Hey there! Happy New Year and welcome to my 2016 highlights blog!
Before I bed down and hibernate like a bear through January, I like to spend a bit of time digging back through the best of my past years’ wedding photography and post a retrospective gallery of my favourite photographs. With a memory like mine it’s a fab way for me to recall memories all the lovely couples, stunning details and timeless moments I’ve captured over 2016, distilled from a full working year.
So! 2016 hey? Aside from a ridiculous number of screen and stage legends popping their clogs, Brexit shambles and Trump taking helm of the free world, at least it was a great year for weddings! I’ve had an absolute blast chasing couples up and down this land; from God’s County – the Yorkshire Dales (my Spiritual Heartland!), to the lovely Lake District, over the North York Moors and into the Peaks; I’ve trekked as far North as Northumberland, West as Wales and South into deepest Kent. I’ve covered a fair few miles this year!
I’ve shot at exciting new venues and trusty ol’faves, proving that having prior experience at a venue means very little when it comes to delivering fresh material. I’ve papped some proper cool characters and have belly laughed with couples and complete liability best men crossing lines they clearly know they shouldn’t. Equally, I’ve shed tears and shared hugs in the quieter moments, which remind me how weddings serve also to highlight what’s missing and most missed in people’s lives.
All these things remind me what an honour it is to join a wedding to artistically document the emotional whirlwinds of a big day!
So – I’ve structured this post as I do the highlights blogs I post for every wedding I photograph – in the order a day unfolds. This isn’t an ego post to show off my most ‘artistic’ (which often means ‘gimmicky’) work to my peers, it’s an insight into the actual (and hopefully ‘timeless’) story I try to create at every wedding. It also therefore serves as a great way for me to show my photographic approach and what I look for and strive to capture at weddings.
You’ll be pleased to hear I’ve also tried to economise on your attention span & have capped this post to a maximum of 150 images – as last years 2015 highlights blog (here) spiralled out a tad into an epic 2-parter!
BUT ENOUGH CHAT ALREADY! Without further a do, let me present the ‘Barnaby Aldrick Wedding Photography 2016 Highlights’:
I almost exclusively shoot with a ‘second photographer’, so I can fully capture the bridal side of the story, while my wingman heads over to do the same with the dudes.
(More from them later!)
It’s a constant challenge in our job to capture ‘natural’ moments when everyone knows your there snapping away, but I love photos like this that show true friendship.
It’s also great to capture beautiful natural portraits like this – as they happen – showing an elegance and beauty a bride isn’t always aware she even has!
Being a bit of an extrovert myself, I’m drawn to the excitement of a moment, and love my wedding images to champion the big day FUN…
Equally, I to try and be subtle enough to quietly seal emotionally honest moments like this moment from a wedding day that co-incidentally doubled as the brides parents anniversary, and this shows them reading their anniversary cards and having a sneaky cuddle in the lounge.
I’ve photographed weddings for 11 years now, and the longer I’ve done it, the more I try to tell a story by including elements in the frame to add context and story.
And now I need to give a big High 5 to my main man Hamish and all the dudes and chicas who’s been my trusty second shooters this year! You know who you are!
I strive to tell a ‘complete visual story’ at a wedding, and having two pairs of eyes on things really helps get ultimate coverage. With a wingman, you’ve two angles on the ceremony without shuffling around disturbing things, two takes on a confetti moment, more shots of guests mingling while I manage groupshots and portraits, better speech coverage and reactions and a flash monkey for low light evening work – but fundamentally I’m also able to get the story of the dudes morning. Hamish has become a master at this, and these are a few of my faves from his and others’ morning shots of the chaps…
A solid ring shot is important to me, as the vicar’s old ‘unbroken circle / outward symbol’ metaphor works visually too and I often open wedding albums with them.
Love this card!
It’s all about a strong team-shot of the chaps!
I’m a big believer that lineups don’t have to be boring…
I’m also a big believer that suits don’t have to be boring either! Matt certainly proved this, as did anyone who opted for tweed this year!
This is when it often all starts to get real for a bride! And in amongst the stress and chaos and time pressure, lots of delicate little moments can be found…
Just before hitting the ceremony, it’s great to steal a quick portrait of the finished product!
…while also keeping an eye out for little details, like a locket for dad tied onto the bouquet.
Marco, you’re a hero.
Reactions like this, and when parents see their daughter in her dress, are a huge pleasure to capture!
It was tough to chose from all these father daughter moments last year, as there was loads of lovely love flowing round.
And we’re off!
Jen and her ace bridesmaids won the hallowed ‘BAWP Funkiest Wedding Party 2016’ award hands down.
Matching Raybans, for the win!
There’s always time to try and tell a story.
Here dad was chauffeuring his daughter to their local church in her first car, a Morris Minor he’d lovingly restored for the big day.
While I duck to the front of the ceremony to pap a nervous groom and get the aisle in my sights, brother Hamish get’s a tonne of great photo opportunities
I suppose for me as a photographer, I’m always thinking to myself, what do I think a relationships is? And how can I convey that in an image? They say a photograph is a reflection of the taker. Not just compositional decisions, or the ability to capture a sharp, creative frame – but what makes a photographer hit the shutter is a reaction to and distillation of much of the emotional makeup of the shooter.
I’m aware this is in the vicinity of ponciness, but a photographer’s life’s experience and emotional code is often discernible in what they present. When it’s a parent having a special moment with the child they raised, friends laughing their asses off through the mists of years of shared friendship, I’m personally seeing this and presenting my take on the essence of what friendship, parenthood and good couple’s relationship is to me – and so often that’s rooted in the fun and/or deep loving connection I stive for in real life.
Right! Getting too deep… back to the pretty pics!
I love these next two images from Nicole and David’s big day at Priory Cottages… It’s the perfect reaction!
This was one of Hamish’s frames from Lauren & Steve’s wedding this December, again capturing another side of the story, while from the front I get these…
Big up Wingman Paul Stott for this almost Hollywood lit moment of the beautiful Charlotte
You go Laith!
Once the ceremony’s sorted, I love to drum up a good confetti moment!
I just had too many to choose from for this post, but love setting up a good confetti bomb before guests get down to hugs and well wishing…
Kim was clearly bringing sexy back!
I’m not convinced that portraits are my strongest suit, but like all good craftsmen, I persevere till I’m able to deliver something I’m proud of.
To oil the gears of this process, I also put my couples through a pre-wedding practice shoot ahead of the wedding to get them comfortable with the process. It’s always gonna feel a bit weird being photographed like you’re a model or something. This shoot helps build trust, and being practiced on the big day means we need less time to shoot portraits > which means more time boozing and munching canapés with guests!
A happy couple and happy guests make photography easier all round!
I loved Tim & Tom’s wedding in Wales – not just for their amazing tweed blazers – but because photographically, gay couple portraits are a refreshing challenge.
Nothing like a bit of golden hour sunlight to fill a photo with romance!
Props to Tim Atkinson for this fab tag team portrait of Charlotte & Rich, taken alongside my papping!
A splash of fun is just as important in the couple shots as the lovey lovey stuff!
And then, in the minimum amount of time possible, it’s back to the party to join the guests at the reception!
There’s been some fun afternoon entertainment at weddings this year!
Henry certainly enjoyed the croquet…
Kids are cute to pap at weddings, but photos of the generations have a lovely power and will become a fab memory one day.
I’ve made a special effort these past years to make groupshots and in particular the wedding party teamshots, fun and stylish.
The photo industry often looks down on group shots (and cringe when asked to shoot everyone in a group shaped like a heart!), but I’ve started to enjoy the careful positioning of people to create a crafted teamshot. I was first inspired when I saw Vanity Fair celebrity groupshots by Annie Leibovitz, with people resting against arms and sat on the floor and gathered in small groups with heads at different heights. And here are a few of my 2016 faves…
Speeches are a goldmine for natural reactions too, because again, the attention is drawn away from us taking photographs.
The secret singing waiters at Ben & Kim’s wedding bursting into Disney covers sent Kim to a special place!
I love this quiet little moment of Ben’s Dad reading a special message from his mum as she held his hand.
Any speech that doesn’t end with everyone wearing the groom’s gruds on their head is just sub-par to me now.
Once daylight drops, evening time is a great opportunity to start getting creative with light!
Props to my man John Hope tag teaming with me to create this Mr & Mrs C shot.
I love the leading lines of the veil in this one of a stroll I took with Amy & Dill at sunset
This backlit rain shot looks mint up close, and afterwards I had brides telling me they were secretly hoping for rain at their evening do so we could do similar!
And all of a sudden, it’s time to party!
I love a backlit first dance shot!
Even better with pyrotechnics!
And before we hit the road, we like to wrap up the story with a few songs worth of atmospheric dance shots, to give the tale a dancey ending!
And that’s that! My year in review! I hope you enjoyed a taste of my faves from the year. Massive apologies if I papped your wedding last year and your images didn’t end up in this retrospective! I had to get a seriously brutal to trim the thousands of faves down to a mere 150 images to keep this post from getting out of control!
It’s amazing to see on my site Analytics that over 113,000 people have looked at my blog this year! That’s nuts and a massive honour to know that so many people have enjoyed my wedding photography. In a digital age, it just goes to show the longevity of photography as a medium to tell a story and bank memories.
If you’re interested in using my services for your wedding, or you’ve a pal/relative getting married, do get in touch (by email or through my contact form at the top) and I’ll email you a brochure. If you like what you see here, stay tuned to this blog through the year as I literally post highlights from every wedding I shoot (and all being well this site will soon be getting a full overhaul). Use the blog search bar at the top to unearth from the archives my work from specific venues, and for completists, you can also always look back at last years even more exhaustive 2015 highlights blog here (which is actually split into 2 as it was so long).
Equally, I post random highlights and wedding chat to my Official BAWP Facebook Page (and I’ll happily trade Likes for Hugs) and post personal (read: random) day-to-day snaps (often of my long-suffering dog dressed up) to my Instagram account.
So once again – thanks for looking, and may I wish you a very Happy New Year! If you were a 2016 couple: thank you so much, you rule! If I’m shooting your wedding this year, I hope you’re getting giddy! Bring it on…
In the meantime, all the very best for 2017!