Non tradition London Wedding Photographer

Not Just Another Wedding Photographer

At War With The Wedding Obvious, Blog Article, Featured Blog Post, My Style

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.

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

Wicksteed Park Wedding Dance Mayhem

Featured Blog Post, Why I Love This Image

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.

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

Frilford Heath Golf Club Wedding Reception

Blog Article, Featured Blog Post, Why I Love This Image

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.

Wedding cake and waiters at Marriott Meon Valley wedding

Marriott Meon Valley Wedding Cake – Why I Love This Image

Blog Article, Featured Blog Post, 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?

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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.

One of the best London wedding photographers shoots the bride and groom at Highdown Vineyard in West Sussex

The Perfect Photo or the Perfect Moment?

About Wedding Photojournalism, Featured Blog Post

My wedding photojournalism approach is all about documenting your unique wedding story as it unfolds and happens spontaneously. I want to capture the real moments and genuine emotions of the day – it’s a natural, candid and storytelling approach in which I’m passionate about ensuring the integrity of the moment.

Rowton Castle wedding photography of bride shedding a tear during the speeches .

However, I often get asked how I manage to capture those split second, fleeting little moments whilst ensuring my camera settings are right. After all, cameras are often very technical and complicated tools and in order to get the perfect photo you have to take into account so many factors, such as apertures, shutter speeds, white balance, ISO numbers and the like.

Well, the honest answer is I don’t worry too much about getting the perfect photo.  My focus is on capturing the perfect moment. That’s the holy grail of wedding photojournalism.  Real moments you can’t fake.  Yes, you could try and stage or pose them but they never look real, never appear the same or as natural as a genuine moment occurring.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

So imagine if you were fiddling with your camera settings all the time, trying to get the technically perfect photo…you’d spend so much time looking at the LCD screen of the camera you’d miss all those moments as they happen.  Wedding photojournalism cares more about the moment than technical settings. It’s all about the art of wedding storytelling.

That’s not to say I don’t care about the technical side at all. Experience allows me to ensure I’m in the rough ball park area of technical camera settings but I’m not going to fret about the shot being pin sharp, in focus from front to back, devoid of noise/grain, etc. In fact, I don’t personally like perfect looking photos – they often look too sterile, too clean, too bland to me. I want to capture the emotions, the mood, the atmosphere and everything else that goes into making a perfect moment. It’s like the difference between a pitch perfect modern pop star produced to the highest standards and a crackly old record of a soul singer with a distinct but technically imperfect voice.  Jackie Wilson or Jackie X Factor?

Brighton Old Ship Inn wedding photography of guest playing with the flower girk

Ultimately, how many times have you looked at a wedding photo and said you love it because it’s technically perfect.  Or do you get moved by the moments, the emotions and the expressions of a photo?  I’m guessing it’s the latter and that’s why a wedding photojournalism approach is the perfect way to document the story of your wedding day.

So I’d love to talk with you about your wedding plans and explain how my wedding photojournalism approach will capture and document the perfect moments of your wedding story. Give me a call on +44 (0)7920 422144 or send me a message via my contact page.

Details of my wedding photography services and fees can be found here.

Let’s create a memorable story together.

Ashridge House wedding photography of a bridesmaid crying as she sees the bride in her wedding dress for the first time.

The Art of Wedding Storytelling

About Wedding Photojournalism, Featured Blog Post

I’m not just a wedding photographer – I’m a wedding storyteller

As a wedding photojournalist I speak a lot about capturing your wedding story.  For me it’s the very heart of wedding photojournalism. I’m there to document and re-tell the narrative of your wedding day as it really happened.  That’s the key difference between a wedding photojournalist, such as myself, and a more traditional wedding photographer who prefers to set up, pose and stage your wedding photography.

Instead, as a wedding storyteller, I’m looking to capture and document the genuine moments and real emotions of your wedding day without dictating them.  I want you to look back, whether its in a few months, a few years or even decades away from now and remember the real story of your real wedding as it really happened – rather than remember the wedding photographer who made you and your guests do this and that to a tick list he or she uses at every wedding.

Here are 3 reasons why I think a wedding storytelling approach is the most natural for wedding photography.

#1 It’s all about the moment

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A wedding photojournalism approach is all about capturing the perfect moment, rather than the perfect picture.  It’s not about making you stand there like this, whilst I fiddle with camera settings as you or your guests get bored and irritated. It’s not about being technically perfect, instead it’s all about the emotional content – capturing the fleeting moments in-between the moments that are often the very heart of your wedding.  You can’t stage or fake genuine emotional moments, they just happen – often without warning- and you either get them or you don’t.  Because I’m not worrying about everything looking perfect or checking and rechecking my camera settings to ensure everything is technically spot on, I’m more attuned to capturing the moment – the smiles, the kisses, the tears, the expressions, the hugs, the tension.  As a wedding photojournalist – particularly one with a reportage and street photography background – I’m fine tuned to anticipating when a moment is about to happen.  Which leads me nicely into…

#2 It’s about feeling not seeing

AlexWoodyPortLow-80

I often say that if, as a wedding photographer, your are seeing the moment or the photo opportunity then you’re actually too late and have missed the core of the moment altogether.  You have to feel the moment; feel the story as it evolves around you. You often have to shoot on raw gut instinct and because a more traditional wedding photographer prefers to set things up they are nowhere near as adept as a wedding photojournalist.  But it goes beyond this.  As a photographer you have to genuinely feel the moment in your heart and soul – you’ve got to genuinely love the kind of moments that do happen on a wedding day and are totally committed to capturing them.  Without this kind of inner desire to feel pictures, rather than just seeing them, you might end up with a story, but it’s going to feel more hollow than a real heartfelt wedding story.  Which brings me onto…

#3 It’s real and it’s honest

One of the best Northamptonshire documentary wedding photographer captures wedding guests at Grendon Lakes, Northamptonshire

I’ve talked elsewhere in detail about ensuring the integrity of the moment – which is the cornerstone to wedding photojournalism.  But, in a nutshell, a wedding storyteller will give you GENUINE moments and emotions wrapped up in a series of images that are real and honest. When such moments are staged or faked, the emotional core is lost.  Ask someone to laugh for you and it both looks and sounds fakes.  Observe them really laughing at something, unaware you are looking on, and you’ll see not just warm and genuine emotion – but you’ll actually see their soul.  And that’s the difference between a traditional wedding photographer and a storytelling wedding photojournalist.  We may both produce stories, of a kind, but I’m willing to bet that the wedding story I provide resonates with heart, emotion and soul.

As a wedding photojournalist I’m passionate about not just my storytelling approach but also the getting to the heart of, and emotionally feeling the very soul of you wedding story.  This I believe, is what sets me aside and is why you choose to book me as a PERSON rather than book a wedding photographer.

Book Me

Best Northamptonshire documentary wedding photographer captures himself on a wedding guests smart phone camera at Grendon Lakes, Northamptonshire

Are you getting married and think my passion for a genuine storytelling approach to wedding photography is exactly what you are seeking?  Then I’d love to chat with you about your wedding plans.  You can either call me now on +44 (0)7920 422144 or send me a message via my contact page. 

I look forward to hearing from you.

A bride laughing at Waltham Abbey in Essex

What is wedding photojournalism?

About Wedding Photojournalism, Featured Blog Post, Home Page Feature

The Integrity of the Moment

So you’ve heard of wedding photojournalism but aren’t exactly sure what that means?  Well, fear not, I’m here to explain all.  So let’s begin by explaining that wedding photojournalism can also be known as, or referred to, as documentary wedding photography, wedding reportage photography, storytelling wedding photography, natural wedding photography, candid wedding photography or unposed wedding photography. Yes, that’s a right old plethora of terms but essentially all theses mean the same thing.

What sets aside wedding photojournalism is that it documents your wedding day in a candid, natural and discreet manner, with the aim of capturing genuine moments, real emotions and unfolding events of YOUR wedding story.  There’s no awkward posing, barking instructions or setting up contrived moments.

Harlestone Village Institute wedding photography of the bride smile and chatting with a young guest during the wedding reception

Wedding Photojournalism Is Truth

A wedding photojournalist generally shoots a wedding from the inside out ensuring the truth and integrity of the moment.  After all, when you look back at your wedding photography in years to come you’ll want to remember all those special moments that happened naturally, rather than a fake and clichéd story created by your photographer.  Besides, you can never fake true emotions or make clichéd moments look natural.  Wedding photojournalism is truth and your wedding photography is more emotive and beautiful as a result. It’s essentially the art of wedding storytelling.

Wedding photojournalism of guests taking photos at the end of the LGBT wedding ceremony, inside Kingston Registry Office. Taken by one the best Kingston wedding photographers, Darren Lehane

Photojournalistic Values

Wedding photojournalism has obviously grown out of the grand tradition of news and reportage photography. One British documentary wedding photographer once described how a couple approached him looking for a “war photographer who shot weddings.” Of course, a wedding can’t ever be compared to a war – but a wedding photojournalist will keep to the honesty and integrity of unbiased news reporting, in the context of your wedding day.  As a qualifying member, myself, of the Wedding Photojournalist Association (WPJA) I have to adhere to their strict professional code of conduct and photojournalistic values.

You can watch me in action demonstrating my wedding photojournalism approach here at a real wedding.

Waltham Abbey Wedding Photography Essex

Street Photography Wedding Photographer

As well as impartial reportage coverage, wedding photojournalism also has a foot in the spontaneous world of candid street photography – a genre itself that goes back to the start of photography itself and made famous by the likes of Henri Cartier-Bresson, Garry Winogrand and Robert Frank.  Coming from a background of street photography, I certainly approach weddings like I would street shooting – looking for unusual or amusing juxtapositions, decisive moments or those split seconds that transcend the ordinary.

That’s not just something you can learn and pick-up. It takes years of pounding the streets, observing and reacting. It calls for a passion in the genre and a full understanding of its history.  An eye for a candid moment takes years, even decades, of practice and shooting. So with a wedding photojournalist you get a photographer with a keen and well honed eye.

Affordable Northants wedding photographer documents the wedding ceremony at St Gregory's church in Abington, Northampton.

Black & White Documentary Wedding Photography

Another thing about wedding photojournalism, or rather us wedding photojournalists, is that we do have a thing for black and white photography. Maybe that’s to do with the romance of photojournalism’s heyday or that there feels a certain truth to B&W images…I’m not entirely sure.  Of course, wedding photojournalists also shoot colour images too. Personally, my preference is for the wedding photography I shoot to be somewhere in the region of 55-60% black and white.

West Sussex Wedding Photography Highdown Vineyard Crystal and Do

Capturing The Moment

In many ways, wedding photojournalism is about capturing the perfect moment rather than the perfect photo. It’s about documenting the human experience instead of fiddling around with camera settings. It lives in the reality of the here now rather than elaborate lighting set-ups.

I often equate wedding photojournalism to being like an old crackly soul record rather than over-produced, over polished modern pop music MP3.  It’s its raw imperfections that give it its mood, atmosphere and emotion. Yes, it’s more Billie Holliday than Miley Cyrus.

So wedding photojournalism is all about documenting the real and unfolding story of your wedding day in a natural and candid way.  After all, you want to remember your photos, not the way the photographer dictates them!

The Barns at Hunsbury Wedding Photography Northamptonshire

Contact Me

If think that wedding photojournalism would be a good fit for your wedding day, then I’d love to chat with you about your wedding plans.  You can call me on 07920 422144 or fill out the form on my contact page.  I’ll be delighted to hear from you. You can check my current wedding fees and services by clicking here.