Camera Hannah - Alternative Wedding Photography Derby UK

Monday, 25 August 2014

{Photography Talk} Why receiving lines are secretly awesome.

Receiving lines. The so called "dreaded" line-up. They've got a bad rep in photography circles.

I don't shoot many weddings with receiving lines… I guess because it's kind of old fashioned and a bit formal people don't tend to do them that much these days… But actually, I'm always inwardly excited when they happen. 

First off… weddings go by so fast… so often couples get to the end and suddenly realise they didn't even get to say hi to some people. I try and do my bit to help this not happen by making sure group shots are kept down and captured efficiently and not taking my couple away from their wedding for too long where possible or finding other times to fit in the portraits... But the fact is that getting the chance to say hi to everyone doesn't always come around. A receiving line can at least mean that the couple get to touch base and give everyone a huge hug. So, while it can be quite a time consuming part of a wedding… we can all relate to why someone might want to do it.

And from my perspective… as a photographer who bloody loves shooting candids… it's like catnip for me. I can just stand there and get shot after shot of smiling faces and hugs and reunions and the odd tear here and there.

So… if you find yourself shooting a wedding with a receiving line how can you make the most of the opportunity?

1) Make sure it doesn't happen in a corridor. Yeah. This is when shooting a receiving line becomes super frustrating. There's no space to move… you feel like you're in the way big time, the lighting is dreadful and you just can't get anything. Guess what… you can ask your couple to move. It's easy. Because you know that if they just take it somewhere with that little extra room that you can take it from impossible to something pretty damn special. And if you say "hey, you know what… if you just move a little bit this way… I can get some really cool photos of your guests while you do this" no one is going to say no to that.

2) Get behind the couple. This is my tactic a lot of the time... whether it's a line up or informal greeting of guests after the ceremony. It's a great place to get reactions, especially if you've followed step one and have some space to play with.

3) Feel the love and reap the rewards. The rewards being the opportunity to get a natural shot of smiling guests. If you're quick and time it right you can get nearly everyone. When this opportunity isn't there this can take hours of patient persistence over the course of the day. It means you go into the reception knowing you have a load of great stuff under your belt already. I've had weddings where there are key guests that I've really struggled to get a good, outwardly happy shot of at any other point of the day that I've managed to get a great candid of during the receiving line. If your work is as focussed on these kind of natural moments as mine is then this is very, very valuable.

So, what do you think of receiving lines? I know I won't convert everyone… but I'm definitely a (not so secret) fan.

Peak District Wedding Photography - Those Derbyshire Skies

I can't wait to blog all of Steph and Rob's gorgeous wedding. But I just wanted to post up a few of their portraits. If you follow my work you'll know that I'm a huge fan of candid moments, capturing things as they happen and storytelling... but that doesn't mean I don't love whisking my couples away for some shots together. I keep things relaxed so that they don't feel out of place next to the rest of my work. So that those moments that are posed feel natural.

Steph and Rob had their reception at Townfield Barn in the Peak District and every time I shoot in the peaks it really reminds me of why I love Derbyshire. Those huge landscapes... the gigantic skies... so beautiful even with some big black rainclouds rolling in... especially with those big black rainclouds. Wild and rugged and beautiful.  
peak district wedding photography

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Bristol Wedding Photography - Jess and Rich at Goldbrick House

Rich and Jess' wedding was back in May when Bristol's Park Street, where their venue Goldbrick House just happens to be, was turned into one long waterslide. It meant that the streets outside the venue were packed out with people so when it came to couple portraits we snuck away to find some quiet spots for couple photos. They opted for video highlights so I had the rather terrific Chris Scuffins working alongside me. It was such a chilled out and family-oriented wedding and how amazing is that cake table?! I'm a total sucker for sequins too.

Testing Sigma's 50mm 1.4 Art Lens - Lauren & Dave's Engagement Shoot in Derby

So Lauren and Dave came over to Allestree, just outside of Derby for a little shoot in the park ahead of their wedding in a couple of weeks. I love the lake, the woodland and the fields there… I'm so lucky to live so close to such a beautiful place. The weather was a mixture, with the heavens opening one moment, strong winds and splashes of warm sun breaking through every now and then. I recently got my paws on one of Sigma's brand new 50mm 1.4 art lenses and decided to pack light and use it for the whole shoot. I've had a little play with it at my last few weddings but this shoot cemented how smitten I am with it. I've used the canon 1.8, 1.4 and 1.2 50mms and Sigma's regular 1.4 (starting to think I might have something of a problem…)  but this is my favourite 50 by far. The shoot felt like a breath of fresh of air for me… when I came to edit it I ended up trying out some new techniques and finally made a bit of a breakthrough with lightroom, which I have resisted for years now. Excited to play more with my new kit and try more new things 

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Peak District Wedding Photography - Roisin & JK at Townfield Barn

Already wed in South Korea, Roisin and JK chose the beautiful surroundings of Townfield Barn, nestled in Derbyshire's beautiful Peak District. With its rolling hills and gorgeous views it was the perfect location for their outdoor hand fasting ceremony. I loved the floral crowns and the guys in their braces and flat caps… the hay bales and the moss on the tables… but most of all the atmosphere was so relaxed. I felt like one of the family. They chose to go for the optional video highlights too so I had an awesome second shooter in the form of Darren Mack. Here are some of my images and video clips from the day…