Venice here I come

taM9AF_cNeYHello there, David here from

I am off to Venice today for a training course – thats right a course.

Here is a link to a video from a previous course, this is what I will be doing – 5 days of intensive training from a guys who is widely believed to be the best wedding photographer in the world.

Yervant shooting a Venice workshop. This will be me next week!

I feel very honored and lucky to be going, Yervant only holds this 5 day course in Venice twice a year and its limited to 20 photographers only !

Yervants website can be found at

I will be ‘trying to post blog entries via my IPHONE while I am away, I have tested it and it seems possible so stay tuened for updates !!!!!!!

I will let you know how I get on when I get back,

ciao for now,


David Purslow
0759 007 6666

The Wedding of Luke and Ashley

Hello there, David here from again, still playing catch up after the move but nearly there,

Each time I write one of these little reviews of the wedding I always write it from a different point of view, well today its written for any budding photographers out there, someone who is going to be going to a wedding and wants to make sure they get the good shots, someone who is shooting there first wedding etc.

I hope you find this useful, good luck,

A couple of weeks ago I shot the wedding of a  great couple, Luke and Ashley.  Weddings can be stressful times (for the B+G) at the best of times, however for this wedding Ashley’s mum was taken ill the day before and could not be there.  The thing that was very apparent throughout the whole day was the love shared by this couple and the very special bond they had.  I think the photos also reflect this.

The day was a fantastic, really nice and sunny and this made for a nice change compared to some of the weather we have seen this year, the venue was great, the church was located just outside of Haverfordwest in Pembrokeshire at a place called Roach and I arrived a little early to shoot some detail shots.  Soon after I arrived a few of the guests started showing up and one of my favorite things to shoot at weddings is the Kids.  The boys look really great in suits and the girls like princess’s in there dresses.  (from a business point of view) a photographer is stupid if they dont get lots of these shots as parents eat them up.

This young man was the life and sole of the party at the church

As I say, I like to change things up a little on the blog so will skip the normal bride arriving shots etc and jump right up to Ashley walking down the Isle.

I had to shoot a few test shots before they walked downt the isle so practiced on guests etc, you only get one chance to get the photos right, you cant stop the guys and ask them to do it again ! – The lighting in the church was a little challenging as there were huge areas of really bright light and then huge areas of really dim areas – this is where as a photographer you start to earn your money – Make sure you dont miss the walking in and out shots – test your lighting before the couple walk down the isle !

Remember when I said that this couple had a special bond, well the following picture shows exactly what I mean.  The way Ashley and Luke looked at each other throughout the day, the closeness, the little kisses etc really showed the passion and I could see it thru the lens, this couple are in LOVE !

Whenever I shoot a wedding I try to direct as little as possible and capture the candid moments, however you need to make sure you get a few of the important shots, one of the ‘standard’ shots is the signing of the register – Again on this shot I let the couple mix with there guests outside while I set up the scene, tested the lights etc and made sure we could shot it and be in and out within a few minutes thus not taking the bride and groom away from there wedding day.

The shot is a lot harder than it looks, Look at the shadows from the table leg nearest to the camera, subtle shadows towards the brides feet.  I held the flash on a flash extension lead off to camera right to soften the image.  Look at the window in the background and the candles, all exposed correctly.

The confetti shot was a hard one to shoot, the problems were the really strong sunlight.  I had to place the couple in the shadows but add fill light to bring them out from the background.  Notice in the background of this pic just how bright the sun was.

I think this was the point in the day that I realised how much effort Ashley was putting into the day and the pains she must have been going through.  A wedding day is 80 % the brides day in my humble opinion and to be going through all this knowing your mum is in hospital must have been a strain but Ashley was a trooper and its this spirit that made the pictures turn out the way they did – Thanks Ashley.

In the next 3 pictures I shot these all in direct sunlight – normally  a NO NO but sometimes you have to break a few photography rules, especially when the background makes it all worth while.

They were all shot in pretty much mid day sun – I decided to use a strong contrast setting as there was no way to get past the shadows.  Each one of the photos was carefully composed to make the most of the backgrounds.  I notice a lot of new photographers shoot all there photos really closeup and that sometimes spoils what could be a great photo.  I really love the photo of Luke and Ashley with the castle in the background – Its going to be going on my new website, I think its a classic image.

From here we went to the beach and although we could not get onto the sand on in the water, we still created some really nice images.

After the beach we went to the reception venue however the B+G stopped off for a few private photos away from the guests, we when down by the river and shot a few more personal photos and this also gave the couple a few minutes of alone time just to relax, enjoy each others company and more importantly enjoy there day – when I do this I generally shoot with a longer lens and leave the couple alone and dont direct them ! – this is a totally natural shot, I did not have to ask them to kiss, they just sat down on bench (after a lovley couple who were eating fish and chips while walking the dog gave it up just for them)

once we finished here, only about 10 minutes all in all we left and went to the Wolfscastle Hotel, (this was the first of my weddings as The Wolfscastle Hotel this year) – since the car was  leaving after this, I shot a few pics of the couple with the car – If  its a RR, make sure you get the silver lady in the shots – again this photo is 1/2 candid and 1/2 posed – I placed Luke and Ashley where wanted them, I posed Ashley and had her looking at Luke, I too the photo and then she just closed her eyes and had such a content look on her face that I had to take another photo  – again another of my favorite photos from the day – the posed picture is nice but this is nicer !

You should always be on the lookout for the unusual shots at a wedding, when I was shooting the cake, I had to walk around a long table and noticed how the glasses drifted off into the distance and how nice it looked – while not a classic wedding photo, it will make a killer photo in the wedding album as it draws the viewers eye.

Since the Wolfscastle Hotel is only downt he road from where I life, I decided (since the couple had – had such a challenging day) to come back at night and shoot the first dance.  The coverage booked had not included this but Luke and Ashley had been such a great couple all day, fed me and invited me back for the evening BBQ and Buffet that it was the least I could do,  Here is a shot of the outside of the Wolfscastle hotel at night

And this is the shot I came back for, its a great way to end an album – to me at least it sort of marks the end of the wedding and start of the couples life as a married couple – it really is the last focal point of the day.

Luke, Ashley, you guys rock, hope to talk to you soon, god bless – dp

Thanks to all for stopping by and if your reading this far, thanks for reading my blog – we are almost caught up and in a couple of week there is something VERY SPECIAL coming so keep checking back !!!!!!!

As I said I hope you enjoyed – shameless plug, remember I  am available for weddings and portraits throughout Pembrokeshire, South and West Wales and the whole of the UK

Why not sign in and leave comments, that blog is all about YOU guys, not me, again thanks for stopping by,



David Purslow
0759 007 6666   <—— New Phone Number !

Sarah and Neil’s Wedding

Hello there, David here from

Okay, still playing catch up from having my internet down for 3 weeks ! – This is a wedding I shot about a month ago, its the wedding of Neil and Sarah.  If you hunt thru my blog (or if your lazy just click here – you will see I shot Sarah and Neils pregnancy portraits a few months back – baby bump photos some call them)

I had been really looking forward to this wedding for a LONG time, it makes it a little easier from my point of view (as a photographer) if I have worked with a couple before the actual wedding day, that way I can get an idea of how the couple like being photographed etc (in this case – they dont like being in front of the camera) – but since I had worked with them before I knew to use longer lenses and keep back a bit and try to catch moments and not to do too much posing.

My so called style of photography is sometimes called repotage or photo-journalistic or PJ or candid or documentary shooter etc, in essence it means I try to pose the couples a little as possible and let the day unfold, the images in todays blog are mainly to show the kind of images you get without ANY posing – naturally I do have to make sure I get the ‘money’ shots also, the posed photos people THINK they want but generally the photos that people seem to buy or want in albums are the unposed ones.

So Sarah and Neils day, well this was another of my weddings at Lamphey Court Hotel Pembrokeshire and one of the things that made this so special is Sarah and Neil had booked ‘The Bishops Palace’ to shoot some photos in, the Bishops Palace is an old ruin just accross the road from the Lamphey Court Hotel and is a spectacular venue.

The week of the wedding arrived and I was frantically watching the weather as this year has been a little bit wet in terms of weddings, I think 75 % of the weddings have had rain appear during day.  With all the pretty ladies in all the nice dresses and shoes, I preyed for dry weather and thats exactly what I got – it was a perfect day for a wedding!

The first photo of the day, as I arrive at Lamphey Court Hotel Neil and his buddies are chillin having a cup of tea in the bar (glad it was only tea) – so I set up and POP  – the first photo Neil looking all relaxed

Photographers TIP *** Notice the light reflection on hte wall to the left of the guys, thats my flash bouncing off a window and Mirror.  Because it was so dark in this room I knew if I used direct flash the background would be really dark, so I bounced the flash off the wall to my right and it bouned off a window and mirror.  The light looks nice and soft and there are no real hard shadows apart from the chair in the foreground.

Remembering that Neil and Sara prefer not to have the camera right in there face, I pop on a longer lens and wait for the boys to go outside, once outside the boys chill out for a while and crack a few jokes.

So with it being the big day, I thought that with the 3 guys there I would get a ‘posed’ shot, I asked the guys to look at there watches as if waiting for the bride – I know, cheesy but generally makes a good photo – well it turned out to be a candid after all – NONE OF THE BOYS HAD A WATCH – good job they were already at the wedding venue 🙂

shortly after that, the guys were inside and I was outside waiting for the bride, Sarah to arrive,  As Sarah drove by, I snagged this shot of here looking at me through the widnow,  I really like this photo, its a classic and timeless unposed photos of a bride arriving at the venue.

I have decided to add the following photos to show you that its possible to use a longer lens and select your subject but still use it during the wedding service.  In the next series, starting off with the bride and groom looking at the registra after being told they are married with huge smiles on there faces ! and then leading onto the guests I am in EXACTLY the same spot – I choose a spot for the wedding and dont move, I also DONT use flash at all during the service so all of these images are shot using available light – you will notice the shadow detail and light fall off, something I think adds greatly to the photos.

B+G looking all happy !


and in this one, see how I frame the young lady with the people in front of her creating depth to the image

All these guys were looking at the bride and groom and all the pictures were shot within about 30 seconds from the first to the last.

Following the wedding I shot the signing of the register photo but then I moved to the sidelines and took this shot while the b+g were posing for friends, you often get a more natural shot when friends are taking taking the photos.

From here we all went off to the Bishops Palace for some photos

Whenever possible I try to shoot a group shot of everyone – I also try to do this earlier than later, that way people can split off into there own groups while waiting around.

A shot taking advantage of The Bishops Palace grounds

I know at this size the web photos dont do the couple justice but the printed photos look amazing !

I took the couple off for a walk to a more secluded part of the grounds and told them to chill out for a few minutes while ‘I messed around with my camera’  and stood back around 50 – 75 feet using the longer lens to capture this candid shot

then once I had my candids, I posed the couple for a ‘nice’ posed picture

After the Bishops Palace we went back to The Lamphey Court Hotel and I quickly shot the cake cutting photo before all the guests came into the dining room – notice how in the photo above and the photo below the couple look a little ‘stiffer’ than in the candid shots – thats the beauty of candids, you get really natural looking photos !

I had to save this one until last, this was the ‘second’ dance, but I wanted to show how people relax and let there hair down when they think you cant take photos in the dark !!!! – I standing on a chair dressed all in black and the room is pitch black apart from the DJ lights – I used an infra-red focus assist function on the camera to bounce IR light off the couple to check the distance and program the focus point – the images turned out great.

Well thats about it, Congratulations to Neil and Sarah, and I am looking forward to shooting those portraits of baby N pretty soon,

I will be posing more weddings this week as  I TRY to catch up before I go away for a week.

Hope you enjoyed,


David Purslow
0759 007 6666 <—–  New Mobile Phone Number

Edward came visiting

Hello there, David here from

As you  will know if your a regular visitor to my website and my blog, Nikki, Joshua and I recently moved (about 10 days not at date of posting)  Well today was the first day’s rest we have really had so Nikki invited Gale and Edward over for lunch.  Today was fantastic, really nice and sunny !  Thats something you have not heard much this summer here in the UK.

Well since we had visitors I decided to take a quick 20 minute break from processing images from yesterdays wedding and had a mad 10 minutes in the garden with the girls and the boys.

Naturally once Edward grabbed the Bob the builder hat and Hi Viz vest and sat on the Bob the Builders truck I had to take a couple of photos.

Here are 3 from a 5 minute session that was more about RnR than working.

The first image, the vignette is naturally caused by the lens on the camera – its the Nikon 70-200 VR on a Nikon D3.

and here is one where Joshua looks like he is wondering why daddy is not pointing his camera at him but at someone else – JD Loves to get in on the photos !

All I would say is these are quick snapshots, I was in the garden for less than 5 minutes from start to finish and in that time, I had to stir dinner twice so actual shooting time was around 3 minutes.  The reaon for I say this is that it only takes a few seconds to take a few pictures and the kids grow up so quickly that you want to make sure you dont miss out, so get your cameras out and snap away – in years to come you will be happy you did !



David Purslow
0759 007 6666