After a few setbacks and distractions, my book "How to have a wedding as individual as you are" is due imminently and so whilst i sit and wait for my proof copy to arrive through my letter box, I thought I would take this opportunity to answer some of the questions that have already been asked with regards to the book.Read More
A short piece on reducing stress in the lead up to, and during, your big day. Taken from from my forthcoming book "How to have a wedding that's as individual as you are".Read More
A lot of people ask me about my approach to photography and why I insist on it being such a collaborative and inclusive event. To best explain my ethos, I use the following analogy of going to the hairdressers and asking for a specific cut and how it feels when you don't get quite what you are after.Read More
Deb and Janine encapsulate everything that is beautiful about falling - and staying - in love. I asked the ladies to answer a few questions for me so that I could learn more about their history together, how laughter helps them get through difficult times and what their shared dreams are for the future. Their answers are truly inspiring and make for a heart-warming read. So for the next 5 minutes, put your phone on silent, grab a cuppa and read about a real life love story...Read More
Highlights from Jeannie and Mac's light and laughter-filled photoshoot on Hampstead Heath.Read More
6 tips for taking better images of your children.Read More
The lovely ladies at Martels Bridal Boutique have expanded and now stock even more beautiful wedding dresses. Read on to find out more....Read More
This week's guest blog comes from one of my recommended suppliers Nick Brown. Nick is a fantastic magician who never ceases to amaze me with his tricks. If you haven't considered a magician to entertain your wedding guests, why not take read below to find out the benefits of investing in a magician for your big day!
I attend many wedding fairs and venue open days to promote my services as a wedding magician. When I meet people at these events I get a number of different comments and observations. Some people have no idea why you’re there and can’t immediately see any connection between weddings and magicians. It’s not like you’re offering a cake or a dress or a vintage car or flowers, or any of the other wedding ‘essentials’.
For those brides and grooms that stop to chat (or even to see some close up magic) the usual broad question is ‘so how does this work at a wedding’?
The first thing I explain is that close up magic is quite simply a form of entertainment. They will undoubtedly have it in mind that they will provide some entertainment for their guests on their wedding day and may have thought of some of the more obvious things such as music (guitarist, pianist, harpist, singing waiters etc), or something more personal like a caricaturist.
The next question is usually ‘so when do you do this’ (on a wedding day)? The answer to that is, quite simply, whenever you decide it best fits into your day. However, from experience I can tell them that there are three clear sections of the wedding day when this can work best.
Firstly (and probably the most popular) is after the wedding ceremony and prior to the wedding breakfast. This period is usually one to two hours and very often the bride and groom, ushers, bridesmaids and close family members are often involved in official photographs and their guests are usually enjoying a drinks reception. At this point guests often stick in small groups with the few people they know best. A magician can travel around the groups, often bringing small groups together, and provide six or seven minutes of fun, humour and amazement. I always try to include some magic with objects that I borrow from members of the group such as bank notes, coins & rings. I can usually cover 120 guests in 2 hours and everybody gets to see some magic. It provides something memorable and creates a talking point.
The second option is to provide magic at the tables during the wedding breakfast. At first this sounds potentially intrusive but, when done properly, it can be a brilliant addition to a wedding day. An experienced magician will start by speaking to the catering team and getting an understanding of the order in which tables will be served food. That way they can establish which tables have some waiting time to fill with some entertainment and they can avoid bumping into the serving staff. The magician will not approach a table when they are eating and will be sensitive to breaks for speeches and presentations. The reaction from the tables receiving the magic can create an atmosphere of fun and anticipation. Finally, a special performance is reserved for the top table.
The final section to consider some magical entertainment is immediately after the wedding breakfast. Guests usually vacate the room of the wedding breakfast to enable a room turnaround and once again have some time on their hands. Some wedding days are quite long and at this point some guests may be in need of some entertainment in order to avoid a lull. Magic at this point keeps the party going and can often drift into the time of day when evening guests are arriving and they too will get to see some magic.
I ensure that my service is very flexible and I offer packages of one to three hours with half hour jumps. This keeps things flexible and affordable and enables the bride and groom to be very specific with what they want and when they want it.
There are a few other things miscellaneous things which I always do. I arrive half an hour ahead of the agreed start time in order to check out the venue and to prepare. I always dress as though I am a wedding guest. I prefer to blend into the crowd rather than seek to stand out from it. I also get the photographer to get a few photos of the audience enjoying and reacting to the magic. These are always happy smiling photographs which create good memories.
Magic is not everyone’s cup of tea but, in my experience, it is always very well received at weddings. It creates an atmosphere of fun and amazement and helps to make the day even more memorable for guests.
I can testify that Nick is highly entertaining and professional and would make a great addition to your wedding day.
To contact Nick you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07955 184936 and his website (with lots of clips, pics and testimonials) can be viewed at www.essex-magician.com.
Have a great week.
This week's guest blog post comes from Fred Foster of Yours Occasionally. Fred is my "Supplier of the Week" so - after reading all about the changes to her wonderful wedding stationery business below - please do check out her website and social media pages.
Fred is also a fantastic blogger and always shares brilliant insight into her wedding stationery creations and designs.Read More
Whether it's your questions and suggestions, your minds being open or your coordinated outfits being chosen, your input is key and important to me. Here is a guide to making the most of your pre-wedding session.Read More
For bride and grooms-to-be that aren't huge fans of having their photo taken, a pre-wedding / engagement shoot can be something that fills them with absolute dread and horror. The idea of voluntarily having an extra photo shoot on top of a full day of wedding photography, seems like adding to the stress and anxiety that wedding planning can sometimes bring.
However, pre-wedding shoots are in fact perfect for such camera-shy couples and in this post I have listed just a few of the benefits of having a pre-wedding shoot. Let's take a little look...Read More
How you dress on your family photoshoot can have a massive impact on the the look and feel of the images, but choosing the right outfits doesn't need to be stressful or complicated.
Below are some simple tips for making sure you look awesome in your family photo shoot...Read More
5 fantastic things to do in Chelmsford this February half-term!Read More
There are plenty of choices when it comes to wedding photography in Chelmsford and across Essex, so how can you be sure that you book not only a reputable and reliable photographer but one that is the right fit for you? First off, there a few questions you can ask yourself when first meeting or talking to your prospective snapper...Read More
When I introduce myself as a family photographer, a lot of people tell me that they would love some up-to-date images of their family but are too concerned about what to wear, not knowing how to pose, or getting their children to act like angels for 90 minutes to actually book a session. So, in this blog post I have listed 5 of the most common family photography fears and how I can help you to overcome these. I hope that by the time your have read this post, you will be itching to book a photo shoot and get those long-awaiting new family images up on your wall.Read More
Part 4 of a series of blog posts exploring what essential pieces of kit I keep in my bag and how each item helps to make you look great in your photos.
Sometimes – despite all the planning and preparation in the world - things can go wrong and a camera can malfunction, get dropped or become damaged during a shoot. That’s why it’s important to carry a back-up at all times.
The Canon 7D is never far away in my kit bag; ready and waiting to step-in should my 5D fail on me (touch wood this hasn’t happened yet). However, the 7D is far from just a back-up camera as it has some really great features of its own and in some areas even outshines my main camera.
Here are few reasons why the 7D can handle anything during our photoshoot;
The 7D is far superior when it comes to focussing for actions shots as it has a wide range of focus settings to choose from. It produces sharp shots of fleeting moments that can be missed in the blink of an eye.
As with the 5D, I can assign particular functions to a range of controls on the 7D and so this means I can easily switch from one camera body to the other and shoot just as quickly and comfortably with each camera.
With a slightly smaller sensor than the 5D, my 7D is lightweight and easy to handhold which means I can happily lug it around on a shoot whether around my neck when in use or tucked up safely in my kit bag.
You may have already read my previous blog post in this series all about my different lenses and how they help me get great shots during our shoots. These lenses work just as effectively with my 7D as they do with the 5D. So whatever camera body is in use, we can still get a diverse variety of images and show off all your best features.
What this means for you.
Peace of mind. Knowing that I have a back-up camera means you don’t have to worry that your shoot will be cancelled last minute or end prematurely due to kit failure. It also means high quality images are guaranteed regardless of which piece of kit I use.
So if you’re looking for a relaxed and fun-filled family photo shoot or are on the hunt for a reliable wedding photographer, please do get in touch. I’d love to use my skills and my ever-growing kit bag to help you and your loved ones to look great!
Have great week.
Part 3 of a series of blog posts exploring what essential pieces of kit I keep in my bag and how each item helps to make you look great in your photos.
We've looked at the camera, we've looked at the lenses and this week we're looking at two small but crucial contents of my camera bag - memory cards and batteries.
The memory cards that I use are known as Compact Flash Cards. I use two makes; SanDisk and Lexar. Both makes are high-quality professional memory cards that are known for durability and speed. They are shock and vibration resistant and can cope in both hot and cold temperature extremes. They allow me to shoot lots of fast moving objects in quick successful when needed without freezing-up the camera or missing the shot.
Memory cards come in a range of storage sizes – during a shoot I use several 8GB or 16GB cards instead of a single card with larger storage capabilities so that in the unlikely event of the card becoming damaged, not all of the images are lost.
What this means for you
Having a range of high quality memory cards with me on all shoots means that we can take time for you to relax in front of the camera and try lots of different poses without worrying about running out of memory. They also enable me to capture even the most fleeting of moments as they are quick to store each image and be ready for the next shot.
My camera batteries are long-lasting but also fully rechargeable. Rarely – if ever - have I needed to change a dead battery mid-way through a shoot. Should this be necessary I always carry at least 3 other spare batteries on me at all times. I also carry one of my battery chargers with me just in case.
Like the memory cards, the batteries perform just as well in extreme temperatures and are reliable in all conditions and environments – including when shooting in continuous mode for action shots.
What this means for you
Whether your wedding is a summer scorcher or set in a winter wonderland, my camera's batteries will perform perfectly and won't restrict the length of our shoot or my coverage of your big day. Indoors, outdoors, summer or winter - it will be us who are worn out long before my camera's batteries!
Hopefully you now understand a little bit more about what my memory cards and batteries do and how they provide peace of mind during a shoot. You can be assured that we have every eventuality covered on a shoot - be that a family portrait session or a wedding. For even more reassurance, look out for my next post in the series - all about my back-up camera.
If you now feel that your memories are in safe hands with me and would like to contact me to book a family shoot or wedding coverage please do get in touch. I really would love to hear from you.
Thanks for reading - have a great week.
Following on from last week’s blog where I talked about some of the features of my camera body and how it helps me to take great photos of you and your loved ones , this week we are looking at my lenses and seeing just what they do for us on our shoot.Read More
Part 1 of a series of blog posts exploring what essential pieces of kit I keep in my bag and how each item helps to make you look great in your photos.
Over the next few weeks I'm going to be blogging about the essential items I carry in my photography kit bag and how they help me to get great shots of you and your loved ones. For part one I thought it best to start with the most obvious piece of kit - my main camera body - the Canon 5D Mark ii.
Here are 5 features of the 5D Mark ii that help you look awesome in photos.
1. The Full-frame Sensor
A camera's sensor size ultimately determines how much light is captured within each image. The larger the sensor, the more light that is captured in each shot. The 5D Mark ii is fantastic for shooting in low light situations due to it's full-frame sensor. The large sensor also helps to capture the tiniest details in highlights and shadows as well as a broad spectrum of colours and tones.
What this means for you.
Are you getting married in a beautiful yet dark old church? Have the moody and drab clouds arrived just in time for your family photo shoot? There's absolutely no need to panic; my trusty 5D Mark ii enables me to capture beautifully sharp and high quality images in a range of far-from-ideal lighting situations without huge amounts of grain and "noise" ruining the shot.
2. Long Battery Life
Whilst I use fully rechargeable batteries (more on these in a future blog) and always carry spares on my shoots, I have rarely - if ever - needed to replace the battery midway through a shoot. The 5D Mark ii will take 1000 to 1500 shots before the battery needs replacing so I can shoot without fear of having to stop just when we're getting into our photographic groove!
What this means for you.
Remember that cute expression your children just pulled when looking at each other? Want every moment of your wedding captured from bridal prep through to the first dance? Knowing my camera has a long battery life means that I can catch fleeting moments without fear of missing a single second to stop and change the battery. It also means that we only have to stop our photography shoot when we decide it's time to go home and not when the camera says "Enough!"
3. Total control over every setting.
This camera lets me take full control of every aspect of each photograph - from exposure (brightness) to how much is in focus, the image's colour balance and whether to freeze or to blur motion.
What this means for you.
Have you tried to take dreamy back-lit images of your loved ones only for them to turn into silhouettes? Are your children so full of beans that every photo you take of them is blurry? I can quickly adjust my settings for creative effect to ensure you look your best in all lighting situations and enable you to have pin sharp images of even the most energetic child.
4. Interchangeable lenses
The Canon 5D - like most DSLRs - allows me to fit and use a range of lenses according to the photograph I am taking. I will talk in a future post about what each individual lens does for me (and you). Having a camera body that fits so many top-range lenses means that I can creatively shoot from a range of distances and angles - from close-up shots of the exchanging of rings to wide angle-shots of your favourite woodland walk.
What this means for you.
Camera-shy children can be pretty intimidated by a stranger with a huge lens looking at them which could naturally lead to anxiety. I often start a shoot with a small 50mm lens which looks far less scary before working up to the bigger lenses. However, these larger lenses also enable me to stand further back from the action and let children play and interact naturally so as to capture some gorgeous candid moments. During your wedding ceremony I have the option of showing both detailed close-ups of the exchanging of rings and wider shots of the wedding venue. Having the option to switch lenses and the ability to know when best to do so helps to produce a large variety of shots during your special occasion or family shoot.
5. Custom Functions
The Canon 5D Mark ii enables me to personalise which button controls each function. For example I use a button on the back of the camera to control focussing instead of pressing down the shutter. This means that I can work in a way that suits me best and quickly make adjustments without having to stop and look at the camera body itself.
What this means for you.
Knowing these controls so well means I can focus my attention on you. I can check that you and your loved ones are feeling relaxed and happy with how the day or shoot is going. I can help to guide your posing and answer any concerns that you may have. It also means that we have more time to try lots of different shots and you won't be stood around feeling like a gooseberry as I mess around with my camera!
So there you go - five ways in which my camera body helps you to look good and relax during a photoshoot with me. To see some of the work created with this camera please take a little look at my website or get in touch if you would like my camera and I to create some magical images of you and your loved ones. I shoot both weddings and family portraits and love meeting new people so please don't be shy.
In my next post I'll be talking more specifically about my lenses and how each one makes you look your best. In the meantime, I'd love to hear any comments or suggestions for future posts.
Have a great week.