Firstly, meet Tommy and Holly. They chose Dodford Manor in Northamptonshire for their wedding. I met them through a mutual friend and photographer who recommended me as a wedding photographer.
When I met them for an engagement session, what started as a clear day quickly changed when the heavens opened. After shooting their engagement session it seemed fitting for it to be a rainy wedding day. So as a wedding photographer it was an absolute pleasure to face the challenge of creating perfect moments on a rainy day.
Being based in Milton Keynes, I often find myself working as a Northamptonshire wedding photographer. The rolling countryside of Northamptonshire hosts several picturesque venues. Dodford Manor combines a traditional rustic barn, with the comfort of contemporary styling. The ceremony takes place in a beautiful brick barn with a large glass frontage allowing for plenty of light to fill the space. As for the reception, a consistent styling and panoramic full length windows. Above all, it creates a perfect environment for a wedding photographer.
Emma found my work from a wedding at Dodford Manor where I had previously been the wedding photographer for Tommy and Holly. She had fallen in love with the cinematic romance of that particular moment. She explained how she had planned a fusion of traditional and contemporary wedding themes and we began to piece together a plan of how her photographs might look. One thing Emma mentioned was her quest since childhood, to prove she was secretly related to the queen. With that in mind it seemed perfectly fitting for Emma, and her soon to be groom, Andy to create their own pop up pub!
The setting for the wedding was a beautiful country house in Wendover, surrounded by farmland. A rustic barn wedding ceremony, followed by a garden celebration. A pretty idyllic country wedding.
As a wedding photographer and wedding videographer, I love the opportunity to work somewhere new. That’s especially true when its not your typical wedding venue as it presents a creative challenge, I literally had no idea what to expect. Fiona ( my second shooter) and I arrived simultaneously to photograph the prep. The girls, photographed by myself on this occasion and the guys by Fiona. Once ready, I asked Andy to wear a microphone. Emma was completely in the dark of our intention to produce a little film so hiding the microphone was critical. We tucked it inside his jacket and all went swimmingly.
Let me set the scene, after months of rescheduling amidst a global pandemic, its finally the evening before your wedding. You’ve made all the arrangements, your 27 guests are settling in at the venue for an overnight stay. Its 27 instead of the original far greater number because you had to accommodate the two photographers and videographer to ensure family that can’t be there won’t miss it. For a second, theres a glimpse of the excitement only a wedding can bring.
Then, this. An announcement from the government moving the goalposts. The rules have changed your ceremony can go ahead at the venue but forget about your wedding reception. what on Earth can you do?
The answer: pick up your entire reception and put it in your garden of course.
That is exactly what happened to Jono and Nicola. Among the challenges of making this possible there was a big one for me. How do I work the wedding videography to ensure the final film appears consistent. Well, it was tough but I’m pleased with the final highlight film.
It was great to meet a couple so determined to formalise their declaration of love for each other. In sickness and health, through a global pandemic, the strength and persistence they displayed gives me great hope for their future together.
This is probably one of the first questions that will cross your mind and quite rightly so. The clothes you wear on the day of your lifestyle family photoshoot should be a big consideration since they dramatically impact on the overall look and feel of the photos.
Think about Where your family portrait will be displayed.
Firstly, try to think about how and where you will display the photos in your home.
A family photoshoot can be a great centrepiece in a living room or hall. So if you plan on displaying yours here, try to avoid clothing that would clash with your colour scheme. There’s actually a science to it. after reading through my guide, if you’re feeling nerdy, I found this great article about colour matching that may help.
Similarly, if you are having an outdoor family session so that you can get some fun photos of the children and plan to hang the pictures in their bedroom, what colours would work well with the room’s colours scheme? Try to think about if you would like something bright and vibrant or pastel.
The importance of your location.
Make sure you don’t out dress your chosen spot! Its a common belief that you should be in your “Sunday best” for a family photoshoot, this is a myth. Your outfit choice should suit your surroundings. For an outdoor family photoshoot I use the term “lifestyle” which often reflects perfectly on selecting your outfit. Theres no sense in wearing a tuxedo at the beach however in an urban setting this might just be the perfect choice. BE COMFORTABLE!
Make sense for the time of year.
This ones a big one. It’s about dressing naturally to suit the time of year. If it’s cold, wear a jumper and as such, if its warm short sleeves work fine.
pastels and light fresh blues, greens and yellows are a great option.
Blush, warm pinks, yellows look beautiful, as do cool sky blues, mints and aqua. However, for something glitzier, you’ve got the choice of champagne, rose gold and ivory shades.
Earthy Browns, rusty oranges, golds and creams work really well in the Autumn. They don’t have to be dark but I personally like working with richer colours and materials like wool and tweed.
Warm reds and jewel colours such as emerald greens, teal and mulberry are perfect in the Winter. A heavy knit sweater or smart winter coat can also work really well to add variety to your final collection of images.
Don’t fall for the match!
Instead of the same outfit in four sizes, choose a theme and run with it! It doesn’t look natural when everybody wears the same clothes. My advice would be to start with smart casual. Simple, comfortable and natural. A family photoshoot is a glance into your life as a family. If you hate a type of fabric or a certain colour avoid it. This is about who you are as a family.
When I first met with Charlotte and Steve to talk about their wedding photography we clicked right away. We soon turned the conversation to Game of thrones and a mutual appreciation for dogs. As a wedding photographer, it is important for me to capture personality. Ensuring that I show the personality of the couple through their wedding photography, I ask to spend a little time with the couple. we start by talking through how they met and what they have in common. Then move on to any plans they have before their wedding day.
Meeting Steve and Charlotte, it was easy to see they both had a great sense of humour and a love of theatre. We started talking about their first venue, Barton Hall. Situated in Kettering Northamptonshire, Barton Hall is a has a beautifully kept Grade 1 Listed Orangery set in the grounds of a contemporary hotel. An orangery is one of my favourite places to shoot. They are always bright and clean and this really creates a great setting for any Kettering wedding photographer.
Their reception venue choice, Elms Meadow, was a new one for me. I am not technically based as a Kettering wedding photographer nor Corby wedding photographer however I have family in the area so shoot there often. To be honest, tipi weddings are always a challenge for a wedding photographer. Being situated in central England it was a typically summertime wedding and so, you guessed it, it rained. This meant that the yellowish colour cast from the Tipi really challenged our in camera colour balancing. Thankfully, we have a few photography tricks up our sleeves for these moments. We ended up using off camera flash to really add some punch to our images and so sometimes it helps to be a nerd.
So here we are… It’s the big day for Jack and Danielle. The car is packed full of Photography gadgets, and so we are off to Northampton. Close to Victoria Park and a stones throw from Central Northampton is Elim Church. Contemporary and bright, not to mention close to the hearts of the couple there was only one place for their Wedding. We started bright and early with both of them getting ready at the church before the wedding. Danielle and the girls appeared laid back and ready for anything. Jack and the boys had a little drama with a misplaced laptop but other than that, alls well.
What caught me by surprise about Elim Church was the use of space. The layout and use of light amplified the space within giving all the atmosphere of a grand wedding without losing the closeness of an intimate and exclusive event. Its modern minimalist decor in the ceremony room ensures the smallest personal touch shines through. The vast space of the theatre means you can create any atmosphere or look you desire with their dynamic coloured lighting and crystal clear audio system. Elim church is certainly a hidden gem within the Northampton wedding scene.
Red white and blue are the colours for this English wedding. We threw in a couple of smoke grenades and some light tricks and hey presto! A wedding no one can forget! if you are thinking about a Northampton wedding, The details for Elim Church can be found below.
Often an engagement session was the first opportunity we had to get to know each other. I wanted to find out what it is that made this alternative couple click. Pretty early on, we were able to reminisce about a mutual love of an old rock music.
Growing up, Tommy had been part of a local Milton Keynes band. Having met when they were teens, they really did know each other inside out. In the beginning they were both a little camera shy. After a funny conversation about facebook stalking and the channelling of our 00’s teen memories, they quickly became naturals. The weather wasn’t ideal but that meant we had the park to ourselves. who else is crazy enough to go out in the rain to take photos? the couple chose Rushmere park as the setting for their engagement session. The vast woodland left plenty of room to explore.
I was recommended to Tommy and Holly by a mutual friend and fellow photographer. As a wedding photographer it is quite the compliment to be recommended by professional photographers from other fields.
The approach with this Engagement Session was a relaxed natural style. Lots of textures! Really trying to draw the viewer into the woodland whilst also communicating a perfectly matched couple. The session was close to Christmas so we decided to design a little Christmas card design.
Meet Jack and Danielle. I had the absolute pleasure of being their wedding photographer and together we created the tagline, “Life in Colour”. For their Engagement Session in Milton Keynes, I wanted to capture a couple bursting with life, love and laughter. Together, we have been on quite a journey together and it starts here, with their Pre- Wedding Engagement Session. In my first consultation with Danielle, at the foot of an outrageously large Christmas tree, we walked through everything that made them unique as a couple. Outgoing and confident in front of the camera, it would have been too simple, “sit there, look pretty” in their Engagement Session. It was important to them that the engagement session be different to the traditional couples poses to reflect more on them as a young couple.
Their was only one combination we could think of… Powder paint, neon poster paint and a smoke grenade for good measure. Why not? As a wedding photographer I am always looking to push the boundaries of convention. It was the perfect sunny day in my home town of Milton Keynes. We headed out to the open fields in time for the infamous, “golden hour” and this is how it went.
We of course, nailed some traditional Couples shots too, after all you have to have a picture for Grandma. If you’re considering a Milton Keynes engagement session, the town offers plenty of picturesque locations within a short car ride of each other.
A beautifully rustic barn setting. This multi award winning wedding venue, is based in Northamptonshire. It is always a pleasure whenever I’m asked to be a wedding photographer here.
Kayte and Dan lived in Milton Keynes. Dodmoor House was ideally positioned 30 minutes from the centre of Milton Keynes so due to this, it provided the perfect setting for this Disney inspired wedding day. This rock and roll bride managed to tastefully pay homage to her love for Disney films. Let’s face it, who doesn’t love a sprinkle of Disney magic. The way they had planned their day was beautifully reflective alternative Bride and a quirky Groom.
In order to achieve such a perfect combination, I have been told you need a trip. Where does one go for inspiration? Book a quick trip Disney land, Paris of course!
A winter wedding in the uk can have the potential to tip the scales either way. Your day can be true greatness or a feature length disaster. To avoid the latter, I recommend embracing the season. Winter can be a positive and contributing part of your wedding, with simple things like earthy tones, a little tweed and some creativity. Kayte and Dan pulled off this December wedding perfectly because the elegantly matched their theme, with the perfect venue.
For brides dreaming of the perfectly aristocratic atmosphere on their wedding day, there is always Chicheley Hall. Nestled in 80 acres of traditional grounds, it is ideal for an intimate wedding. Its idyllic countryside location offers peace and serenity on the outskirts of the rapidly expanding garden town of Milton Keynes.
A stunning Grade I listed mansion Chicheley hall, is regarded as one of the finest examples of early 18th Century architecture. Its current hall dates back to the 1700’s and is truly impressive for any event. (No wonder that it has been used as a location for such film and television projects as Pride and Prejudice, The Meaning of Life, and Black Beauty.)
Chicheley has always been one of my favourite venues to work in. Though it is a grand and spacious property the layout creates an intimate and traditional wedding atmosphere.