Sarah and Peter’s Wedding – wedding at St Davids Cathedral

Hello there, David here from

Oh, what a day and what a wedding.  I have been looking forward to this weeding for months, ever since I first received an email asking if I was available as the couple were getting married at St Davids Cathedral, St David’s in Pembrokeshire West Wales.

Sarah and Peter found me through the internet, something that is happening more and more.   We arranged to meet up on one of there trips to Pembrokeshire so they could look through wedding albums and my portfolio.  I instantly took a liking to both Sarah and Peter and knew this would be a fun wedding to shoot – I was not disapointed !

I have to say right off the bat that I had to work my socks off on this one, it was a very intimate wedding and the whole wedding party was under 20 people so out with tradition and time to get a little creative.  I got the impression that Sarah and Peter were not after your typical traditional wedding album and wanted something that actually captured the magic of the day.

This was my first of my weddings at St Davids Cathedral this year and I was preying for great weather and as it turned out, it seems someone was listening, we had fantastic weather for wedding photos.

Anyway, I arrived at the house just before 9:00 am to shoot a few pictures of Sarah getting ready.  Being such a gracious hostess I instantly was offered and made a cup of tea, and started setting up my cameras for the days shooting.  One of the things I noticed while I drank my tea and chatted with “Mum” was the house is full of photos and its obvious that photographs are important to Peter and Sarah.  I knew I had to do good, so lets hope they like them.

I always like to show you something a little different each time I post up a wedding preview, this time I have a couple of bridal prep shots only, the first photo here shows Sarah just after she slipped into her wedding dress.


I only used a little bit of flash in the living room as (if you look at the shadows of the chairs) the room has great natural light coming in from the outside thru nice big windows and french doors.  I asked Sarah to stand so she was facing the window light as I love to mix my light sources as I find “God” light to be so nice if its diffused a little.

I love to shoot mirror shots and hope this one works – the mirror was pretty high but I think that add’s to the image – Again Sarah herself is lit mainly by window light (her face) and the flash is filling in the foreground.


As you can see, the space to “work” in was limited however I am very pleased with the images we pulled out of the 20 minutes I had before I had to shoot off to the Cathedral.   In the photo below, in the right hand top corner you can see the big windows I was talking about.   Normally I have a few shots I always like to stage and make sure I capture, one being the perfume being put on.  As I turned around, Sarah was already applying her perfume (and it was lovely) so I quickly grabbed a couple of images – I shot 4 in total but love the way this one turned out – the lighting is just so dreamy to me.


From here I moved off to Saint Davids Cathedral to hopefully get a parking spot – Yes I got one !!!! – happy days.  I wanted to shoot an establishing shot of the Cathedral as I think it was an important part of the day. I shot the following image with a 12-24 mm Nikon lens on the Nikon D3 camera.  I only point that out as it was a very wide photo to get it all in and I am very please with it.


Now came a tough decision do I wait outside or grab a few shots of the groom inside before the bride arrives.  Well I had asked Sarah this before hand and she wanted a few shots of Peter waiting around for her looking all apprehensive so thats what I did – as it happens a family member waited outside and shot some great photos of Sarah arriving so she got the best of both worlds.

I have got so many great photos of the inside of the Cathedral that I wont bore you with them here – Sarah and Peter got married in a little side chapel as the BBC were getting ready for a Music Festival in the main Hall.

Here are the last moments of Sarah being a single girl, here she is just about to walk into the chapel.


and here they are together, Sarah and Peter.


I had been advised before hand that I could stand at the back of the chapel and take a couple of shots – normally I sneak in a few extras but photographing a wedding at St Davids Cathedral is a humbleing experience and you sort of do exactly what your told.

Here is the ring exchange shot – always one of my favorite shots of the day, to me it signifies the actual moment when two people become one couple.


Following the wedding I managed to grab a GREAT candid of the couple just after the signing of the register.


There are a lot more photos but not wanting to take up all the blog main page, if you want to see the rest of then you will have to follow this link


Joshua’s 1st Birthday Invite Photo

Hello there, David here from

A few months back I went to Focus, a huge trade show for photographers and those in the photography industry.  While I was there I had the great fortune to bump into a fantastic lady photographer called Julie from Julie is a photographer based in New York, USA.   I spent about an hour listening to Julie’s talk about her photography and how she has grown her business.  Some of her idea are mind blowing and I dont know if Pembrokeshire is ready for them just yet – but we will find out.

One of the ideas that really excited me was her “Babies Birthday Cake Photographs” – as you will see below the idea is to shoot a series of images of the “baby” and a birthday cake.  When I told Nikki about these, we instantly knew these would be Joshua’s birthday party invite cover photos.

Here is what the final output ends up like


With this post I will show you exactly whats involved in creating photos like these.

Many of the ideas they have in the United States and Austrailia seem so far removed from what we have over here in the UK and this is one of them.  A babies first birthday portrait or first birthday party photos seem very traditional over here, I want to drag Pembrokeshire, which is my part of the UK into a whole new way of thinking about baby and children’s portraits.   With this in mind we have been getting ready for months to shoot this – I think we were about a month early but then we wanted to use them as personalized invitations to Joshua’s first birthday party.  I think 11 months would have been better than 10 months to shoot the pic and then I am guessing he would have smashed the cake to bits !!!!!

What we have used the pictures for is not what I will be marketing them as.   I have ordered a few photo book’s to take these images, I will post them when we get them.  In general, the 1st Birthday cake photo shoot will be similar to this but will end up as either a 5×5 or 8×8 photo book with between 10 and 20 photos in it or it will be a large framed photo montage with 4 photos at differing stages of cake demolition.  When people think of baby portraits in Pembrokeshire I want these images to be some of the first ones that pop into there minds.

Anyway enough about what we did it and what we aim to do with them, lets get down to how we actually shot the photos. – I have decided to pop this into the photo tips section as I think its great fun for others to shoot photos like these.

First off, a time line was something like this – setup time 1 hour 15 minutes – shooting time 3 minutes 42 seconds and breakdown time of around 25 minutes.

Here is a shot of the equipment used to create the image.


In this photo you can see a background stand (will show you this in action in a second) and a couple of studio lights (you could do this with regular flash’s but you would need 2 or three of them)

The first thing is to setup the background


*** Okay, if you want to continue reading the rest of the story you will need to click here to


The rain does not stop play ! – Warpool Court Hotel Wedding

Hello there, David here from

Today I had the fantastic and I mean fantastic pleasure of photographing the wedding of Sarah and Ryan. The couple got married at Warpool Court Hotel, St Davids, Pembrokeshire and this was the first of my weddings at Warpool Court Hotel this year. Sarah and Ryan found me online and booked me via the internet however as it turns out they live just around the corner from me. Since they first visited me to book the wedding and browse my portfolio, I have kept bumping into them from time to time in the neighborhood so it felt like I was shooting the wedding of someone I knew – this always adds to the pressure.

The weather is not what you would order if your planning your wedding day however Sarah and Ryan are not the kind of people who were going to let it spoil there day. I always carry bride and groom umbrellas in the back of the car, a white one for the bride and a black one for the groom and today they came in very handy. Warpool Court Hotel has a fantastic long sweeping driveway which is covered by trees on both sides and is great for taking photo on. Here is one I had planned prior to the wedding but without the brollies however I think they actually help make this a very fun photo for the album.


I shot some other photos out on the drive way, here are a few of them – thanks to the bridesmaids for being such great sports and Mark the best man for keeping the girls dry !


Below, Sarah running down the driveway towards her man !


The shot below I just love, this was taken over Ryan’s shoulder looking drown the driveway at Warpool Court towards the entrance way far down the road – Sarah was getting ready to run (in the photo above) – The photo below is more of a candid outtake but I just love it.


Normally you get to see bridal preparation photos here from me, but today I wanted to share a couple of the groom getting ready shots. Wherever possible I like to shoot the bride and the groom getting ready so here are a couple of Ryan getting ready.



Now at this point I am going to put the rest of the post on its own page, so if you want to read the rest and see the photos CLICK HERE TO VIEW FULL POST

trixiebellJune 17, 2008 - 9:20 pm

David, your work is just wonderful…I have so enjoyed looking at your site and reading your blog!!!! You now have a fellow photographer fan from a little Northern community in Saskatchewan, Canada! Your wedding work is very inspiring! Will be coming back to keep an eye on your blog DP!!!!!
Lisa K.

Showers of love « Completely EngagedSeptember 26, 2008 - 4:28 pm

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Worcester Rugby Football Club Ground Wedding Photos

A very quick and interesting little question for you,  Why would I have an empty photo of Worcester Rugby Football Club’s Ground Six Ways ?

I have a wedding coming up in June in Worcester.  The weddings at the Worcester Rugby Club Football Ground but since its out of season there is a chance that the grass will be missing……………  Hey dont ask me, I am just a photographer !

No, seriously, at the end of the season they pull it all up and relay it with new grass for next season.  Since this wedding is taking place mid June there is a chance the new Grass would not have established itself by then so I arranged to visit Six Ways and photograph the ground just incase I needed to Add the grass after the fact.  I took a GPS position of where the camera was to make sure I get in exactly the same spot on the day.

So here is my empty ground shot taken weeks before the wedding !




David Purslow

Ibiza 2008 – Point and Shoot Cameras

Hello there, David here from

Well its been a quiet week (thats about to change as I am shooting a wedding tomorrow)

For the last week, Nikki, Joshua and I have been away on holiday.  Little did I know that we were going to Ibiza, Nikki’s mum and dad had given us a holiday for our Christmas present (not that I knew anything about it)  Due to weddings taking most of the summer up, we try to get away just before the wedding season gets into full swing.  So the plan (as far as I knew) was a week with Nikki’s parents away and a day or two popping over to France.  When we got to the Midlands I found out we where really going to Ibiza !

Worried that I had a wedding on Saturday they had made it that we went Thursday to Thursday so we had a 48 hour window if things went wrong with the flights !

Anyway enough about that, This was Joshua’s first holiday away, since as I thought we were just staying here all I took along with me was my point and shoot digital camera and Nikki had her’s also.  My point and shoot is a Canon G9 camera which I had not really played with before this other than using it in fully auto mode.  Nikki’s camera is a Canon IXY 900 IS.  The first day we got there, guess what – Yep it was raining so I spent about 1/2 the day learning how to get the most out of my camera.  Before I started this was taken in fully auto mode and auto ISO mode using the G9


By the time I had finished playing with the settings and learning how to use the camera (one of the biggest benefits of digital is being able to change a setting, take a picture and review it instantly to learn what does what)  – I ended up with this


The difference should be a much warmer image with contrast and a little ‘pop’ to the skin.  Basically what I did is set the camera to Program mode (semi automatic on the G9) and let it choose the shutter speed / aperture setting however I selected 400 ISO and dialed in Fill Flash here on this image at -1 1/3 stops under the cameras meter reading.  This made JD pop a little and helped seperate him from the background.

The following day the weather had improved and we took JD down the beach for his first time by the seaside.  What neither of us knew at time is that the seaside visit would only last about 20 minutes as Joshua tried to eat all the sand he could find and there was lots of it around, and following that he wanted to rub it all into his eyes.  I guess kids will be kids ! – anyway, I as determined to get some shots of him on the beach so had Nikki clean him up as best we could and took a few pictures.  The first photo here is Joshua’s first few seconds on the beach before he tried to eat it all.


This image was taken with Nikki’s 900IS – I used the camera Manual Mode, picked ISO200 due to the light and wanting to maintain a faster shutter speed but knowing I wanted to add fill flash, and fired the fill flash at 0.0  or at camera reading settings.  I used the evaluated meter setting.  The MOST IMPORTANT thing here is the fact I forced the flash to fire – without that the shadows on his face and the contrast would have been very strong.  I also did one of my magic little tricks, I held one of the lenses of my sun glasses over the lens.  I have polorized glasses and on point and shoot cameras with the little lenses they have if your taking a photo out in the sun, its really worth while trying putting your glasses directly over the lens, it cuts out the glare fantastically.

Then after the cleanup, I wanted to get good fun portrait type pic, something that would look nice on my office desk so we popped JD onto one of the sunbeds and again using Nikki’s 900IS I took this picture.  All of these photos by the way are pretty much as shot, un-cropped (with the smaller point and shoot cameras I take more time to crop as close in camera as I can to the size I want the finished photo as there is not as much image data to mess around with)  Joshua is not camera shy as you can see and loves to play with them or he would if I let him.  He always makes a beeline for the cameras when I have them out so I knew I would have to be quick.  I set up the shot without JD on the chair, fixed my focus point and then had Nikki place him at the far end of the bed, a simple “Joshua” was all I needed and CHARGE – he came a running as they say.  The settings on this were the same as before, this time I used the fill flash to take out the shadows what would have been cast on his face by having the sun above and behind him.  Had I not used the flash, not only would he have been a little “Muddy” as we like to say but he would have also had a greenish cast from the reflection from the bed.


In the next shot this is back with my G9, it was taken around 2pm ish as the sun was high and directly on our belcony.  I popped the Fill flash again this time at -2/3rds as I wanted a little shadow detail.  As you can see if you look closely he had just finished his dinner and had most of it around his face when I took this one.  Nikki was tutting me saying I should have cleaned him up first ! – G9, ISO200 Program, Fill -2/3rds


In the next shot, I again had an idea in mind for the photos I wanted.  My mum has been after a new photo of JD for a while, Nikki had Packed an outfit my mum had got him so we decided to shoot this for her.  The resort  has a fantastic pier that looks across the bay and I wanted to get a shot of Joshua on the end of the Pier with the hotel (not ours) in the background.  Since Joshua can scoot quicker than a bunny rabbit, Nikki was not too happy to plonk JD on the end and have him just pose for daddy.  So I laid down on the edge of the pier and  set the scene again in the camera, then I had Nikki slowly walk towards the edge of the pier until she came into shot.  This was her POUNCE ZONE – she could stand there ready to pounce if JD decided to take a jump off – we were about 5 – 6 feet above the water at this point !  The idea behind the shot was to have my mum go OH MY GOD, you didnt have him sit all the way on the end of………..  You get the idea…….   Here is the result.  G9, ISO 200, Apeture Priority, F5.6 fill flash -2 (the sun was low coming from camera right) .


(notice how the shadow from his nose if very soft – thats the fill flash)

The next shot was me trying to see if I could get shots like the ones I had been practicing with my proper cameras with over the past few weeks or so.  In the shot below I could not see the image before I took it as I as holding the camera down low to get a eye level shot of Joshua, this was not set up but he was having a great time by the pool and looked so happy I had to snap it quickly.  Again on the G9 – Program mode with fill dialed down 2/3rd of a stop – I would have liked to have it about 1 1/2 stops or even 2 stops as I think there is too much light on his face and would have liked a little shadow from the hat but thats what happens when you reaction shoot rather than setting up the image first.


In the final shot, well its just a little boy having fun on holiday.  A great album photo imho.


Well I hope you like these, I hope you found some of the tips useful.  I think it goes to show that with a little practice and using a few simple tricks of the trade that point and shoot cameras can produce some really good results.

Special thanks to Mum and Dad S for the holiday, we will make sure you get a whole host of photos !


David Purslow