Mathew & Jennifer........Llangyfarchiadau

When it comes to churches there are very few more splendid than St Johns Church one of the best kept secrets in the centre of Wigan.When you're on the outside nothing really prepares you for the sheer beauty of the lighting & d├ęcor of the inside.This year we have shot many wedding in Wales but with this wedding Wales came to us for Mathew & Jennifers wedding on a warm sunny day. This was a really relaxed affair just perfect after attending my daughters 14th birthday disco (80 14 year olds hyper what a nightmare) and a real joy to shoot, I even tried speaking welsh (hope what I said was ok???).St Johns is one of my all time fave churches as I said before the lighting is superb then onto Wrightington Hotel & Country Club for very emotional speeches.This truly was a celebration as Jen had just received honours in her nursing degree & Mat entering the police, a real honour for both Jane & I to attend at wedding that starts a new chapter in a great couples life.

Mat & Jen Llangyfarchiadau to you both.D.

Keith & Lisa's shoot at West Tower

It made a refreshing change to shoot more formal & staged images than I normally would do but Keith & Lisa were great & indulged me in my 'work'.West Tower is the location next year for their wedding & as my regular watchers know West Tower is rapidly becoming our second home.The dark clothing chosen by Keith & Lisa worked really well against the lightness of the room,I just love how the big windows flood the room with light.I am getting more & more excited for next year some great locations & great people & I think Keith & Lisa's will be memorable.Watch this space.

David & Rachel at Kilhey Court

It seems at the moment that this blog is like busses, you wait ages for one then three come along at once,but sorry its been REALLY busy & so have the weddings.The first was a great couple David & Rachel & a really great wedding at Kilhey Court Hotel.This hotel is now officially our second home both Jane & I love photographing weddings here (just as well as we are the recommended photographers) they just seem relaxed & flow.
Rachel seemed calm as we arrived (she wont admit that) but as dad arrived the nerves started & we shot some really touching images which is what our photography is all about. David & Rachel are very much ‘in love’ and this day was a great advert for that & we captured some special moments at this wedding, and had a great laugh as well.

Hi Rachel, hope you enjoy seeing yourself finally on the blog as much as we enjoyed the wedding. Have a great honeymoon. D.

Ryan & Alison at Holland Hall

When I first started in Wedding photography Jane & I lived in beautiful Wrightington & drove past the stunning church of St Josephs daily the gardens are beautiful a perfect venue for Ryan & Alison’s Wedding. Gorgeous weather, gorgeous surroundings & a gorgeous couple to photograph, I really am lucky.
Now the one drawback to this is the priest wont allow any photography in the church which is a shame because the service is one of the most touching, personal ceremonies I,ve ever witnessed & gets all the family involved.
Holland Hall for the reception as Ryan kept saying that he was nervous about his speech but delivered a cracker with some beautiful words about Alison, if Ryan wanted to be nervous about something he should have thought of the champagne tower, but as with the day it went perfect.

Steve & Rebecca's wedding

If you’re a Liverpool F.C fan then this was the perfect wedding for you as Rebecca was getting ready at her parents house that overlooks the L.F.C. training ground. With family members voted L.F.C biggest fan by the Echo newspaper, every guest a Liverpool fan, Liverpool on the tv at the reception, but with Liverpool playing at Anfield on the same day if the guests weren’t going to the mach to enjoy themselves they certainly were going to at Steve & Rebecca’s wedding.
Another glorious day with Hair & makeup well underway as we arrived the girls were in full fun mode. Steve & the lads arrived at the church very nervous but an emotional ceremony & everybody having a great time afterwards the day flew.
The reception was at Blundell Hill Golf Club with stunning views over the Wirrall & a gorgeous sunset to end the day.The evening started as the day ended everybody on the dance floor dancing to a Mersey beat tribute band, who I have to say were fantastic.

Talk to Master pressure then!!!

Well, last night (Wednesday) was my talk to the North West Master Photographers at Stathom Lodge Hotel in Cheshire and a great night it was too. It was a real honour to talk infront of some of the top north west photographers about my style of photography & the business in general. The talk should have lasted an hour and a half but after a very interesting questions & answers session went over by an hour as all aspects of the way we do things at Classic were investigated.
To be in a room with passionate people was very uplifting and to hear some of the stories that were affecting their businesses was in some ways disturbing and brought me back to the difficult decisions bride & grooms have in choosing a photographer & made me equally determined to help promote the need for, not only a professional photographer to shoot a wedding but a photographer that is passionate about photography & the service that goes with it. I heard so many stories from fantastic passionate photographers who wanted to provide an all round service, a product that will last a lifetime only to be beaten at the post by someone who basically saying ‘well if Im cheap enough someone will book me’ & one of my pet hates the shoot & run sorry burn photographers who photograph a wedding and just put the images on a disc, where’s the product, something to show for your money, the service, the passion. At the end of the day I really believe that we offer not only a series of pictures on paper or on a computer screen but an album full of memories that will last a lifetime, a family heirloom. After all when the last dance has ended & champagne drunk this is all that is left, a album with stunning images that will last for a lifetime & bring back memories of the best day of your life.
I hope that people took away some of my passion for the way I love the job of capturing wedding memories, and hopefully a few ideas for themselves. Thanks to all that attended.

Chris & Adele's Pre wedding Shoot

The weather wasnt kind for us as we wandered around the beautiful gardens at Kilhey Court Hotel as Chris & Adele were checking that all the small details,colours would be perfect for their wedding next year.The fact that so much detail was being considered for the wedding images really impressed me and i am really looking forward to the big day.Chris & Adele are very much in love & a perfect couple and to say the planning is meticulous is an understatement, this wedding is going to be special.

Mike & Laura at Wrightington Hotel & Country Club

It doesn’t seem a year ago when I shot the pre wedding shoot with Mike & Laura at Wrightington Hotel gardens but time fly’s by & it was so soon the most eagerly awaited wedding EVER. After nearly two years of wedding committee meetings (sure this was a code word for wine sessions) the plans were made and a wonderfully hot sunny day was only made warmer by our welcome at Lauras Mums house, right on time for the famous schedule. I met a just as happy ‘other 50%’ of the committee at the church as Mike & his family arrived & bang on time the stunning Laura arrived & the tears started.With the changes at Wrightington Hotel I had to look for a different location & found a great cornfield (my regular watchers will no how much I love cornfields) and then onto the hotel for great speeches.
As the sun set the party really started & a great first dance (even though Mike said he didn’t dance) & with everybody getting on the dance floor the evening was just fun with everybody laughing,dancing & really enjoying what was a fantastic wedding.

Mike & Laura recently called into the studio to collect everything and are still in wedding mode, will this party never end!!!!.Thanks you two this was fun.D.

Jules & Tracy shoot at Thornton Manor

I think up until this year I had only drove down the Mersey tunnel once in all my life, but within the last few weeks am really topping up the frequent user tokens (if there is such a thing???).This time saw Jane & I at the very impressive Thornton Manor for the pre wedding shoot of two of the most fun loving people I’ve ever met.Jules & Tracy live in London but as soon as they saw Thornton Manor just fell in love with it but then again so did I, this place really is a dream location the lighting is stunning, the architecture, well, just grand.
We had the traditional summer wind & rain showers (what ever happened to global warming thought we were supposed to be having Mediterranean weather!!!) but as we walked around choosing locations for their forth coming wedding, laughing (& every now & then taking a picture) it made me feel more impatient for the ‘big day’.
Very surreal moment as we stopped at the local pub for lunch in walked a wedding along with a photographer mate of mine from Liverpool and really got me impatient for this wedding. JULES,TRACY BRING IT FORWARD!!!!!

Thanks you two for a great morning, & Jules for sorting my London trip. As I said cant wait.D.

Hillbark Hotel for Graham & Katie's wedding

The weather forecast was different on every channel the morning of Graham & Katie’s wedding, so we knew today was going to be a challenge. Driving to the Wirral the sun was shining the satnav was, for once, working & we just knew it was going to be a great day. On arrival at the stunning Hillbark Hotel in Frankby we were met by a picture of calm & tranquility with Katie having her hair done & the girls chilling. Hillbark Hotel is a great wedding venue, bags of character, spacious rooms & beautiful gardens, add to this a day full of emotion and fun & great images are guaranteed.
A very emotional ceremony followed with not a dry eye in the house, even the wedding cake was in tiers (tiers/tears get it!aargh the old ones are the best) then my worst nightmare, just as I had managed to get all the 100 guests outside in the beautiful sunshine for the ‘all guests photo’ the heavens opened & the stampede back inside began. Luckily apart from one or two downpours at the wrong time the rest of the day was glorious & both Graham & Katie really were stunning & a joy to work with
One of the joys of my job, yes it really is a job, is witnessing moments in time that change peoples lives forever, I really feel privileged to have the best seat in the house watching all the human emotions unveiled in front of me. I’m sure when I do my talks to photographers & say ‘the images are there you just have to be ready for them’ they don’t really believe me but its true & this wedding was a perfect example of that.

Thanks both of you for a superb day, and braving the showers.D.

Image Of The Week

This weeks image was shot at our recent wedding of Graham & Katie at the glorious Hillbark Hotel on the Wirral. Even though this is a beautiful timeless image you have to know the story to fully appreciate the image. The ‘girls’ were getting ready in connecting rooms so I was darting between both rooms getting the images. The bridesmaids room was a little chaotic with makeup, hair, fastening of dresses & shoes, but in the brides room there was just peace & calm (even though Katie probably wont admit it).
Katie’s mum was giving the bride away and I just popped my head around the door and from across the room saw a beautiful image, a mother & daughter at their proudest in a really touching & special moment. The day was bright sunshine & torrential rain & wind but just at that moment the sun flooded the room creating a halo around their heads, Katie turned her head with the slightest of smiles and with thirds in mind I shot the image.
This is probably my fave image of many fave images we shot at this wedding, but its just the simplicity of this image & gives me a warm feeling every time I see it.
I shot this at 800iso to achieve a film like grain to the image with my 70-200L 2.8 lens & its full frame not cropped, that’s one of the things I love about this lens the ability to get me close enough to tell the story but far enough that I’m not there.

Canon D5mkii / 800iso / 70-200L 2.8 / 100th @f.2.8

Ian & Rachel

The brief for this wedding was modern contemporary with little fuss.Ian & Rachel’s wedding was an intimate affair with a reception at the contemporary Magnolia Restaurant inside the Cottons Hotel in Cheshire, a beautiful venue. When Jane & I arrived at the hotel we saw the funky surroundings of the bar and reception & just had to use them to give the images a modern feel. This wedding was a very relaxed affair with Ian very calm & Rachel looking stunning, very much the perfect couple, with pimms & champagne flowing we all had a great day.