Thursday, August 25, 2011

Wow! Photography at Mitton Hall, Whalley

Remember the 31st July? It was the day of the Iron Man UK competition.

More importantly, it was the day of Andrew & Sarah's wedding.

What was the connection between the two things?

They were going on in the  same town at the same time.

"Be prepared for traffic delays and closed roads."    *Gulp* "OK."

Traffic delays and closed roads?  Nightmare scenario.  We set off about 2 hours earlier than we needed to just to make sure we wouldn't be late.

The sat nav was having to work overtime to  get us to where we were mean to to be roads were closed left, right and centre. However, after a loooooooooong wait in a traffic jam caused by a policeman on traffic duty giving priority to the bikes in the Iron man event going through a major junction,  we were eventually waved through with shouts of "Go! Go! Go! There's another bike coming!"

Apart from hopping down a road that had been closed off and skipping round a corner we weren't supposed to go round, the rest of the journey passed by fairly uneventfully.  Hahaaa geddit uneventfully?  Heh, I crack myself up sometimes!  Anyway, we got there with bags of time to spare.

Luckily, the groom's house, bride's house and church were all in very close proximity to each other so once we were in the area it wasn't too difficult to get from A and B to C.

Bob popped off to see the lads who were having fun with a few little scene stealers. Bless 'em. they were lovely - the scene stealers, not the lads though they were alright as well.

While all that was going on Carla and I were with the girls:

The colour scheme was blue, ivory and silver, very elegant, very pretty.  Sarah had freesias in her bouquet, my Mum's favourite flower. Every time I smell them it reminds me of my Mum and that can only be a good thing.

It was peaceful, almost serene at the bride's house. That is until about half an hour before the cars were due to arrive then all the serenity evaporated into a mad flurry of  activity.  I thought it had all been a bit too laid back. Sarah however, took it all in her stride and was calm right up till the moment when she and her Dad clapped eyes in each other all in their wedding finery. Then it got emotional, even I was at it ( must have been the freesias!).

All to soon, it was time to set off to the church - with an escort

Well, we've never done a wedding where we've had to be escorted to the church. Thanks, Iron Man for that.

We arrived at the church in plenty of time, Sarah was back to being her serene and calm self. here she is having a quiet minute before walking up to the church with her Dad.

I'm told it looks  like a really, really long church when you are standing at the door waiting to walk up the aisle.

The service was lovely. I'd been given instructions by the vicar that I could sneak through the side door and take a few photos from the doorway. "No more than one or two. Ok, maybe five."   Better make them good ones then.

The vicar turned round part way through one of the hymns to catch me, out of sight of everyone, I hasten to add,  singing and swaying along to 'O Jesus I have promised' He looked a bit shocked for a second and then smiled and carried on with the service.

While the register was being signed in the vestry, it all got a bit giddy. The atmosphere in the room was lovely. I do love it when everyone is enjoying every moment of the day.

Then came the confetti. So much confetti. I thought it would never stop!  the little kids were scooping handsful of it up off the floor to throw again and again. 

Then it was into the cars and off to one of my favourite venues, Mitton Hall. Why is it one of my favourite venues? because in our experience they  pull out all the stops to make your wedding everything you want it to be. Not only that but they are very photographer friendly and that always helps. David, the toast master is Brilliant with a capital B. 

 Pimms, anyone?  Although the weather was threatening to rain, it didn't. Warm enough to be out in the grounds, everyone had a lovely time.

  Pimms, anyone? 

We went down to the lower garden for the group shots, lots of space and very, very pretty.

After the formal photographs I asked the bridal party to walk across the lawn for me. Easy enough?  It was hysterical.  

Once the formal shots were all done we went for a stroll round the grounds. The shot above is one of Bob's signature shots, in a bush with a long lens on. He'll be arrested one day for that, I'm sure.

The reception room, as ever looked stunning. It almost glows with those lovely candelabras. 

Time for the speeches. Very emotional and very touching. There may have been a few more tears from the Mums.

Followed by, "you're not too old for a smacked backside, you know!"

Time for a  breather after  the wedding breakfast while the guests checked in to the hotel or relaxed on the the patio and then it was straight into the evening reception.

First; cake cutting.  I was very relieved to see the cake cut and out of the way. It had been in the middle of the dance floor and looking a bit precarious as  the little kids were dancing round it. We breathed a sigh of relief when it was moved away. Mind you, if it had gone over we were ready to get some  good shots of it.

Aw. The first dance. So romantic. The lights are low, the atmosphere is electric and the stage is set for a nice smoochy number. What's not to love about your  first dance as husband and wife? 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Hey! It's been a while..

So. How have you been? Keeping busy? Good. Good.

Us?  Really busy.

All over the country for weddings, seminars and preparing lots of luverley goodies for the next wedding fairs which are starting again soon.

As you already know, me and Bob are always keen to keep up to date with what's going on in the industry and with that in mind we have been busily updating our wedding packages as well as getting new products to show you and changing the proof books and albums.

In fact, we've pretty much had a total spring clean and everything is all sparkly and new now.

This week we took ourselves off to Chester for some professional development, it's always good to keep the skills honed, and spent a few hours with some other professional photographers learning a few new tricks and comparing kit.

Honestly, we photographers are such geeks, we see a new bit of kit and decide we can't live without it even though we've been very happily managing without it up till that point.

The seminar was brilliant. It was all about using the flash off camera. A posse of photographers and a trio of models worked our way round Chester city centre on Wednesday, stopping every minute or so with a cry of "Ooh, this looks fab, let's shoot here."

What? That was just me? Oh.

Anyway, moving swiftly on.

It was a perfect day out, nice  of you to  ask.  Even better because we turned it into an excuse to spend the night at the lovely Queen Hotel, one of our  favourites.

This morning, being a non work day, was just crying out for me to get out shooting. Carla modelled for me and we went to a location I've had my eye on for quite some time.  Of course I had to try out the new flash techniques.  I used my new talking light stand aka Bob  to position the flash in the correct place for me.

I also had to quickly perfect the technique of  leaping out of the road as cars sped  by every five seconds.  Many of them tooting their horns, shouting and waving, at Carla, not me.  I always thought that was a quiet road. How wrong can you be!  Carla of course loved the attention, can't accuse her of being shy.

The last three were shot in the barn at home. For those of you who don't like urban locations you might find them a bit easier on the eye.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Wow! Photographs rainy wedding at Stirk House

It's been a funny year, weather wise for this year's weddings. There has been a pattern of lovely weather all week and then on the day of the wedding the heavens have decided to open and drop millions of gallons of water on us from a great height.

I once shot  a rainy wedding years ago when I worked for another company. Well actually, I shot dozens of rainy weddings but this particular one stays in my memory.

The bride stormed into the reception venue, snatched a glass of champagne off the tray and stropped off upstairs to the bedroom! She stayed there till it was time for the meal and then later complained she didn't have all the photos she wanted. Oh dear.

Luckily for Bob and me, we only have lovely brides and grooms who's attitude to their wedding is that it is a declaration of their love  and a commitment to spend a the rest of their lives together. And the rain?

"Rain? Pah!  We laugh in the face of rain Hahaaaa!  It's not going to get in the way of our wedding!"

Much nicer attitude in our opinion.

Bob and me have noticed that our vestigial gills have started to develop though  - not a totally unexpected occurence for an English wedding photographer, I suppose.

Carla came along with us again on this wedding, she's really getting the hang of it now and has the makings of a good photographer and like us she loves all things 'wedding'.

Helen and Oliver are our couple in the spotlight today.  Gorgeous inside and out.

The day started with Carla and me going to Helen's for the bridal preparation while Bob went to see the lads.  Do you girls want to see Helen's shoes? Carla's eyes nearly popped out of her head. Oh. My. Lord. They were to die for. Mind you, I probably would have died if I'd tried to wear them!

The girls were showing no signs of pre wedding jitters, in fact they were having a ball. Getting the garter on under all those layers was proving a bit tricky:

As were the boys. Word reached me that Oliver did a great job of getting all the lads dressed and organised in time. Here's a quick lesson in hairdressing:

Bob, meanwhile was outside photographing the beautiful rings.

Carla and I photographed the beautiful flowers.  Details are so important. They are the bits you forget as time goes on so we make sure we get lots of detail photos to keep those memories alive.

There just was time for a last check that everything was in order and a quick cuddle with Dad ( Helen, not me! ) before setting off for the church.

Still the rain lashed down. 

Did they care? Did they heck!

The wedding was at the gorgeous St Peter's Church at Salesbury. 

Helen and her Dad arrived exactly on time. 

 The music started and

 the ceremony got under way.

Sigh. It was lovely.

I wasn't allowed  to the front at this church so all the ceremony shots were taken from the back of the church. 

We've done it!!

After a few group shot sin the church because it was still pouring down we made our way to Stirk House for the reception. Helen and Oliver enjoyed a quiet few minutes in the car.

The bridesmaids got cheeky now they'd done the hard work of the day. Time to chill!  Carla sat in the limo with them on the way to Stirk House. She got some amazing shots.


Can you see them?

Ohhhhn  noooooo!!!!   Not suitable for a family audience!!  Very funny though, here's one to give you the idea.

Once we got to Stirk House the party soon got into full swing.  

Everyone just decided to throw themselves straight into it all and have a wonderful time. Of course that means we have a wonderful time as well!  There were times I couldn't shoot for laughing! 

  Dinner time!!

So much confetti in one go. I thought it would never stop!

Aaaww. Aren't they gorgeous. They'd give Posh and Becks a run for their money, wouldn't they?


Coo-eee!  Cheers!

 Fabulous cake, so detailed. It was studded with crystals! It was absolutely gorgeous. Carla was walking round saying,"Mum, this is my wedding. Helen's done it exactly the way I'd want it." Praise indeed, Helen.

The speeches were just right. There was a lot of laughter,

just a few tears (actually, quite a few tears)

and a couple of cringes!

All too soon it was time for the first dance.

I don't think they were aware of anyone else being in the room at this point.

 Then:  PARTY TIME!!!

Congratulations, Helen and Oliver. We  wish you many, many happy years together.