The importance of a portrait

Whilst visiting my Grandfather recently, I photographed a portrait of him. I’ve done it a few times previously and I think he’s a great subject. Initially, he was a little grumpy about the whole idea: “I don’t know why you want a photograph of me!” etc. I looked around the room and my eyes fell on an old photograph taken many years ago of my Grandmother. It’s always been there for as long as I can remember it and it’s now some years since she passed away. I picked it up & said “how important is this photograph to you?” “well, it’s extremely important” he said, “I remember when it was taken like it was yesterday.” “OK” I responded, “so why is it so difficult to understand why I should want a portrait of you?” Game, set & match :)

So, remember to photograph or have photographs taken of your relatives. Not just your children – everyone! Don’t be awkward when your relatives want photographs of you either!

We’re planning a two-week portrait special during November. We have a few clients already who have been asking us to do it so we’ve found the time whilst in the UK to do it justice. If you’re interested and live somewhere in the North-West of England, now’s your chance to book one of just 10 exclusive sessions. Drop us a line or give us a call and we’ll chat through the options.

Here’s ‘Grandpop’ aged (almost) 94. He didn’t need to do anything for this other than sit in an armchair and follow some simple instructions. It’s a photograph I already treasure & it looks absolutely stunning in print. You really don’t have to drag people out to studios to get ‘real’ portraits – Andy

Wedding photographer: Astbury Church & Alderley Edge Hotel, Cheshire, UK: Tony & Haley

Andy & Amy were the wedding photographers at Astbury Church & Alderley Edge Hotel, Cheshire, UK for the wedding of Tony & Haley.

Tony & Haley were married last Saturday in the beautiful village church at Astbury. Haley’s parents own the village pub opposite the church and most of the guests met there before walking over the road for the ceremony & many of the villagers turned out to watch. Afterwards, everyone made the short journey to Alderley Edge for the reception at the Alderley Edge Hotel. Despite the bad weather forecast, the weather turned out perfectly – Tony & Haley even made the journey to Alderley Edge with the roof down on their vintage wedding car.

Let’s see some sneak previews of their images :)

I absolutely love this one of Haley sat in the window over-looking the church grounds.

Tony had to have at least one shot actually wearing the Top Hat!

Can’t wait to see this one in print in the album.

Since they had the car for the drive afterwards to Alderley Edge, Haley & her Dad made use of it to do a small detour and arrive at the Church in style.

I did say it was a beautiful church! Bill the church warden, allowed me to shoot from a balcony above the door & Amy to position herself discreetly at the front. It’s so refreshing to be so welcomed into a UK church as photographers.

Just married! I had to time this just right to have the couple in the shaded part of the aisle.

One of my favourite confetti shots ever :)

Horace, the Best Man, raises the roof with his speech. We struggled to photograph much of it for laughing ourselves!

You don’t need much space to create lovely moments like this – it was in the bar area.

Lovely light & a wonderful moment during the first dance.

Thanks folks for having us there – we really enjoyed ourselves. Enjoy the honeymooon :) – Andy

Wedding photographer: Monte Castello di Vibio & Fattoria di Vibio, Todi, Umbria, Italy: Mark & Nicola

Andy & Amy were the wedding photographers at Monte Castello di Vibio & Fattoria di Vibio, Todi, Umbria, Italy for the wedding of Mark & Nicola.

Mark & Nicola were married on Thursday in the beautiful church at Monte Castello di Vibio near Todi in Umbria. It’s a stunning little village perched on a hilltop and also home to the smallest theatre in the world which is 200 years old this year. After the ceremony, the guests enjoyed drinks in the tiny square outside the church and then, following an invitation, we walked through the cobbled streets for some photographs with the couple and their guests in the theatre itself. The reception was at the stunning Fattoria di Vibio.

Mark was obviously a challenge to photograph – not!

Once Nicola was ready, there was literally just a few minutes to grab some images before we had to jump in the car and race off to the town. Here’s one of our favourites.

The streets of Monte Castello di Vibio are particularly tiny. It took over 5 minutes for the driver of the Bentley to get through this gap (with the assistance of a number of lookouts!) He didn’t actually fit through the first time he tried and slightly scratched the car!

We normally say that there has to be a reason to put a photo-journalistic image in colour. Here’s a great example: blue sky, pink dresses & warmth of the sun on the church stone.

It’s a beautiful church & the ceremony was very personal. The couple had ‘persuaded’ their own priest to travel out with them – no doubt it was a tough decision on his part ;)

Mark’s Mum (right) & guests inspect Nicola’s ring afterwards.

Here’s a beautiful image, straight out of camera, from inside the theatre. We’ve done some others which show the guests all seated which look fantastic. The kindness of the locals to allow us to do this kind of thing is something that never ceases to amaze us.

Back at the Fattoria & the tables await the guests for the evening meal.

Setting the scene of the villa reception during the early evening. You can just make out the string quartet on the right of the image.

…and one of the happy couple to finish.

A really beautiful wedding in stunning locations. We only live an hour away from Monte Castello di Vibio and yet we’ve never been there before this. It’s now firmly on our ‘friends & family’ list of places to see in Umbria!

Enjoy your honeymoon folks – we’ll catch up with you once you’re home. – Andy

Coming soon…

Over the last three days we’ve photographed Mark & Nicola’s wedding in Umbria, closely followed by Tony & Haley’s wedding in Cheshire.  As soon as we get back home, we’ll upload some images – they’ll be well worth waiting for – we’re very excited with what we’ve seen so far :) – Andy

Phil & Jen and a wedding in the garden!

Yup, you’ve read that right :) Jen has always dreamed of getting married in her parents’ back garden. With the legalities taken care of in a low-key way during the morning, Phil & Jen were free to concentrate on the real wedding that afternoon. Paul & Jackie handed over their house & garden to a variety of vendors who erected a marquee, cooked a delicious lamb & hog roast meal and set-up a bar. We’ve never photographed anything like this before and, although a challenge in some respects, it was fantastic fun. Let’s have a look at some of what we’ve taken:

A perfect example of just what you can achieve in a back garden. It really was beautifully done.

Phil – not quite ready but obviously very relaxed.

Quiff, one of two Bestmen has a go at the bow tie ;)

“Is this supposed to do this?”

The lovely Jen! If getting married in your own home made every Bride as relaxed as Jen was, then we think everyone should do it.

The ladies. It was great to see so many familiar faces at this wedding – more of that at the end ;)

Phil & brother/Bestman Paul – who did a hilarious speech.

Amy went looking for the happy couple – who’d wondered off in the wrong direction & caught this lovely moment.

Just one of the reactions during the speeches.

Towards the end of the daytime celebrations.

During the evening, a live band played and there was much dancing & partying not forgetting the unforgettable 1st dance (You had to be there!)

Earlier I mentioned how it was great to see so many familiar faces. The reason is that we photographed Jen’s sister Vicki & husband Andy’s wedding last year. Next year we’re photographing Andy’s Bestman when he ties the knot with Katharine & then a friend of Katharine’s (Helen) just a couple of weeks after that! I think we’re going to have to re-invent ourselves!

To finish, we really have to say a huge thanks to Paul & Jackie for looking after us on Saturday. We really appreciated the hospitality as well as Paul’s talents with a ‘grinder!!’ That’s a story for another post – stay tuned :) – Andy