“My God, it’s full of stars.”– David Bowman (2001: A Space Odyssey)
The best documentary wedding photography in the UK for 2019
How’s it possible for a year to go so quickly!? Even as I read that opening statement back to myself, I know it makes no sense; a year goes by as quick as a year goes by, but you know what I mean.
Time has the strange illusion of accelerating the older I get.
If you’ve read my 2018 roundup (if not, you can catch it here), I made a bold move of publishing only 17 images – this year I’m taking it a step further and going with 8. Instead of blasting you with eight photos, I’ve decided to write a little about each of the pictures and explain why it’s so special to me.
2019 has been a milestone year; in January I won the title British Wedding Photographer of the Year!
I’ve also collected awards left, right and centre and at the time of writing this, I’m ranked as number 1 in the world with PROWED and a top 5 wedding photographer in the UK with the WPJA. I’ve also collected heaps of other commendations with the ISPWP and WPS.
Check out my full collection of awards here.
The first in the lineup (opening shot above) is from Ashridge House in Hertfordshire. It’s a unique photo because it’s the first time I truly conquered my fear with off-camera flash. I’ve never shied away from using flashes to create dramatic images (in-fact the picture I won as British Wedding Photographer of the Year was taken with a couple of off-camera flashes). Still, I’ve never been much good at using flash in conjunction with natural daylight, that is until now. I made those fantastic little dots using found glass objects! I’m proud of this photo, and I’ve added the technique to my bag of tricks that I can use at my disposal.
2nd in my list is this incredible moment from King’s College Chapel in Cambridge. Not only was it a lifelong ambition to shoot here, but I couldn’t have been luckier with the weather! As the couple left the chapel, we were greeted with the most intense, beautiful evening light. Usually, a photo like this would have been edited and delivered in colour, but on this occasion, I love how black and white draws the viewer closer into the moment. Working at King’s College Chapel was a dream and experience I’ll remember forever.
Another picture from Ashridge House (which also includes off-camera flashes). How could I not add this picture into my favourites! I love this shot for a couple of reasons; firstly I love the moment (of course), I had been planning the photo throughout the day – and the reason it came together so nicely was thanks to the fantastic staff. It was a collaboration. But one thing that’s not obvious in this picture is that I was sat on a groomsman’s shoulders! When I got into a position I knew I needed to get more height – so I went off to find a chair, but it still wasn’t right! Thankfully a burly groomsman noticed me on my tiptoes (on a chair) and said: “How about you sit on my shoulders”. And the rest is history.
How about this for a dress shot! The above photo was taken at Fawsley Hall in Northamptonshire, a venue I’ve had the pleasure of working at several times over the years. It had been a hot day, and I didn’t get much time for early afternoon portraits, so when I suggested to Lara & James that we check out the golden hour they were only too willing to see what we could find. It was INCREDIBLY hard to take this picture! Shooting into the light is tricky, but because it was so low in the sky, my 135mm lens refused to focus. I think I relied on a sketchy technique of locking focus shooting on burst mode to make it happen. I have no idea what those little dots are (they’re not dirt on my sensor), at the time I remember seeing small dots floating in the air! It was a beautiful moment and another then I’ll remember for the rest of my life. Lara & James’s wedding was an honour, and I’m blessed to have documented such a beautiful photo for such a wonderful couple.
Here’s another from Cambridge, this time from Sidney Sussex College. I loved everything about this wedding, and from the moment I turned up in the morning, I knew it was going to be unique. The couple and their guests spent every moment living in the moment, and their wedding photography is evidence of it. I could have picked many photos from Laura & Nick’s wedding but I went with a confetti picture. I LOVE the expression in Laura’s face! She’s a beautiful soul on the inside and out and another wedding I’ll remember forever. After the ceremony, we headed over to Chippenham Park for the reception. Another world-class venue that goes above and beyond to ensure each wedding is perfect in every way.
Yes, this happened!
Welcome to Northbrook Park in Farnham, Surrey from Marina & Kris’s fusion wedding. Northbrook Park seems to have a good working relationship with mother nature as you can tell from this picture! Just as Kris was about to walk down the aisle, the ducks stole the show.
Like the others in my roundup, this picture has gone on to win numerous awards including a rare Gold Medallion from the WPJA and a nomination from MyWed’s 2019 Awards!
I had to include at least one from a destination wedding. Here’s a champagne tower shot from the awe-inspiring Château de Miserai in France. I have been so busy this year that I almost forgot that I went to France to shoot this beautiful wedding. Like the others in this little collection, it was a day full of joy, laughter and emotion – and a wedding day I’ll remember forever. I had been at the Château since early in the morning capturing the prep and had seen the hard work the boys put into getting this champagne tower constructed! I love the juxtaposition of roles in this photo, with the groom glugging away as the bride carefully fills the opening glass. As I’ve said from the start of my career, it’s the moments between the moments that help tell the story – moments just like this.
And finally, welcome back to Aynhoe Park. Yes, I’m Aynhoe’s biggest fan, but then it’s not hard to see why. Everything they do focusses on the couples (and their guests) experience, and it was a genuine pleasure to be back working with the exceptional staff (especially Cleo and Mark the Butler). It’s another cutting cake picture, this time for Rossi & Michael. I think part of this photo goes to me, and the other part goes to the insane decor at Aynhoe. Everything looks fantastic in that venue! I’m also honoured to be shooting for Aynhoe as a recommended supplier which fills me with pride! To be associated with any venue is a privilege, but to such a high calibre location such as this is something all-together different.
Thanks for stopping by and checking out my favourite handful of photos. If you’re looking for a documentary style wedding photographer for your big day, I would love to hear from you! Please head over to my contact page and tell me all about your plans.