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Laura & Rich - Hampton Court House

Laura & Rich were married at St Nicholas Church in Shepperton over the Jubilee long weekend. Their reception was held at Hampton Court House, a venue I’ve shot at a number of times over the years and it was great to photograph there again. I also had the pleasure of working with Toastmaster Jay Tough (what a name!) for the first time since 2009. Jay is a genuinely first rate toastmaster and a terrific bloke also.

It’s always interesting shooting at a venue that you know well. The aim is to try and use the familiarity to your advantage while not simply shooting angles you’ve used before. At the same time, there are sometimes bizarrely similar moments in similar places. One such moment occurred this time around as a group of little ones congregated beneath the same tree, without direction, at a similar time of day, in very similar light, turned and looked right at me. It’s not an exact replica of an earlier photograph, but it’s oddly familiar. Take a look:

2012 - Laura & Rich’s Wedding

2011 - Emma & Justin’s Wedding

Sometimes that’s the way of things and it highlights to me the importance, as a wedding photojournalist, of knowing the venues and the plan. Some locations are simply great photographs waiting to happen. The setting is there, the light, the composition, just awaiting a moment. I often talk about how great photojournalism is more than merely turning up with a camera and looking at what’s in front of you. Undoubtedly that is its essence, but I’m a big believer in the power of anticipation. Anticipation works on a number of levels, from minute to minute, second to second and over more lengthy periods of time. In one scenario it may simply be a case of pre-positioning yourself on the other side of the door a bride’s about to walk through, but on a longer timescale it’s possible to visit a wedding venue two weeks before the day itself and conduct a recce that pays dividends in the heat of the moment. Where will the sun be when? Which door is used for what? etc etc. Anticipation can be an investment as well as an instantaneous payoff.

Laura and Rich were a pleasure to work with and in particular they had some really cute kids at their wedding who made for fantastic subjects. My thanks to them all for having me.

As ever, here’s a selection from the day. If you have any thoughts, pop them in the comments below.


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Comments

Emma & Justin - Hampton Court House

Emma & Justin were married at Teddington Parish Church prior to their wedding reception at Hampton Court House. They’ve been one of my favourite couples this year, great fun, incredibly lovely people and both members of the warmest, most welcoming families I’ve met for a long time.

Justin is American and a Michelin-starred chef. Despite the haut-cusine, Emma has my sympathy. If organising a wedding isn’t stressful enough, an American fiancé entails the need for the mind-bogglingly complex and highly stringent “Marriage Entry Clearance” - the requirements are simply astounding. Given these dual stresses, Justin must have been terrified of the ire of his future wife when he decided to fall of his motorbike a few months prior to the wedding! All joking aside, it was great to see Justin whole and healthy come the wedding day. It must have been an extremely anxious time for all involved so well done to Justin for doing his bit and making a good recovery!

This was the second time I’d shot at Hampton Court House and it really is a wonderful venue. Let me list some of the reasons I love it so much:

- It has a huge garden that includes two amazing ‘grottos’ and more wild bunnies than Watership Down. The place is overrun (in a good way) and they’re all incredibly bold.

- The interior is superb. The main hall complete with minstrel gallery, a huge red dining room and a conservatory/orangery that is probably my favourite place to shoot dancing anywhere.

- It sits alongside Bushy Park which, as you will see, has it’s own particular benefits!

The day was a huge success and the weather kind once again. Every wedding day is different from the last and although photojournalism is my bread and butter, in the evening, I like to sneak off with bride and groom for 20 or 30 mins and shoot some portraits. I always have my own personal favourite elements from the day and photographing Emma & Justin in Bushy Park’s evening light with an honour guard of red deer made for a particular highlight!

Emma & Justin’s wonderful flowers were done by Steph Turpin of Fairy Nuff Flowers. Steph is one of my twitter amigos and, if you are social media inclined, she is well worth a follow. Her username is @fairynuffflower.

As always these are a selection of my favourites, thanks to Justin & Emma, the UK Border Agency and the red deer!


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