Hamswell House Wedding, Gloucestershire - Laura + Gareth by Sean Wood

My 2017 Champagne drinking.... sorry, wedding season kicked off with a most glamorous Hamswell House wedding in a very sunny Gloucestershire, celebrating the marriage of Laura and Gareth....and celebrate they did! 

The actual ceremony took place in nearby Corsham at the beautiful St Bartholomew's church, but I was so taken aback with the awesome Hamswell House, that I will always remember Laura and Gareth's day based on that stunning venue! It's my first time shooting a wedding there, and I certainly hope I'll be lucky enough to do it again.

Laura and Gareth were awesome. From the second I arrived at Laura's parent's summer cottage to shoot Laura and the girls getting ready, to waving them both off as they departed for their honeymoon... pure awesomeness throughout. 

There were smiles, tears, dancing and cigars, and the weather played ball all day. Laura looked stunning in her beautiful dress (Fiona Claire - London), and Gareth and the gents raised the bar with their tails. The guests were a particularly glam clan, and there were plenty of gravity defying hats on show!

As I write this, I'm looking back over the images with a massive smile! It's such a privilege to do this job. 

Anyhow, enough from me, I'll let a few images from the day pick it up from here! 

You can have a look at Laura and Gareth's Pre-Wedding shots here

If you are planning a Hamswell House Wedding, or anywhere else for that matter, I'd love to hear all about your plans. Just give me a shout. 

 

 

 

 

 

One Shot Sneek Peek: Gareth & Laura by Sean Wood

 
Hamswell House Wedding Photographer - Confetti Throwing Over Bride And Groom

My 2017 wedding season kicked off on Saturday with a BANG! Gareth & Laura's wedding took place in the beautiful Corsham, Wiltshire. The ceremony was held in St Bartholomew church with the reception at the stunning Hamswell House. The venues were awesome, the weather was amazing and I couldn't have asked for a nicer couple to kick my year off with! 

The photo above was taken just as they were about to start their first dance as a married couple, such a fantastic moment during any wedding! I can't wait to get to work on the rest of their images! 

You can see he full blog off Laura and Gareth's wedding here: Hamswell House Wedding Photographer

Changing Perspective: A Deliberately Different Approach. by Sean Wood

As wedding photographers, we all have our own unique way of capturing the big day. More often than not we will use the same kit, the same combination of lenses, and we will approach each section of the day in a certain way. It's our style and it's something that has evolved over time through trial and error. 

This is mostly a positive thing, we develop consistency in our work and confidence in our approach. This consistency helps our customers to choose their wedding photographer. If they see a style and approach that they like, and they see it consistently through our previous work, it helps with their decision-making process when looking to book us to cover their big day. 

Once established, it can be quite difficult as a photographer to dramatically change your style and approach. If you are attracting customers based on a certain way of working, it can be unnerving to change and try something different! 

I took some time off recently whilst my daughter was on half term, and decided to use this time to fit in a couple of wedding photography workshops (there was a trade-off - I had to pay for lunches and shopping for the girls whilst I was off 'workshop'ing'). 

I wanted to spend some time with other wedding photographers whose work I admire to see how they approach the wedding day. Musicians often cite other influences in their work, and it's no different for us photographers - we grow, learn and are inspired by other creatives in our field. 

Of the sessions I attended, by far the most inspiring for me personally was a workshop held in Islington by the awesome Alan Law. Alan is a wedding photographer whose work I have admired for a long time - his ability to capture the emotion and fun of a wedding day is unique. He is a photographer whose words on his website about his approach match perfectly with the images displayed. For me, that's key. 

I'm not going to review the workshop in detail here, other than to say I took a lot away with me in terms of differences in how he approaches the photography on the day, and how he is able to consistency work with the 'right' couples for him in terms of his approach. 

As with all of these things, you take certain aspects and ideas away with you and they merge with your own approach to further develop your own unique style. One of the key things I'll take forward with me from Alan's workshop is the benefit of getting close to the key events as they occur...really close! 

The temptation as a wedding photographer is to keep a distance between you and the couple as the key moments unfold - to capture them of course, but with a longer lens from a safe distance! What Alan showed me is the difference in the images taken with wider lens, whilst physically very close to the subjects. The resulting images have a realism about them that is sometimes missing when the photographer was removed from the scene by physical distance.

It's certainly something that I will incorporate into my own approach to wedding photography, both getting in really close to the scene as it unfolds, but also using a wider lens in general to give context to the images I take. As with all photography related experimentation, I start by using my friends and family as Guinea pigs!...

So, for the rest of the holiday I limited my kit to my camera with a wide lens only, and had a good few days playing with different distances and perspectives. I really like the look and feel of the images captured with this set up, and it’s certainly something you will see more of in my wedding photography over the next few months. 

So that just leaves a big thank you to Alan for an awesome and really worthwhile workshop, and of course to my Guinea Pig's for their patience whilst I just take one more shot... again. 

Click an image to see open full size gallery.

 

 

From Drizzle to Dazzle! A Wet Wiltshire Engagement Shoot. by Sean Wood

Gareth and Laura's Engagement Shoot started for me at 9am in a very wet and windy Seaton, Devon. I had driven down with the girls the night before from Hertfordshire so they could have a relaxing day near the Sea with my parents, whilst I nipped up the A303 to Whiltshire to meet up with Gareth and Laura for their shoot. 

I started the morning with caffeine and calories, and jumped in the car to head up to Laura’s parent’s house in Gastard which is a few miles out from Chippenham. One of the first things you hope for as a photographer when you are heading outdoors to shoot is good weather, with lots of amazing light to work with. My hopes were soon dashed when the weather presenter on the radio started the report with 'Well as is typical, the weekend has arrived and the good weather has departed'.  

We had planned the day so that after a tour of the various wedding venues and a pub lunch, we would head to the local Lacock Abbey just before sunset to capture some amazing images..... which would of course be bathed in golden sunlight from the setting sun. The weather presenter had made it very clear in no uncertain terms that this was not going to be the case today. The ability to react to any situation is a key skill of any Wedding Photographer, and I had recently purchased a new pair of posh wellies which were in the boot of the car. Today was my opportunity to see if they were worth the investment (which is exactly how I justified the purchase of these particularly expensive wellies to my wife, Kelly...as an investment!).

I arrived at Laura's parents beautiful cottage in Gastard to meet with Gareth, whilst Laura was out and about doing other wedding related things during the morning. I know Gareth from School, and his Dad 'Taffy' was my rugby coach growing up. All wedding's are special, but it add's a little something extra when you know one or both of the couple beforehand. 

Gareth and I spent some time looking around the cottage as this will be the location for the bridal preparations on the wedding day. Laura's parents are in the middle of a renovation of parts of the cottage which will include (in time for the wedding day...hopefully!) a new conservatory leading out into the garden. This will make a brilliant setting for some of the first bridal party shots on the day itself.  We then headed over to the stunning St. Bartholomew’s church located next to Corsham Court in the center of Corsham. It's a stunning church which backs onto parkland and will be an amazing back drop on the wedding day. 

Finally we headed over to Hamswell House where the reception will be held. I can't tell you how excited I am to shoot there, it's an awesome venue. From there, we met up with Laura and nipped over to The Pear Tree in Whitley for some lunch, and to talk through the plans for the big day.

Throughout the day, I had being keeping on eye on the weather, hoping for the rain to stop and the sun to breakthrough. It didn't. I thought it best to ask the guy's if they were still happy to stick to the original plan for the shoot itself, bearing in mind the stubbornly persistent precipitation! They were both game, possibly spurred on by a glass or two of red consumed over lunch! 

A massive part of the Engagement or Pre-Wedding shoot is to get any photography related nerves out of the way before the big day. There are very few people who are natural in front of the camera and we all suffer from nerves under these circumstances to a greater or lesser extent. To have a few hours together in advance of the big day having fun and getting used to being in each others company is invaluable and ensures more relaxed and natural shots on the wedding day. 

So, wellies on and off we went on a little trek around the parkland that surrounds Lacok Abbey.

We encountered mud, stiles, bridges and a ford. We were also joined by some friendly horses (I did initially have visions of myself and my gear being trampled into the mud by an angry horse - but they were very accommodating to us trudging through their field!) which made for some great shots. 

Gareth and Laura were unperturbed by the worsening conditions and were awesome throughout. I really enjoyed my time with them, and cant wait for the big day! 

The wellies were a great investment. 

If you are planning your wedding, I would love to hear your plans.