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The groom gets ready at Slaley Hall in Northumberland

Come On, Let’s Hear it For The Boy!

In honour of it being #MensGroomingDay I thought it would be good excuse to share a small selection of wedding photos of grooms and groomsmen getting ready on the wedding day.  After all, why should the brides have all the fun in this respect?

As a documentary wedding photographer I want to document the wedding day in an impartial and as democratic way as possible.  So where I or my trusted second photographer Steve can do so, we love photographing the guys getting ready for the day with natural, unposed wedding photography.

Of course, it may not always have the high emotions of the bridal preparations and invariably ends up in the pub, but it’s still a valuable record of the day and all part of my storytelling approach to wedding photography.

And let’s be frank about it, the guys do like to prep and preen as much as the girls sometimes (you know who you are guys!) so I’m all about ensuring the integrity of those moments.  And it also mean’s your bride gets to see the guys getting ready too.

Now you may be wondering what Men’s Grooming Day is all about?  Well, as the Days of the Year website says:

There’s a lot of stigma around male grooming. But in today’s society it’s simply not acceptable to be scruffy, smelly and unkempt. So catch up, men! Men’s Grooming Day encourages men everywhere to buy and use grooming products, and to proactively manage their apperance. Salons, hairdressers and beauty parlours often cater especially to men on this day with offers, education and special consideration.

The day itself was created by the US men’s grooming products company American Crew, and falls on the third Friday of every August.

So just for today, make like Deniece Williams and let’s hear it for the boy!

The Mirror Face Before a Dorset Wedding

A groom gets ready on the wedding morning in Dorset.

A groom not afraid of the old moisturiser on the wedding morning in Dorset.

From Ellie & James’ wedding in Dorset.  It’s all about seeking out those candid little moments, but one’s which speak volumes.  You can see an almost reflective look in James’ eyes as he not only looks forward to the wedding day ahead, but also the fact this is the last time he’ll ever be getting ready as a single man.  Short and fleeting it may be, but so significant when the couple look back at in years to come.

Ironing the Groom’s Shirt in Gipsy Hill, London

Ironing a wedding shirt before the wedding in Gipsy Hill, London.

A groom is built upon a well ironed shirt, especially when someone else does it for you.

One big difference I always notice between the bridal preparations and the groom’s getting ready, is that the brides have meticulously planned everything.  The guys tend to take a more laid back approach.  Need a shirt ironing? No problem, leave it to the last minute.  And even better if you can get someone else to do it, as here at Cynthia and Julian’s Gipsy Hill wedding in London.

Boxers & Hairdryers at an Ashridge House Wedding

The father of groom gets ready for the wedding at Ashridge House in Berkhamstead.

When the father of the groom gets the hairdryer out, at Ashridge House in Herts.

You’ve got to love those spontaneous moments when the father-of-the groom whips out a hairdryer whilst sat in his underwear.  Its these natural, evolving moments I love to document as a wedding photojournalist.  It may not be a technically perfect photo but it sure as hell captures a perfect moment from Carly and Sonny’s Ashridge House wedding in Berkhamsted.

Hairspray Before a Northamptonshire Wedding

A groomsmen uses hairspray before a wedding in Kislingbury in Northamptonshire.

That final bit of hairspray, in Kislingbury, Northants.

It’s not just the brides and bridesmaids who go through cans of hairspray on the wedding day.  Here the brother of the bride, Phil, gives his hair a good lacquering ahead of Lois and Dan’s wedding in Kislingbury, Northants.  Thankfully Phil didn’t mind too much – I went onto to photography his wedding with Emily at Sedgebrook House in Northamptonshire the following year.

Pulling Your Trousers Up Before A Wedding at Gatton Hall in Surrey

The father of the bride gets dressed, before the wedding at Gatton Hall in Surrey.

The father of the bride importantly remembers to put on his trousers, ahead of the wedding at Gatton Hall in Surrey.

Yes, another photo of a father in his underwear. This time its the turn of the father of the bride to be caught, before Claire and Nick’s Gatton Hall wedding in Surrey.  As a documentary wedding photographer I’m always alert to those quirky and amusing moments on a wedding day.

Groom’s Makeup At Slaley Hall in Northumberland

The groom gets ready at Slaley Hall in Northumberland

The groom gets a few touches of makeup on the wedding morning.

So Steve, the groom, is happy enough to have a bit of makeup applied ahead of his wedding with Lisa at Slaley Hall in Northumberland. I doubt you’d get a groom to pose for a setup moment like this, so capturing it naturally as a wedding photojournalist is so important.  Again it’s a real moment you might not normally see from a wedding day.

Looking For A Natural, Candid & Storytelling Approach To Your Wedding Day?

Did you enjoy my documentary wedding photography approach and think it may be a good fit for capturing the unique story of your special day?  Then check out my services and prices by clicking the button below.

Services & Prices

 

The bride and groom posed for a wedding portrait at Tullylagan House in Ireland.

Documentary London Wedding Photographer & Portraits

Yes I’m a documentary London wedding photographer.  However, there’s a misconception, often fueled by wedding photojournalists ourselves. It’s that documentary wedding photography cannot (or should not) include posed portraits or traditional group shots.

A Long Tradition of Photojournalists & Portraiture

Portraits of bride and groomsmen during a wedding at Waltham Abbey in Essex.

Read More

The bride and her son walk down the aisle at Dodmoor House in Northamptonshire.

Brides & Grooms With Their Children – Son and Daughter Day

Son and Daughter Day

In honour of today being International Son and Daughter Day (11 August) I thought it would be nice to share with you some wedding photography of brides and grooms with their children on the wedding day.

As a documentary wedding photographer I love to photograph those special and unique bonds between people and there is none closer than the relationship between a parent and child – young or old.

Bonds, Relationships & Emotions

Of course, it being a wedding day often makes that relationship even more intense and, excuse the pun, sharply focused. Emotions often run high as parents forge a new relationship together of which their children will form a central part.

So when I document those often powerful private moments between a bride or groom with their child, I’m recording a truly moving and intimate piece of family life.  It’s all part of your wedding’s real and unique story.

Being a natural and genuine moment it’s heartfelt and raw, in a way a posed or set up wedding moment could never capture or recreate.  As a wedding photojournalist I truly value the integrity of such moments.

So What Is Son and Daughter Day?

You may be wondering what Son and Daughter day is. To quote from the Days of the Year website, it is:

…the perfect opportunity to set aside some time to reflect on the joy that children bring to your life. Whether sons and daughters are young or old, teenagers or toddlers, the bond between parent and child is like no other on earth and this annual celebration ensures the miracle of bringing new life into the world is never forgotten. Though the origins of Son and Daughter Day are unknown, it is celebrated widely across the world simply by parents spending time with their children and letting them know how special they are to them. The best gift to give on Son and Daughter Day is the gift of time. If your children are still living at home, take some time out of your schedule to truly enjoy their company. If your children have moved away, make sure they return so you can spend quality family time together.

So share with me and celebrate Son and Daughter day with this very small selection of wedding photos featuring brides and grooms with their kids on the wedding day.

Book a Documentary Wedding Photographer

Do you enjoy my unposed, candid and natural documentary wedding photography and how it captures real moments and genuine emotions from the wedding day?

Then I’d love to chat with you about your wedding plans and how I can document the real and unique wedding story from your day.  Although I am a London wedding photographer I do service the whole of the U.K. and destination weddings overseas.

Contact Me Now

 

Or, if you prefer you can call/text me on 07920 422144.

I look forward to hearing from you.

A young guest looks on as the couple cut the wedding cake during the wedding at Wicksteed Park, near Kettering in Northamptonshire.

Northamptonshire Wedding Photographer – Wicksteed Park

Tanya and Steve were having a low-key and intimate wedding at Wicksteed Park in Northamptonshire.  As part of this they wanted a Northamptonshire wedding photographer who would blend into the background, capture all the natural moments from the day and simply allow them to enjoy their wedding day as they should – with their friends and family.

As a documentary wedding photographer this is what I specialise in.  I document the unposed moments and real emotions as they naturally evolve on the wedding day.  There’s no barking instructions or ordering people about.  It also helped that I had photographed Tanya’s brother Chris and Gemma’s rural wedding in Northants the year before. So Tanya and Steve knew my relaxed wedding photojournalism approach was exactly what they wanted for their own small but unique wedding day story.

The Fun & Nerves of the Bridal Preparations

The bride's daughter during the bridal preparations in Kettering, Northamptonshire.

The daughter of the bride watches as I photograph the bridal preparations

There’s nothing like the bridal preparations for capturing a wide range of emotions right at the start of the wedding day. There’s often much laughter, nerves and even the odd tear.  As a documentary wedding photography I love to photograph all these emotions as a reflection of the wedding day’s true story.

As the wedding ceremony wasn’t until early evening I arrived at Tanya’s home late afternoon, and preparations were already well under away: hair being dressed, makeup being applied, kids have loads of fun and guests turning up with bottles of fizz to be enjoyed.  All in the usual craziness of bridal preparations.

A guest arrives during the wedding bridal preparations in Kettering, Northamptonshire.

A wedding guest turns up for the bridal preparations with the all important alcohol

It’s these moments of the wedding day that can be emotionally charged but quickly forgotten soon after. So that’s why I want to capture the integrity of those moments so they can be enjoyed and cherished many years later.  That’s the real pleasure of wedding photojournalism.  You remember your story, not some photographer’s creation of it.

Kettering Registry Office, Northamptonshire Wedding Photographer

Sign for the wedding ceremony at the Kettering Registration office in Northants

This way for the wedding ceremony! Even the seemingly mundane details from a wedding day can form a part of a couple’s wedding story.

As a Northamptonshire wedding photographer I’ve never photographed at Kettering Registration Office, so I was looking forward to seeing it.  The wedding ceremony itself takes place in a room called the Mayor’s Parlour,  which can seat up to 42 guests and was ideal for a smaller low-key wedding like Tanya and Steve’s.

There are some small communal gardens nearby but we didn’t need to make use of them – my approach is nearly all candid up to and during the wedding ceremony.  Throughout the ceremony there were certainly more laughs than usual – given the couple’s relaxed approach to their wedding day.

Toasts, Fizz and Confetti!

The bride, groom and confetti after the wedding ceremony at Kettering Registry Office in Northant.

The bride and groom emerge to a shower of confetti

Before leaving Kettering Registration Office, Tanya and Steve decided to have the toasts and speeches  in a side room off of the Mayor’s Parlour.  I love modern wedding coupes who aren’t afraid from breaking with tradition and doing things their way.

There are no rules really and each wedding day should be as different and unique as the couple getting married.  That’s why documentary wedding photography is so perfect for modern wedding couples, in that it captures your wedding story as it happens; documenting your unique story rather than a one size all fits all template applied to every wedding.

So after the toasts were made, a few gifts handed out, it was off toe the nearby Wicksteed Park for the evening wedding reception.  As a Northamptonshire wedding photographer I was definitely intrigued to see all Wicksteed Park had to offer.

Wicksteed Park Wedding

A black white image of the couple's first dance during the wedding at Wicksteed Park, near Kettering in Northamptonshire.

A beautiful b&w wide perspective of the couple’s first dance at Wicksteed Park.

Wicksteed Park in Northamptonshire is the UK’s 5th oldest amusement park, having been opened in 1921.  It’s 147 acres of grounds is a beautiful mix of rides, attractions, lakes and countryside, certainly making it one of the most unusual wedding venues in Northamptonshire.

There’s a number of wedding suites available at Wicksteed Park. Tanya and Steve opted for the aptly named Celebration Suite which can cater for 150 guests and has it’s own dance floor area and licensed bar.  As the smallest of all the suites I was genuinely surprised at just how spacious it was.

Female wedding guests take a selfie during the wedding at Wicksteed Park, near Kettering in Northamptonshire.

It’s selfie time on the wedding dance floor!

As I am sure you will agree, from the small number of selected photos from the Tanya and Steve’s wedding story, they really did have a wedding day as fun and as unique as they are.

Book  A Northamptonshire Wedding Photographer

If you are getting married at Wicksteed Park or simply think my natural approach to wedding photojournalism would be an ideal fit for your wedding day, then I would love to hear from you.

You can call or text me on 07920 422144 or just drop me a few details via my contact page and I’ll get straight back to you.

Wedding bridal preparations in Kettering, Northamptonshire.

Daughter of the bride is surprised at being caught on camera

The wedding dress hanging at the bride's home in Kettering, Northamptonshire.

A detail shot of the wedding dress, with a picture of the bride’s late mother in the background.

The bridal preparations ahead of a wedding in Kettering, Northamptonshire.

A fascinated young wedding guest during the bridal preparations,

Playing around during the bridal preparations in Kettering, Northamptonshire.

The daughter of the bride having fun during the bridal preparations.

Putting on make-up during the bridal preparations in Kettering, Northamptonshire.

The daughter of the bride puts on some make-up during the bridal preparations.

The bride and guest during the bridal preparations in Kettering, Northamptonshire.

The bride greets a guest during the bridal preparations

A young boy playing in the garden during the bridal preparations in Kettering, Northamptonshire.

Having fun in the garden, whilst the bridal party get ready inside.

A guest enjoys some beer during the bridal preparations in Kettering, Northamptonshire.

Enjoying some beer during the bridal preparations!

A young boy dresses during the bridal preparations in Kettering, Northamptonshire.

Get a helping hand with doing up a tie during the bridal preparations.

Abstract view o bridesmaid coming down the stairs during the bridal preparations.

A slight abstract view of the bridesmaid during the bridal preparations.

A guest plays with the bride's daughter during the bridal preparations in Kettering, Northants

A guest plays with the daughter of the bride

Taking a selfie during the bridal preparations in Kettering, Northamptonshire.

The bride’s daughter takes a selfie during the bridal preparations.

A bridesmaid selfie during the bridal preparations in Kettering, Northamptonshire.

Another selfie of the bride’s daughter, during the bridal preparations.

The bride is helped into her wedding dress during the bridal preparations in Kettering, Northamptonshire.

The all important doing up the wedding dress shot.

Silhouette of the bride during the bridal preparations in Kettering, Northamptonshire.

Silhouette of the bride having her dress up done up.

The wedding dress being done up during the bridal preparations in Kettering, Northamptonshire.

The wedding dress is slowly done up

A wedding guest outside Kettering Registration office in Northants

A wedding guest outside Kettering Registry office in Northamptonshire.

A wedding guest's snazzy socks outsideKettering Registration office in Northants

Snazzy socks outside Kettering Registration office in Northants

A nervous groom ahead of the wedding ceremony at Kettering Registration office in Northants

“Me? Nervous?” The groom show’s he is as cool as a cucumber ahead of the wedding ceremony.

The bride arrives for the wedding ceremony atKettering Registration office in Northants

The bride arrives at Kettering Registration office in Northants

The bridesmaid's bouquet during the wedding at Kettering Registration office in Northants

A beautiful detailed shot of the bridesmaid’s bouquet.

The bride smiles at the groom during the wedding at Kettering Registration office in Northants

The bride smiles at the groom as she arrives for the wedding ceremony.

The bride and her father during the wedding ceremony at Kettering Registration office in Northants

The bride and her father enjoy a little moment before the start of the wedding ceremony.

The father of the bride kisses his daughter during the wedding ceremony at Kettering Registration office in Northants

The bride and father share a sweet kiss before the wedding servive

The bride and groom hold hands during the wedding ceremony at Kettering Registration office in Northants

The bride and groom hold hands during the wedding ceremony

A pensive looking bride during the wedding ceremony at Kettering Registration office in Northants

The bride is lost in thought during the wedding ceremony

The bride and groom share an amusing moment during the wedding ceremony at Kettering Registration office in Northants

The bride and groom share an amusing moment during the wedding ceremony

The bride grins at the groom during the wedding ceremony at Kettering Registration office in Northants

The bride is full of expressions during the wedding ceremony

A young ring bearer with the wedding ring during the wedding ceremony at Kettering Registration office in Northants

The cool looking ring bearer presents a wedding ring during the wedding service.

The bride and groom laughing during the wedding ceremony at Kettering Registration office in Northants

A wedding ceremony full of light heated moments and laughter

The bride and groom enjoy their first kiss during the wedding ceremony at Kettering Registration office in Northants

I love how the bride’s daughter squirms in the background during the first kiss.

An amusing moment during the wedding ceremony at Kettering Registration office in Northants

An amusing moment during the wedding service

The bride and groom depart the wedding ceremony at Kettering Registration office in Northants

The bride is delighted to be married

A laughing bride during the post-wedding ceremony drinks at Kettering Registration office in Northamptonshire.

The bride shares a funny during post-wedding ceremony drinks.

Toasts during the post-wedding ceremony drinks at Kettering Registration office in Northamptonshire.

Happy toasts all round during the post-ceremony drinks.

The father of the bride with a drink duringthe post-wedding ceremony drinks at Kettering Registration office in Northamptonshire.

The father of the bride with a drink after the wedding ceremony.

The best man speech during the post-wedding ceremony drinks at Kettering Registration office in Northamptonshire.

The best man’s speech during the post-wedding ceremony drinks at Kettering Registration office in Northamptonshire.

Pouring some prossecco during the post-wedding ceremony drinks at Kettering Registration office in Northamptonshire.

Some celebratory fizz during the wedding speeches

Unwrapping a wedding gift during the post-wedding ceremony drinks at Kettering Registration office in Northamptonshire.

Young wedding guests excitedly unwrap some gifts for them.

The bride and groom with their son after the wedding ceremony at Kettering Registry Office in Northants.

The groom carries his son after the wedding ceremony.

Confetti on the floor after the wedding ceremony at Kettering Registry Office in Northants.

Confetti litters the floor after the wedding service.

The wedding dress and confetti after the wedding ceremony at Kettering Registry Office in Northants.

The bride’s daughter lifts the wedding dress train over confetti that litters the floor.

The reception furniture during the evening wedding reception at Wicksteed Park in JKettering, Northants.

The reception room at Wicksteed Park in Kettering, Northants.

A just married sign hanging from a chair during the evening wedding reception at Wicksteed Park in Kettering, Northants.

A just married sign on a chair during the evening wedding reception.

The wedding cake during the evening wedding reception at Wicksteed Park in Kettering, Northants.

A detail shot of the amazing looking wedding cake.

A table of remembrance during the evening wedding reception at Wicksteed Park in Kettering, Northants.

A table of remembrance during the evening wedding reception.

The bride and groom pose for a portrait during the wedding at Wicksteed Park, near Kettering in Northamptonshire.

The bride and groom pose for a more formal portrait.

The children's entertainer during the wedding at Wicksteed Park, near Kettering in Northamptonshire.

The children’s entertainer arrives for the evening wedding reception.

The couple's first dance during the wedding at Wicksteed Park, near Kettering in Northamptonshire.

The couple’s first dance at Wicksteed Park in Northamptonshire.

A mobile phone records the couple's first dance during the wedding at Wicksteed Park, near Kettering in Northamptonshire.

A different perspective of the bride and groom’s first dance.

A wedding guest takes a photo on their mobile phone during the wedding at Wicksteed Park, near Kettering in Northamptonshire.

A guest takes a photo on their smart phone.

A mother kisses her baby during the wedding at Wicksteed Park, near Kettering in Northamptonshire.

A tender moment between mother and child during the evening wedding reception.

Baby and father at play during the wedding at Wicksteed Park, near Kettering in Northamptonshire.

A father and baby play during the evening wedding reception.

The bride squashes wedding cake into the groom's face, during the wedding at Wicksteed Park, near Kettering in Northamptonshire.

Take that! The bride squashes some wedding cake into the groom’s face.

The bride and groom share a kiss during the wedding at Wicksteed Park, near Kettering in Northamptonshire.

The bride and groom “kiss and make up” after the cake in the face fun!

A young wedding guest smiles on the dance floor during the wedding at Wicksteed Park, near Kettering in Northamptonshire.

A young guest having fun on the dance floor.

A young wedding guest in a cool hat during the wedding at Wicksteed Park, near Kettering in Northamptonshire.

A cool young wedding guest!

A mother and son dancing during the wedding at Wicksteed Park, near Kettering in Northamptonshire.

A mother and son show how it’s done on the dance floor.

Two brothers play on the dance floor during the wedding at Wicksteed Park, near Kettering in Northamptonshire.

Some young wedding guests make their own entertainment on the dance floor.

A wedding guest laughs with the bride during the wedding at Wicksteed Park, near Kettering in Northamptonshire.

The bride has fun with a friend during the evening wedding reception.

The bride and friends take a selfie during the wedding at Wicksteed Park, near Kettering in Northamptonshire.

A slightly abstract take on a dance floor selfie.

The bride takes a selfie during the wedding at Wicksteed Park, near Kettering in Northamptonshire.

Yet more selfie fun during the evening wedding reception.

A smiling young wedding guest during the wedding at Wicksteed Park, near Kettering in Northamptonshire.

The best smile on the dance floor!

The bride and guests dancing during the wedding at Wicksteed Park, near Kettering in Northamptonshire.

The bride and friends get their funk on!

The bride is hugged by a wedding guest on the dance floor,during the wedding at Wicksteed Park, near Kettering in Northamptonshire,

A wedding guest hugs the bride on the dance floor.

A wedding guest on the dance floor during the wedding at Wicksteed Park, near Kettering in Northamptonshire.

Shake your thang! A guest gets down on the wedding dance floor.

A smiling groom during the evening wedding reception at Wicksteed Park, near Kettering in Northamptonshire.

A delighted looking groom during the evening wedding reception.

A young wedding guest dancing during the wedding at Wicksteed Park, near Kettering in Northamptonshire.

A young guest on the dance floor.

As a Northamptonshire Wedding Photographer you can read about my current services and fees by clicking the button below.

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The bride arrives for the wedding at Highdown Vineyard in West Sussex.

Highdown Vineyard Wedding Photographer – Sienna & Phil

I love a Highdown Vineyard wedding.  As a wedding photojournalist I’ve shot there a number of times and it’s without doubt one of the best wedding venues in West Sussex.  So when Sienna and Phil asked me to be their wedding photographer there, I just couldn’t wait to get started!

Street Photography Wedding Photographer

The bride during the wedding preparations at home in Brighton, East Sussex.Sienna puts the finishing touches to her hair for the big day.

One of the reasons Sienna and Phil chose me to be their Highdown Vineyard wedding photographer was because of their love for street photography.  Being an obsessive street photographer in my personal work, they knew I’d be a great fit for documenting their wedding story in a natural and candid way.

Read More

The bride grabs an elder guest during the wedding at Frilford Heath Golf Club in Oxfordshire.

Frilford Heath Golf Club Wedding Reception

The evening reception is one of my favourite parts of the wedding day, and this Frilford Heath Golf Club wedding reception was no different.

It’s Time To Celebrate

Frilford Heath Golf Club Wedding

The great part about the evening reception is that everyone is ready to have fun and party.  The serious part of the wedding day is out of the way, everyone’s been fed and the drinks are usually flowing.  It’s the part of the wedding day when the couple can properly celebrate their tying of the knot.

As a wedding photographer I always stay beyond the first dance – at least for an hour minimum but often longer – to document all those great expressions, great emotions and, yes, even those great dance floor moves.

Frilford Heath Golf Club Wedding Reception

A guest at this Frildford Heath Golf Club wedding in Oxfordshire

Here a joyous bride has grabbed hold of an elderly wedding guest and is getting her disco groove thang on.

You simply can’t create that kind of emotion on her face or the genuine nature of the moment.  As a documentary wedding photographer I want to capture all those real moments as they happen.  I’m not looking to set up, stage or even fake a fantastic moment like this.

It’s All About The Colour Too

The bride grabs an elder guest during the wedding at Frilford Heath Golf Club in Oxfordshire.

Also I love the colour.  From the pink hat the bride has put on through to the disco lights that surround the dance floor.  The colour and freezing of the moment is assisted by using a flash – something I’ll only revert to during the dancing in the evening.

It’s nice too to have colour splashed across the frame.  Too often wedding photojournalism is associated with black and white photography, so it’s nice to show off colour when documenting the wedding story.

So that’s why I love this image of from a Frilford Heath Golf Club wedding.

Book Me For Your Frilford Heath Golf Club Wedding

Are you having a wedding at Frilford Heath Golf Club in Oxfordshire?  Or perhaps you want a relaxed, natural and storytelling photography approach to your wedding day?

I’d love to have an informal chat with you about your wedding plans.  You can call me on 07920 422144 or send me a message via the contact form below.

I look forward to hearing from you.

The bride and groom dancing during a wedding at Wandsworth Town Hall

Wandsworth Wedding Photographer London – Andrea & Nick

I previously shot Andrea and Nick’s Nigerian Wedding Blessing at St Anselm’s church in Tooting Bec in the London Borough of Wandsworth .  So as a Wandsworth wedding photographer it was great to be back there again a week or so later for their formal wedding day, before moving on to Wandsworth Town Hall for the evening celebrations.

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Wedding cake and waiters at Marriott Meon Valley wedding

Marriott Meon Valley Wedding Cake – Why I Love This Image

There’s often a presumption that wedding photojournalists are only concerned with documenting people at weddings and that we don’t really bother with wedding detail shots.  Well, that’s why I’ve chosen this photo of a wedding cake at the Marriott Meon Valley Hotel and Country Club near Southampton in Hampshire for inclusion in my Why I Love This Image series.

Wedding Details & the Wedding Photojournalist

The groom and children with the wedding cake at the Marriott Meon Valley

The wedding cake this time with the groom and his children at the Marriott Meon Valley

As an experienced wedding photographer I realise the importance of details shots.  After all, you have spent a lot of time, thought and money on choosing the smaller details of your wedding day.  It’s only natural you will want a documented record of these.  And a wedding photojournalist is there to capture all elements of your wedding story.

But when I shoot the wedding details, such as a wedding cake, I also like to include some context and, wherever possible, some storytelling too.  There’s definitely no reason you can’t pull all these elements together, as this wedding cake shot demonstrates.

The Wedding at the Marriott Meon Valley Hotel

Wedding cake and waiters at Marriott Meon Valley, Hampshire

A colour version of the wedding cake and waiters at the Marriott Meon Valley wedding

The wedding cake take’s centre stage and I’ve taken a slightly lower perspective to add a little drama – as well as eliminating some of the less desirable things like table legs and carpet.  Beyond that you have waiters serving food to the wedding party at the Marriott Meon Valley.  This inclusion, ensures the wedding cake is set within the story of the day, rather than just another anonymous wedding cake from another anonymous wedding.  And by having it in black and white, it really compliments the strong graphic nature of the image.

In my opinion it really adds to Sam and Kevin’s unique wedding story and that’s definitely why I love this image.

Contact Me To Discuss Your Wedding Plans

So if you think a wedding photojournalism approach would be ideal for documenting the individual and special story of your wedding day, then I’d love to chat with you about your wedding plans.  Likewise, if you’re getting married at the Marriott Meon Valley near Southampton in Hampshire then lets definitely chat.

You can give me a call or send a text to 07920 422144.  Or send me a message to my contact page with details of your wedding and I’ll get straight back to you.

Black and white photo of SD cards and Olympus EM1 Mark 2 camera

Can We Have The RAW Files For Our Wedding Photos?

It’s one of those things I regularly get asked as a wedding photographer by couples: “Can we have the RAW files for our wedding photos, please?”

Of course, it’s a reasonable request and I fully understand why couples would ask for the RAW files.  However, there are good reasons why I don’t provide my RAW files.

But first of all, you may be wondering what a RAW file is?  Let me explain…

What Is A RAW File?

Colour wedding photography of a guest kissing one of the mother's of the groom in Battersea Park, London. The father of the groom stands in the foreground holding flowers for buttonholes.

In a basic sense, as described on Wikipedia:

Raw image files are sometimes called digital negatives, as they fulfill the same role as negatives in film photography: that is, the negative is not directly usable as an image, but has all of the information needed to create an image.

In technical speak a RAW file is an uncompressed file that contains the raw image data. It provides the image data exactly as it was captured by the camera, without loss of quality and without compression.  It then needs to be converted to an image file, such as a JPEG, via software.  This gives much more flexibility and control in editing he final image, as no information has been stripped out the image – as would happen if the image was shot as a JPEG in camera.

Why Couples Often Ask for the RAW Files from their Wedding Photography

Black and white wedding photography of the bride about to embrace a guest, after the wedding ceremony at All Saints Church, Hampreston, in Wimborne, Dorset.

OK, you say, but why would a wedding couple ask for the RAW files of their wedding photography?  After all, it sounds like a lot of effort having to convert it to a JPEG before it canbe shared online or printed off.

In my experience, there’s usually 3 reasons why a couple may ask for the RAW files:

  1. They want to re-edit the images themselves.
  2. By offering to edit the images themselves, instead of the wedding photographer, it may mean a discount in the price.
  3. They simply think they have “purchased” the RAW files in the price of their wedding photography collection and it belongs to them.

Why I Don’t Offer My RAW Files

Colour wedding photography of the bride and groom enjoying a tender and loving moment, during the wedding reception in Nether Heyford, Northants.

All of these reasons are understandable, but let me address them and explain why a professional wedding photographer wouldn’t (or shouldn’t!) give their RAW files to a couple.

  1. The way I edit my images and their final “look” is all part of my brand identity.  That identity is part of why a couple will book me in the first place.  I edit the images in a distinct style. In many ways, my edited images are my “shop window” to the world.  So I don’t want images out there that are edited in a different way.  That risks damaging the brand identity I have built. In other words, it’s potentially damaging to my business.
  2. Aside from the point above, how they are edited is important to my business reputation, a RAW file would be – if I even did contemplate selling it – infinitely much more expensive than the JPEG files. Why? Especially if it takes away my editing time?  That’s kind of wrapped up in the following third point.
  3. In effect, when a couple books a wedding photographer they are not buying ownership of the images.  Instead they are being granted certain reproduction rights for those images.  But the copyright of the images remains with the photographer.  By not giving up the RAW files it ensures the photographer maintains control over what happens with those files and ultimately their brand identity.  To give that up would require a fee that would likely be far too expensive to make it worthwhile for the couple.  Ultimately photos are my business and to give up the RAW files is akin away part of my business.

It’s Not That I’m Depeche Mode, But…

Raw Files Depeche Mode

It might be easier to compare RAW files with the original sound recordings a music band or artist make.  When you buy their music  on CD, Vinyl or as an MP3 you don’t get rights to the original sound files, so you can remix the music as you want or even sell them on.  No you get certain rights to playing and enjoying that music.  It’s exactly the same with RAW files and your wedding photography.

So I’m not being difficult or precious when I say I don’t give away or sell the RAW files.  It’s for very sound business reasons.

However, you do of course get beautifully edited high resolution JPEG images from which I’m more than happy for you to print and share freely.  The only restriction is that I request you seek my permission if you are going to sell those images commercially – which I’ve never encountered from wedding photos!

Let’s Have a Chat About Your Wedding Plans

Black and white natural wedding photography of the flower girls and their mother, holding their bouquets, during the bridal preparations in Bognor Regis, West Sussex.

I hope you found that informative and understand the reasons why I don’t provide RAW files.  If you are getting married and are interested in my documentary wedding photography approach, then I’d love to have a informal and non-obligatory chat with you about your wedding plans.

You can send me a message via my contact page (I will usually get back to you very quickly) or you can call/text/WhatsApp me on 07920 422144.  I’ll be delighted to hear from you.

Still Have Questions?

If you have any more questions about my wedding photography, you can find answers in my Frequently Asked Questions.  If you don’t find the answer you’re looking for, then please feel free to send me your question and I’ll do my best to answer it for you.

Street photography of people at a bus stop in Wallington, London.

The Street Photography Wedding Photographer in Wallington

As people may know by now, my personal street photography is very important to me.  Not just as a creative outlet but also in my approach as a documentary wedding photographer.  It’s why I have on occasion been dubbed the “street photography wedding photographer.”

Urban Street Diving

So I’m delighted to have had some of my street photography featured on the Urban Street Diving (USD) website.  It was also nice to have been interviewed as part of the article.  Andreas, the guy behind USD had asked me a couple of time if I’d do a contribution for the website.  The idea being to do a very short and brisk shoot in a single location.

Street photography of a man with a cleaner in Wallington, Surrey.

So being a Wallington wedding photographer I decided to go out to try and shoot some street photography around Wallington.  You can see the results and read the interview me over on Urban Street Diving.

The Street Photography Wedding Photographer

So why is street photography so important to me as documentary wedding photographer?

Well, when it comes to your wedding photography story you want the real story of your wedding day being documented.  That will include all those emotions, gestures, glances and moments that will evolve naturally throughout your wedding day.  As a wedding photographer you have to be alive to these moments happening – anticipating when and where a genuine moment will happen.

Bridesmaid adjusts a wedding dress at the Brides home in Dorset.

Street photography helps me hone that skill.  If you can capture such moments in a candid and consistent way, over time, in public of strangers then it really helps when it comes to documenting your wedding story.

So being the street photography wedding photographer really does help me capture the real story of your special wedding day.

Contact Me About Your Wedding Day

If you would like to chat with me about your wedding plans and how I can deliver those natural, candid and unobtrusive wedding photos you crave from your wedding day then send me a message via my contact page.  Alternatively you can give me a call, or send a text, via 07920 422144

If you’d like to see more of my candid street photography you can do so at my street photography website.

Street photography of a caveman and taxi in Budapest, Hungary

So if you’d like a street photography wedding photographer you know exactly where to come.

The bride is hugged during a speech in the Nigerian wedding blessing in St Anselm's church hall in Tooting Bec, London.

Nigerian Wedding Blessing – St Anselm’s, Tooting Bec

When Andrea and Nick told me they were planning a traditional Nigerian wedding blessing a week before their actual wedding day, at St Anselm’s in Tooting Bec, London, I just knew I had to include that in the wedding photography package I offered them.

After all, as soon as I think of traditional African weddings I immediately think vibrant colours, song, vibrant colour, dance and, did I mention, vibrant colours – everything that my documentary wedding photography approach would love to capture..  And I definitely wasn’t disappointed. Read More

5 Good Reasons to Spend More on a Professional Wedding Photographer

Once again, one of the top regrets of newlywed couples is having not spent enough on a wedding photographer for their wedding day. Of course, being a professional wedding photographer you’d most probably expect me to say that.

Wedding photojournalism of the ceremony at Woodlands Park Hotel in Stoke D'abernon near Cobham in Surrey

But don’t take my word for it. Recent survey results by The Registry Site, as reported by In Style magazine confirms:

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My 5 Favourite…Images from Steph & Dan’s Brighton Wedding Photography

Holiday Inn Brighton Wedding Photography

It’s hard to believe that it was back in July 2013 that I photographed Steph and Dan’s Brighton wedding.  I can still recall quite clearly all the moments, emotions and stories from the day, as if it were only yesterday.

So I thought I’d look back and select my five favourites from all the wedding photos I shot that day and explain why.  So in no particular order:

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Black and white wedding photography of same sex wedding couple, Arad and Brian, leaping off of the ornamental stones in the piazza, at the Pump House in Battersea Park. The Pump House is undoubtedly one of the best wedding venues in Wandsworth, London.

Battersea and Chelsea Wedding Photography – Arad & Brian

Arad & Brian’s Same-Sex Wedding

Colour wedding reportage photography of gay wedding couple, Arad and Brian, kissing after the wedding ceremony, outside the Pump House in Battersea Park, London.

As a wedding photographer I was delighted to be chosen for Arad and Brian’s same sex wedding, as a result of being found on Instagram by Arad.  Arad a keen photographer and lover of photography himself knew he wanted a very candid and storytelling approach to his and Brian’s wedding day – and it was my natural wedding reportage photography on Instagram that led him to me.  The wedding was going to be split between the wonderful Pump House in Battersea Park and at the cool Bluebird Restaurant on the Kings Road in Chelsea.  As a London documentary wedding photographer they really were London wedding venues I dream of shooting at.

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5 Great Litter Free Alternatives To Confetti On Your Wedding Day

Throwing confetti at the happy wedding couple is one of the great wedding traditions.  It’s said to date back to Ancient Egypt where it was believed showering the just married couple with seeds would bestow the gift of great fertility upon them.

However, as great as confetti is, and as a wedding photographer I do love to document those fabulous confetti showers, it does leave behind bit of a mess for someone to clean up afterwards.  For that reason, a lot of wedding venues have strict restrictions on the use of confetti.

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Morning bridal preparations in Kislingbury, Northamptonshire, as a newborn baby is fed.

Why I Love This Image: The Mothers & The Babies

A Reportage Wedding Photographer

As a reportage wedding photographer it’s not always the big moments I’m looking to document on the wedding day.  Sometimes it’s those little details that can also say much and form such a touching part of the wedding story.

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Why I Love This Image: The Abstract First Dance

As an award winning wedding photographer, and active member of the Artistic Guild of the Wedding Photojournalist Association (AGWPJA), I’m always looking to capture things a little differently, more creatively when I photograph a wedding.

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10 Great Tips for Wedding Toasts

As a wedding photographer I’ve seen and heard a lot of wedding toasts and speeches in my time. Some good, some bad and a few that were exceptional.  So I definitely think I’m pretty well placed to give a few tips and advice on how to deliver a great wedding toast.  I previously posted about when to do the wedding speeches, but here I’ll tell you more about wedding toasts and how to deliver them.

Meon Valley Marriott Hotel wedding photography of the Groom and wedding party laughing during the wedding speeches

History of Wedding Toasts

It’s been argued that wedding toasts date all the way back to the 6th century BC. Glasses would be raised and clinked – causing the contents to spill into one another’s vessels, a reassurance that the drink wasn’t poisoned.  This is most probably what the phrase “good health” comes from.

The wedding link would come from the old tradition of warring tribes and conflicts being ended by marriages between clans – and thus toasting was then a reassurance of peace on all sides.

The term ‘toast’ itself was first coined by Shakespeare in the Merry Wives of Windsor.  It was common practice around this time for a piece of actual toast to be placed in a glass of wine, as a way of of soaking up acidity of the win and making an old piece of stale bread more edible.  The person(s) being honoured would often receive the saturated piece of toast.  Thankfully, this seems to be a tradition that is no longer undertaken during modern weddings, but the idea of wedding toasts still prevail to this day.

So how to ensure you get a wedding toast right?  Here are my 10 tips to help with you wedding toast.

#1 Be Topped Up

Make sure you glass is full and that the wedding party all have their glasses topped up.  This may sound obvious, but you be amazed the number of weddings I’ve been too where a bride, a groom or even the toaster doesn’t have a filled glass to toast with – then everyone has to wait around whilst a bottle to top up with is found.

#2  Be Right…Quite Literally

Ensure you toast using your right hand, which you should be stretched out from the right shoulder towards the person(s) being honoured.  Dont over extend your arm though – nothing looks worse than a trembling arm and contents being spilt.

#3 Short & Sweet

Keep the toast short. 3-5 minutes is considered a good length if you’re delivering a speech.  Anything longer can start to sound a bit too rambling and guests quickly get bored and fidgety.

#4 Rehearse

That’s right, practice really does really make perfect. Run it out a few times before the day, preferably to someone who can tell you what they think.  The more used to it you are, the much smoother it will be done on the day.

#5  Ad-Lib

Make some notes – preferably a few bullet points you can talk around, rather than a number of pages of a word-by-word script.  You’ll sound a lot more natural and what’s more, watching someone read from a script, in an awkward monotone, can be quite boring for everyone.  This follows on naturally to…

#6 Be You

It’s much better to be yourself, rather than what you think you need to be.  If you’re not an extrovert joker or an insightful poet, then don’t pretend to be.  At a wedding everyone is on your side, so be yourself and be personal.

#7  It’s Not All About You

Remember, the wedding toast or speech is not all about you – it’s about honouring someone.  It’s not an audition for Britian’s Got Talent or an opportunity for you to show how really funny you think you area.  Focus on who you are honouring.

#8  The Granny Test

You should really steer away from inside jokes or stuff that happened twenty years ago when you were kids.  It might be really funny for a few close friends or relatives, but for the vast majority of guests they’re just not going to get it.  And speaking of humour, remember guests could include young children and elderly relatives.  Whilst your joke about the razor, the sheep and the naked groom on the stag night is hilarious, is it something you would ordinarily tell your grandmother?  If not, leave it out.

#9 Breathe

Yes, before you start just take a deep breath.  It will slow you down and calm your nerves.  If you’re not used to speaking in front of people, you’ll often speak faster than you realise you are – so try and slow it down. It’s not a sprint to be finished as soon as possible.

#10 Make The Toast!

And remember at the end of toast, get everyone to join in with you raising a glass to and toasting the honoured person(s).  It’s amazing how many times I’ve seen a wedding speech where the actual toast is forogtten about in the relief of ending the speech!  Remember, the final toast is the traditional way of ending the formal part of the wedding day and signaling the fun, party bit is about to start!

Ashridge House wedding photography of he wedding party raising their glasses in toast to the beautiful bride

So I hope these tips help you.  The wedding toast is an important and traditional part of the wedding day so appreciating why you are doing it and getting it as right as possible will be appreciated by the couple.

If you’d like to chat with me about your wedding plans then I’d love to hear from you.  You can call/text me on 07920 422144. Alternatively, you can send me a message via my contact page.

Colour Storytelling wedding photography of the bride and groom being showered wih confetti, after the wedding ceremony at All Saints Church, Hampreston, in Wimborne, Dorset.

Dorset Wedding Photography – Ellie & James

The Wedding Day in Ferndown, Hampreston and Stapehill

I came to be the wedding photographer for Ellie and James’ wedding down in Dorset simply because James is the son of Steve – who is often my second photographer when I require one at weddings.  So it was one of those rare occasions where I was meeting the bride and groom for the first time on the wedding day itself.

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London Engagement Shoot – Anne & Alex

From Vauxhall to Pimlico: A Modern European Love Story

A few months back I had the pleasure and honour of shooting Anne and Alex’s engagement photography around Vauxhall and Pimlico in London.  However, their love story actually started 4 years before this in a ruined bar called Szimpla in Budapest, the capital of Hungary.

With Anne being Finnish and Alex the quintessential Englishman, theirs is truly a modern European love story that crosses borders.

Vauxhall & I

Colour London engagement photography of the couple cuddling on Vauxhall Bridge, with views of the River Thames and the London Eye in the background. Taken one of the best wedding photographers in London, Darren Lehane.

What immediately struck me about Anne and Alex was their down to earth and fun nature.  This was a couple relaxed in one another’s company, who were easy going and didn’t want too much fuss.  In many ways this is exactly the kind of couples I find are drawn to my relaxed and unobtrusive approach to documentary photography.

So the plan was very an engagement shoot that was was fairly low key, fun and relaxed.  With the sun shining we headed up onto the Vauxhall Bridge, which provides a beautiful downstream view of the Thames and London’s South Bank beyond, complete with the iconic London Eye rising up. It always makes for a great London backdrop to photos.

Ducks in Pimlico

Colour London engagement photography of the couple watching some ducks, in a residential square in Pimlico. Taken by London wedding photographer Darren Lehane.

Once we crossed Vauxhall Bridge and down onto the north side of the Thames (being firmly rooted in South London nowadays, this was almost nose bleed country for me!) it was time to wander around Pimlico.

If there’s one thing I love to do with engagement shoots it is to wander and grab spontaneous shots along the way.  Yes, I have loose plan in my head but I try to have as few preconceptions ahead of the shoot.  Perhaps, this comes from my approach to street photography and a love of Flânerie.

And as if to prove how you can never plan or second guess how a shoot will go, will stumbled upon some ducks quietly relaxing in a Pimlico square and who remain completely unmoved by us, until getting so bored by my photographic goings on, decided to wander nonchalantly past the posing couple!  You just couldn’t plan for moments like these!

Transport for London & Abstract Art

Black and white London engagement photography of the couple shot through the window of a passing bus in Pimlico. Taken by one of the best documentary wedding photographers in London, Darren Lehane.

Another great example of spontaneously reacting to what naturally occurs on an engagement shoot, was when we stumbled on a pub in Pimlico decked out out with Union Jack flags and the Cross of St George.

Wanting to get a wider shot, I stepped back to a traffic island in the middle of the busy road. Conscious of the passing London double decker buses, I purposefully shot through the windows of one and was rewarded with a more unusual and abstract portrait, which added something a little more different to the overall engagement shoot.

Again by not having too many preconceptions about what I wanted to photograph, I was able to get something I would never have planned or thought about.

The Art of the Portrait at the Tate Britain

Colour London engagement photography of the couple outside the Tate Britain in Pimlico. Taken by one of the best award winning wedding photographers in London, Darren Lehane.

Speaking of art, we ended up at the glorious Tate Britain gallery,  a location that provided some grandeur and history to the shoot.  There’s also a lovely and quiet little garden at the back of the gallery, which was a lovely spot to end in on what had been a fantastic engagement shoot around central London.

Anne and Alex were a fantastic couple and I’m really looking forward to shooting their wedding in a palace in Finland next Spring!

I’m sure you’ll agree from the small selection of their engagement photography here, they make for a great couple. I’d be delighted if you could share this post across your social media.

London Engagement Photography

Colour engagement photography of the couple on Albert Embankment, London with the River Thames and Vauxhall Bridge in the background. Taken by London wedding photographer Darren Lehane.Colour London engagement photography of the couple on Vauxhall Bridge, with Millbank Tower rising up in the background. Taken by affordable London wedding photographer Darren Lehane.Colour London engagement photography of the couple hugging on Vauxhall Bridge, with the River Thames and the London Eye in the background. Taken by award winning London wedding photographer Darren Lehane.Black and white London engagement photography of the couple on Vauxhall Bridge by London wedding photographer Darren Lehane.Black and white London engagement photography of the couple cuddling in Pimlico. Taken by award winning London wedding photographer Darren Lehane.Colour London engagement photography of the couple cuddling in a residential square in Pimlico. Taken by one of the most affordable wedding photographers in London.Colour London engagement photography of the couple in a square in Pimlico. Taken by affordable London wedding photographer Darren Lehane.Black and white London engagement photography of the couple posing outside a house in Pimlico. Taken by award winning London wedding photographer Darren Lehane.Black and white London engagement photography of the couple kissing in a residential square in Pimlico. Taken by one of the top wedding photographers in London, Darren Lehane.Colour London engagement photography of the couple posing outside a house in Pimlico. Taken by one of London's best wedding photographers, Darren Lehane.Colour London engagement photography of the couple kissing in Pimlico. Taken by affordable London wedding photographer, Darren Lehane.Colour London engagement photography of the couple by a London Underground Station in Pimlico. Taken by one of the best wedding photojournalists in London, Darren Lehane.Black and white London engagement photography of the couple amongst passers-by in Pimlico. Taken by award winning London documentary wedding photographer, Darren Lehane.Colour London engagement photography of the couple outside a pub, draped in union jacks and the ST George's Cross, in Pimlico. Taken by one the most affordable wedding photographers in London. Darren Lehane.Colour London engagement photography of the couple shot through the window of a passing bus in Pimlico. Taken by London wedding photojournalist Darren Lehane.Black and white London engagement photography f the couple in front of a sculpture, outside the Tate Britain gallery in Pimlico. Taken by London wedding photographer Darren Lehane.Colour London engagement photography of the couple walking down the steps of the Tate Britain gallery in Pimlico. Taken by one of London's best documentary wedding photographers, Darren Lehane.Colour London engagement photography of the couple cuddling on a bench in the gardens of the Tate Britain in Pimlico. Taken by London wedding photographer.Colour London engagement photography of the couple, out of focus, on a bench in the gardens of the Tate Britain in Pimlico. Taken by award winning London wedding photographer Darren Lehane.Colour London engagement photography of the couple sitting on some steps in the gardens of Tate Britain in Pimlico. Taken by one of the best wedding photographers in London, Darren Lehane.

Vauxhall & Pimlico Wedding Photographer

Are you getting married in Pimlico? Are you looking for a Vauxhall wedding photography? Or perhaps you’re looking to have a London engagement shoot?

Why not give me a call or send a text on 07920 422144 or send me a message via my contact page. I’ll be delighted to hear from you.

You can find out about my wedding photography packages and prices here.

A beautiful rural wedding in Nether Heyford, Northamptonshire

Gemma & Chris’ do-it-yourself backyard wedding in the heart of England

Yes, I’m still catching up on a number of previous weddings here on my blog.  When Gemma married Chris it was a truly beautiful day on what I can only describe as an archetypal rural English wedding in pretty Northamptonshire.

I’ve actually known Chris for almost 30 years now, although we hadn’t really seen much of one another in the last 15 years or so.  So it was an absolute honour and thrill to be asked to document his and Gemma’s wedding in the village of Nether Heyford – where Chris had spent his childhood growing up and still a community he has very strong ties to.

So I knew it was going to be a very special wedding day.

Bridal Preparations at home in Abington, Northampton

Colour wedding photography of the bride checking her phone, during the morning bridal preparations at home in Abington, Northampton,

My day started early, as it usually does, turning up at the couple’s home in Abington, Northampton where Gemma and her bridal party were preparing for the wedding day ahead.  As is always the way with bridal preparations there was so much happening – which is fantastic for me a documentary wedding photography who captures all those natural moments and genuine emotions.

With excited children, emotional family and fun loving bridesmaids there was never a dull moment to be had and so many great decisive moments for me to document.

Wedding at St Peter & St Paul Church, Nether Heyford

Colour wedding photography of St Michael & All Angels church in Nether Heyford, Northamptonshire.

Without doubt the village church of St Peter & St Paul in Nether Heyford is a stunning and very traditional location for an English rural wedding. Lying in the heart of the village, surrounded by old sandstone cottages and in leafy shadows of surrounding trees, part of the church dates back to the 13th century.

To be allowed to marry in this historic parish church, you must either be part of the parish or have some other legally recognized connection with it.  Of course, Chris’ family had a long standing connection with the village, which meant he and Gemma were one of the lucky ones to be able to get married here.

Black and white wedding photojournalism of the groom and best man watching the bride come up the aisle, at St Peter & St Paul church in Nether Heyford, Northants.

With the church packed to the rafters with friends and family there was an excited anticipation as Gemma was escorted up the aisle by her father.  Chris and his best men looked on with a mixture of pride and happiness, which was to set the tone for the rest of the wedding ceremony.

Smiles, Hugs and Kisses

Black and white candid wedding photography kisses a wedding guest, after the wedding ceremony outside St Peter & St Paul church in Nether Heyford, Northampton.

Rings exchanged, first kiss enjoyed and wedding register signed, the newly married couple proceeded out into the afternoon countryside sunshine, where they were quickly surrounded by excited and emotional guests.

As a wedding photojournalist this is a great time for me to document some tender moments and heartfelt emotions. Lost in the moment of post-ceremony bliss, I go unnoticed and capture some truly beautiful and natural wedding photography.

A Rural Backyard Marquee Wedding Reception

Colour wedding photography of a rural back yard marquee wedding in Nether Heyford, Northamptonshire.

Gemma and Chris were in the fortunate position of a family friend who owned a small meadow just down from the church, which made for a great location for a marquee wedding reception. With great views of the surrounding Northants countryside, hay bales and beautiful rustic diy decorations and details, it was a truly stunning backyard type setting for the evening reception.

The speeches were the traditional mix of tears and laughter, particularly as the groom paid a moving tribute to his late mother, Olive, which didn’t leave a dry eye in the house or, rather, marquee, including myself!

Black and white documentary wedding photography of the bride placing a reassuring hand on an emotional groom, during the wedding speeches in Nether Heyford, Northampton.

The remainder of the afternoon was a great time for kids to have fun with the hay bales and explore the meadow, whilst the adult guests do what adult wedding guests usually do, drink and make merry.

First Dance and Country Dancing

Black and white candid wedding photography of the bride and groom enjoying their first dance, during the wedding reception in Nether Heyford, Northamptonshire.

With a hog roast slowly cooking outside and evening guests arriving it was time for the romantic first dance. As Chris serenaded his beautiful bride around the marquee’s dance floor, friends and family, looked on with happiness – after all these years, Chris had finally found the woman of his dreams.

With the cake cutting done, it was then onto some fabulous country dancing that really got both the marquee and evening in full swing.  From the smiles and grins on everyone’s faces, it was clear this was a great way to start the evening celebrations.

As is usual for the evening dancing, I love to get right into the frenzy of the dancefloor and shooting with a slow flash on my camera, in order to swirl those lights and get a real feeling of the mood and movement.

Colour documentary wedding photography of wedding guests dancing, during the wedding reception in Nether Heyford, Northampton.

Nether Heyford Wedding Photographer

As I’m sure you’ll agree from the above photos and small selection of wedding photography that follows, Gemma and Chris had a truly wonderful English rural wedding with a personal touch of a DIY backyard wedding.

If you like this post and the wedding photos I’d love you to share across your social media and even tag friends and family you know.

Colour documentary wedding photography of a flower girl having her hair done, during the bridal preparations in Abington, Northampton.Black and white wedding photography of three young girls hugging, during the bridal preparations in Abington, Northampton.Colour wedding photojournalism of the bride watching a flower girl having her hair done, during the bridal preparations at home in Abington, Northampton.Colour wedding photography of the flower girl being cheeky as the hairdresser combs her hair, during the bridal preparations at home in Abington, Northampton.Colour wedding reportage photography of the bride covering her eyes as her hair is styled, during the bridal preparations in Abington, Northampton.Black and white wedding photography of a young girl with a teddy bear, as the hairdresser does the brides hair, during the bridal preparations in Abington, Northampton.Black and white wedding photography of the bride covering her eyes as the hairdresser applies hairspray, during the bridal preparations at home in Abington, Northamptonshire.Colour documentary wedding photography of an emotional mother-of-the-bride getting a hug, during the bridal preps at home in Abington, Northampton.Colour wedding photojournalism of the bridal flowers at home in Abington, Northamptonshire.Colour wedding reportage photography of the brides shoes and wedding dress, during the bridal preparations at home in Abington, Northampton.Colour unposed wedding photography of the brides foot in flip flops, during the bridal preps in Abington, Northants.Colour candid wedding photography of the bridal party bare foot, during the bridal preparations at home in Abington, Northampton.Colour natural wedding photography of the father-of-the-bride having hep doing up his tie, during the bridal preparations at home in Abington, Northamptonshire.Colour wedding photography of a bridesmaid having mascara applied by the wedding make-up artist, during the bridal preps in Abington, Northampton.Black and white wedding photography of the bride's wedding dress being done up, during the bridal preps at home in Abington, Northants.Colour wedding photojournalism of the back of the brides dress being tied, during the bridal preparations in Abington, Northampton.Black and white documentary wedding photography of a close-up of the brides dress being tied, during the bridal preps in Abington, Northants.Colour wedding reportage photography of wedding guests arriving at St Peter & St Paul church in Nether Heyford, Northants.Colour candid wedding photography of guests arriving at St Peter & St Paul church in Nether Heyford, Northamptonshire.Colour street photography wedding photography of a young guest running towards St Peter & St Paul church in Nether Heyford, Northampton.Black and white wedding photography of a young guest hugging the groom, outside St Peter & St Paul church in Nether Heyford, Northants.Colour wedding photojournalism of the vicar leading the bridal party into St Peter & St Paul church in Nether Heyford, Northants.Colour documentary wedding photography of the wedding ceremony in St Peter & St Paul church in Nether Heyford, Northamptonshire.Black and white wedding reportage photography of the groom placing a ring on the bride's finger, during the wedding service at St Peter & St Paul church in Nether Heyford, Northampton.Black and white wedding photography of the bride pushing the wedding ring onto her finger, during the wedding ceremony in St Peter & St Paul church in Nether Heyford, Northants.Colour wedding photojournalism of the bride and group enjoying their first kiss, in St Peter & St Paul church in Nether Heyford, Northamptonshire.Black and white documentary wedding photography of the bride smiling at the groom, during the wedding service at St Peter & St Paul church in Nether Heyford, Northampton.Colour wedding photography of guests in great wedding hats, during the wedding service at St Peter & St Paul church in Nether Heyford, Northants.Colour wedding photography of the wedding ceremony at St Peter & St Paul church in Nether Heyford, Northampton.Black and white documentary wedding photography of the best man playing with his young son, during the wedding ceremony in St Peter & St Paul church in Nether Heyford, Northamptonshire.Colour wedding photojournalism of the groom signing the wedding register in St Peter & St Paul church in Nether Heyford, Northampton.Black and white wedding reportage photography of the wedding ceremony at St Peter & St Paul church in Nether Heyford, Northants.Colour candid wedding photography of the vicar with a raised arm, during a wedding reading at St Peter & St Paul church in Nether Heyford, Northamptonshire.Colour wedding photography of the bride kissing a wedding guest after the ceremony, outside St Peter & St Paul church in Nether Heyford, Northants.Colour storytelling wedding photography of a guest giving the bride a hug, after the wedding service at St Peter & St Paul church in Nether Heyford, Northampton.Colour wedding photography of a bridesmaid's bouquet outside St Peter & St Paul church in Nether Heyford, Northamptonshire.Colour wedding photography of the groom kissing the bride outside St Peter & St Paul church in Nether Heyford, Northamptonshire.Black and white documentary wedding photography of the wedding marquee in Nether Heyford, Northants.Black and white wedding portrait of the groom and his best men in Nether Heyford, Northampton.Colour wedding reportage photography of the bride and groom being showered with confetti, during the wedding reception in Nether Heyford, Northamptonshire.Colour wedding photojournalism of a wedding vendor filling up a punch jar, during the wedding reception in Nether Heyford, Northants.Black and white documentary wedding photography of the best man helping to put up the sides of the marquee, during the wedding reception in Nether Heyford, Northamptonshire.Colour wedding photography of the groom delivering his wedding speech, during the wedding reception in Nether Heyford, Northants.Colour wedding photography of a floral detail at this rural backyard wedding in Nether Heyford, Northamptonshire.Colour wedding photography of a beautiful floral detail, during a rural back yard wedding in Nether Heyford, Northants.Black and white candid wedding photography of the bride kissing the groom, during the wedding reception in Nether Heyford, Northampton.Black and white unposed wedding photography of the bride and groom laughing, during the wedding speeches in Nether Heyford, Northampton.Black and white wedding photojournalism of the bride being embarrassed, during the wedding speeches in Nether Heyford, Northants.Black and white candid wedding photography of the groom shaking the best man's hand, after the wedding speeches in Nether Heyford, Northampton.Colour wedding photography of a young guest, during the wedding reception in Nether Heyford, Northants.Colour wedding portrait of three youg boys, during a back yard rural wedding in Nether Heyford, Northamptonshire.Colour wedding photojournalism of children playing, during the reception of a rural back yard wedding in Nether Heyford, Northants.Colour documentary wedding photography of a hogroast being prepared, during the wedding reception in Nether Heyford, Northampton.Colour wedding reportage photography of the bride and groom during the wedding reception in Nether Heyford, Northants.Black and white storytelling wedding photography of the bride and groom's first dance, during the wedding reception in Nether Heyford, Northampton.Colour wedding photography of the bride and groom enjoying a tender and loving moment, during the wedding reception in Nether Heyford, Northants.Black and white wedding photojournalism of a guest enjoying the couple's first dance with them, during the wedding reception in Nether Heyford, Northamptonshire.Colour wedding photography of the groom enjoying a funny moment with a guest, during the wedding reception in Nether Heyford, Northants.Black and white wedding reportage photography of the groom's father enjoying a dance with the mother-of-the-bride, during the wedding reception in Nether Heyford, Northants.Colour wedding photography of the bride and groom cutting the wedding cake, during the wedding reception in Nether Heyford, Northamptonshire.Colour wedding photojournlism of wedding guests line dancing, during the wedding reception in Nether Heyford, Northampton.Colour documentary wedding photography of guests dancing, during the wedding reception in Nether Heyford, Northants.Colour wedding photography of a male guest dancing, during the wedding reception in Nether Heyford, Northants.Colour unposed wedding photography of a young guest looking tired and fed up, during the wedding reception in Nether Heyford, Northants.Colour wedding photography of the bride and groom during the wedding reception in Nether Heyford, Northamptonshire.

Affordable Northamptonshire Wedding Photographer

Are you getting married in Northamptonshire? Or maybe you enjoyed my award winning documentary wedding photography approach to capturing natural moments, genuine emotions and authentic wedding stories?

If so, I’d love to chat with you about your wedding plans and how I can help you get the unique storytelling wedding photography you want.  You can call or text me on 07920 422144. Or, alternatively, send me a message via my contact page.  I’ll be delighted to hear from you you.

You can check out my wedding photography packages and prices here.

James cuddles Lizzie during this engagement photography shoot in Battersea Park, London.

Battersea Park Engagement Shoot – A Sneak Peek

What a gorgeous day it was today and there was no better way than spending it shooting an engagement session with the gorgeous Lizzie and James in London’s Battersea Park.

Here’s a quick sneak peek from that engagement shoot.

I hope you enjoy.

If you’re getting married and would love to book me for a fun and beautiful engagement photography session, then please do give me a call on 07920 422144 or send me a message via my contact page.

I’ll be delighted to hear from you.

Colour documentary wedding photography of male wedding guests enjoying cigars, during the evening reception at Highdown Vineyard in Ferring, West Sussex.

Why I Love This Image: Groomsmen, Cigars & a Toy Lens

To be honest, there are lots of things I love about this image from Crystal & Dom’s Highdown Vineyard wedding in West Sussex.

It was early evening, during the wedding reception, and the warm summer sun was setting on the Sussex countryside.  A number of the groomsmen and male wedding guests had sneaked outside to enjoy a celebratory wedding cigar.

At the time I was experimenting with a new lens on one of my cameras, and a plastic toy lens at that! Made by SLRMagic and near on a 50mm field of view, it’s a lens that gives a quirky and imperfect view of the world.  In many ways it’s the closest I’ve come to an old film analogue look on a digital camera – without any post processing that is.

There was definitely a real retro and timeless vibe to the scene, which was perfectly enhanced by the toy lens.  This is really helped by the central standing male, sparking up his cigar, and with a vintage look straight out of the TV historical crime series Peaky Blinders (or rather, as I hear it in my head, “Peaky Bloody Blinders” said in a very strong Brummie accent!)  The rural setting and rather old looking pylon in the background also add to this.

Of course, the photo is also a great depiction of a natural moment being quietly enjoyed by the groomsmen – away from the music and dancing back inside – and great subject matter for my documentary wedding photography approach.  You can really imagine the male conversations and reflection being made on the wedding day!

I was delighted the image itself was granted an award by the Wedding Photojournalist Association in a 2016 Reception category.

You can also see more images I love and read why in my Why I Love This Image series.

Contact Me To Discuss Your Wedding Plans

If you are getting married at Highdown Vineyard or simply enjoy my award-winning documentary wedding photography approach and think I’d be a great fit for your wedding plans, then I’d love to hear from you.

There is absolutely no obligation to book and I also offer a unique 100% money back guarantee if you are not satisfied with your photos. So there’s really no risk whatsoever!  Check here for more details about my services and fees.

You can call me on 07920 422144 or send me a message with details about your wedding via my contact page.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Award winning street photographer DArren Lehane

Award-Winning Street Photographer

Award-Winning Street Photography Wedding Photographer

Yes, it’s now officially announced…I’m one of the winners of the International Street Photography 2016 competition – run by PDN in conjunction with publishers Acuity Press.

Candid public photography of a girl and a penguin at London Zoo. captured by the street photography wedding photographer.

As a result of being one of the winners I will be featured in a book curated and published by renowned photography historian and curator Mr Colin Westerbeck.

To be chosen by Westerbeck, including other judges such as the legend that is Alex Webb, is extremely flattering and humbling.

The Creative Engine That Drives My Documentary Wedding Photography

As I’ve often said, my passion for candid street photography is very much the creative engine that informs and drives my natural documentary approach to wedding photography.  To be awarded by such legends, not just in street and documentary photography, but photography as a whole, demonstrates how seriously I take my work.

Candid public photography of a speaker with inflatable dinosaur at Speakers Corner in Hyde Park, London. captured by the street photography wedding photographer.

Lots of photographers talk about passion – but few actually demonstrate it. For me, passion is an action, not a word. It’s taken my well over a decade of going out on the streets, in all weathers, to capture work that has now been recognised by such prestigious figures in the industry. Photography isn’t just about money – at its very core its an art form that I cannot resist. I’m driven to document moments irrespective – be it family, the street or weddings.

Also such recognition reinforces I am a genuine documentary wedding photographer. Again lots of wedding photographers drop terms like wedding photojournalism, wedding reportage and so on, but few genuinely understand what it actually means, let alone practice it.

So I hope winning such a prestigious international competition shows you that you are in great hands when it comes to me being your wedding photographer.

£10 for you if you can find another wedding photographer like me

Surrey reportage wedding photography of two young guests playing at being brides, on the steps of Gatton Hall in Surrey. Taken by one of London's best wedding reportage photographers.

I believe I’m one of the few genuine documentary wedding photographers who has won international competitions for both their wedding photojournalism and personal street, as well as being confident enough to offer an amazing 100% money back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with the wedding photography I produce for you.  I’ll wager £10 with you that you can’t find another!

Contact Me Now To Discuss Your Wedding Plans

Black and white wedding photojournalism of the first dance, during the wedding at Highdown Vineyard in Ferring, West Sussex.

So if you’re getting married and want to hire a genuine award-winning documentary wedding photographer, I’d really love to hear from you.

Please give me a call on 07920 422144. Alternatively, just send me a message via my contact page. I’ll be thrilled to hear from you.