I had known both Kerrie and Adam on a personal level, so it had been lovely to be involved and given the honour of capturing their special day for them.
Woldingham Girls School was also another venue that had eluded me for some time, so it was very exciting to be able to get the opportunity to photograph a wedding there as it is another stunning venue.
It’s a magnificent mansion house that sits within an 700 acre estate – it has a whole raft of delights and features both internally and externally.
It was a cracking day, and we captured some great photos throughout.
Steph and Jack’s wedding at Woldingham Golf Club was a particular booking that I had been quite excited about taking on; a very photogenic couple and a lovely new venue to explore!
Further add to that the groom to arrive in style in a red Ferrari, and a rather cool weathered groundsman’s lock-up in their Church’s graveyard… I was always going to be relishing this wedding from a creative point of view.
Woldingham Golf Club Wedding
Bride & groom portraits on the grand staircase at Woldingham Golf Club
Woldingham had been another local venue that had eluded me until this particular wedding, and again it was one that I was keen to photograph at.
I’d been there once before in an ‘off-duty’ capacity as a guest in the past, so had seen first hand the lovely natural landscape that it boasted, as well as the grand external stair case to the clubhouse.
I have to admit that the staircase had grabbed my attention immediately, it was big, grand and I knew straight away that it would offer a dynamic backdrop for some striking bride and groom portraits.
I’m sure the staircase has been used to death in the past by other photographers for group shots and the like, but I just knew that it offered something far more than just an option for some formal group shots, and I think that we nailed some pretty cool portraits that I’d like to think possibly haven’t been shot there before.
No doubt someone may well come back to me informing me that I’m wrong, I certainly don’t say it in an arrogant way to suggest that my images are better than anyone else’s, I merely imply that I’m aware that I have quite a ‘qwerky’ style that is a little bit different. Thankfully there are couples out there who like it, and of whom hire me purely for that exact reason 🙂
A red Ferrari
Funky wedding cars – a red Ferrari
Being a typical guy, it’s always interesting when the groom arrives in a trendy sports car.
They don’t tend to come more trendier than a red Ferrari! Now, that is arriving in style, and always grabs everyone’s attention without fail.
Such cars are great for me, as they double up as a useful prop for the groom portraits; it looks great, it’s stylish/iconic, it’s masculine and it’s just damn right cool.
I know that Jack certainly enjoyed the Ferrari, and I definitely enjoyed photographing him with it. Great fun.
St Mary’s Church in Caterham
Unlike the golf club, I had photographed at St Mary’s Church before, so knew it well.
If I’m being brutally honest, I wasn’t particularly looking forward to the wedding ceremony itself… nothing to do with Steph and Jack, nor any concerns with the interior of the church itself or low lighting conditions (that said it isn’t the brightest in there!). No, the thing that was worrying me was being refused permission to photograph the ceremony – just as I had been four years back for a previous wedding there.
I held some hope when my bride and groom informed me that it was a lady vicar carrying out the ceremony, and i had recalled that the previous time had been with a man, so a different personnel might have meant a change in parish rules?
Those hopes were soon dashed when I approached the lady vicar prior to the start of the ceremony and she then informed me that I would only be allowed to take photos from the back of the church and nowhere else (aside of signing of the register).
Now, this is a subject that always both disappoints and frustrates me.
Fortunately it doesn’t happen all that often, and most churches are incredibly reasonable and grant us photographers and videographers permission to stand somewhere at the front of the church through the ceremony to capture all those tender moments during the vowels and throughout the whole service.
I accept that maybe in the defence of a church that refuses, that they might have had a bad experience(s) in the past with photographers, and I bet that there is a good chance that a photographer may have neglected the trust that was shown to them to photograph discreetly and within certain areas. In which case I can understand why a stance may have been adopted.
The problem is that by restricting the photographer, they aren’t punishing the photographer, they are in fact only punishing the bride and groom as it is their photos and not ours that we are capturing. This is the same people who are paying the church a healthy sum for the occasion.
It ironically in fact makes the photographer’s job easier in stark contrast, as they can’t capture as many images as they normally would, so are technically working less, and will have less images to edit as a result afterwards!
Whilst that is the case, I certainly would always prefer to be be allowed to do my job and ensuring that I capture all the shots that I normally would at the front of the church, resulting in giving my couples those natural documentation images that they want and will cherish.
So, sadly, I had to do as I was told and remain at the back of the church for the duration of the service, although I did manage to persuade the vicar to allow me to at least stand at the front of the altar briefly at the very beginning to capture Steph walking down the aisle.
Fantastic and original best man prank
One of the positives that I did take from being sentenced to the back of the church was that I was able to capture a brilliant visual prank on the groom that had been enstowed upon him by his best man.
Frank had managed, unknowingly to the groom, to use tippex to write ‘HE’ on Jack’s left shoe sole and ‘LP’ on the right one. Basically this meant that when the groom knelt down at the altar alongside his bride for a blessing, his two feet were placed together with the soles united next to each other and facing back towards me which spelled out the word ‘HELP’!
Of course the congregation just like myself noticed this, and there was much laughter and giggles as a result, much to the bemusement of the bride and groom.
It was very funny, and a prank that I’ve not seen before. It went without saying, of course I obliged to take a photo of it!
You can view all the mentioned photos and references in the slideshow video at the top of the page.
See what you make of the Woldingham stair case… please let me know your thoughts 🙂
I thought that it would be an appropriate time to post this wedding up on the blog as Alexandra and Vishal have recently just celebrated their first year’s anniversary of marriage!
They tied the knot at Nonsuch Mansion in Nonsuch Park in August 2013.
Ironically enough, whilst Nonsuch is a local venue to me, it had been elusive one that I’d been waiting a long time to receive a commission for a wedding.
Anyone who also lives locally to Cheam, will most likely be aware of Nonsuch Mansion and what a marvellous Georgian periodic venue it is.
It had been a venue that I was very keen to explore with a real wedding, and so, naturally, I was delighted when Alexandra and Vishal booked me to capture their big day for them there.
I was extremely fortunate that I had a perfect wedding to capture; a stunning venue and a brilliant couple – they were willing, enthusiastic, and just as importantly they shared my humour so I had an amazing time, and I’d like to think that we got some pretty cool shots too!
An amazing venue, and a likewise couple always guarantees great results, as a photographer you can’t ask for more.
One thing that also stuck out for me for this particular wedding was that I don’t think I’ve shot a wedding that had so much raw emotion between the newlyweds – the tears flowed regularly throughout the day, which again provided me with some beautiful natural photos.
Anyway, I shall leave you to have a look for yourselves.
Happy Anniversary Alex & Vish, I hope that your first year together as man & wife has been amazing – best of luck with your new arrival in the Autumn! 🙂
I don’t normally add a blog post for many testimonials and or email tributes in response to my work, as I have a dedicated testimonials page, however today I received a lovely email from one of my recent couples in response to me sending them the link to their freshly edited wedding photos.
It was a touching message that underlines just how much I enjoy my job, and being privileged to provide my clients with images that they will cherish for the rest of their lives – it is truly a rewarding job and makes you feel great 🙂
As a result I just wanted to share it on here:
“Oh my goodness Sam….. I just wanted to let you know that the photos of our wedding are simply stunning… I have been in tears all over again.
You have captured our day with the exact feeling that was actully felt by all on the day… everyone looks relaxed, like their having fun and completely beautiful!
I just wanted to let you know how thrilled we are with all of them and we’ll take some time carefully selecting a few for the album and look forward to receiving the disc!!
I recently had the pleasure of photographing the wedding of Sarah and John at St Michael’s church and the Dolphin Inn in Betchworth, Surrey.
St Michael’s was another church that I had not photographed at previously.
It was a fine church, and was situated in the heart of the rural Betchworth community. I love these small, quaint villages, they are so traditionally ‘English‘ and make a refreshing change from the suburbs from which I have grown up from.
This wasn’t a very big wedding in regards to scale – it was more of an intimate affair with their family and close friends.
The church were very strict with their photography policy – initially I was informed that I was not going to be able to photograph at all during the ceremony, then John the groom managed to have a chat and persuade them to allow me to photograph, which they then did but on the basis that I shot from one specific area. Whilst this was a compromise, they dictated exactly where I was allowed to stand, and I have to say it was incredibly restricted as I was placed behind the empty choir stalls and my view was impeded by the extended ends of the stalls which you could not but fail to include in any photograph in some form! Saying that, I guess it is better than no images at all for the couple, but was frustrating nonetheless!
Following on from the ceremony I had found a couple of interesting locations for some of the bride and groom portraits from my pre wedding visit to the venues. These included a man-made tree swing, and a corn field – both of which were within a 2 minute walk from the church, and these worked an absolute treat.
You can view a selection of images from their day below. For those interested in viewing more from the day please feel free to browse at your leisure…