Jessica and Paige

A Recipe for Children’s Photography Success (when it’s pouring down outside!)

  1. Find a suitable room, in this case a conservatory
  2. Set up 4 studio lights with soft boxes in-front of a portable white backdrop
  3. For the techies among you; add a 5DMkii, a couple of Pocket Wizards and an 8 GB CF card
  4. Mix in a few cuddly toys, some coloured plastic balls, a jingly-jangly jester, and a very popular bubble machine
  5. Finally, add the two cutest toddlers (well, ok …. one toddler and one not quite crawling)

AND ….. Hey Presto!!

……. You’ve got a fantastic set of photos for the whole family to drool over!!!

Now I’ll let the images do the talking ……………………

Cousins - Jessica (2 yrs ,2 months) & Paige (8 months)

A few of Paige on her own ……………….

I hope you agree that Paige is a natural!  Jessica is too – she’s had plenty of practice in-front of the camera.

Me and our daughter Jessica - Photo taken by Gary

Her first pair of shades - cool!

A tip for new parents - bubbles are just THE BEST entertainment!

Lara and Martin – Wedding at Charlecote Pheasant Hotel

When I first met Lara and Martin I knew that I’d be the right person for their photography and I was so pleased that they chose me to share in their special day. They are such fun, lovely people ….. and a photographer’s dream because they are both very photogenic too!

It’s taken me a couple of weeks to edit the hundreds of images that we took on the wedding day. There were two of us there all day (I took the lead and my husband and business partner, Gary, did the offset informal reportage shots) and between us we filled all of our CF cards. Lara looked so beautiful in her stunning white dress that I was spoilt for choice when it came to editing the images.

Lara and Martin have been given a password to access the full gallery of their prepared images (over 500 images) on my main website but for those who simply want a good taster, here goes:

I try to capture every detail that makes the day so special. My feeling is that if the bride and groom have gone to the trouble of designing a ‘look or theme for their wedding day’ or perhaps choosing an item of detail such as a hair clip or perfume bottle then it’s my job to capture the memory for them:

Lara had a fantastic eye for details that made the day

I’m fully aware that the day is special for other members of the family and so Gary often concentrates of close-ups of guests and those with a special role to play. I love this image!

Lara wasn't the only star of the day!

I don’t always get the opportunity to take photographs at the bride’s home when she’s getting ready but on this day Lara was so well organised that we managed to steal a good few minutes to get some family photos and some of the brides maids too.

It was nice to start at home ... without Martin!

Some photographers forget that the bride and groom have often chosen the venue very carefully and it will forever remain a special place in their hearts. I always make sure I get some shots of the venue on the day. You’ll see that we were lucky with the weather, despite threats of rain later on.

The Main Venue - Charlecote Pheasant Hotel near to Stratford Upon Avon

It is standard for me to make sure I’m at the service venue well in advance of the bride arriving so that I can capture the groom, best man and ushers. Here, Matin looks great … and to be fair he didn’t seem too nervous … well hidden perhaps?

First Images of Martin and his men before Lara arrived

At some weddings the best man and ushers seem only to be there to make up the numbers. These guys did Martin and Lara proud. They were among the most pleasant and helpful of any ushers and best men that I’ve come across. Well done guys!

What a great bunch of guys!

It’s always nice when there’s a slight twist to one or more aspects of the day. I understand that VW camper vans hold a particular significance to Lara and Martin’s life together and so this was a fitting addition to the day. A wonderful touch to make it a little more interesting….

Wedding 'Car' with a difference

I always make sure that one or both of us is there at the arrival of the bride. This is something that the groom can only imagine as he’s nervously waiting inside and wondering where she is and with great anticipation, what she looks like……

A very proud dad! ... and so he should be!

It’s normal for me to locate myself somewhere near to the front of the ceremony venue so that I’m in a good position for the exchange of the rings and ‘the kiss’ etc. The advantage of having Gary as a second photographer, of course, is that I know that if I miss anything at the back of the room he’ll capture it….. and he’ll be ready for when they come out as newly-wedded, Mr and Mrs!

Martin's first glimpse of Lara ... Wow!

Rules vary from authority to authority. Some are more relaxed than others. In Stratford you can usually only take photographs during the ceremony at certain points, the exchange of the rings being one of them. Some photographers abuse the rules. We go out of our way to follow the rules but we think that if you’re ready and prepared you can still get shots that capture the day perfectly…….

Exchange of the Rings

Some people wonder why we sometimes use lenses that are about a foot long! Here’s your answer … there were a lot of guests extending quite a way back into the room and it was relatively dark for photography but it didn’t stop Gary from being in the right place at the right time at the back of the room for this important moment.

'The Kiss'

Just married, and this is the point that the registrars will allow the official photographers to step forward for a few moments … so we make the best of it.

Signing of the Register

You’ll see that I use a mixture of black and white and full colour images. Another effect that I selectively create for some shots is what I call ‘Colour Popping’. This is where I turn a full-colour image to black and white and then ‘paint back in’ certain coloured objects to highlight them. I think it works well. Most couples love one or two different images in their album like this. Lets see if Lara and Martin like it.

Colour Popping - takes me ages but the effect is often worth it!

Charlecote Pheasant hotel has some nice gardens at the back and the main lawn is large enough to cater for relatively large groups of guests. I always take formal shots of groups as requested by the bride and groom but I usually start with a large full group so that guests can then mingle and get refreshments while the rest of the photography is taking place.

Full Group Shot

Sometimes guests choose to occupy themselves and I guess, on this occasion, that the adults couldn’t resist the allure of the children’s playground ….. I’m not sure how strong that bridge is though!

Playground - I didn't plan this shot!

We have a rule at our weddings to keep it simple. we ask the guests to ignore the second camera and look only at mine. Here, you can see how the second camera, slightly offset at an angle, captures the same shot as mine but with a slightly less formal undertone ……

Proud Parents

Lara chose bright red dresses for her brides maids. It worked really well. They looked lovely.

Lara, Martin and lovely Bridesmaids

Most of the 'dressed-up' people!

We managed to get a large number of group shots done within about 20 minutes and had enough time to take Lara and Martin away for about 10 minutes to do photographs on their own. This is always nice for the bride and groom and the photographers. It’s a little less intensive with no guests to organise and allows time for a little more creativity without being watched.

Time alone .... well nearly!

Lara and Martin were both very photogenic

He's all mine!

Back to the Camper Van. Lara was keen to take the camper van for a quick spin (she wasn’t driving!) and get a few more photos.

A short Road Trip before the Meal

A walk along the river bank at Stratford Upon Avon

Luckily it wasn’t too sunny for this next shot. A white dress against a white van on a bright day can be quite awkward for a photographer. This works really well though….

What a fabulous looking couple …. no, they aren’t hired models …. but they could easily be!

A few minutes alone before returning to the hotel

I’m sure that not all VW camper vans come with bubbly … this one did!

At most weddings when it comes to the cutting of the cake it can be awkward to get the shot because the guests also want to do their own photos. When possible, we do a mock cake cutting shot ……

Back inside and cake-cutting duty calls (mock)

We always do our best to capture the special little moments that the bride and groom might miss. A rock star was born, some time between the reception meal and the start of the evening entertainment!

A quiet time for the guests?

The evening entertainment was excellent. The band was ‘live’ and the guests were really up for a good time …. led by a very impressive and confident first dance by Lara and Martin …….

The first dance

Sometimes the best shots are from above…..

Another example of a ‘colour popped’ image ………

You can't beat a live band to get the party going

…. And Finally …….

Surely this isn't Martin on his knees in-front of his new wife already?

Want to see more?

This is just my blog site. My main website is

The full gallery of images from the wedding is available there but you will need a password to access them all. Only Lara and Martin have the password so they can choose who can view the images.

All images on the site are available to buy directly from the website itself or by emailing me directly or placing the order over the phone.

We thoroughly enjoyed Lara and Martin’s wedding day. They are a fab couple and we wish them health and happiness for the future ….and I can’t wait to start designing their digital album once they’ve chosen their favourite images.

Even if you are just looking for interest, I hope you enjoy the photographs and some of my commentary, and PLEASE remember to recommend us if you know of anyone who needs a wedding or family photograper in the future.

I can be contacted on 07739096632.


A Wedding by the Beach – In the Midlands!

From time to time I get requests to work along-side other photographers. I’m quite ‘picky’ about who I work with because I like working with people for whom I’ve got respect for their skills and overall approach. One Coventry Photographer and Videographer who I often work with is Stuart Kettell who owns Kettell Video Productions in Coventry. Sometimes, when he is asked to do videos he asks me to do the photography for him, and sometimes we both do the photography together.

On 5th June I attended Bev and Matt’s wedding at the Heart Of England Events and Conference Centre in Fillongley, Meriden, between Coventry and Solihull. Stuart was the main photographer but I still took loads of photos on the day and Stuart now has many of my specially chosen and manipulated images to present to Bev and Matt as he chooses. Here’s a flavour of the day (all images shown below were taken by me):

St. Thomas' church, Keresley, Coventry

Stuart was leading this wedding but Star jumps (when the grooms’ men are willing…and able) are a nice ice-breaker that we both regularly use at our weddings.

Inside St Thomas' Church, Keresley, Coventry

It’s lovely when the features of a building such as these arch-ways can be used to ‘form a frame’ around the main subjects of the image (the bride and groom). This example shows why it can be beneficial to have two photographers at your wedding (which we do for almost every wedding we take on) since Stuart was concentrating on different photos from a different location while I was able to get these ones.

The Kiss!

Didn’t she look lovely? Matt is a lucky man!

Another example of the second photographer (me, in this case) being able to get a shot that a photographer on their own wouldn’t get because they are almost always near to the front and at the side at this point in the service.

You’ll notice I’ve chosen some black and white images to show you here. When I present images to my wedding clients I always include a nice mixture of black and white conversions, colour-popped images (black and white with some colours highlighted) as well as many full-colour images so that there are plenty to choose from.

I really liked the release of the white doves. Look carefully!!

What a lovely day. I always enjoy the weddings I attend and I strive to capture as much of the emotion and joy as I possibly can.

Heart of England Events and Conference Centre, Fillongley, near Meriden

I’ve now attended a few events at the Heart of England Events and Conference Centre at Fillongley near to Meriden (between Coventry and Solihull) in Warwickshire. It’s a great choice of venue for any wedding reception with great facilities and wonderful grounds. You can find out more about what’s on offer by visiting the Heart of England site click here

Rocks? ..... we don't normally get those in the midlands!

Going for a paddle - but not trashing the dress!

A relaxing break ..... at the beach!!

One of the things I always do at my weddings is to come prepared. Most photographers have a couple of lenses that they know will do most of what they want, and they are happy to take those. I always take extra lenses, including powerful telephoto zoom lenses …… because you never quite know what’s going to happen and how far away you’ll be! When I took the images of Bev and Matt on the water and on the beach I was no-where near to them ….. but I got the shots ….. and hopefully they will serve as a great memory for them in the future.

And Finally…..

Great evening entertainment

Even when I’m attending as a ‘second shooter’ I still show the same level of commitment as when I’m there in the lead role. Gary (my husband) always does the same when he second-shoots for me. We were there for 12 hours that day but it was well worth it and I know that Bev and Matt will have a fantastic selection of images to choose from for their album.

If you’d like more information about my own wedding packages or if you like the idea of talking to me about your wedding and the advantages of having a ‘second shooter’ there (free of charge!) please do contact me on 07739096632 or email me.


Sally and Andy’s Wedding at Honiley Church and The Woodside, Kenilworth

What a day! I loved it ……….despite the mysterious case of the missing bride for an hour in the early evening (just as I was supposed to be doing the bride and groom shots)!

Gary and I took literally hundreds of photos throughout the day. In fact, for the first time ever we actually ran out of space on our compact flash cards (over 40 GB for you techie types!) about an hour after the first dance (which was OK because we were only supposed to stay until the first dance anyway!). Gary got through 5 batteries on his camera (he normally uses about 3) and had to replace his flash batteries twice! I dare’nt say how many batteries I got through. The reason was a good one – we had so many great people to photograph, a lovely couple of locations and a bride and groom (along with Ushers and Best Man in very fetching kilts) who were definitely ‘up for a laugh’ on the day. A great time was had by all and it was a pleasure to be part of it.

Tonight (now early am on Thursday 10th June) I’m uploading the images that I’ve selected to my main website which will open in a new page if you click here:

You will find two entries under the weddings gallery for Sally and Andy and they both have different passwords. One is a pre-wedding photo shoot. The other is the wedding day itself. You will need to get the passwords from Sally and Andy as I don’t publish passwords without my clients’ permission. Hope you understand!

Just the wet your appetite, here’s a few teasers to keep you going for now:

It was a very bright day (mostly) with the light changing quickly. The sky was bright and the location for the marriage ceremony was lovely – Honiley Church in Honiley near to Kenilworth.

Lovely little Honiley Church near Kenilworth

Believe it or not this is only the third wedding I’ve done where the men are wearing kilts. They looked great though and the military medals set their very smart look off a treat. Andy at the front!

The boys! - Careful with the kilts!

OK Girls, you know you were wondering!

Here's the answer to the question you were thinking of asking!

Sally looked beautiful on the day (as we knew she would). I think Andy knows what a lucky man he is!

Mr and Mrs .... Just!

Here’s Sally, a little later in the day with her two brides maids and flower girl:

Sally, her brides maids and lovely flower girl

The reception, evening meal and entertainment was held at the Woodside at Kenilworth. A great choice of location, giving some privacy for the wedding party and a lovely backdrop for my photography.

The Woodside at Kenilworth

After the meal we had the strange case of the missing bride, just as I was supposed to be doing the main bride and groom shots!! As Andy knows, I kept smiling whilst I was panicing inside because we were losing the light. Apparently, Sally had gone to get her hair done and it took a bit longer that expected.

Sally, Andy, Best Man, Brides Maids, Ushers, Page boy, Flower Girl

Together, alone (apart from me and Gary with a lens as big as long as your arm!)… at last

Practicing for the first dance - not really - but Andy wanted to!

The First dance – very well rehearsed and well worth the wait!

Well Caught!

I hope you like the few teaser images above. If you were part of the wedding party or if you want to see more photos from the day you’ll need to view them by going to the correct page on my main website by clicking here: and you must have the password ready. The images on there will be for Andy and Sally to make their choices for their wedding album. All images will also be available for guests and family to buy as prints if they wish.

Update – I’ve been snowed under in the last few weeks!

I’ve had a great time photographing weddings for some lovely couples in the last few weeks. In fact, I’ve photographed 3 weddings in 10 days and designed 2 large albums for previous couples ….. busy, busy, busy!

Anyway, that’s my excuse for not adding much to this blog recently. Oh …. and I’ve also been re-writing some pages on my main website which is in-case you’ve not seen it before. The main website, by the way, is where you can view full image sets from recent weddings and other events if you’ve been given the password by my clients.

I’m just about to add some teaser images to this blog from Sally and Andy’s wedding at Honiley Church and then the reception at the Woodside at Kenilworth, Warwickshire.

I’m in the process of posting the main images to my main website tonight so they’ll be there to view from tomorrow morning. If you were a guest or family member you may already have the password. If not, you will need to ask Sally or Andy to get the password to view their full gallery of images or I’ll perhaps make it public with their permission. As one person has commented, don’t be confused if you unsuccessfully try to use the wedding day password for their pre-wedding photo shoot gallery. The passwords are different!