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Wedding speeches


“Thank you so much for Friday, you made us feel really at ease……….we love the photos, thank you so much. There are some brilliant shots……” -Emma and Nick


I love photographing weddings at Longstowe Hall, I’ve been there many times before and it really does feel like photographing very much on my home ground to use a bit of a football analogy! However despite my frequency and familiarity I hadn’t photographed a ceremony “on the water” outside there so Emma and Nick’s wedding was a welcome first!

Despite the fantastic surroundings I was naturally drawn to photographing the interactions and people on the day and spent a lot of the day looking for those moments which really capture the essence and tell a bit of the story. The picture above does just that and is one of my favourites – I always try to look for moments of connection between the bride and groom during the groom’s speech and this is exactly what I got here. I really like Emma’s expression and actually that is almost strong enough to carry the image on it’s own I think. What I really like is the background where you have a bit of a commentary on what’s going on with Emma’s mum and bridesmaid wiping a tear from their eyes! I would like to say that I deliberately included the man wiping his eyes/face in the background as well but I have to be honest and say that was purely a fluke!!


I also really like the sunset picture near the bottom which is the only one that was set up – I think I would have preferred a bit more of a natural pose but I absolutely love the colours and so it just had to go into my list of favourites!


A few of my other favourites are below…..


If you are planning a wedding at Longstowe Hall or any other lovely venue with or without an amazing lake and garden…..I would love to hear from you so please get in touch!


Reflection of bride getting readyGroom at Longstowe Hll CambridgeWedding greetings at Longstowe HallWedding guestsBride and bridesmaidsWedding hugsWedding guests - Longstowe Hall CambridgeBride and groom - Longstowe HallWedding hugsGuests on the lawn at Longstowe HallWedding guest group shotWedding guestsWedding reception at Longstowe Hall CambridgeSpeeches - Longstowe Hall weddingGuests in the marquee - Longstowe HallThe lake at Longstowe HallFirst danceWedding dancing

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    Reflection of bride having her make up applied


    It seems to me (although it would do because I’m a photographer!) that most couples prioritise photography and then possibly think about having a videographer afterwards or later in the planning process. I guess that if I was a videographer I might have a different view as I’m sure that there are couples that will prioritise videography and then maybe choose a photographer but I do get asked a lot as to whether I think it’s a good idea to have a videographer or not in addition to myself at the wedding so, in an attempt to crystallize my thinking onto the written page as it were – here goes!!


    Firstly, I think it’s important to imagine how you would like to remember your day.

    Watching a video is a very different experience to picking up a photograph album for example. With an album you can dip in and out, spend a moment with it and then go away however, with a video you essentially have to sit down and watch it, possibly from beginning to end as it’s not really the sort of thing that you might dip in and out of.

    This has advantages in that watching a video becomes much more of an “occasion” and maybe a more emotionally absorbing experience but you might, eventually, use a video less than a set of still photographs – particularly if they are readily accessible in printed form. There is also something about the tactility and immediacy of a printed image, a timeless quality that will stand repeated usage.


    Secondly, how many times might you watch it??

    Now I can only talk from personal experience here but I’m not a great one for watching films over and over, basically because I know what happens and the experience is less absorbing each time I watch ( I think although there are some films that become more emotionally involving with familiarity though) so it might be that having a wedding video doesn’t stand repeated viewings in the same way that photography can. I have a bit of a theory on this which is that a video feeds you the story and is, to a certain extent, a literal representation of what happened on the day. A good photograph should act as an aid memoir……it can evoke emotion, you have to use your imagination and fill in the story around the image, for me at least a photograph is a creative spark whereas a film is like being spoonfed.


    Thinking back to looking at my parent’s wedding album as a child I would pore over the pictures, imagine the atmosphere and spin stories in my head about what happened just before and after the image was taken. When it transpired that they had an old Super 8 film of some of the day it actually shattered the whole romance and illusion of the day for me. A slightly extreme example perhaps but that’s how it was for me – food for thought……….

    This is starting to sound really anti video and that really isn’t my intention!


    wedding speeches at Longstowe Hall Cambridge


    I have seen some completely awesome wedding videos that have been created with sensitivity, loving care and complete skill and craftsmanship. The sort of films where skilful use of images, music and recordings from the day are put together with such brilliance that I have had a tear in my eye and it hasn’t even been my wedding!


    Surely something like this is the perfect compliment to stills photography – you have the best of both worlds.


    To a certain extent why should a fantastic wedding video not replace the stills photography? Do you really need both? It might be a good idea to invest the amount of money that you would have spent on both videographer and photographer in being able to afford just one awesome videographer, or just one awesome photographer?


    So, I think I’m saying it depends on you and how you feel about the end result and how you think you might want to re experience your big day. But one thing that I am categorically clear on though is that it is ALWAYS a bad idea to hire a cheap videographer.


    If you don’t have the budget just get a friend to do it (this is very common). You will probably get something fairly basic but it won’t cost you anything. I can tell you that there are few things at a wedding that are worse than a bad videographer. They can be intrusive and always in the way, they can make my life much more difficult than it need be and, if you have ever seen a bad wedding video, you will realise that the hassle just isn’t worth it.


    Conversely having a good videographer can be fantastic, we will often liase closely and work as a team to cover as much of the day as possible and the results should complement each other brilliantly. I also really enjoy working with someone else on the day and a good videographer will realise that we are on the same side and not in competition at all!


    If you are in a bit of a videographer dilemma I hope that has been helpful and given you a few things to think about. I’m very happy to recommend a fantastic videographer, just get in touch and I will do that. If you are looking for a great stills photographer who is videographer friendly then drop me a line!


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      Childerley Hall wedding ceremony


      “The photos are absolutely wonderful. Exactly what we were looking for. So many lovely ones of us and our families, and you caught some real corkers of our friends. There are so many little gems within them which have had both of us grinning from ear to ear.” – Ollie and Nancy


      Childerley Hall is a bit special. It’s very close to Cambridge but in the middle of lovely countryside down the longest and smallest road you can imagine, it has the longest and biggest barn you have ever seen, a chapel in the grounds, beautiful lake, amazing terraced gardens, orchards, a swimming pool, swans etc etc etc etc! Basically it’s an amazing venue and full of photographic potential at every turn.


      My day began with photographing Nancy getting ready in the disused chapel before heading off to the barn to photograph the ceremony. The barn really does have the wierdest lighting and is completely rustic – I love the exposed timbers and sense of craftsmanship in old buildings like this and Childerley’s barn is one of the best in this respect – it has a lovely sense of welcoming rustic warmth to it. One of my favourite shots is the one above from the back of the barn where you see the congregation’s heads and the light seeping through the barn walls with Ollie and Nancy illuminated at the front.


      One of the highlights of the day for me was seeing literally hundreds of photographs of Ollie and Nancy displayed in the barn – all the pictures were simply strung up 6×4 prints and gave a fantastic sense of the couples individual and joint history. Its’ great to see two lives develop in pictures and then how they gradually come together and intermingle. For me that’s the real power of photography in it’s ability to tell stories, evoke memories and to become part of the fabric of a family.


      After the drinks reception in the gardens we headed back into the other end of the barn for the wedding breakfast followed by what else but a Cadillac! A few of my favourite images from the day are below.



      If you are planning a wedding at Childerley then get in touch – I would love to hear from you!


      Wedding morning - Childerley Hall CambridgeWedding preps - Childerley HallGetting ready for a wedding at the chapel in Childerley HallGetting ready for a weddingChilderley Hall barn - CambridgeWedding guest in the barnWaiting for a wedding ceremonyWedding order of serviceGretting guests at a wedding at Childerley Hall cambridgeBride waiting for her wedding in the chapel at Childerley Hall CambridgeWedding bouquetArriving for a wedding, Childerley Hall gardensWedding ceremony - Childerley Hall barnChilderley Hall weddingBride and groomWedding bouquetsBride and groom by the lake at Childerley Hall cambridgeBride and groomWedding guests - Childerley HallBride and veilGuests on the lawn at Childerley hallWedding guests laughingWedding photogrpahs - Childerley hallSpeeches at a wedding in Childerley barnBride and groomBride and groom laughing at speechesWedding dancing

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