Often when I meet up with couples I get a strong feeling almost instantly as to whether we'd be a good match! It's got little to do with their chosen venue or being available on their date; rather, it's a sense of sharing a goal, a passion for their story, of capturing their day as it unfolds. I want my couples to laugh and cry as they view my images, to remember their day as it happened, rekindle their emotions and to see their guests relaxed and happy. Memories like that simply can't be captured through a series of static poses. So when a couple comes to me and says, "minimal group shots, lots of candid photos and, come rain or shine, a walk outdoors" my eyes light up and the relationship starts!
Laura & Stephen were one such couple. "Keeping it real" was their brief to me right from the start, and this was echoed in their feedback from the pre-wedding shoot, in which they carefully selected the images that spoke to them most. They chose the photos of them laughing, fooling around with each other, and of just quietly enjoying each others' company. The in-between shots, the laughter after the kiss, the rusty texture of the old beach shelters. Typically at a pre-wedding shoot I do a mix of observing and gentle directing. It quickly becomes clear which couples actually feel a little more comfortable with direction, and which prefer just to goof around, being themselves. Both of these can produce stunning, natural looking images - I just approach them a little differently to ensure the couple feels comfortable with me and and camera.
"Jenny was a chance find at a wedding fair, and I'm so pleased I found her! I could tell from within minutes
of talking to her that she completely understood what my husband I were looking for from a photographer.
The pre-wedding shoot was great fun, and an excellent opportunity to ensure the wedding photos were exactly
what we wanted.
On the wedding day itself, Jenny was just perfect. I didn't even notice she was there half of the time,
which meant she took lots of really natural, non-posed, photos which was just what I'd asked for. I honestly
can't fault the service, and I'm so pleased with the final photos.
There are many adjectives used to describe contemporary wedding photography: documentary, photo-journalistic, natural, story-telling, candid.... But my experience is that these each mean different things to different people. So when a bride tells me she loves natural couple photos, it's my job to discover what exactly she loves - is it genuinely candid photos only, or could it include photos that look natural (ie not grinning at the camera), but that are in fact gently directed. Typically for my clients it's both of these. Beautiful couple images don't 'just happen' during the course of the day. In fact, many couples spend a large part of their day apart, catching up with family and friends! But just because these images are planned a little, doesn't mean they can't look natural. It's a big part of what I do, and of why my couples choose me. Just head over to my home page anytime to see plenty of examples.
I knew from their pre-wedding shoot that Laura and Stephen were more the goofing around kind of couple! My only direction was to lead them along the path through the beautiful fields behind Fitzleroi Barn, periodically stopping and encouraging them just to chat or cuddle while I captured the majestic storm clouds overhead. It was a late October wedding, and the couple had really wanted dramatic stormy skies! Me too! A wedding doesn't need sunshine for gorgeous photos. Trust me on that one: I started my wedding photography career in the Sunshine State where using flash outdoors is virtually essential - the camera simply can't handle the contrast of Miami's midday sunshine. Artificial lighting has its uses, and can be beautiful when used to capture a couple at sunset, or enhance a first dance, but I prefer to use natural light for my candid images, and for that, a cloudy sky can work wonders.
Image from Laura & Stephen's wedding featured in Your Sussex Wedding magazine, June/July 2016
Their day began - for Laura at least - in a beautiful, beamed cottage in the middle of the Sussex countryside. Forget SatNav; my directions were something along the lines of "turn right at the clump of trees, left at the puddle. Don't take the wrong turning or you'll get stuck down a mud track." Needless to say, I left home with about an hour extra to spare! And that's really all the information I need to share - I'm hoping my images will tell you their story much better than I ever could with words...
Thanks Laura and Stephen for your lovely testimonial (for more client testimonials, just click here!) and for entrusting me with your wedding memories. It was a truly fantastic day, a stunning venue, and a genuinely lovely couple. With the perfect lace dress and green tweed suit to complement the rustic simplicity of Fitzleroi Barn. Who knew a groom could look so dapper in green? A simply perfect day.
Want to see more images from this wedding? Click here to see a short showreel of Laura & Stephen's Fitzleroi Barn wedding
And if you're getting married and think we could be a good fit? Just fill in the contact form with the date of your wedding and let's arrange to meet up! I look forward to hearing your story.