Toddler Portraits

Thought that I’d pop up a post of a recent small portrait session I shot of two young sisters.

Mum had wanted to get some portraits of the two girls together, and so brought them along to the studio here in Carshalton for a session.

As with all things child related, as soon as you start adding multiples of children, the harder the task becomes – trying to get more than one child to engage with the camera at one given point is a tricky thing… I pity those school photographers out there, I’ve no idea how they do it, day in day out – I take my hat off to them!

Anyway, without further ado here’s some of the cute shots from that session.

toddler studio photography portraits in Carshalton, Surrey Sisters having their portrait taken in the studio in Carshalton Photograph of two young sisters captured in a studio in Carshalton, Surrey Girl toddler studio portrait siblings studio photography in Carshalton Little girl kissing her sister for a photograph during a photo shoot at a studio in Carshalton Little girl sitting on a stool for a studio portrait in Carshalton booming smile on a young girl having her portrait photograph taken

My Top 6 Favourite Bridesmaids Photos

When it comes to formal group shots, in general these are never really anyone’s favourite thing to do – that goes for the photographer as well as the wedding party.

They’re a necessity rather than a creative outlet, and their purpose is to document those dearest and most important people who are attending your special day.

Whilst they aren’t generally a creative outlet, that doesn’t mean to say that they can’t be though.

Obviously you could try and be creative with them all in some form or another, however time and logistics at weddings don’t tend to lend themselves in order to do so.

What I try and do is at least work on a fun or more creative composition for three particular groups; The bridesmaids, the groomsmen, and the bridal party.

In this post, I’ll kick off an attempt to create a series of “My Top 6 photos of…” blog posts throughout the year.

We’ll start off with bridesmaid related photos, and I’ll post them here below.

Bridesmaids jumping in the air for a wedding photograph at Woldingham Golf Club Bride and her bridesmaids have a photograph on the sea front at Worthing, West Sussex Bride and her bridesmaids replicate the 'Bridesmaids' film pose at Selsdon Park Hotel Bridesmaids pose with the groom at a wedding at Northbrook Park in Farnham, Surrey Young bridesmaids sit on a wall for a photograph at a wedding at Oaks Park Golf Club, Carshalton Beeches, Surrey Bridesmaids and brides laughing and joking

Photography vs Videography – a debate

Natural wedding photography samples - moments captured naturally

A good friend of mine, Hannah of Pistachio Blush, has just written a very thought provoking post on her blog about Photography vs Videography.

It’s a dilemma that faces quite a lot of wedding couples, and for the majority of people probably sadly results in them being forced to pick one of the two rather than both due to budget constraints.

So, is one more important than the other?  Or is one expendable or not necessary if you have the other angle covered?

Is Photography a ‘Must’?

Hannah’s piece delved into the cons for both, and looked at what both aspects bring to a wedding day.

I do agree with her that photography is probably seen as a ‘must’ have item purely due to tradition playing it’s part that a wedding should be documented, and traditionally photography had been the only viable medium available to couples until more recently when videography started to become more accessible.

I don’t for one minute suggest that this should still be the case, and I certainly don’t think that all couples should ‘have’ photography over videography, and or even vice-versa – at the end of the day everyone has different tastes, ideas and preferences in how they would like their big day immortalised.  Some might favour stills photography as they might be more comfortable looking at photos of themselves rather than watching footage or cringing at hearing the sound of their own voice, whilst many may well prefer the opposite and love to watch the whole re-enactment frame-to-frame with absolutely everything captured in full sequence.

There is no right or wrong in the choice between the two, every couple will have their own preferences, and will make their choice accordingly.

I thoroughly recommend anyone to have a read of Hannah’s post yourselves, as there are some brilliant gems of advice in there for all to digest and consider.

Additional Photography plus points

After personally reading Hannah’s article, I thought about things and realised that there are a couple of points that are missing for the ‘pro’ photography summary that I would like to add for arguments sake that are worth taking on board too as they’re important considerations to be fair in photography’s defence:

• Formal photography – a good photographer knows how to pose and light people to showcase them in their most flattering form. This isn’t always achievable purely through a photojournalistic approach to either stills or video.

Coverage – we too, like videographers, document the whole day from bride getting ready through to first dance, and also capture photos of all the events in a natural documentary style :)

Emotive – stills can also be very emotive to the viewer, whilst I know Hannah suggests that she doesn’t think that a still can beat the emotion of a clip of footage, I would slightly argue that isn’t a closed case and have had many clients tell me that they cried looking back over their photographs, or more so their video slideshow that I produce which strings a sequence of photos together with music… This is where I truly believe that the real emotion kicks in, when you view either a still or moving footage fused with a powerful piece of music or song.  Music stirs a lot of emotions and taps into our hearts – add that to a visual and that is where the real power lies, and where Hannah’s point is echoed.

I also personally think that in some cases there is an argument that a strong photograph can possess a huge amount of power over footage purely down to the fact that a freeze-frame of a split second can sometimes overpower a sequence of footage.  Not because it’s better technically, but because it makes your brain work – it gets it to revisualise, to re-live, remember and or to pre-empt something as it gives it a snapshot and let’s it put it back together itself from memory in your mind’s eye.  Less is sometimes more as they say, and making the brain work adds to the viewing experience rather than watching the whole sequence of say a 5-10 second clip.  I much liken it to the old saying that a picture says more than a thousand words… this sums up my point that you can describe something as much as you like, just as you could quite possibly watch a sequence of footage from say 20 different angles (totally exaggerating the point here!), but that one perfect freeze frame will probably seem more powerful emotively than the multiple angles of footage describing and covering that moment in each and every detail possible.

Another point that I’d like to add is the end product of both – stills get framed and put in albums, videos put on disc/hard drive/media consoles.  What do you think get’s viewed more over 20-30 years – the frames, or the video footage?  Also in 30 years time will that video file format still work on future players – but you’ll still have your trusty printed albums and frames 😉

The Future

Whilst at the present there is life for both the photographer and videographer to work harmoniously together, the future on the other hand could well point to a different outcome.

The reason I say this is that technology is advancing all the time, and a lot of videographers now use DSLR’s as their filming cameras.

That alone is not really a reason to foresee a change in the landscape, but the fact that these DSLRs and film cameras are growing in advancement and quality each year on year suggests that they are now at the capabilities with such 4k cameras to pull high quality frames from footage that could then be reproduced and printed at a large scale.

Gone could be the days of the knack of a stills photographer having to perfectly time their trigger finger to capture those natural and poignant moments – when you could then just cherry-pick a single and the most perfect frame from a sequence of hundreds taken within a second… you’d never again have to worry about catching someone blinking!

This very well be a reality for us photographers, possibly forcing us to evolve and embrace video ourselves to survive and very much blurring the lines of the two mediums, meaning ultimately that couples may NOT have to choose between the two and that one person/team will be expected to provide both!

Yes this is something that will fear photographers more than videographers, but at the same time it could well mean that videographers then have to embrace certain elements like the formal side of photography to take on that responsibility as many couples will still want that side of things captured.

Certainly food for thought, and something that is definitely a strong possibility.

Conclusion

The conclusion of the whole debate is that at least for now, Photography and Videography don’t need to compete together, they are totally different, and they are here to supplement each other.

One is not better than the other, it boils down to your personal preference and opinion – both of these mediums are forms of art and so are totally subjective; beauty is in the eye of the beholder as they say!

I’d be absolutely intrigued to know what most of you all think about the debate, and what your own personal opinions are on the two mediums as a preference?

Please feel free to answer a couple of questions in the multiple choice survey here below:

 

 

References of good Videographers that I’ve worked alongside and recommend:

John Harris Videography

MD Flix Productions

Irene Piera Films

Films in Bloom

Colette & Michael’s Wedding at the Crown Inn, Pishill, Oxfordshire

Colette and Michael’s wedding was a wedding that I had been looking forward to on quite a few levels – firstly because I knew them both reasonably well having photographed weddings for their family and friends in the past (this being the fourth wedding in sequence between them all!), and lastly because their wedding reception was a very picturesque thatched roof barn!

You know that you must be doing something right in your job when couples book you off the back of other weddings, and it’s always lovely when that means that you get to see those couples and their families again at another wedding as a result.

I was even more so overwhelmed when Colette and Michael informed me that they had considered their wedding dates around my availability so that I would be able to capture their day for them – that to me is probably the biggest compliment that I could receive, and made me feel very privileged.

It also means that because I know quite a few of the wedding party and guests from those previous weddings, that the day is even more fun for me as I have that rapport with them all from the past, whereas at any other wedding I have to build that up throughout a wedding day.

Normally, most of my weddings tend to be in and around Surrey and it’s close neighbouring counties.  I’m not a big fan of travelling further afield, and I am very fortunate that I have a healthy quantity of work to allow myself to be more selective in light of this.

Colette and Michael are from Oxfordshire, so naturally it meant that the wedding would be in that area, but I was quite happy to travel the further distance for them, given our history.

They got married at St John the Baptist Church in Little Harlow, and then had their wedding reception at The Crown Inn, in Pishill, Henley on Thames.

The Crown Inn aside of it’s historical attributes being from the 15th century, also boasted of fame in the sixties as having the likes of George Harrison, Ringo Starr and Dusty Springfield all perform there!

Anyway, without me further waffling on, I have embedded the video slideshow from their official wedding photographs for you all to view here below:

 

Sandy & Ben’s Wedding at The Dome Cinema in Worthing

Sandy and Ben’s wedding took place a little while ago now – back in 2013 to be precise – but it was a unique one that I’ve been meaning to put up here on the blog (like so many others in the archives!).

Ben is Australian, and Sandy from Worthing in West Sussex, however despite the fact that they both reside in Australia, they decided that they wanted to hold their wedding in Sandy’s hometown – so back they came for the short journey to Worthing!

They opted to have their ceremony and reception all under one roof, and selected the old Dome Cinema, as their chosen venue.

With the Dome being situated alongside the beach, it offered us great opportunities to walk over to the sea front and capture some stunning portraits featuring the beach and the pier as a backdrop.

This wedding is also a fond one of mine, as it was one of the images from this particular wedding that I picked up a Gold Award from the Society of Wedding & Portrait Photographers.

You can view some of the photos from the big day here below…

 

sandy+ben-slide-0001 Wedding dress details at a home in worthing, west sussex wedding shoes details at the bride's home in worthing, west sussex The wedding dress is being fitted to the bride as she gets ready on her wedding day in worthing The wedding dress is being fastened at the back on the bride, with assistance from her bridesmaids Bride looking on in the reflection in her mirror at home whilst getting ready Bridesmaids assist the bride getting ready for her wedding ceremony in Worthing, West Sussex bride hugs her mum after putting on her wedding dress A couple of portraits of the bride in her wedding dress at home in Worthing, West Sussex emotional dad hugs his daughter in her wedding dress bride's wedding bouquet of flowers bride-posing-for-portrait-photos Location of wedding at the Dome Cinema on Worthing Beach front The groom poses for a couple of portrait photos prior to his wedding ceremony at the Dome Cinema in Worthing, West Sussex wedding rings Bridesmaids wait outside the dome cinema in worthing for the bride to arrive for the wedding Bride arriving in her wedding car outside the dome cinema in Worthing, West Sussex Natural photographs of the bride, groom and guests during the wedding ceremony at the Dome Cinema in Worthing, West Sussex Natural photographs of the bride, groom and guests during the wedding ceremony at the Dome Cinema in Worthing, West Sussex Natural photographs of the bride, groom and guests during the wedding ceremony at the Dome Cinema in Worthing, West Sussex Natural photographs of the bride, groom and guests during the wedding ceremony at the Dome Cinema in Worthing, West Sussex Natural photographs of the bride, groom and guests during the wedding ceremony at the Dome Cinema in Worthing, West Sussex Natural photographs of the bride, groom and guests during the wedding ceremony at the Dome Cinema in Worthing, West Sussex Natural photographs of the bride, groom and guests during the wedding ceremony at the Dome Cinema in Worthing, West Sussex Natural photographs of the bride, groom and guests during the wedding ceremony at the Dome Cinema in Worthing, West Sussex Natural photographs of the bride, groom and guests during the wedding ceremony at the Dome Cinema in Worthing, West Sussex Natural photographs of the bride, groom and guests during the wedding ceremony at the Dome Cinema in Worthing, West Sussex Natural photographs of the bride, groom and guests during the wedding ceremony at the Dome Cinema in Worthing, West Sussex The wedding reception party kicks off at the Dome Cinema, West Sussex Bride and groom escape for a ride in their Beaumont wedding car along the sea front at Worthing Bride and groom enjoy a kiss in their Beaumont wedding car in Worthing near the pier Formal wedding group shots at the Dome Cinema in Worthing A group shot of the bridal party taken at Worthing beach in West Sussex Portraits of the bridesmaids and the groomsmen on Worthing Beach, West sussex Bride and groom take a stroll along Worthing beach near the sea for some photographs Bride and groom take a stroll along Worthing beach near the sea for some photographs Bride and groom sitting on a bench posing for some wedding photographs near worthing beach front Bride and her groom overlook the sea at Worthing beach in West Sussex Bride and her groom overlook the sea at Worthing beach in West Sussex Bride and groom enjoy a kiss on worthing beach with the pier in the background Bride and groom enjoy a kiss on worthing beach with the pier in the background Bride and groom enjoy a cuddle on worthing beach with the pier in the background Bride and groom pose for a wedding portrait photograph whilst standing within a heart shape made from chairs Portraits of the bride and groom during their wedding reception at the Dome Cinema Portraits of the bride and groom during their wedding reception at the Dome Cinema wedding breakfast at the dome cinema in worthing, west sussex wedding breakfast at the dome cinema in worthing, west sussex wedding breakfast at the dome cinema in worthing, west sussex wedding breakfast at the dome cinema in worthing, west sussex wedding breakfast at the dome cinema in worthing, west sussex father of the bride speech during the wedding reception at The Dome Cinema father of the bride speech during the wedding reception at The Dome Cinema best man's speech during the wedding reception at The Dome Cinema best man's speech during the wedding reception at The Dome Cinema maid of honor's speech during the wedding reception at The Dome Cinema groom's speech during the wedding reception at The Dome Cinema groom's speech during the wedding reception at The Dome Cinema wedding cake details The bride and groom cut their wedding cake at the Dome Cinema Bride and groom take to the dance floor at the Dome Cinema for their first dance Bride and groom take to the dance floor at the Dome Cinema for their first dance guests take to the dance floor during the wedding reception at the Dome Cinema in Worthing, West Sussex guests take to the dance floor during the wedding reception at the Dome Cinema in Worthing, West Sussex