Reportage wedding photograhy – its all about moments

Reportage Wedding Photography

I would say I class myself as a reportage wedding photographer, although I also create some stunning portraits for my clients, 80 % of day is reactionary photography rather than shots I have manipulated, I would not class myself as a pure documentary wedding photographer – a good friend of mine and one of the top documentary wedding photographers in the country – Kevin Mullins –  is a pure documentary wedding photographer – the difference is Kevin simply (but amazingly)  documents the day as it unfolds in front of him- he even told me a story of one bride that called him up after the wedding to make sure he was okay because after the service she never saw him – when he showed her, her wedding photos she was amazing and overjoyed, I do something similar but I introduce lights when I feel the need is there and I setup a few special shots for the bride and groom.

My kind of client wants a good record of the day, photos from bridal preparations all the way through to the first dance – for this I light lots of the day with portable lighting, this is very discrete battery operated lighting that 99.9% of the time the couple are completely unaware its there,  I light the speeches, the first dance, the group shots and naturally I really go to down on the bride and groom photos.   The rest of the day I simply work with the light that is there, that could be room lights, candle lights, daylight etc.

To let you know what that looks like I thought I would share just a few photos from the wedding I photographed last weekend. – I will categorize the images as I go

So this set of images are from my wedding this past weekend of Sarah and Martin, held at the stunning Walton Hall in Warwickshire.

Reportage style – Bride having a joke with dad – Natural light

wedding at walton hall warwickshire

Reportage style Wedding Photography – Dad having a chuckle with bride – Natural light

dad looking at bride

Wedding Dress photo – This is one shot that was setup – Lit with flash

wedding dress photo at walton hall in warwickshire

The boys having a good time – this shot was setup to take advantage of the reflection in the bar – Natural light

Reportage style wedding photography – Groom chilling out before getting married – Natural light

Reportage style:  Groom and Best man chatting just before the wedding – Natural light

Bridesmaids just before walking down the aisle – Natural light

Reportage Style – A moment between the bride and groom during their wedding – Natural Light

A congratulatory Kiss (real not staged) – Reportage moment – Mixed lighting flash / Available light

Reportage candid moment captured – Available light mixed with a little flash

A shot of the groom and mum 🙂  mixed lighting – natural light and flash light

During the speeches – candid moment – lit with flash

Cutting the cake – Totally lit with flashSetup Photo

Specialty photo – setup in front of the hotel – lit with hotel lights and flash light.

The bride and groom on the hotel driveway – lit with flash and available hotel light

The first dance – lit with flash but a Reportage moement

As you can see most of the day is captured as it happens, there are times when I setup certain photos or light moments to bring out the full beauty of the photo.

Hope you like,





Off Camera Lighting Workshop – Speedlights & Portable Studio Lights

Off Camera Flash Workshop

Although aimed at wedding photographers, the techniques work equally as well for portrait clients

Take your photography to a whole new level, this workshop wills show you exactly what you need to create beautiful and dramatic photographs for your wedding and portrait clients alike – This a hands on learning workshop where you will really get to grips with off camera lighting, how and when to use it, how to use it to create dramatic portraits that brides and portrait clients will LOVE.

Its a small intimate class with only 5 photographers – we will spend time in the studio going over theory and then put it into practice around the lakes and woods by the studio – we may venture further afield to create some dramatic portaits as well – this workshop is focused around the wants of the students.

THE DATE:  March 22nd  2012 *** PLEASE NOTE DATE CHANGE  *** – SUNDAY APRIL 22nd

THE LOCATION:  Our studio – Hartlebury and On location around Hartlebury

COST: £195.00 – including buffet lunch.  Hot and Cold refreshments available throughout the dayIncludes professional model and release allowing portfolio use of images.


This class is different we run from 9:30 – 5:00 ish, with a working lunch – then take a break and go out again at 6 ish pm to get some sunset / after dark images till around 8 ish.

The evening section is optional but really creates beautiful portraits and is highly recommended

CONTENT:  This is a more advanced class, you should have a good basic knowledge of your camera and your flash unit  (our speedlight introduction class is perfect for that)  – we will be using anything from 1 – 6 speedlights / battery opperated studio lights and a range of modifiers to create dramatic portraits – We will be over powering daylight, creating ratio lighting, dramatic portraits for wedding and portrait photographers alike.

ATTENDEE REQUIREMENTS: You should have a DSLR camera and at least 1 flash.  You should have a basic understanding of the operation of the camera and a mind ready to learn.  You should bring clothes and footwear for a small walk around the lakes and woods in the grounds of our studio and a jacket for mild rain.

Below are the types of images you will be able to produce following

this workshop.



Photo of the Week – February 12th 2012

Hello there,

I am working on an album from a wedding last year, and while going through the photos I came across this one, this was a couple of the guests – not much I can tell you about this but I love this photo.

The photo was taken at the wedding of Colin and Gnyaneshwari  who held their wedding at the very beautiful Northbrook Park on the Hampshire / Surrey border

northbrook park wedding photo


hope you like,

Oh if you want to see a few more pictures from their wedding you can see a few on the blog by visiting –



Walton Hall Warwickshire wedding photography

Sneak Peek !

Okay, I just got back from an AMAZING wedding today,

This was the wedding of Sarah and Martin, two of the nicest people you would ever want to meet.  The couple were getting married at the amazing Walton Hall in Warwickshire with the reception being held there also.

The WARMEST it got all day was – 2 c, the coldest it got was -6c

The funny thing is we did most of our bridals – posted couple photos later at night in the dark when it was at its coldest !

Anyway, a few from today

The Amazing Walton Hall a beautiful Warwickshire wedding venue.

Walton Hall in the snow - wedding of Martin and Sarah

and the couple in the snow

walton hall warwickshire wedding photography


On the driveway

wedding photos of walton hall warwickshire

on the grounds

church at walton hall warwickshire

and this one I LOVE,

believe it or not, this is smack in the middle of the reception at the hotel, it was taken at around 8pm with some cleaver lighting

reception at walton hall

Hope you have enjoyed this sneak peek, gotta run, shooting in the studio first thing in the morning…….



Photo of the Week February 5th 2012

Hey there,

For this weeks Photo of the Week I am being a little bit self indulgent.  On Sunday I met up with Hannah and Dave at the studio to go thru their photo selection for their album.  Hannah and Dave live ‘Up North’ well Leeds to be exact so getting together when I have a free weekend and when they are visiting took some working out, but we eventually made it, as it happens it was after the snowiest day of the year – so at one point it was touch and go.

As we sat viewing their wedding photos I kept saying  OOOOH, that one, thats going to be my photo of the week – I must have said it a good 1/2 a dozen times, the photos brought back some great memories.  I actuallly shed a tear at one point when we viewed the final selection of photos they wanted in the album.

quite possibly my favorite wedding of 2011 Hannah and Dave had what I called something of an Alice in Wonderland Wedding theme

below the photos is a link to their wedding blog story  – which if you have not seen it is worth viewing,  some of the details Hannah put into her big day took over a year to pull together.

Hannan also let me know (knowing how much I LOVE Ian Stuart Wedding Dresses) that hers had gone to a very good and deserving home – We talked about her dress for a good while and its nice to know it will be making another brides look as stunning as beautiful as Hannah did, and will be appreciated and loved for a second time !

Anyway, here you go

If I had to pick one it would be this one.

beautiful wedding photography

Although this shot looks simple enough, it actually took some getting,  It was shot about an hour after sunset so was pretty dark outside, it was a longer shutter exposure to bring in the sky and detail and the couple are being lit by a 500 watt portable studio flash off to camera right inside a deep octabox to create the soft fall off – it was something like 1/10th of a second F8 ISO 400 Shot on a Nikon D3 with the Nikon 24-70mm   –  Lighting provided by the Strobeam EID500  This was taken just before the first dance.

Okay, I have to include this photo as well,

This photo again looks simple enough, but I wanted to include the background which you can see is simply a stunning view from Hannah’s mum’s Living room deck.  The sun is actually off to camera left, if you look at Hannah’s right (camera left) shoulder you will notice what we call Rim Lighting – thats the halo looking light down her arm and the back of the dress – this is the sun, and it was pretty strong.  This means that Hannah was standing with her face and front of her dress totally in the shadow and strong shadow – just look at the front of the flower pot on the floor.  I used 2 X Nikon SB800 flash’s on a lighting pole being shot thru a shoot through umbrella – it was very close to her, its just about an inch out of shot – the two flash units were at full power.

There are many reasons I LOVE this photos, 1 is that its of a very happy looking bride, 2 its a very happy looking bride in beautiful Ian Stuart wedding dress and 3, its a beautiful bride in a stunning dress with an amazing background

The trick to this photo is not bringing Hannan out so she looks nice and softly lit, it was balancing the background light as I wanted the sky included with the foreground and the rim – I had to use manual flash and then adjust on the aperture to make it all work.  I also had to dip into high speed sync to pull that off – the Technicals are Shot at ISO 200, 640th of a second at F8 – Nikon D3 Nikon 24-70mm

The last shot is one that everyone who comes to the studio just LOVE’s – It totally sums up the day

Malvern wedding photography

This is simply a beautiful candid capture

One of the things I love about this shot is it really shows what you can do just by going back to the basics – This photo was taken using a Nikon D300 camera and the Nikon 70-200 VR2  It was shot totally with available light.  The photo was taken at 1/250th of a second at ISO 200 at F4.0  the lens was racked all the way out to 200mm.  Manual mode

What I LOVE about the Nikon D300 is the extra reach it gives being a crop body – I generally always use this body and lens for my candid’s outside – the files it puts out are silky smooth.

Technically it no competition winner due to cutting off the bottom of the hand but it was a case of a very quick candid grab which means that sometimes your have to worry less about perfection and concentrate more on the moment – I have this at the start of my slideshow I show people visiting the studio – EVERYONE comments on it.

Right I better run, stuff to do – but as promised if you want to see more of Hannah and Dave’s wedding click here –

hope you like,

ciao for now