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Thursday, 19 July 2018

The Secret to a Long Marriage? Keep a Score!

Matt and Charley held their wedding reception at the Meon Valley Marriott Hotel in the Spring of 2016. The hotel is attached to a golf course and the location for the romantic portrait session is a golf buggy ride away. 

When it comes to photographing a wedding we rather hope that we look like the proverbial elegant swan seemingly gliding across the water with no effort at all - but if you were to peek beneath the waterline it is anything but effortless.

When we take a photograph in the thick of a wedding it may look as though we just pick up our camera and go click. There is of course so much more to it than that and we have many conventions that we've derived over the years to help us take our photographs well even when we're tired and when there are high levels of distractions.

During a wedding we try and help each other if we see that the other is about to break one of these conventions. We have been married for over thirty years now and we have always been competitive. So it was only a matter of time before we started keeping a score.

When we had met Matt and Charley before their wedding we had joked about how we keep a "Promise me you'll buck up!" score.

On this particular wedding Steve was using a new camera. Knowing that we had a golf buggy ride in order to get to the Romantic Portrait session, we were both at our camera bags stuffing our pockets full of everything we needed and rigging our cameras for the portrait session.

Steve tried to fit his trigger to the hot shoe of his new camera and it didn't seem to go on easily. He asked if Jacqui could bring her trigger in case something went wrong during the portrait session.

Having arrived at the location the other side of the golf course, Steve posed Matt and Charley and tried to fit his trigger to his new camera. It wasn't going on easily and he feared breaking it so he asked Jacqui for her trigger.


He repeated his request. 

Silence again.

And quick as you like, reading the expression written all across Steve's face, Matt pointed at Jacqui and yelled "ONE NIL!"

We all laughed, Steve pushed home the trigger on to his new camera and all was well. We had a great romantic portrait session with them and got some lovely photographs...all the time with banter flying around like: 
"I gave you one job..."
"It worked didn't it..."
"That's not the point..."
"It's fine, we could have optically triggered it..."
"But you had one job..."

There was a great deal of sniggering and laughter and it was all caught on camera. Mission accomplished.

An hour later, Matt and Charley had just sat down for their meal and as we were chatting to them, Jacqui announced that the score was now FOUR-ONE to her. Steve had had a bad hour.

Matt was gutted. "I got you in the lead Steve....all you had to do was..."

At the end of their day, Steve took them out to take this photograph. He was still 4-1 down but he did take a nice photograph...with his own trigger.

All joking apart, some brides and grooms get a little self-conscious during the romantic portrait session and if they do, having banter between the two of us or even between the four of us takes their attention away from being self-conscious and it's then easier for us to take natural photographs of them...and it's a lot of fun too.

Having all those conventions helps us do a complicated job even in difficult situations...keeping a score helps the brides and grooms from getting self-conscious.

So does "keeping a score" help towards having a long marriage. We've been married thirty three years and we do keep a score and it does make us giggle, so maybe it does.

What's for sure is that it's helpful when it comes to distracting brides and grooms from becoming self-conscious during their photographs.

by Jacqui and Steve
Fun, Fine-art and Story-telling Hampshire Wedding Photography

PS Steve wrote this blog and Jacqui reviewed it.  She found a mistake and predictably yelled "ONE NIL". 

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Our Very Best Wedding Photography Moments of 2017

Jess and Mark making a wish as they blow confetti from their hands.

This photograph and those that follow are some of our very best wedding photography moments of 2017. They are just a small selection of the photos that have tugged at our hearts strings, made us smile and made us laugh.

Jess and Mark had their wedding at Woodlands Lodge. It was so special with many touching moments... when Jess and Mark used balloons to pose as Micky and Minnie...

...and this charming little fellow fell in love with Minnie.

When the bride and groom wanted some quiet time together they climbed a tree...

...and when they came down again they were so happy they jumped and did a High Five.

Andy and Ruby's wedding was at Luton Hoo (where Four Weddings and a Funeral was filmed). The venue was the very epitome of elegance and opulence but Andy and Ruby were so made for each other and had such a lovely connection between them that the real story of the day was the love they had for each other.

Dom and Charlotte's wedding was full of heartfelt moments. This photograph of Dad hugging his daughter brings tears to our eyes every time we see it.

Dom and Charlotte were married in St Mary's Church, Portsea in Portsmouth.

They had perfect weather and a white horse-drawn carriage...

...and a little pink wedding car that took them to Skylark in Whiteley.

The sky there was stunning but it is the way they looked and held each other that made this photograph.

All the guests had so much fun together...

...the day was full of crazyness...

...and silliness...

...and love.

Michael and Ann-Marie were an absolute scream. 

Their wedding was at the Old Thorns near Liphook and they had so many laughs. Their evening party was in the stunning new Gatsby Room.

Hannah and Matt were a stunningly good looking bride and groom. They had their wedding at the Three Choirs Vineyard near Wickham and had a brilliant day with fabulous guests.

Ryan and Alice got married at the Old Vicarage near Bournemouth. Was it the craziest wedding of the year? It is definitely a contender for the title. What an amazingly fun and crazy day it was with the most outrageously funny and un-PC magician we've ever met. He was certainly the perfect choice for their wedding.

Ryan and Emily's wedding at the Tithe Barn near Petersfield was one of the most deeply moving weddings we can remember.

The affection they had for their family and friends was just lovely and the candle ceremony they held for those who could not be there brought us both to tears.

But seeing Ryan and Emily together and the love they had for each other was just wonderful.

Zoe and Stuart were such a laugh - they were brilliant. They had their wedding at Careys Manor in the New Forest and they enjoyed every second of it.

Just as we were setting up the lighting for this bridal portrait with Zoe...

...Stuart turned it into a Romeo and Juliet moment.

One of the funniest parts of the day was when the Registrar had conspired with Zoe before her ceremony to find out if there was anything that Stuart likes her to do that she doesn't like doing.

When it came to her making her vows, the Registrar said "Do you Zoe, promise to [promise 1]?"
"I do"
"Do you promise to [promise 2]?"
"I do"
"Do you promise to dry his jeans inside out?"
"I DO NOT!!!" Zoe exclaimed.
...the photograph above is his reaction at that very moment.

Stuart hates all things Status Quo - the music, the dancing, the hair, the jean jackets! So after the First Dance his guys got Stuart dressed in a wig and jean jacket and made him head bang with them to Status Quo. He was a great sport.

Olly and Hannah were married at Pit Hall Barn near Basingstoke and they had the most stunning view for their romantic portrait session.

John and Emily were married at the wonderfully elegant Lainston House and they were amazing together.

We never tired of Emily's ability to softly say the right few words and smile sweetly in a way that would strike absolute terror into poor John. It was a brilliant day.

Paul and Katie had their wedding at Old Thorns and had the most amazing owl flight up the aisle with their rings.

The same owl was flying at the wedding of Chris and Vix where they had an outside ceremony at Three Choirs Vineyard near Wickham.

They had bales of hay for their guests to sit on during the ceremony...

...and a white vintage Rolls Royce as their wedding car.

Their day was full of fun...

...and tenderness...

...and elegance...

...but it was also a competitive day...

...a very competitive day...

...exceptionally competitive!

But it was also fabulously romantic...

....wonderfully so.

Matthew and Rebecca had their wedding at Skylark in Whiteley but we took them to Titchfield Abbey, just five minutes away, for their romantic portrait session.

They were absolutely wonderful together...

...and in the stunning setting of the Titchfield Abbey ruins they looked even more amazing.

Phil and Louise travelled from their church to The Elvetham in a vintage fire engine (which was definitely a first for us).

The grounds of Elvetham in Spring sunshine was a stunning backdrop for their wedding...

...and it was lovely to be able to organise a heart-shaped group photograph for them.

John and Lauren were married at Northbrook and were absolutely gorgeous together...

...and despite the overcast skies we were able to photograph her fabulous veil in full flight.

Alex and Karina had their wedding at Moorhill House Hotel in the New Forest. Sadly it was raining for most of the day but we took them just outside the front door of the hotel and were able back light and take this photograph of them.

Their wedding was a real mix of cultures with English, German and Peruvian family and guests. It was a wonderfully unpredictable day with so many different traditions being followed.

After their First Dance her bridesmaids cleared the dance floor and set up this hilarious comedy moment. Alex was sat down and Karina had to be his hands but could not see what she was doing. She had to wash his face, shave him, feed him and brush his teeth. It got really messy. We laughed so much it hurt.

We hope this gives you just a small insight into what 2017 was for us.

by Jacqui and Steve
Fun, fine-art and storying-telling Hampshire Wedding Photography