In This Moment | That Light

Blenheim Palace is and always has been one of my favourite wedding venues in the UK, it’s quite simply breathtaking.

This beautiful moment was captured during a wedding we photographed there several weeks ago, in fact it’s the next wedding to be fully featured on the blog, I just couldn’t resist posting this little preview.

John and Mamta had recently finished their ceremony and were walking around the incredible grounds at Blenheim, the moment they walked into the main square the light, colours and tones just came to life, it changed the scene completely. It became much more representative of the day (and couple) especially when they turn to look at one another, I knew it was a keeper then.

140308 Kenny Patel 2041

Camera and Lens Info:

Camera ● Canon 5D Mark 3
Lens ● 24mm 1.4 Mark 2
Aperture ● F4
ISO ● 200
Shutter ● 200th

Holly & Matt’s wedding at Cripps Barn

Holly and Matt’s wedding took place in the picturesque Gloucestershire Cotswolds on a fairly nippy February weekend. It was a beautiful wedding planned to perfection.

I have to say, the light in February and March can be spectacular. Many couples getting married in the winter often voice their concerns about light but that really needn’t be the case, the low wintery sun can give the subsequent photographs so much character and soul, often casting huge long shadows as well as highlighting the stunning spring colours. My advice… embrace the winter weather, it can really surprise you. And worst case scenario if it does rain, a lot, then rest assured that your guests will be in a warm and cosy environment, often in candle light, with champagne and canapés to hand – the atmosphere will unquestionably be fun and enjoyable in nature.

The ceremony and reception took place at the exquisite Cripps Barn on the outskirts of Bibury. I’ve been photographing on and off at Cripps Barn for the last six or seven years and I’ve seen it evolve into the charming barn-style wedding venue it is today and it has to be said, it is one of the best in the area. We’re fortunate enough to be recommended suppliers at the barn.

Holly and Matt’s attention to detail did not disappoint! Really helpful use of candles dotted around the venue gave me additional ‘pools’ of light to work in and the flowers were outstanding. For me though, I would say their best buy was the highly inappropriate aprons worn by a member of each table. Priceless.

Matt and Holly really embraced the reportage wedding photography style and I’m thrilled with their images.

Enjoy.

Professionally Designed and Produced Wedding Photography Albums

It’s arrived!

… And thank you so much, the album is everything we had hoped it would be, capturing the essence of the day and the feeling and character of our family and friends, a true treasure.

The details and sense of atmosphere can’t be lost now, even if the memory fades around the edges the photographs will bring it all back.

PRODUCT SHOTS 013
The quality of the photography is outstanding and I hope you never tire of hearing it :-)  We are very glad we chose you, it was effortless ( for us! ) on the day.  Your relaxed, unobtrusive approach meant we could all share in a fantastic day without being on ceremony and it shines out from the album.

PRODUCT SHOTS 016
The craftsmanship of the Jorgensen album itself sets the images off beautifully and it is a pleasure to hold and look through, it’s just such great quality throughout.

PRODUCT SHOTS 014
People put so much effort and thought into their wedding day and having a moving and wonderfully tactile way to re-live it (soft leather and warm tones) is something I’m so grateful for, and glad we didn’t overlook in the planning stages.

PRODUCT SHOTS 017
Although we will never forget our wedding day, we might have lost fragments of it to the passage of time and now we don’t have to.  It’s not only photography that you do, it’s the preservation of happy memories…for which we are so grateful.

PRODUCT SHOTS 021
Best wishes

Jenny and Garry xx

Same Sex Weddings | A historic day for equality

The legalisation of same-sex marriages went through parliament last year but it wasn’t until earlier this month that couples could register their intention to marry and in fact not until this very day, 29th March 2014, that couples could legally be married in England and Wales.

“When people’s love is divided by law, it is the law that needs to change”

David Cameron.

Campaigners have fought tirelessly for same-sex couples to have the right to get married, and not just in a legal sense but one of outright equality.

Huge congratulations to any couples getting married on this very significant day.

The Fujifilm X-T1 For Professional Wedding Photography

Following my earlier blog article, here’s a more in-depth post with my thoughts on the new Fujifilm X-T1 after several weeks of use. All the wedding photography in this post has been made using the Fuji X-T1 and 56mm 1.2 R Fujinon lens, producing JPEGs then processed in Lightroom.

DSCF0431
I’d like to make it very clear that I have absolutely no interest in talking about every little technical aspect of this camera because let’s be honest, there are a plethora of those online already – they’re also pretty dull! I’m afraid I won’t be talking about how many frames per second of continuous shooting you could achieve or the finest details about it’s much mentioned viewfinder (suffice to say it is very nice). What I will discuss amongst other things however is the Fuji’s ability to perform in real-life situations and whether it can actually be a main camera in a professional wedding photographer’s kit bag, possibly replacing a high-end digital SLR. That’s certainly the main question on my mind and I’m positive I’m not the only one thinking this.

DSCF0357
My current set up for documentary wedding photography over the last couple of years has been two Canon 5D Mark 3 cameras and a range of primes.  It has been the best camera set up I’ve ever had. The low light capabilities of the camera combined with the fast primes allows me to shoot in almost any situation without the need for flash. It can not only process the most beautiful colours and tones from an almost cave-like situation, but can actually lock focus in this horrible light, which is incredible. For weddings between the months of October and April, you need cameras with this level of ability or you will miss images, without question.

DSCF0402
So with that in mind, why did I just spend a small fortune on a new Fuji X-T1 kit knowing full well that it wouldn’t be able to perform as well as the Canon 5D Mark 3 in these conditions? Well, as efficient as the Canon 5D Mark 3 is – and I’m a firm believer in cameras being just tools of the trade and nothing more – the X-T1 has charisma, style and discretion. The Canons are without doubt a better, more well rounded camera, but they lack all of the aforementioned Fuji charms. I know the Fuji is technically an inferior system but – and this is a very important but – it’s the first digital camera I’ve used professionally that actually inspires me to make better images. That’s of great significance to me.

DSCF0432
The Fuji X-T1’s old-school layout harks back to a bygone era; an age where film ruled and the speed and delivery of photography was slower and more considered. I’m always looking for ways to slow down my photography and subsequently increase my ‘hit rate’, I don’t want ten images of the same moment, just one great frame. I want to take my time with the Fuji and spend longer composing, waiting for that decisive moment; the very opposite of what often happens when many people get hold of a high-end DSLR. In fact I know of some photographers that photograph a wedding with their DSLR cameras permanently in burst mode, capturing several frames of each ‘moment’. Where’s the skill in that? This technique is aptly named ‘spray and pray’. Say no more!

DSCF0516
I’ve photographed three weddings with the Fuji X-T1 alongside my dual Canon set up and I’ll be honest: after the first wedding I was convinced it was going back to the shop. I found it incredibly frustrating and felt it couldn’t keep up with me. I found the whole process laborious. After some personal work with the Fuji the following week, my love for this little camera grew and subsequent weddings allowed me to really put into practice a slower, more considered technique. The problem I quickly discovered, was me!

DSCF0899
This weekend just gone, the X-T1 worked seamlessly in my set up during a lengthy Indian wedding on the Friday, a traditional English wedding on the Saturday, and a pre wedding shoot in a forest on the Sunday. Aside from absolutely annihilating the batteries (you will need at least 3 for a typical wedding, 4 to be on the safe side), the camera often out-performed my Canon 5D Mark 3, producing at least 50% of the photography over the 3 days of shooting.

DSCF0693
The autofocus is not that of a flagship Canon or Nikon camera, but when a camera gives you such a genuine sense of pleasure, it’s a price you’re willing to pay. The intuitive, analogue-style controls are backed up by an incredible sensor, producing some of the most impressive, film-like colours and tones I’ve seen a digital camera create. I would never shoot JPEG on the Canons, favouring RAW files that can be processed comprehensively. The Fuji is a different story altogether. I just can’t get enough of the JPEGs produced by the X-T1; they’re almost the finished article.

DSCF0991
The Fuji X-T1 is pretty small, allowing me to work in quite confined spaces and still remain very discreet. People are most certainly noticing me just as much as usual and yet there’s a different, more accepting reaction. Something I really didn’t expect but a pleasant surprise none the less.

So, the all important question: would I use the X-T1 as my main professional system? Not just yet. Sorry, I appreciate that’s probably not what you want to hear, but I have my reasons…

DSCF0772
There’s simply no denying that it just can’t work in the same awful situations that something like the Canon 5D Mark 3 has proven itself capable. For instance, available light photography during any dancing in the evening reception is pretty hit or miss with the Fuji; especially if it’s back-lit. Also, the technical limit for RAW files from the sensor is 6400 ISO, which is a great shame because if I’m going to produce files of 8000, 12,800 ISO and more (as I regularly do with the Canons)  then I want the range and control of a RAW file, regardless of how much I like the JPEGs from the X-T1. But – and it’s another significant but – the X-T1 is so very nearly there. It’s just in these very extreme conditions where it falls slightly short. That said, my earlier points about how it inspires creativity remain valid, as do the Fuji’s other considerable charms, so for all of my personal work and a large proportion of my paid work, the Fuji X-T1 will be my go-to camera.

My associate Andy Rapkins has also been appraising various mirrorless camera systems over the past few months and will have his own thoughts online shortly. Whilst a lot of our views are shared and agreed on the new cameras, his driving reasons to use them are slightly different to mine and subsequently his decisions are too. I think you’ll find his article interesting so keep an eye out for that over the next couple of days.

Aidan & Lucinda’s wedding at Cheringworth Manor

What a delightful little wedding!

Aidan and Lucinda’s exceptionally relaxed and pleasant wedding took place in the beautiful county of Gloucestershire on a particular cold winter’s day!

I document a lot of small, intimate weddings over the winter months and absolutely love them. Because of the bitter cold the venues keep the fires continuously stoked and the champagne (or mulled wine) flowing, everyone’s nice and warm and snuggly and it always makes for a superb atmosphere to create documentary wedding photography.

It was particularly low light during this wedding and I know a lot of brides planning their winter wedding become very concerned that photographers won’t be able to work in such conditions. I personally embrace the low light, I find images often possess considerably more emotion and evoke a stronger reaction, yes there’s a little more noise or grain if you will, but there’s just so much more character.

Just a few favourites from this intimate little wedding day in Gloucestershire.

Enjoy.