Camera Hannah - Alternative Wedding Photography Derby UK

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Rangefinder's 30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography 2014

I found it really, really hard to write this. I've avoided it for the past couple of weeks.

So, I'm going to start by offering some context. 2005... I was 16 and I was pregnant and on this particular day I was sat in the careers office at my secondary school. I was in the first year of my A Levels. The school reluctantly agreed to me seeing out the year on a number of conditions. That I sit my exams in isolation. That I didn't attend the school trips we'd scrimped to pay for which were essential for my exams. And that I sit in this room on this particular occasion, with the father of my unborn child and a twentysomething who worked for a careers advice service. We had to have a joint meeting about our futures. It was an intervention in disguise. We talked about the things I'd wanted to do and I was told they weren't going to happen. When the twentysomething gave up on trying to tempt me into having an abortion, he began advising my ex boyfriend. When he told him he was really not keen to be involved with the baby, the twentysomething was visibly relieved. I sat there while the two of them nattered about his future "if you choose to withold your name from the birth certificate" the advisor said with a smile "you won't even have to pay maintenance". There are various points in life, that darker moments take you right back to.... that inform the decisions you make and the way you live your life. For me, that meeting was one of those. After my son was born I studied from home, I went to university, I built my business... but there has always been that fear that that twentysomething was right and amounting to something was only something other people could hope for. I've worried about letting people down. I've worried that I made family ashamed of my choices. I've been on a mission to prove that I can be a success.

And the reason I'm sharing this as context, and why I nearly didn't write this is... I'm really, really shit at being able to stop and appreciate how far I have come. Because when someone tells you you're going nowhere and you desperately want that not to be true... stopping doesn't really feel like an option. Usually, when something good happens I'm busy thinking about the things that need work, or looking forward. So the thought of writing a post about this incredible honour has filled me with a sort of dread.

But... I think I really owe it to that 16 year old me to write this. Because it is an incredible honour.

When I was nominated to submit images for Rangefinder's 30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography... that would have been enough for me to be honest. Just to be invited was huge for me. I thought about previous winners... the likes of Emma Case, Assassynation, Sam Hurd, Nirav Patel, Andria Lindquist, Ed Peers, Sean Flanigan, Marianne Taylor... and I felt sure that I wouldn't be selected. And I was totally fine with that.

And then, a few weeks ago the email came. Telling me I'd been selected. My brain instantly whirred through all the reasons it might not be true... it's a joke... it's a mistake.... But it was true.

And it would be very easy for me to go with that feeling in my gut like I should just keep looking ahead to the next thing... and I will very soon... But just for a little bit I am going to enjoy it.

I am going to be grateful for my awesome clients and the trust they put in me, for my family, for my mates and my peers who have encouraged me over the last four and a half years. And I'm grateful to you for making it through what is, let's face it, a rather self-indulgent post. 

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Video Fusion Workshop at Farm Week 2015

Ahhh, Photography Farm is a special place for me and my business. I've studied there, modeled there, partied there.. I've made close friends among my peers and fellow farmers. And now I'm going to be teaching there.

I'm so excited. SO EXCITED.

Here's the lowdown... I'm going to be sharing how I make highlights videos at the same time as photographing weddings. It's going to be fun, we're going to shoot together so you can practice and I will be an open book about how I make it work on a practical level. It's highly likely there'll be cake and I'm already getting together goodie bags.

Head over to the Photography Farm website now to book. I can't wait to see you there!! 

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.