There is some confusion in the wedding photography market that unobtrusive wedding photography is a photographer who stands in the corner trying not to be seen and that somehow that will produce results which are ideal.

Sorry… but that’s just creepy! It makes everyone around the photographer uncomfortable! If you’re a photographer doing this, stop it now!

So what does unobtrusive photography really mean then? Well, it really means not to get in the way of the day – not to be stopping it every five minutes while you carefully craft a pose which is just too perfect – ie. it looks unnatural.

How to be unobtrusive at a wedding?

So how can you be unobtrusive and still get natural and fun results? Well, you get involved as much as you possibly can! You talk to the guests, make them realise you’re a normal person and you’re fun too.

In essence, you be a guest, but a guest who happens to take a lot of very very good photographs!

Everyone then stops seeing you as a scary photographer who will take photos that they hate. Instead they’ll be totally natural, showing their real personality rather than wearing a “wedding smile” all day. You want to remember your friends and family how they really are.

Unobtrusive wedding photography examples

Here are a couple of examples from a recent wedding. All of the guests trusted me and were enjoying my company and so were totally relaxed around me.

unobtrusive-wedding-photography-0002 unobtrusive-wedding-photography-0003 unobtrusive-wedding-photography-0004



comments 0

read comments

leave a comment



What’s an unplugged wedding?

First off then, what’s an unplugged wedding? Well, it’s usually a wedding where the guests are asked to leave their cameras at home and trust that the professional they hired will take the photographs that are required. Some people say a wedding should only be unplugged for the ceremony though.

The common theme though is that people don’t want cameras getting the way and they want their guests to chat, laugh, smell the air, look around at their surrounding and engage – rather than just staring at a screen.


Why should you have an unplugged wedding?

Well, there’s no doubt that at certain points of the day, guests with cameras can be an issue to me delivering you the best set of wedding photographs. I regularly have to ask guests to move in from the aisle just before the couple walk down since they all put their cameras out and start to take photos. That means my photos of you walking down the aisle is you in the worlds biggest Paparazzi shoot! Sometimes peoples flashes ruin my photographs too. If you search for “unplugged wedding” and click on “images”, you’ll find plenty of examples.


The other time when it can become an issue is with group photographs. If your guests are stood behind me taking photos, people will naturally look at other cameras and I’m stuck having to copy heads from one place to another to get a photo where everyone is looking at me. Not the end of the world maybe, but it just looks like I wasn’t paying attention and I have the highest standards.

Why should you not have an unplugged wedding?

With everyone talking about why to have an unplugged wedding, I thought it’s important to be a little balanced on the subject and discuss why you should not follow this trend.

Firstly, pictures of guests taking pictures of you is part of modern weddings. I think it shows that they care about your day and they want to remember it. Of course you’ll have my photos and you can give them to your friends and family, but how many people really do?

Secondly, people like taking photos. It gives them something to do and makes them feel part of your wedding. They probably haven’t seen some of your guests for years and they’d like photos with them.


What do I recommend?

Well, as a photographer I’d love for guests not to use their cameras when you’re walking down the aisle. I’d also love for people not to stand behind me and take photos of the groups.

That said, I think I’d miss the smile on peoples faces when they take a photo of someone they care about and haven’t seen for years.

I mean.. in the end that’s why you’ve got me there, isn’t it? Because photos are important.

comments 0

read comments

leave a comment

No, it wasn’t lunch that made me so full, but I’ve pretty much reached my limit for weddings in 2014, except maybe a couple late on in the year depending.

Sadly I’m currently having to turn down enquiries which come in.

I don’t know if most people realise or not, but popular photographers regularly book up a year to 18 months in advance and, if you’re keen on getting the photographer whose work you love, you need to get in there as soon as possible.

It goes without saying that I’m actively booking for 2015 now and enquiries are coming in fast as couples plan their wedding… so if you’re interested in booking me for 2015, please get in touch as soon as possible 🙂

comments 0

read comments

leave a comment


… also known as how to ruin your wedding day! You might be surprised by this comment about ruining your day with a photography checklist, but bear with me.

You don’t recommend a wedding photography checklist?

Let’s examine first what most people mean when they talk about a wedding photography checklist. Usually it’s a list around 100 items long with detailed shots, such as:

  • Mother adjusting the veil
  • Bride putting on the garter
  • Bride in mirror with bridesmaids in the background

And here’s the key problem:

If I’m looking down a photography checklist and setting up shots, I’m missing the happiness on faces and instead concentrating on ticking boxes.

Photographers are fundamentally a creative bunch. Some are more creative than others, but we produce art we love and art is never about ticking boxes. It comes from the heart and the soul, not from a list..

So how do we make sure we get the photos we need?

Firstly, let go and trust that your experienced photographer has (hopefully) been to plenty of weddings and knows which shots are needed. They won’t miss the kiss. They won’t miss the exchange of rings. These are key shots. If they don’t know they need these shots, you might want to choose another photographer anyway.

I always allow my couples to specify the group photographs that they want, since I don’t know their families, plus a small list of more unique photos which might be important to them – such as a photograph of the rings. Outside of these, your photographer should be following you around or directing you as required.

Hmm… I’m not convinced…

If you think you need a massive list of specific wedding photography, you aren’t going to enjoy your wedding day as much. Instead you’ll worry about whether everything is being ticked and your photographer will be doing the same. Instead of concentrating in quality and light and beauty and emotion, they will spend their time just trying to fulfill a contractual obligation.

The expression of the feelings you share as a couple should bring about a joy which shows through in the photographs. If you’re enjoying your day, great moments will present themselves and your photographer can capture them naturally… which is always better than ticking off lists with false smiles.

I really hope I’ve changed your mind about creating a long list of photographs!

comments 0

read comments

leave a comment

One of the most confusing aspects of the wedding industry is that prices seem to be all over the place.
But why?

Jump to a section

Price averages

You can spend anything from pretty much zero to £10,000 for a UK wedding photographer – and if you look worldwide you can pay even more! You’ve probably seen some of this already with ads promising high quality coverage both for £395, £995, £1495, £1995 and £2995. Why pay £2995? Or is £395 enough for everyone?

Why do I charge £1695 for the day? Why should you pay the extra over a photographer who charges £1000 or £1500? What more will I deliver compared with the other photographers?

Let’s start with an average though. The accepted norm in the UK wedding industry is to spend 10-15% of your wedding budget on your wedding photographer, or 20% if the quality of your memories are particularly important to you.


That makes the average spend around the £1200 mark, but that amount is obviously location dependent.


What are the typical price brackets?

Let’s ignore albums for a minute and just talk about prices for photography and a disk/USB (I know not all photographers sell the files… but let’s assume they do for the minute).

It seems that anyone “with a good camera” is seen as a potential wedding photographer.

What you will find is that photography mirrors the food industry: for both £2 and £500 you can buy a thing called “a meal”; they are both food, but they are incredibly different. The £2 meal will contain sustenance that your body needs (along with some it doesn’t..), while the £500 meal will be a work of art. The £500 chef knows about aspects of cooking that the £2 cook doesn’t even know exist.

The same is true of wedding photographers. The typical price brackets for a full day of photography are as follows..


As mentioned, wedding photography prices are also affected by location – you will pay more in London than in a quiet village in Wales, for example.

Why pay more for your photographer?

It’s very human to assume that other peoples jobs don’t require much experience and photography is no exception; it seems that anyone “with a good camera” is seen as a potential wedding photographer.

On the whole, throughout every industry worldwide, you do get what you pay for. Cars, houses, food, holidays and so on all follow the same rule.



The truth is that someone who takes some nice photos of ducks or landscapes or even people is as capable of photographing a wedding as I am at cooking a meal worth £500! Wedding photography requires a very specialised set of skills – people, organisational and photography skills – which are developed over years.

So .. pay more to reduce risk! As you pay more, generally, you reduce the risk of disappointment. It isn’t a 100% correlation, but most of the time it’s true.

  • A free photographer may experience basic problems and you might not receive usable photos.
  • A cheap photographer for £500 will probably produce poor results at some points.
  • A professional photographer for £1000 will likely produce acceptable results in most circumstances.
  • An experienced photographer for £1500 will probably produce a consistent set of photographs with a style.
  • A luxury wedding photographer for £3000 should produce amazing results, no matter.


Of course, the “for free” photographer may have everything in their favour one day and produce amazing results while the luxury wedding photographer might have an off day and mess up … The chances of these happening are low though. That’s why it’s about risk and not certainty.

Couples usually have little or no experience of professional photography on which to make an assessment about value for money.

Do you really get what you pay for then?

On the whole, throughout every industry worldwide, you do get what you pay for. Cars, houses, food, holidays and so on all follow the same rule. Photography is definitely no exception, but it is unique in that couples usually have little or no experience of professional photography on which to make an assessment about value for money.


Just like with chefs, photographers have a limit to their natural talent too. Photographers who are more effective will generally float to the top end of the industry because their love for their art will push them to produce more and more of the beautiful work that they get a buzz from.

Bargains can definitely be found, especially if you’re willing to be less exact with your requirements, but photographers who are more expensive will tend to provide a better service and more stunning photographs than a photographer who charges less.

Here are some of the differences that you can expect from a more expensive photographer:


  • Generally, be a more competent photographer. This is the most obvious difference. In theory at least, every photograph I produce will be more effective than a cheaper photographers.
  • Use more expensive equipment, such as the highest quality lenses (which can cost up to £2000 each!), cameras and lighting. These do make a difference.
  • Spend more time and be more competent in the post production of photographs, which is where photos can really shine. They could also have a higher quality screen and a colour accuracy tool.
  • Spend more time listening to the couples needs and giving advice.
  • Have more effective admin and business systems.
  • Deliver your wedding using higher quality products.

If a photographer is charging less, it’s very likely that some or all of these elements will be missing.

What matters, and what doesn’t?

In articles, I see much of the advice which is touted tends to lead you to that own photographers business or written by online magazines who don’t really understand wedding photography. This can lead to a confused view of what is important.

So what really matters and why?


What matters

  • Backup equipment; should something go wrong, your photographer will need backup lenses, camera bodies, flashes, batteries and memory cards in order to continue.
  • Insurance; should something go very wrong, you need the ability to sue your photographer
  • Backup of wedding photos; IT equipment fails at times, so having a camera which backs up the wedding on the day and making sure they have multiple backups at their house is essential. Barely a week goes by without someone on a facebook group saying they’ve lost photos.
  • Passion; people who are passionate about a subject, rather than intent on selling you on something, will tend to do a better job for you.
  • Relaxed and calm persona; wedding photography is a tough business and with so much going on during the day, having a photographer who is confident and relaxed
  • Attention to detail; the most effective photographs are often the ones with the fewest distractions, so a photographer who is detailed oriented will tend to produce photographs which are superior.
  • The style they show; some photographers, in order to gain business, will promise they can replicate someone elses style. In my 10+ years in photography I’ve never found a situation where this is true. Only ever book someone based on the style they show.
  • Ensure they will be the photographer; some photography companies will send other photographers on the day, so ensure you know exactly who you will have on the day

What doesn’t matter

  • If they are a full time photographer; if they’re not, you just need to check they aren’t doing too many weddings which might cause you to be waiting 6 months for the photos, but some of the best photographers I know are part time. The positive that’s never talked about is some of these people do it simply because they love it.
  • Have you worked at X venue; experienced photographers are used to working at different venues and it’s simply not important for them to “know what the lighting is like” at a particular venue, or similar.

What might matter

  • The equipment they use; equipment does matter, but as a non-photographer it’s almost impossible to judge what is right and wrong, so just make sure you’ve chosen someone whose work you like and ensure you’ve seen some large album prints of indoor venues (such as dark churches) to make sure there isn’t too much grain – this might be an indicator of cheap equipment.
  • How long they’ve been photographing weddings; as time goes by, you do learn more. Newer photographers really don’t like this, but it’s simply the truth. The reason this is in the “might” section though is there are some talented photographers who have worked in other fields for year. Typically, I’d choose someone who has been doing weddings for at least 3 years though.
  • Having a second photographer; customers tend to look at second photographers as a bonus – more for less money. However, it’s typical that one photographer will be the more experienced. You will therefore have some photos taken by someone whose work you might not like as much. Unless you particularly need coverage of two locations at the same time, this is a red herring.

How can I find a cheap wedding photographer?

If your wedding photography is in the £1000+ budget, you shouldn’t have too many concerns as long as you see plenty of work and like their style and personality.

However, what do you do if you’re limited to less than £1000?

Top tip: You should seriously consider choosing a more expensive photographer but just booking them for a smaller portion of the day, if they offer that.

Well, you can definitely ask a more expensive photographer if they will do fewer hours at your wedding. Some photographers will do as little as 2 or 3 hours, which could be enough for the ceremony and some photos in a local park, for example.

It would certainly be preferable to have a smaller coverage of the day with good photographs compared with photographs which have serious errors. (And yes, it happens – I’ve been asked to try to correct the files!)

Secondly, you need to do your homework and that means visiting your preferred photographers. There are two things that every photographer should have and they are professional (PI & PL) insurance and backup equipment (camera body, lenses and flash). I would also want my photographer to backup my photos to at least one other hard disk too.


It’s also important to check the quality of their photography equipment so I’d want to see some printed photos at least A4 size in dark locations, like inside churches. Sometimes newer photographers don’t even know that their equipment isn’t capable of producing acceptable results.

Past that, choose someone who seems honest, dependable … and fun!

If you want to know more about what the risks might be, read my article on cheap wedding photography.

What are the prices of wedding albums?

Albums, like photographers, are available at different price points for good reason.


Queensberry, who I use, are the “rolls royce” of the wedding album industry. You can expect a Queensberry album to be at the very minimum £400-£500, with most reasonably sized albums costing £700 or more. A cheaper GraphiStudio or Folio album might be a few hundred pounds less, like for like.

There are also album manufacturers who are cheaper still.

As with wedding photography, the price reflects the quality and it is possible, with a cheaper product, the album won’t stand the test of time quite so well.

To finish…

I hope this article has lifted the lid off the confusing wedding photography pricing system, as well as given you something to work from. Whoever you choose, do your research and compare them with others of similar quality.

If you have any questions or comments, leave them below!

Good luck with your search and I hope you have a fantastic wedding day!

Quick Questions & Answers

What is the average cost of wedding photography?

Read answer

Around £1000-£1500 for a full day, without an album. Many spend more though, and many spend less.

How should I price wedding photography?

Read answer

Typically, spend between 10-15% of your wedding budget on wedding photography, or 20% if photography is particularly important to you.

Why does wedding photography cost so much?

Read answer

It’s hard to explain in just a few lines, but the costs of equipment are huge (over ten thousand pounds worth of kit is in most photographers bags) and quality training is expensive too. We also have to pay for sample albums, websites, advertising, credit card systems, customer management systems and so on.

Most of all though, wedding photographers spend between 20 and 50 hours on an single wedding in conversations with couples, the photography itself, post production and sending out the final files.

A magazine or blog said I shouldn’t pay more than “£750” for photography. Is that right?

Read answer

Well, it’s up to you. However, magazines and blogs are produced by journalists who don’t really know about photography. It would be like me saying “you shouldn’t pay more than £1.50 for a wedding magazine” when in reality I don’t know anything at all about what quality of magazine that will get me. £750 really is the minimum I would ideally pay for a full day photography, not the maximum.

Are wedding photographers rich if they get paid so much for a days work?

Read answer

Sadly not… It’s not a single days work to finish a wedding – it usually takes 3 to 5 days total.

Should I negotiate with my preferred wedding photographer?

Read answer

If your preferred photographer is more expensive, it’s likely for good reason – and I bet you’re not the only one to prefer them. Some photographers may negotiate but photographers who are in demand generally won’t do. In reality, you’re likely to have to decide to pay their rate, or choose someone else.

Why are some wedding photographers more expensive?

Read answer

More expensive photographers are like more expensive meals – more consistent, higher quality, more artistic, more skilled, produced with better equipment and delivered on better materials. They are likely to notice details that a cheaper photographer wouldn’t even consider, so in theory every photograph should be a bit better.

Should I care about the quality of my wedding photography?

Read answer

Well, I can’t answer that for you, but rather than assuming a cheaper photographer can do the job, think about how you would feel is you didn’t receive the quality you would like. That may give you an answer to your question.

Should I get my friend to photograph my wedding?

Read answer

The answer is almost always “no”, unless you have no choice. Firstly, if your friend is not a wedding photographer, the fact that they have a nice camera and take some nice photos is virtually meaningless. Just the speed of a wedding is enough to trip up very experienced photographers. They will likely be confused about what’s coming next and you will likely miss sections of the day.

comments 1

read comments

  1. Rob

    Great post, bet that took a little time 🙂 – but IMO 2 camera man shoots (an assistant) in my view are vital – holding off camera flash, detailing, and getting another angle – you can’t be in 2 places at once!

leave a comment

It’s been an absolutely amazing year for my photography. I’ve photographed incredible weddings for fantastic couples and had masses of fun myself! But since it’s New Year I thought I’d spend a little time looking back at some of the highlights before making my way into the 2014.

If you’d like a chance to feature in my 2014 New Year gallery, get in touch!


January 2013 will always be memorable since it was my first proper snowy winter wedding. I was at Eaves Hall with Alexandra and Chris who were totally prepared for the weather… (in fact, Alexandra even had winter boots on… Shhh!)



Sadly I had no weddings in February (it’s often a quiet month), so on to March…


March was all about Quarry Bank Mill. I had visited as a child but not been back until I joined Spencer & Sarah there for a beautiful day at this very unique venue. While we were there they wanted to take a truly old style photograph and this was the result. They were great sports.


April was about Browsholme Hall and the wedding of Lucy & Colin, who became the first boating wedding couple I had photographed. It was some effort to get into the boat but the photographs were fantastic and it was totally worthwhile.0042_PD310327


So we finally had some good weather and I was lucky enough to join Lydia & Chris at Iscoyd Park for their wedding. As soon as I saw the venue I was struck by this particularly beautiful scene with the flowers and the stunning light. This wedding was recently chosen by Queensberry to be featured in their worldwide advertising.. and the prize of an album was donated to Lydia and Chris with my thanks.



For June I had to choose a beautiful destination wedding in Tuscany, Italy. Lucy and Rich were stunning by the landscape and they and their friends spent several days together in a villa. I look forward to returning to this area for more weddings in the future.



Natalie and Mark spent their day together at Rochdale Town Hall and Natalie has specifically asked for plenty of reportage photography. Of course, I was very happy to oblige and went to down on the moments which I found during their fantastic day together.



Sunshine again! In August I joined Katie & Michael at Nunesmere Hall for their special day. The day was incredibly good fun throughout, but the time spent together by the pier was magical and even Katies veil having a quick swim couldn’t dampen the mood (sorry…).



Jen is a fashion blogger and had contacted me about joining her and Rob for their vintage wedding at Monk Fryston Hall. I loved everything about their day and the amount of time they had spent on the details was nothing short of incredible. Vintage is a style which you may choose when you book me.



October was an incredibly busy month for me but the day I spent with Gary & Isobel at Peckforton Castle was such fun I had to include it. I had been wanting to take a couple into some beautiful woods for photographs for some time and Peckforton Castle is fortunate enough to have the perfect setting right on the doorstep.


It’s Bonfire night!! And fortunately I joined Heather and David for their beautiful wedding just before so there were plenty of sparklers available to take advantage of and produce this shot…I’m not telling you how I did it though!winter-wedding-sparkler-shot


Well… I was abroad for the whole of December on holiday, but I’ll share a quick shot from my final wedding of the year just before December. It was a very unique Cyberpunk themed wedding with Matt & Nicola at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester. The ceremony venue was the most challenging I’ve ever photographed and required a complicated lighting setup to balance with the fairy lights, but I hope you love the result as much as I do.


A wildcard!

As I didn’t have anything to share in February I did want to include a photo or two from a styled wedding inspiration shoot which was included on Rock My Wedding back in August.


Thank you!

I’d like to say a final thank you to all of the couples and their friends and family who have helped to make 2013 an amazing year for my wedding photography. And now on to 2014…

comments 1

read comments

  1. Nasser Gazi

    Really enjoyed this 2013 retrospective post. Beautiful pictures.

leave a comment

If you follow my blog, you’ll realise I love cultures and mixing that with photography. In fact I was in Marrakech only a few weeks ago. This time I was a little further afield though – in Thailand for my yearly holiday to a destination full of culture and interest.

Thailand has been on my bucket list for a long time and I’d been really exciting to travel there! There seemed to be so many different sides to the country and it was fascinating to see the difference in the north and south of the country. I was particularly struck by the small lagoons and beaches in the south, in the area where they filmed The Beach.

I hope you like the photographs!

0001_DSC00502 0002_DSC00507 0003_DSC00510 0004_DSC00533 0005_DSC00553 0006_DSC00558 0007_DSC00567 0008_DSC00577 0009_DSC00580 0010_DSC00588 0011_DSC00591 0012_DSC00595 0013_DSC00602 0014_DSC00608 0015_DSC00627 0016_DSC00639 0017_DSC00641 0018_DSC00650 0019_DSC00651 0020_DSC00658 0021_DSC00665 0022_DSC00669 0023_DSC00670 0024_DSC00695 0025_DSC00700 0026_DSC00708 0027_DSC00738 0028_DSC00778 0029_DSC00782 0030_DSC00783 0031_DSC00796 0032_DSC00801 0033_DSC00803 0034_DSC00804 0035_DSC00812 0036_DSC00823 0037_DSC00834 0038_DSC00846 0039_DSC00938 0040_DSC00960 0041_DSC00965 0042_DSC00992 0043_DSC01026 0044_DSC01051 0045_DSC01099 0046_DSC01122 0047_DSC01126 0048_DSC01128 0049_DSC01148 0050_DSC01154 0051_DSC01167 0052_DSC01172 0053_DSC01177 0054_DSC01181 0055_DSC01186 0056_DSC01200 0057_DSC01224 0058_DSC01235 0059_DSC01237 0060_DSC01241 0061_DSC01248 0062_DSC01251 0063_DSC01256 0064_DSC01257 0065_DSC01258 0066_DSC01321 0067_DSC01342 0068_DSC01352 0069_DSC01356 0070_DSC01369 0071_DSC01370 0072_DSC01385 0073_DSC01391 0074_DSC01405 0075_DSC01424 0076_DSC01432 0077_DSC01484 0078_DSC01521 0079_DSC01530 0080_DSC01539 0081_DSC01557 0082_DSC01566 0083_DSC01625 0084_DSC01640 0085_DSC01648 0086_DSC01658 0087_DSC01664

comments 1

read comments

  1. Reply

    Stunning set of images !

leave a comment

It’s no secret that I love to travel and, when I do, I always come home with a set of photographs which captures something of a place.

I’ve just returned from Marrakech in Morocco for a long weekend and wanted to share my feelings about the place in a set of photos. The colours are unashamedly strong to match the vibrancy of the area and several photos are fairly abstract to capture light dancing or a piece of detail that caught my eye.

I hope you enjoy them, and I thoroughly recommend going. If you do, the Riad I stayed in was utterly fantastic!

0001_DSC00081 0002_DSC00106 0003_DSC00111 0004_DSC00136 0005_DSC00137 0006_DSC00141 0007_DSC00149 0008_DSC00151 0009_DSC00158 0010_DSC00165 0011_DSC00183 0012_DSC00192 0013_DSC00198 0014_DSC00200 0015_DSC00206 0016_DSC00230 0017_DSC00244 0018_DSC00249 0019_DSC00256 0020_DSC00265 0021_DSC00266 0022_DSC00273 0023_DSC00275 0024_DSC00279 0025_DSC00281 0026_DSC00289 0027_DSC00290 0028_DSC00300 0029_DSC00305 0030_DSC00310 0031_DSC00329 0032_DSC00341 0033_DSC00350 0034_DSC00352 0035_DSC00355 0036_DSC00359 0037_DSC00371 0038_DSC00372 0039_DSC00403 0040_DSC00413 0041_DSC00424 0042_DSC00431 0043_DSC00452 0044_DSC004780046_DSC00487

comments 0

read comments

leave a comment

I thought I’d try something fun … and create a Word Cloud from the testimonials on my website. You can see the results below.

A Word Cloud will show the words which are used most often in larger lettering. I’ll leave you to make up your mind what these words say about me and if they represent what you would want from your wedding photography…

Share this please!


comments 1

read comments

  1. Reply

    What a great idea, Love it !

leave a comment

I’ve just taken delivery of a new Queensberry sample album and it got me thinking: why bother with a wedding album in these days of disks and USB and Cloud and Facebook and Twitter?

It’s an interesting question!

I’m well known for not actively selling albums these days. I provide them as a service but I don’t recommend couples buy an album when they book me – instead I recommend they wait until after the wedding. Most do come back and want an album; so obviously they still want printed photographs too.

I think it’s easy when you work in the wedding industry to become very used to your products and forget just how incredible they make your photographs look. When couples see my albums they are literally blown away, even though they’ve been around other wedding photographers.

So here’s the first reason; they make your day look as incredible as it really was.

How about the story of your day? Turning the page of a well designed album shows a new section of the day – for example, moving from the ceremony to the reception – and helps you appreciate the different feelings expressed throughout the day. These sections will have a feel of their own and they’ll say something about how your day was for you.

So here’s the second reason; moving from page to page  tells the story in pictures in the same way as reading a book tells the story in words.

The third reason for me is that Queensberry wedding albums are meant to last a lifetime; they’re a legacy for your family, your children and grandchildren. They capture you on the most special day of your lives: when you become a couple with combined hopes and dreams which you will build towards throughout the years together.

So here’s the final reason; we want to show people in 50 years time – this is who we were, this is how we loved and this is who we loved.

While Facebook and Twitter are a great way of sharing your photos, a wedding album is a treasured keepsake which most people still love and want to keep in order to relive their day time and time again.

comments 0

read comments

leave a comment

I know Christmas is traditionally the season to be Merry, but with a possibly long term heatwave just around the corner and plenty of weddings to take advantage of it, I think I’m going to break with tradition and have my Merriness now rather than leaving it until December.

Looking forward to seeing all of you at your weddings in the coming weeks and months!

And while we’re discussing happiness, take a look at this excellent maid of honor toast – unique and fantastic!!

comments 0

read comments

leave a comment

Plan the timing of your wedding day

You’re planning a wedding day – something which you’ve never done before. That’s difficult, right? Yep.

Fortunately there are some resources which can help you. Not all of them consider all angles though, so to be sure that your photographer isn’t tearing his hair out trying to take the photographs that you need, I wanted to write about wedding day timings and some of the pitfalls which people miss from their time line.

Remember that wedding planners and venues don’t always consider the way the day will need to flow from a photographers perspective, so talk to your photographer about it before finalising the exact times for everything!

1. Minimum of one and a half hours at the venue!

In order to take photographs of the reception and room, the cake, the group photographs, the couple photographs and some natural moments between people, photographs typically need a minimum of one and a half hours. Remember that people drive at different speeds, so don’t trust Google Maps to determine how long it’ll take to get there.

If you can extend that to two hours you’ll have more time to deal with poor weather (which slows things down) or allow you to enjoy a relaxed drink with your guests.

Do speak to your photographer about the amount of time it’ll take to do the group photographs – I allow about 5 minutes for each group and about 15 minutes for the group shot of everyone. It sounds a lot, but I promise it can take that long to get everyone together.

Don’t skimp on this time as you will likely regret it when your photographer is rushing around looking stressed!

2. Venue will ask you in to dinner earlier than you think!

…following on from the previous point, if you tell your venue that you would like dinner at 4.30, they will start to call people in about 15 minutes early, which will eat into the time a photographer will have for the photographs that you want.

Make it clear to your venue that the time you need for photographs needs to end with them calling people in and not when everyone is sat down.

3. Plan for the congratulations..

Don’t forget to leave 15-20 minutes after the ceremony for congratulations and possibly a confetti shot. They make fantastic moments to photographs and this important time is often forgotten in the schedule.

4. Know how long it takes to lace up your dress!

In the morning, the lacing of the dress can take much longer than expected (20-30 minutes is not uncommon), especially if your bridesmaid hasn’t done it before.

Many people video the dress shop doing it, which is a fantastic idea and can help if you get stuck.

5. Leave a couple of 15 minute pockets in your day.

As a final point, all couples should leave a few 15 minute intervals with nothing scheduled to allow for extra time needed at various points during the day – they will be used up! The last thing you want on your wedding day is to feel rushed, so plan to make sure that doesn’t happen.

comments 2

read comments

  1. Reply

    Thanks for sharing this post with us. Your work is fantastic. Congratulation!

leave a comment

I wanted to say a quick hello from Knowsley Hall, which is where I am right now, doing a wedding.. or more specifically waiting for the speeches after dinner.

The bride looks amazing in an incredibly stylish Justin Alexander dress and Knowsley is incredible as ever.

It’s a wedding which will definitely hit my English wedding gallery soon!! Look out for it.

comments 0

read comments

leave a comment

For the last 6 months I’ve been reading articles in the Bridal press saying that Vintage as a wedding theme is starting to tail off a little.

Well, maybe they have lost touch with the average person on the street because the number of searches in Google UK for “Vintage Wedding” are still rising!

vintage-wedding-photography-trendSearches in Google for “vintage wedding” since 2004

You can clearly see when vintage started to take hold of the wedding market; back in 2009 the number of people searching was rising. In 2011 it has massive momentum which carried through to 2012.

My first vintage wedding was back in 2010, although at that time no one was calling it vintage; instead the phrase “garden party” seemed to be more popular. Last year I was involved with two vintage weddings. One of these wedding was totally vintage – not only was bunting everywhere, but there was an ice cream van!

Time frame for vintage weddings

So when might vintage weddings start to decline? If you’re having a vintage theme in the next year, will you be the last bride in the UK?

The UK wedding market works in an 18 month to 2 year cycle. Couples get engaged and they spend up to 2 years planning their wedding. One of the first decisions will be what style they would like.

If brides are searching for vintage weddings now, you can be sure that vintage is still here to stay for another 2 years at least.

So don’t worry. Your bunting and china tea set are safe for now. Go ahead and have your ideal vintage wedding.

(And while you’re here, take a look at some of my vintage wedding photography. It’d be rude not to…)

Vintage wedding photographs

My vintage wedding photography is a combination of photographing in a vintage style and processing the photos with a vintage effect. Learn more about my vintage weddings.


comments 2

read comments

  1. admin

    This is a very interesting article!

  2. Reply

    The groom looks cool in his braces and the dancing at the party looks great too!

leave a comment

So, 2012 was a year of highs.. and highs for me! It took me to some beautiful venues around the northwest, some new locations like Portmerion in Wales, a disused abbey in Scotland and even Sicily. I saw some beautiful weather, some not so beautiful weather, some tears, lots and lots of smiles, some amazing shoes and an incredible amount of fun. I also met some wonderful people and shared wonderful wedding days with them.

I always think it’s a good idea to take a look at the previous year when a new year starts and my wedding photography is no exception to this idea. It’s great to see where you came from and maybe where you want to go.

So, presented here are some of my favourite shots from the year. I hope you enjoy them!

comments 1

read comments

  1. Reply

    Another set of stunning images !

leave a comment

When I visit countries on holiday I always try to come back with a set of photos which, for me, captures the spirit of the place – in much the same way as I do with weddings.

Vietnam was no different, with beautiful countyside and unique sights abound.

I hope you enjoy the short break from wedding photos to see something different!

comments 0

read comments

leave a comment

Holly and Toan were married in October 2012 on a beautifully sunny day in Manchester. The day began with Holly and her friends preparing for the wedding in the grand Palace Hotel. They then moved on to the Peover Golf Club and the beautiful ceremony room there. The light was just wonderful and produced the most beautiful ceremony photos, which was further lit up by their smiles.

Chinese Wedding Banquet

After several couple and group photos, they made their way to the Glamorous restaurant in Manchester for a beautiful Chinese Wedding Banquet and traditional toasts. Finally their day ended back at the Palace Hotel for the first dance and speeches, which were emotional and heartfelt.

If you’re planning a Chinese wedding in Manchester, Cheshire, Lancashire or further afield, please do get in touch.

Take a look through some photos first though..

chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0001 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0002 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0003 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0004 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0005 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0006 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0007 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0008 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0009 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0010 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0011 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0012 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0013 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0014 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0015 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0016 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0017 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0018 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0019 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0020 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0021 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0022 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0023 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0024 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0025 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0026 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0027 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0028 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0029 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0030 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0031 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0032 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0033 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0034 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0035 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0036 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0037 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0038 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0039 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0040 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0041 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0042 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0043 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0044 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0045 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0046 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0047 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0048 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0049 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0050 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0051 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0052 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0053 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0054 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0055 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0056 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0057 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0058 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0059 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0060 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0061 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0062 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0063 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0064 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0065 chinese-wedding-photography-peover-golf-club-0066

comments 0

read comments

leave a comment

Build your photography business

If you’re looking for photography training, sign up at my photography training page. Learn about SEO, online marketing, sales, pricing and other key information for any business.

So what’s the problem here?

For quite a long time I’ve had an issue with some of the conclusions that dxomark would lead you to, based on the ratings that they calculate. Let’s take the high ISO scores from the Nikon d800 and Canon 1Dx.


The d800 rates slightly better for high ISO than the 1dx – ISO 2853 vs. 2786. Now in reality the difference between these two numbers is tiny – one stop better high ISO would mean a number would have to double compared to the other – but still the d800 produces the higher result.

Now look at the relevant “print” (normalised for sensor size) graphs comparing the two cameras:

I’m not saying that the numbers don’t mean what DxO want them to mean – I’m sure they’re correctly calculated. I am however saying they are misleading. They don’t present the real picture. The 1dx is the better camera for low light – just look at the dynamic range at high ISO – yet it doesn’t appear so from the high ISO ratings.

I presume that this affects the overall scores too.

So what does the High ISO number mean, and why is it flawed?

Here’s what DxO say about their high ISO score:

Photojournalists and action photographers often struggle with low available light and high motion. Achieving usable image quality is often difficult when pushing ISO.

When shooting a moving scene such as a sports event, action photographers’ primary objective is to freeze the motion, giving priority to short exposure time. To compensate for the lack of exposure, they have to increase the ISO setting, which means the SNR will decrease. How far can they go while keeping decent quality? Our low-light ISO metric will tell them.

The SNR indicates how much noise is present in an image compared to the actual information (signal). The higher the SNR value, the better the image looks, because details aren’t drowned by noise. SNR strength is given in dB, which is a logarithmic scale: an increase of 6 dB corresponds to doubling the SNR, which equates to half the noise for the same signal.

An SNR value of 30dB means excellent image quality. Thus low-light ISO is the highest ISO setting for a camera that allows it to achieve an SNR of 30dB while keeping a good dynamic range of 9 EVs and a color depth of 18bits.

A difference in low-light ISO of 25% represents 1/3 EV and is only slightly noticeable.

As cameras improve, low-light ISO will continuously increase, making this scale open.

Here’s the key bit. Read it again: “Thus low-light ISO is the highest ISO setting for a camera that allows it to achieve an SNR of 30dB while keeping a good dynamic range of 9 EVs and a color depth of 18bits.”

So they have picked an arbitrary set of figures (SNR 30dB, DR 9EV and 18 bits colour depth) and they will “stop” when any of those numbers have been reached. So, because the 1dx colour sensivity is ever so slightly below the d800 it receives a lower rating. Literally no account is taken of the fact that the dynamic range is significantly better, which will hugely offset the tiny difference in colour depth.

How then will manufacturers new sensors rate? If SNR is pretty much as good as it’s going to get, what will happen to the ratings? Improved shadow noise in the future (ie. a higher dynamic range at high ISO) will not be rewarded in the DxO scores unless the other scores go up too.

To take this to it’s logical conclusion, colour depth and dynamic range could increase by 5000 times and the camera would still receive a High ISO score limited by the SNR and that doesn’t make sense to me.

What do I think then?

I’ve said it before and I’ve said it again – I actually don’t care about these numbers outside of understanding that my camera does what I need. What I do care about is that people have useful information on which to make an informed decision and here DxO is not providing that. Why? Because you’d buy a d800 over 1dx for high ISO when clearly it would produce inferior results. Their own graphs show this.

I think the overall DxO results are helpful. The graphs give you a good idea of what you can expect from a sensor. However I question whether photographers should be using their combined and calculated numbers to mean anything at all. They simply won’t match real world shooting experience.

So photographers – read the graphs and ignore the calculated numbers and use it as part of your equation for camera purchase would be my recommendation. And when your friends say “my camera has 2757 ISO score and that’s bigger than yours”, maybe you can now educate them?

What do you think? Have your say below.

comments 0

read comments

leave a comment

So Canon released a new full frame camera, and is this the camera you want if you’re looking to get into weddings? Possibly.. just possibly it is.

Canon EOS 6D at a glance

The key facts that you need to know are:

  • A new 20.2MP full frame CMOS sensor
  • 11 AF zones with center cross at f2.8 which is accurate to -3EV
  • Shutter rated for 100,000 actuations
  • 63 zone metering
  • Wi-Fi and GPS modules built in
  • 4.5 fps shooting speed
  • 1/4000s maximum shutter speed
  • Shutter release around 60ms.
  • Single SD card slot (and no CF card slot)
  • ISO to 25600 (expansion to ISO 50 and up to ISO 102,400)
  • Digic 5+ processor
  • Fixed 3″ 1,040,000 dot VGA resolution LCD
  • Small and light
  • Silent shutter option

Canon 6D for weddings

So what do all of these specs mean for wedding photographers?

Well firstly it’s important to realise that information is thin on the ground right now. No one has used this camera yet. However, we can build a rough picture of what it will be like as a wedding camera based just on the specifications.

What’s important to a wedding photographer?

Here are some key points for a wedding photographers camera:

  • At least 16MP
  • Good high ISO quality
  • Accurate focussing
  • Speedy response
  • Secure (ie. won’t lose files)
  • Durable

The EOS 6D meets some of these points well and some of them less well.

Firstly resolution and high ISO quality. We know it has 20MP, which is plenty for weddings. However, we don’t know what the high ISO quality will be like yet. If it’s similar to the 5d3 – and I suspect it will be – this will be fine for wedding photographers. Full frame cameras tend to do very well for high ISO image quality.

Accurate focussing is very  key for wedding photographers and the 5d3 pushed forwards massively in this regard. The 6D is less well specified – it has only a single cross type point (Cross type points are the only ones which are accurate enough to rely on). This means you will have to use the centre point and “focus and recompose” which is not ideal if you have a thin depth of field from using prime lenses as it can introduce errors. It also tends to introduce camera shake due to moving  the camera constantly so you will need to be careful with your technique. The lack of more cross type points is the key disappointment with the 6D. However, the centre point looks to be incredibly accurate – suitable for -3EV levels of light. To put that into perspective, that means it’s able to focus accurately in half of the amount of light as the 5d3, 1dx and any Nikon camera too.

A speedy response is difficult to evaluate at the moment, but you need a camera which will take photos when you press the shutter. This is down to the number of FPS that a camera is capable of, but also focus speed and the amount of time it takes after you press the shutter. Currently the signs are OK, with the camera capable of 4.5 FPS (I run my 5d3 at 3FPS most of the time) and a 60ms shutter lag, which is about the same as the 5d3. Only time will tell how the camera focusses, but Canon has taken incredible strides forward with the 5d3 and 1dx so hopefully the 6D will follow this trend.

Secure, to me, means that a camera should keep your files safe. This is where the 6D is let down a little by using SD cards, which are more flimsy than CF cards. It is further let down by not having twin cards allowing you to backup your files to another card. It’s likely there would never be a problem, but with peoples wedding images to be responsible for, you want to be sure. A wedding photographer simply can’t lose someones photos.

Durability. Well, so far it’s hard to say. It looks like the 6d will be similar to the 7d and 5d2 in build quality (not 5d3) so I’d say durability would likely be fine.

A few other points to consider:

  • 1/4000th of a second is not ideal if you’re looking to use fast prime lenses in full sunlight. The best you will be able to achieve is about f2.5.
  • The screen is likely to be exceptional, as with the 5d3. That will be a real plus point.
  • Wifi and GPS are really not features which will help wedding photographers on the whole, although I’m sure some people will find a way to use them.
  • Metering sounds like it’s the same system as the 5d3, which is perfectly adequate.
  • The silent shutter of the 5d3 has become one of my favourite features from the camera. The inclusion of this in the 6D is a real positive. We don’t know how silent this will be yet though.
  • 100,000 shutter actuations is a little on the low side for wedding photographers, who tend to take many images. However this probably means 2-3 years of good use.

Conclusion – Canon 6D for wedding photographers

I think this is a worthwhile camera for budding wedding photographers. As a full frame camera it will provide good quality images and while the number of cross type focus points is low, the centre point will likely be very accurate.

My main issue is the use of a single SD card. Either including CF cards or a second SD card for backup would have made me more comfortable about delivering images, but as long as you’re careful I’m sure it will be fine.

The camera should be £1799 on release in the UK and I’d suggest it’s likely to drop £300 in the first year.

As a final point, Canon – I really wish you had included more cross type points in the AF system and dual card slots.

Compared to… Nikon D600

The main competitor to the Canon 6D is the Nikon D600. I would say that generally the Nikon is better specified as an entry level camera for wedding photographers, primarily due to the dual SD card slots and the increased amount of cross type points in the auto focus system. The price is currently the same, which makes the D600 better value for money.

However, Canon have exceptional prime lenses which produce amazing images and, as an upgrade route, the 5d3/1dx with Canon those beautiful prime lenses is currently the top wedding specification in my view. If you’re serious about weddings, this is the combination I’d recommend ending up with. If you start with Nikon it’s likely you will stay with Nikon.

A tough choice I’d say…

comments 2

read comments

  1. Reply

    Very interesting article, Phil, on this new edition to the Canon range. I do like the way you have introduced Youtube videos into this blog.

leave a comment