Vatna applied to the groom during theIndian Wedding Sikh Maiyaan ceremony in London

London Indian Wedding Photographer – Sikh Maiyan Ceremony

Featured Wedding, Wedding Stories

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.

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

Wandsworth Wedding Photographer London – Andrea & Nick

Featured Wedding, Wedding Stories

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.

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

Wedding Stories

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.

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

Featured Wedding, Wedding Stories

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.

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

Battersea Park Engagement Shoot – A Sneak Peek

Pre-Wedding, 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.

Battersea Park pre-wedding photography shoot with same sex couple, Arad and Brian, sat beside the boating lake.

Battersea Park Pre-Wedding Photography Shoot – Arad and Brian

Pre-Wedding

Battersea Park – the ideal pre-wedding location

As a London wedding photographer I’ve always thought that Battersea Park, in the London Borough of Wandsworth, is one of the most interesting of London parks, so I was thrilled when Arad and Brian asked me to photograph their same sex wedding in the park next month.  I was even more excited when they said they wanted their pre-wedding shoot to also take place in Battersea Park too.  It is such a beautiful park with so many great photographic backdrops, so I knew it was going to be an absolutely fantastic shoot.

It was an absolutely gorgeous spring day for the shoot.  The sun was still warm and shining when the guys arrived late afternoon, fresh from wedding shopping earlier in the day.  We met at the Pear Tree cafe in the park and had a brief catch up before talking through what to expect with the shoot.

Natural and Candid Pre-Wedding Photography

Colour pre-wedding photography of same same couple Arad and Brian walking hand-in-hand through Battersea Park in London.

The reason that Arad and Brian had booked me for their wedding was due to my natural, candid and largely unposed approach to wedding photography. So I was keen that the pre-wedding shoot could be as natural as possible, which I think Brian was very relieved about.

We headed off through the park shortly after, which enabled me the opportunity to get some more natural and candid shots as the couple walked hand-in-hand through the park.  Battersea Park does have a fascinating history, built on marshland claimed from the nearby River Thames. It was also land that was very popular for duels once upon time – but thankfully the day was now all about love and togetherness!

Henry Moore Three Standing Figures Sculpture

Sun rays bear down on the Henry Moore Three Standing Figures sculpture, during a pre-wedding photography shoot in London's Battersea Park, with same sex couple Arad and Brian.

A great feature in the park is the Henry Moore Three Standing Figures sculpture and was something were able to have some photographic fun with.  Nearby is the Pump House – where Arad and Brian’s wedding ceremony will take place in June – which is surrounded by a beautiful wooded area and picturesque rocky outcrops – again another fantastic opportunity to get some beautiful pre-wedding portraits.

Further on from here, by the park’s lovely boating lake, is a grand old tree that is Arad’s favourite tree in the entire park…and it’s not difficult to see why with it’s gnarled and twisted boughs which literally lean forward and almost caress the porraceous waters of the lake.  It was a stunning spot for Arad and Brian to sit and silently reflect – and for me to get some absolutely beautiful pre-wedding photography.

Battersea Park Bandstand

Colour pre-wedding photography of same sex couple, Arad and Brian, in the bandstand in Battersea Park in Wandsworth, London.

After this we moved on to the Bandstand in the park – which itself was featured on the cover of the 2013 album ‘Didn’t It Rain‘ by Hugh Laurie.  We then finished off the shoot beside the River Thames which gives great views of the Albert Bride westwards and the Chelsea Bride eastwards.

Battersea Park Wedding Photographer

Black and white portrait of same sex couple, Arad and Brian, sat beside the Thames - with Albert Bridge in the background, during their pre-wedding shoot in London's Battersea Park.

Battersea Park really does give a wealth of options for a pre-wedding shoot and I really can’t wait to return next month to shoot Arad and Brian’s same sex wedding at the Pump House in the park.

I’m sure you’ll agree, from this small selection of photos from their Battersea Park pre-wedding shoot, it was a fantastic shoot.

Natural colour Pre-wedding portrait of gay couple Arad and Brian in Battersea Park, LondonBeautiful colour Pre-wedding photography of LGBT couple posing together in Battersea Park, LondonColour pre-wedding photography of same sex couple Arad and Brian posing in Battersea Park, LondonBlack and white Pre-wedding photography of gay couple Arad and Brian cuddling on a bench in Battersea Park, London. The Three Figures Standing sculpture by Henry Moore stands in the background.Battersea Park pre-wedding photography of same sex couple, Arad and Brian, sat together on a bench.London pre-wedding photography of LGBT couple Arad and Brian by the Henry Moore sculpture in Battersea Park, Wandsworth.Wandsworth pre-wedding photography shoot of gay couple, Arad and Brian, peeking out from between the Henry Moore sculpture in Battersea Park, London.Same sex couple Arad and Brian posing between the Henry Moore sculpture, in Wandsworth's Battersea Park, during their pre-wedding photography shoot.Black and white pre-wedding photography of same sex couple Arad and Brian posing within a wooded area in Battersea Park, in Wandsworth, London.Colour pre-wedding photography of gay couple Arad and Brian, cuddling on a rocky outcrop in Battersea Park in London's Wandscworth.Battersea Park pre-wedding photography portrait of LGBT couple, Arad and Brian, posing on a rocky outcrop.Black and white pre-wedding photography portrait of same sex couple, Arad and Brian, enjoying a tender moment in Battersea Park in the London Borough of WandsworthWandsworth pre-wedding photography shoot of same sex couple, Arad and Brian, watching the boating lake in Battersea Park, London.Black and white pre-wedding photography shoot of gay couple, Arad and Brian, watching the rowing boats on the lake in Battersea Park in London.Colour pre-wedding photography portrait of same sex couple, Arad and Brian, sat by a grand old tree beside the lake in Battersea Park, London.Black and white pre-wedding portrait of gay couple, Arad and Brian, enjoying a peaceful moment beside the boating lake in Battersea Park, in the London Borough of Wandsworth.Black and white portrait of same sex couple, Arad and Brian, during their pre-wedding photography shoot in Battersea Park, London.Natural black and white photography of LGBT couple, Arad and Brian, walking hand-in-hand through Battersea Park, during their London pre-wedding shoot.Colour pre-wedding portrait of gay couple, Arad and Brian, sat in the Battersea Park bandstand.Colour pre-wedding photography of same sex couple, Arad and Brian, sat beside the Thames in Battersea Park, with Chelsea Bridge in the background.

Are you getting married?

Are you getting married in Battersea Park and looking for a wedding photographer?  Or perhaps you are looking for a natural, candid and storytelling approach to your wedding photography?

I’d love to hear from you and talk about your wedding plans. You can give me a call on 07920 422144 or send me a message via my contact page.

Black and white documentary wedding photography of emotional wedding guests, during the evenng reception in Gipsy Hill, by London wedding photojournalist Darren Lehane.

Why I Love This Image: The Raw Emotion

Why I Love This Image

There’s lots of names for the style of wedding photography I undertake: wedding photojournalism, documentary wedding photography, wedding reportage photography, candid wedding photography and natural wedding photography to name but a few. However, I ultimately see myself as a wedding storyteller. So when I photograph a wedding I’m looking for narrative continuity, dramatic pacing and emotional appeal.

Street Photography Wedding Photographer – I Heart London

Blog Article, Street Photography Wedding Photographer

As a wedding photojournalist, specialising in candid, natural and spontaneous moments, my skills and creativity over the years have been honed by my passion for street photography.  I’ve even been called the “street photography wedding photographer” a number of times.

Therefore, I thought it would be fun and interesting to start a new occasional series where I look at some of my personal street photography and talk about the image.  So I’ve imaginatively called this new series Street Photography Wedding Photography

Green Park London Street Photography

Street photography taken of youth playing around in Green Park, by London wedding photographer Darren Lehane

Another photo taken shortly before the “I Heart London” image, in Green Park

The image I’m starting off with here was taken in Green Park in central London, a good few years ago now (2010) to be exact. At the time I had been toying with starting some kind of street photography project based on the I Heart London t-shirts.  Now to be honest, the project didn’t really get anywhere – after all there’s only so many times street photography of people in the same t-shirts remains interesting!

However, I always loved this image from the project. There’s a subtle humour here that appealed to me. It’s almost as the two great cities of London and New York are directecly competing with one another: “I love New York!” “Well, I love London more!”

Genuine Decisive Moments

Street photography of tourists in Green Park, taken by London Wedding Photographer, Darren Lehane.

Another similar clothing themed image, taken on the same morning as the “I Heart London” image

What’s really important to me, either as a street photographer or a wedding photojournalist, is that the moments I capture are unique and a little out of the ordinary. That’s part of the challenge I get a thrill from. I want to get photos that you’d be struggle to get easily again. Although this one is subtle, I suspect seeing two people walking together in similar t-shirts like this is a rare occurrence. If it’s something I could run out and get each and every day it’d be too easy (and ultimately very boring – a bit like the general original concept itself). For me, good street photography is about capturing decisive moments; occurrences that transcend the normal and everyday.

A Candid Wedding Photography Appoach

So it’s this kind of candid and street-like approach I bring into my wedding photojournalism. I’m not just going to fall back on tried and test cliche wedding photography. I approach each and every wedding as new and original and am always looking for different and interesting street-like moments to document for your wedding story. So I guess that’s why I get called the street photography wedding photographer!

Book Me

If you like my street photography approach to wedding photography, then I’d love to chat with you about your wedding plans. You can call me on 07920 422144 or send me an email via my contact page. I’ll be delighted to hear from you.

You can see my personal street photography on my website www.londonstreet.photography

Highdown Vineyard West Sussex wedding photography of the groomsmen smoking cigarettes, taken by one of the best wedding photographers in London, Darren Lehane.

Artistic Award-Winning London Wedding Photographer

Awards, Blog Article

I’m delighted, thrilled and truly honoured to have recently been awarded two wedding photography awards by the prestigious Artistic Guild of the Wedding Phototojournalist Association (AGWPJA).  As a London wedding photographer I feel it’s incredibly important to enter my wedding photography into awards. It helps me gauge how I stand against my most talented peers, keeps forcing me to continually improve, as well as reassuring wedding couples that my work is worthy of winning industry respect award.

A Fine Art Approach to Wedding Photojournalism

image

The AGWPJA is a sister body to the Wedding Photojournalist Association (WPJA) and concentrates on a more fine art approach to wedding photojournalism. As they say themselves:

The Artistic Guild of the Wedding Photojournalist Association AG|WPJA is comprised of outstanding wedding photographers, who are at the forefront of the wedding photography industry when it comes to enhancing images. The chief objective of the AG|WPJA is to provide members with a platform where the finest enhanced, manipulated and/or artistic wedding photojournalism in the world is spotlighted and promoted for the bride and groom.

The AG|WPJA is a separate division of the Wedding Photojournalist Association (WPJA). Whereas the WPJA upholds strict guidelines that forbid excessive picture manipulation, the AG|WPJA encourages and fosters creative image enhancement, with the vision of promoting Fine Art Wedding Photojournalists.

The AG|WPJA establishes and upholds high standards that are taken into consideration during the judging process for our wedding photography contests. Using all artistic tools at their disposal, members skillfully enliven their work in post production processing.

So as you can most probably appreciate winning an award from AGWPJA is a huge thing for me as fine art wedding photojournalist.

The Award Winning Wedding Photography

So above are the two photos which picked up the recent awards in the 2nd quarterly awards of 2016 with the AGWPJA.

The black and white image on the left is from Jodi and Simon’s wedding at the Hyatt Regency Churchill hotel in Central London. It received 2nd place in the Other Vendors category.  The judges commented as follows:

Nice composition with strong graphic appeal and a great sense of gesture.

Subtle and quirky moment, but I like it. Thank you to the photographer for finding an interesting detail from something so ordinary and sharing it with us.

The colour image on the right is from Crystal and Dom’s wedding, taken during the evening reception at the beautiful Highdown Vineyard in Ferring, West Sussex. It picked up 6th place in the Wedding Reception category. The judges comment was as follows:

Great subjects, mood, tonality and color.

Picking up two awards in one competition is extremely flattering and pleasing.

Book an Award Winning London Wedding Photographer

If you enjoy my award winning approach to fine art wedding photojournalism and think it would be a good fit for your wedding story, then I’d love to chat with you about your wedding plans. Give me a call on 07920 422144 or send me a message via my contact page. I will be thrilled to hear from you.

Black and white wedding photography of the bride and groom's first dance, in Gipsy Hill, by one of the best London wedding photographers, Darren Lehane

Gipsy Hill London Wedding Photographer – Cynthia & Julian

Wedding Stories

A South London Wedding Story

As a London wedding photographer – and a south London one at that – it made a nice change to be shooting a wedding literally on my doorstep. I’ve known Cynthia for a few years now, so I was delighted and thrilled when she asked me to photograph her wedding at Christ Church in Gipsy Hill, Lambeth.

Cynthia’s roots are firmly Caribbean, with her family hailing from the island of Barbados. Julian, on the other hand, is of Polish extract via south London, so it was a wedding with a real mix of cultures.

Both Cynthia and Julian were getting ready together, at their home by Norwood Park – along with all of Cynthia’s children, grandchildren, brothers and other family members! So the preparations were crazy, hectic and chaotic…but all in fun and enjoyable way.  Given my natural wedding photography approach it was fantastic to be able to blend into the background and document so many fun and emotional moments.

Gipsy Hill Wedding Photography South London

Christ Church Gipsy Hill Wedding Photography

The wedding ceremony took place in the modern Anglican Christ Church in Gipsy Hill.  The ceremony was led by the Reverend Jonathan Croucher.  I do have to admit it was the first wedding I’ve ever photographed where the groom was late getting to the church. Still, it didn’t matter too much, as Cynthia herself was almost 45 minutes late arriving – but that only added to the fun and hectic nature of the day.

The service was relaxed and happy, with plenty of sunlight flooding in through the high glass windows of the Church’s modern architecture. Of course, with lots of children amongst the guests, there were plenty of candid moments and natural emotions to capture with my photojournalistic wedding photography.

Gipsy Hill Wedding Photography South London

Tears, Laughter & Funky Dance Moves

The evening reception took place in the St Margaret Clitherow church hall, just a short drive away in Gipsy Hill.  Throughout the speeches and formal dances there were some real outpourings of emotion – showing just how loved and special the couple were.  This then gave way to the evening disco, where things got significantly more funky and upbeat – there were even some choreographed group dances. Again this was perfect for photojournalistic wedding photography and ensuring Cynthia and Julian got a wedding story they can enjoy and share for decades to come!

It was definitely a wedding that was fun and a pleasure to document,  I’m sure you’ll agree, the small number of selected wedding photos, here and below, show just how fun the wedding day was.

Gipsy Hill Wedding Photography South London

Book an award winning London wedding photographer

Are you getting married and are looking for a wedding photographer in London?  Or perhaps you enjoy my reportage style wedding photography and think it would be a great match for how you’d like your wedding story being captured. Give me a call on 07920 422144 or fill in the contact form on my contact page. I look forward from hearing from you and discussing your unique wedding plans.

Cynthia and Julian’s Wonderful South London Wedding Photography

Here’s just a small selection of the wedding photography that Cynthia and Julian received from their wedding day.

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Street Photography Wedding Photographer

Street Photography

With it being a public bank holiday weekend, here in the UK, I got the opportunity to go out in central London and spend a few hours taking some candid and documentary street photography for myself. As anyone who reads me regularly, they will know that my personal street photography is very much the creative juice that fuels me as a wedding photographer. Given my candid and non-traditional approach to wedding photography, shooting personal candid work out on the streets of London ensures I can keep my reflexes sharp and keen when I don’t have a wedding to shoot.

My street photography is very much influenced by the likes of Garry Winogrand, Elliott Erwitt, Richard Kalvar and Tony Ray-Jones. I love looking for humour or the surreal in everyday street scenes.  If I get both in the one shot, even better!  And that’s the challenge of street photography, looking for the unusual in the usual and trying to elevate it into something special with the frame.  My street photography is about inducing a wry smile or raising more questions than answers. Life is serious enough as it is, so if my work amuses and bemuses then that’s all I ask.

So all the street photos included here were shot over the last couple of days and represent my favourite ones taken.  You can see more of my persona street photography at my London Street Photography by Darren Lehane website.

If you enjoy my candid street photography approach and how I apply it to my wedding photography, then I’d love to chat with you about your wedding plans. You can call me on 07920 422144 or send me a message via my contact page. I’ll be delighted to hear from you.

More from the weekend…

 

Why I Love This Image: The Rock n Roll Groom

Why I Love This Image

Every time I look at this image, from Jodi and Simon’s wedding at the Hyatt Regency Churchill in Portman Square, central London, I just can’t help but smile at the memory.

Simon is a naturally quiet, polite and well-mannered young guy – but also a loving father and a rock to his family. So when the wedding band at the Hyatt Regency Churchill struck up with one of Simon’s favourite tracks, by the band Oasis, Simon was encouraged up with Jodi, his beautiful bride, to sing along in front of all their adoring fans, ahem, I mean wedding guests. Lost in the music and the moment there was a split second where Simon let go of his good old-fashioned British reserve and was a sneering, attitude filled Liam Gallagher the rock star. It was a brilliant moment that captured the great fun and amazing atmosphere of Jodi and Simon’s wedding day.

Like I said at the outset, the photo always brings back fond and fantastic memories – which is exactly the job of wedding photojournalism, in capturing those real moments and genuine emotions that are part of a unique wedding story for the couple.  That wedding story is the basis of memories they will recollect months, years and decades later.

If you are getting married and enjoyed my natural, candid and unobtrusive wedding photojournalistic approach to capturing a unique wedding story, then I would love to chat with you about your wedding plans.

You can call me on 07920 422144 or send me an email via my contact page with details of your wedding.  I will be delighted to hear from you.

Go here to see the thoughts, memories and stories behind other Images That I Love.

How the Lack of Social Housing Impacted on a Pre-Wedding Shoot

Pre-Wedding

Charlene and David’s recent pre-wedding shoot in central London was definitely a case of “the best laid plans of mice and men”.

I am shooting their wedding story in Luton next month and when they said they’d love a central London “touristy” pre-wedding portrait shoot I couldn’t be more excited.  After all, as a London wedding photographer I’d be on my “own turf” and know there are so many places that would provide a fantastic backdrop for their pre-wedding images.

So we agreed on meeting in Trafalgar Square – with it’s fountains, lions and Nelson himself you couldn’t get a more iconic London start to a shoot. What’s more, the spring sun was shining brightly when I woke that morning, so I couldn’t wait to get started.

Thankfully I got to Trafalgar Square an hour earlier planned, and discovered that it was the day the annual Mayor of London St Patrick’s Day parade was taking place with the Square itself set aside for all the celebrations.  Yes, David himself is a proud Irishman – but I doubted they’d want to be posing for portraits in the Square with a few thousand drunken revellers surrounding them!

So after a few hasty texts, we agreed to meet at Charing Cross instead.  Across from the station are a row of 4 iconic red telephone boxes which I thought would make a good starting point instead.  My alternate plan was to then head on down to Waterloo Bridge, via the pretty Embankment Gardens, to then get portraits of them on the bridge with a sweeping vista of the city behind.

Except, when we finally did reach Waterloo Bridge a political demonstration against the lack of social housing was in full flow across the bridge – on exactly the side of the bridge I was planning to get the city vista shots!  You really couldn’t make it up – I never ever thought I’d have a pre-wedding shoot interrupted by a political demonstration. I even jokingly said to Charlene and David, that I could now at least have a blog heading of “How The Lack of Social Housing Impacted on a Pre-Wedding Shoot”!!!!

Still, the great thing about central London for a pre-wedding portrait shoot is that you are never too far from the next great photo opportunity – and being a London based wedding photographer, I know exactly where to go. So unperturbed, we took a number of shots around the South Bank, including in the Jubilee Gardens with the London Eye in the background, along to Albert Embankment for some Houses of Parliament and Big Ben backdrops before ending up at the magnificent Somerset House back over on the Embankment on the north side of the Thames.

So after exhausting the pair of them with quite a bit of walking, we end ended up with me buying them a well deserved tea and coffee.  Despite all the hitches and walking we certainly had a great and fun time – and I really felt like I get to know Charlene and David even better ahead of their wedding day, next month.  And to be honest, that’s the real point of a pre-wedding portrait shoot – getting to know one another – the final images they received are just a bonus.

So if you are getting married and interested in also including a pre-wedding shoot as part of your wedding photography package, then I’d love to hear all about your wedding plans.  You can call me on 07920 422144 or send me a message via my contact page.

I’m sure you’ll agree, Charlene and David make a lovely couple, based on this very small selection from the portraits they received that day.

Charlene and David pose by iconic red telephone boxes, opposite Charing Cross station, during their central London pre-wedding portrait shootThe couple pose in Embankment Gardens during their pre-wedding shoot in central LondonA romantic moment as David cuddles and kisses Charlene during their central London pre-wedding portrait shootDavid and Charlene pose by some impressive shadows on Waterloo Bridge, during their pre-wedding shoot in central LondonCharlene and David kissing in front of some street art on the South Bank, during their central London pre-wedding portrait shootCharlene and David cuddle up, during their pre-wedding shoot in central London, beside the Thames and Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament oppositeDuring their central London pre-wedding portrait shoot, Charlene and David pose by a fountain opposite the Houses of ParliamentIn the forecourt at Somerset House, Charlene and David pose for a portrait during their pre-wedding shoot in central London

Hampstead Heath Pre-Wedding Shoot

Pre-Wedding

Jodie & Simon’s Mean ‘n’ Muddy True Love Story

What I love about pre-wedding shoots, no matter who or where they are, is is the ability to get to know the wedding couple much better ahead of the wedding day.  Getting to see how they are with each other and how they react in front of the camera means I get some great insights ahead of the wedding.

So yesterday’s pre-wedding shoot on a very muddy and very squelchy Hampstead Heath, in North London, with Jodi and Simon allowed me to get to know Jodi and Simon that much better, ahead of their wedding at the Churchill Hyatt Regency hotel in Portman Square in Central London towards the end of March.

For instance, I found out that Jodi is chatty, fun but also very relaxed and easy going. Not one to make a big fuss about her wedding day. Simon is equally as easy going, straightforward and not a man who wants too much of a fuss in front of the camera.  Of course, this is fantastic news for me as a wedding photojournalist who specialises in a no nonsense and relaxed candid approach to wedding photography!

Here’s a few of the images from yesterday’s shoot. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did making them.

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Are you getting married and think you’d enjoy have a pre-wedding portrait shoot? Or perhaps you are looking for a London wedding photojournalist? I cover the whole of the UK and destination weddings overseas, so I’d love to chat with you and hear all about your wedding plans.

Call me on +44 (0)7920 422144 or send me a message via my contact page. I’ll be delighted to hear from you.

You can see other True Love Stories here.

Don’t Just Focus on Price for your Wedding Photography

Price, Wedding Advice

Why You Shouldn’t Just Consider the Cost of Wedding Photography

When it comes to booking your wedding photographer, it’s very easy to just look for the cheapest option available.  I know it’s a cliché but wedding photography really is one of those areas where you get what you pay for.  Of course, you will have a certain budget, and will want to work within that, but invariably if you allow cost to be your ONLY consideration when booking your wedding photographer you could end up making a disastrous decision.  You don’t have to look too deeply online to find wedding photography horror stories where a couple have simply gone for the cheapest wedding photographer they could find.

So here are my 5 top tips to also consider when booking a professional wedding photography, to ensure you make a properly thought through and considered choice when booking your wedding photographer.

1. Style of Wedding Photography

Don’t make the mistake of thinking there’s just one style and approach to wedding photography. Broadly speaking there are 3 approaches: traditional wedding photography, wedding photojournalism or commercial wedding photography.  Of course, within all these styles each individual wedding photographer will bring their own individual interpretation and personal style, but you need to know what kind of wedding photographer you would like and ensure that they match your artistic vision for your wedding day.

For example, I’m a wedding photojournalist who specialises in a more natural, candid and unobtrusive approach to documenting your wedding story, as opposed to a more traditional wedding photographer who will want to pose and stage events more. Understanding the differences in wedding photography will ensure you at least find the kind of wedding photographer whose work you admire.  After all, would you simply choose any old wedding dress because it’s cheap or have your wedding at a fast food outlet, simply because it was the cheapest option available?

2. Professional Wedding Photographer

Documentary wedding photography at South Lodge hotel in Horsham, West Sussex

It’s easy nowadays for anyone with a semi decent camera to call themselves a professional wedding photographer. Of course, we could have endless debates about the definition of “professional” but if you do want to book an experienced and professional wedding photographer you need to be looking at their portfolio or examples of their work. Do they have a variety of real weddings to show you? Or do they seem to have just one or two and some which look like faked weddings (i.e. just the bride and groom, no guests, etc.)?  Take a look at my wedding photography portfolios to enjoy some of the weddings I’ve documented.

The other thing to consider, when looking for a professional wedding photographer, is whether they belong to any professional bodies or not.  The other key here is to understand that some professional bodies anyone can join – simply by payment of a monthly fee and it’s not necessarily a comment on their professionalism.  What you need to be looking for are those professional bodies where the photographer has to qualify for entry into.  You then know that other professionals have deemed their work good enough and professional enough to belong to that body.  For example, my wedding photography portfolio had to pass scrutiny before I could qualify as a member of the Wedding Photojournalist Association.  Furthermore, I am also duty bound to work within their strict code of conduct.  It’s membership of professional bodies like this that will reassure you that your wedding photographer is both professional and competent enough to shoot your wedding.

3. Reducing the Risk of Anything Going Wrong on the Wedding Day

Wedding reportage captures the moment the bride adjusts her tiara, during the bridal preparations at the Premier Inn hotel in Crawley, Sussex.

It’s important to understand that you can never reduce risk from a wedding day 100%, but a competent wedding photographer will do as much as possible to reduce the risk of anything going wrong on the day itself.  They will invest in the best equipment possible, have back up equipment in the event of anything going wrong and, should the worst happen and something does go wrong, will have ample insurance cover for such scenarios.  This is often an area where the budget wedding photographers will cut corners to keep prices down.  They may only have one camera, just a couple of lenses and no insurance cover.  Of course, things may not go wrong but are you willing to take that kind of risk on what is one of the biggest days in your life and something that you’ll want to remember forever?

For example, I shoot with 3 camera bodies, have up to 7 prime lenses on the day, use only professional memory cards, back up each and every card to a professional storage device on the day and have full insurance cover which includes third party liability cover and professional indemnity cover.  I like to think this importantly gives you peace of mind on your big day.  But of course such continual investment in this area doesn’t come cheap so you do have to question what corners are being cut by a wedding photographer who seems to be offering unbelievably low prices.  Remember the old adage, if it seems too good to be true…it most probably is!

4. A Genuine Passion for Photography.

Old Ship Inn Brighton wedding photography of the bride emotionally hugging her sister, during the drinks reception

Your wedding day is, of course, going to be such an important and wonderful day for you. You’re going to be full of excitement, enthusiasm and passion for every little detail about it.  So you’ll want to surround yourself with wedding vendors who equally as passionate.  After all, would you really want a wedding photographer who’s not that passionate about what they do?

The trouble is there’s wedding photographers around who simply see wedding photography as a means to making money – they have no real passion either for weddings or, worse still, a genuine passion for photography itself.  But how can you tell if your wedding photographer is passionate about what they do? Well, look to see if they pursue photography in their spare time. Ask them who their inspirations and influences are.  Do they genuinely have a love for the history and traditions of photography? Do they value its art or craft. Or do they just view the camera as a money making machine?  This is important, as an appreciation of photography is what helps develops a photographer’s understanding of the art and their creative eye. And a photographer’s creative eye is really one of the main things you are paying for when you book a wedding photographer.

I could talk to you all day about my influences and inspirations – some of the great masters of the medium.  My bookshelves literally creak under the tomes of photography related books I own. Away from weddings I have a deep love of street photography – much of which also influences the way I document a wedding story.  It’s not just a job for me. It’s a way of life. It’s my passion.  Yes, I even dream of taking photos!

5. Get to Know Your Wedding Photographer

Holiday Inn Brighton wedding photography of the wedding dress hanging by a window, with Brighton's West Pier in the background, during the bridal preparations

This really follows on from the last point, but don’t just go with the first wedding photographer who offers you the cheapest price. It’s important you get to know the photographer. Will you get on? Will they be good around your guests?  It’s the wedding photographer who you will spend most time around on your wedding day, so it’s important you pick a wedding photographer with whom you click. Does their approach to photographing your wedding match your own wish. Meet them and find out…before you book the first cheapest price that comes along!

So yes, of course, the cost of a wedding photographer is an important consideration – but I genuinely believe its important for you to make your final choice based on a number of factors and not just price alone. Equally, just because a wedding photographer charges a high price it doesn’t mean they are the right wedding photographer. But you do have to question how some wedding photographers can off their services so cheaply when, even as a hobby, photography is an expensive pursuit.

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

I hope in the end this advice helps you find the right wedding photographer for you. If you think I might be that wedding photographer then I’d love to chat with you about your wedding plans.  Please feel free to call me on 07920 422144 or send mend me a private message, via my contact page.  I’ll be delighted to hear from you!

You can seem more of my wedding photography services and prices by clicking here.

Candid street photography of a wedding party, posing for their traditional wedding portraits, in Central Park, New York City.

Candid Street Wedding Photography

My Style, Non-Wedding, Street Photography

Weddings Captured by a Street Photographer

Street photography is very much my personal passion – it’s what I shoot in my spare time. In many ways it is what drives my approach to wedding photography.  There are a lot of similarities between street photography and wedding photojournalism. Both employ a candid and unobtrusive approach that attempts to capture the integrity of a moment and produce a storytelling narrative within the frame.  So it’s not surprising that I often think of myself as a street photographer who just happens to be shooting a wedding.

There has been a small number of occasions whilst I’ve been out and about shooting street photography where I’ve stumbled across a wedding.  Of course, as a wedding photographer, I can’t resist capturing what’s unfolding before me – in a candid and discrete way- but without the expectation of being the official wedding photographer. So here are three examples of weddings I’ve captured in such circumstances.

Central Park, New York City Wedding Photography

Candid street photography of a wedding party, posing for their traditional wedding portraits, in Central Park, New York City.

Back in the spring of 2010 I was on a short trip, my first ever, to the US, which took in both New York City and then Los Angeles. Whilst wandering through Central Park, on the first day of my trip, I happened across this wedding party posing for their official wedding portraits.  I just loved that lime green wedding dress of the bride, and the white suit of the groom. And that hands in pocket too-cool-for-school attitude of the young boy was just fantastic. It was too good an opportunity for me to miss.

By intentionally standing behind a couple of family members looking on, I really wanted to give the impression of someone on the outside looking in.  It was very much how I felt at the time – an “outsider” in a foreign country I was visiting for the time, so it really reflects my feelings as much as capturing a wedding itself.

Labin, Croatia Wedding Photography

Street photography of a wedding photographer capturing the bridal party arriving for a wedding in the town of Labin in Croatia

Once again, I was away on a trip to the delightful Istria region of Croatia although, unlike the New York trip (above), it wasn’t my first time here having visited the same area when I was just a kid back in the late 1970s (although it was part of Yugoslavia back then.)  On this occasion we had taken a day trip up to the small historic town of Labin, which overlooks the coastal resort of Rabac, and whilst there happened upon this scene as a fellow wedding photographer captured the moment the bride and bridal party arrived for a wedding in the small church.

I had only taken a small compact camera away with me on this trip (a Ricoh GRD IV for the camera geeks amongst you!) so was able to snap this moment pretty discretely and silently – without drawing attention to myself.  It did actually feel a little odd being a wedding photographer looking in on another wedding photographer as he worked – almost quite voyeuristic in a way, but you could say it was a busman’s holiday in effect!

South Bank, London Wedding Photography

A Chinese wedding is captured, in a street photography style, on the South Bank in London

This was a fairly recent wedding that I stumbled across on the South Bank in London.  I was out on a rare opportunity to spend the day shooting street photography when I spotted this wedding group having their official wedding portraits taken.  Alternatively, it may have actually been a Chinese pre-wedding shoot – as I know some, more affluent Chinese wedding couples will travel to different iconic travel destinations around the world to have pre-wedding portraits shot, in their formal wedding attire, in the year running up to their actual wedding day.

What really caught my eye with this scene, was the way the wedding party contrasted with the families having picnics in the Jubilee Gardens as well as the 3 girls, in odd masks, dancing in the background.  I really love capturing these odd and surreal juxtapositions in my street photography…amusing photos but also ones that raise a few questions too.

Candid Wedding Photography for Your Wedding

Hopefully this small selection of candid photos demonstrates how my personal passion for street photography not only fuels my candid wedding photojournalism approach but they can also sometimes cross over too!

So if you are getting married and looking for a more candid and natural approach to your wedding photography then I’d really love to hear from you.  You can either call me right now on 07920 422144 or send me a message via my contact page here. We can then talk about your wedding plans and I can explain my wedding photojournalism approach in more detail. You can see my current wedding photography packages and prices by clicking here.

Alternatively, you can send me a private message directly from the contact box below.  Please ensure your email details are correct if you would like a reply. It’s also helpful to leave a mobile telephone number so I can text you to say a reply has been sent. Sometimes my replies can end up in a spam folder – so getting a text will alert you to the fact that I have replied.

Send Me A Private Message

I look forward to hearing from you. And if you do have any comments about this particular post, do feel free to leave a comment (or two!) in the comments box below. I love to get comments and hear people’s views. Thanks!

Greenwich London pre wedding photography

Greenwich Park Pre-Wedding Photography in London – Steph & Paul

Pre-Wedding

Pre-Wedding Photography Shoot in Greenwich Park, London

Even though I am a London wedding photographer I am more than happy to shoot weddings anywhere in the UK, or even destination weddings abroad.  However, that said, nothing beats, as a London boy, a London location – especially for a pre-wedding photography shoot. It is, after all, a case of home sweet home! So when Steph and Paul, whose Bromley wedding photography I am honoured to be shooting later this year, suggested we do their pre-wedding portrait shoot in the gorgeous Greenwich Park,in south east London, I could hardly contain my excitement!

Greenwich Park, is one of London’s eight Royal Parks and, quite rightly so, is world famous.  After all, it hosts the Prime Meridian Line and Royal Observatory as well as being part of the Greenwich Maritime World Heritage Site which is home to The National Maritime Museum and Old Royal Naval College. It’s also the most historic of all the Royal Parks and dates back to Roman times and was enclosed in 1427. The park offers imperious views across the River Thames all the way to St. Pauls Cathedral in the City beyond. It is, quite simply, one of the most perfect locations for a pre-wedding photography shoot.

Rain, Laughter and Great Photos

Greenwich London pre wedding photography

Despite the fact that the morning started off with blazing sunshine it was if, almost on cue, the moment Steph and Paul turned up the sky clouded up and spots of rain began to fall.  The rain, which varied between light drizzle and occasional heavier bursts, basically persisted throughout the entire period of their pre-wedding photography session. An hour afterwards, as we laughingly predicted, things brightened up and the sun came out! You really couldnt have made it up any better.

But still, as I always tell wedding couples, you can’t control the weather on your wedding day, so whatever it is you work with it and even it make it a feature itself of the wedding photography. So we definitely had a few laughs through the shoot.  Clearly Steph and Paul are a fun couple and it became apparent early on, entirely comfortable being in front of the camera. But it was also quite clear, in-between shots, the great deal of love and affection they have for one another. I’m sure their wedding day in Bromley is going to be fantastic and I can’t wait to be shooting their wedding photography.

The Aim of a Pre-Wedding Photography Session

Greenwich London pre wedding portrait photography

I always encourage my wedding couples to opt for a pre-wedding portrait session if they can (which is included free within my most popular wedding photography package The Wedding Storyteller).  It might seem a little at odds with me being a wedding photojournalist, who will primarily document the real story of your wedding in a natural, candid and unobtrusive way, to be offering what is a more formal portrait shoot ahead of your wedding day. But there are 3 good reasons why I do so:

  1. It’s a great way for us all to get to know one another better before the wedding day.  After all, as your wedding photographer, I will spend the most time with you on your wedding day, compared to all the other wedding vendors. So it’s much nicer to know one another more by the day.
  2. You get used to me photographing you.  It’s not always the most natural thing, for some couples, to be the main focus of a photographer over a period time, so a pre-wedding photography shoot ensures not only do you get used to it, but I can also get an idea of what works with you and the kind of things to look out for on your wedding day
  3. At the end of it you’ll end up with some beautiful portraits of you both!

I am currently offering a FREE pre-wedding portrait shoot with all of my wedding photography packages in 2016/17, if you book me before 31 August 2015.  For more details of this fabulous offer, you can read more here.  Or, if you would like to see more details about my various wedding photography collections and prices, they please click here.

Contact me

So if you enjoyed this Greenwich Park pre-wedding photography in London or are getting married in London or elsewhere and would like to have a friendly and informal chat with me about your wedding plans, then please do call me now on 07920 422144 or send me a message via my contact page here.  I will be delighted to explain more about my unique and natural wedding photojournalism approach and how you too can get beautiful pre-wedding portraits like those of Steph and Paul’s below (just a very small random selection from the 250+ images they got from their pre-wedding photography session!)

Greenwich London Pre-Wedding Portrait PhotographyGreenwich London Pre Wedding PhotographyGreenwich London pre wedding photographyGreenwich London pre wedding photographyGreenwich London pre wedding photographyGreenwich London pre wedding photographyGreenwich London pre wedding photographyGreenwich London pre wedding photographyGreenwich London pre wedding photographyGreenwich London pre wedding photographyGreenwich London pre wedding photographyGreenwich London pre wedding photography

It’s My Life: The Third Man

It My Life: Personal Stories

It’s My Life: Personal Stories From A Private Life

Third Man-1

Okay, so I thought it’d be nice every once-in-a-while to share something that gives an insight into my life, outside of photography.  After all, when you book a wedding photographer you’re investing in the person as well as the wedding photography itself, so hopefully these occasional insights will help you to get to know me a little better as a real person – even if that does mean warts ‘n’ all at times!

The Third Man Seen At The BFI

bfi-southbank

So Friday evening I had the real pleasure of going to see my all time favourite film The Third Man, which was being screened at the British Film Institute (BFI) on London’s South Bank. I first fell in love with this film as a teenager back in the mid-1980s. I received an audio book of the novella by Graham Greene (on cassette back then) one Christmas and having been blown away by the story I sought out the film  – which I ended up recording off the TV at some point (on Betamax no less – it was the “future” back then!)  I think I can safely say that since that first time I have re-watched it hundreds of times!  Yet, like lots of old films you only get to watch on your TV, I had never seen it on the big screen. After all, its original cinema run was way back in 1949…a bit before my time!  So when I saw that the BFI was running an Orson Welles season, which was to include a screening of The Third Man, how could I resist?

The Beauty & Intrigue of Film Noir

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So what’s so brilliant about The Third Man? Well, being a photographer, it’s hard to not be totally blown away by the beautifully atmospheric cinematography,  by Robert Krasker, of post-war Vienna which is a perfect setting for a film noir thriller.  In fact, it’s dark and gritty black and white cinematography has more than likely influenced my own love and personal style of b&w photography.

Then there’s the brilliant cast…Orson Welles, Joseph Cotton, Trevor Howard and the sadly beautiful Alida Valli all coming together as one filmic tour-de-force.  The story itself is by the fantastic Grahame Green, rare in being a well respected novelist of his time who wasn’t opposed to also writing for the screen too (often looked down on by other literary writers!).  There’s humour, there’s sadness, there’s drama and thrills, classic lines and, of course, a great twist of sorts – all deftly handled by Director Carol Reed. And lastly there’s the hugely memorable theme tune and soundtrack by Anton Karas – his zither will definitely have you in a dither! So it’s no wonder it’s often cited among polls for the greatest films ever made.

Big Screen Big Impact

Seeing it for the first time on the big screen really was a fantastic experience. There’s something about the shared experience of watching  a film on a huge screen with others in a cinema that just can’t be re-created at home on TV.  And seeing a film you are so familiar with, and sharing with lots of other people for the first time, it’s quite reassuring and moving when they laugh and gasp at the same things you always have.  I genuinely found the polite applause the film got at the end quite emotional. I don’t think I’ve been to a film at the cinema where there’s been a round of applause at the end!

So if you’ve never seen The Third Man, then I thoroughly recommend you do – it’s got something for everyone in it and is perhaps why it has such a lasting appeal. Even if you’re not lucky enough to get to see it on a big screen, then do watch it at home. It should be a film you’ve at least seen once!

Now I can’t wait to see another of the films in the BFI Orson Welles season, this time a film noir I’ve never seen called Touch of Evil. By all accounts it’s another b&w film classic.  In-between, I’m going to see another of my all time favourite films, again on the big screen for the first time, and that’s the cult 80’s sci-fi movie Blade Runner, with Harrison Ford and by director Ridley Scott.  Yet it is essentially a film noir that just happens to be set in the future.

I really can’t wait!