I know we’re already well into 2013 and this is a little late in writing, but I really wanted to share a few of my favourite wedding photography images from 2012 to sum up what was a fantastic year. Being a wedding photographer in the Lake District, I am fortunate to have the opportunity to photograph weddings in such amazing and diverse venues and locations, with some of the most beautiful scenery in the country as a backdrop. It has also been a real privilege to meet so many wonderful couples and to be a part of their day. This blog wouldn’t be complete without giving them a chance to have their say too – so I have asked them to share their favourite photograph from their wedding day and why they chose it. For me, each wedding is unique and I really try to reflect something of the couple, their personality and what is special about their wedding in my photos.
Winter Wedding at Armathwaite Hall
Alyssa & Shane’s choice
“We chose this picture for a couple of reasons. You stayed longer on our wedding day and those extra photos you took, we shouldn’t have even got, but they are some of our favourite of the day, probably because we were more relaxed, which is another reason. But mainly because we love this moment you captured of us laughing together. Another reason we love that photo is that it matches us and a quote Shane used in his speech – ‘We are all a little weird, and life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutual weirdness and call it love – true love’ – Dr Seus.”
To get to Alyssa and Shane’s wedding at Armathwaite Hall in January last year we had to make an early start and enjoyed a frosty drive up through the Lakes. Although there wasn’t the snow Alyssa had hoped for, I knew she wanted a really wintery wedding, so we pulled over just before turning into the drive at Armathwaite to capture this shot. The morning light catching the frost on the grass and the view over to the Lake District Fells was stunning.
Skitby House Wedding
Jackie & Mike’s Choice
“I have so many favourites this was really hard! I have chosen this one though. Whilst it isnt a traditional couple shot, for me it reminds me of how I felt on the day – happy, giddy, relaxed (maybe a bit dizzy). The sun shone, we got ready at home, chilled in the garden with family and friends and then the day carried on as it started. It reminds me that we had the day we wanted, not conforming to anyone else’s agenda and doing exactly what we wanted to do.”
Jackie and Mike were lucky to have one of the most sunny weddings of the year – and this was unexpected, it only being March. When I arrived at their house to photograph the preparations I was greeted by a lot of very chilled out people, including the bride and groom, sitting out in the garden and in the conservatory, basking in the sun. This was exactly the sort of relaxed day Jackie and Mike had wanted – and that feeling continued right through the day.
Instead of bridesmaids, Jackie had chosen to call her friends ‘shoemaids’ – so shoes featured heavily in their wedding story. At the point I took this photo, I was crouching down in the conservatory looking to get a shot of Jackie’s sister’s very special shoes as she was milling around. Sometimes however, moments just unfold infront of you and as I looked up I was able to capture this great picture. I love the light in this image and the energy and fun it captures – which really sums up the feeling of Jackie and Mike’s day.
Eden Lodge Wedding
Lisa & Martin’s Choice
“I love this photo as it is not only a beautiful wedding shot, but also really shows off the landscape around our wedding venue. Because of this my husband, who hates having his picture displayed around the house, has agreed to let me have this picture above all the others on our bedroom wall after surprisingly little argument.”
When I first met Lisa when she was searching for a wedding photographer, one of the first things she said to me was ‘Martin hates having his photo taken and I only have one good shot of him ever!’ No pressure then Lisa!! I must have said something at that meeting that convinced her that I would be able to put Martin at ease and capture some really natural shots of him, that he might even like – as Lisa went on to book me for their wedding day.
I loved all of Lisa and Martin’s couple shots – and would agree with Lisa’s choice of favourite – she must have a good photographic eye. When it comes to couple portraits, I am always looking for natural emotions and genuine interaction and in all of Lisa and Martin’s shots, that is what shines through.
Cartmel Priory Wedding
Rachel & Graham’s Choice
“Mine and Graham’s favourite is the photo that you took “hanging out of the bedroom window in the barn” looking down on everyone, because all our guests are on it and we’re all stood in our back garden in the sun with the evening ahead of us”
I love the natural mingling and emotion that happens immediately after the wedding ceremony when the couple comes out of church. I love to get in close with the action; this allows me to get shots which have energy and make you feel like you, the viewer, were there. But sometimes, you can also show the mood with a wide shot. I feel this image sums up the emotion of that moment. It seemed that half the village of Cartmel came out to wave off Rachel and Graham as they left in their horse drawn carriage. With the way I’ve framed this shot I’ve been able to take a busy crowd scene and make it look simple and clean. There were so many beautiful shots from this wedding I could have chosen, with Cartmel Priory, Black Fresian Horses and a marquee in the garden of Rachel and Graham’s house – but there’s something about the mood this shot evokes that I love – and perhaps also because it isn’t the obvious choice.
Aldingham Church Wedding
Rose & Nick’s Choice
“We found this very hard and could have chosen many! This is one of our favourite photographs that you took on 4th August 2012 as it depicts many different aspects to our wedding. This is the point that Nick has just seen our wedding car – this was a surprise for both Nick and I, as my Dad had arranged it for us. It was vibrant red Ford Mustang, which everyone thought was fantastic, Nick and I included. The sun is shining which was again another complete surprise for the day as the weather prior to the Saturday hadn’t been good at all and up until the Thursday the weather forecast was expected to be thunder and lightening for the Saturday. Finally, Nick and I are just walking out of the church after getting married – another reason to smile!”
I always try and be as discrete as possible when photographing during the wedding ceremony. At Rose and Nick’s wedding I was wedged in a tiny gap, crouched at the front of the church. Knowing that couples generally choose a significant person to do the reading, I always try and get a shot of them if I can. Having done this, my attention was drawn back to the bride and groom. I could see that there was a real connection happening between Rose and Nick during the reading, but I was wedged at a really acute angle and I couldn’t really see either of their faces clearly despite being very close to them. But it’s amazing how often patience is rewarded; I framed up the shot and waited. I just needed Nick to turn his head slightly and bingo, I got the shot. What I love about this image is that even though you can’t see Rose’s face clearly, you can tell that’s she’s smiling.
Langdale Spa and Windermere Wedding
Louise & Stuart’s choice
“Looking through our wedding photos each one holds a special moment and memory of our day that we can look back and treasure. But the reason behind choosing this photo above all the others, is that Dave captured everything about us as a couple that we value so much “Fun, Love and Laughter”. We both wanted this to be captured in our photos and Dave managed this perfectly and sneakily because half the time you didn’t even know he was there.”
Louise and Stuart had a unique and creative wedding day. Their day progressed from Langdale to Bardsea, on various modes of transport, including boats, trains, buses and cars. By the end of the day I felt like one of the family. Other than Louise, this little flower girl was the star of the show. I love this shot as Louise and Stuart didn’t even see the moment happen. The flower girl was enjoying all the attention of the guests clapping, seemingly for her dancing; but was then quite put out when she realised it was for the bride and groom as they cut the cake. It’s capturing little moments like these that make my job so special.
Grange Hotel Wedding
Rebecca & Craig’s Choice
“This is our favourite photo from the day as it captures the fun we have and the laughs we share. It’s a moment that reminds us of those little inside jokes we have.”
I have photographed several weddings at The Grange Hotel this year, but had never before been up to this particular room. I knew from the moment I walked in that photographically speaking, it had great potential. The light shining through the window and shaped by the curve of the ceiling looked like a painting. With a beautiful bride and beautiful light it was a gift. It would have been easy to stage this shot, but that’s not what I do. I knew if I waited that the elements would come together to make a great shot. The result was not just a beautiful image, but a beautiful image capturing a poignant moment.