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Wide and Happy with Sigma

This weekend I had the pleasure of using Sigma's wide angle prime lens, the 20mm F1.4 DG ART in Nikon fit, at the wedding of Kaye and Dean. I have slowly become a fan of these fast prime lenses, which never seem to fail in producing fantastic imagery whilst delivering a great user experience. Over the years my way of working has developed to carry one camera body with me, as I would rather change lenses than have two or three bodies strapped to me at any one time.

Many would immediately go for the convenience of a zoom lens of course, but in the real world I have become increasing dissatisfed with results particularly in the mid telephoto range, where you pay a huge price tag for a fast zoom. It is hard to ignore the beautifully elegant and contemporary looks of the 20mm F1.4 DG ART, which reminds me of the clean lines we have come to expect from Apple with their iPod, iPhone and iPad.

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Old Masters, New life

Some years ago I had a simple thought, could I use an 'old' film lens on a modern day digitial camera? As photographers we all know that having the right gear matters, and the leading equipment manufacturers love to promote their latest products to a hungry audience. The latest gear is always better in every way than what they sold us before, isn't it? 

Lots of online discussion forums and expert comments suggested you can use a lens designed for film on the latest digital models, but I was sceptical. Anyway the only way to know was to try. Back in 2010 when I started wedding photography as part of my business, I turned to a trusty Nikon 55mm f3.5 micro lens.

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Madeley Court Planning Meeting

Delighted to catch up with Laura & Jamie on Sunday for an informal chat. They were visiting the venue to meet with Amy the new Wedding Coorindator, so it was an ideal opportunity to go through the main timings for their June wedding day. When meeting to plan out the day, it is the perfect moment to discuss ideas for the range and style of images I will create for them.

Over the years, I've found this formula works well for me whilst helping to reassure the couple that everything is in hand. Like many couples, Laura and Jamie had booked me over a year ago, so meeting like this helps to get reacquainted. Yes there is regular email contact, but there is nothing better than meeting together at the venue.

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Hidden life of a wedding photographer: album design

A rewarding part of being a wedding photographer, is seeing images from your camera transformed into an album of printed photographs. Of course there is a lengthy process involved and everyone has their own preferred workflow and design ideas. Most people would never realise the work that goes into the album, typically a photographer invests a day into creating a product that the couple will cherish.

Producing the album actually starts on the wedding day. I like to visualise the layout as the images are being taken, which has proven extremely valuable when its time to create the album design. 

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Pendrell Hall Wedding Venue

Sunday I had the pleasure of visiting Pendrell Hall with Steph & Chris, who are planning their New Year's Eve wedding at the venue. I have heard a lot of buzz about this venue in the past few weeks, so I was naturally keen to visit for myself.

Located in Codsall Wood, a lovely village in the South Staffordshire countryside, Pendrell Hall is located in its own beautifully prepared grounds. As a photographer I look at venues from a different perspective to most couples. Once you get past the immediate wow factor and take in the atmosphere, I am thinking about lighting and shooting locations. These don't seem to present a problem here, with lots of beautiful natural light coming through the full length windows and doors.

Wordsley Christmas Wedding

Delighted to end 2015 with the wedding of Sara and Chris, which took place at the impressive Holy Trinity Church Wordsley on Thursday 24th December.

It is always a privilege for me to help a couple with one of the most important days in their lives, as they start married life together. On the eve of the wedding as I was preparing my equipment, I thought back to January when I had originally meet Sara. We had stayed in touch throughout the year and it was difficult to believe the day had finally arrived. For once the weather forecast was right, and it rained during the church service as predicted. To everyone's relief the sun burst through the clouds as the couple were walking down the aisle, perfect timing for group shots outside and with the car before heading over to the reception.

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Hidden life of a wedding photographer: venue visits

The Bride and Groom, their family and friends are making final preparations for the big day. Guess what, your photographer is doing the same...or should be.

Two days ago I was visiting the Chruch and reception venue ahead of my next wedding on Christmas Eve. A vital part of my preparation work is to visit the venues well ahead of the day, because these will be the key backdrops for the events. For me I always want to know where I will be working, as this helps me plan locations to create specific shots and enables me to think about handling different weather conditions.

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Hidden life of a wedding photographer: image editing

The wedding is done, the party is over and the newly married couple have jetted away on their fabulous honeymoon. As their photographer, my journey is only half way through.

Last weekend I was sitting at my computer reflecting on the completion of another wedding. Most people probably don't realise that as a wedding photographer, I spend more time on preparation and post production than I do actually working on the day itself. People don't see this, because the digital revolution has made photography more accessible than ever. One click and you get an image, job done. But to achieve the best possible image quality, they still need to be developed.

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Stunning day at Hogarth's Solihull

October opened with glorious summer like weather, the perfect backdrop for the marriage of Mariam & Graham at Solihull's premier wedding venue Hogarth's.

As Mariam prepared herself for the day ahead, the sun streamed through the full length French doors making just perfect light for make-up shots. The couple had an exquisite lunch in the marquee, perfectly sized for their large reception group. A photobooth created huge excitement and fun in the afternoon, with the fantastic weather adding to the upbeat mood. Ultimately everyone was drawn outside to enjoy the beautifully prepared gardens.

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