Manor By The Lake Summer Wedding

Each time I return to Manor By The Lake in Cheltenham I always find somewhere new to shoot. Nestled in between some very interesting buildings (a supermarket and an industrial estate), Manor By The Lake is a large regal building with huge grounds, a lake and surrounded by trees. It’s like you’ve wondered too far into the woodlands and ended up on some Duchesses country retreat. You would have no idea the venue is slap bang in the heart of Cheltenham.

This year I returned to Manor By The Lake to shoot a friends wedding, someone who I’ve known for as long as I’ve been living in this part of the country for, about 9 years. I’ve watched her grow closer together with Matthew, attending cosy house music shows for a couple of years together with them. When they both asked me to shoot their wedding I was honoured – knowing Selina I knew that the decorations, music and theme would be fantastical. With the longest wedding veil I’ve ever seen, coupled with traditional grey suits for the gents, this was more of a classic wedding than a bohemian one. The night was finished by a live jazz band led by Kim Cypher on saxophone, giving upbeat swing renditions of some of our favourite songs. 

I felt truly at home with this wedding, being around friends from back in my University days made for an easy shoot and post edit. I sat with Selina and Matthew when they opened the wedding pictures for the first time, and I’m so honoured they’ve let me use the images to populate a 2018 wedding album to show other couples in the future.

The main building of Manor By The Lake in Cheltenham, England.

A bridesmaid getting her hair prepared for a wedding in Cheltenham.

Bridesmaids dress detail in copper.

Close up detail shots of wedding flowers in Cheltenham.

The groomsmen prepare speeches at Manor By The Lake, Cheltenham.

The bridal room at Manor By The Lake, Cheltenham.

A wedding dress hanging at Manor By The Lake, Cheltenham

A bride having her hair prepared at Manor By The Lake, Cheltenham

Bridesmaids getting ready into their dresses at Manor By The Lake, Cheltenham

A tiara for the bride at Manor By The Lake, Cheltenham

The bridal party preparing at Manor By The Lake, Cheltenham.

Wedding dress back details.

Flower girls preparing for a wedding at Manor By The Lake, Cheltenham.

A beautiful bride at Manor By The Lake, Cheltenham.

Details of the flower girls feet at a wedding in Manor By The Lake, Cheltenham.

Full length detail of the bride and bridesmaids at Manor By The Lake, Cheltenham.

Flower detail for a bride at Manor By The Lake, Cheltenham.

Full length wedding dress at Manor By The Lake, Cheltenham

The red room at Manor By The Lake, Cheltenham.

A wedding ceremony taking place at Manor By The Lake, Cheltenham.

Marriage ceremony at Manor By The Lake, Cheltenham.

The couples first kiss at Manor By The Lake, Cheltenham.

Formal photographs at Manor By The Lake, Cheltenham.

Celebrating a marriage at Manor By The Lake, Cheltenham.

Wedding dress detail at Manor By The Lake, Cheltenham.

A confetti throw at Manor By The Lake, Cheltenham.

A large group shot of the guests of a wedding at Manor By The Lake, Cheltenham.

Couples portrait session at Manor By The Lake, Cheltenham.

The Monet bridge at Manor By The Lake, Cheltenham.

The Money bridge portrait session at Manor By The Lake, Cheltenham.

A bridal dress and flowers sparkle in the light at Manor By The Lake, Cheltenham.

Couples photography at Manor By The Lake, Cheltenham.

Romantic portraiture at Manor By The Lake, Cheltenham.

Fun bridesmaids poses at Manor By The Lake, Cheltenham.

Reception details at Manor By The Lake, Cheltenham.

A hanging chandelier at Manor By The Lake, Cheltenham.

A bride and groom see their wedding cake for the first time at Manor By The Lake, Cheltenham.

Close up detail photography of the wedding cake at Manor By The Lake, Cheltenham.

Reception speeches at Manor By The Lake, Cheltenham.

Reception cheers at Manor By The Lake, Cheltenham.

Cutting the cake together as bride and groom at Manor By The Lake, Cheltenham.

The first dance begins at Manor By The Lake, Cheltenham.

First dance at Manor By The Lake, Cheltenham.

Movement and dance at Manor By The Lake, Cheltenham.

The Kim Cypher band at Manor By The Lake, Cheltenham.

Hatherley Manor in the Summer Wedding

Every few months we get a request to shoot at Hatherley Manor, near Cheltenham. We’ve been great friends with the wedding planners there (even shooting their wedding!) in the past year or so, so are happy to be called their recommended suppliers. This wedding had a little twist to in with regards to planning however.

Only six days before the wedding we were contacted by the couple Alex and Rachel, as their prebooked photographer had unfortunately injured their leg and were no longer able to walk. I cringed in empathy at this, I’d hate to have such an accident so close to a couples big day! We checked the diary and found we had a rare weekend day free so took on their wedding for the couple. 

Alex is a full time photographer so I knew that our work had to stand on its own against a super critical eye, personally I would be the same when choosing a photographer for my own day too. Gladly Alex was super happy with our work and chuffed to bits with the results. I love having a quick browse on Facebook and seeing one of my wedding pics pop up as not only a brides profile pic but also the cover image. To think that my images made someones day/week/month/year fills me with pride and helps me know that I’m on the right path and working towards helping even more couples in the future.

 

What We Shoot During The Off Season

Weddings are great. They fill up our summers and let us shoot in fresh air, in spectacular locations and bring joy to hundreds of people. Once the season has wrapped up in early Autumn, we only typically shoot a handful of weddings between then and mid-spring the next year. This is our booking and preparation stage, where you’ll find us at wedding fayres or upgrading our site. We do however, need to keep our photography skills sharp throughout the year, so when we start back at the first wedding of the season we’re still as fresh as we were the year before. I’ve decided to put a few pictures in here of what I’ve been up to since the end of the 2016 season – just to give you a flavour of what an off season wedding photographer does when brides aren’t in front of our camera.

Landscapes

My parents live on the end of the earth, after relocating a few years ago from Bristol, UK. It takes a good 6-9 hours to reach, but just a few steps outside the backdoor produces spectacular cliffscapes and blue water. These were shot at the beginning of December 2016, despite the cold weather it was still brilliantly warm. I use the same photographic process to shoot landscapes as I do with couples at a wedding, as well as applying film emulation colours to make it look like it was shot on a roll film camera.

Model Portfolios

I’ve been shooting model portfolio images since before weddings, with my first model shoot in 2011. I love to be able to keep my skills sharp and practice flattering and interesting lighting. The lighting techniques I use to give great light for models is the same as what I’d use for bridal portraits. The techniques and physics behind how light affects an object will always remain the same from one picture to the next, so these are more of a gentle reminder to myself on how to interact with people and how to edit skin to a high calibre.

Running photography workshops

Keeping on the model theme, I run portfolio building days in London. These are a great opportunity for starting or semi-pro photographers to book a group of high end models, and shoot with the highest end camera and lighting kit available. I run and manage these, helping the students get the most out of their images, with help on lighting direction, power and settings. I’ve always wanted to get into the educational sphere in later life and this is my first foray into the world of helping others. I want to be able to run wedding portfolio days too, to help other local photographers with their passion and update their websites without the constraints of a wedding day.

I’d like to say that I keep myself busy, but in reality only 10% of the off season involves picking up a camera. The rest is admin, paper filing and double/triple checking notes for the next seasons weddings. When you start to deal with 30 or more weddings a year all through the country, filing is an essential part of office life. I’ve also been experimenting with shooting rolls of film in creative ways, using my dads old Nikon. We have just introduced a film-only wedding package now for those who love the creative blur and grain of roll film, and would love their images to have that timeless quality that digital just can’t achieve.

Our Wedding Photography Kit

An often asked question is “What kit is that?”. We hear it at most weddings by guests and onlookers, so we’ve decided to create a little post which shows what wedding photography kit we use the most, and why. We think its very important to know your kit inside and out, every setting and function, and to not carry anything un-needed on the wedding day.

The Cameras: Canon 6D 

The Canon 6D is a high end, full frame digital SLR camera. It gives us everything we ever need – speed, battery life, interchangeable lenses and a huge sensor. The big sensor inside the camera means we can capture finer detail, and better quality shots in low light. The 6D is in the top range of Canon cameras, up alongside wildlife and studio cameras. With a simplified menu system and easy to reach controls, it gives us more time shooting and less time configuring the camera mid-shoot.

Fujifilm X100s

Accompanying the Canon is the diminutive Fujifilm x100s, which is about the same size as a smartphone. With a built in lens and Electronic View Finder, we carry the Fuji around or neck at all times during a shoot. It’s so easy just to put down the main Canon and snap a few shots using the Fuji’s wide 35mm lens, and then switch back to our heavy duty Canon. Despite its point-and-shoot appearances, the Fujifilm x100s packs more power than 90% of cameras on the market, and most people have a difficult time distinguishing the difference between shots taken on it and the Canon 6D.

The Lenses: Sigma 35mm 1.4 Art

This is a prime lens, which is camera-speak for a lens which doesn’t zoom. By sacrificing the zoom ability you can build lenses that have so much optical glass in them they can shoot in extremely low light. The 35mm lens length is slightly wide, so we get more action in the pictures than a standard camera lens. Coupling the lenses ability to shoot in low light with the Canons own ability to shoot in low light gives us a huge advantage  – we can shoot without flash and still get crisp and clear images all day long, even at night. Prime lenses are great for artistic effects too – we can shoot the couple in sharp detail whilst having the background blur out into colourful swirls and clouds. We call this “background separation” in the industry, and is a signifier of a professional photographer and camera combination.

Canon 70-200 2.8 IS L MkII

One of the most coveted camera lenses ever produced, this zoom lens is a wedding photographers best friend. It is a telephoto lens, meaning we can capture detail far away from where we’re standing, and the zoom range lets us zoom in on peoples faces and even further away things. Unmistakable and painted white, the huge 2kg lens has built in stabilisers which counteracts the shake the photographer has when pressing the shutter button. This eliminates and motion blur and keeps the subjects looking sharp and in focus. The background separation on this lens is famous, for being able to select someone out of a crowd and blurring the background and foreground out to a lovely smooth blur. To top of the amazing functions of this lens, it has a low aperture (the 2.8 number), meaning it can even take great shots in low light levels, unheard of with most telephoto lenses.

Canon 17-40mm f4 and Helios 44-2

These lenses are less used than the two mentioned previously, but provide specific jobs. The Canon 17-40mm is a superwide zoom lens, and will let us get everyone in a large group shot into frame, or get large shots of a building in somewhere where maybe we can’t get any further back to use our Sigma lens. Whilst not the best for portraits and ceremony shots, the wide zoom lens is versatile enough to cover all aspects when we just can’t get everyone in shot. The Helios is an old Russian lens, with an adapter on the back of it to attach to our Canon camera. It’s a great portrait lens, giving swirly spinning background blur to the images and making everything look smooth and dreamy. As its a manual focus lens with limited functionality, we only really bring it out for the couples portrait sessions or for video work.

 The bag we carry is also filled with little goodies such as LED light panels, monopods and spare batteries, everything you would need to make sure every eventuality is covered. We will run another blog post on our video kit in the future, which contains a lot more accessories and extras than our photography bag.

Capturing Pro Audio At Weddings

If you’re booking a wedding videographer to make a film for you for your special day, you need someone who knows how to capture audio professionally. On-camera audio, the little microphones built in to cameras do a bad job for capturing clear audio, so external equipment are needed to make sure every part of the speeches and ceremony are crisp and free of background noise. We will walk you through just one of the few setups that we employ at each wedding when filming, to show you how far we go to get clean audio. These behind the scenes shots are from a New Years Eve Wedding at the beautiful Pittville Pump Rooms in Cheltenham.

Our video camera has external ports (pictured at the right hand end of the top handle) to take professional level audio microphones, such as the mic attached to the front in the furry covering.Whilst this is a great ability, we only use the on camera audio as a tool to sync up external microphones in editing. The reason why we don’t use the on camera audio primarily is that as it is so directional, anyone talking to our left or right won’t be as loud as whats in front, and you are also subjected to any ambience and background noise near your subject.

These are our microphones of choice, called lapel mics, or lav mics. You would have seen these on TV shows for interviews and maybe on stage performances. The tiny little mic clips to your lapel or shirt collar, and is positioned so closely to the persons mouth that all background noise is effectively eliminated. The Tascam DR-10C recording device is no larger than a matchbox, and will record the audio from the mic onto its inbuilt storage. These units can run for hours at a time, and are kept on the person who has been mic’ed up in a pocket or on a belt. All we need to do is sync this unit to our camera at the start of recording and we can get perfect audio for the subject. We use three of these units on various people throughout the wedding, including the officiant, groom and even father of the bride.

In post production, we can hop between the audio recordings of these little units to make sure that the person speaking has the lead in the wedding film. The units have two audio level tracks recording simultaneously, one louder than the other, meaning we can even get clean audio from the bride without micing her up, just by taking one of the audio streams from the groom.

Thi is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to professional audio recordings, we’ll upload another blog in the future detailing how we capture room noise, PA desks and live musicians.

The Problem With Not Showing Your Prices

Showing your prices as a creative business is a hotly debated topic. In business, there is no right or wrong answer to how to market yourself, but time and time again we see wedding photography companies hide their prices. Be it at a wedding fayre with “we’ll email you with prices”, or on their website with “contact us for a quote”, hiding your prices can discourage new interest and potential bookings. Here’s why we love to show our prices to all who ask or seek the information out.

Transparency

This is the biggest and most important factor of them all. By showing potential couples our priced packages up front they can jot down the information and see if it fits in their budget. They can also easily see what they get for the price, and what different packages get. Giving your couples the power to choose for themselves gives them the power, and power begets happiness. Many companies that hide their price do so because they don’t want other competitors seeing their prices and what they get – we are the complete opposite. We can can recite each package by memory, so if caught out in public we know exactly what to offer. Likewise, we even tell other wedding companies our packages, the price is a carefully calculated price that combines skill, time and products into a set offering. Other companies are free to copy us, imitate us and even source the same albums as us (good luck with that though), we do not get deterred or miffed at this.

Hidden prices can vary dependant on circumstances

Lets imagine you contact a wedding photographer for a quote,   and give as much information as possible, including your venue, date of marriage and other vendors. The photographer could see the date of your wedding is a prime weekend in the summer, and at a high-cost venue, and knows you are looking at a high expense wedding. The quote you get in return is massively inflated in comparison to one that he sent out just a few months earlier for a midweek spring wedding. Why is this? Because by not having the prices on display the photographer is able to modify his prices to squeeze the most out of your budget after seeing your circumstances. We hate this! By having our prices on display, no matter your budget, date of wedding or location, you can be assured our prices stay fixed, and you get the same great value as the next. You wouldn’t go into Tescos one day and be asked how much you pay for rent, and your price for food increase, so why should the creative industry?

It creates extra legwork for the couple

You have a load of vendors, suppliers and people to book for your wedding day (about 20 on average), so you want quick price calculations and easy price brackets you can put into your spreadsheet for budgeting. If you have to contact a supplier, then supply information, wait for a response and then adjust it because you’d prefer something else, the booking suddenly gets more complex. You can click on our site however, and within one button see all the three set prices for either photography or videography on display, including their contents.

The bespoke option

You may be thinking that we’re very pro-displaying prices, and you’d be correct! However we don’t completely advocate this model, we have a bespoke option for everyone who wants something a little different. This is an option only if you want it, we don’t force it upon you as a requirement for contact. Couples can ask to modify a set package (such as extra photo albums or less shooting time), and we can get back with their adjusted price quickly). We really do the best of both worlds.

Why Our Pictures Looks Like Film Shots

Wedding film Photography has gone through a lot of changes over the past decade or two. Back when my dad was shooting in the 80s, it was all film. You had to choose before you took the shot your ideal film stock – a certain brand of film that would give you the best look, colour and grain for your project. You’d then be confined to that limited dynamic range (you may not be able to shoot in very bright or very dark situations easily), and the white balance of lights would be how the camera caught it, no altering it afterwards. It sounds like digital has come along to save the day, with its infinite adjustability before each shot, making sure you get your perfect shot in one take. So with digital being so great, why do we make our shots look like they’re taken on film cameras?

I started shooting weddings on film.

My very first wedding was by assisting another photographer (who we eventually shot his own wedding for), and was bold enough to try shooting film right from the off. Whilst Bertie was the lead photographer and got the important shots on digital, I had the ability to try out some film shots. I loaded the camera with Ektar 100, a fine grain shot used for outdoors situations, and shot using a newly bought Nikon camera. I was absolutely smitten by the colour rendition of the hues in the scene, and decided right there that everything I shoot should be film-looking in the future.

A groom looks at a reception book whilst the bride smiles.

I worked in a printing lab.

My first job outside of university was working in a high street printing lab, this was at the cross over where film was slowly dying in popularity and cheap DSLR were appearing on the market. In my first year we were taking in 100 rolls of film a day, and two years on, 5 a week. In that first few years however, I developed thousands of films, of all the different brands and stocks that were available. Each time I put the films through the computer for scanning, I saw how the film stocks varied the colour tones, and which ones would be most suitable for certain conditions. It was this love affair with film that pushed me to love film photography even more. It also helped that I was given free developing and processing whilst there, so I could experiment with my own bought films and cameras.

Hasselblad 500CM Medium Format Camera for wedding film photography

The images are timeless.

With the way we edit our photos, you could put a print of ours next to a wedding shot from 25 years ago, the all film era, and you would have a hard time telling the difference. Everything down to the grain structure, how different colours are effected with the luminosity of the scene are all taken into consideration to give the pictures a truly timeless feel. Gone are the days of gimmicky photography styles, selective colour and Photoshop effects. We concentrate on making the images look classic, clear and crisp.

Perhaps you’ve shot on a film camera in the past and would love your wedding to reflect your taste in photography. We love to shoot hybrid too – that is bringing a spare film camera along to weddings to fire off some genuine film shots, alongside the digital ones.

Pittville Pump Rooms NYE Wedding

We were contacted by this couple a few weeks before New Years Eve to ask us to cover their big day as a videographer. I was lucky enough to be able to come along to help out with audio and to also take some great behind the scenes shots. Pittville Pump Rooms are situated atop a large hill with a great lake and playing fields on either side, and is a truly magnificent building. Preparations started with the grooms party, as the bride was getting prepared elsewhere. The couple were incredibly easy going, used to being in front of camera crews for their respective jobs. The Pump Rooms were turned into a beautifully decorated location, with purple uplighters and candles adorning the aisle. Afterwards a live band played late into the night, and some of the last guests stayed on until the stroke of midnight to watch the fireworks.

To book our videographer for the day, head on over to the Videography section of our site, to see packages, prices and show reels from previous weddings.

Pittville pump rooms groom preparationsWedding videography uses a tripod for steady shots of a flay lay of props.

Why I Love This Shot – Cripps Barn

Every once in a while I look back through the vast archives or wedding images I’ve taken, totally in the hundreds of thousands. I sometimes look back all the way to my early days, before I owned a pro-level camera, when I was shooting film. You might mistake me for older photographer whose been shooting since the 70s right now, but my first wedding was 2012. Back then I was working full time as a manager of a printing lab in my town, and was completely obsessed with film photography, all the film stock choices out there and how they affected an image.

I had just bought a lovely little Nikon FM2N on eBay and a 35mm 1.4 lens to go on it (if I knew how good this lens was now I’d have kept it instead of selling it on a few months later), and wanted to test myself with a few rolls of film. I was second photographer to a friend who shot the main important images, whilst I had free roam to try out new techniques, learn the process and have the ability to make mistakes without affecting the wedding days final print volume. The venue was Cripps Barn near Bibury, if you haven’t heard of it they’re one of a string of beautiful barn wedding venues, and always booked up years in advance. The have a cute outside wedding spot, with log seats for the guests and a forest to walk through en route.

So why do I like this shot? It’s the first one in my wedding career that I look back on and feel was a defining image. I knew that choosing your film stock (what brand to use to load into the camera) would influence the outcome and feel of the picture, and my choice was spot on. Using Kodak Ektar 100 gave me lovely colour rendition, more than a digital camera can – soul over colour accuracy. The couple were so fantastic all day, and began the start of our bohemian and boutique styled wedding photography journey. Since then we’ve shot many more images, but nearly all on digital. Looking back at this picture has given us faith in the world of film photography, and we’re vowing to  bring our little Nikon film cameras to each and every wedding in 2017, to compile a film-only section of our website.

Why Book A Wedding Videographer?

As our name says, we primarily focus on photography. Both Scott and I used to work together as a pair of photographers for a wedding, but about a year or so we started to look into videography as well. We noticed there was a need for video work to accompany (and not just accompany, but compliment) the photography work at a date, taking your experience of viewing from just images to films. We think videography is great, but if you need some convincing why you should book one for your wedding date, then read on.

1. Capture important speeches.

Photography can do a great job in getting your best smile, brilliant light and capturing the glorious experience of the day. Unfortunately, photographs can’t capture your words at the altar to each other, the speech from the family and the toasts. Videography comes to save the day, getting perfectly captured audio from the days big moments.

2. Have that cinematic looking feel.

Sometimes its great to feel like you’re in a movie. Forget the shaky hands and portrait-orientated video footage from phones, videographers have a handy selection of tools and equipment to steady their cameras out. Using sliders, stabilisers and should rigs taken from the movie industry, we get silky smooth flowing shots, beautifly slow gliding panoramic shots of the venue and sweeping guest clips. There is no experience that even comes close!

3. Most brides recommend it.

We all know photography is one of the most important services to book for your big day, but videography is often overlooked. There are countless online posts about brides regretting not booking a videographer, saying that as the day moves through so fast, you sometimes miss out on the details. The videographer is there to get those shots, filming the guests having a great time and capturing those moments you weren’t around to see.

4. We’re in the digital age.

As we are in 2016, the entire world loves to share digital content. We can offer a “social media reel”, a short 2-3 minute film of the very best bits from the day for you to share with family and friends. No more needing to post out VHS tapes, your family and friends on the other side of the world can relive your day within minutes of sending. Videography is an important step into making your wedding day futureproof – your film will be viewable online (if you want to), or it can be a closely guarded secret for just you and your partner to look back at in years to come.

If you want to look at our previous wedding films and prices, head to our videography page.

The Online Gallery – And Why You Will Love It

In these futuristic days of social media, super fast internet and pocket-sized computers (as of 2016 at least), wedding needs to be taken online. I had a chat with a retired photographer recently and we discussed how the images were given to the wedding couples back in the 80s and 90s. The photographer used to finish the days shooting, then courier the films off to a fast printing lab, who would then send back contact sheets of the negatives. Each image would then be assigned a specific number and code, sent off to the couple and left to them to choose their favourite images. They are then sent back to the photographer, who goes to the printers (again), gets the prints, posts them out and collects the money in exchange. Quite a lengthy process – especially if you’re a photographer working 30-40 weddings a season!

Thankfully that’s not the process anymore. Imagine an online photo gallery as a corridor in a Library, with rows of locked doors. You’re given the key by the photographer that opens just one of these doors, and inside are all your images saved on the internet, in a non physical form. You can pick the ones you like, and take them home with you. You can even give that key to a friend on the other side of the world to access that same room the very same time you’re in there, order a prints and have the physical object created and posted out to them. Best of all, it’s free and included in every package we offer.

What does it look like?

If you follow this link to our online photo gallery, you can see the “corridor”. It’s a public page where anyone can go to and see the collections of previous weddings we’ve done. If you click on nearly any of them (bar one), you’ll find you need a password to get to the next step. This is our privacy function – making sure you only show these pictures to people you want to. The password is generated and given at the wedding reception usually, and is something memorable to you as a couple.

This is what the main screen looks like – a list of previous weddings. Each one is locked but you can identify yours from the thumbnails.

Trying to click on one of the pictures will end in a password prompt, stopping any unwanted browsers from seeing your photos.

What’s beyond the password prompt?

Once the correct passwords entered, you gain full access to the gallery. Every photo that we give you on your customised USB will be on here (remember that we always give you your images on a USB as standard for any wedding package, the online gallery is additional to this). You can browse through the images from the day, and click on any to bring them up large on screen. There’s a little shopping cart icon above each picture when enlarged which will let you purchase a print of that image. As a couple you may not need this function (after all, you have the images on a USB so can pop into a printing lab and get copies done quickly), but this function is useful for relatives who may want a copy for their own. If you have a great aunt in Canada who couldn’t make the wedding, now they can find any picture they like from the day, order a print and have it shipped out directly to them, without needing to hassle you for proofs and ordering. The internet has truly closed the boundaries of distance, making a special event easy and accessible to all.

If you want to look inside one of these photo galleries, Steph and Jon have kindly given use permission to use their images from the day. Feel free to browse the collection, see how the images lay out on the adaptable grid, and click on an image to see how easy it is to buy prints (we’d rather you didn’t buy pictures of their day unless you know them however!) There’s also social media share links if you want to show your friends the images.

The grid manipulates and moves itself around to fit the variety of portrait and landscapes taken on the day.

Clicking the shopping cart icon on any picture will give you a list of available print sizes, all the way up to huge A1 poster sizes.

What other advantages does it have?

There is a function we can enable, which will let you download all the images to your device. This will let you create copies of your images even if you have lost or misplaced your USB. We generally limit this facility to stop the spreading of images online too much, but we are happy to let you use it three or four times.

Of course, if you’d prefer we can disable the online gallery if we were to shoot your wedding day. It’s just a great option to have. The images stay on the gallery for between one and two years after the wedding date – so you have plenty of time to access and re-download your images if need be.

It’s a free service, something we think couples love to have and use and just one extra you get with us as your wedding photographers.

Copyright vs Reproduction Licence, Explained

So this isn’t the most interesting or glamorous blog post, as there’s not too many videos or pictures I could put in to spice this post up. It is however, an oft-asked question, one which we believe is so important to differentiate the distinction between copyright and reproduction licence that we needed to make a blog post all about it. So to make things more interesting, I’ll splice in some behind the scenes shots of us at work, completely unrelated to legal information, but at least they look nice.

So here we go – What is copyright? What is Reproduction Licence? Why do you give us one not the other, when another wedding company says we can have the copyright?

1. Copyright

Copyright, at least in the UK, is automatically generated when an artist creates a piece of Intellectual Property (IP). When a singer thinks up a song, or an artist draws a picture, they automatically own that copyright. Photographers create their IP when they press the button to take the picture. The copyright is a legal shield covering your work, that if someone tries to pinch your work, claim it as their own or make money off it, you can step in and say “wait a minute, I own the copyright, it’s my picture and you can’t do that!” You wouldn’t like it if you, an architect, had just built an awe-inspiring building and then a stranger walks up and claims its theirs, takes all the publicity and credit for it. You can sell your copyright off to someone if you choose, and if you work for another party and are getting paid for the job, there’s a very strong chance your copyright automatically will belong to the person who hired you.

2. Reproduction Licence

This is where we start to delve into the deep depths of UK Law. A Reproduction licence is a licence (obviously), which I, the owner of the Intellectual Property can give to another person, so they can use my IP for some things. Typically in photography, you would give a licence to a media outlet, so they can use your images for their site, and in return you’d either get paid, credited or other services in trade. Reproduction Licences can vary, some can let you copy, share and print the images but not sell them yourself – some will let a newspaper use your images for a certain period of time (like 3 months) on their website before having to take it down. All reproduction licences are customisable and there is no set rule for whats included in them, you adjust them as you see fit to best suit the licensee. A reproduction Licence does not transfer the copyright of the image to another party.

3. Why do you give a Reproduction Licence for Wedding Images?

We hear it all the time, at wedding fayres we can overhear other wedding photographers tell the couples that “you get full copyright on your images”, and “that wedding photographer over there offers the copyright, can you do the same?”. We have to answer with a no, but back it up with you recieve the full reproduction licence to print, share and own the images indefinitely. So why have we such a firm stance on not giving the copyright away? Let’s assume these scenarios:

You are a hollywood A-lister, and you hire me for your wedding photography for the day, for which I give you the copyright. Once I’ve given you the images, I can no longer legally say I took or own the images, as every picture and their legal ownership is given to you. I can’t promote my business with your pictures, I can’t say I’ve shot your wedding and you can now sell my images to media outlets for big bucks. A little mean, no?

I take photographs for your wedding, and you get the copyright. You then take my images, and set up a photography wedding service, using my pictures for promotion and get loads of bookings. The people you book are booking you under the pretence that they will receive images of the quality displayed in our images.

By giving the reproduction licence to the couple, we grant them permission to print off what they need, share them online and post them around the world to family and friends, but they can’t say they took the images. It’s a small distinction but one which can have a very big impact to a creative business that survives solely on the integrity of their Intellectual Property. We promise we’re not trying to stiff you and give you only access to three of your pictures to only be viewed under a full moon, or some other vicious licence – we give you free and unlimited use to the pictures, after all you’re in them and it’s your big day! We just need to protect our work under the ever-complex UK laws.

Why We Love Hatherley Manor

Halfway between Cheltenham and Gloucester lies a 17th century manor, Hatherley Manor. A modern hotel inside with 37 acres of land, it is also one of the best wedding venues in the area. Purportedly made for the illegitimate son of Oliver Cromwell, the Manor still stand today and houses many weddings a year.

We had the honour of shooting a reception there in 2016, and we’d like to share with you some of the images from the day. The staff were so helpful – accommodating my requests where possible. I managed to be let in to the kitchen for some shots of the food before it was taken out to the waiting guests, and the DJ even let me borrow part of his lighting rig to attach my own spotlight for when the first dance started.

We love working at Hatherley Manor, if you’d like to book them head to http://www.hatherleymanor.com/ and see what they can do for your day.

Best Wedding Photographers Stroud

Wedding Photographers Stroud

In years to come, when your children are asking you to tell them about your wedding, you’ll want to be able to show them beautiful photographs that truly encapsulate the magicof the day. As a result, it’s a good idea to hire the services of a skilled photographer. There are very few photographers who come close in skill and friendliness as Jon Sparkman.

One company that comes highly recommended is Special Day Photography, which is run by Jon Sparkman and Scott Edwards. Jon and Scott have photographed countless weddings in Stroud and the surrounding areas and have many happy clients.

A Tailored Service

Jon and Scott know that every couple is different, and that’s why they look to provide a tailored service. They offer a range of packages, ensuring that your needs and budget can be catered to. Expert advice is always available, so contact us at info@cheltenhamweddingphotographer.com (or send a message through the Contact Us box) and they’ll respond to you as soon as possible.

Browse the website to find out more about Special Day Photography. We are one of the most popular wedding photographers in Stroud,with many happy clients. If you are looking for an exceptional and contemporary photographer, use Special Day Photography.

A couple walk through fields of grass for romantic pictures together.

Wedding Photographer Warwickshire

Wedding Photographer Warwickshire

Some couples leave booking a wedding photographer until the last minute, but this isn’t recommended. You’ll find that the best ones get booked up months and sometimes even years in advance. Therefore, you should look to book a photographer as soon as you begin planning your big day. One of the highest rated wedding photographers in Warwickshire is Special Day Photography. Jon and Scott are very experienced and have photographed countless weddings throughout the area as well as nationally and overseas. You can rest assured that they can produce breathtaking images that you’ll treasure for many years to come.

A Range of Packages to Suit your Needs and Budget

Whatever your photography requirements may be for your wedding day, you can be sure that Special Day Photography can assist. Whether you want them to photograph those nervous and exciting moments spent getting ready, the ceremony only, or you’d like them to be there for the whole day to capture the every magical, romantic moment on camera, this can be arranged. Telephone 01242 802389 to discuss your wedding photography needs in detail with one of the team. Or take a look around the website to find out more about Special Day Photography.

The Bringewood Hillside Wedding

Osian and Deryn’s wedding was up a hill, miles away from towns and only accessible via a winding country road. When we pulled out into the road leading to The Bringewood, we were blown away by the spectacular forest views. It was to be an outdoor wedding, with the breakfast and reception in a tented area.

We loved the lavender accents throughout the wedding, matching with the purple bouquets. Lawn games occupied the time between the ceremony and the speeches/meal, which was a dried meat and mediterranean medley platter.

The band for the night were an outstanding 50s swing and rockabillity three piece outfit, and the couple surprised us all by having learn a swing routine for the first dance.

What a great day!

 

Oxfordshire Wedding Photographers

Oxfordshire Wedding Photographer

Your wedding photographs will be one of the only lasting reminders of your special day. Long after the champagne has been drunk and the last of your guests have gone home, your photographs will remain. They’ll ensure that you can relive the best moments from your wedding again and again, whenever you choose. As such, it makes sense to choose a photographer who possesses a vast amount of skill and experience in the field. Many couples who are seeking an Oxfordshire wedding photographer hire Special Day Photography. Jon and Scott have been photographing weddings for many years and have a real passion for what they do.

Whether your big day will be a traditional white wedding with hundreds of guests or a small intimate affair with your closest friends and family. You can rest assured that they can provide a photography service that meets your needs head on.

Competitive Prices

Planning a wedding can be expensive, and so you’ll want to ensure that you don’t pay over the odds for a photography package that fits your requirements. Fortunately, Special Day Photography is renowned for its competitive prices. Take a look around the website to find out more…

Manor By The Lake 50s Wedding

The Manor By The Lake is a huge mansion hidden away on the edge of Cheltenham. It also happens to be just a short drive from our office, making it our closest venue. Covered in vines and sporting a beautiful pond and gardens, the venue oozes class and elegance. We started the day with ground shots, as we had our videographer Scott shooting for the day. Bex joined us again for makeup for the day, doing a great job as she always does. The theme of the day was vintage and 50s, using polka dot dresses and bright red colours. We had such a great time shooting the day, and the couple were so gracious in letting us use their day to promote ourselves.

Best wedding photographers Cheltenham

Are you in the process of planning your wedding day? Then once you’ve booked your dream venue and chosen the perfect dress, you may start to think about hiring a photographer who can capture the most special moments from your big day on camera. Many couples in Cheltenham and the surrounding areas hire the best wedding photographers cheltenham, Special Day Photography. The team is made up of Jon Sparkman and Scott Edwards – experienced photographers who have a real passion for what they do. They love nothing more than taking beautiful photos that couples can treasure forever.

Put your Photography Needs in the Hands of a Professional

These days, most people think they can take good photographs. After all, advancements in technology such as smartphones and iPads have made it easier to capture an image with just a click a button. However, the truth is that is takes many years of practice to produce breathtaking photographs that harness the true magic and beauty of the day. You can rest assured that Jon and Scott have the skill and expertise required. To find out more about Special Day Photography and its wedding photography services in Cheltenham, take a look around the website today.

Hatherley Manor Springtime Wedding

Harriet & Mike got married in the middle of the British springtime, amidst grey clouds and damp weather. Choosing the traditional route of a church wedding, I met the couple in their separate preparation locations beforehand. Joined by a friend on makeup was a nice surprise – Bex joined me on three other weddings that same year. Using spring as the theme of the wedding, hot orange was used for clothing and accents, with sunflowers for bouquets. The vicar at the church was so very friendly, letting me use secret passageways to get access to vantage points. The couple had chosen Hatherley Manor as their location, which is famed for inventing the deckchair and stepladder. I thoroughly enjoyed the days shooting, and have stayed good friends with Harriet afterwards, who is breaking into the modelling scene to support a charity.

Prestbury Church Wedding

We have always enjoyed vintage, upcycled and classic items at weddings. No other wedding we’ve shot has put so many of these enjoyable traits into one day for us. Arriving in an imported 60s Ford car at Prestbury Church, Katie met Bertie at the altar in a traditional way. It was the reception however, that blew us away. Every detail of the wedding had been planned in under six weeks, including the booking of the hall and accessories. Most of the decor was handmade, from the bunting to the jars of chutney to take home. Cheese rounds were served next to mounds of pasta as a nod to Bertie’s heritage. Partying long into the night with the help of an outdoor log fire.

West Dulwich College Library Wedding

Getting married on the hottest day of the year was tough work, especially in the heat of Central London. West Dulwich College has many great locations to get married in, from the pavilion to main halls. Gemma & Jason chose the quiet Library, just off from the main building. The ceremony was beautiful, the bride Gemma had a spectacular pluming dress on for the day. After the ceremony guests filed out onto the playing lawn. Most tried to escape the heat under shade, only to break from it for the formal shots. Their reception was held down the road in The Rosendale pub, with the entire upstairs booked out for the reception. As downstairs was still open to the general public, it was great to see a bride in full wedding attire at the bar alongside them, ordering drinks.

Herons Farm Civil Ceremony

I have known Liv for over ten years now, meeting at University. I was constantly regaled stories about her partner Emma, so when asked to shoot the wedding, I was honoured. Herons Farm in Pangbourne is a lovely rustic farm that has been converted for ceremonial use. Situated in the middle of hundreds of acres of sprawling fields, the barn served as the focal point of the day. Contrary to tradition, they did meet before the ceremony to see each other. Opting to both wear white wedding dresses, the girls were accompanied to the front of the aisle surrounded by family. I couldn’t have asked for a nicer couple, they even sat me down as a guest for a meal. On the tables were recipe cards for rum cocktails, and disposable cameras for the guests to use.

Mill House Hotel Wedding 2014

Dave & Kim were the first couple allowed to tie the knot in the gardens of The Mill House. Previously only able to officiate weddings inside, new licences had been filed just in time for a riverside wedding. The rain parted just in time for the processional, complimented by a string quartet. On the way back up the aisle Dave & Kim danced to “Bring Me Sunshine”, a favourite of mine. After the ceremony lawn games were put out, including croquet and hoops. We managed to steal away the couple for a few minutes during this point to grab some romantic portraits for them. This was the first wedding I had shot where the cake was made out of rounds of cheese – something we’d come to see time and time again through the coming years.