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Monday, 20 August 2018

When you don't have a Lake - use the A337

Any couple would feel blessed to have a wedding photograph of them against a beautiful sky and the setting sun reflected in water.

At Ethan and Katie's wedding at Careys Manor we had two out of three. Careys is an outstanding venue...but it doesn't have a lake.

Never mind...the A337 through Brockenhurst will have to do.

At the end of their amazing day whilst they were dancing with their guests and we were starting to pack up, we noticed this amazing evening sky. 

When the sun is that low in the sky you only have minutes to photograph it. Ethan and Katie were up for it so the four of us rushed out to Careys' front lawn and got as close to the road as we dare. 

We used the sun's reflection in the tarmac in the same way compositionally as we would have if we'd had the reflection in water. 

Five minutes later the sun had gone and so had the reflection. But this image is now part of their family archive for future generations to see what an amazing wedding day they had.

It wasn't the first time we had to use some creative lighting that day. Ethan and Katie wanted a photograph of them in this garden gateway. 

The scene was working well but we felt it was worth another approach.

Here we backlit the gateway. It made a nice highlight round the edge of the gateway to give a much more pronounced frame. 

We were quite pleased with the result.

Katie's day started with Bridal Prep at Careys Manor.

She had amazing shoes!!!!!!

They had a lovely ceremony with a room full to capacity with enthusiastic guests.

They were particularly lucky to have one of their friends bring their Rolls Royce to the wedding for them.

Ethan and Katie looked like Hollywood A-listers sat in the back of the Roller.

They had a great time...

...and so did their guests, with laughs...

...and smiles...

...and hugs...

...and drinks...

...and selfies.

Careys Manor was beautifully decorated, with fabulous food and amazing staff...as always.

What a wonderful wedding day this lovely young couple had in the heart of the New Forest.

We wish them all the very best for their married life together.

by Jacqui and Steve

Saturday, 18 August 2018

GOBBY - the Master Photo-Bomber

This is Pete and Coraleigh. They had the most amazing Summer wedding at Rhinefield House in the New Forest.

It was a wonderfully sunny day...

...and they loved being alone together...

...as they walked around the stunning grounds of Rhinefield House.

They were such a lovely bride and groom and were brilliant together.

This is the Best Man making his speech.

He was very funny ...but he did like to play games...

...and not these sorts of games!

THESE sorts of games! He has turned photo-bombing into an art!

Family group shots can be a bit dull for all concerned. So speeding through the group photographs is often a popular strategy and Jacqui is one of the fastest in the business. 

Before the wedding she does her best to have a written list of all the required groups and who is to be in each of them and by the time it's time to do the groups, Jacqui knows almost all the guests' names. 

It's a trick she learned from a school-teacher bride we had years ago. She said, "They are more compliant when you call them by their names!" 

Jacqui had just setup one of Pete and Coraleigh's groups and was trying to get all their eyes back to her before clicking the shutter.

There was a particularly disruptive element in the group.

Steve winced as Jacqui yelled, "Oi, GOBBY!" The disruptive element fell silent and smiled nicely. 

Jacqui took the photograph and organised the next group but the same thing happened.

She yelled again, "Oi, GOBBY!"

Steve whispered in her ear, "You can't keep calling the Best Man GOBBY!"

She laughed and showed Steve the shoot list. The Best Man was called GOBBY. It was on the shoot list as his name. Nobody knew him as anything else.

Gobby, the Master Photo-Bomber. This is some of his work!

We had an absolutely brilliant time with him, he was so much fun.

We will always fondly remember GOBBY, the Master Photo-Bomber and the fabulous day we had him and Pete and Coraleigh. What a wonderful wedding it was.

by Jacqui and Steve

Friday, 17 August 2018

When "Two Inches" is a Dreadful Disappointment

Moments after this photograph was taken something would happen that none of us could have predicted and gorgeous Victoria would be faced with a dreadful dilemma.

Bridal Prep had gone brilliantly well. Victoria and her five bridesmaids had the most wonderful time as they were getting ready at the amazing Rivervale Barn. 

Everything had been organised to the last detail, everyone was happy and relaxed, the sun was shining outside and there was a real sense of occasion.

All the girls looked stunning and were ready in plenty of time. We finished all the photographs with a few minutes to go before the Registrars arrived to give Victoria her pre-ceremony meeting.

With the photographs done, the girls started to tidy up and do their final bits and pieces.

Victoria went to walk towards the full length mirror for one final look. As she did so, we heard her cry out, "JACQUI! I can't walk! The dress is too long!"

We were amazed! The dress looked to be the perfect length in the photographs. Jacqui put her camera down and put her dress-making hat on. Something she's had to do at a few weddings.

She discovered that it was the underskirt that was too long. Way too long. Two inches too long.

Victoria was in serious danger of tripping over her own wedding dress.

Jacqui undid the back of the dress to hitch up the underskirt but it was sewn in. There was nothing that could be done.

As photographers we were now faced with a challenging situation. At best our bride would be distracted all day about the prospect of tripping over her dress and that distraction would be seen in her expressions. Most likely she would be hitching the front of her dress up in many of the photographs. At worst, she might even fall over. Something had to be done.

Victoria looked at Jacqui. "What do I do?"
Jacqui drew breath. "Well, you either learn to kick it out the way as you walk... or I cut it off."

Victoria looked at herself in the mirror, looked at her girls, bit her lip, thought for a moment and said, "Cut it off!"
"Are you sure?" asked Jacqui.
"Yes, cut it off!"

Jacqui keeps many things in her camera bag that are nothing to do with cameras but are for emergencies just like this one. Including a full sewing kit and scissors.

As you can see from this photograph, Victoria's train had a huge circumference and Jacqui had to cut two inches off the underskirt all the way round - with NAIL SCISSORS.

As the Registrars came in for their meeting with Victoria, Jacqui was under her skirt cutting yards off her wedding dress. With nail scissors it took ages but Jacqui had finished just as the meeting had finished and it had the desired effect. Victoria could walk confidently and safely.

What had happened is that the wedding dress had been shortened by two inches by a seamstress during the week but she'd forgotten to shorten the underskirt by the same amount.

Apart from Jacqui having achy fingers for a while...the rest of the day went according to plan and was back on the rails.

The girls lined up ready to lead their bride up the aisle.

Victoria made it up the aisle to her man without falling over.

Victoria and Richard had a fabulous wedding and neither Richard nor any of their guests knew anything of the drama that had happened only moments before.

Please read the following blog post if you'd like to know more about Victoria and Richard's amazing day at the fabulous Rivervale Barn: Wedding Day Perfection at Rivervale Barn

by Jacqui and Steve
Hampshire Wedding Photographers (and onsite seamstress)
(Jacqui now keeps dress-making scissors in her camera bag)

Thursday, 16 August 2018

When Tim Bowled His Maiden Over

Tim and Emily were married in West Dean church in Wiltshire. It was an extraordinary and wonderful day in so many ways.

The music for the ceremony was provided by an award-winning steel band from Littlehampton. The sound they created was perfect. We cringed a little when we first saw them because we thought the sound would be hard, loud and unpleasant - but it was the very opposite. It was mellow and lyrical and wonderfully musical. 

The steel band was a huge hit with the guests.

After the ceremony...

...whilst we were photographing groups outside the church, a tall tree near the lych gate was in full white blossom and the wind's direction and strength showered the entire churchyard with what looked like white confetti. A wonderful blessing for the newly weds.

It wasn't just us that was taking photographs.

Some came out better than others!

Tim and Emily had their Reception in West Dean Barn behind the church. 

When they booked it for their wedding it was still being renovated. But it was ready in plenty of time and looked amazing.

And the details on the tables were gorgeous.

We took Tim and Emily outside for some romantic pictures in the courtyard of the barn.

They were really good together...

...and just loved being in each other's company.

Completely unprompted and in the silence of the courtyard, they started dancing together to music only they could hear. It was lovely.

They had so many lovely moments together.

They were a real joy to photograph.


The steel band played during drinks and canap├ęs. With the addition a drum kit and a bass guitar they were playing pop and rock hits from over the decades.

The vibe the band created was perfect. 

Everybody had a fabulous time. 

There were lots of smiling faces.

Honestly this band would have been an amazing alternative to a DJ for the evening party.

When the band finished its set there were genuine noises of disappointment. 

Then the announcement to "Please take your seats."

The caterers were really professional and looked amazing...

...and were very efficient the way an entire table was served at the same time.

Then it was time for the speeches.

The groom's speech was awesome. He has always been passionate about cricket and he described how he met Emily, how he wooed her, how that sometimes went well and sometimes not - but he used metaphoric cricket terms throughout. It was absolutely delightful.

At one point he was describing how his wooing had not gone so well and he described it as something like being "All-out before Tea but narrowly avoiding the Follow On."

As their wedding day turned to evening we took some more romantic photographs of them.

As the sun went down, Emily's bridesmaids got playful...

...and wanted to do synchronised star-jumps on top of the industrial sized hay bales...in the dark! What could possibly go wrong!

Then they realised there was enough of them to spell E-M-I-L-Y. 

They wanted us to photograph them doing the bride's name in secret so it would be a surprise for Emily when she looked through her wedding photographs.

And here are Team Bridesmaids waving to Emily for when she first looked through her wedding photos.

Then it was on to the cutting of the cake...

...and First Dance.

They had an excellent live band to dance to for the evening. 

The guests were spell-bound watching this fabulous couple dancing together.

There's no doubt about it, Tim certainly bowled his maiden over.

It was an amazing day. We wish them the very best in their life together.

by Jacqui and Steve
(occasionally allowed in Wiltshire)