Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Will you marry me?

Members of the Mid Sussex Triathlon Club are expected to perform the marshalling functions whenever we host our own local triathlon event here in Burgess Hill.

This year however, apart from assisting in the first hour or so of booking athletes in during the early morning registration process, I was let off lightly.

I had been asked by Steve 'Mac' (race director) to bring my camera gear and to take some shots of the event, so that we'd have plenty of material available for both future event promotion and to assist in the design of our new website, being done by Mike Hook.

Mid Sussex Tri Club prides itself on being friendly, even though we take the sport seriously. The sport has grown immensely over the last few years and the club membership is at it's highest ever.

This year's event completely sold out and plenty turned up to support their friends and family who were competing.


We rely on lots of volunteers to be out on the course to marshall.

There are always lots of 'goodie bags' given away and trophies to be won at our annual event too.

As a photographer I'm always on the lookout for something unusual, but someone came up to me and hinted that it might be a good idea to remain in the finish line area for a little while. So I did and what was to follow was very emotional indeed. Just as Dani, Brighton Triathlon Club's No 49 finished her race, she was met by her boyfriend Harry, who imminently became her fiance!........

 And so this years Mid Sussex Triathlon was a little more successful and eventful than usual!

Monday, 15 April 2013

Fancy Dress Wedding

I received a phone call from John, the father of Teri, the bride to be. He had discovered me by searching the web for a local photographer. He went on to explain that Ian & Teri had finally decided to get married. They had been together for several years and had had children etc, but now they felt it was time to actually tie the knot.

Then came the interesting bit..... It was to be a fancy dress wedding! He said it was a 'heroes & heroines' theme and that the bride and groom would be dressed as Robin Hood and Maid Marian.

When Sue & I sat down with the family to show everyone samples of previous wedding shoots and photobooks etc, they said that most of the guests would probably be adopting a Robin Hood approach to the theme, but that there would possibly be a family of 'Incredibles' and a 'Lara Croft' there!

Well on the big day, there was no disappointment.
Sue and I rushed around in the morning to both Maid                   Marian's & Robin Hood's base camps, where we  captured a few getting ready shots.             

Sue and I arrived at the Registry office well in advance where it became clear that the registrar had not been told about the fancy dress twist and she was convinced that I was pulling her leg (until I showed her the screen on the back of my camera and the getting ready shots). That was a face of surprise!

The ceremony went without a hitch..


and everyone had a great evening


Friday, 6 April 2012

Wedding Entrance Music

It can be a difficult task in choosing what music the bride should enter to. The right piece of music can evoke a special mood and act as the perfect beginning to a ceremony. Here are some useful tips in picking the right music for your special day.

One of the first things to consider is that the entrance of the bride doesn't usually last a long time, so if you pick a 3 minute song, you may only hear the first minute or so. Therefore, if you do have a piece of music you would really like to hear the full length of, then it is advisable to use if for the signing of the register.

In terms of the various styles of music to choose from, there really are many options. You could pick something that is special to you, whether it is a piece of classical music like Pachelbel's Canon, or a pop song that could signify the first time you and your partner met. However, you could simply pick some music that you feel is suitable for the occasion, or ask friends or family members for their advice.

Another important point to think about is what instrument(s) you would like to hear your music performed on. Your favourite jazz standard might sound a bit odd with a string quartet, or a heavy rock classic might struggle to work on the piano. This happens more often than you may think and although most people will probably not notice the unusual choice of instrumentation for a certain song, it is advisable to seek the advice of the musician(s) you decide to employ for the ceremony, to make sure everything is as perfect as it should be.

String quartets are sometimes used for the wedding ceremony, playing mainly classical repertoire with the occasional pop song. However, a cheaper and more flexible option could be to hire a pianist for your wedding entrance music. A pianist will usually have a wider repertoire than a string quartet and you will find most styles of music can easily work on the piano. Another advantage of a pianist is that he or she can be used for the reception as well as the ceremony, and depending upon their level, they should be able to play many different styles of music, to cater for all tastes.

Martyn Croston is a  pianist available to perform quality music at any wedding or party in London and the home counties. Click HERE to visit his site for further information

Monday, 30 May 2011

Vintage Themed Wedding Photography

Here goes - my very first blog - so please do bear with me....

I'm a photographer and I thought I'd share a few experiences having recently been asked to cover a vintage themed wedding. Wedding photography is one of those things that after a while becomes almost second nature. Almost, but not quite.... I have found that however experienced one is or however many weddings one has covered, something always causes just that little bit of added stress; it might be a flash failing to fire, or unexpectedly quick battery drain or a host of potential equipment malfunctions, and that's before you throw in the variables caused by each unique wedding venue, weather conditions and guests etc.

The bride & groom (Kev & Helen) for this wedding were actually friends of mine (and still are!) and I'm never quite sure if that adds to the stress or not. They actually invited me to their wedding a little while ago and asked if I'd like to take my camera along with me to take a few snaps. Well, any professional photographer out there will hopefully agree with me when I say you really do need to be either one thing or the other ie a guest chilling out enjoying the bucks fizz, or the photographer, poised ready to pounce at any opportunity to capture that special moment in time that is guaranteed never to be repeated.

Anyway, Sue my wife was not going to pass up the opportunity of getting dressed up in vintage garb, so the next few weeks comprised mainly of her buying dresses from charity shops, frilly gloves from ebay and me hitting vintage shops in places like the 'Needlemakers' in Lewes, East Sussex, where I found a smart waistcoat. Sue looked great in her outfit, together with black fascinator. I eventually found a quality vintage suit, and the thing I most looked forward to about this wedding was wearing my treasured gold pocket watch in my waistcoat! This had a special place for me, as it had been given to me by Jack, Sue's dad and my friend - a short time before he had died.

For wedding photography, the way I operate is pretty much as a husband and wife team. Sue is that extra personal touch who really connects in a special way with the key individuals from a wedding party. She understands the bride's requirements and little idiosyncrasies, enhancing her experience immeasurably. I've even seen her running around as an extra helper, doing all sorts of things just to keep everything under control. But she is also a great sounding board for me when we bounce around creative posing ideas. For me this was hopefully going to be a perfect chance to capture some wedding images with a difference.

Sue and I visited the registry office venue (Southover Grange, Lewes) a week or so prior to the ceremony at about the right time of day to just get an idea of where the sun is going to be for the outside shots - those shadows can assist or play havoc with an image, so its best to be prepared.

The registry office was fairly well lit, with a mixture of natural window and tungsten light so I'd just need on-camera flash gelled for tungsten. I knew that Kev and his brother Doug his best man, were going to be wearing kilts and had checked the colours of those and the dress etc. I knew Helen would look fantastic, so I had to get the colour balance just so.

During the pre-wedding venue check we also explored the lovely gardens in the grounds and I started to look at possible vantage points for a few eye catching  shots. I knew I'd probably need some added lighting and a reflector, as it was likely to be very sunny on the big day, so I would need to fill in some of the potentially harsh shadows that would be created.

There was also an area in the gardens I quite liked, where there was an old wall which has a couple of arches cut from it. I thought I could do something with this, but it was quite shaded, so I'd need my mobile soft box. Maybe here I could process with a touch of antique sepia.....

Finally the big day came and all went well and without too many hitches from my point of view. Sue did a great job assisting me and Kev & Helen were appreciative of our very low key, relaxed style. The church blessing and marquee reception was planned for the next day. This was going to be covered photographically by another friend, so Sue & I reverted to plan A - bucks fizz mode!!

However, the one thing I managed to do in the interim was to process my favourite image of the couple and to mount and frame it, ready to present it to them at the reception the next day. To say they were pleased was an understatement. I love to see peoples faces when they love their images - it makes it all worthwhile... :)