As it’s August, here’s a wedding I never got to blogging in the winter. Tom and Claire held their wedding at Nuthurst Grange in December. I love winter weddings for their cosy feel, the christmas trees, the extra special atmosphere of celebration and the feeling of doing something a little different. Tom and Claire planned a very personal and charming ceremony and reception and it was a joy to be with them to photograph it.

A wedding at Nuthurst Grange is always very special. If you’re choosing your venue I can definitely recommend it. And if you’re planning your wedding there, be sure to invite me!

Hair and makeupdoing up the bride's dressgardens at nuthurst grangeGroom and attendantsA wedding at nuthurst grangewedding detailsbride's mum and bridesmaids waitingbride arrives with her dadwinter wedding at nuthurst grangeceremony readingsnewlywedsbig group photographTom and Claire's wedding at nuthurst grangegroup photosdining roomcutting the cakefather of the bride speechgroom's speechevening photosnight time photos in the garden

Here’s the latest addition to my camera bag. Video lights are bright white lights designed for shooting video, which needs continuous light rather than the brief flash that is enough for a still photograph. Lots of people use video lights for wedding photography because you can see the real results of the lighting as you move it around before you take the photo. Personally I tend to stick with flash because it’s light weight, more powerful and with experience you can get the result you want.

But there is one area where I’ve found video light very useful, and that’s detail shots. When you’re photographing something small and fiddly up close you want the shadows to fall nicely, to add colour and definition to the shapes. I wouldn’t want to carry the full size video light around for this, but this dinky one is perfect.

This is the Aputure AL-M9 video light. It’s got a USB rechargeable battery, and I’ve no idea how long it lasts because I only use it for a few seconds at a time. It’s smaller than a phone, and actually it feels like you’re using the light on your phone, only 1000 times brighter. It does come with a plastic clip on tripod and hot-shoe mount, but I just hold it like this.

Aputure AL-M9 video light for wedding photography

Here’s an example from last week’s (gorgeous) wedding. When you’re in a hurry at a wedding there isn’t a lot of time to take the flowers off somewhere and find the perfect lighting. So here I put them on the coffee table in the lounge and used the video light. First the shot without it. It’s perfectly fine already, but with the video light off to the right hand side, you get more shape to the roses, more contrast and colour.

It’s an example of the little extras we put into our work without going on about it (except here on the blog) to make the photos that bit extra special or make the day run smoothly. You don’t need to know everything we do, but when the photos come back looking amazing, it’s worth every little bit.

Bouquets without lightWedding bouquets with video light

It was a pleasure to photograph Dan and Sophie’s beautiful wedding at Swallow’s nest barns. It’s a great new venue with lots of space, well restored buildings and a perfect courtyard for drinks and mingling. Dan and Sophie are a sweet couple and it’s been lovely to get to know them in the run up to the big day.

As you approach the venue down the long driveway you’re greeted with this perfect image of the barns nestled in a dip in the countryside.

The wedding fas fun, intimate and friendly, and after the reception and speeches we finished off the coverage with some sparklers photos in the courtyard. The late evenings of the summer are wonderful, but you do have to stay really late to get the twilight shots! In spring it happens much sooner.

Swallow's nest barnengagement ring and hand tied flowersgroom and best manbridal room at swallows nest barna wedding at swallow's nest barnjust marriedbride and groom laughingphotos at sunsetsparklers at evening wedding receptionheart made of sparklers

It’s starting to feel distinctly like summer! I have a lot of weddings I never blogged from last year and I thought of Dan and Nicola as I was putting the finishing touches to their wedding album. They’re living an exciting life in Australia now, so they have to wait for someone to fly over to get their album.

Their wedding was a lot of fun. Nicola got ready at home with her girls and a some bubbles. The guys were waiting at St. Philips in Dorridge. It’s a special church for us as my sister worked there for a while, and Duncan the vicar there is such a great guy. Always a joy!

On to the reception at Ardencote manor, where we had a great time and took gorgeous photos. My word, that one on the landing got people saying ooooh when it went in the portfolio!

Lots of exciting weddings coming up and I’m particularly busy the next few weeks with engagement shoots and last minute bookings as well. So we’re looking forward to a wonderful summer!

bride and bridesmaids getting readybride's make upSt. Philips & St. James Bentley Heathbridesmaids carGroom steals a glancemarriedbride and groom leave churchbridal carwedding reception at ardencote manorcouple photographs at ardencote manorbride and groomupstairs at ardencote manorbride on stairsbride and groom at wedding venuebridal partygroom gives speechbridal bouquetfirst dance

I had a nice experience yesterday. I went to pull the post out of the letterbox and saw two cards, both addressed to me. I wondered if maybe I’d forgotten my birthday. Or worse, our anniversary. But no, they were just addressed to me. For a moment I looked for the postmark or an address to see where they’d come from. Isn’t that the weirdest thing to do? If you want to find out who sent it, there’s one fairly simple way…

They were two thank you cards from lovely couples who have recently got their wedding photos. Both arrived on the same day by coincidence. It makes me so proud when I get to read that my clients loved their photos and loved the process of working with me. But two cards at once is just wonderful.

That reminds me, I have a small favour to ask. If I’ve worked for you already and you have a moment to spare, I’d really appreciate a review on google. It makes a big difference to help people find me in future. You can just find my listing on google and click “write review”, or use this link as a shortcut: https://goo.gl/Iqmjag.

No, thank you!

thank you cards