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Best of 2018: the Black + White Edit

January 02, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

It's that time of year when, glass of wine in hand, I look back on my body of work from the past 12 months.  I'm definitely my own worst critic, and always ask myself what I could do to improve any given photo.  But the images I'm generally proudest of, are the ones I shot candidly.  No posing, just 'right place, right time' and being ready to capture the moment.  Those are often my clients' favourites too, the ones they choose for their wedding album or shed a tear for when they view their slideshow.

Expression and emotion are key - it's what makes an image stand out to me.  I get to know my couples before the big day, usually with a pre-wedding shoot, which helps me to understand what makes them tick, and how they interact together.  So in between the 'big moments' of the day, I'm looking for the little glances, mannerisms or expressions that express who they are, their personalities.  

This is documentary wedding photography.  Reportage, candid, story-telling, whatever the label, it's a very special genre of wedding photography and how I choose to shoot the majority of any wedding day. Most of the images I chose for this blog post were captured candidly.  The remainder just gently directed to naturally capture my couples within the setting they chose for their photos - whether at their wedding venue, or nearby, on the beach or South Downs.

 

Bridal Preparation

Best of 2018 B+WSussex Documentary Wedding Photographer

 

Katy & Raj, Worthing Dome, July 2018 (Wedding Prep at The Burlington Hotel, Worthing)

 

Where the venue allows, make up artists will generally try to position the bride in good natural light.  Here, the lovely Kitty of Kitty-Boo Hair & Make Up has done just that.  I simply positioned myself to capture Katy's face in the beautiful Art Deco style mirror which complemented the Art Deco look of Katy's dress and styling.  Then, it was just a question of waiting until Kitty stepped back sufficiently for me to view Katy's profile fully in the mirror.  

 

"Amazing! From our first meet with Jenny, to putting my wife at ease on the pre-shoot, to helping me find the rings I nearly lost on the day (!) and of course the photos of the day itself. We have an amazing collection of photos of our special day. Thank you! Also so much great feedback from our guests on how unobtrusive Jenny was, and how friendly she was. Highest recommendation."

Raj & Katy

 

And below, an altogether different moment - the look of pure joy on the little girl's face as she entered the room to see Mummy wearing her wedding dress.  A very special moment.

 

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Helen & Ian, Brookfield Barn, August 2018

 

This great expression from Tessa & Dan's bridesmaid tells a story in a single image.  Black & white adds to the impact.

 

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Bridesmaid for Tessa & Dan, Leonardslee Gardens, September 2018

 

As Lauren glanced down at her dress, I captured her demure expression and fabulous up-do.  A classic bridal portrait but without any posing. I'm pleased that this one now has pride of place in Lauren and Ash's wedding album.

 

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Lauren & Ash, Old Thornes Golf & Spa Hotel, August 2018

 

I also love this contemplative image of Mally, which quietly shows of the back of her dress.  When I look at it, I'm taken back to the mood of nervous anticipation shared by Mally and her Maid of Honour in the dressing room at Blackstock cottage. 


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Mally & Ash, Blackstock Country Estate, September 2018

 

One of my favourite candid shots of Katy, below, captured as she met her Dad prior to the ceremony.  Taken with a long focal length lens to avoid encroaching on a special moment.  Katy's glamourous vintage look was perfectly suited to black and white - one of the reasons she features three times in this blog!

 

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Katy & Raj, Worthing Dome, July 2018

 

Sometimes the little moments are just that.  A sisterly kiss exchanged between Tessa and Jodie just before they entered the chapel.  I was lucky enough to have photographed sister Jodie's wedding two years previously, so I knew the family and understood just how close they were.  I observed from a distance and was happy to capture this special moment between them.

 

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Tessa & Dan, Hurstpierpoint College Chapel and Leonardslee Gardens, September 2018

 

The Ceremony

A great time for candid photography!  I generally try to stay as far back and out of the way as I can, whether in a church or civil setting.  It's important to be discreet and document the proceedings as unobtrusively as possible.

This is one of my absolute favourites from Brighton Bandstand, a romantic and spontaneous kiss just after the registrar handed Sharon and Alex their marriage certificate.  I originally processed the image in colour as the sea was a lovely shade of blue, but later decided the story worked better in black & white with the outline of Brighton's West Pier in the background adding to the romantic feel.

 

 

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Sharon & Alex, Brighton Bandstand & Hotel Du Vin, June 2018

 

"We had the pleasure of meeting and working with Jenny earlier this year when she was the photographer at our wedding. She is not just a lovely and easy going person, she is professional and clearly very talented too.

Jenny was unobtrusive during our very small wedding of initially 22 people, and interacted effortlessly with everyone including those who do not typically like having their picture taken. She successfully captured our memorable day as it unfolded, and the pictures and slideshow were beautiful and a true reflection of our day.

We highly recommend Jenny, and are confident that she will be a great asset to your team on the day. Don’t hesitate, book her now!" 

Sharon & Alex

 

At key moments in the ceremony, the combination of nerves and the solemnity of the proceedings can prove just too much.  Tears or laughter (or both!) is often the result, and discreetly capturing the genuine emotion takes my couples right back to that moment when they said their vows. 

 

Best of 2018 B+WSussex Documentary Wedding Photographer

 

Emma & Dan, St John The Evangelist, Dormansland & Gildings Barns, October 2018 

 

 

Best of 2018 B+WSussex Documentary Wedding Photographer
Sam & Dan, Worthing Dome, August 2018 

 

"We used Jenny for our relaxed weekday wedding in August. We wanted a photographer who could simply be in the background, taking pictures that captured our day. Jenny certainly did that. The pictures are amazing and we know, every time we look at them we'll remember our special day. Thank you Jenny!"

Sam and Dan

 

 

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Jamie & Peter, Selden Barns, July 2018

 

After many years together (I forget how many, but I remember it was a lot!) Jamie and Peter finally exchange rings.  The sheer unadulterated happiness on both of their faces, as well as those of their family and friends says it all.  A truly joyous moment that I felt privileged to be a part of.

 

"Jenny was our photographer for our wedding this July, and all I can say is that our photos are incredible. Jenny completely understood what we wanted to capture on our day, and did it so perfectly. The pictures really told the story and it made us relive it. They are vibrant and interesting and caught hundreds of beautiful moments. We are so glad that we chose Jenny, and we'd like to thank you again for getting it so right!"

Jamie & Peter
 


Best of 2018 B+WSussex Documentary Wedding Photographer
Sophie & Ben, St Audries Park, Somerset, October 2018

 

I didn't know it at the time, but Sophie is forever wiping her lipstick off Ben's face - she laughed at how I'd captured that meaningful moment just after their first kiss as husband and wife.

 

The Confetti & Send Off

Always fun - come rain or shine!  You can't beat a great confetti exit!  At Katy & Raj's wedding, feathers were the perfect confetti to complement their Art Deco themed wedding.

 

Best of 2018 B+WSussex Documentary Wedding Photographer

 

Katy & Raj, Worthing Dome, July 2018

 

Guests reactions can be great to capture too!

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"Jenny was our photographer for our wedding in August and all I can say what a pleasure it was having her. She made me and Ash so calm any questions we had Jenny was always there to answer them.

During the day she made us feel so relaxed and the pictures have come out amazing. I would recommend Jenny to anyone who needs a wedding photographer. Thank you so much Jenny". 

Lauren & Ash

 


 

Best of 2018 B+WSussex Documentary Wedding Photographer

 

Lauren & Ash, Old Thornes Golf & Spa Hotel, August 2018
 

A great send off can be fun to capture too - here, the videographer went ahead, while I stayed behind and was rewarded with this fab expression from the happy bride.

 

Best of 2018 B+WSussex Documentary Wedding Photographer

 

Emma & Alex, Saint Mary & All Saints church, Dunsfold, and afterwards in a garden marquee, June 2018

 

"We couldn’t have been more pleased that we chose Jenny as our wedding photographer. She was an absolute pleasure to have there on the day and made us feel completely at ease.

The photos were fantastic and she perfectly captured the happiness of the day. It was an amazing surprise that she created a wonderful slide show to music in addition to the photos and we have loved watching it with family and friends.

We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her!"

Emma & Alex


 

The Couple Photos

Of course, it's important to capture the big moments too, not least your first couple photos after tying the knot.  Although a little more directed, even during the couple photos I'm looking for the natural interaction between the two of you that happens when you enjoy some down time away from your guests.   After the intensity of the ceremony, and having spent time with me before the big day, you'll feel so comfortable with me and the camera, that you can just relax and enjoy that special part of your day.  That's when the magic happens. 
 

 

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Hayley & Matt, Leeds Castle, Kent, June 2018

 

In the image above at stunning Leeds Castle in Kent, I simply asked Hayley and Matt to slowly walk up the steps, talking as they went.  As they naturally turned to face each other in conversation, Hayley's veil caught a gust of wind and that was the moment I'd been waiting for.

It was all about the veil in the shot below too.  The couple and I headed to The South Downs in between their ceremony and reception.  I sent them off for a little walk, then pressed the shutter just as the wind lifted the veil away from the dress.  The couple told me afterwards how much they'd enjoyed that time away from the busy proceedings with just them, me and the beautiful South Downs.

 

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Kirsty & Greg, Sussex Uni Meeting House and Chez Mal, Brighton Marina, July 2018

 

Many of my couples who have ceremonies on Brighton seafront opt for couple photos on the beach.  There will doubtless be plenty featured in my forthcoming best of colour blog, but this one of Clair and Rene lent itself perfectly to black and white given the interesting sky and Clair's 50s style dress, with Brighton's iconic West Pier in the background. Definitely one as a large spread in their album that I'll be designing this January.

 

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Clair & Rene, Angel House and Hotel Du Vin, Brighton.  August 2018

 

And now for one of my absolute favourites - just Danielle and Vikki being, well, Danielle and Vikki!  An image so full of energy I can't look at it and not smile when I'm taken back to that fabulous moment on Lusty Glaze Beach just after they tied the knot.  

 

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Danielle & Vikki, Lusty Glaze Beach, Newquay May 2018

"In two words... simply amazing! 

We got married at Lusty Glaze beach in May this year and had planned a laid back wedding fitting for the location. Our photography needed to reflect the relaxed atmosphere and natural beauty of the venue, and we'd agreed with Jenny to have a combination of natural shots throughout the day with a handful of posed shots of family and best people, and a selection of shots of the two of us at various places on the beach at different times during the day.

We were fortunate to have bright blue skies and beautiful sunshine throughout the day and we were both incredibly chilled - just like we'd hoped to be - but so much so that Jenny had to give us a timely nudge to make sure we didn't miss those all important sunset shots! It was reassuring that she had us under control (somebody needs to!), although for the majority of the time she simply blended into our wedding crowd and happily snapped away, capturing every part of our day perfectly.  

We have the most amazing photographs to remind us of our special day and are so grateful to Jenny for her hard work - she worked tirelessly throughout the day and night to capture our memories so beautifully." 

Thanks Jenny, you are one super cool camera lady :-)

Danielle & Vikki xx

 

 

It literally rained all day for Emma and Dan's wedding at Gildings Barn in Surrey.  But no matter, an umbrella and a touch of back-lighting meant we could still get a romantic image of the two of them after dark.  

 

Best of 2018 B+WSussex Documentary Wedding Photographer


Emma & Dan, St John The Evangelist, Dormansland & Gildings Barns, October 2018 

 

The Groomsmen

Sometimes I'll capture the men before the ceremony, but if I get the chance, one of my favourite times to photograph the Ushers is later in the evening.  I just had to follow Josh and his Groomsmen onto Brighton Beach as they shared stories and cigars.  The great expressions and patterns in the sky screamed perfect black & white to me, even as I was taking the image.  Josh's new wife Franki agreed:

 

"You’ve captured the whole reason I chose to marry him, it’s that smile and laugh that did it 💕"

 

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Franki & Josh, Brighton Harbour Hotel, August 2018

 

"Jenny was our wedding photographer back in August this year, in Brighton and we could not have asked for more! Jenny was very intentive and spent every second of our day making sure she got the perfect shots! She was able to capture such beautiful shots without getting in the way of us, or our guests, a lot of our whom have commented on how, most of the time they didn't even realise Jenny was there!!


Jenny is such a passionate person in regards to her work and such a kind an easy person to get on with, she helped us feel calm and relaxed and captured every moment of our day perfectly! We are so happy that we decided to use her as our photographer and we have not stopped looking at our wonderful photos since!"


Thank you so much Jenny,

Love Josh and Franki

 

Games are also a great opportunity to capture both kids and adults alike!  Here, the youngest groomsman sticks out his tongue in utter concentration at his determination to win....

 

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And here's the end result... victory!  I couldn't pick just the one photo, as it's the whole story from the two images that I love.  I would put these side by side in the wedding album.

 

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Youngest Groomsman of Jane & Dave, Lusty Glaze Beach, Newquay October 2018
 

The Reception

The wedding reception is always a good time to capture great expressions of your guests and maybe even some environmental portraiture. 

While the grown ups stand around chatting during the cocktail hour, the kids simply play.  Three of my favourite photos capturing the little ones' antics have made it into my favourites list this year!  


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Usher and flower girls, Helen & Ian's wedding, Brookfield Barn, August 2018

 

The three siblings/cousins playing in the grounds of Brookfield Barn resulted in some special moments and great expressions that would be impossible to capture in a studio setting.

 

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Mally & Ash, Blackstock Country Estate, September 2018
 

 

This little flower girl was just enjoying twirling her dress while the grown ups stood around.  I love the expression on the face of the gentleman watching her too!

Another uninhibited dress twirling moment below, in the grounds of Leeds Castle.  Although you can't see her face, you have a clear sense from the image of just how this little bridesmaid is feeling.

 


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Flowergirl, Hayley & Matt's wedding, Leeds Castle, Kent, June 2018
 

The image below was taken during the family photos.  Lining them up in group photos is, I'll admit, my least favourite way to photograph children.  They rarely cooperate, and, let's face it, why should they? A more candid mother-daughter image with a natural hug is definitely my preference.

 

Best of 2018 B+WSussex Documentary Wedding Photographer


Clair & Rene, Angel House and Hotel Du Vin, Brighton.  August 2018
 

The Dancefloor

The dancefloor can be a great time for candid photography!  Rather than finishing with the First Dance, I usually stay for half an hour or so of dancefloor action - sometimes more if there's a great band, or the guests are making the most of the music and providing me with great photo opportunities!   

 

Best of 2018 B+WSussex Documentary Wedding Photographer

 

Katy & Raj, Worthing Dome, July 2018
 

Expression is everything in this image at Katy and Raj's Worthing Dome wedding.  I still remember them laughing when this popped up in their slideshow!


When a couple chooses to have children as guests at their wedding - whether their own or those of close friends or relatives, I'm always looking for special moments between them.  As Matt lifted his son up ready to throw him upwards, I knelt on the ground with a wide angle lens, anticipating the moment and firing the flash lights behind and in front.  Of course, you never quite know what you're going to get, but in this one, all the subjects had their eyes open and great expressions!  Bingo!
 

Best of 2018 B+WSussex Documentary Wedding Photographer

 

Hayley & Matt, Leeds Castle, Kent, June 2018
 

And last, but my no means least, I just had to include this fab twirl of Emma's gorgeous gown (made by Brighton-based dress designer Joanna Fleming).  I chose a slow shutter speed and added flash to freeze the moment - perfect for enhancing the feeling of movement.

 

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Emma & Richard, Blackstock Country Estate, Dec 2018

And finally...

So there you have it!  My favourite black & white images from 18 out of the 20 weddings I photographed in 2018!  Two of my couples asked to keep their images to themselves, but several images from their weddings would otherwise have been included in this blog, and I know they're happy to share their testimonials, so I'll include those instead:

 

"Jenny photographed our wedding at the end of September and from the moment we met her she put us at ease. She was warm and friendly and listened to exactly what we wanted. Jenny showed us a range of previous weddings she had photographed and we loved the natural photos she had taken. The pre wedding shoot on Hove seafront was brilliant as it enabled us to get to know Jenny as well as develop our confidence in being photographed, something that neither of us are very good at!

On the day, Jenny was fantastic. She had the perfect balance of being unobtrusive but also captured such special moments. We have just received our photos and we are so happy with the results! The whole day has been captured perfectly from start to finish and tells our story beautifully. We will treasure our photos forever and they are the perfect reminder of such an incredible day. Jenny is an excellent photographer and we are so lucky to have found her."

Many thanks,

Pippa and Jonny (Pangdean Old Barn September 2018)

 

And this lovely review from another of my Pangdean Old Barn couples last Summer, Tom & Pepe:

 

"I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending Jenny. She was the photographer at our wedding in August 2018 and is exceptionally talented. From the first time we met, she put us at ease and on the day had a keen eye and a wonderfully warm manner. A number of guests commented on how friendly she was.

She tailored her approach on the day, not blinking an eye with weather-related changes of plans. Jenny made a beautiful video for us (with a great soundtrack!) and we now have photos of the day that we'll treasure forever.

Thank you, Jenny!" 

Tom & Pepe (Pangdean Old Barn August 2018)

 

Every wedding is different, and every couple has their own ideas on what they are looking for (or wish to avoid!) in their wedding photos.  If these images are just the kind of thing you're looking for and you're planning your wedding for 2020 or 2021 (plus I've got two slots left for 2019 as I write!), please do click here to get in touch!  

I'll be publishing a 'colour favourites' in a week or two, but in the meantime, you can get a good overview with this short video showcasing my Best of 2018!

Thanks for reading, and please do pop back to my blog again soon!

Jenny x

 

Wedding Venues for my 2018 couples:

Angel House, Brighton, Sussex

Brighton Bandstand, Brighton, Sussex 

Blackstock County Estate, Hellingly, East Sussex

Brighton Harbour Hotel, Brighton, Sussex

Brookfield Barn, Horsham, West Sussex

Chez Mal, Malmaison, Brighton Marina, Sussex

Gildings Barns, Dorking, Surrey

Hotel Du Vin, Brighton, Sussex

Leeds Castle, Maidstone, Kent

Leonardslee Gardens, Horsham, West Sussex

Lusty Glaze Beach, Newquay, Cornwall

Old Thornes Golf & Spa Hotel, Liphook, West Sussex

Pangdean Old Barn, Brighton, Sussex

Selden Barns, Worthing, West Sussex

St Audries Park, Taunton, Somerset

Sussex Uni Meeting House, Brighton, Sussex

Worthing Dome, Worthing, West Sussex
 

 


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