Monday, 27 July 2009
Monday, 15 June 2009
Headington Hill Hall is now part of Oxford Brookes but has a long and illustrious history (as do most old buildings in Oxford), only the briefest fraction of which stayed in my brain. But it was lovely nonetheless.
The wedding was even more special given Ben's expertise in photography - specialising in nature and landscape photography, I felt very privileged that he chose Simplicity to cover his wedding. He was wonderfully gracious about everything too, leaving us to work in our relaxed, candid style and as a result, we had a completely un-stressful day in blissful sunshine, surrounded by lush greenery, fantastic artitechture and beautifully photogenic people. Take a look.
Thursday, 11 June 2009
Tuesday, 9 June 2009
Married in Reading Minster by the groom's father, Tim and Elise walked out of the fabulous church with massive smiles which seemed never to go away for the rest of the day. Especially when being gawked at by the hundreds of Saturday shoppers who were somewhat stopped in their tracks by a line of guests, dressed in their finery and led by the happy couple and a tartan-adorned piper. I used up a good portion of a memory card during that.
A few of my favourites...
Tuesday, 2 June 2009
One of the best ways to view a wedding is through the eyes of a child - everything's new, exciting, everyone's a new friend, and the outfits are the best thing ever. Until the opportunity to slide down grassy banks comes along. So, here is a journey through a wedding; as seen by the children that make it so fun!
Boys like cars. Girls, less so, but if it's pretty, they'll be very happy to stand near it.
"One day, I'll have one like this..."
"This is more my scene - time to become the most important person/princess of the day.
What's that? I'm not the most important person here?"
Pretty much anything that shows up fingerprints, will.
Pretty in pink!
They're great smiles; but in truth, they're made slightly nervous by the size of my camera compared to theirs.
"Time for a nap..."
"What's down here? Probably going to get muddy."
"Worms and mud I can deal with. But girls? With tennis balls?"
One of the most important things is to give children the space they need to have fun. This was shot using a telephoto lens about 30m away from the fountain - they didn't even know we were there!
At times in the distant past, I've been known to complain about the harsh light of a summer's day - but more and more I love the defining nature of it, and the high-key shots it allows you to get. As a well regarded fellow-blogger and photographer said, "Show me an image with a good amount of internal contrast [lots of lights and darks] and I'll show you an image that will look good anywhere, on any paper!"
It makes things harder, yes - but what's life without a little challenge? And just because something's a little more tricky to get spot on doesn't mean it's not as good! A good example - the couple in the church, photo below; backlit from a huge window with light streaming in, south-facing windows high up casting a beam of light straight onto the bride's back, and deep shadows behind the groom. Modern cameras are usually ok at guessing the correct exposure to use, but in situations like this, it's up to the human behind the viewfinder to get it right... Hard work? Yes. Worth it? Definitely.
Thursday, 14 May 2009
Louise, my partner in crime on these exploits, is particularly great at getting kids on her side at weddings, which results in some fantastic shots (who said never work with children and animals? they're great fun!) but can sometimes give unexpected results.
Last weekend she managed to convince three wonderfully cute kids that there were fairies in the lens of her (admittedly rather large and intriguing) camera. Sorting through the dozens of photos of very earnest, slightly puzzled-looking kids at a very short distance from the lens has been an entertaining break from the usual kind of shots we come away with!
Which reminds me - I have to get those little fingerprints off the glass...
Friday, 8 May 2009
What makes perfect sense is the wedding of the wonderful Piper and Simon at Ardington House in south Oxfordshire. Fairytale is one way to describe the day - the bride looked utterly stunning, making her way to get married on an island in the middle of a lake (carried on a boat, no less!); the weather was perfect; the couple's guests were a delight to be around and a great laugh (the speeches - award-winning), and the lovely couple were so relaxed in front of the camera we couldn't help but take some stunning shots. Did I mention last week that this is the best job in the world?
As a fan of occasionally walking up hills, an important part of that particular past-time is to stop every so often and look back, and marvel at how far you've come. The moment I finished processing Piper and Simon's wedding was one of those metaphorical enjoy-the-view moments - comparing last weekend's wedding with the photos I gave to my good friends Ben and Clare all those weddings ago (kudos for letting me cut my teeth at their special day!) is quite a reminder that the only way to survive in the photography business is to try and make every shoot better than the last - cliched perhaps, but nonetheless true!
Tuesday, 5 May 2009
I had the pleasure of working with another professional image-maker in the evening - and it would be safe to say I've never seen anything like it. Liv and Tony had a silhouette-cutter providing not-inconsiderable entertainment in the evening! I still have no idea how she did it - take a piece of card, a pair of scissors and a subject, and two minutes later, pure genius. Amazing. It certainly put me in my place - all I have to do is press a button!