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Samantha and Thomas

The morning of Thomas and Samantha's wedding was blessed with beautiful light,a clear blue sky,always a good start as I made my way to the bridal preparation at Edenfield near Ramsbottom. On arrival via an awful tight farm track I was spoilt with such a beautiful location , a converted farmhouse with a external building sat at the end of a finely kept  large lawn.All this was sat in the hillside overlooking Helmshore on the other side of the valley.The bridal party were getting ready in the external building,more like a large playhouse made from pine,with all mod cons. There was plenty of room in the garden and the building to get some great shots,I did some candid ones of bridesmaids getting their hair and make up done,then when everyone was ready I set up some shots in the garden with off camera flash,the bride and her bridesmaids were stunning,the location, view,weather was perfect,you have to make the most of these moments at weddings.

Before setting off to the venue I captured the brides father's first look at Samantha in her dress,very emotional moment,and also a photo of the bride and her father in the wedding car, a fast looking Mercedes AMG.

Well ,I got to the venue,The Fishermans Retreat  in quick time where Leanne had already arrived and had done the customary shots if the ceremony room,I awaited for the wedding car to get here,to capture Samantha walking down the aisle with her father. After the ceremony there was the usual champagne reception ,after this we started the group shots,of a pre written list  all managed by Leanne, first one the entire party and then work down to just the smaller group pictures,we get the tricky ones done first then the smaller group ones are straight forward,we just have to make sure the symmetry is right and the standing  lines are straight otherwise the extreme left and right of the picture can look distorted .After these group shots we got ready for the bride and groom shots,the Fishermans Retreat has an iconic pier on a small lodge , this is one of the shots,we did  on the prewedding shoot so it was quite straightforward,we set Sam and Thomas on the pier with a flash on a lightstand facing  at them (this is removed post edit) we measured the light with a lightmeter ,then got the setting for the camera before I moved to the other side of the lodge so I'd get the lodge ,pier,Sam and Thomas ,and the Peel Monument silhouetted on the other side of the valley in the frame.

We finished off more bride and groom shots before continuing taking candid style shots of the wedding party bathed in the glorious evening sunshine,Before the sun fully set,we set up a sun set shot with and without a light umbrella . a prop we love using.Though we just managed this as we nearly couldn't  find the bride and groom.

Well that was our day done,we said our goodbyes , a top day ,top bride and groom,top venue and top weather,on way to car we'd decided to have a look at the view from the other fishing lodge,with a tripod and camera in tow,we took a long exposure shot of the venue and the surrounding area to capture the party in full swing.

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Dave & Rachaels Wedding Day

The wedding of Dave and Rachael was taking place in Salford just after a really cold spell that had snow,I was hoping for a bit more just for my selfish photo reasons.It didn't  happen but got a blue sky day instead,not bad.

It was an early start,the ceremony at Buile Hill park was before noon so had to make it through rush hour traffic to get the bridal preps took.

We did an engagement shoot at the venue the week before so had some posed shots already in my head,I always try to do this ,you cant be over prepared,ha. The venue was a well lit room with sunshine blasting in from the windows,all went to plan,used my 16-35 mm wide angel lens to get all the guests in shot watching.After I did lots of shots around the bridal car and then lots more in the garden of the group shots.Then me and the bride,groom and their little girl did some posed shots around the back of the old manor house,these went well.Next was the speeches and then the meal,more shots done of the speeches and then a wait till the evening do where the first dance was performed.

 

The wedding of Dave and Rachael was taking place in Salford just after a really cold spell that had snow,I was hoping for a bit more just for my selfish photo reasons.It didn't  happen but got a blue sky day instead,not bad.

It was an early start,the ceremony at Buile Hill park was before noon so had to make it through rush hour traffic to get the bridal preps took.

We did an engagement shoot at the venue the week before so had some posed shots already in my head,I always try to do this ,you cant be over prepared,ha. The venue was a well lit room with sunshine blasting in from the windows,all went to plan,used my 16-35 mm wide angel lens to get all the guests in shot watching.After I did lots of shots around the bridal car and then lots more in the garden of the group shots.Then me and the bride,groom and their little girl did some posed shots around the back of the old manor house,these went well.Next was the speeches and then the meal,more shots done of the speeches and then a wait till the evening do where the first dance was performed.

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Mona & Craig s Blackpool Wedding

 

     We'd already done a  recce  in Blackpool of the place.the place in question,The Great Hall at Mains,a timber framed building,built to replicate the original banqueting hall that stood on the exact site some 500 years ago ,that's some history.  The Great Hall was designed by  Adele and Roger Yeoman , in 2004 and was constructed as a purpose built venue to replace an older and smaller building once affectionately known as The Royal Garden Room.                                So we'd been to check on  the venue for the group shots and the bride and groom shots, the venue and gardens were smaller looking than on their website and we were glad we had the opportunity to check the place out.                                                                                                             This was no ordinary wedding,it was a double wedding ,both sisters getting  married at the same time,a first for Avanti,we were only commissioned to photo Craig and Mona getting wed,but we were looking forward to getting as much of this event on camera as we could we might never do another again! 

                                  

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Christmas wedding in Wigan

We did the engagement shoot four weeks prior to the wedding at  Macdonald Kilhey Court Hotel in some atrocious weather ,I was prepared for some of the same,the engagement shoots are ideal for setting up your shooting strategy like inside photos if the outside is a big no and timings  of the group shots and the bride and groom shots on the big  day. The venue was two buildings,a custom built one for weddings,conferences etc and the main part was the older hotel with a superb bar area that made indoor shots  easy for me,a large staircase a few grand fireplaces ,perfect. I've been to some places where there's absolutely nothing  at all to take a picture of inside and having to use  my imagination to conjure some decent background .
On the day the weather was sunny but this isn't a guarantee,we went in two cars and took about a hour.We were early so double checked our kit,had a brew and waited for the time to do candid shots of the bridal preparation whilst Leanne checked the venue. I'm not a fan of on camera flash ,looks amateurish and not keen on high ISO for low light,so I've been trying to hold the flash(with radio trigger) up with my left hand and shooting with the camera with my other hand.I cant measure with a light meter so have to have a couple of tries before I pick the right power setting,and to be honest I was really pleased with the results as you'll see in the images I've put up. After the bridal preparation I joined Leanne who had been taking detail shots of Flowers and the set up in the ceremony venue. Leanne was placed at the back of the room and I was at the front capturing the bride and groom close up,between us we'd catch everything.After the mock registry signing we got everybody outside whilst it was still dry and did the group shots with off camera flash,again these are so much better in my eyes than using available light , I mean if you can why not ,it only takes 5 minutes to set up two light stand, two triggers, two speedlights,measure the output fix in the settings to the camera and away you go ,all the shots are easy after that.I like things simple especially when the pictures look so good.
The meal was next followed by the speeches,not my favorite part but they have to be done.By this time it was dark out and chance to do an umbrella shot with a small speedlight fitted in the top of the inside of the umbrella,we've practiced this a couple of times and were confident of it being a success,no worries it was a good shoot. It was really cold out so we did the set up and moved the newly weds in. Here we carried on with shots in front of the beautiful staircase and   then onto  the front  fireplace with off camera flash again,these went extremely well.We had a bit of a rest after this and then onto the first dance with the cake cutting back in the rearranged ceremony room.It had been a long day but as always its a privilege to be part of someone's wedding so close throughout the day and documenting it for them and their family and friends to look back on.inside to the warmth.

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Wedding Photography in Darwen

Winter weddings are always prone to dodgy weather,but think of it you can include some of our summers in that too.As a wedding photographer in Darwen you have to use any good weather opportunities that come along on the day ,also the length of daylight is a factor too and if you throw in a venue that is Sunnythurst woods that doesn't get much sunlight even in mid summer then your creativity in the lighting department is called on even more.

I started bridal prep mid morning in Blackburn and also did groom shots too because they were only a few houses away,all shots were inside as the weather was nasty out.The classic Rolls Royce's  turned up for the bride and bridesmaids at 12 noon, all ferried to the cars under umbrellas as I took shots getting soaked in sideways rain

,its not all glamorous being a wedding photographer. The ceremony was at St Peters Church in the centre of Darwen,I must admit I'd no idea it was there until we did a recce the week  before,but it was an impressive building anyway,I always prefer a church only because the shots are easier to do in terms of backgrounds ,they just look right with a church.

I usually use a second shooter these days,my other half Leanne,she's quite adept these days with a canon.She took up her  position on a balcony overlooking the whole wedding and I waited for the bride to arrive in the car. After taking shots of her walking in I took up position  to the left  hand side of the vicar at the side and told I couldn't move around,usual conditions for a church.Everything went to plan we did the fake registry signing and then did some shots of bride and groom leaving the church,just using available light.It was bitterly cold out so we decided to take some group shots inside in front of the alter.

After this we packed our gear up to move onto the venue,The Olde England Kiosk | Sunnyhurst Wood | Darwen ,when we got there the weather was dry and we had a hour to do bride and groom shots with off camera flash in pre selected places,planning is everything in this game .The shots were beautiful and we'd do some more later after  the wedding breakfast and speeches,though it was now dark in the woods.We'd practised a sparkler shot that the bride and groom would draw out half a heart each,we did about 5 takes on this to get a good one,they're a bit hit and miss because you're relying on the couple forming the shape right .We got a got a good one in the end and then some more group shots though to lock focus you do need some light so Leanne used a torch to spot the target up and it worked a treat.Something else we've learned from a wedding ,sparklers and focus lock in near no light.We moved inside and caught the cake cutting and first dance  before we gathered our kit up and left for home and a well deserved brew.

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Zoe and Dylans Wedding Day

I  Got referred this job from a fellow tog who couldn't do it,once I'd heard the details I couldn't wait to meet the couple and discuss their wedding photography needs.It was a church  ceremony and then onto the Mytton Fold Golf club for the venue,kind of like churches,older the better for me,always good places for pictures. St James Church ,Haslingden , stands out and can be seen from all roads into the area , was built in the 18th century on a site occupied by a church building since at least 1284,so that's really old then.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I met Dylan at his house and showed him  Avanti's sample albums,he seemed very happy with the work we do so arranged for an engagement shoot so we could use one of the images for a signing frame.This was arranged to be shot at Towneley Hall grounds,hopefully on a non rainy day,luckily when the day came for the engagement shoot the weather looked promising.We all met at noon and got to work with the pictures,it only takes a  hour at the most to do so it flew by,Dylan and Zoe were superb and the pics in the back of camera looked stunning,obviously I used off camera flash,as always these days,I showed the couple some of them and they were pleased.After, we went to the cafe there, and had a chat about their requirements and timings for  the wedding day photography,nothing like  planning things out proper I say.     The day of the wedding came and I had to be at The Red House ,Bury,for the bridal prep by 11 am,the wedding was at 1 pm so plenty of time really.The bridal party was in already in full swing,it was a good atmosphere as you'd expect,Zoe the bride looked very relaxed ,which is not always the case.I did plenty of pics at the bridal suite and carried on as the bridal  party moved to the front of the hotel where a white Rolls Royce Phantom was awaiting,what a fabulous,elegantly ,huge,voluptuous totally flamboyant  car,an   automotive piece of  modern day car design that shouts out wealth. As you can guess I took plenty of car and Bridal party shots.

Next stop the church,a quick blast down the motorway,though when I got there it was awful for parking,its always a problem small car park and a million guests who all turn up in cars.I got a spot around the corner,where I parked next to my other half Leanne,who was second shooting with me.We got to the church to capture the bride arriving,got inside and got in my spot where I was told not to move from by the vicar! Leanne was up in the gods at the back taking the wedding pics from that side.The wedding went really quick,we did the signing of the registry book,the mock one,why that occurs is plain silly, everyone seems to do it,I think its one of those rules that everyone goes along with and doesn't question.After the church it was off to the venue at Mitton Fold Golf Club,a good venue with plenty of outdoor shots on the cards.We captured the newlyweds arriving in the big Roller and being greeted by their families and guests.After Zoe and Dylan had met and chatted with the guests we did some shots on a small foot bridge and  in a gazebo,all with off camera flash,the images were superb.The wedding breakfast beckoned so me and Leanne grabbed a bite to eat in the hotel part of the venue and to give our legs a rest and check on the images we'd took already.Move on an hour or so and the speeches were rolled out ,these took longer than I thought mainly down to having two best men and both having quite long  speeches.Some documentary shots of guests and then the first dance and cake cutting ended the night for us both

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