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Cheshire based wedding photographer blog

Picture of the day series | Day 5 | UK Wedding Photographer

best relaxed wedding photographer in manchester

Bride ascending staircase


Taken as the bride makes her way to wedding ceremony, Manchester Town Hall
Manchester is a great place to get married, Manchester Town hall being a particular favourite in the city.  The Town Hall is currently closed for refurbishment however there are plenty of wedding venues in Manchester and the surrounding areas that cater for all tastes.  
More info here for anyone interested

Here's a slideshow from the same wedding


bomKnights photography offers a unique and relaxed approach to wedding photography.  Based in Cheshire, covering weddings across the Lake District, UK, Europe and Internationally.

Picture of the day series | Day 4 | UK Wedding Photographer

relaxed wedding photographer in liverpool

Flower girl and bridesmaid


Taken during bridal preparation at 30 James Street, Liverpool
Situated in the heart of the city centre opposite the famous Albert Dock and Three Graces, 30 James Street is a cut above the rest. Offering luxury accommodation within a stunning and historic building, you’ll be transported back in time as you immerse yourself in the opulence of our country’s most glamorous era, enjoying surroundings that impressively recreate the experience of first class passengers about the world’s premier cruise line.
More info here for anyone interested

bomKnights photography offers a unique and relaxed approach to wedding photography.  Based in Cheshire, covering weddings across the UK, Europe and Internationally.

Picture of the day series | Day 3 | Cheshire Wedding Photographer

sandhole oak barn wedding photographer

Wedding guests in conversation


Taken during the recessional at Sandhole Oak Barn, Cheshire
Designed specifically with weddings in mind, the venue was completed in 2005 and is a family run business.  Sandhole Oak Barn is set in 400 acres of rolling Cheshire countryside and offers a magnificent setting for your wedding day.
More info here for anyone interested

bomKnights photography offers a unique and relaxed approach to wedding photography.  Based in Cheshire, covering weddings across the UK, Europe and Internationally.

Picture of the day series | Day 2 | Destination Wedding Photographer

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A walk back to Villa Passalacqua


Taken on the way to Villa Passalacqua, Moltrasio, Lake Como
Villa Passalacqua is a national monument for Italy.  It was constructed in the 1700’s by Count Passalacqua who had been granted the property by the Odescalchi Family—a Northern Papal family.
Over the centuries, the Villa Passalacqua has played host to numerous musicians, artists, writers and statesmen including Napoleon Buonaparte, Vincenzo Bellini and Winston Churchill.
More info here for anyone interested

bomKnights photography offers a unique and relaxed approach to wedding photography.  Based in Cheshire, covering weddings across the UK, Europe and Internationally.

Picture of the day series | Day 1 | UK Wedding Photographer

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Child looking at bride


Taken outside St Clement Danes Church, The Strand, London
St Clement Danes Church is the Central Church of the Royal Air Force. Re-consecrated in 1958 as a perpetual shrine of remembrance to those who have died in service in the RAF it is a living church prayed in and visited throughout the year by thousands of people seeking solace and reflection.
It is famous as the Oranges and Lemons church from the traditional nursery rhyme and the bells ring the tune throughout the day.
More info here for anyone interested

bomKnights photography offers a unique and relaxed approach to wedding photography.  Based in Cheshire, covering weddings across the UK, Europe and Internationally.

Is it emotion - really?

Wedding photographers talk about feeling, emotion and moments in posts they write.  Same with bio's and introductions on websites.  Whimsical words about feeling the moment, heartfelt emotion, capturing special times and all sorts of other stuff.

And that's a lovely sentiment, really it is. 

The trouble is, or the pattern I've noticed is, the more words that are written, the soppier the paragraphs, the less the pictures actually match the words.  Lovely long stories written eloquently only to be supplied with pictures of people looking out of sorts, a bit awkward or uncomfortable.  Where are the pictures with smiles reaching eyes?  The gracefully posed couples who look extatically happy?  Where are the moments exactly? The ones that match the words written??

And that's sad, are we, as photographers masking our emotionless pictures with words, is that the trend these days?  Are we so desperate for couples to like our work that we will say anything in the hope their minds are clouded by our writings and they don't actually study the pictures themselves?  Do we care more for writing fancy verses and lines of love than we actually do about the pictures?  The very things we should be caring about.

Please, please, please if you're a new photographer in the business, don't hide behind words and false promises, let your pictures tell the story, show the emotion, after all you're a photographer not a writer. 

I really hope this trend stops soon, it's diluting the power of pictures, saying words doesn't make a picture great.

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The way I work, what makes me stand out? | Relaxed UK Wedding Photographer

It's all about you being relaxed

The way a photograper works on your wedding day is vital.  It obviously depends on the approach you want from them, which will either really positively or negatively have an impact on your wedding day.  I class myself as a 'candid, reportage, you don't know I'm there' type of photographer and while it's easy to simply say the words "I'm unobtrusive, everyone will think I'm a guest" and similar stuff on a website it's actually a lot harder to put any meaning behind it so you can imagine it on your actual wedding day (and in truth actually do it on the day) - after all you really don't want to be left a bit put out if someone promises a certain approach but doesn't actually deliver on the day...so I'll attempt to put some meaning into the words.

In this post I'll draw comparisons to the way a lot of other photographers work - during those comparisons I'm not saying one way is better that another, I'm not saying other people are doing it wrong - different approaches work for different people and that's cool. So before any photographers get pissy and start sending me ranty messages, cool your jets please. If my approach sounds like something you as a couple can dig, brilliant. 

I very much tout myself as someone who'll fit in with your day, and ultimately that's my aim - relaxed you, relaxed your family, relaxed guests means pictures of you all being relaxed and that's what I want.  Pictures of people who feel uncomfortable having their picture taken suck (in my world anyway).

So let's dive in....

Comparison 1

Imagine this.  You're having a nice chat with your granny, both of you are sharing a moment, how lovely, how more lovely to have a picture of it. In order to get a lovely picture of the moment a photographer often takes multiple pictures of the same scene in some cases up to 60, so they can choose the best one to give to you, now further imagine a photographer with a camera to their eye taking picture after picture after picture while you're trying to have a nice heart to heart chat, it may become rather distracting, certainly if they're there for a while hovering like a crazed paparazzi, and that's just one moment - imagine that happening throughout the day. Now that's fine if you're not bothered about a low key, non-intrusive approach to your day and some people aren't, like I say that's cool.

Here's my alternative though.  I'll be stood talking to someone, your partner, a family member or a guest - we'll probably be talking about food...I like talking about food, or maybe music, or how nice the weather is (or isn't), anyway what we're talking about is irrelevant I guess.  While we're talking I'll notice the lovely chat you're having with your granny, I'll already be in the right place to take a picture because experience teaches me subconsciously where to be and when.  So I'm talking away to whoever, while observing what's happening around me, just at the point you and your granny are at the peak of your 'moment', maybe wide smiles, a little hand on the arm etc, I'll ever so slightly tilt my camera (that's in my right hand) towards you, I won't raise it to my eye, there'll be no big movements, just a little subtle one that no-one will notice - I'll take a picture.  No-one will know I've taken it, not even the person I'm talking to.  That's it, one picture, that moment is done.  No interruption, no awkwardness, no photographer ;)

 

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Comparison 2

It's the morning of your wedding, there's usually a nice chilled calm first thing in the morning while the excitement is building. People getting their hair done, instagramming various things, selfies galore, messages from people arriving etc etc.  Then the photographer turns up, you might be sitting down having breakfast and suddenly there's this stranger in your house taking pictures, usually silently at first until everyone feels a bit more comfortable.  Here's the thing I guess, if I'm (as you) trying to do something like eat I don't want a silent stranger buzzing around me putting me off my croissant.  It can be a bit of an awkward time and that can continue throughout the morning.  Again - if you want a silent observer that's fine, I'm not knocking it, works for some people.

Here's my approach.  I'll sit myself down with you (demand to be fed in a nice way of course), I won't tip up and start taking pictures I'll work on everyone feeling like they know me.  Of course there'll be pictures, but I'll pace the taking depending on how that relationship building is going and I'll very much be a part of your morning so you and everyone else feel like they know me in a very short space of time.  Ultimately I want you comfortable around me, and put more time into getting to that stage than I do taking pictures, now that may sound counter productive - a photographer saying they spend less time taking pictures than anything else but it pays for itself tenfold when it comes to quality of pictures of you being you vs quantity of pictures of you being uncomfortable. 

The morning is super important from a setting the tone of the day perspective, I've played scrabble with families, helped dress the venue, picked up the wedding dress from a shop and all the things you'd expect of someone who's a family member. Building that relationship with everyone in the house, putting you all at ease is worth far more than taking 200 meaningless pictures in the morning.  So yeah, if I'm invited to your wedding - expect to put the kettle on, feed me in the morning and treat me like a family member.  In return you'll get some real pictures with proper character.

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Comparison 3

Ultimately the whole point of this post is to explain how I operate throughout the day, which is consistently not being a pain in the arse or making people feel awkward, or indeed actually behaving like a wedding photographer. 

There's no hovering around in people's space making them feel uncomfortable, and while it may not seem like a big deal I rarely raise my camera to my eye to take a picture  - which when I'm trying to blend in and be a part of your wedding day is actually a big deal because I'm not behaving like a normal photographer.   

There's no awkward shuffling around in the background or mooching around like I don't belong there, I'm just like every other person at your wedding - just there enjoying it, the difference is I'm taking pictures while I do

Oh, I nearly forgot - the evening.. dancefloor pictures happen from the dancefloor, like ON THE DANCEFLOOR, I'll leave that there.

Shit, last point then I'll shut up, sorry I keep remembering stuff!!  To be unobtrusive, blend in etc I don't think that can be done with a huge daft camera and huge dafter lens - I only have a little one, it let's me blend in properly.  Don't mock it! 

Right that's it, here's some more pictures from Abi & Marks relaxed wedding to illustrate the points made above.  A selection of pictures, taken unobtrusively with no hovering around.

Thanks for reading !

 

What makes me different as a wedding photographer?

best wedding photographer for relaxed approach

How I photograph your day

Try and imagine a scene, you're stood talking with a few friends after your wedding ceremony, someone is relaying a funny story to your small group, your photographer notices something going on so comes over and starts taking pictures.  Lots of pictures, until the punchline is delivered then they move on somewhere else and do the same thing.

It's called 'shooting through the moments' in photography circles, either standing in the same place or circling a group of people taking plenty of pictures of that conversation (or whatever else is going on).  The idea being when it comes to having a picture of something happening at a particular moment in time the photographer can scroll through 10's (sometimes hundreds) and choose one they like.

That's fine from a picture perspective and I'm sure that technique delivers a nice picture, but for me (and having been a guest at plenty of weddings myself), I do find it rather distracting and a bit bloody annoying to have someone just taking picture after picture after picture for what seems like ages while I'm trying to have a conversation and relax, it makes me uncomfortable and that's me as a photographer - goodness knows how normal wedding folk feel! 

So I don't do that, I believe there's a moment to be photographed alright, but one picture will do it not loads - I take a picture either while I'm part of the conversation myself (remember I'm just like a guest and because I rarely put my little camera to my eye people don't even know I've taken their picture), or a quick in and out before anyone knows I've even been there - It's simply down to observation, listening to what's happening around me and pre-empting where I need to be and when (so I'm not distracting people or getting on their nerves).  That's also why so many people are surprised I'm the photographer at a wedding, because I don't stand around taking hundreds of pictures of the same thing.

One moment > one picture that's my motto.  It's far less annoying.  No clackety clack clack of a camera going off, no weirdo bobbing and weaving in your peripheral vision. Nice and easy, nice and relaxed.

very relaxed wedding photographer

If you love the sound of my approach and want a really low key photographer at your wedding, have a browse around for a while and get in touch - I'd love to hear from you.

I'm based in Cheshire and offer my very relaxed wedding photography across Cheshire, manchester, the UK and Europe (and occasionally further afield).

Random wedding pictures | UK Documentary Wedding Photographer

Here's a selection of randomly selected wedding pictures for your enjoyment. Enjoy 😁

 Nottingham Wedding - end of the night 

Nottingham Wedding - end of the night 

 London wedding prep at ME hotel

London wedding prep at ME hotel

 Destination wedding, Italy 

Destination wedding, Italy 

 Little man, Sheffield Wedding Photographer 

Little man, Sheffield Wedding Photographer 

 Happy driver for the morning, Lake District Wedding Photographer 

Happy driver for the morning, Lake District Wedding Photographer 

 Wedding guests, Marquee wedding 

Wedding guests, Marquee wedding 

 End of the night, wedding guests at Whitley Hall Wedding Venue 

End of the night, wedding guests at Whitley Hall Wedding Venue 

 Wedding morning, Nottingham 

Wedding morning, Nottingham 

 Wedding guests trying to get a better view of the bride and groom 

Wedding guests trying to get a better view of the bride and groom 

 Wild thing, Sheffield 

Wild thing, Sheffield 

 Groom at sunset, Lake District 

Groom at sunset, Lake District 

 Group shot, not a group shot | Informal formals 

Group shot, not a group shot | Informal formals 

 Spring wedding, a bit nippy at Sandhole Oak Barn, Cheshire 

Spring wedding, a bit nippy at Sandhole Oak Barn, Cheshire 

 Instructions from the registrar, Belle Epoque Wedding Venue, Cheshire 

Instructions from the registrar, Belle Epoque Wedding Venue, Cheshire 

 Flower girl at receiving line 

Flower girl at receiving line 

 Morning prep, London Wedding 

Morning prep, London Wedding 

 Grooms speech, Villa Passalacqua, Como 

Grooms speech, Villa Passalacqua, Como 

 Wedding guests partying 

Wedding guests partying 

 There's that look! The Strand, London 

There's that look! The Strand, London 

 Happy faces making an entrance, Cheshire wedding 

Happy faces making an entrance, Cheshire wedding 

 Yeah that's me. Cheeky selfie with villa owner, destination wedding 

Yeah that's me. Cheeky selfie with villa owner, destination wedding 

A lot of people ask why I randomly select pictures to show.  It's so you get a really good idea of all the pictures you can expect.  Cherry picking pictures can give a false impression of how your final gallery will look - I'd rather be a bit more open 😁

Wedding entertainment idea

As a photographer I see lots of weddings.  There's often a lot of questions about what to do during that time after the wedding breakfast and before the evening kicks off.

So here's a great time killer for your guests.  


The table selfie game  

It's quite a simple one and costs nothing but can prove to be rather entertaining!

Set up a hashtag for your wedding, have a competition per table to come up with the most outrageous table selfie - top 3 get a prize.

Have each table upload their group selfie(s) to your hashtag and add their table number.  Example #WinstonWeddingExtravaganza2018_table6 (or whatever the table is called)

It provides at least a good hour or two of hilarity!

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Who's got some other wedding lull suggestions? - get involved, let's help keep each other entertained.

Here's a few more to get you started, some of which can edge into the evening if the weather is nice :

Bouncy castles (they aren't just for kids)

Giant garden games - skittles, pin the tail, juggling balls, hula hoops, chess, jenga

Fire pits and marshmallows (careful of the kids)

 

 

Earn yourself £100 - WHOOP | Wedding Photography

Earn yourself a night out on me, or half a night out - depends how much you drink.

Anyway, there's like thousands of emails flying around about this GDPR stuff.  So while everyone's in a state of panic I thought I'd introduce a bit of something not to panic over.

So what's the big idea?  I'll be honest, I have random ideas, not big ideas but they usually turn out to be bloody brilliant ideas so it's all good.  Here's the deal - if you recommend someone to have me as their wedding photographer by tagging them in this post on facebook or commenting on this particular blog bit, and they then end up booking me because you were being a good egg, you earn yourself £100 to go out and do whatever you want with.

Now - remember, these people have to book and pay a deposit I'm not just throwing money around willy nilly, and they have to mention your name when they contact me, and I need to be able to see you've actually tagged someone before they get in touch with me - no cheatsies please!.  Yeah there's rules.

Sooooo, what are you waiting for? Share and tag some people and get yourself some money for not doing a lot.  Tell them to watch the video below so they know what they're in for, it saves me having to explain myself ;) 

And, I won't even end this offer, it'll stand forever (or until I delete it at least)

This doesn't apply to people who've already booked (sorry)

You're welcome

 

Wedding Photography | Knowing what people want @ The Belle Epoque, Cheshire

When the registrar says "Why aren't you doing a signing picture?" 

"because they don't want any of that stuff" 

"but they must have one"  

"no they mustn't"  

"yes they should, here I'll arrange everyone for you if you're uncomfortable doing it"  

"honestly there's no need"  

and then they were arranged, looking rather wtf is going on

"I'm telling you they don't want anything posed"  

"nonsense, everyone loves pictures like this"  

...looking at their faces  "not everyone" 

"just take the picture you might as well everyone's there now"  

"OK, sounds like a great idea, you're absolutely right, I've no idea why I didn't think of it" 

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If one of your biggest fears is having to pose or feeling like you're having your picture taken constantly - don't worry I've got your back.  

I don't do posed, I won't make you feel awkward, I won't interrupt your day for pictures. 

I LOVE having my picture taken, said hardly anyone, ever : Wedding Photography probs

Cheshire Wedding Photography | Moments

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A moment from a wedding that will mean absolutely nothing except to the people who were there.  

Seconds after Jim nearly drove a car through the kitchen window, oh how we laughed! (and shit ourselves a little bit) 

Documentary Wedding Photography - the memories are in the things no-one else will understand.

 

Wedding Photography - Why I really stay late?

The story, the memories. 

Yeah yeah, I know... I portray myself as a  party animal who's a real hoot to be around in the evening (and the day).  Someone you and your guests can enjoy themselves with, someone who actively takes part during the day and especially at night.  All those things are true. 

The real reason I stay is for the story, your story and your memories.  Pictures of people having a great time on the dancefloor at your wedding is great and I am rather good at it, BUT the real reason I stay is stuff like this....  

Here follows the last sequence of pictures from Abi & Marks wedding .  Taken at some point between 1 and 1.30am as the day was finishing when we were all rather drunk. 

These are memories, these are your memories, this is why I stay.  They aren't pictures for popularity, or winning awards or to please anyone else, they are pictures I take for you as a couple, your pictures, your real memories of what will be a fantastic day.  

 Last dance, not the first dance - end of the night

Last dance, not the first dance - end of the night

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I recently had a 'debate' (we'll call it that) with another photographer who stated quite openly I'm irresponsible for joining in during the wedding, it's not what couples want and it's 'unprofessional'.

My answer to that was piss off - I'm not here to please other photographers or a pat on the head - I'm here to photograph a couples day, to make sure they feel comfortable around me and to give them proper memories in pictures.  I'm here for the people who book me - to give them what they want, which is me, my approach and my (their) pictures.

So my answer to me being irresponsible is.....am I?

Or does being viewed as part of the wedding, rather than the hired help give a unique and personal insight into your day that you just don't get from 'the photographer'? 

Does you trusting me, embracing my approach, feeling 100% comfortable around me give you real memories to look back on, show your real character ?

I'd argue yes, a million % yes, and so would my couples.  

If you're in any doubt, click here to read the review from Abi & Mark, my new friends. 

Thanks for reading. 

For budding photographers - hunger

Passion & drive

Here's a rhetorical question.  How much do you want it?  

In a world that easily speaks online of passion what does that actually mean to you?  I mean how much does it really mean?

A budding photographer contacted me last week, lovely message how much they admired my work, my outlook and drive blah de blah.  I offered them an opportunity to tag along at a wedding, no expectation on them to perform, no 'charge for mentoring', simply an opportunity to learn - their response?  "That's a bit far away from me but I'd love it if you would let me now if you've anything a bit closer to home" - see you later, you'll never hear from me again.  I didn't even bother responding to that message.  To me that stinks of "I want to take the easy route" #cbf

When I started out I messaged every photographer I looked up to, offering to do anything just for the opportunity to see how they worked, jees I'd have polished their shoes and travelled any distance to do it.  Most didn't even reply to my messages, everyone else who did simply added me to a mailing list so I could pay to go on their training courses.  

Drive, hunger, determination when you're starting off - they're important, more than important.  Certainly in a world where people are looking for an easy 'in', a shortcut or somehow think owning a camera and setting up a "I'm a photographer facebook page" makes them a wedding photographer. 

For every 100 people like that there's a few examples of people who actually want to graft, make the effort and be a success, and they're the people who will be successful :

Shaun Carr came to Italy with me, funded by himself, no complaints just a pure drive to improve and grasp an opportunity

Karl Chester shot a bunch of weddings with me, happy to travel anywhere with no complaints.

Both of them, driven, determined, wanted to be successful and I've a huge amount of respect for both of them, they're now excellent photographers in their own right - both have put the graft in, both have drive and determination - full props to them and I happily recommend them to couples because they deserve it.

So my question I guess is, how much do you want it?  While you're looking for the 'easy' there's people like me, like Shaun and Karl grafting away, people who've got that desire and passion.  People who are still awake at 3am in the morning, learning, practicing, writing posts like this (like I am). 

If you want it, if you really want it you've gotta work harder than the person next to you.  Otherwise, while you're sleeping, watching tv, wasting time - we're at it, thinking photography, improving ourselves, out shooting every day, honing our skills and  grinding away.  I can't remember the last time I went to bed before 1am - if I've not got my head in a book or honing my skills I'm watching something photography or art related.  

Yeah I might be completely blasé about the whole photography thing, how I approach weddings and appear to be completely relaxed about the whole thing but you know what, that's because outside of actually shooting a wedding I'm grafting my arse off, I'm putting the hours in that no-one ever sees and that allows me the luxury of being relaxed come 'game time', it's all in the preparation.

Natural ability gets you so far but nothing replaces good old fashioned hard work.  There's an old saying when I taught martial arts - "Train hard, fight easy" same applies to everything.  

anyway it's 3.30am now and I'm really knackered, goodnight !

 

A safe place to talk wedding stuff for brides & grooms

Say what you like, ask what you like

cheshire wedding photographer advice

I know, I know Facebook is full of wedding support groups  - do we REALLY need another?  Yes I would say, this is mine so it certainly is on the 'need' list. 

Seriously though, I was a member of a fair few of these types of groups, until I either left (because they can turn into judgmental bitch fests) or got booted out for being too honest (you'll find I'm rather upfront about things, surely that's a good thing)

Anyway, I've set up a safe haven for potential couples of mine to chit chat about weddings, say what they like, be as honest as they like, ask honest questions, give advice and tips to each other about their wedding, there's also going to be some of my past couples in there who will give you a completely honest opinion on all manner of things if you ask.

I want this to be a true support community for people who've booked me as their wedding photographer, or people who are thinking of booking me - how well it works is largely up to you guys (the people who join it), feel free to invite your family, friends, bridesmaids, groomsmen or anyone who's going to be a part of your wedding.

There will be no other vendors here, no-one will be advertising anything or peddling their wares, so think of it like a big (hopefully) virtual coffee shop where you can have a good natter, ask for advice or just blow off some steam.

Here's the link - https://www.facebook.com/groups/193362621287499/

 

Why photograph weddings?

There's a good question! I mean they're thoroughly boring things aren't they, all that pomp and ceremony, the never ending tradition, the herding people around for pictures, the standing around bored urghhhh couldn't think of anything worse!! 

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 Nahhhhh only joking, they're brilliant really aren't they.  Well I think they are, maybe I'm just lucky because I get couples who really invest in my approach, have great weddings, and are jolly nice people (and their friends are a bit mental usually) 

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Shooting a wedding is like a day off for me, easy peasey.  I mean everything is just there on a proverbial plate, the people, the setting, all different kinds of emotion, people expect to have their picture taken, everyone's happy, not to mention the food, drink and party at night. 

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I bloody love weddings!  They're a documentary wedding photographers paradise, and some people dress like chickens which is even better. 

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So then, if you're having a wedding, and it's going to be good, and you'd like some excellent pictures of it, get in touch.  

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I'm a relaxed documentary wedding photographer based in Cheshire, covering weddings across the UK and Europe.