Capturing emotions

One of the many enjoyable things about photographing weddings is the opportunity to capture a wide range of emotions over the course of the day. Every wedding day has its share of tears and laughter (and every other emotion in between).

I make it my business to try to record them all, as, unlike the obvious things such as the dress, flowers and cake, these fleeting emotional highs and lows are so quickly forgotten, lost in the blur of the day, and these are the memories my clients tell me they value above all others.

A recent wedding I photographed at Nonsuch Mansion in Surrey serves as a case in point.  I've picked out a selection of 42 pictures of the bride, taken over an eight hour period, but what a huge range of moods on display.

Everything starts calmly as the bride and bridesmaids begin their preparations, bathed in sunshine and three hours to get ready.

Texts from frineds and last minute preparations ratchet up the tension a little

During the hair and makeup phase there is usually a bit of time for reflection.

As the dress goes on there is palpable tension in the room, tempered with excitement, and gasps of delight as the dress is finally revealed

Dad's arm, and the sight of family and friends smiling and waving help to dispel any lingering tension.

Once the ceremony is over, the laughter begins, as everyone rushes to congratulate the happy couple

But there are tears too, in response to a friend's surprise musical tribute.

During the 'happy couple' shoot, away from the hubbub of the reception, the bride and groom can briefly relax together in private and share the moment as newlyweds.

The speeches are a priceless time for a photographer, with tears and laughter in abundance, but it is the bridegroom's words to his new wife that usually produce the most golden moments.

Children's portraits in W. Sussex

The last truly wet day of summer laid waste to any plans we may have had to run round the extensive gardens of this W. Sussex house, but fortunately we were blessed with huge rooms and moody window light. The five children were on typically boisterous form when all photographed together, but individually they were perfectly calm and very engaging company.

A thoroughly enjoyable morning spent exploring the house looking for attractive light and appealing backgrounds

All shot using natural light on Canon 5D Mark II with 24-70mm f/2.8, 70-200mm f/2.8 and my favourite 85mm f/1.2


Following last month's cocktail experiment, I was commissioned by the Evening Standard to photograph some amazing-looking alcoholic ice lollies created by the fiendish wizards at Barchick. It was a surprisingly challenging job...

The ices needed supporting in a vertical position, but they had so much alcohol in the mix, they were somewhat prone to collapse, so a gentle touch was required.

The lighting was quite technical.  In the end I opted for a single on-axis fill light, and two rim lights, the one to camera left raking across the front of the lolly, which we doused with water, to define texture.

The lollies were clamped into position by the handle, and then I later photographed the handles sans clamp and replaced them in post.

Needless to say we enjoyed the few remaining spares once we had wrapped.  Most refreshing.

Home-made ice lolly makers can be found on amazon, and here are the recipes

Wedding photography at Hedsor House, Bucks

Hedsor House, in Buckinghamshire must be one of my all-time favourite venues. It is an imposing Italiante villa built in a prominent position, with dramatic views and acres of stunning gardens.

Alex and Melissa were married there in June and here are some of the pictures:

The dressing rooms are beautifully decorated, light and airy, with large windows.

They also afford excellent views of guests arriving

There is a small C of E chapel in the grounds that holds 100 or so at a squeeze

All the interiors are sublime, particularly this extraordinary glass-domed hall, with gallery, which dominates the house.


The recent fine weather has brought about a brief glut of children's portrait shoots. I absolutely love this kind of work, as it never fails to bring out the (not-so-well-hidden) inner child in me.

There is nothing easier to achieve, or more adorable, than a child's laugh, and nothing pleases me more than the simple delight on their parents' faces when they see the pictures.

All shot using natural light, Canon 24-70mm and 70-200mm lenses