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zoom in: picking the right wedding photographer for you

10th August 2016 | Rachel Hirst

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ZT Photography (2)

ZT Photography

We often mention on the blog how much of an important role a photographer plays in a wedding; not only on the big day itself, but also in the years that follow, with their images serving as life-long memories of the special event.

As such it’s super important that you like the style of the images that your chosen photographer produces, but with so many differing types of photography to choose, making a decision can be somewhat overwhelming.

To demonstrate the different outcome a wedding album can have depending on who is behind the lens, a talented group of North West based photographers got together at the stunning Ashfield House in Wigan, to shoot the exact same subjects in the very same location.

The results, which we’re sharing with you on the blog today, are all stunning but all rather different and, as intended, perfectly highlight the importance of couples choosing the right style and personality of photographer to suit both them and their wedding.

So prepare to be impressed and amazed as we hand over the blog to Katie Street, the owner of Ashfield House who came up with the clever concept for the collaborative shoot, plus the photographers who took part: Neil Redfern, David Stubbs, Andy Wardle, ZT Photography, and our very own Brides Up North Sponsor, the lovely Jonny Draper.

Andy Wardle Photography (9)

Andy Wardle 

katie says: The way couples pick a photographer was something I’d been thinking about for a long time before suggesting this shoot. Each time I heard “she’s a friend of a friend” or “my cousin used him and he was good” I got more and more frustrated knowing these couples could be missing out on picking a photographer that was more suited to their style. As an exclusive wedding venue, we work with a number of trusted photographers to capture the romance, emotion and fun of each wedding day, each with a totally different approach to their work. I wanted to give the photographers the same day, same backdrop, same couple but capture each photographer’s individual creativity and the difference in each set of images for all to see.

Jonny Draper Photography (10)

 Jonny Draper

At Ashfield House, we don’t have a one-size-fits-all approach to weddings and encourage our couples to be as individual and inventive as possible. We know that the best weddings at Ashfield play to the strengths of couples’ personalities, quirks and their passions. Photography is very similar. I’ve taken a keen interest in photography myself as an art form over the years, and am continually astounded by the quality and individuality of each photographer’s work who steps through the doors at Ashfield. My team and I stare in awe at the array of photographic work shared with us, and have often commented about the striking difference between styles and end results – even though the setting is the same. I wanted to show that picking a ‘good’ photographer isn’t enough, you need one that’s good for you.

D Stubbs Photography (9)

David Stubbs

Choosing suppliers who share your vision is absolutely key to an amazing wedding and, alongside your memories, photographs are the only thing you have left, so choose wisely! The photographers that took part were equally pleased with the final results as I was…

Neil Redfern Photography (9)

Neil Redfern

neil redfern says: Seeing everyone else’s different approaches and the way in which we each interacted with the couple was great. What I loved was that although we were all taking shots in the same location we each saw different things and that just illustrates how unique one photographer is to the next. I don’t think there was ever a time when we each wanted to take a shot the same as somebody else had.

It was also great to see that although we were all striving to take the best images we could, there was no hint of competitiveness, it was just a group of friends having a fun time together taking photographs.

Ashfield House is a fantastic wedding venue and is extremely photogenic so I really hope to shoot a real wedding there in the future. We were all looked after so well on the day by Katie and her team, and the food was incredible!

Neil Redfern Photography (10)

Neil Redfern

jonny draper says: Photography, like all things creative, is so subjective.  One man’s ‘coq au vin’ is another man’s ‘chicken in a basket’ and all that.

I loved the idea of this shoot from the moment Katie from Ashfield House talked to me about it.  A real opportunity to showcase so many different ways of effectively doing the same thing – and highlighting just how important choosing the right photographer for you as a bride and groom really is.

Some people want a little direction on their day – others can’t think of anything worse.  Some people want pyrotechnics and smoke bombs, and others would be think that was too over the top.  One size doesn’t fit all.

As a venue Ashfield House is just stunning, with so many different places to make use of and shoot – as you can see from the images, each photographer gravitated to different parts of the venue to suit their style and to shoot the sort of images they would produce on a wedding day there.

My best piece of advice I can offer as a wedding photographer?  Once you’ve nailed down your budget and know what you’re prepared to spend – spend it on the photographer that is right for you.  Love their work.  Love their style.  Love the idea of having them at your wedding and you won’t go far wrong!

Jonny Draper Photography (4)

Jonny Draper

andy wardle says: I loved the idea of getting a bunch of photographers together to shoot the same stuff in the same conditions. I thought it would be really cool and interesting to illustrate how radically different the results would be coming from different sets of eyes and minds! Another thing this experiment will highlight is that there is a style of photography out there to suit all tastes, which is really cool.

Andy Wardle Photography (7)

Andy Wardle

zt photography say: One amazing venue, one gorgeous couple plus five wedding photographers…with limited time and having never met the “bride and groom” before, we felt the challenge for us was to create images with a sense of energy, motion and fun – exactly as we approach our wedding day photography – to make a connection, to capture a moment, to find a unique point of view. We wanted to create an awesome set of images for the couple that push the boundaries of conventional wedding photography; dynamic frames with the good time vibes.

ZT Photography (9)

ZT Photography

david stubbs says: was so chuffed to be invited to be part of this unique bridal shoot. Several photographers, one couple, one location. A great idea from Katie from Ashfield to do this. Many couples don’t realise that there are so many styles of photographer out there.

Bridal shoots are not normally my thing, as a documentary wedding photographer I don’t ever stop or pose couples on their wedding day, and this shoot would require me to break away from my strict ‘real moment, real memory’ policy. My idea was to try to get the couple to just be themselves and to not worry about ‘posing’ at all. So for all the photos I just asked them to stand somewhere together and just let them be together for a few minutes. For me natural photographs are best.

A top day shooting with genuine friends in the industry. Great to be part of something unique. A big thanks again to Katie from Ashfield for inviting me and arranging it all.

D Stubbs Photography (4)

David Stubbs

the big picture

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