Real Wedding Photojournalism – Sedgebrook Hall, Chapel Brampton, Northamptonshire
There’s nothing better for a wedding photographer, then to feel like you know the couple pretty well come the wedding day itself. By the time of Emily & Phil’s wedding at the delightful Sedgebrook Hall in Northamptonshire I had already got to know them a year previously at Lois and Dan’s wedding, also in Northamptonshire – what with Phil being Lois’ brother. Then more recently I’d had the pleasure of shooting a pre-wedding portrait shoot with Emily and Phil at Kelmarsh Hall, again in Northampton. So in lots of ways it really did feel like I was shooting the wedding of a pair of friends – and that does mean everyone is already relaxed and comfortable. Ideal for a wedding photojournalist looking to document the couple’s beautiful wedding story in a natural, candid and unobtrusive way.
Country house hotel wedding venue in Northampton
Sedgebrook Hall is a stunning wedding venue set in the idyllic English countryside of Northamptonshire. A Victorian building, that also mixes in many modern features, it was a suitable backdrop for Emily and Phil’s wedding day. As luck would have it, the sun was shining throughout making it a perfect English country wedding but, what’s more, meant that Emily and Phil could marry in the bogoda in the lush gardens. Arriving early that morning, with my trusted second photographer Steve, we set about shooting the building and beautiful grounds. It was obvious early on that it was going to be a wedding day to remember.
Relaxed and tranquil bridal preparations
Some bridal preparations are frantic, noisy and highly excitable affairs. Others are calmer, reflective and relaxed. Emily’s was definitely the latter, with an air of calm and confidence that comes with a bride who has every detail of the wedding day organised. The preparations took place in the airy and spacious Birch suite, which overlooked the grounds to the front of Sedgebrook Hall, with lots of beautiful natural light – ideal for wedding photography! Along with her Emily were her bridesmaids, her mum and her young son. The make-up was beautifully applied by Sophie, of Blushing Orchid. It was the first time I had worked alongside Sophie but clearly she was a talented make-up artist, great fun and sociable. And the bridal party were definitely very happy with their make-up! As a wedding photojournalist I love to document the hair and make-up sessions, during this part of the day, as it really gives an extra detail and context to the wedding story.
Second photographer and the Groom’s preparations.
One of the real benefits of offering an optional second photographer to go with my wedding photography collections is the fact that the Groom’s preparations can also be documented within the wedding story. Emily and Phil had decided on a second photographer from the outset, so I was delighted to offer them the services of my second shooter Steve – who has shot many weddings with me. Having worked together so regularly Steve knows exactly the wedding photojournalism style I provide and is able to document the groom’s preparations in exactly the same way.
An outdoors wedding ceremony and a bogoda
Emily and Phil’s wedding provided a couple of firsts for me as a wedding photography. It was the first outdoors wedding ceremony I had shot. For overseas readers, especially those from warmer climates, might be a little surprised by this but the fact is that the good old British weather is so unpredictable it’s always a risk planning outdoor weddings in the UK, even at the height of summer! Even Emily and Phil couldn’t be certain their ceremony would go ahead outside until just a few hours before it was due to start. As a precaution, an indoors location was also prepared – but in the end the weather was kind enough to allow the ceremony to go ahead in the glorious summer sunshine. Either way, being a wedding photojournalist, I’m flexible enough to work with whatever the situation is and, quite literally, whatever the weather throws at me! The other first for me, was a wedding in a bogoda – which is a unique feature of Sedgebrook Hall’s outdoor weddings. I’m sure you’ll agree it makes for an eye-catching backdrop for a wedding!
Wedding photojournalism and the emotions of the wedding speeches
Most people tend to think of the wedding speeches and toasts as a time of great laughter and fun. After all, it’s the Best Man’s speech that a lot of people look forward to and remember for the laughs and amusement it provides – often at the Groom’s great embarrassment and expense. But, often, they can also be emotional affairs and certainly Phil’s Groom’s speech was emotional enough to reduce quite a few people to tears – as I paid a fitting tribute to a family member sadly no longer with us, but no doubt looking down fondly on the happy couple. It’s these contrasting emotions that wedding photojournalism is so adept at documenting. You can fake or stage this kind of emotion and it’s why I talk about ensuring the integrity of the moment with my wedding photojournalistic approach.
Burning up the dance floor at the evening reception
Unlike some wedding photographers, I’m always delighted to stay on past the couple’s first dance, whenever possible, and capture the fun of the evening entertainment – whether that be a band, the traditional disco or some other kind of fun. Again, for me, it’s all about providing not just wedding photos but a photojournalstic narrative that tells the whole story of the wedding day. And people letting their hair down on the dance floor is perfect lens candy for wedding photojournalism! And there was certainly lots of fun on the dance floor at Emily and Phil’s Sedgebrook Hall wedding – in fact twice the energy was so much that the fuses tripped twice!
All in all it was a fantastic wedding day and I was honoured to be part of Emily and Phil’s big day. I never lose sight of how important wedding photography is in ensuring the memories of the day can live on and be treasured time and time again, even decades in the future. That’s why I think wedding photojournalism is the perfect way to capture the real story of your wedding day.
Are you getting married at the Sedgebrook Hall in Northamptonshire? Or perhaps you are looking for a wedding photographer who provides a unique and beautiful wedding photojournalism approach? In either case I’d love to talk to you about your wedding plans and how I can beautifully document your real wedding story. Please give me a call now on 07920 422144or send me a message via my contacts page here. Alternatively, you can send me a private message via the form at the bottom of this page. I’ll be delighted to hear from you.
Below are a small selection of wedding photography from Emily and Phil’s special day – I’m sure you’ll agree it was a fantastic wedding. You can also see more of some of my other real Wedding Stories here.
Documenting The Real Story Of Your Wedding. Never Dictating it.
My Wedding Stories show you a chronological selection of photos from throughout a REAL wedding day, rather than just images specially selected for a portfolio (us photographers love to do that.) After all, your wedding photography should be about your entire day rather than the very best images from the day. I hope this not only gives you a feel of a whole wedding day but also demonstrates how my wedding photojournalism captures the natural moments, candid emotions and real events of the day – without the need to set up or stage fake moments. If you are getting married and enjoy my documentary wedding photography approach, then I’d really love to chat to you about your plans. Send me an email here or leave a private message in the form below and I’ll get back to you as quickly as I can. You can see my current collections and prices here.