Alex and Parki's Engagement Shoot

Alex and Parki live in Hong Kong but flew over to the UK for the pre wedding or engagement photos and what a day we had!! I really enjoy these types of shoots and this was no exception. We started at Rendcomb College in Cirencester where Alex had studied, the buildings and Chinese engagement Photographer_0012grounds were perfect although the weather looked like it would go against us at any moment, luckily we got some photos before it finally poured hard.

The brief for this shoot was fun, drama, contrasty, colourful and vibrant. The very grey and menacing skies actually did us a favour as it certainly made for some dramatic shots!

After Rendcomb college we headed over to Cowley Manor, a stunning hotel that is more like a huge art installation than a hotel. If you haven’t stayed there before and are in the area I highly recommend it. So after another outfit change we were back shooting again and making the most of Cowley Manor’s beautiful grounds including the hidden garden.

This shoot was allot of fun and one I wont forget in a hurry. If you would like to another Asian engagement shoot, this time shot in London, please click here.

Thanks for looking

 

 

Craig and Sarah's Engagement Shoot in Essex

Craig and Sarah decided to shoot at Hatfield Forest in Essex for their pre wedding or engagement session and I am glad they did, what a great place! The autumnal colours were exceptional even if there was a little bit of fog which thankfully cleared a little towards the end of the shoot. 

Bride and groom often ask me if they should have an engagement shoot and my reply is always the same, yes. It really helps couples to feel a little more relaxed in front of the camera for their big day and nine times out of ten the feedback is, ‘thank you Chris we actually really enjoyed it’.

So onto the photos, I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as we did shooting them.

Looking forward to the wedding day!!

Pre wedding shoot in Essex

engagement photoshoot in hatfield forest

off camera flash couple shoot

pre wedding portrait

couple looking at each other Essex engagement shoot

Couple standing under a tree

Paul and Jess's Pre Wedding Shoot in London

Being a Wedding and Engagement Photographer in London is fantastic, some of the worlds most Iconic landmarks in one city and on my doorstep! London is also fast becoming the destination of choice for Asian couples to have their pre wedding or engagement photo shoots. I think its down to London having allot of history and landmarks such as the London Eye, Big Ben, red buses and of course, black cabs! The most popular way would seem to book your flights from Hong Kong to London, have a few days sightseeing and end the week with your photo shoot. 

This particular engagement shoot started in Covent Garden, a really busy market in the centre of London. Trying to get photos without members of the public in was a challenge but we managed to get some. From there we headed to the North side of the River Thames, a stones throw from the South Bank area. The weather was perfect and the light was incredible. Shortly after this though the clouds moved in and that was the end of that shoot.

After rearranging a second shoot date, we started on the South Bank this time. This area of London is always buzzing with people and has access to some of the big landmarks like Big Ben, St Pauls Cathedral, The Tate, The London Eye and Houses of Parliament. Paul Jess, Steven and I started at one end and walked down following the Thames picking out locations on the way. This time the weather was on our side and stayed that way for the duration of the shoot.

Fast forward to Paul and Jess’s wedding, it was an amazing event, a blend of authentic Chinese and English traditions. The Chinese tea ceremony and associated outfits is always a joy to be part of. To see a gallery from the big day, please click here.

Hope you enjoy the images from our shoot, if you are getting married in London or like the idea of a pre wedding or engagement shoot there, please get in touch.

Pre Wedding shoot in Covent Garden, London

Asian couple pre wedding shoot in Covent Garden

An engagement session in London

Asian couple stood on steps in London

Couple kissing in London

Couples portrait sat on grass

Couples portrait sat on grass

Couples portrait sat on grass

Engagement photo in front of Waterloo Train Station

Pre wedding photo in a tunnel south bank london

Asian pre wedding photo with London eye in the background

Engagement shoot with big ben and the houses of parliament

Couple kissing in front of a pink bus

Asian couple embracing on the South Bank

Engagment photo with St Pauls Cathedral in the background

Asian couple holding hands with red wood in the background

Nighttime engagement photography South Bank

Nighttime engagement photography South Bank

Nighttime engagement photography South Bank

Couple on the bridge near to the Tate Gallery

Couple standing under purple downlighting

Getting to Know your Wedding Photographer

Why An Engagement Photo Session Is A Must In The Build Up To Your WeddingEngagement Photography Chiddingstone Castle I know you are probably wondering why bother with engagement photos? Isn't that just showing off? Who wants to see pictures you staring gooey-eyed at each other whilst placing the ring finger in an oh-so-obvious position? Engagement photography doesn't have to be like this however and there are some very good reasons to have an engagement photo session before your wedding.

Engagement Photography is Practising for Wedding Photography

You wouldn't get married without first having a dry run right? Well that's just what engagement photography is doing. It gives you a chance to get to know your wedding photographer and decide whether they are the right photographer for you. It gives you an idea of the style of wedding photography you are looking for. See it as an experimental session. You can ask the photographer to utilise a range of styles and effects for you to browse though so you can pick the style you like the most.

Getting to Know your Wedding Photographer

It's vital that you feel comfortable with your wedding photographer, particularly if you are camera shy. The photographer needs to work with you to encourage you to come out of your shell and coax you into the limelight. A good wedding photographer should be able to spot those frozen smiles and get you to relax so that you look more comfortable and not as if someone is holding a gun to your head!

Couple kissing in front of a magnolia tree Your Wedding Photographer Getting to Know You

It's just as important that your wedding photographer gets to know you, your personalities, your quirks and your preferences. Some couples are prepared to be more daring and inject a sense of fun into their wedding photography whilst others would much prefer a dreamier, more fairytale look. Once the wedding photographer gets to know you they can suggest styles they think you would like and take into consideration your personalities so that when it really matters, on your big day, they capture the very essence of you as a couple.

 

Making Engagement Photos Fun

On your wedding day there is so much happening around you that you might not be aware of the photographer half the time and that's as it should be, which is why it's so fun to get engagement photographs done. You are much more relaxed, you aren't surrounded by family and friends and you don't have any time constraints or pressures.

These moments allow the photographer to capture the chemistry between you and your partner. An engagement photography session needn't be in a studio, it can be taken in the place you both met or somewhere that means something to you both. It can be creative, artistic and lots of fun. You don't have to stand and pose if you don't want to, you are in ultimately in charge and once you see the engagement photographs you will feel a lot better about your wedding photos.

If you want an engagement photography session in Kent, London, Essex, Sussex or Surrey then get in touch for an informal and friendly chat.

Engagement photo shoot

Couple sat under a magnolia tree

Couple stood in amongst bluebells

Pre wedding photoshoot Dave and Amy

How Can I Look More Natural in Photos?

How Can I Look More Natural in Photos? It can be difficult to enjoy having your photograph taken. Many people are not happy with the result and feel disappointed with them. The best photos are captured when someone is unaware that they are being photographed.

Small children take some great photographs because they are unselfconscious. Older children often refuse to pose for photos or they are usually scowling because they didn’t want their photo taken. Teenagers are very conscious of their looks and can censor anything they don’t like, insisting that it is deleted immediately, while many adults just avoid the camera altogether.

It is possible to look good in photographs however, and anyone can do it. All it takes is a bit of knowhow and perhaps a little practice.

How can I look more natural in photos

Children walking a bulldog at a wedding

Relax

To help you to relax, think of a pleasant memory or a place that you love to be. Your face will relax automatically and you may even smile naturally. I know its hard but try to block out the fact a photographer is standing there with a camera.

Don’t Look at the Camera

Looking directly at the camera doesn’t help your pose to look natural. Look to one side or above it for the best results. Position your body so that it is not square on but facing slightly to the side. It is worth deciding if you have a ‘best side’ and turn that towards the camera.

Looking natural in wedding photos

Don’t Say ‘Cheese’

Saying ‘cheese’ stretches your mouth into an unnaturally wide smile. Children can specialise in these, producing a maniacal grin whenever a camera appears. Saying a word ending in ‘uh’ such as ‘yoga’ can result in a more natural photo.

Take Your Time For Photographs

Those glossy shots in the magazines are produced by taking many shots and choosing the best ones. Don’t expect a great shot in one take, but be prepared to take a few and choose the best one. If the photographer is prepared to wait then any nerves should eventually go. When you are taking shots of children, beware of boredom and keep it interesting.

Bride and groom in a jaguar with a sunset

Wear Matte Make-Up

Make-up containing SPF reflects the light and can give you a shiny, washed out look. Choose matte make-up to avoid shine.

bridal preparations, the makeup photos

Lighting

Make sure the light is right! Outdoor shots are the best because the light is natural showing everyone at their best. Photography is often referred to as painting with light and this is so true! Without light we dont have a photo. A good photographer will see where the best light is or if there isn't any, use flash.

couple in a lavender field, engagement shoot kent

Practise with Selfies

If you want to know how to take a better photograph, then practise. Make sure that you know which position you prefer to be in when having your photo taken. Check out your smiles, smooth your hair and do something interesting with your hands. When you know that you look good it will give you confidence when your photograph is taken. Getting to know what looks good and what doesn't will really help, we are all different so the same techniques wont work for everyone.

Following these suggestions should help to ensure that the next time your photograph is taken you will want to keep the end result rather than delete it.

 

Should I Ask a Friend to Take My Wedding Photos?

Weddings are getting more expensive all the time: finding the right venue, the most gorgeous dress, the smartest suit, choosing the bridesmaids’ dresses and the flowers to match. Then there’s the registrar, the reception and that lovely hotel for a honeymoon – it can get very expensive. Working to a budget is very important but this is going to be one of the biggest days of your life. What about photographs? Can money be saved there? You have a friend with a very nice DSLR camera. It has interchangeable lenses so should take some great photos. How the happy couple choose to spend their budget is up to them – and everyone’s budget is different. But before you choose to save money on photographs, stop and consider carefully for a moment:

Should I ask A friend to photograph my wedding

Your wedding photographs will be the most enduring memory of your wedding day.

Your wedding dress will be worn once, dry-cleaned and put away in the attic in a box, the bridesmaids may never wear their dresses again and the groom will probably return the suit to the hire shop. The wedding cake will be eaten, the flowers will fade but the photographs that are taken will last forever. It is important to find the right wedding photographer who will create some wonderful memories of your special day. These photos will be all that is left for you, your children and hopefully your grandchildren to enjoy.

More couples now are electing to have an 'unplugged wedding' where guests are asked not to take photographs. I think this is great as the guests can enjoy every minute of the day without looking at it from behind a phone, iPad or camera. This would however mean the primary photographer that you book will be the only person taking photos, with that in mind, they best be amazing!

Engagement Shoot in a Lavender Field

The right wedding photographer does not necessarily mean the most expensive. Finding the right person for the job involves meeting them, viewing what weddings they have done and making sure that you are comfortable with them and their work. Every photographer is individual and you should spend as much time choosing the right photographer as you did choosing the right dress.

Get to Know Your Wedding Photographer

Many wedding photographers have websites: read their blog and check out their reviews. Do you like the style of photographs they take? How much experience have they got and how much are they in demand? A busy photographer is a sure sign of a good photographer. Can you talk to previous clients of theirs? Do they know the venue that you have chosen or are they going to go and visit it to check it out and ensure that they will have all the right equipment to take great photos on the day.

So, should you ask a friend whether they could take your wedding photos? Organising a group of people to take a good photo takes patience and experience to get the best out of them. Setting the shot so that everyone looks great is important. Winter photos and churches can be very dark and difficult to light you will also not want washed out, red-eye shots of the reception. The equipment itself needed for wedding photography is very expensive likewise the insurances that are needed also carry a cost. Having the right tools for the job is a crucial part of wedding photography, including backups of literally everything!

Wedding Photography from Cooling Castle Barn

Having a friend shoot your wedding will also mean that they cannot enjoy your big day, in fact they will probably be worrying and stressing about it months before the event. Shooting weddings is tough for many reasons, professionals shoot dozens every year and should know the potential pitfalls and avoid them. Whether you still decide to get a friend to shoot your wedding or a professional I would definitely suggest getting a contract, probably even more so with a friend.  It will outline exactly what both parties accept and may help with talks should after a few months the photos have still not been completed.

Capture Your Memories

You think your memories will last but you will be so busy on the day that you may find it passes like a blur. Having beautiful wedding photographs to look back on will ensure that you will always remember what a wonderful day you had.

10 Creative Wedding Favour Ideas

10 Creative Wedding Favour Ideas As a professional wedding photographer for Kent, London and beyond I am always fascinated by the detail that goes into wedding planning. I love capturing Wedding Favour Ideassuch details because it's obvious that a lot of time and thought has gone into planning every aspect of the wedding and I see it as part of my job to record that. These small details can often be made into stunning, artistic images.

Creative wedding favours are one such detail that can be simple, stylish and are always gratefully received. If you are planning your wedding then this is one area you shouldn't overlook. You can charm and delight your guests with just a small, thoughtful gesture. Therefore I've made a list of the 10 most creative wedding favour ideas that I've seen work their magic on wedding guests.

1. Personalised Mini Cakes

Who doesn't love a tasty treat? Personalised wedding favours are all the rage and you can add an intimate touch by having each guest's name iced onto the cake. These sweet treats are a sure fire hit!

2. Retro Sweetie Jars

Get yourself some clear glass or plastic containers (jars work best) and fill them with retro style sweets for a little nostalgic delight.

3. Fruity Spirits

Another great idea is to infuse vodka with a fruit concoction (adding small berries is a nice touch) and then pour into mini bottles to present to your adult guests. For non-drinkers or children you can do the same with spring water.

I've made a list of the 10 most creative wedding favour ideas

 

4. Herby Delights

Give them something living that will continue to be useful in years to come. Herbs such as thyme, rosemary, basil or coriander look stunning in little pots wrapped in paper and sealed with ribbons. It's a gift that keeps on giving.

5. Fruit Tea Infusions

Once the party's finished, tired guests will appreciate a fruit tea infusion before they hit the sack to counterbalance all that excess they've indulged in.

 

6. Hangover Kit

A few of your guests might feel a little fragile the next day so help them out with a hangover kit which can include a bottle of spring water, painkillers, sachet of coffee, eye mask and a piece of fruit.

7. Homemade Candles

Making your own candles is incredibly easy and you can even add a drop of scented oil to make them smell heavenly. Finish off with a ribbon.

8. Origami Kits

A great way to bring guests together is to present them with mini origami kits. Before you know it you'll have a room full of paper swans!

9. Photo Coasters

Pop some of your favourite shots onto coasters to hand to guests - they don't all have to be of you though!

10. Personalised Luggage Tags

For destination weddings these are a real hit amongst guests and helps ensure no-one is parted from their luggage!

These are just a few of my favourite creative wedding favour ideas that I've seen as wedding photographer. I hope it's inspired you!

Don't forget if you need a wedding photographer for Kent, London and surroundings or a destination wedding photographer then don't hesitate to get in touch.

I've made a list of the 10 most creative wedding favour ideas

Shayne & Sarah's Engagement Shoot

This engagement shoot was held in two locations, Dunorlan Park near Tunbridge Wells and Castle Farm near Sevenoaks in Kent. Shayne and Sarah are both Canadian but are getting married here in the UK. Their wedding sounds amazing and I can't wait to photograph it. The setting for the service itself sounds stunning, stay tuned for some photos very soon.

After discussing styles with Shayne and Sarah, a vintage and more muted look was decided on. The set reflects this, apart from a few from the lavender field that I couldn't resist making pop a little more.

Family Time

Well, the 2013 wedding season is well underway now, worked with some amazing couples already and have lots more before the year is over. Having family time when you work most weekends is sometimes a little tricky but this was one of those times when everything seemed aligned and the whole family could get into the studio.

Studio family shoot

It was mostly a case of Charlie and Harry wrestling on the couch but it was great to update the photo album and have a bit of a giggle at the same time. I'll be shooting again this weekend at Chiddingstone Castle so stay tuned for some more wedding photography on the blog.
I also have a set of images being published in a four page feature next month for Your Kent Wedding magazine, its the July/August edition. To grab yourself a copy or to find out where its on sale near you, check out the website http://www.yourkentwedding.com/.

Charlie and Harry in the studio

Family portrait session in Tunbridge Wells

Baby portrait in Kent

Mother and baby studio photography

Dave & Amy's Engagement Shoot in Kent

This year is proving more than tricky to arrange engagement photo shoots, the weather has been so unpredictable! This was the third time I believe we had tried and thank goodness the weather gods were looking down on us.

Dave and Amy Chiddingstone Castle Dave and Amy are such a lovely couple, so easy to work with and I hope that comes across in my images. They're wedding is next week and I cant wait, Cooling Castle Barn is the venue and it's stunning. I shot a wedding there last year and it was very impressed with the staff and venue as a whole.

Engagement or pre wedding shoots are a great way to break the ice prior to the big day, the main emphasis is on having a little fun and its very light hearted. Come the wedding day itself clients feel more like friends than customers. The way it should be I think.

Anyway, here are a few from the engagement shoot, can't wait for the wedding next week guys!

Thanks for looking!

Richard & Ruth's Engagement Shoot at Chiddingstone Castle

Ruth and Richard are holding their wedding reception at Chiddingstone Castle in Kent following a church wedding. Chiddingstone Castle is a stunning venue that offers lots of photographic possibilities. We decided it would also be a great location for the pre-wedding shoot.

Chiddingstone Castle Pre Wedding Shoot

We had already planned this engagement shoot on two occasions but had been rained off, so third time lucky for us! We were very lucky and had a perfect afternoon at Chiddingstone Castle, lazily walking around the beautiful castle grounds. Here are just a few of my favourite photos from the day.

Can't wait for the wedding day, I'm delighted to be their Chiddingstone Castle photographer!

Sarah's Birthday Party Photo Booth Hire

What better way to celebrate you birthday than to hire a huge last house in Goudhurst, Kent and invite you nearest and dearest for a weekend long party! That's exactly what Sarah did, and what a night it was. It was a fancy dress party and the theme was the letter 'S'. Sarah's Birthday Party Photo Booth Hire

Sarah contacted me because she water to mark the occasion with professional photos. After chatting we decided that the photo booth hire and some additional candid shots of the guests would work best.

It really was a great night and everyone had a fab time!

Joe & Celia's Post Wedding Shoot at Brighton Beach, Sussex

I photographed Joe and Celia's wedding in April last year but we never got a chance to do the pre-wedding shoot due to rubbish English weather, so we decided to do a post wedding shoot instead! Joe and Celia's Post Wedding Shoot at Brighton Beach, Sussex

We decided on Brighton as the location and even though the sea air was a little nippy, it was a great afternoon! All of these shots were taken on Brighton beachfront. There are a wealth of shooting possibilities there and it's definitely somewhere I will return to for shoots in the future.

Here are a few from the afternoon.

Peter & Alex's Engagement Shoot at Scotney Castle

This was my first time meeting Peter and Alex so we started at the coffee shop in Scotney Castle to discuss ideas, likes and dislikes. After a good natter we set off into the grounds to take some photos. Peter and Alex's Engagement Shoot at Scotney Castle

These shoots are a great way to get to know each other, and often make for a great ice-breaker before the big day. I personally like to do the engagement shoots quite close to the wedding as it helps the bride and groom to feel more comfortable more quickly on the wedding day itself, and avoids that rabbit in the headlights look!

Anyway, back to business. Scotney Castle is located in Lamberhurst, Kent and is national trust run. On a fair day it really is a beautiful location to take engagement photos. We were very lucky with the weather as you can see and spent a fun couple of hours expiring the castle grounds.

Here is a selection from the day.