The Wedding of Imogen and Stephen

Imogen & Stephen Getting Married at Rhos y Gilwen

Good friends, good food, good music and lots of cows 🙂

Hello there everyone, dp here from – As you may know I am a Birmingham wedding photographer ! – Being based just outside of Birmingham in the West Midlands I bet your wondering what am I doing shooting weddings in West Wales ? – Well I used to live in Pembrokeshire for 6 years, I have lots of past clients that refer me to friends and family and I also still do the odd wedding fair down in Pembrokeshire.  You see I love pembrokeshire and am happy to travel down there and shoot as many weddings in Pembrokeshire as I can get !

Okay enough about me, lets get on the topic of today’s post – Imogen and Stephen getting married.  Imogen and Stephen have become friends over the past 18 months or so since they first contacted me.  I have met up with then 3 or 4 times before the wedding and had numerous phone conversations and facebook messages etc – I got so excited when I popped over their house one time and saw all the Beer that Stephen was brewing for the wedding, and naturally I had to try one on the day just to be polite 🙂

Imogen and Stephens wedding was different for many reasons, it was also very memorable for some of the same or different reasons.

Our day (I say ours as I work alongside Helen my assistant) started fairly late for us, we arrived at The Rhos Y Gilwen Mansion around Midday a couple of Saturdays back.  We were meeting Imogen there for a few bridal preparation shots (some of my favorite photos of the day as I feel the groom misses out on all that stuff) then the day would be in full swing and it would continue that way till LATE !

I love to shoot establishing shots, venue shots and detail shots for early on in an album – so while I was driving down the road I spied one of Stephens home made signs directing guests to the Mansion as its tucked away from the madding crowds.

getting married at rhos y gilwen

and continued onto the house

weddings at rhos y gilwen

Outside the front of the house is a really pretty fountain which will feature later but naturally I snagged a detail shot since the light was perfect for it.

fountain at rhos y gilwen

Now this post is going to feature heavily on the couple and the fun of the day, I have already popped up around 40 ish photos on Facebook so I have tried to get a few different ones here.  (the main purpose of my blog posts are two fold, 1 – to show the couple and their friends some nice pics from the day as they were probably too busy enjoying the day to notice all the little bits and bobs going on, and two to showcase my work a little for prospective clients) – But this post will be just that little bit different, I have not picked all the best photos or the WOW images, I have picked images that Stephen and Imogen will (should) love !!! – They are away at the moment and have not seen many of the pics yet, this is for them.

So talking about Stephen, Here he comes walking in, with a ‘musical instrument’ under his arms, I cant remember what its called but its NOT a violin  – I said the day was different, well Stephen and Imogen are Tempest’s and sing and preform in a group, Stephen actually played right up until Imogen came in, he entertained the guests for a good 1/2 an hour.

and here he is doing just that

The lighting at Rhos Y Gilwen is actually stage lighting with Gels on them and every now and then people would stand right in the way of a Gelled light – it caused me no end of problems during the wedding itself 🙁

But back to more important things 🙂

and just to give you an idea of what an ideal venue Rhos y Gilwen is, if your planning on getting married in pembrokeshire, getting married at Rhos y Gilwen has to be worth a think.  Look at the great hall !

wedding room at rhos y gilwen

Right at this point I am going to put a page BREAK in to effect as there are over 50 photos going online now – so if you want to read the rest of the story click the link below (unless your already on that page)


Cressida LeighJune 2, 2010 - 5:30 pm

Fabulous photos David – they look amazing!

Sue Palmer - Brian Wrights lady. Brian was Chief Witness.June 5, 2010 - 11:11 am

I am absolutely amazed at the beautiful array of photographs together with the most interesting descriptions. Well Done Sir…………..You’re a very cleaver man indeed!!

I will most certainly recommend you to all my friends……..

Thankyou so much for sending this Wedding Album to Brian, who in turn passed it onto me……………….Sue Palmer.

carol prestedJuly 26, 2010 - 11:20 am

Fabulous photos. What a beautiful momento of what was clearly a lovely day.

Much love to the bride and groom.

You both look very happy.

Carol & Trevor.

x x x

Why I love Nikon CLS + Radio Poppers

Hey guys,

At my wedding this weekend I got to play around with something I had been wanting to do for a while,  The Groom and Best Man were sitting in the best mans car which naturally was calling out for  a few photos to be taken.  I sat back and let everyone go mad taking photos and when they finished I snapped a few.

nikon cls and radio poppers

Seeing the background was a bit cluttered I wanted to create sharp edges so later I can cut the photo out and put it on a more pleasing background, I under exposed the background by a stop ish and then cross lit the car, this gave me great edges that will allow me to get  a good clipping path.

The bit I wanted to play with was inside the car, sitting on the grooms lap is a Quantum Qflash with a Radio Popper wireless TTL trigger on it, I dialed the Q down 1/32nd power which just lit the two guys nicely for the photo.  Had I been using traditional CLS the signals would not have made it, if I had been using Pocket Wizards I would have to have kept going back and forth to change the settings on the flash till I had it wrong.

In this setup I was using a Nikon SB900 as the master set to — or not contributing to the exposure value.  The side lights were on Channel 1A and the inside light was on 1B.

It took me 4 shots to get the inside exposure correct or less than 90 seonds, I started at 1/4 power, then went to 1/8 then to 1/16 and at 1/32 I was happy I had a nice balance to the image.

What helped with this shot was knowing what I wanted to do before I started, right after this shot the wedding breakfast started and thats why there was no one around with us, I had to work quickly so as not to hold up the day and thanks to CLS and Radio Poppers I pulled it off without a hitch.

Hope this helps, more photos from the wedding soon,



BarryMay 31, 2010 - 10:53 am

David; What can I say, Apart from a massive thank you for everything this weekend. I love this shot and cant wait to see the rest. A huge diolch yn fawr from My Wife and I. Barry

The Wedding of Sami and Matt

Wedding followed by reception at Trefloyne Golf Club

With photos on the beach !

Hello there, dp here from David Purslow Photography – I am a wedding photographer covering West Wales and the Midlands

I have been looking forward to this wedding for what seems like a lifetime really.  I first met Sami and Matt way back when, it must have been almost 2 years ago now.  Sami and Matt were quickly added as facebook friends (like so many of my couples) and we have been in constant contact since then – A little while back I shot their engagement session on the beach as Saundersfoot in Pembrokeshire West Wales.   They turned the photos from the engagement session into a signing book that wend down a STORM !!!! at the actual wedding and it was great seeing it filled from cover to cover with comments from their friends and family.  If you did not see the engagement session, you can view it by clicking here.  – it will open in a new window.

Anyway, back to this past weekend, (also this is a shortish blog post as the couple are away and I dont want to show too many pics without them seeing them first) – God has smiled on Sami and Matt this weekend, the weather was perfect for a wedding, not too hot, not too cold, a tiny bit windy but only in little bursts and great sunny sky’s but with a tiny amount of cloud to take away the very strong shadows – Perfect for me 🙂

I arrived about 2 hours before Sami was due to leave for the church to grab a few bridal preparation shots, with 11 – thats right 11 bridesmaids getting ready the house was pretty manic but clam at the same time – I shot a few pics of all the girls getting ready then went upstairs to get shots of the wedding dress – a Beautiful Sophia Tolli wedding dress.  It looked fantastic on the hanger and even better on.

sophia tolli wedding dress pembrokeshire

And here is a shot 1/2 way thru Sami putting it on aided by her mum – there is a funny story about putting the dress on but thats one of the benefits of it being your wedding, you get to hear all the stories – this one shall remain private since its all about me !!!

bridal preparation wedding photos pembrokeshire

and while Sami was upstairs getting dress, downstairs was Gethin was down stairs getting ready also

west wales wedding photographer

and here is the little man with his grandad.

and Sami makes her grand appearence coming down the stairs – a few tears were shed at this moment !

Sami and Mat were getting married at St Oswalds Church, Jeffreystone which is the family church so it had a really nice warm feeling to it.

and here is Sami being walked down the isle

and a few shots taking during the wedding service

and outside for a fantastic confetti shot- this is one of 15 shots, this one has the MOST confetti I have seen in recent years !

Following the wedding while the guest left for Trefloyne Golf Club in Tenby for the wedding reception Sami, Matt and myself headed off to Saundersfoot beach for a few photos – The couple were really up for a few beach shots and so was I  – this is the same beach were we shot the engagement session so it all ties in nicely in telling the story.

beach wedding photography uk

wedding photos on the beach west wales

pembrokeshire beach wedding photos

and I just love this one to bits, its a great cuddle shot !

west wales wedding photography beach weddings

and thanks to the kind vendors on the beach, how could we resist a few deck chair shots ?

pembrokeshire wedding photographers

From here we went and left for the wedding reception at Trefloyne  Golf Club in Tenby

This again is another one of my favorites, you can see Trefloyne Golf Club in the background and the grounds make it perfect for wedding photography.

getting married at trefloyne golf club

and this one

weddings at trefloyne golf club tenby

so naturally we had to shoot something like this

bride in wedding dress in bunker

groom in bunker on golf course

Then it was on to the reception for real, and I have to say the wedding cake was the biggest wedding cake I have ever seen in the flesh – it was fantastic !!!!!

pembrokeshire wedding cakes

and yes, thats 11 bridesmaids, two best men, the bride and groom and Gethin on the cake and the walkways – it was a fantastic sight

amazing pembrokeshire wedding cake

Since the sun was not setting till between 9 and 10 we shot the formal photos after dinner which made for a very unhurried afternoon for the guests – and with 150 of them that’s a good thing.  Here is the BIG GROUP shot

trefloyne golf club wedding photo

and a slightly more informal one of Sami and her dad

and the boys being boys

Inside the marquee the guests were being entertained by a good friend of mind, Stewart Maxwell an amazing swing and easy singer and the little kids had little bottles of bubbles which worked really well – this shot is a bit of an outtake really, but I wanted to capture the bubble in focus which would throw the boys out of focus.

If you take a hard close look at the bubble you can see me all in black (on the left of the bubble) and also the two flash lights I had on either side of the dance floor these were for the first dance and the kids going nuts !

Talking of kids (big and small) the dance floor in full swing

sorry its smaller, it just snagged it of my facebook page !

here is a shot of a couple of the flower girls

Then it was time for the first dance, I love this shot !

pembrokeshire wedding photographers

Then just as the sun was setting I took the bride and groom out for a few sunset portraits.

sunset wedding photos

and finally outside for a few firework photos

all in all a fantastic day and a fantastic wedding.

Congratulations to Sami and Matt on their special day.

Hope you have enjoyed this sneak peek,



David Purslow
Wedding Photographer
Phone 01299 250114
Mobile 0759 007 6666

On Camera Flash by Neil Van Nierkern

On Camera Flash – A Book Review

By Neil Van Niekern

Hello there, this post is aimed at photographers and people wanting to grow as a photographer and is aimed mainly at people photographers.

In a previous post I have talked about several websites that I love to visit on a weekly if not more frequently basis – well one of these is a site I call Planet Neil – thats the old name for it, his new site name is simply Neilvn – To get to the photographers section of this site you can simply go here –

Neil is one of a small bread of photographers who are willing to not only tell you but show you EXACTLY how he works his magic – you could spend hour upon hour on his site and fill your brain with everything you ever wanted to know and a whole lot more about photography and more importantly lighting – especially lighting with small flash lights – something that is know by the name of another site – Strobist – Strobists are people who light using little camera flash’s.

Everything you can find in Neils book is also found on the website but I still brought the book – I buy lots of books and training DVD’s and have decided to start reviewing them based upon nothing other than my own interpretations of them.

So the book is called On Camera Flash by Neil Van Niekern – I am sure you can get it from amazon etc – I dont have an affiliate code so am not trying to sell you anything – just Google it.

I was pretty surprised when the book arrived, I was and I dont know why expecting a book about A5 sized or paperback sized.  Its a full A4 (8×12) size with nice big print, great photos and lots of information inside.

The book walks you thru using your ON CAMERA FLASH to the max, if you apply what you learn in this book your photos will improve by at least 100 % – its that simple.

The book is written in such a way that a newbie or professional alike will get something from it – its not a technical book and apart from one technical diagram and paragraph on the Inverse Square Law – If you dont know what this is – READ THE BOOK ! – this alone will make your photos so much better !

Why did I buy the book when I could get all the information off the website ? – well I like to read, re-read, and the highlight, bookmark and read and read again bits that interest me, I want to be able to access sections I want any time but most importantly to me is that I get a better understanding from a book than the same text on a screen – combine this with the fact that I tend to read in bed to help me unwind.

Another factor of why I like books is I keep some in the car and every now and then when I get caught up in a traffic jam I can fill my time productively rather than just drumming on the steering wheel and going nuts.

As you may or may not know  I am a professional wedding photographer, I make my ONLY income from  taking wedding photos.   I have been doing this for years so you would think that just using your on camera flash is simple – wrong ! – there is so much more to it than just that.

Did I learn anything from the book ?

Thats a great question, Yes is the answer in a nut shell – what I learned I have put into practice and its paid off for me but I wont give away those bits, you should buy the book if you want to know what they are – remember I have been a pro full time tog for the past  6 years and semi pro for 10 years before that as well as working for news papers etc.

What else did I get from the book ?

Another great question – If like me you send a lot of time learning new things you sometimes forget the older things that used to work well for you, the book made me go back and reevaluate what I was doing and what I had forgotten – it was not so much about leaning, it was about re learning.

What was bad about the book ?

Another great question,  There was actually nothing too wrong with the book, I found it a little limiting but then I have progressed onto using several lights at one time using the Nikon CLS system – If you remember the book is called On Camera Flash and with this in mind its a GREAT book

Rating – 9 out of 10 – again if you only have one flash and you want to learn how to use it to the max then I dont know of a better book out there

Is it worth the money ?

Yes, the true test for me on how good a book is – is what I call the toilet test – because I spend so much money on books, courses and dvd tutorials I tend to sell them on after one read or one viewing.  The truly great ones I keep and normally keep them by the loo – that way I always have something great to read when I have some spare time on my hands 😉 if you know what I mean – On Camera Flash did not get sold on – its a keeper.

Remember to check out Planet Neil – the website address is



David Purslow

DarrenMay 8, 2010 - 9:38 am

Niel’s tangents web site is fantastic! There’s so much information there. Have u looked at Another good source of info, not that u need it! ;D

The Wedding of Angharad and David

Upton Castle Pembrokeshire Wedding Reception

sneak peek

Hello there, David here from – I am a wedding photographer based in just outside of Birmingham in the West Midlands.  Before I moved to the midlands I had been lived and worked in Pembrokeshire West Wales for 6 years.

I had been recommended to Angharad by her cousin who’s wedding I shot almost 2 years ago.  This always bring added benefits in as much as I know lots of people there and David and Angharads wedding was no exception – its great working with families over and over again as they really relax with you and leave you to do your thing.

I had met up with Angharad a few weeks prior to the wedding and went over the kinds of photography they wanted, as it turns out they wanted me to shoot in a little more traditional style which is something I do about 1/2 a dozen times a year so its still pretty popular.

I arrived at the house to capture the final few moments of Angharad getting ready and as I walked in I loved what I saw – whenever (as a photographer) you walk into someones house and see the walls adorned with photographs you know that they value photography and photographs – I love taking photos but more importantly I love people enjoying the photos I take so right there before I had even taken one photo I knew what I wanted to create for not only A & D (as I am going to call them) but also for Angharads parents.

I set about capturing the details and started off with the flowers

pembrokeshire bridal bouquet

and as I turned around I spotted Angharad putting on her veil with the assistance of one of the bridesmaids.

mirror shot of bride getting ready

a little while later we went outside to shoot a few portrait style photos.  The first one of Angahard at the bottom of the garden.

bridal portraits pembrokeshire

and then a closeup

closeup of bride under veil

Then I headed off to the Bethany Free Church in Clarbestone Road, its funny but I love photographing wedding at this little church because of the widnows and the way the building is situated its almost perfect for flash free wedding photography.

I got a few shots of David the groom outside the church before we went inside to wait for his bride.

and shortly after that The bride arrived in the back of a beautiful black car – don’t ask me what it is, I am not a car person but its old and looks fantastic.

bride in car photo shot thru window

I had planned this shot way before the day itself, I had taken a very similar one of Sarah at her wedding (Angharads cousin) and this is where shooting at venues often helps out, I knew exactly where to go to grab this photo and use the building and trees to block the glare from the window.

Then during the actual service I snagged this shot, I took about 50 photos during the service, I ran from the front of the church to the back of the church (via the outside as there is a door right where the photographer stands) – and into another building !!!! – Oh I forgot to mention, the wedding was SO BIG that the church was totally FULL and had to be relayed via VIDEO into another building where the rest of the party was !!!!!

bride and groom getting married

and i love this tender moment – this is why I carry two cameras – the second one is set up for close up work and without it, I would have missed this gentle moment.

exchanging rings

Following the weddings the reception was held at Upton Castle in Pembrokeshire – the venue is amazing and only hosts between 5 and 10 weddings a year so I have been wanting to shoot there for some time.

upton castle weddings pembrokeshire

and the bride and groom outside the front door.

upton castle wedding photos

As you enter the house there is an amazing hallway covered in a glass roof – the light in there was fantastic so naturally I snapped a few photos.

upton castle pembrokeshire wedding

wedding photos of upton castle west wales

and the reception was being held in a fabulous marquee outside in the back garden

marquee for weddings in pembrokeshire

One of the greatest compliments I get from people is when they say the don’t realize I am even there, apart from group shots which take a bit of work and the confetti shots I try to let the whole day just unfold.  This was the case from the father of the bride who said afterward that he had not realized that I had been taking photos at the reception until I set up for the group shot – I had taken around 50 photos at that point 🙂

The group shot was 160 people big !!! – so I had to improvise a little – Due to the angle of the sun I could not get the shot from any elevated position so I simply popped my camera on a mono pod – a big long stick !!!! and hoised it up to about 15 foot in the air – I pre focused it before I did that and triggered it (took the photo) by remote control – I took 4 photos to make sure I had everyone in it correctly and positioned where I wanted them – I am pretty pleased with the final result – it would look GREAT as a double page spread in an album !!!!!

big group shot wedding photo

and once I had all the safe group shots, and since we had a little time left I decided to play around a little – I had spotted a rose garden which would make for an interesting shot considering that A&D had a bridal party of 12 people – pretty big by today’s standards.

I have this as a normal file also, but I always like to try new things out once I know I have what I call the money shots in the bag, so I have posted this one here, I am still in two minds whether or not I like the effect on this photo – actually it does not matter if I like it, its what the couple thinks that matters so I am waiting to hear from A&D on what they think.  – I would also love to know what you think.

artistic wedding group photo

after this I took A&D off for a walk around the grounds, some alone time, some funky photos and just snaped away for about 5 minutes before  they went into dinner.

the grounds at upton castle wedding venue

pembrokeshire wedding photography

romantic wedding photography

After this the couple went into dinner, Helen and I set about setting up for the slideshow which we ran at the end of the meal however during the meal just we were finishing our main meal one of the waitresses came over and told me there was a very pretty rainbow outside – I ran over to A&D and let them know, I asked if they wanted to pop outside to quickly take the photo which they did – I thanked the waitress whole heartedly.

rainbow at wedding captures by west wales wedding photographer

Then we returned inside and a little while later Angharad and David had their first dance together as man and wife.

first dance couple

Well I hope you have enjoyed this sneak peek of the wedding of Angharad and David, naturally I would like to pass along our congratulations to the happy couple and to thank them very much for choosing us to be a part of the day.

take care



David Purslow
Wedding Photographer covering the WHOLE of the UK !
Phone: 01299 250114

micweddingMay 5, 2010 - 11:33 am

really touch me !!

John & ShanMay 6, 2010 - 6:07 pm

David – the photos are lovely. Thank you for capturing the day so effectively. It was a delight having you and Helen at the wedding intermingling with the guests in such a natural way. You certainly made us feel at ease and you both added to the joy of the occasion.

John & ShanMay 6, 2010 - 6:09 pm

David- the photos are lovely. Thank you for capturing the day so effectively. It was a dlight having you and Helen at the wedding intermingling with the guests in such a natural way. You certainly made us feel at ease and you both added to the joy of the occasion.