Hey there, and welcome back to part two of my 2015 wedding photography highlights!
Instead of one ridiculously long, attention-draining annual round-up blog, I’ve instead created two posts, following the narrative story of a wedding day. Part One (which if you’ve not seen, can be viewed here) featured my highlights from the mornings preparations through to the confetti bomb and here in Part Two, we join the fun at the wedding reception, and follow from my favourite portraits and group shots, and into the meal, speeches through to hitting the dance-floor.
And so we join the fun and games at the wedding reception; a period where my second shooter & I look for emotive (and sometimes witty) images of guests, as well as contextual venue and detail shots. ‘The mingles’, as we call ‘em, are just as important a part of the day as any other, and are great to remind a couple of their near and dear enjoying the party they’ve spent so long planning. Guests often find it a bit weird that we’re photographing them just hanging out, as though for some reason they don’t feel like they’re important enough to be in the pictures, but I’ve always thought couples love to see their near and dear enjoying their wedding in the pics!
Kids always make for fun subjects at weddings!
Stop! Hammer time!
My target at a wedding is always to get portraits and groups done as quick and painlessly as possible, so guests are kept happy and the happy couple can get back to the party. Last thing I want is an unhappy couple or guests moaning about me stealing the couple for the whole reception!
I’ve generally met all of my couples a month or so before the wedding for a ‘pre-wedding shoot’. This sounds like a bit of a pointless contrivance, but serves many purposes: a practice round of pics helps a couple get comfortable in front of my camera, I can teach them what I need from them and I get to learn what makes my couples tick (ie. see if they’ll laugh at my jokes!). I send them their pre-wed pics before the wedding, so they’ve then seen and love how they look in my pics, which builds trust on the day. On the day, being practiced makes the big day portraits both easier and quicker! We can also meet at venues I’ve not shot at before to familiarise myself with locations I’ve not shot before (which is never a problem to be fair, as in my experience new venues usually produce the freshest pics), and when we meet we can run through the big day logistics and discuss the groupshot list and family politics! So the pre-wed for me is key for a smoother portrait experience!
Anyhoo, here are some of my fave portraits from 2015…
Hannah + Cris didn’t care if it started to drizzle! They’re eating ice cream!
Another example of the value of a 2nd shooter, taking from a clever angle during portraits at Jonathan + Lucy’s wedding…
I love that Joanna wore a green dress and this fantastic shawl for their Haloweeny wedding + James was clad in amazing Donegal tweed.
I loved so much about Kathryn + Richard’s wedding on Windermere in the Lake District. They took their guests out on a boat on the lake after the meal, and when we came back the light was magic for portraits on the pier.
Kerry & Jay were my kind of couple, clambering over a fence to get some tasty pics in a hay field!
Groupshots! Often a photographer’s nemesis, but if I’m honest I kinda enjoy them and make the most out of them.
Too many can be a reception killer (so I usually limit them to 10 including a confetti pic), but the right amount, done with fun and efficiency, create great time-capsule-like memories of how everyone looked on that big day in history.
This year, I’ve also taken a leaf out of the ‘Vanity Fair’ book of celebrity groupshots, and try to pull in furniture to gather people around so they’re not just boring lineups.
Looks much better eh?
As well as family & wedding party groupshots, I often also get asked to do groups of mates, which can end up being more fun still (after a few glasses of fizz!)
The fun thing about shooting over 40+ weddings every year is seeing the random ideas and places people find to celebrate their special day.
While this year has been the year of giant light-up letters (!), I’ve seen some really unusual venues, decorated in all kinds of fun ways for the mealtime fun.
This cowshed at a working farm in Masham was a particular favourite!
And the best cake of the year – AND PROBABLY EVER – was this delicious-smelling, chocolate-wrapped beast behind mr + mrs All-Terrain Armoured-Transport at Sam + Matt’s Star Wars themed wedding breakfast!
I’ve figured the times we get the most natural candid images are when guests are distracted by part of the days’ events. During the meal and speeches, people are focussed on the speakers, and they can be really emotional or hilarious, so we’re able to get all kinds of photo gold!
We’ve done a few weddings where the couple have arranged for secret, singing waiters, who come out pretending to be a catering manager and a chef, then burst into song and, in the case of Hannah + James’ wedding at Goldsborough Hall, start a conga line around the hotel! Fun times.
Hamish & I sometimes run a red curtain style photobooth at weddings, and it can be great craic going through them to see what evening guests get up to after a few scoops!
When it comes round to light dropping in the evening, I sometimes ask couples if they fancy another quick round of pics, sometimes with a bit of flash for a different vibe.
These are a few of the best evening portraits this year:
I love the flash light from this one with Roo + Chaz (only shot a few days ago, at their December wedding at Wood Hall!)
Hannah + Joe (a Rugby League star!), made for a beautiful pair, and these evening flash shots looked pretty special!
Tammy + Brian were happy to take a turn in the rain in Ripon during the evening of their big day!
I love what happens when you backlight and shoot a shallow depth of field in a light drizzle! The rain looks mint!
Evening time opens up all kinds of creative opportunities, before couples hit the dance-floor for a boogie…
Aww, I love a bit of first dance action
And once the party really gets started, we try and wrap up the wedding story with a bit of flash into the swirly disco ambience!
And there you have it – my faves of 2015!
Great work getting this far if you read both blogs! Give yourself a pat on the back and a mince pie… you’ve earned it!
I hope you’ve enjoyed looking! You can see it’s been a top year, with some top couples.
If you’d like to stay in touch with my work, I try and keep things social, across the various platforms. I make a highlights post of every wedding I shoot on this blog, a day or two after every wedding. If you need another photo highlights fix (or are looking for fun ideas from other weddings I’ve shot) you’re welcome to view last years 2014 highlights here too! You can find links to my blogs on my official facebook page at facebook.com/BarnabyAldrickWeddingPhotography and also ramble things of weddingy interest on there – so hit me with a like and you’ll see my blogs clogging your newsfeed! My blogs are tweeted to twitter.com/barnabyaldrick if that’s how you consume your news, and if you want to stalk your way a bit deeper into my private life, you can see my hobbies and interests (such as balancing food on my dogs head) on my instagram account at instagram.com/barnabyaldrick.
Do keep in touch, and if you’re interested in booking me to shoot your wedding, use the contact form at the top of this page or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll fire over a price guide!
Thanks so much for looking, and if this isn’t the first time you’ve visited this blog, thanks for being one of the 130,000 visitors to the blog this year! It’s always humbling to think how many people have been viewing my posts!
May I wish you all a very Happy New Year, and a fantastic 2016!