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When the Organist won't play ball, the iPhone will...

If you’re anything like me, then you’ll know just how hard it is to stop eating those amazing Lindt chocolates balls (you know the ones, the red ones, jeez they’re gooooooood, chocolate on the outside with a chocolate filling - win win).

Ahem. You’ll also be of an age when you do slightly despair at the amount of time we all spend on our phones, and how we seem to be reliant on them for everything from emails to bank statements to reminding us every week it’s bin night (just me??). 

But sometimes I do think they really add something to our existence, and it reminds me that if you had shown the 10 year old me an iPhone I would have just salivated all over it until it burst into flames.

This was the moment when one of the groomsmen decided at the spur of the moment that if the church wasn’t going to play the wedding march, then he was going to provide it via his indispensable phone. 

As the newlywed couple followed him out of the church to greet the waiting revellers,  I jumped in to get a quick shot.

 

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D-I-Y Guest Seating Plan, How Hard Can It Be?

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The hardest part of planning your wedding day? Deciding the seating plan has to be right up there. Stella and James made it even harder for themselves with this neat idea.

Take a polaroid photo of every guest, and hang each photo on a piece of string which is then numbered to indicate which table the guest is sitting at.

"It'll be worth it, keep going!" It was stressful but it made a nice shot for their wedding newspaper.

"It'll be worth it, keep going!" It was stressful but it made a nice shot for their wedding newspaper.

How hard can it be to set that up? A test of a couple's team-working capabilities, just hours before the big day, if ever I saw one.

Well, I did see this one, and these two passed with flying colours.

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How To Propose In Style - with The Occasional Press

Thought I'd share this blog from my bespoke design service, The Occasional Press.

Since I started making newspapers for wedding couples, I’ve been blown away with the versatility of this most traditional of everyday products.

The Occasional Press newspaper service has been used to celebrate wedding days, create an original children’s story, mark a milestone birthday with a life story and has now been used in a wedding proposal!

It’s a delicious tale of subterfuge, smoke & mirrors and slight of hand trickery, with the intended not suspecting a thing. The scene is a 5 star hotel in Borneo, it’s a beautiful morning and our hero, Tom, has ordered breakfast in bed for the love of his life. 

He’s even brought a copy of the local rag for her to read while she dines. Little does she suspect though, that this copy of The Borneo Post was not printed overnight in the printing plant of Sarawak, as she’d no doubt assumed, but was in fact made weeks earlier, and much closer to home. 

The front page was innocuous enough but if she looked closer she would notice that the images were familiar, and the headlines somewhat personal to her and her beau.

The following pages revealed a love letter from her man, celebrating their relationship with all that they share together. From the views they’ve enjoyed around the world to the adventures they’ve lived together.

And the final page cliff hanger set up for Tom to pop the question. 

All she had to do was notice the newspaper. To be fair to her this 5 star joint does do a good breakfast, so she can be excused for not taking any notice of it until she was practically finished.  

As Tom put it, “Philly said yes and was overwhelmed with the whole proposal; she absolutely loved the newspaper (she eventually noticed it after eating through pretty much all the room-service breakfast)”

Once she did notice it though she was blown away with this most personal and thoughtful testament to their relationship and when she got to the last page and Tom popped the question…

well how could she refuse?

I’m really honoured to play a small part in people’s lives like this, and love helping people not just mark big moments in their lives but create them too.

If you have an occasion to celebrate or a time in your life that you’d like to mark with something that will make it forever memorable, then give me a call, let’s see what we can make together.

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Hot off The Wedding Press - my new Fine Art Posters.

These puppies are truly unique, each poster's design is inspired by my wedding clients and their wedding day. Each one is made from scratch, no templates are used and every new piece is printed using archival giclee inks on fine art paper guaranteed for a few hundred years and delivered to your door ready to hang. 

Already married and have your wedding photos in digital form?

One of my Fine Art posters would make an awesome anniversary present for your other half. Just fill in a form and I'll get back to you shortly to get the ball rolling.

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A Wedding in Reading, and the legend of the Forbury Lion

The occasion: Sam and Den’s awesome wedding in Reading. 

The scene: Forbury Gardens, Reading. Home to the Maiwand or ‘Forbury’ Lion of 1889. An enormous and imposing beast (one of the largest cast-iron Lions in the world). Standing 20’ in the air atop the Maiwand War memorial, built to commemorate those British soldiers lost during the Battle of Maiwand on 27th July 1880 in Afghanistan.

According to local sources, (Sam, the bride) legend has it that sculptor George Blackall Simonds took his own life, hanging himself from the tail of his beast, when told his Lion had the gait of a domestic cat and not that of the King of the Jungle.

A sad tale, giving the park a sombre air. But what a place for photos!

All I needed was some gorgeous people, a cute 19th Century bandstand and some stunning late summer sun, and luckily that's what I got.

According to wikipedia, the Lion’s gait is perfectly correct and G. B. Simonds lived another 43 years after this cast-iron triumph. Phew

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The Wedding Newspaper

The Wedding Newspaper

So this is the new product I’ve been developing for a while now. Really excited, thought I’d show you it in more detail.

For this one of James and Stella’s amazing wedding in Corsica (have I mentioned it before?), I had to get the car on the cover and felt it really lent itself to illustration. 

So I combined a classic portrait with some charcoal and airbrush and then decided that their enormous LOVE sign had to be the title.

Because thats what it’s all about isn’t it? More to come, enjoy the pics!

PT

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Stop The Press!

I’m so excited to finally reveal my new look website and Wedding Photography service, The Wedding Press.

I’ve been working on some new product ideas of late and finally put them all together to make a brand new wedding service for 2016.

Introducing the wedding paper, a fun alternative or accompaniment to the wedding album that makes for a great keepsake of your big day.

More to come soon

Take care

P

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The Most Epic of Bestmen Speeches

This was the longest bestman speech I've ever witnessed.

It had everything, 6 bestmen, including one on video from the UK. It had shocks, gasps, laughs, lost speeches, found speeches, a joke about the French - in France, and the whole thing was translated admirably by a very patient local. Classic.

Best of all I won the sweepstake, and to think they laughed when I said 2 and a half hours.


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Corsica? Of Corse!

Corsica? Of Corse!

It’s amazing to consider that a thought inside your head can be acted on in less than 150 milliseconds. Have you ever considered this? Are you even still reading this blog?

What about the fact that a thought sent to the foot takes longer than one sent to your hand, I guess its obvious but I’d never considered it. That means a thought sent to you mouth must be really quick. 

I can tell you now that when James and Stella asked me whether or not I was interested in photographing their wedding in Corsica, the speed in which I considered, decided and answered was pretty bloody short.

YES!

It was almost before James had finished writing his initial email to me proposing the idea, that the word YES! was forming in my mouth.

Almost. It was a very quick decision is what I’m trying to say.

If you haven’t been to Corsica then go, maybe not today (only one flight a week direct from London, hmmm) but soon, somehow just go. It’s beautiful. It’s hot. It’s French and it’s not French too, no one understood my GCSE French. No one.

I’m going to keep going on about this brilliant wedding for ages, until the next Corsican instalment, here are some photos to give you a taste the amazing time I had.

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Pre-Wedding Venue Visits as Standard

VENUE VISITS

Shooting a wedding is fun. It’s fast, non-stop and sometimes unpredictable. This is why preparation is key to getting the best shots on the day. One of the most important pre-wedding preparations is venue recces. 

Part of my service is always to visit the venues about a month before your wedding to familiarise myself with the location, where to park, how to get in, where the ceremony is going to be held, drinks receptions (you get the idea) and where if any formal shots might be taken.

I always offer to meet you there if you have time, but if you’re busy (quite likely) then I will go alone and report back my findings, between you and me we can then make sure on the day we know exactly when and where the key moments will be.

BOOK A NO-OBLIGATION MEETING TODAY Or call Paul on 07946 548 559 NOW!

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FORMAL SHOTS, BORING...? NOT IF YOU WRITE A LIST :)

If you’re reading this then you’re either a newly engaged person planning your wedding, another photographer curious how I do things, or you’re an insomniac trying desperately to put yourself to sleep. 

Whoever you are, read on!

This is just a quick note about shooting formal shots on your wedding day. If my wedding clients want formal portraits or group shots then I always ask them to have a think about who they want included in them, and to make a list.

I know what you’re thinking, I’ve got plenty of lists to write thanks.

Well, it may sound boring, but not as boring as standing around at a wedding with no drink and starving because you didn’t have time to eat before the ceremony; while your mates who just got married decide on a photo by photo basis who is going to be in their group shots.

I have found that with a bit of forward thinking this little list speeds up the formal shots without compromising on the quality, plus means you didn't forget anyone on the day :)

That reminds me, venue visits, stay tuned for my next blog on why these are essential and always part of my service.

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WHOSE COPYRIGHT IS IT ANYWAY?!

I met a lovely couple last week who were interested in me shooting their wedding. (Yes I did get the booking :). They had requested one of my no-obligation meetings before they made up their minds, and we met in a great pub on the Thames. While looking over my work it became clear that one of their concerns when booking a wedding photographer, was the issue of copyright and specifically how I might use the photos in the future.

They expressed concerns about having their wedding photos posted across the internet via my Facebook page, twitter or blog, not knowing where they might end up.

They told me about a few photographers they had spoken to that had a very strict policy. Basically, they were the photographers copyright and so said photographer could use them where and whenever they liked, no argument, no compromise, take it or leave it.

Now, my thinking is different, and I may be about to upset a few photographers here, but I’ve always felt that there needs to be a bit more compromise. I feel privileged to photograph someones most special of days, and I feel the photos I take are very personal to the couple in question. 

This is why I outline my position thusly; I own the copyright, so no one can use their wedding photographs for any sort of financial or commercial gain without my express permission and/or renumeration. BUT, I always ask before their wedding whether or not my clients are happy for me to use any of their shots in my marketing, or on my website or Facebook, in my blog or twitter; and if the answer is no to any or all of the above then I simply don’t use them.

Whatever their preference, it is always noted in a signed agreement that I make with all my clients, so that each party knows exactly where they stand at all times.

I have always found this to be a really fair and agreeable way of doing things, and if any photographer is reading this and worried about not having any photography for their portfolio I can assure you that many more clients are happy for me to use their photos than are not.

My wedding clients have always been happy that I ask them in the first place, and the peace of mind that they get from knowing I work this way builds a real trust between photographer and client. One that I think goes a long way to getting the best photographs on the day, and that after all is what they are hiring you for in the first place. To take the best, most compelling, beautiful and interesting photographs of THEIR wedding day for THEM.

Book a no-obligation meeting today and meet me in person, see some of my work and ask me anything you want to know about your wedding day. I’m sure I can help.

 

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Venue Spotlight: Northcote House

Last month we photographed a wedding at Sunningdale Park near Ascot. The venue is set among 65 acres of landscape garden, and nestled in there is the amazing Northcote House, a grade II listed neo-georgian mansion. 

The wedding venue has a large central room, which works brilliantly for bringing all of your guests together when they arrive, or for pre-dinner drinks after the ceremony. Directly connected to this central space, are separate rooms for the ceremony, wedding breakfast and bar, meaning no need for rearrangement in the evening. 

What really caught our eye at this venue was the medieval-esque staircase leading up to the bridal suite, and the pillars that surrounded the first floor. Perfect for that grand entrance!

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Emma & Harry, A wedding at Northcote House

Emma and Harry got married in style at Northcote House in Sunningdale last month. Their wedding day had everything, beautiful flowers, an entrance hall and staircase borrowed from Downton Abbey, a best man with a broken leg, two ceremonies, cracking speeches, and a dress to die for. I even learnt how to shoot from a moving golf buggy while holding on with my knees, without killing myself in the process.

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A Wedding at the London wetlands Centre

When I was asked to photograph a wedding at the WWT London Wetland Centre in Barnes, my first reaction was "I've always wanted to go there!" And then nearly everyone I told about it said the same thing. All I can say is, GO!

What a place. Lets talk observatory, in a stadium of bird hides, this is the managing directors box (?). Choose your spot either down at water level or from the balcony above, and watch the Wetlands unfold infront of you through a huge wall of glass, its an amazing spot.

Now imagine getting married in this space, huge window wall looking out over the birds, surrounded by your friends and family. Thats what Jo and Jonty did, and what a great day it was. There's more to come from this coolest of weddings, but here's a sneak preview for now.

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Lords of The Manor

What a fun day I had in Eastbourne last week, swanning around Gildredge Manor like I owned the place (At least, I was in my head). It’s a venue straight out of a Jane Austen novel or, err, Cluedo. An 18th century manor house beautifully and lovingly restored by Emma and Mark. (More of them in my next blog) 

I was there for the brilliant wedding of Sarah and Will,  joining over a hundred of their family and friends to enjoy the merriment and stunning weather. It’s on days like this I realise how lucky I am to being able to call this work. 

Here are a few things that made this such a fun day,

·      great Father of the Bride’s speech (Tommy Cooper meets Frankie Boyle),

·      top guests (friendly and all up for a good laugh),

·      stunning venue (see above), 

·      day-glo 80s band (sound of the crowd)

·      a cool couple who were calm and collected through out and who pulled off a real treat of a day for all their guests.

 

Well done S & W.

Here are a few pics of the happy couple.

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Stunning Wedding Location: The Lowdown on Gildredge Manor

Like all photographers, my favourite type of location is one that makes me look good.

Step forward Gildredge Manor, this place is cool. You could take a photo on your phone anywhere here inside or out, with your eyes shut and your hands behind your back and still get a great shot. Instagram filter or not.

 

It was bought in 2011 by two crazy, sorry, brave entrepreneurs Emma Chamberlain and Mark Hellicar. They have transformed what was then a neglected wreck into a beautiful, versatile location for all sorts of occasions from weddings and birthdays, to photoshoots and corporate events, some very lucky overseas students even get to stay and study there in the summer.

 

These images were all taken at the great wedding of Sarah and Will, which I shot earlier this year. (See blog post below)

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