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.