Beautiful Ile de Ré, South of France

To make up for the terrible weather we're having at the moment, I thought I'd whisk you away to the South of France, and in particular Ile de Ré just a short car ride over the bridge from La Rochelle.

To say this island is stunning is truly an understatement.  Visually and spiritually this place is unlike anywhere I've ever been in my life.  The way of life here is true bliss, every day feels like a hot lazy Sunday afternoon.  If you ever wanted somewhere to go to just get away from the rat race for awhile and live a slower pace of life, Ile de Rey would top my list.

We arrived by car over the large bridge that separates the island from mainland France and parked up in a large shaded carpark off the main street of Le Bois Plage-En-Ré.  I'd originally read about the island years and years ago in Stephen Clarke's A Year In The Merde (which I'd highly recommend getting a copy of) but only had a vague visualisation in my head of what it would be like.   In it Stephen gets a bike and heads out to live on a rural farm, we didn't go quite that far, but bike seemed like the best way to get around the island.  We headed into town and rented ourselves two deux vélos and headed out.  The fact that the entire island is flat helps a lot, especially when most times that you stop in a small village you can't help but have a glass of red wine and soak up the sun.  Enjoy the images.

Ile de Ré Photographs 006.jpg
Ile de Ré Photographs 007.jpg
Ile de Ré Photographs 015.jpg
Ile de Ré Photographs 008.jpg
Ile de Ré Photographs 009.jpg
Ile de Ré Photographs 023.jpg

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Deer Park

It seems like a lifetime ago that I actually got out to take these images.  It was probably one of the last decent days of weather we had before the winter cold set in.  Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Deer Park are beautiful places to take a crisp autumn walk, and I thought I'd combine that with some deer hunting.

It was actually more difficult than I thought it might be, it certainly gave me the utmost respect for all the wildlife photographers featured on the Natural History Museum Website.  The patience they must have is incredible.  For a start deer doing exactly stand still for very long, and they're extremely skittish and unamused by my attempts to get nearer to them.  The slightest rustle of leaves or branches and they pretty much all look up from whatever their doing and turn in unison to look at you.  Then you're forever in their sight as you inch closer and closer, right until one of them decides enough is enough and off they bolt.  At some points I felt a certain kinship with Fenton.

Anyway when I did manage to get them standing still I started to notice that it was really the light that was the star of the show.  Getting the backlight hitting the backs of the deer added a stunning quality to the finished images, just a shame that by the time I'd got into position to get that backlight the deers had run off.  I did manage to get a few nice shots though before the sun dipped behind the hills.  Enjoy!

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Deer Park 020.jpg
Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Deer Park 006.jpg
Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Deer Park 007.jpg
Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Deer Park 009.jpg
Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Deer Park 014.jpg
Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Deer Park 005.jpg
Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Deer Park 018.jpg
Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Deer Park 010.jpg
Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Deer Park 013.jpg
Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Deer Park 019.jpg
Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Deer Park 004.jpg
Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Deer Park 008.jpg

Hospitium Wedding Photography - Andrew and Claire

Andrew and Claire's Wedding Day in York started off wet, pouring down in fact in the morning.  As I drove over to Poppleton from Harrogate I was planning for indoor family formals, and umbrellas during the portraits section.  There's an image a little way down the blog of Claire looking out of a rain streaked window that I love.  When I got there, Claire said she knew it would be raining, and rain ran through her's and Andrew's relationship from the beginning.  This managed to carry on through to both their Engagement Shoot in Manchester and then their eventual wedding day in Poppleton and then York.

But then something remarkable happened as Andrew was making his way to the Church in Poppleton, the sun began to peek through the clouds and eventually burnt them away to give us a gloriously crisp Autumns Day Wedding.  It was like someone up there knew we wanted sunshine, and then all of a sudden I was scouting locations to keep people out of the sun for the family formals!

From then on the day couldn't have really gone any better.  They chose to get married in St Everildas Church in Poppleton which is a beautiful building tucked away down a long windy road.  Then a stunning Rolls Royce drove them into the heart of York to their reception at The Hospitium in the Museum Gardens.  I'd shot there earlier in the year in the snow for Jolene and Ric's wedding and as always it was a superb venue.

The evening portraits around the Museum Gardens were worth breaking a lighting umbrella or two for due the wind!  I had a brilliant time and as you can see from the photos so did Andrew and Claire.  Certainly some of the most heartfelt moments I've experienced at a Wedding and the party at the end was off the chart.  Enjoy!

Poppleton and Hospitium Wedding - Andrew and Claire
Poppleton and Hospitium Wedding - Andrew and Claire
Poppleton and Hospitium Wedding - Andrew and Claire
Poppleton and Hospitium Wedding - Andrew and Claire
Poppleton and Hospitium Wedding - Andrew and Claire
Poppleton and Hospitium Wedding - Andrew and Claire
Poppleton and Hospitium Wedding - Andrew and Claire
Poppleton and Hospitium Wedding - Andrew and Claire
Poppleton and Hospitium Wedding - Andrew and Claire
Poppleton and Hospitium Wedding - Andrew and Claire
Poppleton and Hospitium Wedding - Andrew and Claire
Poppleton and Hospitium Wedding - Andrew and Claire
Poppleton and Hospitium Wedding - Andrew and Claire
Poppleton and Hospitium Wedding - Andrew and Claire
Poppleton and Hospitium Wedding - Andrew and Claire
Poppleton and Hospitium Wedding - Andrew and Claire
Poppleton and Hospitium Wedding - Andrew and Claire
Poppleton and Hospitium Wedding - Andrew and Claire
Poppleton and Hospitium Wedding - Andrew and Claire
Poppleton and Hospitium Wedding - Andrew and Claire
Poppleton and Hospitium Wedding - Andrew and Claire
Poppleton and Hospitium Wedding - Andrew and Claire
Poppleton and Hospitium Wedding - Andrew and Claire
Poppleton and Hospitium Wedding - Andrew and Claire
Poppleton and Hospitium Wedding - Andrew and Claire
Poppleton and Hospitium Wedding - Andrew and Claire
Poppleton and Hospitium Wedding - Andrew and Claire
Poppleton and Hospitium Wedding - Andrew and Claire
Poppleton and Hospitium Wedding - Andrew and Claire
Poppleton and Hospitium Wedding - Andrew and Claire
Poppleton and Hospitium Wedding - Andrew and Claire
Poppleton and Hospitium Wedding - Andrew and Claire
Poppleton and Hospitium Wedding - Andrew and Claire
Poppleton and Hospitium Wedding - Andrew and Claire
Poppleton and Hospitium Wedding - Andrew and Claire
Poppleton and Hospitium Wedding - Andrew and Claire
Poppleton and Hospitium Wedding - Andrew and Claire
Poppleton and Hospitium Wedding - Andrew and Claire
Poppleton and Hospitium Wedding - Andrew and Claire
Poppleton and Hospitium Wedding - Andrew and Claire
Poppleton and Hospitium Wedding - Andrew and Claire
Poppleton and Hospitium Wedding - Andrew and Claire
Poppleton and Hospitium Wedding - Andrew and Claire
Poppleton and Hospitium Wedding - Andrew and Claire
Poppleton and Hospitium Wedding - Andrew and Claire
Poppleton and Hospitium Wedding - Andrew and Claire
Poppleton and Hospitium Wedding - Andrew and Claire
Poppleton and Hospitium Wedding - Andrew and Claire
Poppleton and Hospitium Wedding - Andrew and Claire

Do I really need a Wedding Album?

The short and quite frankly easier answer (to me at least) is no.  No you don't need a Wedding Album, but it always makes me sad when the last interaction I have with a couple is posting out their USB of images.  I don't feel like photographs are truly finished until they are in printed form.  It may seem to go against the current push towards all digital consumption, but I'm deciding to push back.

Beautiful Heirloom Wedding Album

I go into a little more detail about why I offer Wedding Albums as standard in all my packages here.  But I thought I'd try and address this push to all digital in more detail here.  I think it's easy in the heat of planning a wedding to get swept up in all the amazing details and clothes and venues and forget about the one thing that will be there 20/30 years down the line and that is your photographs. 

"We'll make our own album later" is a phrase I often hear from prospective couples.  I know because I said that to my own wedding photographer and have regretted it ever since.  Real life gets in the way, you've got 400/500 images to cull down into a succinct story of your day.  You've got to design it and order it, and you've not got access to professional albums makers.  Your photographer is in the unique position of being there alongside you all day, through all the emotions and at all the key moments.  They, better than anyone, will be able to curate your images into a collection of memories that'll last you a lifetime.

Beautiful Heirloom Wedding Album

I know I personally strive to shoot your wedding with a storytelling album in mind.  As well as individual images, I'm looking for the flow of a moment, the ups and the downs , the small moments in between and the large parts of the ceremony.  My background in film means I understand storytelling and the flow of what are essentially storyboards of your day.  This experience allows me to truly integrate the album into your photography from the outset, as opposed to what it can be; an afterthought.

i know how difficult it is to project yourself into the future and understand what will be important in 30 or 40 years time (I try to here).  But try to imagine sitting down with your grandchildren with a beautifully curated collection of images from your wedding day, presented in a way that'll never not work, it'll never not be compatible with OSX Space Monkey 7.  It is essentially your first family heirloom that generations in the future will look back at to see the dimples in your face when you cry, or how proud your Dad looked when he first saw you in your dress.

Beautiful Heirloom Wedding Album

I'm all for digital, it is one of the great advances in camera technology and allows me to capture your wedding in the way I do, but who knows where technology will be in 1 year, let alone 30 years time.  Will your USB still work? Will your computer still work?  Convenient side story : I have no photos from my life between about 2000 and 2005.  This was before cloud storage, my hard drive died. It was unrecoverable.  I can't  even really remember what I was doing between those years anymore, and that's because I don't have the photos.  

Everyone knows what happens when you come back from a holiday, you dump all your images into iPhoto and maybe print a couple out to go in frames.  Those photos are soon replaced as time goes on, and you don't look at them until you're importing your next holidays images.  But these aren't snapshots from your holiday. They aren't pictures from your iPhone.  The fact you paid a professional photographer to actually capture your day shows that these images clearly mean much much more to you.  Who knows when your computer will pack its bags or how soon the technology will move on?  But you know what will last 100 years and onwards and that's a beautifully crafted professional album, using papers that don't fade over time.

As I've said, it would be much easier for me as a photographer to just copy your images onto a USB and send you on your way; it takes time and effort to create a Wedding Album.  But I feel strongly enough about preserving your wedding day memories in a format that will never stop working that I include them as standard in all my packages.  Regardless of if I shoot your wedding or not, please ask your photographer about an album and make sure you actually get it made.

Don't just do it for you and your family. Do it for your children and for their children. Because when they root around in your loft in 2070 for your wedding pictures, an album will be much more use that an out of date USB stick.

Heirloom Wedding Album