2012 was an amazing year. Professionally and Personally, it could not have been better. It was a little crazy at times such as moving house in the middle of wedding season and shooting 7 weddings in a 9 day period. I won London and South East Wedding Photographer of the year and was featured on the One Show on BBC1. I loved all 58 of the weddings I shot for a variety of different reasons. They all have their stories and moments that make them unique. Rather than create a slideshow of images from the year, I decided to choose just one image form each of the weddings and tell a bit of a story behind the image. Like a song, every image has so much more to it than just the image itself. Hopefully a few words about each image below will open up the story behind the image. If you would like to see the full blog posts from each wedding just search in the box above by the couples names or the venue.
I hope you enjoy this post, it took a long time to just choose one image from each wedding and some of them will hopefully be unexpected choices. Any comments would be fantastic.
A more romantic picture than you may imagine! We were about to photograph by the Thames in Putney. Janine hates pigeons so Olivier decided to chase them all away so she wouldn’t have to go near them! Such a gentleman and one of the most outward emotional days of the year.
I love the colour and vibrance that comes from every wedding. This portrait of Nadia was taken just before we went to the Mosque. Jonathan had converted so they could be married. Nadia changed into a white wedding dress for the evening celebrations and looked like a different person. This image was taken in the blandest conference room you can imagine. Not for a second to say that I am at National Geographic level as a photographer but some people have commented that it reminds them of the famous cover of an Afghan girl.
Helen was simply the most excited bride of the year. Yes there were a few others but Helen genuinely squeaked when talking about her day. Helens father was the vicar and walked her down the aisle before changing to perform the ceremony! This was wedding number 7 in a 9 day period! After their wedding, I would have happily done another.
I have never before photographed a friends wedding. I have known Tom for a few years and was delighted to shoot his and Sarah’s wedding in a marquee in his grandmothers garden. In over 200 weddings, I have only seen the bride and groom exit before their guests a few times. This image was about midnight and in pitch darkness. I was walking backwards with cinders from the sparklers burning my head! I love the image for many reasons and I think it has a feel of a ceremony on a tropical island rather than the English countryside.
I love going to Scotland to photograph weddings. This was such a great day. Jennifer and Greig, their family and guests could not have been more welcoming. Especially as I had not met them before. There are many images from this wedding I could have chosen. I think this tells the energy and vibrance that surrounded the whole day.
I think this image encapsulates how every man feels waiting for the woman of his dreams! I dont think I have ever seen a groom this nervous and excited. Adam was actually sat down by his mother in law to help calm his nerves. Him and Lisa are so made for each other. Their day included Karaoke and planking!
This is the type of image that you can never plan for. As a photojournalist, you don’t get a second chance to capture that one magical moment. I love the fact that Jamie is crying and Katie is laughing! There was plenty of both from everyone throughout the day!
A candlelit wedding in the late afternoon in January! Now that’s a challenge for a photographer! A week beforehand, I had bought two new very low light lenses that enabled me to just capture the ambient light of Sam and Neil’s ceremony. I love the intimacy that the low light brings to this wedding.
Believe it or not, I hate heights. I had real issues going up the Eiffel tower this year so to stand on a ledge above the bride and groom with that view was a little nerve wracking but had to be done. This is on the top floor of the Gherkin with amazing views all over London. Henry and Larissa’s day started very early with challenges for the boys, tea ceremonies and a first dance that became Gangnam Style!
I had the idea for this image for a long time. Most wedding dresses don’t do up at the side so I had to wait not only for the dress but the bride that was happy to do the shot! Both Leah and Andy were fantastic on the day and we got a great range of images. I love the simplicity to the dress and the moment on her own getting ready.
This shot says a huge amount about Nicola and her approach to her day. I love the fact that she is so relaxed that she can sit on a wooden bridge in her dress and dangle her feet in the river as the sun sets. This was her idea and I love the solitary moment before she went back to the craziness of the wedding.
The rain played a huge part in a lot of weddings this year! Gavin and En-Min were more than happy to come outside and have some images done in the pouring rain. My flash which is behind them and getting wetter by the second started to misfire so we had to spend a little extra time to get the shot with all the raindrops lit up. I hope they forgive me!
I love a great sunset at a wedding and I love images that use silhouettes and shadows and reflections and other non directional angles to give a different perspective. We couldn’t have asked for a nicer sunset on Rita and Simons wedding.
Although I love the natural photojournalistic images, I also love to capture dramatic portraits for the bride and groom. I loved this doorway and Rebecca’s pose brings movement into the image. This was shot in the middle of the day even though it looks almost dark. Rhys the groom is acting as my light stand. A job that many people get the job of at a wedding!
I always shoot from getting ready until after the first dance. I always love veil shots as it the last item to go on. I love the juxtaposition of Carolyne in white against the hairdresser in black. I will always try to put people in the best light and it just catches her veil beautifully.
If you have not been to a Chinese wedding, the groom and groomsmen have to go to the brides house and go through a number of trials before the can see and take his bride to the ceremony. This year, I have photographed quite a few. Kenny and his boys had to brush their teeth with wasabi, wear women’s underwear, dance together and pass seaweed from mouth to mouth.
Throughout Owen and Selina’s wedding, I occassionally hear the chant ‘one, one one’ it was only during the dancing that it became obvious what it referred to. During the stag weekend, the guys were all challenged at various times to do one arm press ups. During the dancing part of the evening, many of them tried it again. This included Owens father who beat the rest hands down!
I just love the connection in this shot! This is just before Sarah went into the church and she just turned and gave her sister a big kiss! Dads expression says it all. There are often tears during the speeches of a wedding and I thought I was immune. Not at this wedding!
I always try and avoid the obvious shot! Cliches like the dress just hanging lifeless on the back of a door and couples standing looking bored in front of their wedding venue or car. I love the intimacy of this image while it also includes the car that they chose to take them from the church to Pinewood studios. I often shoot through layers to give a feeling of privacy on a day where there is often very little.
Emma & Tians reception venue was about half a mile from their church. I actually didn’t see it in the background when we first started to take some sunset images. While hopefully is a nice picture already, I think its added to massively for them as the place where they got married occupies the background.
Silhouettes are normally against the sky but in this shot which was initially a lucky mistake, uses the water to add something else to the background. This is from Mark and Minori’s pre wedding shoot. The warmth of the shot hopefully reflects the connection between them.
Often I have to react super fast to something and other times I have to be patient to get the shot. I knew if I waited long enough, the giant Jenga would fall and I would get some reactions. This typifies Carina and James fun wedding at Lulworth Castle.
I love dancing shots. Its the one time that all the pressure of the day is gone and everyone can relax. Nicky & Toby told me that the dancing was a huge part of their day. They were not wrong! The dance floor erupted from the very first song. This shot is towards the end of the night and they are still going strong!
Pre wedding shoots allow me to take couples where we wouldn’t always go on a wedding day. This is in Stratford the night of the closing ceremony of the Olympics. I always love graffiti as a background but layered by the trees in the foreground adds just a bit more.
This is Gemma and Gary from the graffiti image above! They look like there is no one around them despite all the cameras and cheers. There is a lovely connection between them. Their name just happened to be projected on the floor behind them at the same time too.
Children at weddings always offer something different for me to capture. This is quite late in the evening and they are throwing the confetti into the air. The floodlight for the building is catching it as it flies. They had no idea I was there.
After a very long day and lots of dancing, Victoria almost sat down on the dance floor. She didn’t know I was there until she looked up and started laughing! I think the guests are trying to fan her with her own dress!
We had talked about capturing a sunset shot with Lauren and Ally throughout the day. When the sun started to set, all the evening guests arrived. In the end, I think we had about 30 seconds to get the shot set up and taken before the sun set behind the horizon! Its quite a technical image to balance everything. I think this was the second frame. I love the yellow from the field, I think it really adds something to the image.
So many brides had to contend with wet weather this year! Janine and her guests embraced the weather on the way to the ceremony. I love the smiles and laughter from everyone as she walks through the churchyard.
This image started with the conversation that it would be nice to do some images on the beach! This is the morning after Carina and James wedding and despite being summer, the water at Lulworth Cove was super cold! It takes a different kind of bride to go in the sea the morning after her wedding in her dress!
I try to give every couple an image that would work as a large print on their wall. While I was setting up the flash and getting my camera right, I think that Natalie and Neil forgot I was there. They were just themselves despite the surroundings, the sunset and the flash.
This, believe it or not was not planned. I had asked Mark (who is just out of shot on the right hand side) to get some air into Minori’s veil. It actually came out and this was her reaction! I love the free flowing nature to it like no one else is around.
There is so much I like about this image. Nicky & Robin had come all the way from their church to Pinewood in a stunning black coach drawn by two beautiful horses. As they pulled up, everyone was ready with the confetti. I think you could spend ages finding different people and expressions in the image. The coach driver didn’t seem too bothered by the clean up operation that lay before him!
On Jubilee weekend this year the weather was amazing. At Katie and Matts wedding by the river, it went from lovely sunshine to a torrential rain. I love a sky like this for a dramatic image. Kate’s bridesmaid is actually hiding behind both of them holding my flash that is lighting them from behind. We had to get back to the venue to avoid the rain that fell about 2 minutes later.
This was the first wedding that I photographed where the cake came from Choccywoccydoodah. No one had any idea how to cut the cake. I love Tim and Jasmine’s expressions as they try to work out where to start!
Marylebone Registry Office is a stunning building. I knew the image I wanted to get but had to wait for the traffic to be stopped by the traffic lights and minimal people to be in the image. I also had to stand in the middle of the A40! I think it was worth it though.
I love speeches! They always bring tears, laughter and extreme reactions! The speeches at Katie and Davids wedding got more reaction than most! Not every wedding has a cage fighter and a stripper as the two best men!
Sometimes all the elemnts come together for one image. I had aimed to get some sunset shots for Rachael & Kevin. When I saw the sprinkler, I thought it would be great to layer the images with the sprinkles. I only noticed their shadows hitting the spray after a few shots. A second after this shot, the sprinkler switched off!
Removing the garter is becoming more and more popular at weddings. Just before the first dance, the groom has to remove the brides garter with his teeth! I love the energy in this image just before the final removal of the garter! The reactions shots to Matt and Anas doing this are priceless!
I love dancing images at wedding. I love to capture the energy from the guests point of view. Hayley and her guests didn’t leave the dance floor all night!
If you have seen my One Show appearance from this year, you will have seen me take this image. The skies suddenly opened as we were walking back from the church. I took this shot crouched down in the rain getting absolutely soaked! I always carry a spare suit as I often get wet / muddy at weddings.
I saw this shot out of the corner of my eye and had just one chance to get it. Davina (the bride) is right in the middle. This is another shot that I can’t plan for or fake. Moments like this happen all the time and I think really add to the more classic images.
Its not everyday that you get access to a castle and all the normal restrictions for tourists are removed. I had about an hour at Hever Castle to photograph Inna & Andrew once the tourists had left. I could have spent a lifetime in all the rooms.
Peter and Dinara had a lovely intimate winter wedding in London. This is just as they were pronounced husband and wife. I love her reaction just before the kiss!
This was to be just a portrait of Amy layered by the leaves. Scott was off to the side. At the last second, he stepped in and gave her a kiss.
Kate was such an excited bride. Their day was such fun. Just after this shot was taken, Andy realised that he had lost his ring somewhere in the grounds of the hotel! It was getting dark and everyone started looking for it. Miraculously a guest found it in the grass!
Some venues have stunning architecture and I always want to showcase the building as it will mean so much to the couple. As always, I try and avoid the flat image of the bride and groom just standing in front of the building. I hope a little bit of flash adds a bit of drama to this shot of Westonbirt School.
Right in the middle of dinner at Rachel & Kyles wedding, we had surprise singing waiters. Very quickly, everyone abandoned their dinners and got up and sang and danced around the room. It was a fantastic mood in the room Kyle led a conga around the room.
The boys are often forgotten about in wedding photography. I always aim to get an image of the boys together and looking relaxed. This normally means waiting until all the duties are over including first dance. It can be quite a job getting the boys together for one image but I know they are appreciated. Cigars are normally a good idea to give them something to do.
I love this shot! Hannah had just lost on the Roulette table and didn’t want to give her chips back! I don’t often shoot at an angle like this. I just saw her reaction when I was standing next to the croupier. This was the best angle where I could get the whole story across.
Having 2 young kids, I always try and get a reaction out of the children at a wedding. After taking a nice portrait, I got them all to blow raspberries. I love the smile on the boy of the right at his brother.
Warwick Castle and a red dress in December. What a combination. I don’t use a fisheye lens very often but I just think it adds to this image and the enormity of the venue.
The kiss that wasn’t supposed to happen! Sometimes churches do not pronounce a couple ‘man and wife’ or similar so there is no prompt to kiss. I always warn couples getting married in a church that this may happen. Caroline and Mark’s priest could not be swayed to include it in the ceremony. They had agreed that while the rest of the guests were shaking hands and saying ‘peace be with you’, they would kiss. I knew this but didn’t know where in the ceremony it would happen. I stood for 20 minutes with my finger on the shutter release just to get this shot.
I try to tell the whole story of a wedding from details to the tears and laughter. The speeches at Josie & Pete’s wedding were, funny, entertaining and emotional. I love the supportive arm from the best man.
This was the moment when some of the guests at Luke & Ellens were announced into the room in their chefs outfits. One person from each table was appointed a chief carver for the dinner! It was a great ice breaker and created a great atmosphere in the room.
Fireworks can be a great finale to a wedding. I always try to get the bride and grooms reaction or have them in the image as well. This is an unusual firework image as with the cloud between them and the firework, it almost looks like an alien invasion (maybe its just me!)
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