There’s lots of rubbish spoken about gear in photography. A misguided impression, fuelled by the marketing propaganda of camera manufacturers, that to be a “pro photographer” you need to have the latest, most expensive camera equipment.
Too much street photography has become contrived.
Too thought out. Planned.
You can sense the street photographer has found the right spot, staked it out, waited for the right components to come together. It’s literally become staged. A cliche of itself.
“I don’t shoot many wedding details,” is a common thing I hear from other wedding photojournalists. “I’m about people and the moments.”
You may be looking for a London wedding photographer but I need to be very clear that I’m definitely not just another wedding photographer. In many ways I see weddings a little bit differently. Of course you may be wondering what I mean by this?
So here are 5 reasons why I’m not just another wedding photographer.
The wedding first dance is one of those must have photos from your wedding day. Being a documentary London wedding photographer I will capture it in its most natural and beautiful state. I want to document the essence of you as a new married couple right there in that romantic moment.
Now of course I will never direct what you should or shouldn’t do, as I want to capture what a first dance means to you. But I thought it would be useful to give you five tips to make sure you get the most awesome wedding first dance photos from your day.
Why I Love This Image
This Wicksteed Park wedding photo is a perfect example of why I love staying on beyond a couple’s first dance. Once wedding guests have had a few drinks, it’s time to let their hair down and get uninhibited on the dance floor.
Indian Wedding Photographer in Croydon, London
How I came to be Inderdeep’s London Indian wedding photographer for his Sikh Maiyan Celebrations is slightly unusual. I had a number of years before documented his sister’s baby shower celebrations, so his mother reached out to me to see if I was available for his actual Indian wedding ceremony. I was and she went ahead and booked me but unbeknown to her, the father of the bride had also booked another wedding photographer.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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?
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
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:
- They want to re-edit the images themselves.
- By offering to edit the images themselves, instead of the wedding photographer, it may mean a discount in the price.
- 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
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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…
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
So if you’d like a street photography wedding photographer you know exactly where to come.
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.
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.
But don’t take my word for it. Recent survey results by The Registry Site, as reported by In Style magazine confirms:
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:
Arad & Brian’s Same-Sex Wedding
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.