom say their vows. As Emily entered the room and they became husband and wife, there was hardly a dry eye in the house! Cue some make up retouching before the group photographs (and that was just the groomsmen...)

I had a few ideas for shots inside the Mill's fantastic downstairs 'chill area' using the really cool architecture in case the weather was less than ideal, however seeing as there wasn't a cloud in the sky Emily and Tom decided to make the most of the sunshine and we got some lovely images around the gardens and the water, before heading inside to finish off with some very emotional speeches!

I absolutely loved being a part of Emily and Tom's day - it was beautiful in every way; the people, the venue, the weather and all of the little personal touches that make each couple's wedding day perfect and personal to them. I can't wait to get back to The Mill Barns in May this year, but in the meantime here's a little overview of Emily and Tom's day in pictures...

 

]]>
(Still Light Photography) alveley bride creative creative wedding photoraphy documentary female photographer female wedding photographer groom lifestyle love march marriage natural shropshire spring still light photography the mill barns wedding wedding photography worcestershire http://stilllightphotography.co.uk/blog/2018/4/emily-thomas-at-the-mill-barns Fri, 27 Apr 2018 08:04:07 GMT
Finding your Perfect Wedding Venue http://stilllightphotography.co.uk/blog/2018/4/finding-your-perfect-wedding-venue So you're engaged. Huge congratulations! Now for the exciting stuff...planning your big day!

I attend a pretty decent amount of wedding fayres throughout each year; promoting my work, meeting new couples, eating all the free cake samples - yep, they're fab! Since I began my career as a wedding photographer, I have progressed from fayres at local village halls and very small, low budget venues, through to some of the most visually amazing places I have ever worked. I've loved every minute of my journey and I am now in a place where I exhibit at a small number of select venues each year - some new, some that I return to time and time again.

There are lots of reasons why some venues resonate with me more than others, and it got me thinking that, in the minefield that is wedding planning, it must sometimes feel overwhelming from a bride and groom's point of view, tying to weigh up pros and cons of each element. There are SO many wedding venues out there now, how do you even begin to choose the place where you will say some of the most important words of your life? I figured, having worked at so many beautiful places over the past 6 years, I could share some of my thoughts and perhaps help out with this...

So what do you feel is important to you in terms of your wedding venue?

 

Do you want to get ready there?

Lots of venues now offer an all inclusive package, so you can get there early and throw away the stress of travelling to your wedding after you've been pampered and are all ready to go. This can also save money on cars too! One of my absolute favourite bridal prep rooms has to be at Pendrell Hall in Codsall Wood. The house itself is gorgeous throughout, and the getting ready room gets the perfect amount of light in the morning for those lovely detail shots, with big mirrors for bride and bridesmaids to all get ready side by side.

   

Then there is Wootton Park near Henley-in-Arden...they have an on site salon where you can get your hair and makeup done, as well as a brand new designated getting ready room entitled "The Secret Boudoir" - gorgeous! The team in Trust Salon is absolutely fab and they really make you feel at home on your wedding morning. You can also get ready in their farmhouse, where all the rooms are named and decorated after beautiful places, like Venice.

 

 

Outdoor Ceremony your thing? 

You're getting married in the summer (or are just super brave and/or hardcore) and fancy getting married in the great outdoors. I love outdoor ceremonies. Even when the sun doesn't appear, they have such a lovely atmosphere and allow much more freedom in terms of photography angles. I recently shot a wedding ceremony at the beautiful Rowton Castle, and the outdoor ceremony spot there is just lovely, set in an intimate garden behind the venue, with amazing views of the castle itself behind you.

So here I go again bigging up Wootton Park (I might start charging commission) but these guys really do do everything so well. Theire outdoor ceremony location is set beside the lake, and bride and groom actually get married on a boat! When the sun shines here, it really shines...and the little trellis archway at the end of the aisle is very cute and great for after-ceremony shots...

 

Foodies? Look no further!

I have had some amazing meals at weddings thanks to my lovely couples and their venues. I have to say some of the best food I have ever tasted comes from the gorgeous Redhouse Barn. Their chosen caterer, Morgans Catering, produce food to die for! It looks awesome too...

More relaxed venues, such as the more DIY barns and family run places, let you have a little more freedom with your catering choices, so you might end up with a wood fired pizza oven (really cool to watch) or even a burger van! Hey, not everyone wants the formal three course dinner, and if that's not for you, you should definitely check out The Barn at Upcote and Wootton Park (although they do also do the formal thing very well too)...

 

Or an indoor ceremony...with lots of class!

It's almost a given that, if you opt for a church ceremony, the backdrop will be pretty beautiful. Church architecture often blows me away, most recently actually at Pershore Abbey where I shot the most beautiful wedding earlier this month. But if you're not into the church scene you might feel a little restricted in terms of the ceremony room...they can be small and sometimes a little dark. Photography angles can be quite restrictive too. That is until you see the ceremony room at Stanbrook Abbey. Just wow! I took my Mum there for the first time just yesterday and she was amazed. This is not your average civil ceremony room.

 

If all the grandeur feels like it might be a little overstated for what you have in mind for your wedding however, there is an absolutely gorgeous civil ceremony room at The Mill Barns in Alveley, near Bridgnorth. Shooting my first wedding there just last month, I got some great creative angles using the glass furniture and the huge windows make the room so bright and airy, with views of the water outside and impressive architecture.

 

That childhood dream of being a Disney Fairytale Princess...

I recently shot a wedding with the most lovely couple. The bride told me that when she was very young, she was in the back of her parents' car when they drove past Chateau Impney in Droitwich. She told her parents it was a fairytale castle and she would get married there when she was older. Well, she did! The fairytale became reality, and I can;t think of a better place to do it than at this stunning chateau. It really is like something from a Disney story.

 

That something a little bit different...

With so many wedding venues to choose from, sometimes it's great to think outside the box. A couple of venues stick in my mind for this, or really, one venue and one concept. So firstly, if you're a fan of the city, Fazeley Studios is a fantastic little hidden gem in the middle of Digbeth. Surrounded by colourful urban graffiti and the Birmingham canals, you certainly don't expect to walk into a building with stained glass windows! It's great for some quirky and colourful post-ceremony shots in the city too!

Then there is the ultimate DIY, "put your own stamp on it" wedding venue...the marquee! Of course, you need land, or access to land, but if you have some then what better way to celebrate your own personal love story then to build your very own venue to host it? I love these kinds of weddings because nothing is waiting for the bride and groom; it's 100% their input, super personal and very "them".

 

Of course there are WAY more venues than I have included here, but if I put them all in it'd be a never-ending blog! All of the places mentioned above are venues I have personally worked at and LOVED. You should definitely consider them if you are on the hunt for the perfect place. Some of these overlap in the above sections too, such as Redhouse Barn has a beautiful dressing room for bridal prep, Wootton Park do great food and all these venues have stunning grounds and gardens for you to explore. Don't take my word for it - check out their websites and give them a call - I'm sure they'd love to hear from you. Then, when you're sorted, give me a call about coming along to photograph your big day!

Wherever you choose to get married, keep it personal and put your stamp on it. It'll be perfect :)

 

]]>
(Still Light Photography) bridal preparation bride ceremony civil ceremony creative gloucestershire groom outdoor ceremony shropshire still light photography venue warwickshire wedding wedding food wedding planning wedding venue worcestershire http://stilllightphotography.co.uk/blog/2018/4/finding-your-perfect-wedding-venue Mon, 16 Apr 2018 19:21:36 GMT
Heather & Luke's Malvern Wedding http://stilllightphotography.co.uk/blog/2018/3/heather-lukes-malvern-wedding 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...

]]>
(Still Light Photography) bride creative documentary february female photographer groom katie whitburn love malvern mount pleasant natural photography silent disco still light photography wedding wedding photographer wedding photography winter worcestershire http://stilllightphotography.co.uk/blog/2018/3/heather-lukes-malvern-wedding Mon, 12 Mar 2018 21:29:44 GMT
Photographing Same Sex Weddings...or just, Weddings! http://stilllightphotography.co.uk/blog/2018/3/photographing-same-sex-weddings-or-just-weddings Hi all.

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!

 

 

]]>
(Still Light Photography) bride couple creative documentary female photographer glastonbury groom katie whitburn love mr and mr mrs and mrs natural photography same sex marriage still light photography wedding worcestershire http://stilllightphotography.co.uk/blog/2018/3/photographing-same-sex-weddings-or-just-weddings Thu, 01 Mar 2018 20:33:42 GMT
Why are Wedding Photographers so Expensive? http://stilllightphotography.co.uk/blog/2018/1/why-are-wedding-photographers-so-expensive 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!

]]>
(Still Light Photography) bride cost creative experienced groom importance important investment life love memories passion photographer photography still light photography value wedding worth http://stilllightphotography.co.uk/blog/2018/1/why-are-wedding-photographers-so-expensive Tue, 16 Jan 2018 20:42:53 GMT
Hannah & Drew at Sandon Hall http://stilllightphotography.co.uk/blog/2018/1/hannah-drew-at-sandon-hall 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...

 

]]>
(Still Light Photography) bride creative documentary female photographer groom katie whitburn kidderminster love natural relaxed sandon sandon hall snow still light photography stone wedding white winter worcestershire http://stilllightphotography.co.uk/blog/2018/1/hannah-drew-at-sandon-hall Mon, 01 Jan 2018 22:50:14 GMT
Adam & Vicky at The Welcombe Hotel http://stilllightphotography.co.uk/blog/2017/12/adam-vicky-at-the-welcombe-hotel 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!

 


 

 

 

]]>
(Still Light Photography) bride creative december disney documentary female photographer groom hotel kidderminster love natural still light photography wedding welcombe winter worcestershire http://stilllightphotography.co.uk/blog/2017/12/adam-vicky-at-the-welcombe-hotel Sat, 23 Dec 2017 13:22:46 GMT
Jamie & Nick at Stanbrook Abbey http://stilllightphotography.co.uk/blog/2017/12/jamie-nick-at-stanbrook-abbey Jamie and Nick...What an absolutely amazing couple!

As my very first Mr and Mr wedding I was so looking forward to being a part of Jamie and Nick's big day at the ever beautiful Stanbrook Abbey in Worcestershire. Right from the minute I met them both we just seemed to click and I knew that their wedding day was going to be a LOT of fun...I wasn't wrong.

We began in the Groom's Room for some relaxed shots of Jamie, Nick, their mums and their flowergirls, before they all headed down the aisle to the sounds of a string quartet. Jamie got just SLIGHTLY emotional - something that Nick took great pleasure in teasing him about - and their ceremony was full of laughter and evident love and support from all of their guests. The grooms' idea to have a big group photograph will all of their guests before leaving Callow Great Hall worked a treat and then everyone was free to relax in George's Bar. Jamie and Nick decided against having formal family photographs and instead opted for a more relaxed and documentary approach - something that more and more of my couples seem to be doing lately - giving them more time to spend enjoying their reception drinks.

Then it was off for a wander around the gorgeous venue where I was entertained whilst shooting by the grooms infectiously fun characters...followed by some of the liveliest and emotion-filled speeches I have ever seen at a wedding. It was evident that Jamie and Nick's families and friends have so much love for them and it was so lovely to hear everyone singing their praises.

They are two of the nicest guys I have ever had the pleasure of working with and I just know that their marriage will be one filled with lots of love and laughter! Congratulations guys! Here's a few images of the day...

 

]]>
(Still Light Photography) creative documentary female photographer gay grooms lgbt love malvern mr & mr natural november stanbrook still light photography wedding winter worcestershire http://stilllightphotography.co.uk/blog/2017/12/jamie-nick-at-stanbrook-abbey Wed, 13 Dec 2017 20:10:49 GMT
Abi & Kieran at Chateau Impney http://stilllightphotography.co.uk/blog/2017/11/abi-kieran-at-chateau-impney

Growing up relatively close to Droitwich, I used to pass the Chateau Impney every now and again in the back of my Mum's car and I remember thinking what a Fairytale place it was. To a child (and let's face it to quite a lot of adults as well) it just screams Disney Princess Castle right? Well, Abi grew up with the same ideas and always knew this was the place she wanted to get married...

I absolutely adored how excited Abi and Kieran were about this venue in the run up to their wedding day. I visited with them before the wedding to have a walk around and talk about what we would do photographically on the day. They also had their pre-wedding shoot in the grounds of the Chateau (above image) - a lovely preview into what it would be like having their wedding photographs in the beautiful gardens. 

On the morning of the wedding I arrived at the Chateau to photograph Abi and her bridal party getting ready. From the beginning there was a subtle Disney theme evident - nothing too obvious but a lovely hint at what Abi had always dreamed for her wedding day - and when she put on her dress, WOW! If anyone could look like a real life fairytale princess, Abi nailed it! Her dress was absolutely perfect for her, beautifully flattering and just the right amount of glam :)

I can't complete this blog without mentioning Abi and Kieran's wedding cake...it was possibly the tallest cake I have EVER seen! Abi had even handmade little lights to sit inside the tiers so it lit up during the evening...ok so the remote control for the lights went AWOL meaning I didn't actually get to see this, but the thought was there and lights or no lights it was absolutely fantastic!!

There was a specific place the Abi and Kieran asked me to take them for a photograph during their couple shots in the grounds of the Chateau...which turned out to be slightly problematic. Turns out the bridge in question is no longer accessible due to safety reasons so we couldn't get on to it. I knew how much they had set their hearts on this shot though, so I set up the camera on a tripod and got the long exposure shot of the gushing water that we'd had in mind. I then took a shot of the bride and groom stood on the lawns next to the stream and went to work after the wedding day on Photoshop to piece the two together and get them the image they wanted. When life gives you lemons and all that... :D

And finally, Abi and Kieran's first dance. Think up lights, vibrant colours and dry ice! There are just no words for how incredible this set up was...so instead here's a photograph, followed by a few more shots of this stunning wedding. Thanks for having me a long for the ride guys - it was truly a magical day and I'm sure you will live happily ever after xx

 

 

 

 

]]>
(Still Light Photography) autumn bride castle chateau creative disney documentary droitwich fairytale female photographer groom katie whitburn love natural september still light photography wedding worcestershire http://stilllightphotography.co.uk/blog/2017/11/abi-kieran-at-chateau-impney Thu, 09 Nov 2017 07:00:53 GMT
Rachel & Russ at Pendrell Hall http://stilllightphotography.co.uk/blog/2017/11/rachel-russ-at-pendrell-hall It's no secret that Pendrell Hall in Codsall Wood has a special place in my heart when it comes to wedding venues. It ticks absolutely every box and the staff make working a wedding day there an absolute pleasure. So when Rachel and Russ got in touch and I went to have a chat with them about their wedding, I was looking forward to the opportunity to work there again. When they told me their plans for the theme of their day, well - I may have just been the tiniest bit excited!

Rachel and Russ planned a Masquerade themed wedding day - think Phantom of the Opera, teals, purples, blacks and silvers, with a splash of peacock-themed decorations thrown in! So much for me to get stuck into with the camera on the morning of the wedding - they'd thought of everything and the venue looked amazing; from the little peacock feathers sat in the chair sashes to the personalised masks for all of their guests which were laid out on the wedding breakfast tables ready for the reception.

Pendrell Hall offered the perfect setting for all of this with its dark wood panelled rooms, soft LED lighting in the the evening and fairy lit outdoors to compliment their evening shots and the sparkler arch to complete the night.

 

It was absolutely one of the highlights of my wedding career and one I won't be forgetting in a hurry :)

Here are a few shots from the day... 

 

 

]]>
(Still Light Photography) autumn bride creative documentary female photographer groom katie whitburn love masks masquerade natural peacock pendrell hall phantom of the opera photography september still light photography theme wedding worcestershire http://stilllightphotography.co.uk/blog/2017/11/rachel-russ-at-pendrell-hall Thu, 09 Nov 2017 06:22:41 GMT
Georgie & Elliot at Wootton Park http://stilllightphotography.co.uk/blog/2017/10/georgie-elliot-at-wootton-park Wow - August! You certainly kept me on my toes, being by far the busiest month of my wedding photography career to date...but what an amazing collection of weddings I had the fortune to be a part of. Some new venues and some familiar ones too, including one of my all time favourites - Wootton Park.

Wootton Park is a family run venue in near Henley-in-Arden, Warwickshire. It has been constantly developing since I visited for my first ever wedding there back in April 2015 and is now one of the most stunningly situated and lovingly managed wedding venues I've had the pleasure of working at.

I recently read an article by Wedding Venues listing a few of the venue's charms - here's the link if you fancy a look! http://www.weddingvenues.com/news/wootton-park-wedding-venue-32723

 

So, back to photographs! Georgie and Elliot were living and working as singers in India at the time of planning their wedding and so entrusted most of the preparations and bookings to Georgie's Mum, Amanda. She certainly didn't let them down and helped them to create the most wonderfully laid back, classy wedding day. Having not met the bride and groom until just two weeks before their big day in mid-August, I was wondering if we would 'click' enough in time to get the natural photographs that I aim for with all of my couples...I need'nt have worried! Such a lovely couple to be around - genuine, bubbly and so obviously in love - they made my job relatively easy!

A wonderful wedding to be part of - thank you guys for inviting me along for the ride! Here's some shots...

 

]]>
(Still Light Photography) august bride countryside documentary family run female groom photographer' still light photography summer warwickshire creative wedding wootton park http://stilllightphotography.co.uk/blog/2017/10/georgie-elliot-at-wootton-park Sat, 14 Oct 2017 10:21:12 GMT
Hannah & Sam's Sunny Weymouth Wedding http://stilllightphotography.co.uk/blog/2017/9/hannah-sams-sunny-weymouth-wedding Autumn is one of my favourite times of the year - so many colours and things changing! With it comes the wedding fayre season, giving me the chance to meet and speak with lots of brides and grooms-to-be :) A lot of people often ask me how far I travel for wedding photography and the wedding I am about to share with you here shows that I am in no way restricted to my own county! I do in fact travel nationally for weddings (and abroad given the chance - anyone got a nice beach wedding they'd like to invite me to soon?!) and in mid August I packed the car up (complete with husband and beagle) and took off on a road trip to Weymouth.

Hannah and Sam's day was gorgeous from start to finish...their outdoor ceremony at Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens was simply stunning - we could have been in the Caribbean given the weather and all of the beautiful and unusual flowers and plants. Their reception followed at the Riviera Hotel in Bowleaze Cove with an awesome American Chevy (which Sam's brother proved quite quickly that he could not drive!), a delicious hog roast, an open fire surrounded by hay bale seating, deckchairs on the top of the hill overlooking the beach and sparklers after dark! So much fun!!

Want more information about booking your wedding photography? Contact me today to check availability - I still have some dates left for 2018!

]]>
(Still Light Photography) abbotsbury august bowleaze cove bride coast creative female photographer gardens groom katie whitburn love natural outdoor relaxed still light photography subtropical summer wedding weymouth http://stilllightphotography.co.uk/blog/2017/9/hannah-sams-sunny-weymouth-wedding Sat, 30 Sep 2017 15:09:16 GMT
Bridal Preparation: Making the Most of your Photographs http://stilllightphotography.co.uk/blog/2017/8/bridal-preparation-making-the-most-of-your-photographs I've been growing my business slowly over the past five years, up to a point where I now photograph around 40 weddings each year. This means I get to meet a lot of brides! This also means I get asked a LOT of questions by said brides - and grooms I guess, but let's face it they mostly leave organisation to the ladies...sorry to all you pro-active grooms out there!

One theme of questions I seem to get asked quite often is about where the bride and groom should be getting ready for their wedding. Will their home be "photogenic enough", or should they book into a fancy hotel to make the photographs "prettier"? Will they have enough space? The list goes on...

When I initially started working as a wedding photographer I was always secretly quite relieved when couples told me they were getting ready in a hotel or at the wedding venue itself. I used to think it would make my job easier, having more space and a "photogenic" room. However as I have built in experience and of course confidence I've realised that, honestly, it doesn't matter! It's all about finding ways to make each space work to my advantage. I have learned not to merely shoot what I see, but to look for opportunities, angles, little pockets of light etc, to create images that everyone else in the room at the time doesn't see.

 

 

I'd like to talk about a wedding I shot towards the end of July to demonstrate this. Michelle and Joe (here they are above with their daughter Eva in the grounds of The Granary Hotel) got married on the 22nd July - they had a beautiful Catholic ceremony at Our Lady & All Saints Church in Stourbridge followed by a reception at The Granary Hotel in Kidderminster. I remember Michelle mentioning to me a few times ahead of the wedding that she was concerned there wouldn't be enough space at her home for the photography, or that it would be too messy or the light wouldn't work. I assured her we would work round things and it would all be absolutely fine.

In the end, even I underestimated how lovely it would be for all of them getting ready at Michelle's home. Michelle grew up in Scotland and so her family all travelled from there for the wedding. I could see how much it meant to her in the morning to have her parents and her bridesmaids getting ready with her at home. The mood was so relaxed and their daughter Eva was of course completely relaxed spending most of the morning watching Peppa Pig on TV!

I'm not afraid of moving things around to get the most out of the light in a room, as well as using little props taken from around the house - this really injects the couple's personality into their detail images...I can never do this in a hotel! I'm also always looking for ways to bring depth into my images, whether this be shooting through objects, using mirrors for reflections, or getting up higher for a more unusual angle. This really came into play as Michelle was putting the final touches to her prep as you'll see from the last couple of images below.

So basically, what I'm trying to say with this blog is don't be pressured into booking a fancy hotel or spending money you don't need to spend because you think it will make your photographs "better". The best images are those that mean a lot to you personally, those that make you relive the moments, those that you often missed in the excitement of the morning. Sure, I love the creative sunset shots just as much as anybody and I love creating them, but to a point, the couple expects those because they remember making them. Keeping it real, unimposing, relaxed - that's when those moments appear. And where are you ever going to feel more relaxed, more "you", than in your own home?

 

]]>
(Still Light Photography) bride creative details documentary family getting ready granary home july katie whitburn love photography preparation real relaxed still light photography wedding worcestershire http://stilllightphotography.co.uk/blog/2017/8/bridal-preparation-making-the-most-of-your-photographs Fri, 18 Aug 2017 07:41:43 GMT
Holly & Matt's Digbeth Wedding http://stilllightphotography.co.uk/blog/2017/7/holly-matts-digbeth-wedding July! Without a doubt my busiest month of this year. To kick it all off, Holly and Matt tied the knot in Birmingham on the 1st.

Now, living in Worcestershire, the majority of my weddings take place in country houses, manors and the like. Think rolling hills, fields, rural scenery...we have a lot of green in Worcestershire! And it's great! I love living here - I've always been a country girl and that will probably never change.

So, when a city wedding comes my way, it's easy to get a little bit apprehensive about how I'm going to shoot it; what's the scenery going to be like? Are there going to be cars and people everywhere? Well, yes of course there are - but this is what makes these city weddings so dynamic and amazing to shoot. Sure, I have to think about it a little more, weigh up the pros and cons of specific areas to shoot in, consider my backgrounds and distractions. One thing I've learned over the past few years is to embrace my locations and make them work with me, instead of trying to figure out how I can perhaps make them "prettier". Pretty is not always about green fields and mountain backgrounds...

Holly and Matt got married at the popular Fazeley Studios in Digbeth; a fascinating venue with an abundance of history and culture. It's also a stone's throw away from the Custard Factory in the centre of Birmingham, perhaps one of the most colourful areas of the city I know. After Holly's morning prep at the stunning Hotel La Tour, the day unfolded beautifully to include a bright and classy civil ceremony, reception drinks in a beautifully renovated 19th century Unitarian Chapel, portraits amongst the impressive street art and some pretty impressive moves on the guests' part on the dance floor. Holly and Matt also hired my photo booth for their evening reception which went down an absolute storm!

Here's just a little snippet of their day in pictures.

 

]]>
(Still Light Photography) birmingham bride city colourful creative custard factory digbeth fazeley studios female photographer grafitti groom july katie whitburn natural street art summer wedding west midlands http://stilllightphotography.co.uk/blog/2017/7/holly-matts-digbeth-wedding Tue, 25 Jul 2017 19:51:54 GMT
Holly & Jack's Claverdon Marquee Wedding http://stilllightphotography.co.uk/blog/2017/7/holly-jacks-claverdon-marquee-wedding The Summer is in full swing and I've been blown away by the fabulous weddings I have been part of so far this year...the great thing about what I do is that every wedding is so different - new people, new places, fresh ideas, colours, themes. I never really know how a wedding day is going to pan out until I'm there, no matter how many hours of planning, meetings and discussions I have with the couples beforehand. It's one of the things I love about being a wedding photographer.

Holly and Jack's venue wasn't even built until a few days before their big day! When I went for a "venue visit" with them, I was faced with an empty field, a few men pacing out floor plans and the requirement to use a LOT of imagination. These are in some ways the most difficult kinds of weddings from my point of view - I can't pre-plan set ups for photographs or test my lighting and white balance in advance; I can't guess what the weather will be doing on the day and there aren't really any "rainy day options". On the other hand, they can also be the BEST as I literally have a blank canvas to work with.

Holly and Jack's Claverdon Church ceremony was just beautiful; the sun came out just in time for their Pimms reception in the church grounds afterwards and we got some lovely shots in the adjoining field before heading off to what was just the most amazing marquee reception! These guys definitely know how to party and the fireworks to wrap up the evening were the perfect finish.

Wonderful people, beautiful locations - a pleasure to be a part of :)

 

 

  

]]>
(Still Light Photography) bride claverdon creative documentary female photographer fireworks groom katie whitburn lifestyle love marquee natural still light photography summer wedding worcestershire http://stilllightphotography.co.uk/blog/2017/7/holly-jacks-claverdon-marquee-wedding Mon, 03 Jul 2017 12:16:19 GMT