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Pangdean Barn Wedding Photographer

Pangdean Barn Wedding Photographer | Diana & Paul

Pangdean Barn Wedding Photographer | Diana & Paul

Diana & I go waaaaaay back, and I mean, way back. We used to walk to school together as teenagers and remained firm friends ever since, bonding over bottles of cider in the park, secretly smoking in the woods and generally getting up to usual teenage girl shenanigans.

Over the years our friendship has continued, our children playing together and of course, when we’re not socialising over a BBQ in their Brighton garden, there are family portraits being created too! When Diana and Paul set the date for their nuptials, as a Pangdean Barn Wedding Photographer I was honoured to shoot it, carrying on their photographic legacy at this beautiful venue.

Diana got ready in her home with her sis-in-law Amy, her two nieces and her daughter, Leela who made up the bridal party. Diana’s parents and Aunt & Uncle were also on hand. It was a lovely relaxed atmosphere with brunch and bubbles being served before Di got into her gorgeous Novia D’art dress from Mode Bridal in Hove.

Pangdean Barn Wedding Photographer

Pangdean Barn Wedding Photographer

Pangdean Barn Wedding Photographer

Pangdean Barn Wedding Photographer

Pangdean Barn Wedding Photographer

At Pangdean, the barns were set up beautifully. Fairy lights creating atmosphere whilst the flowers in Diana’s favourite colours adorned every space possible. Paul and his best man making sure they looked their best before the bridal party arrived. Paul’s waistcoat even had a nod to Diana’s favourite roses with it’s yellow rose finish. Diana & Paul’s son, Jack, was also looking the part while they waited for the girls.

Pangdean Barn Wedding Photographer

Pangdean Barn Wedding Photographer

Pangdean Barn Wedding Photographer

Pangdean Barn Wedding Photographer

As the June weather was superb, Diana and Paul had the pleasure of an outside ceremony. It was gorgeous to be able to capture this outdoor space being used for this. Wth a canape and drinks reception straight after, the guests really made use of the glorious sunshine. Giant garden games were played with while the group photos were being taken. Jack looked great in his car to match his Grandad’s scooter, their daughter Leela was ready for a nap and found the perfect beanbag to crash on,  whilst Di’s brother Ian was clearly happy with his wife’s outfit!!

Pangdean Barn Wedding Photographer

Pangdean Barn Wedding Photographer

Pangdean Barn Wedding Photographer

Pangdean Barn Wedding Photographer

Pangdean Barn Wedding Photographer

Pangdean Barn Wedding Photographer

Pangdean Barn Wedding Photographer

Pangdean Barn Wedding Photographer

Pangdean Barn Wedding Photographer

The catering here is superb, and as a Pangdean Barn Wedding Photographer I can attest first hand to its quality. The new Mr & Mrs Barker were welcomed in to a rapturous applause kicking straight off with the speeches. Jack took over the mic right at the end asking for a show of hands for “anyone here like cheese?” It was certainly a moment to remember. The barns had a lovely chill out area, which as you can see was being used well by a group of teenagers, eagerly chatting to each other…. through their phones haha!!

Pangdean Barn Wedding Photographer

Pangdean Barn Wedding Photographer

Pangdean Barn Wedding Photographer

Pangdean Barn Wedding Photographer

Pangdean Barn Wedding Photographer

Pangdean Barn Wedding Photographer

Pangdean Barn Wedding Photographer

Pangdean Barn Wedding Photographer

Pangdean Barn Wedding Photographer

Pangdean Barn Wedding Photographer

As the daylight hours were long and the air warm, the guests enjoyed a lot of their evening outdoors, chatting, drinking and catching up with each other. We managed to pull Paul away from the Jagerbombs for a quick trip to the cornfields for some final portraits as the sun was lowering over the downs. The cake cutting and first dance followed soon after which was met with some hilarity again… Jack needed to be extracted by his Uncle Ian as he was hiding under Diana’s dress while dancing to Bob Marley for their first dance, “I wanna love ya”. We left soon after where I’m sure there was more drinking and dancing through the night.

Pangdean Barn Wedding Photographer

Pangdean Barn Wedding Photographer

Pangdean Barn Wedding Photographer

Diana and Paul chose to upgrade their wedding collection to a Duet. Two handcrafted Italian wedding albums in a beautiful colour coordinated presentation box by Graphistudio. A perfect way to see your whole day in print. I’m a firm believer that photographs are only photographs once they’re printed. Keeping something which is only accessible via a USB is quite short sighted when we realise how fast technology changes and how easily digital files can be lost or corrupted. The Duet is a great way to preserve your photographic legacy for future generations to look back on and enjoy.

Pangdean Barn Wedding Photographer

Pangdean Barn Wedding Photographer

Thank you so much Di & Paul for entrusting me with your most precious of days. I will treasure those memories forever my beautiful friend.

xX Fiona Xx

Pangdean Barn Wedding Photographer | Diana & Paul

Venue: Pangdean Barn

Dress: Novia D’Art from Mode Bridal | Monsoon (Bridesmaids)

Hair: Room 5 Hairdressing

Shoes: Jenny Packham Bridal (hers) | Barker Shoes (his)

Suits: Moss Bros

Flowers: Bettie Rose Flowers

Cake: Bunston Bakes

Pangdean Barn Wedding Photographer

 

 

Brighton Wedding Photographer

Brighton Wedding Photographer | Nikki & Jim

Brighton Wedding Photographer | Nikki & Jim

I met Nikki a couple of years before her wedding through a mutual friend (I was having my brows micro-bladed FYI, a treatment I would highly recommend!) Becky who did my brows, was trained by Nikki under her Flawless moniker,  multitasked with being not only Nikki’s trusted makeup artist, but a guest too. Here’s her site, you should check her out: Rosebud Makeup

As Nikki prepared to shimmy into her dress, she appeared calm and collected, enjoying the moment with her girls. Her dress (from Wed2B) looked like it was created for her. The most stunning, form fitting dress EVER. With her flawless makeup, hair coiffed to perfection down the road at Electric and an amazingly intricate array of tattoos trailing her back and arms, the only way to describe this bride was HAWT DAMN!!!

Brighton Wedding Photographer

Brighton Wedding Photographer

As Nikki glided down the staircase of Hotel du Vin to meet her father, the look of love in their eyes was tangible. A few moments outside to create some portraits, then off for a stroll through the lanes to their destination, Brighton Town Hall. Check out those gorgeous flowers by Brandon at Flowers4

Brighton Wedding Photographer

Brighton Wedding Photographer

Brighton Wedding Photographer

When I arrived at the Town Hall, I could see that Jim was making the most of the scene in the council chambers! It was a real family affair with Nikki’s son (and son #2) playing them in, while Jim’s daughter was part of the Bridal Party together with Nikki’s best friend. Set in a real life court chamber, it is a cool and unique venue for a wedding!! The staircase as you traverse the building is just stunning, we couldn’t resist creating some portraits here while the guests gathered outside preparing their confetti.

Brighton Wedding Photographer

Brighton Wedding Photographer

Brighton Wedding Photographer

Brighton Wedding Photographer

Brighton Wedding Photographer

Brighton Wedding Photographer

Brighton Wedding Photographer

Brighton Wedding Photographer

Brighton Wedding Photographer

Brighton Wedding Photographer

Brighton Wedding Photographer

A quick walk through the rain to the first pub of the celebrations, All Bar 1 just by the Pavilion. I loved the personal touch of Nikki’s new leather jacket which read “Mrs Davis” on the back, how cool!! I love how rain or shine, these guys were celebrating the entire day! At the pub, we discovered Jim’s mum had made her entire outfit, including her hat… This prompted a game of a photo taken with every guest wearing the hat. To take things further, Nikki & Jim felt so impacted by the Hat Game that they ordered an additional photo album, to complement their main one, containing *just* the hat pictures!

Before we parted company we gathered the Bridal Party and parents under a dry spot at The Pavilion to create some quick portraits (some serious, some not so…..) while the rest of the wedding party gathered themselves for the next stage of the bar crawl. As a Brighton Wedding Photographer it is very handy to have some lovely outdoors, but dry, locations up your sleeve for portraits!! As the party continued for Mr & Mrs Davis, we returned home and started the upload and editing process.

Brighton Wedding Photographer

Brighton Wedding Photographer

Brighton Wedding Photographer

Brighton Wedding Photographer

Brighton Wedding Photographer

Brighton Wedding Photographer

Brighton Wedding Photographer

Brighton Wedding Photographer

A fan of neutral colours, Nikki chose both of her Graphistudio albums to be finished in greys and whites. A GoBook for their wedding, which stands up on their shelf to be seen by all. A Baby Book for the hats! A great addition to the collection.

Brighton Wedding Photographer

Thanks so much for having me along to shoot your wedding, I enjoyed every second! Congratulations Mr & Mrs Davis, here’s to the next pub crawl!!

xX Fiona Xx

Brighton Wedding Photographer | Nikki & Jim

Brighton Family Photographer

Brighton Family Photographer | Diana & Paul, Jack & Leela

Brighton Family Photographer

When one of my oldest friends was talking about planning a photoshoot to capture their family of four I jumped at the chance…what a bonus that this shoot coincided with the completion of their new garden too! Diana and I went to school together, walking the long walk there and back, getting up to mischief *ahem* I mean dutifully studying and generally being teenage girls! I had the pleasure of Diana as one of my bridesmaids nearly 10 years ago too!! The road we have walked near and far has been with its own dramas of life, some of which are Di’s own stories to tell, but I cannot express the joy at seeing her meet Paul and bring two gorgeous children into the world.

Diana and Paul live in the steep valleys of Brighton, where after ensuring my handbrake was well and truly up, I took a tour of their brand new (completed the day before) landscaped garden. What a transformation, I mean, you could have rolled down this thing and built up speed and kept rolling to the sea if not caught by the fence…but now, a multi-tiered stunning mix of contemporary and modern landscaping with delightful green spaces, pergolas, man-caves and lush borders. I loved it, and judging by the way Jack was running around avoiding getting dressed when he stepped out there for the first time, he loved it too!

Brighton Family Photographer

Family Photographer Brighton

Brighton Photographer

Leela was doing the classic female thing, arriving late for her own party (well, napping…) but this gave me some lovely time putting high-speed sports photography into training with trying to catch Jack! When Paul showed me around the garden and declared the lower level the “adult only” zone, I cannot say for sure whether it was my creative eye, or my rebellious nature that decided the steps in this child free zone would make a great spot for a family portrait! Being very forgiving, Paul allowed me to break his new rules within half a day of making them…I’m sure you would agree however, those steps are just awesome! Despite being a Brighton Family Photographer, I can certainly appreciate a good landscape or two!!

Brighton Family Photographer

When Paul and Jack disappeared for a quick nappy change (which I was keen to avoid) I spent a few quality minutes with Diana to celebrate her new daughter, Leela. Such a stunning selection of mother/daughter shots…I know this is my friend and I am biased, but they truly look the epitome of happy!

Mother daughter photo shoot

Best lifestyle photographer

Many people worry about the weather when planning a photoshoot, but I honestly believe that it really doesn’t matter, as a Brighton Family Photographer, I have to be ready whatever the weather. This day was cool and overcast, but it made for some lovely, bright shots. I mean, who’s even looking at the sky when you have a bubble machine, eh?! One of the things that kept making me laugh was Leela’s new trick….poking her tongue out…of course, our laughter ensured more tongue poking!

Brighton Family Photographer

Brighton lifestyle photographer

Diana had found a toy which her children have been captivated by that also happens to be a duplicate of something remembered from her own childhood…we made sure to capture a bit of this nostalgia!

Brighton Portrait photographer

One of the things I notice when photographing young children is that they often want to do their own thing…this is very normal in young children (they don’t really start engaging in play with others until about 3 or 4 years old, although they may play alongside others), it is a source of frustration for many parents who just want the elusive shot of their kids together! Rather than use Photoshop trickery, we use the far more simple method of favourite toys placed strategically close (oh, and food, always food treats up our sleeves!)

Brighton family photographer

Brighton Family photographer

Brighton photographer

Sussex family photographer

A photoshoot for anyone is pretty tiring, and especially so for children! We try and keep these sessions as fun, relaxed and natural as possible so the child doesn’t feel they have to perform. Instead they are spoiled with play and parent time! We detoured indoors for some final portraits, using the furniture and their rooms to bring the session to a close before the kids got ready for a nap.

Brighton Photographer

Lifestyle photographer brighton

brighton family photographer

Brighton portrait photographer

As a passionate Brighton Family Photographer I really believe that seeing your portraits in print, to touch them and hold them is paramount to my service. As with all of my photoshoots, no session is complete without a bespoke album. Diana and Paul had noted there were no pictures up of them as a family of four, so we went for this brilliant, contemporary, handmade Italian album by Graphistudio called the GoBook. An album in a specially designed box that serves as a frame for the cover image, displaying your album within close reach….in their case, displaying their new garden steps…I mean, their family of four!!

Lifestyle family photography

I had such pleasure capturing Diana and her family, I am looking forward to photographing the next stage, their 2018 wedding!! As a Sussex based Wedding Photographer I really will be in my element (and blubbing away behind my cameras!). Watch this space for their wedding!

Liz & Jack | The Engagement Shoot

It’s been quite an exciting summer as yet another set of friends prepare to tie the knot this year and I have the pleasure of being their photographer. I have known Liz and Jack for a number of years now, but since they’ve been a couple, with Jack being at University in Canterbury, Liz in Chichester and their time together precious, I haven’t had the chance to really hang with them as a couple and get to know what makes them tick together. The engagement shoot in preparation for their wedding was a great opportunity.

Liz & Jack

To start off we visited a place close to Liz’s home called Brandy Hole Copse in Chichester. As we were trekking through brambles, warding off wasps and kicking playing toddlers off picturesque benches, Liz and Jack shared with me why this Copse was so special to them. It was where they had their first date, first kiss, where Jack asked Liz to officially be his girlfriend and then later asked her to be his wife! I mean, seriously! How romantic can you get?! To top it all off, Jack had even drawn Liz a picture at random (pre-dating) of the same clearing with a pond, trees and a couple hanging out before he had visited! Meant to be or what?!

Liz & Jack

Liz & Jack

Liz & Jack

I loved the light flares created by the dappled woodland when shooting into the light, and natural framing of the shots emphasised by the surrounding foliage. I could have spent far longer exploring, but the couple of hours at Brandy Hole Copse doing a photo-op recce was definitely rewarding as we plan to return on their wedding day and really come full circle in their dating journey. We detoured via Liz’s house to grab some much needed lunch in preparation for the next stage….Boxgrove Priory & Ruins.

Liz & Jack

I came to realise during our time together that Liz and Jack are an incredibly tactile couple. I decided to use this to my advantage as it made for some really romantic shots. The ruins are a wonderful backdrop for romance. As they are having their wedding reception at Boxgrove Village Hall it will be perfect to return here with all their wedding day finery and attire to capture some more portraits.

Liz & Jack

Liz & Jack

Liz & Jack

I’m hoping too, to be able to inject some youthful spirit into the wedding day photos as we are planning to bring the bridal party – consisting of their best friends, here for some fun shots!

Liz & Jack

The last part of Liz and Jack’s engagement shoot consisted of an impromptu trip to Bognor to visit the sea. Jack and Liz really got to know each other in Bognor at Opengate Church that we all attend, so they have spent much time at the beach or walking the prom together. As they will both be moving to Canterbury after their wedding, Liz really wanted to get some photos of them together at the beach, capturing those precious memories.

Liz & Jack

Liz & Jack

Again, I had great fun playing with light flares and rebelling against the photographers’ golden rule of not shooting into the sun….especially during the Golden Hour!! One of my favourite moments from this part was the moment Jack lost his footing on the moving stones as a wave rushed in whilst he was paddling and holding a shrieking Liz! They soon made up….as you can see!!

Liz & Jack

Liz & Jack

Liz and Jack

The beach in Bognor, along Aldwick Bay, was a lovely, quiet spot to finish the day. It was lovely to hang out with Liz and Jack and really get to know them better, as well as priming them for a whole day of being papped by two of us on their wedding day. I can’t wait!! Roll on September 6th!!

Liz & Jack

Lythe Hill Hotel

Mr & Mrs Greenaway | Lythe Hill Hotel & Spa

I met Steve and Diane last year through a friend of mine who put them in touch with me as a potential wedding photographer for their upcoming nuptials. They were planning to get married at a lovely location called Lythe Hill Hotel & Spa in Haslemere, Surrey. Now, for those that know me, I’m always on the lookout for nice spa hotels….with 2 toddlers and a business & household to run I am partial to being treated by my loving husband now and then!!

Steve, Diane and I met up again at Lythe Hill Hotel to discuss and arrange the plan of their day, but also to scope out the land for suitable photographic spots whilst stalking them with my cameras to help get them prepared for being photographed on their wedding day. The hotel had many stunning spots: outdoor gazebo’s; ponds; bridges; acres of green landscaped lawns….but we became a little adventurous and wandered through the thickets and brambles to find a hidden bluebell crop. This is one of the shots from that day that Steve & Diane chose to have printed and mounted so their wedding guests could sign the mount before framing it, as a momento from the day.

Diane & Steve engagement
Hunting the bluebells on their engagement shoot

On the morning of the wedding day, I dropped Lee (my trusted No 2!) at Lythe Hill to capture Steve as he prepared for the ceremony with his son Dom. I made my way up the road to meet Diane at her sisters….I hadn’t counted on my sat-nav become a little confused in the small country roads and signal-free Surry hills. Thankfully a quick phone call later, we were all where we should be ready to go!

Steve & Dom
Steve & Dom suited & booted ready to go.

Diane, her sisters and her nieces & nephew were all at the house getting ready, as well as parents, husbands and dogs! It all seemed incredibly under control and calm however. Everyones hair and makeup was done, all that was left to do was get Diane in her dress. After clearing the room from all except one sister and niece (also a bridesmaid), Diane was helped into the most stunning ivory gown. It was simply elegant. The fabric curved and clung in all the right places, the neckline sat just off Diane’s shoulders with a classic brooch on one side and the train showed off it’s length without being flouncy or in the way. It really was elegant.

wedding dress detail

Diane's wedding shoes

Diane & the dress

Diane and her wedding dress

As their wedding day approached, we had all been eagerly watching the weather report as a rainy day had been forecast. This is not normally a problem, but Steve & Diane had originally planned on their ceremony being held outdoors on the lawns in the gazebo overlooking the pond. Despite more clement weather arriving for their wedding day, the grounds were quite wet from the previous nights rains, so they moved their ceremony to the stunning Garden Room with wooden beams and a great glass roof. They decorated it with handmade pompoms and bunting which complemented the pink and purple colour theme. It was here that Steve was waiting patiently, doing his best to show how nervous he wasn’t!

Steve waiting in the Garden Room

Steve waiting

As Diane travelled with her father to Lythe Hill, she was met by the rest of her bridesmaids who were waiting for her at the venue. This was also a momentous occasion for Nicky, Diane’s chief bridesmaid and niece as she would not only be leading the way down the aisle for her aunt….she was also the Hotel’s Wedding and Event’s Co-ordinator. nothing like a bit of pressure for the staff working that day!!

Diane arriving

Diane arriving

Here comes the part of the day that sets the butterflies in my stomach going, even now! The part where the Groom finally gets to watch his bride walk down the aisle towards him. The sun had come out and sunlight was streaming in through the glass roof of the Garden Room, really illuminating the colours that had been put together so thoughtfully. I must admit though, Steve still didn’t succumb to “normal Groom behaviour” as there were still no sign of any nervousness from him!

Diane & Steve

Diane & Steve

As friends and family looked on to witness Steve and Diane get married, very few could hold their amusement as the happy couple giggled their way through their vow taking….prompting a question from the registrar as to whether they were actually serious! I felt this just encapsulated the laughter and love they share together as a couple. I had certainly felt this on the previous occasions we had met together. They even managed to squeeze in some time to take a selfie whilst signing the register!

Diane & Steve Ceremony

Diane & Steve Ceremony

Diane & Steve Ceremony

After the ceremony, we spent some time taking some of the formal group shots, before whisking Diane & Steve away for a spell to capture some portraits of just the two of them. The weather held up beautifully. Considering it was due to be a rainy, stormy day, we were all very thankful to see the sun! Steve & Diane had become naturals at having their photo taken, especially after the Engagement Shoot session we had previously had. It was such a great way to get to know a couple better before their big day (and to get them used to being papped all day!!)

Lythe Hill Hotel

Lythe Hill Hotel

Lythe Hill Hotel

As well as the acres of greenery with the old tudor style buildings in the distance, the hotel also had some more modern options for photographic backdrops, including the wall of the Spa we were all desperate to have some time in!!

Lythe Hill Hotel

Lythe Hill Hotel

Lythe Hill Hotel

As Lee and I prepared our last shots for the day and Steve & Diane prepared to enter the Garden Room ready for the wedding breakfast, we lamented that we would not be able to stay for the party….especially as my husband was in the band, The 88’s!! Next time!!

Many congratulations Steve and Diane….May you continue your marriage with as much (if not more) laughter & love as which you entered it! It was a pleasure to serve you both.

Diane & Steve

CJ & Jon | The Engagement Shoot

Having known CJ and her family for many years, to say I’m excited to be shooting her wedding next month is an understatement!! I’ve been really blessed to have developed a great friendship with CJ and her fiancé Jon over this last year. Also, knowing the family, I have often had inside information and exciting tidbits about developments within their relationship that are yet to happen!The biggest secret so far has been “The Proposal”

The Trundle Spin
You spin me round round, baby right round….

Jon is an avid mountaineer and decided to combine his passion for CJ with that of scaling great heights. Last year, Jon went on a trek to climb Ama Dablam, a mountain in the Himalaya range in Eastern Nepal. Asides from doing the climb to raise money for charity and because he enjoys it, there was another mission. To carry and keep safe an engagement ring with which to propose to CJ. At the summit of Ama Dablam, Jon took a picture of the ring flanked by snow capped mountains. Upon his return, this ring picture was printed into a canvas and hidden from CJ for a WHOLE MONTH before presenting it to her, gift wrapped on Christmas Day. Needless to say, she said yes!! How cool is that!!

Ama Dablam heights
A proposal with a difference

So, when we discussed what kind of Engagement Shoot they wanted we decided to combine both of their loves. The Trundle near Chichester, West Sussex was chosen as although not a mountain, it is high (for me). An Iron Age Hill Fort that boasts spectacular views of West Sussex and Hampshire. Jon, being from Bristol, hadn’t been to The Trundle. We also decided to go to the beach in Bognor Regis as it is a place that CJ is often to be found, relaxing, walking, paddling & hanging out with friends and family. The beach is a place close to her heart so it seemed the perfect place to capture her with the man who heart she holds.

CJ & Jon at The Trundle
Feeling On Top Of The World

The Trundle was a great place to take pictures. With fabulous views for miles and scenery awash with different shades of green it felt incredibly peaceful. It was also pretty low on human traffic. That gave us a great chance to slowly meander our way around pausing here and there to take pictures, look at the flora and fauna and have a general natter about the forthcoming wedding.

Sitting in the glory
Watching The World Go By
CJ & Jon at The Trundle
Trying hard to ignore the creepy crawlies
CJ & Jon at The Trundle
Happy Faces

After we’d exhausted The Trundle and tried to locate our homes in the views we set off back down to Bognor Regis and the beach. Rather than diving straight in, we had a coffee and ice-cream break. This gave us time to plan the finer details of the wedding day that will be happening at Opengate Church in Bognor Regis and Southend Barns in Donnington. It also gave the tide the chance to retreat some more!

CJ & Jon on Bognor Beach
Watch out for those rocks!!

The great thing about the beach is there are a plethora of backdrops and natural props to use. Fishermen leave their boats up on the stones, families lovingly decorate their beach huts and nature has blessed us with sand, sea, pebbles and giant rocks!! We unanimously decided we’d have a shorter session on the beach as the air had developed a windy chill and our tummies grumbled louder for food. We couldn’t resist, however, pausing to take pictures with this fabulous beach hut that gave a cheerful end to a lovely day of photos and wedding talk.

CJ & Jon @ Bognor Beach
The lingering smell of the fisherman’s haul is not off-putting at all, no really…
CJ & Jon @ Bognor Beach
Summer Lovin’
CJ & Jon @ Bognor Beach
Salty Kisses, Summer Wishes

Roll on August 28th!!! Can’t wait guys!!

tender moments

Mr & Mrs Brigstock | Hendall Barns, Uckfield.

May Bank Holiday was a busy weekend. On the glorious, sunshiny Saturday my destination was a stunning wedding venue, Hendall Manor Barns near Uckfield, North of Brighton. The couple, Emma and Paul had planned for their wedding ceremony and reception to be held here. Joining me on the journey was Jim, of Jim Elliott Video and Photography. The venue is in the middle of rolling green fields which just invite you to stop, take a moment and just view the world. It really is stunning.

There was a sense of calm when we arrived, helped I’m sure by the professional and friendly staff at Hendall Manor Barns who were ensuring all things were set and in place as planned (and doing a wonderful job of chasing up the delayed flowers!). Paul was looking remarkably chilled out as he was waiting during the final stages of the set up, happily taking time out to pose with his brothers who were taking the role of Best man and Usher for the day. Emma & Paul’s son Oscar was also there waiting, playing with some other children and being incredibly well behaved (I need tips for my children!!).

Paul and his groomsmen
Paul staying serious with his brothers.
Where's the aeroplane?
Oscar and his friends

Paul,his groomsmen and son didn’t go for the traditional buttonhole flower accessory. Instead, Paul had commissioned a jewellery maker, Alexandra Howard to make some lapel badges and tie pins for them all to wear. These looked amazing, a steampunk style that really complemented the slim-fit blue suit with black trims that Paul was wearing.

No buttonholes here...
Custom made jewellery, steampunk style

With perfect timing, Emma, her parents and bridesmaids arrived in a vintage VW split screen Campervan supplied by Delux Wedding Hire based in Crawley, West Sussex. I learnt 2 things: 1) the camper was called Candy after its Vintage White and Apple Red colouring. And, 2) I want one!! Emma looked beautiful wearing a strapless ivory gown with incredibly delicate fabric flower details along the décolletage and hips, finished off with a veil. Her bridesmaids complemented her perfectly in deep purple-blue dresses.

Vintage Campervan
Arriving in style in Candy
Anticipation
Candid capture through the glass
Vintage style entrance in a VW Camper van
Emma arrives in the VW Camper with her girlies
delicate flower detailing on the wedding dress
Gorgeous detailing

While Emma completed the legal conversation with the registrars the rest of the guests settled themselves into the main hall at Hendall. This brick barn building is flanked on its lengths by ginormous windows which allowed light to stream in and bounce off the walls creating a really warm feel to the room. It was a real pleasure to witness the interactions between Paul and both families as the start of the ceremony drew closer.

Paul comfortably waiting for his bride
Not nervous at all!
Mother of the bride looking glamorous
Mother of the bride looking glamorous
Something has tickled Paul's Mum!
Something has tickled Paul’s Mum!

Suddenly in a flurry the registrars returned. The atmosphere changed from jovial chit-chat to a quiet, nervous anticipation. This is one of my favourite moments during a wedding day, I feel that knot in my stomach and sense the adrenaline start to course through my body from the excitement of what is about to happen! From where I stand I am able to capture the visible emotion and anticipation of the groom as well as the emotions and expressions of the bride as she walks towards her beau. One of my favourite shots of today was during this moment. Oscar, their son, crept from his seat to peep past his father’s legs to watch his mother arrive and walk towards them. Paul’s nerves were visible, as was the simultaneous tenderness towards their son.

All heads turn to admire Emma
Here comes the bride
tender moments
A sneaky peek from Oscar
The first look
The first look

It was a pleasure to watch Emma and Paul exchange rings and vows (and a kiss!!) during the ceremony. Their friends and family looked on proudly as they married, then of course Oscar stole the show by joining them as they signed the register!

the kiss
You may now kiss the bride
Signing the register
The unofficial witness

After the ceremony we were able to whisk the new Mr & Mrs Brigstock away to the gorgeous and varied grounds at Hendall Manor Barns….but not before I spied the Best Man looking decidedly nervous for his next big role….the speeches, while Emma & Paul played around with the Camper oblivious to his near panic!!

Speeches next
You can’t hide the nerves!!
Candy the Camper
Peep-oh!!

Now, the grounds at Hendall really are beautiful. If you come out of the main wedding and reception area there is an array of areas that are just crying out to be used as a backdrop. The first place we used was the car park barn. This may seem like a bizarre place to settle, but when doing the recce of the location a few months previously I spotted these wonderful railway sleepers used as a wall. Lovely textures that lend itself to both colour and black and white photography.

Newlywed Portrait
Just hanging out in a car park…as you do.

We then walked the scenic route round the grounds using pathways and greenery as the main components for the composition of some more photos before coming to the Manor House. This is the owners private dwelling, but they very kindly allow us to use it for the photographs and boy am I glad! I couldn’t resist asking Emma and Paul to sit and chat for a moment on some small steps leading up to a summery, yellow door. This door makes me want to rethink my own exterior colour scheme at home!!

Hendall Manor House
Nobody’s answering the door…

Popping through a side gate into the private gardens we came to the piece-de-resistence….the pillars. For those that don’t know Paul, he is a singer, a rock singer, and I felt the unplanned & unposed shot as he lifted their entwined hands in the air was befitting for his craft and personality. As we continued to spend some time in this area we really got to see the love and happiness that was bouncing between these two. Emma could not stop smiling and laughing as they chatted and posed and chatted some more.

We did it!!
Thank you Wembley
Hendall Manor House
Just hanging around, swinging in the breeze
Hendall Manor House
These guys just can’t stop kissing!!

Our last point of call as we returned Emma and Paul to their guests was to capture some shots of them with their families and friends before they sat down to their meal. Again, the location couldn’t be more perfect. Back in the central courtyard there are some steps leading up to the barn and its large glass doors. This provided an opportunity to capture the reflection of the blue sky that blessed the day without getting any of the sun-squint in peoples eyes! Winners all round. I even found some new assistants for the afternoon.

Blue sky perfection
The new family together
Start 'em young!!
New talent to keep me on my toes

As we called it a day and left Emma & Paul to enjoy the rest of their celebrations I have to say it was a glorious day. The bride and groom looked so happy, the venue was a dream and I got home well before dark ready to prepare for a wedding the following day! What a privilege to be part of such a lovely wedding. Thank you Mr & Mrs Brigstock, and congratulations!!

Emma & Paul
Emma & Paul
Congratulations
The new Mr & Mrs Brigstock
wedding day photography, london photographer, central london, devonshire terrace

Mr & Mrs Jennings | Devonshire Terrace, London

For those that know me, May the 4th is usually spent enjoying my birthday… *ahem* 24 *ahem*!! This year however I found myself hotfooting up to the City of London with my trusted 2nd Lee to shoot the wedding of Maria and Stuart.

Bride & Groom portrait in London
Just leaning on a post in your wedding day suit, as you do…

What a fabulous day it was. We started the day finding Maria and Stuart at the Doubletree Hilton Hotel in Tower Hill getting ready in their respective rooms,of course, Maria had the bigger of the two….what bride wouldn’t!! While Lee was busy with the boys and their struggles to tie ties and attach cufflinks with one hand, I was on hand with Maria, her mother, and her bridesmaid Lauren. Aside from the make-up and hair, and the fabulous something blue (a gorgeous pair of blue Manolo Blahnik stilettos) my favourite capture of the day must have been the look on Maria’s face as she opened her gift from her husband-to-be…a gorgeous diamond bracelet. Of course, this became a new accessory for her bridal outfit!

Mulberry cufflinks, London wedding
These new cufflinks will go on…
London wedding, Manolo's
A little Manolo Blahnik to make you walk tall
Diamond, London wedding
Maria opens her lovely wedding day gift from Stuart

As Stuart and the boys were finishing up their drinks and preparing to head to the venue, Maria was putting the finishing touches to her outfit and hair. It was a real privilege to be there to capture those precious and intimate moments of emotion between mother and daughter, and awe from the flower girl arriving and getting her first look at the beautiful bride.

Doubletree Hilton, Tower Hill London
Stuart and his Groomsmen enjoy one last tipple before the cabs arrive
Mother of the bride, Hilton, Tower Hill, London
Maria and her Mother share a touching moment
London, Doubletree Hilton, London wedding photographer
As Maria greets her page boy and flower girl, the look on her face says it all. Utter awe.

A short taxi drive later and we arrive at Devonshire Terrace in Central London. Being in the centre of the financial district, it is usually closed on weekends, except for weddings, so it was really nice to have an urban oasis in the middle of the city that was relatively tourist free. The building Devonshire Terrace is situated in is impressive. Imagine (with lego, my visual brain says) building the deep, outer walls of a rectangular block 6 storeys high leaving the central space free of building, instead turning it into a usable courtyard space protected from the elements by a glass roof.

The ceremony was fantastic. As the groom, Stuart, nervously waited for his bride, Maria was busy having some photos with her bridal party under the large brick arches that connect the courtyard to the outside world. Then she arrives, a beautiful vision in an ivory bejewelled gown with stunning satin corsetry and a fashionable tulle fishtail skirt.

Devonshire Terrace, London, Wedding photography
Those precious moments before Maria goes to meet her Groom
devonshire Terrace weddings, London, wedding photographer
This shot gives a great look at THE DRESS, but also an feel for the venue, Devonshire Terrace

Maria surprised her new husband by hiring vocalists and musicians who popped up out of the congregation as the ceremony finished, performing ‘All You Need Is Love’, inspired by the film Notting Hill. They also sang the new Mr & Mrs Jennings back down the aisle to a rendition of Stevie Wonder’s ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered’

I had planned to take Maria and Stuart out into the London streets to capture some urban portraits of them both. Immediately out through the arches provided some fantastic backdrops with which to compose them. They were a great couple to work with who were very happy to be papped on their special day. We went for a series of candid and artistic poses as well as some more traditional shots. One of my favourites was the an edgy edit I did where the (now filthy) underskirts of Maria’s dress were exposed. This appealed to my alternative creative side.

wedding, london, devonshire terrace, photographer, portraits
Those first moments where a drink and a catch up is much needed!
wedding photography London, kiss portrait,
Well, it may not be the famous painting….but pretty close I reckon!!
wedding photography London Devonshire Terrace,
You would never know, 50m on there is a constant stream of traffic and pedestrians. We got lucky!
wedding dress, Manolo Blahnik heels, blue shoes, london wedding photography
Something for the dry cleaners….

While Maria, Stuart and their guests sat down to enjoy their meal Lee and I took a well earned break to devour the amazing tapas style food that was on offer and do what all good photographers do…..talk gear & shots and drink coffee!

The rest of the evening continued in good cheer and celebration. Speeches were delivered, toasts made, champagne drunk and dances danced. First up on the dance floor were the page boys and flower girls who well and truly rocked out before Maria and Stuart took to the floor for their well choreographed first dance.

Bridal party portraits, London wedding photography, Devonshire Terrace Photographer
Well, with kids, what else is there to do?!
Wedding day first dance, children, bridal party, wedding photography London
Before anyone else got to boogie, these little guys rocked!!
wedding day photography, london photographer, central london, devonshire terrace
Mr & Mrs J take to the dance floor

Maria had thoughtfully provided some comedy props which came in incredibly handy, especially when coaxing the shyest of the party to be photographed. This is certainly something I would recommend doing, especially if a studio photo booth isn’t feasible.

wedding photography in London, Devonshire Terrace wedding photography
As a rule, every wedding couple have to have at least one picture of their photographer!!

As the night for us came to an end and all our gear was re-packed and loaded into the car, we began the journey back to the South Coast with our eyes on lookout for a coffee stop! The wedding of Mr & Mrs Jennings was a fabulous day. A lot of fun and a wonderful experience. It was a pleasure to be able to play a part in their day. Congratulations Maria & Stuart, wishing you a lifetime of blessings and happiness.

wedding photography in London, Devonshire Terrace wedding photography
One Last kiss for us to capture under the arches of Devonshire Terrace, London
Fiona Mills

Choosing Your Wedding Photographer

After many conversations over the years I have put together a guide on how to choose your wedding photographer. I hope it helps you.

Step 1: Ask A Friend.

It is so easy to tap into Google “your location”+ “Wedding Photographer” and have a zillion hits in under a nano-second, but where do you go from there? Clicking on a few will certainly give you a great starting point, often though, you may find that just doing a shout out amongst your friends will give you a list of personally recommended local photographers that won’t have made it on Google until at least page 5!! As these photographers may have shot their weddings/christenings/family portraits etc, your friends will be able to tell you if they had good, bad or amazing experiences…you may even have walked past and complemented some of these images as you’ve sat in their lounge having a cuppa!

Asking your friends on Facebook will net you a good response.
Asking your friends on Facebook will net you a good response.

Step 2: Stalk Your List (Research)

You’re armed with a handful of potential photographers, your computer and a large coffee (or glass of red!!)…start stalking them. Check out their websites, online portfolios and prices. Is there a style you are seeing that you really like or don’t like? Have you a budget in mind for your wedding photography/videography? Set up a board on Pinterest and start to catalogue the type of things you have liked the look of. Are there a few photographers you’ve come across that you would like to find out more about? create a shortlist of ones to meet.

Check out the online profiles of potential photographers.
Check out the online profiles of potential photographers.

Step 3: Define Your Details

Style: As you have been researching, you may have found a particular photography style that stands out to you, be it formal; black & white; digital vs film; light and airy; quirky etc. Many photographers will display an array of styles in their portfolios as they will be adaptable to the clients needs, but checking out their bio may give you some insight into what their main shooting style is. Again, a portable list of examples like a scrap book, or Pinterest is a great tool to use when you meet potential photographers, but be aware every picture is unique to a set of circumstances: location; people; lighting; time of day; equipment used etc etc so it is very unlikely that a photographer will be recreating those images on your wedding day, rather, they will be using your inspiration to inspire them creatively.

Price: A wedding is made up of so many factors that all come with a price. Some items are administrative (registering your intent to marry) and others are product or labour based (the catering, for example). Some are short term (the flowers & the canapés) and some are long term (the wedding rings and the photographs). It is really important to look at your overall budget and decide how you want to divide it. It wouldn’t necessarily be the wisest choice to blow 50% of your budget on a harpist while you sign the register while leaving 5% for your wedding photographer.

Portioning up Your Wedding Budget
Portioning up Your Wedding Budget

You may find the price of a wedding photographer frighteningly high or shockingly low…myself and a number of photographers I know generally agree that there are 3 main brackets for wedding photography prices: Low; Medium & High.

Low: A photographer who is in the low bracket will usually charge under £500 to shoot your wedding. In my experience, they are usually someone who is just starting out or working to get more experience in their chosen field. They may also be lower in price as they don’t offer the same post production service & finished products than those in a medium-high bracket will.The risk with choosing a photographer from a low price bracket is the potential lack of experience and the use of equipment that isn’t of a professional grade.They may not have the experience of what to do in situations when things go wrong, and may also not have sufficient back up gear. On the other hand, they may be incredibly talented photographers who just need a break and the experience to put their skills to the test. Due to their lack of experience, they may try harder and go above and beyond their duty to really make an impact….and they may be great in a crisis!

Medium: A medium priced photographer should be around the £1000-£2500 price range. This may sound like a lot, but what you are paying for is more than someone for a day. Generally photographers in this bracket are experienced in their field and will have a host of digital and actual portfolios to share with you. The gear they use will be of a high professional grade and they will also be carrying spares! An assistant will usually be on board and this will be part of the cost, and the photographer will spend a considerable amount of time on post production (editing). For me a wedding from planning to finished product usually uses between 50-80 hours of work. You should expect a photographer in this bracket to be fully insured, offer planning and preparation as part of your package and offer a number of options as to how you would like your finished product. E.g:  usb stick/online gallery; wedding albums; wall art; canvasses; prints etc. You may also find these photographers are very aware of the current economic climate , so will be able to guide you in how to cut corners and shave your budget and offer you options that suit your budget. They may also offer budget-tipping extras like: videography; pop-up-studio; engagement/trash the dress shoot; hand made albums etc. Many will also have started their journey to be aligned with a professional photographic association (BIPP/MPA/SWPP etc). If you’re lucky, they’ll be winning awards too and recognised in their field!

High: Those in the high bracket start their fees in excess of £3-5000. A photographer in this field will usually be exceptionally experienced with a standard of finished images and products that lend itself to the high price range. Their equipment will be of an ultra-high level pro grade and assistants on the shoot will come as standard. These photographers will often have developed a style that is unique to them and highly sought after by clients, rather than the med-low brackets who may be more flexible to the clients style needs. They may also have a celebrity following, think Hello / OK magazine wedding photography here!

When: Have you set a date yet for your wedding? It may seem silly, but getting your heart set on a photographer before setting your date could be dangerous! Also, have you through about how long you would like your day captured professionally for? From getting ready? Just the ceremony? First Dance? Finest party moves? You may find the length of coverage is a negotiation between your budget and dream photographer!

Step 4: Meet Your Shortlisted Photographers

This is not just an ideal opportunity for you to meet with a potential photographer, but for them to meet you too. It can be an incredibly emotional time on your wedding day, so it is important to feel comfortable with the person who is likely to be there, taking those intimate photos and walking that emotional journey in close contact with you. Aside from all the practical stuff, you are likely to feel a vibe, or have a gut feeling about the photographer. If your gut says an emphatic “NO” chances are that connection isn’t there. Strike them off your list.
Practically it is important to meet face-to-face, or if that isn’t possible at first, schedule a telephone conversation. Ideally meet with the photographer as a couple, if not, bring someone you trust with you, a family member, friend etc. Check out their portfolios, find out who they are and how they are likely to conduct themselves on your wedding day. Discuss your needs, show examples of what you like and don’t like and see if this is something the photographer gets.

See if your photographer gets your ideas for the day.
See if your photographer gets your ideas for the day.

Are they feeling your day….do they have ideas that could capture the vibe of who you are as a couple? Tell the photographer your dreams. Us photographers love to be creative, you may find we have something up our sleeves that isn’t advertised. Don’t be afraid to talk budgets! It is a real part of the deal that shouldn’t be embarrassing or awkward to bring up. If you’ve done your research you’ll know whether you’ve scheduled a meet with a photographer whose prices start at £1750, when your allotted budget is £750. Do be honest as to what you can and cannot afford, but don’t forget, you wouldn’t pop to TopShop and expect to pay half the ticket price just because it’s not in your budget.
Get a quote. You may get this in person at the meeting, but also get it in writing with details so you can compare and refer back to it when making your decisions. This will likely be emailed or posted to you after the meet. Ask questions. Do they need a deposit? When is completed payment due? How long do the images take? How long does an album take? What is the deal with copyright? What if my Mum wants an image? Who else will be there on the day? Hidden costs? Insured? etc etc. Take notes!! Remember, you should feel at ease with your chosen photographer, if you don’t, it may reflect in the images.

Step 5: Choosing Your Photographer

You’ve done the research, made your budget, set the date, booked your venue and met a bunch of photographers…..so, how do you choose? My first instinct would be to go with your gut, but that isn’t always practical or financially viable.
Break your shortlist down. Get rid of any you didn’t feel any sort of personal connection with, then look at your budget. Are there any on your shortlist that are wildly out of your budget? Unless you can shuffle your finances, maybe they also need to come off your shortlist. You may be left with one or two strong contenders at this point.

There is no hard or fast rule with how to make this final decision. For some, the image “wow factor” may be the deciding vote. For some, the personality of the photographer. For others, it may even be down to the £50 difference on the quote. If it is a small difference in the quotes it may be worth a quick call to your favourite choice to see if £50-£100 can be shaved off somewhere. If you still can’t make your mind up, other than meeting up a second time, you may just need to chat with your fiancé, sleep on it and just go with your gut!!

Good luck!