Jon & Emilie

Jon and Emilie are colleagues of my wife and good friends of ours. Their beautiful wedding took place near Paris in the gorgeous town of Triel-sur-Seine.

The weather was beautiful and the people so warm and friendly (even though I’ve forgotten pretty much all the French I learned in school!) The reception itself took place in an amazing old distillery in the countryside. The French countryside in August? Yes please!

All the best to the happy couple!

Neil & Hannah

On the 21st of August I had photographed the wedding of Neil & Hannah as a second shooter, in the amazing location of Castle Headingham in Essex, it's not every day you get to shoot in a genuine Norman keep! Congratulations to the happy couple! 

Jenni and Chris

A few weeks ago I got to shoot a wedding for an out-of-this-world couple, literally! The groom is a psychologist and the bride is an actual, honest-to-goodness astronaut! It's really going to take a lot to top that in terms of "coolest occupation of someone I've photographed".

Here are a few of my favourites from the ceremony: 

Review of Saal Digital Wall Decor

I was recently asked by Saal Digital if I would be willing to review another product for them, of course I jumped at the chance. This time the product came from the wall decor range, which is quite expansive, as can be seen below.

After a great deal of deliberation I went with the "artist canvas" option, uploading one of my recent engagement pictures as the tester. Saal are no slouches, shortly (2 days or so) after ordering the canvas I got a notification that it was already on its way, wow!

The canvas arrived quickly, nicely packaged in a sturdy box. Everything about this canvas screams 'quality'. The frame is constructed in a light but very sturdy feeling wood, flimsy it ain't.
The canvas itself has a wrap-around, so the edges of the photo go around the frame. It's not ultra-deep, but it will crop your image slightly, there are some very useful guides on the software to make sure you bear this in mind when you order. Also included in the ordering software is a very useful set of ICC profiles for professional colour management, allowing a great deal of precision when it comes to colour balancing.
Image quality is excellent even on such a large canvas, details are well preserved and look fantastic even on close inspection. I'm very pleased with the whole package, this is an excellent quality, durable canvas for wall-display.  These canvases will make a great addition to the range of print products I offer my clients and will look stunning for wedding memories.

Kudos to Saal for knocking it out of the park once again, I'm glad that they asked me to review this beautiful canvas, if you're a photographer looking for quality printed art-pieces, look no further!

Twinelle and Jamie

A few weeks ago I had a great time shooting with Twinelle and Jamie in the very picturesque Crown Lakes country park. I'm very pleased with how these photos came out! Engagement sessions are a lot of fun, it's really rewarding to capture those pre-wedding feelings for posterity.

Milton Country Park Shoot

I love making beautiful family photography for my amazing clients, it's a real pleasure and privilege to immortalise such fantastic moments in artworks for them to enjoy & cherish. I recently had a great time shooting in the beautiful Milton Country Park, scoping out locations for my new Mini-Sessions. Here are a few of my favourites from the session:


Posing is difficult. There's really no way around that, it is what it is. Models earn their fortunes not simply through being good looking people, but with a well-practised and hard earned ability to hit visually interesting & dynamic poses on demand.

Now, I don't want you to go read this thinking that you'll go away and, through the power of this blogpost alone, become Cara Delevingne or Naomi Campbell. That lofty goal may be a little out of reach. Hopefully though I'll be able to share with you some useful tips to help you get the most out of being in front of the camera - and feel confident doing it.

Loosen Up!

Posing is a physical activity and you'll find it easier if you're nice and warmed up. This obviously depends quite a lot on where the photos are being taken and to what purpose. It'll look a bit strange if you're doing stretches in your wedding dress. Avoiding stiffness is all we're after here, you don't need to do the splits.

You don't need to go this far.

You don't need to go this far.

Keep Your Limbs Separate From Your Body

It's a weird-sounding heading, but it'll make sense in a moment. I'm not talking about dismemberment, but rather keeping your arms and legs from butting up against each other (or your body in general). An example: Bring your arm in tight against your torso and watch what that does to the flesh of your arm. It flattens and spreads around, making your arm look chunkier than it actually is. By making sure that you keep even a small level of separation between limb and body, they'll look more natural and true-to-life.

Likewise, keeping a space between your elbows and your waist will accentuate the general natural curve of your waist, rather than rendering your body a flat rectangle.

Forehead Tricks For Your Neck

No, really.
Look at yourself in a mirror, straight on, head level. Take a look at your neck and jawline in particular. When people stand straight on in a neutral position the front of their neck can become compressed, resulting in double chins/sagginess or other general looseness. Unless you have a lush beard to hide your chin behind, one way to combat this is by pushing your forehead towards the camera ever so slightly, this stretches the skin across your jawline and makes it very clean and good-looking. Don't overdo this one though, or you'll end up looking a bit like Quasimodo.  

Bowie knows.

Bowie knows.

Ballet Hands

You don't want your hands to look like a seal's flippers, do you? Avoid having them splayed flat against your body. If possible, have the sides of your hands facing the camera to dial-down the seal effect. Among models, one of the most popular ways of achieving this is through 'ballet hands', i.e, emulating the hand position of a ballerina. Adjust your hand position so that your middle finger is on a lower position than your index finger, stay loose and flowing and voila! There are your ballerina hands!
This could reasonably look a bit weird and unnatural as well though, so don't overdo it if you're just doing simple posing.


Put Your Best Foot Forward

Simply, don't stand face-on to the camera like a soldier standing to attention. By standing 45 degrees to the camera your waist will look much more streamlined. If you research pictures of celebrities on the red carpet you'll notice one thing most of them have in common: none of them face their bodies directly into the camera. They put one foot in front of the other, body forty-five degrees into the camera, hand on the hip to pop the waist. They know what works.

Try out some of these tips next time you're in front of the camera and hopefully you'll look better and feel more confident!

Nikita and Andrew

Even though the weather wasn't the best, I had a lovely shoot with Nikita and Andrew this week at Grafham Water. I love doing engagement shoots like these, you can really see the strength of the connection that the couple shares. I'm very fortunate that I get to work in such a great field with such great people, it really is my dream.

Here are some tips for getting the most out of your engagement shoot:

1.) Be yourselves

If you're typically quite awkward in front of the camera, that's ok, your photographer knows how to bring out your best side, so don't fret. It usually takes awhile to get warmed up and in the swing of things, so give yourself time to get used to being photographed and loosen up! Most importantly, don't stress!

2.) Be prepared

Photos take planning, so make sure you know what sort of thing you want and communicate that clearly to your photographer. We're all an experienced bunch, so don't worry if you're not sure - your photographer can always come up with suggestions if you don't know what to do next.
The best locations are rarely right next to a car park, so be ready to do a bit of walking to get to the right spot. Bring a bag with some water and some snacks (you can leave this out of shot when it's picture time, don't worry) to keep you going if it's hot or you get hungry.

3.) Location

Picking a good location can be difficult. If you have a favourite place that means something to you as a couple, that's always a good place to start. Otherwise, country parks, reservoirs, beaches, even fields all work very well.

4.) Outfits.

There's no need to be super-formal for an engagement session (it's not your wedding, no need for a wedding dress and tuxedo!). Stay comfortable and dress appropriately for the weather. If you make sure to dress with complimentary colours, the photos will definitely look cohesive and form a pleasing whole..

The most important thing is that you feel comfortable in your outfits, this shows up in the photos and can accentuate your style and personality. It also helps to not carry anything around that might distract you, so leaving bags and other things you don't need in the car is a good idea. 
I don't recommend wearing black for photos, colours that complement each other and clothes in common shades look best for couples, while loud print patterns or big logos can be distracting.

Wedding Photography - Purchase or Investment?

I know people often wonder how Wedding Photographers work, what goes into creating the perfect wedding coverage, and what goes on behind-the-scenes.  
I found this interesting infographic while trawling the web the other day, that might be interesting to anyone with an interest in wedding photography.

Exposure Compensation

One of the most important settings on your camera is one you may not even know you had. Unless you're shooting in full manual all the time (check you out Mr Fancy-Pants!) you have probably had shots ruined that would have been great, if only you had known about Exposure Compensation.

Let's start with your camera, It's your loyal servant, your faithful friend. Unfortunately in spite of all the electronics inside, your beloved camera is very stupid. It's not really your poor camera's fault though, it's just doing what it was designed to do by the smart men in white coats over at Nikon/Canon/Fuji etc HQ.

I don't have a photo of a dog in the snow, but a cat on a light sheet is the same in principle

I don't have a photo of a dog in the snow, but a cat on a light sheet is the same in principle

You see, if you strip away all the bells and whistles, your camera is basically just a light meter in a sealed box. Light meters are great, photography wouldn't be anywhere without them, the problem is that (without wanting to anthropomorphise them too much) they get confused and panic very easily.
Let's say for example that you're playing in the snow with your dog, who is a dark-ish brown colour. To your eye the scene looks great so you pull out your camera and take a photo to show your parents on Facebook later, you get home and, damnit! The snow is an awful grey colour and the dog might as well be a black blob in the middle, you can't even tell what colour he is, it's just awful.
Here's what happened in that split second: Your camera's light meter analysed the scene and noticed that the snow was very bright and tried to compensate by lowering the exposure in response, rendering the snow as an average value instead of a bright one. This bumping of the overall exposure meant that everything else in frame gots darker too, so not only is the snow that horrible grey, your dog is practically in silhouette.
Don't blame the camera, in addition to being an inanimate object it is also not psychic, it didn't know what you intended and just went along with what it would normally do. You have a tool to directly tell the camera what you intend without having to go into full manual mode and get lost in twiddling dials.

As long as your camera is sufficiently advanced enough you should have either a button or dial with this symbol on it:

This is the Exposure Compensation symbol, a square divided in half diagonally, one half black with a white plus and the other black with a white plus. Press the button and turn the related control dial and you are able to communicate exactly what adjustments you want the camera to make when it does its calculations. As an aside, if you're shooting your camera's own RAW file you can easily tweak this later in Adobe Camera Raw or Lightroom (within reasonable limits, usually +/- 3eV at the cost of some increased noise in the shadows).

Rerun the snowy scenario with this in mind: You notice that the snow on the ground is reflecting a lot of light so you tweak your exposure compensation up by one whole stop (+1eV), communicating to the camera that yes; it's a bright scene, please don't panic; and yes you would like the photo to look bright too. You take the photo. Bingo! The white snow is a nice bright shade and Fido looks the same colour as when you see him, and his coat is full of detail. A photo worthy of gracing your Facebook!

This works the other way as well. If you're trying to take a photo of something dark, or at night, your camera will panic and try and brighten everything. Lights in the photo turn into glaring white blobs while everything else is usually noisy or blurred because your camera just can't shoot with a high enough shutter speed to beat the camera wobble in the dark. It's trying to exposure your night scene as though it were daytime, absent a tripod, it's not going to succeed.

I dialled in about -1 2/3eV here in order to keep the scene relatively balanced. As you can see, the shop windows are still very bright, but the texture on the paving is retained.

I dialled in about -1 2/3eV here in order to keep the scene relatively balanced. As you can see, the shop windows are still very bright, but the texture on the paving is retained.

Relax. Just adjust your exposure compensation downward. The photo will be darker as a result (it's night-time, it's dark, that's ok) but at least your camera isn't straining to do the impossible.
Of course, you could turn the flash on but that brings its own host of issues (more on that in another blog post).
This isn't just for the night-time though, anything dark will have the same effect on your camera. Try and take a photo of a black jumper or a PS4 and you'll run into the same problem, dial that compensation down.


What To Look For In A Photographer – Wedding Edition

Weddings are awesome, fun-filled events where you can proclaim your love to the whole world, surrounded by those you love the most. Wedding planning, however, is synonymous with stress. When you're planning one of the biggest days of your life it can be very easy to become overwhelmed by all the vendors competing for your time and custom. 

There are many different types of wedding vendors but because I am a wedding photographer, I'm going to talk about photographers specifically. What should you look for when you want to hire a photographer? What are the pitfalls that await the unsuspecting bride and groom? Read on, and I'll go through five questions you should ask yourself, and of any potential photographer, before you put your money down.

Do I like their style?

If you don't like the style of photographs that a particular photographer produces, it's a bad idea to hire them. This is probably obvious, but it bears repeating. If you don't like their style, you won't be happy with hiring a particular photographer. 

  • How do they use colour, are the photos vibrant or more restrained?
  • Are they very modern or does their style have more of a retro feel to it?
  • Do they use a lot of shallow depth of field/blurry backgrounds, and do I like that?

What type of photographer are they?

There are plenty of different types of wedding photographer, but two broad methods among them. Pay close attention when you talk to a wedding photographer or visit their website to their use of terms. Reportage refers specifically to a more journalistic style (hence reportage - reporter) with a focus on candid photos of people enjoying themselves with the photographer generally trying to stay out of the way as much as possible. Traditional wedding photography is generally more nebulous, but generally has emphasis on posed portraiture.

Lots of photographers (myself included) do a mixture of these, but there are some photographers who will only really do one or the other, so be careful when you book. If you want fabulous bridal portraits you may be disappointed if you hired a reportage photographer. Likewise, if you want special candid moments you might not want to choose a more traditional photographer. 

What type of person are they?

This is one you might miss, but it can have an impact. If you're a very energetic group then a photographer who is quite low-key and reserved might struggle to provide what you're looking for. On the other hand, if your group is quite restrained and conservative, a photographer who's the human equivalent of a bouncy ball might grate on you.
This one is only particularly useful if you met the photographer at a wedding fair; it's hard to tell someone's personality solely through text on a website, so bear that in mind.

Are they equipped for what I'm asking of them?

Wedding photography is a tough field to work in, and while I'm definitely not interested in being a gear prescriptivist, there are a few things you should look out for. Their main work camera ought to be a DSLR or a Mirrorless camera with interchangeable lenses. There are of course other cameras that fall outside of this particular rule (Fuji X100's, for example). 
They should realistically have two DSLRs, or a DSLR and a mirrorless/high end compact as a back-up. If their camera goes kaput during your wedding if they don't have something to fall back on, you'll get no pictures and be rather peeved. It doesn't happen often, but why take that chance?
If you want portraits with off-camera lighting you should ask them whether they're capable of providing that before it comes to the big day.

They probably won't be as equipped as this cosmonaut!

They probably won't be as equipped as this cosmonaut!

How are they going to provide me with my pictures?

This varies quite a bit from photographer to photographer. Some photographers are perfectly happy to hand over printable digital files on a USB stick or DVD as part of their package (this is what I do), whilst others might hold back their digital files as an added extra. If you get digital files of your wedding coverage and intend to print them, ask the photographer if they will be in a hi-res 300dpi format. If they aren't you will struggle to print them any larger than a beermat.

Likewise, if you intend to print them you should ensure that your photographer will provide you with a print license. You might think that you can just pop down to Boots and get photos printed however you like, but with wedding photos the staff will sometimes ask you to provide proof that you're legally entitled to print the pictures you want. This is because by copyright law, photographers retain all rights to the images they make, even when working for a client. 

Other photographers will prefer to give you a printed product after your wedding, an album for example (I do this as well!), with additional prints/canvases/wall art available to buy direct from the photographer. This has its pros in that photographers who are willing to sell you prints after will often charge less to cover a wedding in the first place, and the quality will be higher as we have access to professional print labs and suppliers. The cons of this model is that photographers will expect you to buy something and therefore be very keen in selling to you.

Some photographers will not provide digital files at all, some photographers will only provide digital files, make sure you know which one you want before you commit to a deposit.

Those are my five questions couples need to ask themselves when it comes to booking a photographer for their wedding. I hope they prove useful to you when it comes to making this difficult decision, and makes planning your wedding just a little bit easier.

If you have any questions for me,  please don't hesitate to drop me a line at or call 07413 008100

2016 In Review

2016 has been a year full of all kinds of new and wonderful experiences. I've met so many wonderful people and had such a great time doing it, it all reminds me why I love this job! Below are some of my favourite photographs from this year, selected from weddings, side-projects, and miscellaneous personal work. 

Here's to 2017, I hope it brings you peace and plenty.


Set Photography - Depravity

This past week I had the great opportunity to try my hand at something I've always been interested in, set photography on a film. One of my photographic heroes is Helen Sloan, who takes such incredible photos on the Game of Thrones set every year. Getting a chance to try out the way in which she works was too great an opportunity to pass up!

It's hard to describe how much fun it is to be a part of something like a film crew, a concerted group effort of very bright and talented people striving together for the sake of art alone. The film is expected to be ready at the end of January and I can't wait to see it!

On the set I took a combination of behind the scenes candid photos of the crew, and some character portraits of the cast, here are some of them:


All in all, I had a great time on the set, even with the long hours and general exhaustion that follows. I'd love to work with these great people again in the future.