MANCHESTER Commercial photography | wedding photography | landscape photography
Jade and Mark's Wedding Photography, Prestwich
Here is my selection of my favourite wedding photographs from Jade and Mark’s wedding from early July. A referral from last year, it was as ever, a privilege to be invited into a couple’s home to get to know them and shoot their special day.
In Jade and Marks case, the wedding ceremony was to take place at Our Lady of Dolours Catholic Church in Prestwich, a few minutes drive from their home. And the reception in Bury. With this in mind I recommended to them that perhaps their wedding photography could benefit from a ‘second shooter’. I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to cover the pre wedding groom photos as well as I’d like given the travelling time and distance.
A decision I was pleased they took in the end. Especially as Jade’s dad was a retired wedding photographer!
I don’t often photograph church weddings. Perhaps a sign of the times, with most couples opting for a civil ceremony in the hotel or venue. The church, whilst not the most aesthetically looking from the outside was absolutely lovely inside, with high windows bathing the altar in gorgeous afternoon sunlight. It really was quite magical in there.
With the forecast predicting a number of heavy showers we quickly shot the extensive list they had prepared. The plan was to head up to Heaton Park for the newly weds then. Unfortunately the heavens literally opened and we have a torrential downpour for 30 minutes or so.
The main thing was they didn't get wet, and we managed to get some lovely shots at the venue. Not quite what they had originally spoken to me about, but we adapted and I was delighted when they posted on Instagram how pleased they were with the photos.
Congratulations to you both!
Natalie and Gregs Wedding, Smithills Hall, Halliwell, Lancashire
After meeting Natalie and Greg during our pre-wedding consultations, it is so obvious to me that they they are clearly made for each other. Which meant having the privilege to shoot their wedding day even more special.
I’ve never photographed a wedding a Smithills Hall before. Well, what a stunning venue! A Grade One listed manor house that dates back as far a 1335. The oldest part of the Hall is the great hall in the north range which was built in the early-14th century and once was surrounded by a moat.
This is where the ceremony took place. Now a museum, run by Bolton Council, it is surrounded by gorgeous gardens which give ample opportunity for lovely wedding photographs. What I loved about them was how relaxed they were infront of the camera and how they took everything I asked them to do in theor stride!
The great hall itself presented the challenge that it is quite dark, but what light does get in, provided their wedding day with a lovely sunlit ceremony and wedding breakfast.
In between these, we were also treated to some amazing hazy sunlight outside. Perfect for group shots and those all important bride and groom moments together.
I just want to say thank you so much to Natalie and Greg for their kind gift as well. Ive never received anything from the bride and groom, so I was genuinely touched.
One final note though, it was a slightly different wedding to ones I have done before. The ceremony and wedding breakfast, were at Smithills Hall, but the evening party was down the road at a nightclub! And even better, all the guests were driven down in an old London bus! Fantastic. What a great wedding and what a lovely couple. I wish them all the happiness for their future together!
Sarah & Justin's Wedding Photography
It was a privilege to be asked to photograph the wedding of one of my wife’s best friends a couple of weeks ago. Doubling my responsibilities with being a guest was also fun! But ever the professional, I left the partying until after I had finished the photography.
Ever wedding I get asked to photograph comes with great responsibility. It’s not you can redo the photos at another date is it? But I also think it’s magnified when it’s for someone you know.
In this case it came with a gorgeous love story. A tale of two people, childhood sweethearts, who had both been married, but lady luck, or cupid maybe, brought back together a couple of years ago. The wedding itself was a simple and understated affair. In keeping with the couple I suppose. They had decided on a registry office ceremony in Bury Town hall, followed by the traditional group shots outside. Then all the guests made their way to a small social club in Radcliffe for the wedding breakfast. No top table was required, and with a rather tasty buffet to eat, the speeches, emotional for everyone, were over quickly. Then the partying began!
It can be so lovely and touching as a photographer to be in a position to capture those intimate moments that most wedding guests will never see. But for me it is also important to understand the couple. I always like to really get to know all my brides and grooms. And I do this with 2-3 meetings where we chat weddings but also just have a natter. It’s very important to me that I know they will be comfortable having me photograph their wedding day.
But you know what? You could how happy they were to finally be together. Being part of it as guest was lovely, but to record their special day was my highlight.
That is what I was there for after all.
Rowena and Lee's Wedding Photography, Bolholt Country Park Hotel
Without wanting to sound a little clichéd, it is always a honour to be asked to photograph a wedding. After all, you have to get the shots right. It’s not like you can arrange a reshoot after the event is it? I would even go as far to say, it comes with an extraordinary amount of pressure as a result! But I love seeing my couples getting married. Its so nice to be involved in these gorgeous weddings.
Which makes it even more important to ensure that, despite the weather, I captured Rowena and Lee’s day exactly how they asked me to… Documentary style with the traditional wedding photography you would expect, mixed with ‘selfie moments’.
Unfortunately, as their big day approached, the weather had deteriorated to constant rain. They had chosen to get married at the Bocholt Country Hotel - a lovely wedding venue with plenty of photo opportunities in the grounds. But, as it was raining we made the decision to only photography the happy couple outside after the ceremony.
One stroke of luck was Rowena had a gorgeous parasol which doubled brilliantly as a rain stopper! We even chose to go urban with some shots infant of some gritty steel shutters - totally at odds with the countryside surroundings - but it worked superbly!
I always aim to process and deliver the images to my couples within 2-3 weeks of the wedding day, but when I dropped their images off on a customised USB stick and presentation box, I did it totally by surprise.
They are a lovely couple, with a gorgeous little girl, who just couldn't stay awake for the full ceremony! And I’m delighted they are happy with the images. I was thrilled when they emailed me with the following words, “What a lovely surprise we received yesterday thank you very much!! The photographs are fab, you've done a brilliant job capturing our day and we are very happy.”
Louise and Ryan's Wedding Photography, Clough Manor
I class myself as a professional photographer, rather than just a wedding photographer. And because I have more than one photographic discipline, I always try and bring a little something different to the wedding photographs I capture.
With this thought always at the forefront of my mind, I'm always on the look out for the lovely bit of light, or that special moment shared between people on a special day like a wedding.
Doing the wedding photography for Louise and Ryan's wedding was no exception. The location was Clough Manor in Saddleworth. A spectacular location although they - like many other couples this year - fell foul of the weather…
It’s not unusual these days to be the wedding photographer at a couple that already have children. Ryan and Louise’s gorgeous little girls certainly gave great entertainment and loved posing for me… and the appear in one of my favourite wedding photographs I’ve taken this year.
The photograph in question was shot in the brides hotel room. I had advised Louise that we should try and do as many photographs inside because the weather was so inclement. So just before we went down for the ceremony, as the the sky brightened, shone through the curtains, and give a gorgeous diffused back light to them, I took a couple of quick shots.
It’s moments like this, particularly the ‘looking through the wand’ moment that I really try and capture in any event photography, especially weddings.
The day on the whole was lovely, and the funniest moment was when we took the group shot in the bar… that actually came out looking good, and not the usual organised ridged and formal group wedding photo you usually see.
And on a final note, I want to say a huge thank you to Clough Manor for feeding me during the wedding breakfast and Ryan’s brothers for making me so welcome and being so helpful arranging the shots.
Nicola and Richard's Wedding Photography
I’ve been meaning to share some of the wedding photographs from Richard and Nicolas wedding for a while.
Well, what a lovely couple... from start to finish they were nothing but a delight to work with.
This wedding was a civil ceremony at the Bolholt Country Park Hotel which is a former stately home with expansive grounds, and lake views. The grounds provides a lovely backdrop to some stunning wedding photography too.
The day was an eventful one. Nicola wanted some bridal preparation shots doing... which we managed, in the smallest room possible... and with the hair and makeup running behind, I ran up the cobbled path to shoot Richard, the groom, and his groomsmen who were also running behind.
With the hotel pleading with us to hurry, I captured as many pre wedding shots of Nicola as possible before heading in to shoot the ceremony.
After that, we struck gold. Later afternoon winter sunshine shone down on us and gave us half an hour of beautiful light against the background.
The wedding breakfast followed and after the speeches and partying. With keeping with their request I kept to a more documentary style of wedding photography, and hopefully managed to get some smashing moments from their special day.
It’s always nice to to be asked to be someones wedding photographer, and especially nice when they leave a lovely review, “Just got my wedding pictures back they are absolutely amazing! Apart from the brilliant, natural shots taken he was an absolute star throughout the day more than helpful and accommodating, although he denies it he has the patience of a saint too! Thank you so much Paul you really made our wedding come back to life today.”
Jemma and Ryan's Wedding Photography, Red Hall Hotel, Walmersley
Jemma and Ryan only asked me to photograph their wedding back in February this year. Quite short notice for many couple who normally arrange their wedding photographer 12 months in advance. Fortunately I was free - helped by the fact it was a Sunday. They asked for a wedding shoot with no bridal preparation which is always something that some people consider to be quite personal, and I’m always say that every couple has their own vision and requirements so I’m always more than happy to discuss this.
As always I did the initial meeting then pre-wedding consultation to make sure I was getting the wedding photographs they wanted. I always prepare my kit a day in advance for weddings. We can’t be having gear failure during the day so its a form of insurance I suppose. All lens are cleaned, batteries are charged and spares are prepared. So with two camera bodies and 2 lens, one telephoto and one walk around, I set off.
Then came the big day. It was lovely sunny Sunday in July when I shot Jemma and Ryan's wedding photographs at the Red Hall Hotel in Bury. A venue I'm familiar with having now done several weddings there. The only problem was the wind and brooding rain clouds floating about. This meant that the group and couple photos outside were proving difficult due to the wind. Poor Jemma’s hair was getting blown all over the place and Ryan’s mum nearly lost her hat on one gust of wind.
We persevered though and managed to get the wedding photos they wanted plus a lot more.
I’m delighted to be able to say that they loved their wedding photographs. I’m very grateful that they let me be a part of their big day too. It’s always lovely to be able to think back to the day when I write up these posts and I look forward to the wedding I have booked in for 2016.
“Thank you so much for our wedding photographs. We love them all. The little touch of a framed picture and our personalised USB box is amazing. I cannot thank you enough.” Jemma and Ryan
I don't think you can beat it when you manage to capture one of those moments of pure joy and happiness.
Bram and Elyne's Wedding Photography
Being asked to photograph anyone’s wedding is always a humbling experience for me. To have them place that amount of trust in you. Trust that you will without any doubt capture those special moments of their big day.
Photographing Bram and Elyne’s wedding was one of those occasions. Recommended by a colleague of Bram’s there was no time for a consolation or even to meet the lovely couple. No time to arrange a shot list. Just a time, date and venue. The only brief (received an hour before the ceremony) was to capture the atmosphere of the Town Hall, the wedding and season.
This was a less traditional wedding. You see, Bram and Elyne are from Belgium. But they have lived and worked over here for a number of years. During this time, they have made friends and forged relationships. All of which were important to them, so when they announced they were getting married, they added that they would be having a civil wedding in Manchester for family and close friends. This would be followed by a big wedding back home in Belgium.
Maybe it was personality or maybe it was because they were doing it twice, but there was no big dress or bridesmaids, no matching suits for the groom and groomsmen.
But you know what? I didn't matter one bit. Elyne looked lovely. Bram was smart with his bow tie. All little pointers to their persona. The family was lovely as were the friends. The only decided hard part was that most of them spoke Belgium so I needed a translator for some of the photographs.
Manchester Town Hall is a simply stunning wedding venue. And getting to photograph this lovely couple, so clearly in love, on their special day was a privilege that matched the grandeur of the location. I presented the images to them via a beautifully customised wooden USB stick and presentation box which hopefully did their big day justice.
Bram and Elyne, Wedding Photography, Manchester Town Hall
Paula and James' Wedding Photography, Red Hall Hotel
I was lucky enough to be the wedding photographer for Paula and James. They are such a lovely couple and down-to-earth people who put so much love and effort into their big day. Although Paula will openly admit she became a bit of a bridezilla beforehand!
I want to say thank you to Paula and James for having us as their photographers. They are such a lovely couple and down-to-earth people who put so much love and effort into their big day. Although Paula will openly admit she became a bit of a bridezilla beforehand!
It was just perfect and beautiful. I’m pretty sure you’ll agree with us that her efforts more than paid off.
So I wanted to say thank you to Paula and James, for having me photograph your wedding. It was an honour and a joy to spend this awesome time with you guys.
I'll photograph the usual wedding group shots as you wish, but I will always try and capture the emotion and atmosphere of your special day.
Tina and Derek's Wedding Photography
The story behind Tina and Derek's wedding is a lovely one. Childhood sweethearts reunited so they finally got the wedding they always dreamed of. It was a pleasure to photograph their wedding. I can't say much else. Just writing about it here brings a smile to my face.
Doing wedding photography for a couple like Derek and Tina is really what its all about Getting the opportunity to capture their story on their day.
Back to wedding photography.
Photographing those hidden moments
I'll always try and photograph those moments you won't see during your wedding day. Like the flower bearer waiting for the bride to arrive. Each wedding photograph tells its own story.
Anita and Andy's Wedding Photography
One of the quirkiest weddings I've had the pleasure to photograph. Manc themed with Vimto cakes were one of the memories I brought away from it. I loved being part of the day and couldn’t have asked for a nicer couple in Anita and Andy to photograph. What a top wedding!
They even had some lovely words for us…
Paul and Mike photographed our Winter Wedding at Manchester Town Hall in November 2013. We wanted a proper Mancunian wedding, down to the last detail and felt it was important to use local photographers to fit in with this. It was a bonus after browsing through the portfolio of past work to see how experienced Paul and Mike were in many different fields of photography.
Using the stunning Gothic interior of the Town Hall as a stunning back drop, the team captured our day beautifully without it feeling staged. Mike and Paul discreetly photographed our guests casually and relaxed,just as we had requested and they captured some lovely moments that are great to look back on, as we were too busy being the bride and groom that day.
The finer details were also calmly and beautifully shot which captured the essence of our special day in Manchester.
We would highly recommend Paul for his highly professional service and would like to say a big thank you for creating our wedding photographs that we are now treasured memories.
I'll make sure I photograph the little details of you wedding day as well, so you can always look back with fond memories.
Nicki and Paul's Wedding Photography, Last Drop Village
Doing the photographs for this wedding was quite a personal journey. Paul is my best friend and has been for over 20 years. Nicki is my wife's best friend as well. In fact, the met at our home on evening a few years ago, so imagine our delight when they fell in love, got engaged and got married. I was also delighted to be able to photograph their wedding for them. It was an amazing day, made more so by our relationship with them, and a privilege to be asked to do their wedding photographs.
I always try a be on the look out for those fleeting moments of happiness or emotion and capture them for the bride and groom to see.
Natalie and Darren's Wedding Photography, Dukinfield
I was in Burton, near Pembroke in South Wales, when I got the call from Natalie. It transpired that their wedding photographer had ceased trading, and not told them, with only two weeks to go before their wedding! Fortunately I had a window and was able to say yes to their distress call! It was so last minute I didn't even have chance to go and meet Natalie and Darren beforehand!
Natalie and Darren were only having civil ceremony at the local Registrars office, so only wanted me for a couple of hours. As it turned out the Registrars office in Dukinfield is a beautiful red brick build building, with lots of original features, making for a lovely setting, and just down the road was Dukinfield park which provided a lovely backdrop for the group photos, with some beautiful late summer morning light.
Natalie said, "Thank you so much for doing our wedding photos and album they are stunning and u was brill thanks xx."
Always nice to have a happy customer!
A natural documentary style of wedding photography
Documentary, reportage, and natural are the main words I use to describe my wedding photography. It's important to try and photograph you and your wedding guests when you're most comfortable and relaxed.
At least being a commercial photographer isn't boring. Far from it in fact. I write this post in a non moaning manner. I try and avoid negative posts - so this won’t be one. However I think it’s important to understand that in the case of photography, time literally is money.
Later than planned here’s my choice for August’s wedding photo of the month. Taken at Whitehead Gardens in Bury, next door to Bury’s Registry office it just summed up the wedding and the lovely bride and groom.
On the Friday 1st July, I had the pleasure of shooting Jade and Mark’s wedding. What made me choose this wedding photo for July’s wedding photograph of the month post was a simple statement made by Jade pre-wedding. They had a small whiteboard in their kitchen which had ‘1 more day ’til I marry the love of my life’ written on it.