Venue: The Elvetham
Oliver and Katherine's charming little wedding took place at The Elvetham in Hampshire just a few days before Christmas.
I really enjoy working at The Elvetham, weddings there are always particularly intimate and relaxed. It's pretty dark inside, especially in December! The softly-lit rooms provide the ideal atmosphere for guests to mingle and relax in and in the right atmosphere, we can often work significantly closer to groups of people and produce much more engaging reportage wedding photography.
Below are just a few of my very favourites from this touching, warm and epsecially family-orientated wedding day. I was accompanied by one of my long term students Ian Martindale who continues to impress.
I've worked with some incredible couples over the last twelve months and having the responsibility of documenting such a personal and momentous occassion continues to be a genuine privilege. 2012 has been our busiest year ever and we look forward to an even busier 2013 and to our next associate photographer getting stuck in. 2013 also happens to be our 10th anniversary!
Without further ado, here is a small collection of my very favourite photographs of 2012...
Your value to the company
Since it's inception, the associate program has developed and progressed as a result of those that are part of it. Associates become part of the collective and offer new ideas and new insights, as well as receiving the training, skills and knowledge our business is built on. The brand and our approach is well established, well respected and the successful associate will become part of that brand, benefiting from it and learning the way we do business, acquiring the skills to deliver a premium service product to our clients.
The new associate will also be able to challenge us and bring new innovations to the company. We want someone that can look for and suggest new concepts, as well as take on the established skills we offer in return.
Having an image converted to mono is an area of our post production that we pay particular attention to. We shoot everything in colour, so the choice of whether images then remain in colour or are converted to black & white is always an artistic choice - mono can dramatically improve the focal point of an image for instance, as well as composition. Black and white processing often simplifies an otherwise cluttered image with too many distracting elements and can greatly improve the purpose of the shot by clarifying the 'moment'.
Colour is incredibly important for wedding documentary too and can (and should) comfortably sit alongside black and white coverage.
Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. Scott and Jenny's wedding for instance - with less than 15 people in attendance (including the couple and their 3 children) was naturally immensely intimate. It wasn't showy or status-driven, it was just very modest and touching. The various moments I observed that day I knew were particularly private and during the processing I felt it demanded a more 'raw' form of presentation. I didn't want any distractions, I didn't want the processing to stand out or take any glory, something that I always have in mind when working in colour however, there's just something a little more pure about mono, and it suited these images.
Mark and Rachel's wedding took place on the beautiful Somerset farm where Rachel grew up. And it wasn't just any old farm, it was an Ice Cream farm! So it's fair to say that Ice Cream played a pretty significant role, especially later in the day once people had digested their delicious hog roast.
It was a week packed with activities on the farm during a pretty spectacular Wedfest where good friends and close family came in from far and wide, including Australia. One of the only key family members that couldn't make the day was Rachel's grandmother who is the little face you see on the laptop during the bridal preparations, Skyping from down under, which I thought was a really nice touch.
Thanks to the Wedfest, everyone was incredibly familiar and by the time the actual wedding day came around people were so genuinely at ease with one another that the day had one of the friendliest, most relaxed atmospheres I've ever worked in.
The wedding reception took place in a large barn that family and friends had spent over a week clearing and preparing for the day, the detail was impeccably well planned including a parachute in the roof of the barn to create a more intimate environment as well as a chill out area for the oldies!
We're now looking for an associate documentary wedding photographer to join the team, rather than waffle on about the position you might like to hear it from Joshua, my first associate photographer. If you still think it's for you after reading the article, simply email your portfolio and CV to firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm Josh, and I was the first photographer to go through Allister's Associate program some two and a half years ago. It's about time I shared my thoughts on the process so that those of you looking to earn a place on his upcoming programme know what you are getting into.
Make sure you read my previous post on the Associate programme to get some context for what I about to say:
Now you are back, read on...
Rob and Adam's wedding in Berkshire had a fun, family vibe. It all took place in the peaceful village of Headley and was hosted by Rob's brave parents on their beautiful front lawn! Because the couple currently live in Australia planning the day was a team effort but it paid off and is certainly one of my more memorable commissions so far this year.
Many of Rob and Adam's friends made the huge commitment to fly in from Australia - a testament to how amicable these two are.
This was also the first real test for the latest Canon 5D Mark 3 set up I've moved to. The speeches in particular during this wedding were tough, with next to no ambient light to work from. Adding flash during the speeches, for me at least, is an absolute no-no as it attracts far too much attention and alters the entire atmosphere of the space. With these new cameras I was able to shoot at 8000 to 16,000 ISO and produce professional results. I'm now going into my low light, winter weddings safe in the knowledge that I'll be able to work in much tougher situations than last year. These cameras are a real game changer, for the documentary wedding photographer at least.
It's fair to say that this wedding was full of people that really knew how to have a good time, this is always good for photography and many of my favourite documentary photographs were created during the latter stages of the day.
Venue: Manor House School Bookham
Manor House School in the Surrey town of Bookham is the perfect little venue for small and intimate weddings. I recently documented Jane and David's humanist ceremony there which took place on the immaculate lawns of the school. I'm commissioned for more humanist ceremonies every year and they're always particularly personal to the couple and rewarding to document.
The day was all about family and friends and this really comes across in the photography where guests play a significant role. The evening was just as entertaining to photograph with some fantastic speeches as well as plenty of low-light and intimate chatter before the dancing kicked off. This is the first wedding where I've photographed adult musical statues and I liked it!
David and Jane's wedding had such a warm and welcoming atmosphere and was a genuine pleasure to photograph. Below are just a few of my very favourites from this little wedding day in Surrey.
Bridal Preparations: Stoke Park
Ceremony: St Lawrence Church Chobham
Reception: Hedsor House
Michel and Jennifer's exceptionally well planned wedding spanned the counties of Buckinghamshire, Surrey and Berkshire, I documented the events alongside my talented colleague and key associate Andy Rapkins. If you haven't already seen Andy's documentary wedding photography then I strongly urge you to do so, he just keeps getting better and better. He has some particularly stunning weddings to be blogged soon including a two day event in Switzerland and a incredible Clivedon affair!
We often work as a pair during large Asian or Jewish weddings where photography is required simultaneously in multiple locations and because of the distance involved at Michel and Jennifer's day, this set up worked perfectly.
After some discreet documentary wedding photography of both the bride and groom getting ready, I met up with Andy at St Lawrence Church in Chobham, Surrey. The ceremony went perfectly and we were on our way to Hedsor House for the classy reception in no time.
Here are just a few of my very favourites from this classy celebration.
It's approaching the middle of one of my long term mentoring programmes and a great stage to get some feedback. The course is going really well and I have witnessed incredible development and growth in Ian's approach and delivery. Here are a few words from the man himself..