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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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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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