Victoria & Will... Married at East Quay - Whitstable

Make a coffee and take a seat.... this is going to be a long one!...

My second wedding of 2015 took me to the East Quay Venue in sunny (turned out not to be so sunny!) Whitstable by the sea for Victoria & Will's wedding.

And what a truly fantastic and memorable wedding it was!

A little bit of background... I've known Will for about 15 years, working together in the motor industry for the first couple of those 15 years, Will then moved on and we lost touch for a while. Eventually he started working for a film production company (and still does) and that's where our paths crossed again working for the same clients. Will is also a very talented photographer in his own right - no pressure then! Will and I share the same sense of humour and despite not really knowing an awful lot about each other and not seeing or speaking to each other on a regular basis I would put Will in a very small group of friends that I could rely on if I needed to - and I would like to think the feeling is mutual.

Victoria & Will first met 17 years ago when they were bar tenders at the Townhouse in Leeds, at that time no romance was involved (although it transpires that Will was a tad 'smitten' with Victoria!), They both moved on with their lives and a chance meeting many, many years later eventually led to romance and of course their wedding.

I hadn't met Victoria before Will asked me if I'd photograph his wedding but instantly realised why Will was 'smitten' with his 'bride-to-be'!

Will's brief to me was very simple... no 'cheesy' photos, no 'spot coloured' photos, no 'forced' photos and no 'flash'! Just document the day as it happens... he wanted 'real' images to remember his day by.... music to my ears! And it was clear to me that Victoria & Will had planned their wedding exactly how they wanted it to be, not being swayed by convention in any way.

To the wedding day... not having been to Whitstable before, let alone the venue, I travelled down the day before the wedding to meet Victoria & Will at the venue and plan the photography for the following day. What was clear, standing talking in the rain, was that the weather was not going to be on our side. And, as expected, on the wedding day it rained a little. We could have worked around that, but the bitterly cold force 8 gale was going to pose some problems - and it did, limiting the time we had for any outdoor photography.

I started my coverage of the wedding day at the little cottage that Victoria & Will had rented in Whitstable where they spent the night before together, after a large family meal at a local pub. Another example of the way they wanted their wedding to be.

I arrived early and spent my time simply documenting the girls getting ready before moving on to a pub where the boys were having a pre-wedding drink - or two.

The wedding ceremony and the speeches were very emotional at times, with equal measures of laughter, tears of happiness and tears of sadness. It was lovely to be a part of this, not just to document the emotions photographically, but to feel them too. Whilst tears and laughter can make for some lovely images during a wedding I'm always very conscious of what to photograph and what not to photograph. Very sadly Will's mum passed away last August and when Will spoke about his mum during his speech I put my cameras down and simply listened and paid my own respects.

Will's best men and Victoria's brother all gave very moving and heartfelt speeches and at times were also very, very funny - with Wills' brother even replicating an outfit Will used to wear when he worked as a 'flasher' in a club in Ibiza - seriously!

After the wedding breakfast, which was a fantastic barbecued spread and the speeches the wonderful Bettesteiner Footstompers, a Bavarian style Oompah Band did their stuff and got everyone singing and clinking their 'beer steins'. And when I say everyone, I mean literally everyone, you couldn't help but join in, I had never witnessed anything like it at a wedding. They were a brilliant choice to fill that time between the end of the wedding breakfast and the beginning of the evening reception.

The oompah band was a tough act to follow and I didn't envy The Kicks, the band for the evening, having to follow them. But they were just as good and kept the dance floor busy up until I left for the journey home.

What became clear to me as the day unfolded was that not only were Victoria & Will obviously pleased to be getting married, their family and friends were genuinely pleased too. There was an overwhelming feeling of joy about these two people coming together that I can't really put into words.

Since originally writing this blog I've just received this email from Victoria & Will...

...From the moment we booked you we knew we'd made a great decision - and in the run up to the big day you were a great source of advice. On the day, you were a great comfort to Victoria - she was very nervous, and your very calm demeanour and words of advice really helped. During the day we hardly even knew you were there, you were incredibly professional - and several of our guests commented how nice you were! We are absolutely delighted with the end results - the photos perfectly captured the day and we will cherish them always.  We can't recommend you enough!...

Victoria & Will.... thank you for letting me share your wedding day with you - it was an absolute blast!

A few (well a lot really) from the day. Click on any thumbnail for a larger view. Enjoy...

Natalie & James... Married at Dodford Manor

My first wedding of 2015 and what a great one to kick off the new year with.

Things have been a bit hectic so far this year so I've only just got around to popping this on the blog.

Natalie & James were married in mid-January at Dodford Manor, a fantastic barn wedding venue in Northamptonshire.

The bridal preparations started at a hotel in Northampton where Natalie and a lot of the guests had stayed the night before the wedding. Natalie and her bridesmaids then moved to Dodford Manor to finish off their hair and make-up preparations.

Despite a harsh, freezing cold winter wind, the rain stayed away and Natalie & James enjoyed some lovely winter sun for their wedding day, even if it was bitterly, bitterly cold in the wind!

Natalie was very calm in the lead up to the cermeony and looked absolutely stunning in her wedding dress as she came down the aisle with her father.

It was a real pleasure to share Natalie & James's wedding celebrations and I wish them every happiness for the future.

A few from the day below, including a couple from Natalie & James's honeymoon! Click on any thumbnail for a lerger view.

I've just recieved this lovely email form Natalie & James..

...We knew when we met with Scott that he was the right photographer to capture our moments on our special day. He was a calm presence, and obviously very enthusiastic about what he does. And he does it fabulously! Arriving early in the morning to take some shots while the bride and bridesmaids got ready wasn’t a problem for Scott – despite revealing later the long day he had previously. A True professional. Aside from taking photo’s – Scott turned into unofficial Prosecco opener and pourer for the bridal party prep! Brilliant!

Scott got the photos we had asked for and ploughed through all of our group shots, so that people were not out in the cold for too long. He really captured all of our special moments and to say we are delighted with our pictures would be an understatement. Scott really was great on the day and afterwards, and we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him...

Mr & Mrs Cushing

Dodford Manor, 16th Jan 2015

Flowers by: Woodland Flowers -

Meak-up & Hair by: Debbie at Finishing Touches -

Cake by: The Groom's mum, Christine Brown (conatct details supplied on request)

Dress by: Berketex Brides -

Michelle & Neil... pre-wedding shoot

It's safe to say that Michelle & Neil didn't give themselves much time to organise their wedding day as the planning really only started in October of last year and I first met them in late October.

We met again back in February on a cold Sunday morning in the Northamptonshire countryside for their pre-wedding shoot. They were both a little apprehensive about their pre-wedding shoot as neither of them really enjoys having their picture taken. But they soon started to relax and enjoy the experience, sharing some laughs during our time together, which I think really shows in their pictures.

Michelle & Neil are clearly made for each other and are great fun to be around and I can't wait to share their wedding day with them next Saturday at Highgate House in Northamptonshire.

A few from our time together. Click on a thumbnail for a larger view.

Paloma Faith...

I've been fortunate enough to photograph the amazing talent that is Paloma Faith perform live on two occasions in the last twelve months.

I'm a big fan of her music anyway, but watching and listening to her perform live blew me away on both occasions.

A small selection of images below. Click on a thumbnail for a larger view.

Allan McNish for Audi UK...

A recent commission took me to Audi City in Mayfair, London to cover an event on behalf of Audi UK.

Allan McNish, three times winner of the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans and winner of  the FIA WEC World Championship, is also an Audi Sport brand ambassador and was presenting during the event.

We took a couple of minutes out after the event and grabbed a couple of portraits, this being my favourite.