Pre-Wedding Shoot – Album

Shooting Weddings is great fun and while everyone knows I love being a Broadoaks Country House Wedding Photographer, and indeed shooting throughout the whole of the Lake District & Yorkshire too, my other people passion is for shooting what’s often referred to as Environmental Portraits

Strictly speaking this means shooting a Pig Farmer on a Pig farm, a Banker in the City, a Joiner working with his tools on wood etc. so people photographed in their own specific environment, but in a more lose term it can simply mean ‘Portraits taken out & about’; and in this shoot the out & about was Leeds City centre

A fellow Yorkshire & Lake District Wedding Photographer and good pal of mine, Ricky, and I fancied a shoot together where we could try a few different things and even equipment. So while a lot of what follows is using whatever ambient light there was, several were shot using Off-Camera Flash (both with & without any ambient) and a Light Wand too

Our couple for the evening were most accommodating and happy to give their time too for what turned into quite a walk. Vanessa & Jacob are both only 20 and neither has ever posed for a camera before, so unlike using ‘models’ this shoot was much more like we find shooting a typical Wedding couple too and it was all the better for it. Shooting trained models may give great photos quicker, but its also far too easy as they rarely need direction and it doesn’t prepare anyone for how to shoot ‘real’ people as potential clients

Post editing of their photos I felt that this well varied set would look good in a printed album too, such as a Graphistudio one I use for my Wedding couples too. So here’s the album design layout I put together along with an explanation of how these photos were shot

If you are a couple, or even an individual, wanting a set of Environmental Portrait photos, or even a Photographer wanting to hone your skills, please get in touch and we’ll get something in the diary CONTACT ME

The photos then…

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These first two double-page ‘spreads’ have both Vanessa & Jacob shot against a very new office block by indirect ambient light only. You can see by the rim light effect that it was a very bright sky behind them and this has added a separation light even though they are in shade

The next 4 sets of spreads are all close-ups with their backs against a high metal strip that was the entrance to the same building, and all of these shots were using a speedlight (Yongnuo 560IV) in a gridded 19″ Beauty Dish; the details are 100 ISO at 1/250th sec and f8, such that no ambient was recorded at all meaning this is similar to a studio lighting set-up rather than an ambient/flash mix that is common to OCF work. I’m often asked what flashmeter I use but the fact is I don’t use one at all as I’m a lover of “Blinkies” (flashing highlight alert on the camera’s rear screen in playback)

For Jacob’s set I moved the light from left to right while keeping it the same distance (hence the exposure remained the same). A combination of a slight turning of Jacob’s head together with me changing my shooting angle as given Butterfly, Short and Open Loop lighting patterns; whereas the two larger shots of Vanessa have Rembrandt lighting patterns, more classically in the first than the second. In all of Vanessa’s photos only her head position has changed, the light position, its exposure and her body didn’t move at all

 

For these next two spreads I moved them back into the open away from the building we’d been shooting against. Jacob is now lit by the bright sky in the direction of the setting Sun, which is giving slight shadows akin to using a very large softbox in a Short lighting pattern. While Vanessa is actually partly lit by the Sun reflected in another glass fronted building some 100+m away – its always a good idea to keep your eye out for reflected Sun like this in cities as you can still get the same warmth and hard light even when you can’t directly see the Sun

These next 7 spreads are all shot in the same place, and a disappointingly small space at that – we’d taken a 10 minute walk to the wonderful Leeds Town Hall to shoot on the front facade of columns and impressive gates, only to find it was mostly covered in scaffolding and wood panels leaving just a 8-10m wide gap. After some swearing, we set about doing more close-up work with the first spread being in front of the huge & hugely impressive ornate doors lit only by ambient light, but now it was getting darker so the numbers were 1,000 ISO 1/320th and f2 on an 85mm lens

 

This following spread was shot looking out towards the city streets, but of course Vanessa would be several stops darker than those streets so to balance the light more I switched to using Ricky’s Light Wand, the newly released Yonguo YN360, and I have to say I was so impressed I’m going to buy one too. This clever bit of kit is a continuous light source with variable White Balance and variable power settings, so it was easy to quickly get the look I was after. Light Wands can be used in a variety of ways but here, for maximum contrast, I had it lined up vertically with Vanessa’s nose rather than horizontally across her eyes

 

Next I moved onto some Head & Shoulders shots with ambient only. Here both Vanessa, and then Jacob, are on the edge of Town Hall with me teetering on the steps, so while it is still getting darker it is brighter than the previous shot with the ornate door background. I’m now on 1,000 ISO 1/640th but still at f2 as I wish to maximise the shallow Depth of Field (DoF) and completely throw the annoying scaffolding & paneling background totally Out of Focus (OoF)

 

By now we’d been shooting and walking for well over an hour, so I called it the all important beer-time and we went for a pint

Emerging some 25 mins later it was now pretty much dark, and I took us all across the road to a large bus shelter. Vanessa, Jacob and even Ricky too where clearly thinking – WTF are we doing here? But I was after something more strikingly city and what better than a bus shelter lol

The idea of the first set of 4 images is to give more of a voyeuristic appearance, but I still had to carefully choose where to place my couple in the stream of overhead lights. The problem with modern lighting is that it flickers a lot, although our eyes barely detect that if at all, and shooting at 2,000 ISO 1/250 and still at f2 meant I had to shoot in burst of at least 3 frames per second as, due to the flicker, one would be nicely lit, one partly and another unlit – thank God I wasn’t shooting on film or it’d be a very expensive way to have to shoot !!!

I was then lucky that someone was having bad luck as a Fire Engine screamed past with its Blues & Twos giving the blue lighting you can see on the bottom left image

 

EVERY couple shoot needs a walking shot, and here the added fun of shooting was that I had to shoot at exactly the moment my couple walked into the best light, and also burst enough to capture them in the correct spot at the same time the flickering lights lit them!

 

Following a bus shelter what better than some dark and dirty arches under a railway line? But first, another quick shot in front of a well lit building and again lit by the Light Wand

 

The dark & dirty railway arches have been transformed with bright lighting that constantly changes colour as a result of a recent new entrance to the train station with access from the river. The top left shot is mean & moody as Jacob’s face is lit by ambient only, whereas the rest on that left hand side are lit by the Light Wand again – see, I told you I liked it lol

 

And finally I called it a ‘wrap’ and we headed for the car – but then – I just couldn’t resist a shot of Leeds’ tallest building as a background with those prettily lit trees as a mid ground – and yes they flicker too damn it

This is a mix of ambient and flash, so first you have to establish the light levels for the ambient and this gave me a problem as it was so dark I needed 4,000 ISO at just 1/80th second and still at f2 !!!

The problem then was getting the speedlight to not overpower the couple, and even on its minimum setting of 1/128th power and being some 15ft away in a socked Beauty Dish it was still too bright when fired directly at my couple, so I turned it slightly away from them to use Feathered Light instead; and I have to say that I think it was worth the effort. The wider shots are on my 20mm lens and the closer ones on my 50mm lens, both at f2

If I didn’t use fast prime lenses this would have been a much more tricky (and/or noisy) shot to finish with

So there’s an insight into the fun, problems, successes and technicalities of an evening Photoshoot in a city – do you fancy doing one with me ??? Or even having a shoot for yourself & your partner if you have one ???

If so, get in touch and let’s get it in the diary CONTACT ME

Cheers

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Brought to you by a very happy snapper working as a

Lake District Wedding Photographer

who especially enjoys being a

Broadoaks Country House Hotel Wedding Photographer

Wedding Photographer at Broadoaks

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Whitley Hall Wedding

Being a Lake District Wedding Photographer is great, but as I currently live closer to Barnsley in South Yorkshire I’m pleased to say there are a few places nearby that are great for Wedding Photography too, one such place that’s great for Weddings is Whitley Hall, just north of Sheffield

Vicky & Jamie’s Wedding at Whitley Hall was to be a fairly small affair with just 31 Guests, but what they lacked in number they more than made up for in spirit & fun!

Thankfully that day, although they had only hired the left (smaller) side for a Whitley Hall Wedding, there wasn’t another larger Wedding on the same day so we had full use of the grounds for photos

Here’s a Taster of what we got up to from the 531 photos I delivered to Vicky & Jamie of their wonderful spring Wedding at Whitley Hall

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Brought to you by a very happy snapper working as a

Lake District Wedding Photographer

and I especially enjoying being a

Broadoaks Country House Hotel Wedding Photographer

Wedding Photographer at Broadoaks

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April Wedding at Broadoaks Country House Hotel

My first of two Broadoaks Country House Hotel Weddings in April 2017, and my first of seven April Weddings, kicked off with Kelly & Chris

Kelly and her party had rented a nearby cottage in Ambleside where they’d stayed overnight and were getting ready in the morning, and the good news was that it wasn’t far from a GREGS too – meaning I had a wonderful Steak Bake & Coffee for my 8:30 a.m. breakfast lol

Because Kelly was ready on time we had a few minutes to create some really wonderful Bridal Portraits of her in her finest, and before any ‘weather’ tried to ruin her look before heading off for Broadoaks where they married in the Orangery

Then it was straight outside for some drinkipoos & nibbles before I moved a load of furniture to then do the Group photos. As it wasn’t sunny I could shoot with Broadoaks as the background and I shot around 16 Groups in a little over 30 minutes; even at just 16 Kelly was soon asking how many to go as she was getting bored of it even though it was her list lol

[NOTE to ALL Brides – if there are more than 10 Group shots you WILL be bored, and so probably will your Guests too, yet you can easily do all the main Groups in under 10]

Kelly & Chris then went for a drive in the Lakes for about 1/2 hour while I snapped some fun & largely candid shots of their Guests, along with many Guest couple shots too

It was then time for Wedding Breakfast, Speeches and finally the cutting of the cake immediately followed by First Dance, the latter with the added interest that Kelly’s brother played guitar and sang a set including their First Dance song before handing over for the night to John Penn

Despite what could best be described as some largely miserable grey weather spirits were high and everyone enjoyed themselves immensely – which gave me the chance to both capture & create some great photos too

Anyway – time for some photos all presented in the order taken – just a handful of Tasters really of the 531 delivered to Kelly & Chris for them to choose from for their album

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Brought to you by a very happy snapper working as a

Lake District Wedding Photographer

and I especially enjoying being a

Broadoaks Country House Hotel Wedding Photographer

Wedding Photographer at Broadoaks

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Bingley Wedding in Spring

Last Saturday was a truly glorious sunny & warm Spring day for a Wedding, in fact it was recorded as the warmest so far in 2017

So when I first arrived at the Mercure Bankfield, Bingley, I was met by Tulips & Daffodils in full bloom and Catkins hanging off the trees, now that’s how to start a day as a Wedding Photographer

There were no Prep photos as such, but as I was early I grabbed a few portraits of Siobhan and snapped a few of their daughter too before their horse-drawn carriage whisked them away to church; where I found a nervous looking Groom in Jordon

Back at the hotel the fun started and after the Group photos Siobhan & Jordon were happy to spend about 20 mins getting some photos of their own. We started in the obvious garden area, followed by a stroll up to a tree in bloom and then for something a bit different I took them to a “No access” (oops) part of the hotel for some more grungy backgrounds

I was then invited to sit for a 3-course meal with some of their Guests where chat varied from the extortionate cost of their Barcardi & Coke tipple, to who is currently considering buying Barnsley Football Club, to life in London and why relocating to Carlisle led to a huge lifestyle improvement, and quite a bit of interest in photography too

Sadly sunset was a non-starter and despite a HUGE floodlight on the main hotel’s interesting facade it turned out to have broken 4 years ago and hence would be unlit. So it was back inside for First Dance only to discover the DJ had called in sick, but a local chap stepped in and did a fine job instead. While the outside of the hotel may not light up impressively at night its pretty obvious the inside does, so rather than my usual shooting with my B&G crosslit by the DJ’s lights I shot back towards their Guests to include the magnificent ceiling array

God I love this job!

Anyway, some photos as a Taste of their day

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Brought to you by a very happy snapper working as a

Lake District Wedding Photographer

and I especially enjoying being a

Broadoaks Wedding Photographer

Wedding Photographer at Broadoaks

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Wakefield Camera Club outing

BMW Sandal showroom

I highly recommend ALL photographers to become a member of a Camera Club, or if they think they are posh then a Photographic Society, to both learn from and perhaps to also be able to pass on knowledge & inspiration too. They can also be a great source of finding new mates with a similar outlook & hobby as Photography can seem a lonely life, but they are also a good way to get out & about with others too; which is what happened this week where one member of Wakefield Camera Club had managed to get BMW Sandal to agree to staying open one evening for us to play shooting their cars for 2 hours – and with FREE coffee too !!!

Cars are a very difficult subject to shoot as they are highly reflective and covered in detail (when clean that is), but in a car showroom the added difficulty is that the lighting is anything but kind photographically and there’s generally not enough space between or around the cars, and so it proved with BMW Sandal’s showroom too; in anticipation of which I decided to not use a tripod, but instead to shoot on my prime lenses without flash (or other additional lighting) and as an added challenge to only shoot at f2 for minimal Depth of Field

What follows are my favourite shots from the event shot mostly on my 50mm f1.4 but also using my 35mm f1.8 and 85mm f1.8 too at times; even with such wide apertures giving me faster shutter speeds I was mostly shooting at 1,000 and even 2,000 ISO

That’s enough blabbling – here’s some photos – and if you want any further info on them just drop me an email with your query or CONTACT ME 

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If you love my style of fun, dramatic & romantic Lake District Wedding Photography, then you’ll love me as your

Broadoaks Country House Hotel Wedding Photographer too

so please CONTACT ME to see if I’m available for your date

Speak soon – shoot you lots

David

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Brought to you by a very happy photographer working as a

Wedding Photographer at Broadoaks Country House Hotel

Lake District Wedding Photographer

Broadoaks Wedding Photographer

 

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