Why I just love the Internet


Today I spent 30 minutes on Skype chatting with Tina and Rob – a couple whos wedding I shot back towards the tail end of last year.

I am very fortunate to shoot a lot of weddings for couples from all over the world, Tina and Rob come from Australia so I actually only met them for the first time the day of the wedding, I did Skype with them before hand however.

australian bride and groom getting married in the uk

Well we were catching up, chatting about the wedding and I wanted to thank them for my hotel room – this may seem like a strange thing to say, but Mrs P and I had to stop over for 2 nights for this wedding.

Tina and Rob got married at Bodelwyddan Castle North Wales – or a good 3 is hour drive from my studio.  As I cover the whole of the UK I often stay either 1 or 2 nights depending on location, distance and coverage the couple choose.  Since we were going to be there till late, we stopped over for 2 nights.

We understand that this is a cost the couple had planned for when choosing a photographers so are happy with to stay pretty much anywhere half way decent and Tina and Rob booked us into an eclectic bed and breakfast (we were going to be out early the day of the wedding and the next morning heading home asap so b&B’s work well)  We had no idea what to expect.

Well here is where we ended up stopping – as you can see its amazing !!!!!!

The Lounge IN OUR ROOM !!!!!

I do have some great shots of me in the bath tub, but will spare you them,

Anyway, I love the internet, it brings the other side of the world right into my studio !

Great catching up with the bride that gave me my favorite wedding dress photos from last year was a real treat.

This shot was taken the morning of the wedding – Tina was very gracious and let me loose with her dress – it has to be an Australian thing as most of my brides from down under expect me to do something special with the dress.

best ever wedding dress photo

Ciao for now, just sending big love to the land down under.



As today is the coldest day of the year so far, it did make me slightly envious to see rob strutting around in his short and a t-shirt


Photo of the Week 29th January 2012

I just love this photo, it was taken at Drumtochty Castle just south of Aberdeen, Scotland a couple of weeks back – from the wedding of Susie and Chris.

This is the kind of moment you prey for at a wedding, totally candid capture – but one that tells a GREAT story – just the kind of image I love to take for my couples.

Technically there is nothing amazing about this photo, there is no off camera flash (or on camera for that matter)  the only thing that I did to make it work was when I took this I was actually lying down on the ground – seconds before I had shot a floor to ceiling shot of the couple form the same vantage point (that photo was photo of the week a couple of weeks back – view it here)  then I noticed that this little lad started to look round and shuffle about a bit – Knowing my second shooter was covering the wedding, I decided to wait to see if I got anything worth while and didnt concentrate on Susie and Chris but kept all my attention on him.

Then all of a sudden, Tom (my 2nd) took a photo and the boy turned around and looked at him, totally missed me on the floor – I went snap, he saw me and the moment was gone – it was a case of a one shot capture – did I get it ??????? – Yes I am happy to say.

As you would have seen in previous posts about Susie and Chris’s wedding it was very very very very very dark in the church – Technical info following the pic.

Drumtochty church wedding photo

Nikon D3 – Nikon 70-200 VR2 @ 135mm – ISO 6400 – F2.8 – 1/20th Second – Handheld.  I have processed it with Lightroom 4 beta and have to say its much better at recovering shadow detail than LR3. – The black and white conversion was made with Nik Softwares Silver Efx Pro 2




Photo of the Week – January 22nd 2012

This weeks photo was actually taken yesterday at the totally amazing Blenheim Palace, I was there to shoot the engagement session of Hannah and Andy

The main house (if you can call the Palace a house) is stunning and a beautiful and reminds me of Downtown Abbey

We walked for what seems like miles and toured the lakes, woods, parkland and visited the main house albeit it was closed to the public for renovations.

Although the house was closed there were still a lot of tourists wondering around and the roadway between the main house gates and the rest of the estate was very busy, with careful use of photoshop and the timing of taking this photo, I was able to make it seem like the couple were all alone, well all alone with Merlin.

The editing of this photo took a good good while, its not as punchy, contrasty or saturated as a lot of my photography but I just love the feel of this image.

The sky is real, when we first arrived the sun was behind the Palace so we waited for the sun to move around and didn’t hurry.  Often there is nothing you can do about lighting when your battling with the sun so you just have to be patient and bide your time – if you do, you are often rewarded.

I know you cant see the couple but we have lots of those shots also, I often shoot my couple from behind and think they create an air of mystique  and tell a totally different story, one that you can only tell by body language etc.

Anyway,  for the photographers out there (Hannah included) here are the technicals

ISO400  1/320th sec  F5.0  Shady white balance – Nikon D3  70-200mm Lens @ 105mm  (I am about 75 feet away from the couple – barking out instructions)




Commercial Photography Worcestershire – Head Shots

Essentially Yours – Corporate Head Shots

Hello folks,

this one is a little bit different for you today, normally I dont blog my commercial shoots but I felt with the cross over for brides (more about that later) and with the subject matter how could I not.

Last week I took a call from Karen, one of the Directors of Essentially Yours, you may have heard of them (especially the ladies out there) Essentially Yours UK had office is located about 5 minutes from my studio as it happens and I had never heard of them, naturally the first thing I did was pop it into google and was amazed by what I found out – its amazing whats on your doorstep if you care to look. – Their website is located at http://www.essentially-yours.co.uk

In my simple layman’s terms, Essentially Yours make very high quality organic skin care products sold in salons and via their website all over the country.  They are not a cosmetic company and they specialize in looking skincare products for problem skin.

One of the things that instantly caught my eye was the Brides Survival Beauty Kit – this is a range of products packaged to make a bride radiate on her wedding day

This is what they actually say on their website

“We are a team of scientists with more than 30 years of scientific, pharmaceutical and cosmetic experience; believing passionately that the majority of allergies and skin complaints are the direct result of the harsh and synthetic chemicals found in many cosmetics and toiletries.

At essentially yours, the British natural scientific cosmetic house, we have been at the pinnacle of developing and manufacturing non petro-chemical natural organic skin care excellence for 15 years. Exclusive to the beauty industry, we were the first company in Europe to make skin care without parabens and synthetics & we pioneered cosmeceutical & naturopathic principles to help people with skin problems such as eczema & rosacea using our natural organic products at affordable prices.

Made in the UK in small batches to ensure freshness, our products use solely natural organic plant and vegetable derived ingredients to give maximum therapeutic benefits to the skin. “

Anyway, back to the post,  what made this one different is the conversation went something like

I am looking for some headshots for our new brouchure – however they cannot be retouched or airbrushed at all.  Now with technology as it is today a good % of brides and portrait clients ask if I can airbrush the images.  I asked why and Karen explained she is in her MID 50’s and she manufactures a range of skincare products that she uses herself and the whole idea is to show in detail exactly how good the products are and how well they work.

Being 5 minutes away I invited Karen to the studio and we had a chat and set up Yesterdays shoot.

So this made my job very easy, apart from choosing a few photos, resizing them, burning them to disk I have not touched the photos


Essentially Yours Karen

After I dropped off the disk, Karen gave me a sample pack of some of the mens range of products, shower gels (hope she was not hinting at anything) I did tell her my kids got me Mr Men shower gel for Christmas and was currently using that (Mr Strong if your interested)

I have to say the packaging is sublime, its come giftpacked in what looks like a little travel suite holder, beautiful presentation – cant wait for a shower tonight.





Drumtochty Castle Wedding Photography


The winter wedding of Susie and Chris

Okay, this weekend saw me travelling almost a thousand miles for a wedding.  I drove the round trip of 911 miles to just south of Aberdeen in Scotland to the breath taking Drumtochty Castle for the wedding of Susie and Chris.

What makes this even more exciting is that Susie and Chris actually live in Australia and traveled over here for the wedding, so my 17 hours in the car pale into insignificance to the journey they made.  I was assisted on the day by Tom Astley an up and coming photographer from Manchester Tom can be found at http://www.tomastleyphotography.co.uk/

Okay, this is a sneak peek, I am totally knackered after the weekend, I set off at 9 am on Friday and got home at around 6:30 pm on Sunday and shot on Saturday from around 9:30 till around 10:30 in the evening, so I am taking today off !

I wanted to do a quick sneak peek as the couple are jetting off for their honeymoon and I am sure they would love to see a few of the pics before they go.

I only met the couple after arriving at Drumtochty Castle, as we checked in Chris heard our name and came running over to say hello.  The Susie came around the corner with a HUGE infectious smile on her face, that smile never left the whole time we were there as you will see.  One of the first things Susie said to me was she could not wait to see what I did with her wedding dress, she said she is a bit of a blog stalker and has seen some of my wedding dress shots so wanted me to top them – a challenge was set down, so off Tom and I went to scout the whole castle to see where we could shoot the dress.

This is what we came up with

drumtochty castle wedding photography

here it is a little closer, I should point out that when I asked her who’s dress she was wearing she looked at me with that HUGE smile and said, Oh, its an Ian Stuart wedding dress – as anyone who follows my blog will know I have a huge penchant for Ian Stuart wedding dresses, they are just so beautiful.

photos of ian stuart wedding dress

Here is a shot of Susie running down the stairs

bride on the stairs at drumtochty castle

and the piper at the church

drumtochty church piper

during the wedding

(LOVE LOVE LOVE this one)

church wedding drumtochty castle

The little lad in this photo – Master ‘M’ was a super star all day long.

another (as seen in my photo of the week)

inside the church at drumtochty castle

and outside the church

getting married at drumtochty

Something a little fun

fun wedding photography

during the speeches – that infectious smile I was telling you about

very happy couple on wedding day

my last photos of the day

chinese lantern wedding photos

thats it, it was only a sneak peek, hope you enjoyed it.

off for a bit of a rest

Congratulations to Chris and Susie