April 20th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
From speaking to wedding couples day in day out we know the volume of brides and grooms that suffer pre-wedding photography nerves – and trust us, there’s a lot!
The case is often that individual doesn’t like having their photograph taken full stop, never mind during a ‘once in a lifetime’ occasion that will be looked back on for many years to come. As a solution to this common fear, many wedding photographers now offer couples the opportunity to have a pre-wedding shoot, providing a practise run in front of the camera, ready for the big day to come.
For those photo phobes out there what’s important to remember is that the guys capturing your wedding day are professionals – it’s not your mum or dad behind the camera with a shaky hand and bad lighting, these guys know all the tricks in the book to make you look and feel amazing on your big day, leading to both stunning and natural photos.
Two photographers who are big believers in the power of a pre-wedding shoot to calm any camera-shy couples’ nerves are Stan and Jane of Stan Seaton Photography. And so to find out exactly what’s involved and how couples can get the most out of such shoots, were putting our pre-wed questions to the pros…
With images by Stan Seaton Photography.
Can you explain what a pre-wedding shoot is?
jane says: A pre wedding shoot is an opportunity for us as photographers to meet with our brides and grooms prior to the wedding day and see how they interact together. At our first couple of meetings the discussion is usually geared towards nitty gritty things like pricing, albums and coverage, so it’s really lovely to get to know a couple as people (after all that is what we are going to see and capture on their wedding day).
Where and when do you advise couples to have their pre-wedding shoot?
We usually recommend that couples choose a location that is special and personal to them, often this is the place where they got engaged or somewhere that they like to go regularly. We have covered shoots in Paris, London, Oxford, as well as many local beauty spots such as Fountains Abbey and Seaham beach. Once we have decided on location we fix a date and time, usually six months prior to the wedding day.
There isn’t really such a place as the perfect location for a shoot, many contributing factors can make a good shoot, this could be good lighting/sunlight, a foggy day or fresh untouched snow and as the shoot date is usually arranged well in advance we really don’t know what we are going to get. However, we always say to couples that living in Britain the same could be said for their wedding day, so if we can get some great shots of them on a beach, on a blustery February day then their minds are at rest that we will get some amazing photos on their wedding day.
What about styling? What outfits should couples where and is this a good time for brides-to-be to have their hair and makeup trial?
We usually recommend that couples wear toning complimentary outfits, scarves and hats usually work well and wellies are good, if appropriate. All black isn’t good as this can have a tendency to look like two shadows in the pictures.
Some girls do choose to have hair and makeup done prior to the shoot and while there can be benefits of this, often it’s lovely to have a set of images which are of the bride and groom in their relaxed natural environment and not necessarily with full makeup and styled hair.
February 29th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
This afternoon we have a little something for those of you on the hunt for your perfect wedding photographer as we’re introducing another of our very talented Brides Up North Sponsors, Richard Perry Photography to the blog.
A doctor turned photographer, brides and grooms hiring Richard to photograph their big day can rest assured they are in safe hands.
Richard prides himself on delivering exceptional customer service whilst capturing natural moments and emotions in his photographs that will go on to become treasured memories.
Not only that, Richard is offering our readers a huge 20% discount (leaving you more cash to splash on the honeymoon). Whoop! Just mention this Brides Up North blog post when booking.
So let’s take a look at some of Richard’s work while finding out what made him swap a stethoscope for a camera…
How did you get into wedding photography?
I suppose my background and path into wedding photography is a little unorthodox. I have always had an artistic flare and an eye for composition. So, I have always had a camera nearby since the age of ten. However, the camera took a back seat whilst I went to university and studied medicine. I graduated with honours in 2008 and since then I have become a specialty doctor in accident and emergency. It was whilst working in A&E that I rediscovered my love of photography and artistic expression initially as a way of unwinding after a busy shift. This therapeutic hobby quickly became a passion. I still do some work in A&E but my passion for photography became too great to ignore and so the wedding photography is now the bigger part of my professional working life.
Why wedding photography specifically?
I initially photographed a lot of landscapes and cityscapes. However, after being asked to photograph the christening of a friend’s baby I realised that people interested me. More than that though, it was photographing emotions and capturing special moments that I really loved. Weddings provide hundreds of these moments and I wanted to be the photographer who captured them.
What is your favourite thing about being a wedding photographer?
Wedding photos last forever and can be shared from generation to generation. I truly love the idea that I get to capture and deliver what are effectively ‘memories’. It is quite humbling to think that one day these ‘memories’ may become a treasured link to someone’s past.
February 25th, 2016 | Julia Braime
This afternoon on the wedding blog we are introducing you to one of our talented industry buddies, the beautiful and brilliant Ms Lissa Alexandra. Lissa will shoot your day with a smile in her own, stunning & unique style.
Better yet, she’s offering new Brides Up North reader clients £100 off all wedding albums when referencing the code ‘BUNFEB16’.
Let’s say hello.
How did you get into wedding photography?
I’d shot photography for years as a hobby, mainly landscapes & animals. You could say I’m mostly self taught but then wanting to fine tune my skills I decided to take some evening classes. I ended up doing 6 years of them; from black & white film processing to advanced photoshop. I was never really interested in capturing people but then a friend asked me to shoot their wedding and that day changed my life. This will sound really cheesy but I fell in love! After years in the printing industry reproducing artworks for other artist’s and photographers I found a way of creating my own art that I knew the clients would love. My first client’s reactions to the photos and how it made me feel was magical. My life overnight took a complete change of direction and I’ve never looked back, I owe that couple so much, I’m very grateful.
Why wedding photography specifically?
Variety! There’s nothing like the thrill of a wedding day, you never know what’s going to happen, it’s so exciting! Plus, I find the whole experience a huge honour to be part of a couple’s most precious day. Weddings nowadays are so varied, the levels of style and creativity you see is just stunning, I’m a real sucker for details! They’re emotional, creative, fun and romantic, who wouldn’t want to shoot weddings?
What is your favourite thing about being a wedding photographer?
There’s no way I could pin point one thing, it’s too difficult! There’s the bond you form with your clients, the privilege of being the one who’s asked to capture their big day. The variety in types of photography from detail shots to freeze framing funny moments to timeless romantic images, I just love it all!
July 29th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Sarah and Jiten’s wedding day was a fusion of beliefs and influences, set in the glorious surrounds of Harewood House in Yorkshire. Their day of two halves was bright, beautiful and full of love. We like their style.
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Mark Newton.
sarahsays: Jiten booked out the whole of my favourite restaurant only for me to think that it was just a “Quiet” Tuesday night in Leeds! We had a lovely meal and then after exchanging Christmas presents, Jiten presented the engagement ring as the final gift… I said yes!
We were married on 19th July 2014. We chose this date as it was the most convenient time in our busy schedules as doctors and also matched in the Hindu calendar as being a “lucky day” to get married.
We tied the knot at Harewood House, West Yorkshire. We chose to get married here as we needed a venue big enough to cater for approximately 400 guests, and the parkland is so beautiful. Its location, near to our home made the planning of our wedding easier.
We had a civil ceremony in the morning, followed by a Hindu wedding in the afternoon.
We chose a shabby chic style for the civil ceremony and a full Hindu experience for the afternoon. The themes suited our upbringing, personality and beliefs
The Hindu wedding and civil ceremonies featured lots of red colours, which is in keeping with good wishes and good luck in Hindu beliefs.
I chose a white dress in the morning civil service followed by a fabulous saree for the Hindu part. I carried a bouquet of wild flowers from Daisy Chain in Roundhay.
Jiten bought a Hindu formal male wedding dress from India. It is called a Kurtha and was custom made for him in India. For the civil ceremony he had tails with a cravat.
The groomsmen wore Kurthas all bought from India, and suits for the Civil ceremony. My bridesmaids wore custom made dresses followed by Indian dresses bought in Birmingham.
Our photographer was Mark Newton. He was a legend! Very polite, unobtrusive, well read on Hindu ceremonies and made us feel very, very, very relaxed. We can highly recommend him.
The favours were all hand painted sherry glasses that we made ourselves, and our Star Wars themed cake was made by a friend of ours from Birmingham.
We had a local DJ from Bradford (Soul Asia Roadshow) who kept everyone entertained and played dancing games with all the guests.
We had a slideshow with embarrassing childhood photos of the two of us and the rest of our family. We also had some special surprise dances from our family members.
Our favourite part of the day was dancing with all our family and friends at the end of the evening. Mark Newton’s photography really captured how much fun we all had during the day and we cannot thank him enough.
For our honeymoon, we went to Lake Como for a week and then travelled around northern Italy for the second week. Lots of pizza, ice cream, prosecco, nice people and great scenery.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to get planning early and enjoy the whole process with your other half. Having an online Excel document to allow both of you to make changes and refer to regularly saved our bacon on many an occasion.
February 20th, 2015 | Julia Braime
It’s no secret that these pretty pages are a big source of inspiration, not only to our bride to be readers (who we love very much) but also to our wedding industry followers. I love that this creative industry of ours is – in general – such a fabulously supportive environment in which to work. I know that I owe a lot to the wedding industry friends who have championed my blog and brand over the years, so I hope you’ll take a break from the wedding planning (get some work done!) as I direct this morning’s feature squarely their way.
One such friend, and someone who is always prepared to give so much back to others in our field is the beautiful Cat of Cat Hepple Photography. Always one of my favourite ladies to work with (she created the stunning set of images for our rebrand back in April of 2014) and on my personal speed dial for advice on making things look really, really pretty, she certainly is one clever Cat.
I’d like to welcome Cat to the pages of the wedding blog today as she shares her latest achievement with us: she’s only gone and published a book! “The Power of Posing: win clients, create perfect poses and boost your business” is a guide for photographers, written to help them boost their skills and book more clients. This 28,000 word downloadable guide is designed to show photographers all the steps they need to take to put their clients at ease and to teach them to trust, so they take direction and the result is gorgeous images full of emotion.
I know that our photographer friends (*waves!*) will be reading with interest, as might any enthustiatic amateurs and anyone who just wants to take better personal pictures, so I’ll hand you over to the lovely Ms. Hepple.
Take it from someone who has been “posed” by Cat and loved the results: this is a tome that everyone needs in their creative library.
cat says: In the four years I’ve been a professional photographer, there’s one question I get asked more than any other by people in the industry: “How DO you get people to look so magazine worthy and yet so natural?”
To me it’s always seemed to be a strange question because posing my clients and getting them to look sensational has been one of my favourite parts of being a photographer, right from the start. I can’t imagine having it any other way. I’ve never done it any other way.
I’m not saying I’ve always known exactly what to do with them, how to guide and direct them but I have been certain from the very beginning of how I want them to look and feel and I’ve worked very hard to create techniques and routines which really help me achieve that.
I love posing people. I know that puts me in the minority in the world of photographers ( a bit like how much I love public speaking, again I know that probably makes me a bit odd!) but I get enormous satisfaction from creating a beautiful image which not only looks fabulous but captures a mood too. Because without emotion, your photographs are just poses, and nothing more. Emotion and mood are critical to connect an image with someone’s soul. So many photographers worry that by focusing on posing the emotion will be lost. But that doesn’t have to be the case.
So I’ve studied hard, not just how to pose someone by moving their arms and legs, hands and feet, but the psychology of working with people. I’ve learnt a lot about trust, building a client’s confidence in me and how to make that work on a shoot. I’ve studied people, considered ways to work with different body shapes and confidence levels and I’ve applied what I’ve learnt to my work. And now it’s all in a new book I’ve written for photographers.
The chances are you currently:
My book will help you to:
A simple process you can rely on.
A way to gain confidence.
Trust from your clients so they do what you ask them to do.
The art of winning people around.
The ways to guide people into poses.
The secrets to getting natural images.
Yourself as a posing expert.
Build a reputation for incredibly natural images.
Be in demand and get more bookings, because you make people look and feel amazing.
In addition to the book, Cat is now available for one to one mentoring sessions to help you develop even further and look in depth at your own specific business needs.
Visit her new website to buy the book and for more details of Cat’s mentoring offering.
And if you’re a bride to be reader who stuck around and has liked what you’ve seen, you can book Cat for your own wedding by getting in touch here.
December 30th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Merry Christmas! Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a break for the festive season, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely.
Usual service will recommence on Monday 5th January 2015 (with some big news!) but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings so far this year. Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your Real Wedding was one of our top picks for 2014.
Today’s real wedding at the amazing Castle Howard near York is all kinds of beautiful. Elegant and classic, with unexpected touches and an overarching feeling of full on luxury, this is my kind of a wedding day.
Twinkling candles, layers of scent, stunning blooms and a black tie theme. Sensational.
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Ally Byrom Photography.
laura says: We got engaged in Barbados two years ago. We were on holiday and Daniel suggested we went to the Sandy Lane beach for the day, a beautiful pristine beach attached to the well known hotel. We were walking along the shore when Daniel got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.
We got married on 21st June 2014. We knew we wanted an early summer wedding.
We got married at Castle Howard. If you have ever been there you will know how stunning it is. We had also been there the previous year to race in a triathlon. The views during the drinks reception and on arrival at Castle Howard are lovely.
We had black tie dress code but we didn’t have any special theme. I don’t think you really need to add anything else to Castle Howard, otherwise it might detract from the beautiful venue. We had matte silver colour scheme. We went through endless bridesmaid dress colour swatches before we settled on matte silver! We think it looked chic and elegant on my gorgeous bridesmaids.
I had an Enzoani dress. It had an elegant racer back with some delicate thin lace detail on the neck line and back, fitted to just below my hips and then straight down with a train; and in white of course!
My hairdresser was incredible. Carrie at Urban Hair in Boroughbridge managed to create the exact style I wanted and was so nice and relaxed on the day. I highly recommend her.
My hair accessories were from Flo and Percy, they had a great selection and made each accessory to order. I also got miniature versions of my headpiece for my bridesmaids to wear.
My shoes were from Harriet Wilde, she had a sophisticated, elegant selection of styles. I am quite fussy on shoes but Harriet came to meet me at her London shop to help me choose the right ones.
Daniel wore a Moss Bros dinner suit with a white waistcoat and white cravat.
The bridesmaids wore JLM Couture dresses in matte silver with each of the five bridesmaids in different style dresses. They each chose their own style from a shortlist I gave to them. All the dresses were floor length and fitted with a black beaded waist belt and beige court shoes.
Ally Byrom was my photographer. She did an amazing job! We were very relaxed having our couples shots and she captured the moment perfectly without other guests even realising they were being snapped! I would highly recommend Ally!
Kymm Queen was our florist, I carried some beautifully scented, white peonies and white roses with freesia and lavender hidden around the base (because I love the smell of lavender but didn’t want the colour on display!).
We had white peonies, white roses, lilac freesias and lavender in the centre of the candelabras. We had dried rose petals scattered on the wedding breakfast tables too.
Kirsty Guest at Piece of Cake Harrogate made our impressive four tier (Baileys, Limoncello, Fruit and Chocolate and Guinness) cake with intricate lace design (to match my dress) and little bikes around the base (to keep the husband happy). We also had real flowers between two of the layers.
We had Sloe Gin miniature bottles with personalised ‘Laura and Dan’ stamped labels that we made ourselves. We also filled the miniature bottles ourselves, which was a messy job, but we had plenty of volunteers to help us!
We supplied our own individual types of beers from the countries we had visited together over the last 8 years and had fun little additions with a pick and mix table and giant chocolate letters that spelt out our names.
Our singer Tommy Ludgate (contact through www.michaelhallmusic.co.uk) was sensational and made our ceremony the highlight of the day with acoustic renditions of modern songs which we chose. We really can’t recommend her enough.
My favourite part of the day was the ceremony, but we hadn’t expected it to be. We were looking forward to drinks reception so we could relax but it was just so incredibly special, it was easily the most memorable part of the day. The atmosphere in the great hall at Castle Howard was perfect.
For our honeymoon we visited Lake Como, Tuscany and Sicily. We took our bikes and explored the lakes and Tuscany on them. We enjoyed some wine tasting and amazing meals.
We took a private helicopter trip over Mount Etna for a close up look into the crater.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be don’t get hung up on minor details, they aren’t that important, as long as you have the main things in place you will have the best day.
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