5 More Awards!

5 More Awards!

So chuffed to have received 5 more awards. Awards are only a bi-product of the day. I never think ‘awards’ when I’m with a couple on their day. I just look for the best angles and catch those moments but I always try and measure my the world’s best and so these mean so much. For This is Reportage –  which is all about unposed moments – there were only 87 awards from 13,000 international entries and I won two. From the Masters of Photography I won three including a portrait entry.

Here they are 🙂

award winning wedding photo by andy wade award winning wedding photo by andy wade award winning wedding photo by andy wade award winning wedding photo by andy wade award winning wedding photo by andy wade

 

 

Another Fearless Award!

Another Fearless Award!

I’m chuffed to have another international award for my work! For the last 10 years Fearless Photographers have been regarded as the home community of the best photographers in the world. Designed to bring together “amazing photographers for couples who truly love photography” I was honoured to have my portfolio accepted and be part of their community. Each month some 12,000 of photos from those 3000 amazing photographers are presented to a very discerning panel of judges. Only 100 or so are given a Fearless Award for their work and I was one this month. Yeesssss!!

Step forward (literally) Colin Pilkington – the star of the photo. Colin is the Grandfather or Darren (& Natalie) and our paths met at Abbey House Hotel in the Summer of ’21. What a lovely guy. We chatted cameras and it was clear he loved his photography. Well, my approach is quite a natural, documentary style. I love to be amongst people to capture those genuinely real moments. Colin did that with aplomb! He also managed to pull off the best stoop – his unique ‘approach’ most likely achieving a champion angle. Maybe I’ll catch up with Colin one of these days and see that photo – at least get an insight into “The Pilkington Posture”.

Being part of someone’s day is so important to me. Letting the ‘Colins’ of the wedding guest world do their thing and being part of a story of the day is something that I let run through my work and I can’t wait to tell the next story and meet the next Colin…

 

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33 Frames From 2021

33 Frames From 2021

2021 was a mixed year in the world but in the world of weddings it was a time that I saw families come together again, love and emotion bounce back and a year when my photography meant more to me than ever before.

Below are 33 photos – in no particular order or rank – that shaped my year, my style and memory. This also contains the images that saw me nominated for Photographer of the Year which I’m super chuffed with.

Thanks go to ALL my couples – I wish I could show all of everyones!

Amongst the buzz of shooting an array of portraits on a rock in Wastwater against the backdrop of Great Gable – seeing these guys just let rip with the wellies we needed to wade to this spot was a high this year.

bride wears wellies on rock in middle of wastwater with groom

They say never work with children and animals. I think the opposite can be true. Letting this guy do his thing in the midst of a huge group shot – letting the story play out – was a complete buzz.

I not sure I’d want to say that there was a pinnacle moment for the year. Otherwise it infers all moments after do not reach that high. But to shoot a sunset with a beautiful couple in the landscape of my home town was special.

Many, maybe too many, accents are put onto brides crying with happiness. These guys were brim full of bravado. Anthony’s reaction to Gemma in church was as unexpected as it was refreshingly beautiful.

Groom cries when he sees the bride after walking down the church aisle

What was he thinking? What was the reaction to? I’ve no recollection. All around find it funny as well as I do now. Wedding days are brilliant. I hunt for these moments always yet rarely are they found…

wedding guest pulls a funny expression with bride outside of the church

Most of my portraiture style leaves couples to be themselves – a voyeur that is there..but not there. This intensely beautiful eye contact between Carly and Aaron seemed to play out its very own narrative.

bride and groom look romantically into one anothers eyes at crow wood

I love the outdoor and the Dales. I asked Danielle and Pete to walk across a hilltop; to enjoy a moment and to capture that in the context of such a beautiful space. I can re-live this time after time as I hope they do

bride and groom walk across a hill near Falcon Manor in the dales

I love being around other people on the day. I chatted to the grandad of the bride about photos at length. What a guy! Not sure if he was showing off but what a character.

quirky wedding photo of old man taking photo of bride at abbey house hotel

As well as the natural style portraits I want to create special, bespoke images for my couples. This took five mins with Hannah & Jason plus a little help.. but represents a doorway to more possibilities.

creative bride and groom portrait at stirk house

Angles and compositions that frame a moment can alter the tension. I just keep feeling the world out of the doorway to the left who are about to see both bride and father of the bride as they turn the corner.

Shot above of Bride and father of the bride walking down the stairs at Eaves Hall

This was my first wedding back after lockdown. I loved it and much that I love about what I do is noticing detail. Above the wedding shoes a little finch was humming and buzzing about on this beautiful spring morning – just like everyone preparing for Hannah & Luke’s day.

goldfinch flies away of out of focus wedding shoes

One of those moments that just comes together. After setting them in the light I watched as dad got son ready for the big day. So many genuine moments and then…puff! A final spray brought alive by the light.

back lit photo of page boy having after shave sprayed on him at crow wood

On such a heartfelt day in my home town of Todmorden I photographed two people that felt on top of the world. It is a staged shot but one that provided them with a platform to have fun and feel that way.

bride and groom dance on top of the rocks at sunset in todmorden

Such a memorable day and none more so due to how much these guys seemed to be so much as one. They even shed a few tears simultaneously during their vows, their own tissue each. Beautiful. 

bride and groom cry in the ceremony at falcon manor

Just expected the unexpected. These guys were really into that time they had on their own – no direction needed. But who knew Carden Park would have a few art sculptures to play with. We just had some fun.

creative bride and groom couple shot into an art sculpture at Carden Park Hotel

Sometimes its not idyllic! But then real moments do not follow an idyll. Most kids are unaware of the camera, so I just kept shooting for the moment to play itself out. She was fine after a cuddle from mum.

little girl at wedding bursts into tears during group shot

A portrait but also a truly romantic moment. Add to this the light and this frame is one I really love. I can’t quite remember how it happened. It wasn’t prompted or posed; it just happened unchoreographed. 

back lit photo of couple about to kiss at muncaster castle

Sometimes simple is beautiful. As the sun was setting there was a ridge that rode across the skyline. “Just go for a walk across there – one can lead the other – you choose”. The winter months can give the best light.

creative portrait of bride and groom silhouetted across field at stirk house

“I say, Madame!”…. A wedding – to a degree – is bound by stereotypical attire and characterisation. A bride in white, the groom in a dark suit etc. Step up the grandmother of the bride to dispel any stereotypes! 

older, well dressed lady wedding guest puts two fingers up at the camera

A black and white shot in front of a huge window. Lines as well as light play a great part in composition but I loved it more when I noticed Emily’s foot just off the floor. That’s the moment!

bride walks down steps of town hall

Moments that are framed at the right time tell the best stories – a second either side and the message can be diluted. After the ring went on Bethany’s finger she raised it at it highest possible point to check. There, at that point, the marriage was. Perfect.

bride looks at her wedding ring during the church wedding service

The grandad of the groom, David, had just been mentioned in the speeches. He’d just lost his wife. 75 years of “Love”. He then picked up a small “love” sign from the table. It just seemed like 75 of thought in this pensive moment. 

Grandad of groom looks at love sign during speech

 My approach to portraits is twofold. One is to actively create and the other – the approach I use the most – is to leave a couple be. The platform was the summer house, the time and the light and this moment is purely them.

Silhouetted photo of bride and groom embracing at sunset in summer house at crow wood

 After the groom and best man finished their speeches the emotion poured out. The family almost circled around one another for comfort. The brother – barely visible – seems to be crushed with love. Tears aplenty!

Brother of the groom is embraced after his emotional speech

Kids have a different schedule than adults on the day. They often go unnoticed – just take a look at the best man in the foreground. But they do share the same emotions – as when mum shed a tear in the ceremony.

page boy cries during wedding ceremony at Lindeth Howe

Sometimes pointing the camera at the subject is not the only way of telling a story. The detail around can do that. Loved the way Carly had the tissues waiting as she read a card from Aaron. 

Sometimes the story is not only in the detail but the tiniest of detail. The shot of Pete’s wedding ring has the tiny reflection of Danielle in, so a nice visual metaphor of them as one.

bride and groom cry simultaneously with tissues at wedding ceremony at Falcon Manor

A special shot for me as these are fab friends ‘daan saaf’. A ten min chink of light at The Mount Vineyard was enough for this shot. Part of an epic UK journey of four weddings in a week it has a place for me here.

bride and groom walk down a line of vines at The Mount wedding venue

Emotion and emotional reactions form a big part of my work. Dad seeing his daughter for the first time in her dress is almost always a provider of a reaction. None more so than Issy’s dad here.

father of the bride reacts with shock seeing the bride in her wedding dress

Tucked away in the Lake District is the exclusive Forest Side. I love this shot – not only as Freya and Adam are such a fab couple – but I found this spot tucked away and all the layers just came together for their portrait.

bride and groom in the trees at the forest side hotel

I love to feel very much part of someone’s day and like the other guests after Adam’s speech was pretty much in tears! His mum was up from her seat to embrace and comfort her son. Just a wonderful family moment.

Mother of the groom embraces son after emotional speech

This was my first shoot as weddings went full again. And just the full on happiness that these two shared was the perfect tonic to reintroduce me back to what I had missed for months. Just beautiful.

bride and groom cuddle in the setting sun in the lake district

I talked of pinnacles, of highs but this has something extra. It has an intimacy between them that is undoubted. That we had a chance to chase a sunset and then, near our homes, capture it – and – with an extraordinary amount of luck, capture a frame that has all the impact in needs whenever viewed. 

bride and groom silhouetted romantically in front of the sun at sunset

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Wedding Dresses Through The Ages

Wedding Dresses Through The Ages

Looking for dress inspiration that’s a little bit different? The classic white dress has been popular since Queen Victoria married Prince Albert but just like fashion, bridal trends have changed significantly over time. If you are struggling to find something that is really YOU, have a look for style inspiration from different decades. The video below brilliantly illustrates how fabrics, sleeves, silhouettes and hemlines have fluctuated over the years.

The variety of beautiful, elegant styles is inspiring. From the figure skimming, long-sleeved silk dresses of the 1940’s to the bohemian, square necked maxi dresses of the 1970’s there is a enchanting dress for every bride. It’s also worth looking at the  accessories that really finish the look. Elegant gloves, short veils and floral tiaras are all trends that can look stunning in 2021.

For more inspiration check out Wedding Dresses through the ages on Pinterest or Cosmopolitan’s infographic on changing bridal trends.

 

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Choosing Your Wedding Palette

Choosing Your Wedding Palette

Picking the colour palette for your wedding is one of the fun jobs…usually.  But it isn’t always simple. There are quite a few considerations …dress, suits, flowers, room dressing to name but a few..but there is help out there to navigate the choices. Below are a few hints, 5 sample palettes and 5 weddings that I’ve shot to see how your day can beautifully styled around your choices. At the bottom of the post there’s a palette generator, too.

Season

Your first consideration is probably going to be the season. Often couples choose lighter palettes in the warmer months and darker jewel tones in Autumn and Winter. This isn’t set in stone,  you don’t have to have to have yellows and purples in Spring but when flowers are in season they will be cheaper. You can break the rules though, pastels can work in winter and rich colours in summer. Your colour choice can set the atmosphere for the day..if you are going for drama you might pick crimson accented with olive. If you are open about which types of flower you would like and just decide on the colour you have more options.

Antique pink roses, blousy peonies or blush ranunculus all have a beautiful vintage romance but will be available at different times of the year and vary in price.

Inspiration

Pinterest is your friend. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel here. Every beautiful colour palette that has ever been dreamt up is on Pinterest already. You can start with just one colour; for instance if you know you want the bridesmaid in …eg rose and discover dozens of colour combinations that will complement the dresses and look beautifully sophisticated. Other sources of inspiration are wedding fairs, magazines even interior design. Your venue may have a beautiful chandelier that makes you think of silver and sage green or dark panelled walls that look beautiful with shades of plum.

Nadia and Andy picked rich berry shades such as mulberry and indigo paired with paler hues such as cream and pale pink to complement the medieval interior of Peckforton Castle.

Don’t Over Think

Some colours are easy…navy for instance  works well in so many different combinations…dusty blue and burgundy, emerald greens and whites, lilacs, peach…I could go on. If you are lacking in confidence talk to your suppliers..they are full if information and tips. Lastly not everything needs to match. Think in terms of mood and texture as well as colour. Maybe you want an industrial chic feel or bohemian artist vibe. The mood and level of formality you want to create is important too.

5 Sample Palettes

Here are 5 different palettes for some inspiration.

  1. Drawn from a chic Parisian theme these colours are elegant and sophisticated.

2. These Spring shades have a bright and fresh vibe and make the most of seasonal flowers.

3. With Navy popular for the groomsmen this palette is rich throughout. The deep pink perfect for the bridal party.

4. Shades of green paired with white or cream make for an exquisite, crisp palette that looks stunning.

5.This palette of hot colours creates a lush atmosphere and is wonderfully bright and joyful.

5 Of My Weddings

I’ve picked five weddings that I’ve done for you to see how colour can enhance the feel and influence the style of a couples’ photos. A lot of photography is filtered for the sake of it without thought. Colour themes and palettes are about the couples’ choice so styling should subtly dictate the look without compromising the natural feel and energy of the story of the day. If you click on anyone of these it will take you to the fuller edit to see for yourself.

Maggie & Mike

A Viking wedding in deep winter. The rustic Samlesbury Hall was the perfect backdrop and the colour palette of lavender, emerald and sage greens, biscuit and creams evoked a wild beauty. The textures in the clothes, flowers and setting gave this wedding stunning authenticity and originality. 

Freddie & Lee

Freddie and Lee chose a youthful tropical colour feel for their outdoor wedding. Citrus, hot pinks and shades of lime created a sensational energy on this beautiful day.

Sophie & Lawrence

Sophie and Lawrence married in December in the Yorkshire Dales. The muted pinks, blues and greys have a timeless, romantic quality that complement the setting and the season.

Lorna & Paul

The rich colours of Autumn were used to create Lorna and Paul’s wonderfully warm wedding in Sandhole Oak barn. Rich jewel like tones complemented the groomsmen’s vibrant blue suits to create a classic autumnal feel.

Nadia & Andy

Very deep berry shades of wine and blackberry accented with subtle shades of blush, olive and cream create a sumptuous palette for Nadia and Andy’s castle wedding. The dramatic contrast between the pale dress and the dark lipstick and flowers create a mood which perfectly fits with the imposing interior of the venue.

Try This Palette Generator!

If you like to start with a single colour, or maybe two colours, and then want to match your other colours around those then you can use this very cool colour generator. It gives you palettes of five colours that you can individually and progressively lock. You can change the hue, brightness and warmth of the whole palette as well.

If you’d like to share your ideas about palette or have any questions about what options there are just get in touch via my contact page. I’d love to help.

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The Best Wedding Portraits

The Best Wedding Portraits

…are about you as a couple; your relationship with each other; your shared chemistry and what makes you feel at home with one another. As Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros may say “Home” (check the song out!)!, “is when I’m alone with you”. Capturing the perfect moment in a portrait will give you that feeling of home and a connection through which you can always feel and discover the love for each other.

The portraits on your wedding day needn’t be staged, do not need to take hours or be some pre-conceived generic pose. They should be about you.

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