London Wedding Photographer: Why you should have sunset portraits on your wedding day

Country Tipis wedding photography

Here, I’m going to make the case for fitting in sunset portraits on your wedding day! You may have heard photographers excitedly talking about golden hour and wondering when exactly this mystical being is. It’s that time just before sunset when the sky has turned that gorgeous fading orange and the light is magically soft.

Why do photographers love golden hour so much?

As wedding photographers, or any type of photographer in fact, we know that light is the key ingredient to any photo. The light as the sun is falling is beautifully diffused and soft – completely different to the light in the middle of the day, which can be harsh and create huge shadows. As well as this, sunset perfectly lends itself to stunningly romantic images, especially when you shoot in my kind of style – soft and dreamy.

Bohemian bride at sunset wearing floral crown

How do I achieve them at my wedding?

With weddings in good old England, common timings will be that the ceremony will be around lunchtime, and portraits will happen immediately after. Really, this is at the worst time of the day as the sun is strong and harsh (this is the point in the day when your wedding photographer is keeping their fingers crossed for cloud cover).

Depending on when in the year your wedding is, sunset normally falls between the speeches and the first dance, or if you are in high summer, after first dance. If it falls between speeches and first dance this is the perfect opportunity to get some sunset portraits done! It’s the point in the day when everyone is normally well into the swing of the party and you have the chance to sneak off. We also aren’t talking about being gone for an hour – 15 minutes should be enough if you choose the right time. You have a slot of about an hour before sunset, to around 20 minutes after it. If you are considering sunset portraits just talk to your wedding photographer and plan ahead

And here is proof of why you should DEFINITELY DO THEM 😉

Outdoor Tipi wedding with celebrant

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If you are someone who equally loves sunsets and are getting married, get in touch! Caroline x

London Wedding Photographer: Why Is An Engagement Shoot Important?

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With all my wedding packages, I offer a free engagement shoot. Not everyone wants one, but I think they are really important, and heres why:

1. Get to know your Wedding Photographer and vice versa!

Engagement shoots are such a great way for me to get to know you, and for you to get to know me! I’m very relaxed, and generally like a good chat and a giggle with my couples while doing a shoot. I think it’s really important you feel comfortable around your wedding photographer, and an engagement shoot is a fantastic way to break the ice, and also for me to find out more about your wedding day!

2. Practice for the Big Day

On an engagement shoot I get to see how you and your fiance are with each other naturally, which guides the way I need to direct you on your big day. Some couples prefer being in front of the camera more than others, and I’ll work to get the best out of you both. By the time your wedding comes around, you’ll know exactly what to expect in terms of the way I work.

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3. It’s fun!

No but seriously.. it is 🙂 Even if you don’t like having your photograph taken! All of my couples come away saying they really enjoyed their engagement shoots. I try to make it as chilled out and fun as possible, and amongst the stress of wedding planning this can be an opportunity for quality time with your fiance!

4. Get some lovely photos of you together 

It can be rare couples get professional photos done together so this can be a great chance to get some nice shots of you together – No selfies or grainy mobile phone shots here 🙂  You can also then use the photos to create save the dates, table plans or decorations, or use on your wedding site.

If you are interested in booking an engagement shoot with me, or getting a wedding package, drop me a message 

Caroline x

London engagement shoot in front of Queen House in Greenwich

 

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London Wedding Photographer: Alternative London Venues – One Friendly Place in Greenwich

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One Friendly place in Greenwich was one of the first places I second shot with Robin Ball photography, a good few years ago now, but it stuck in my memory as a venue I would love to go back to.

Built in the 1930s, One Friendly Place was originally a spice warehouse, tucked away on a private road in Deptford. It’s warehouse charm is not your traditional venue – think exposed walls, brightly coloured murals and abstract art, and lots of fun and unique props! If you start to feel a bit tired there is even a double bed upstairs to rest your dancing feet for a little while 😉

Affectionately known as one of the quirkiest venues in London, this place definitely has a bit of everything. Alongside the main space, there is a little greenhouse-esque area with peacock chairs and plants, making a great portrait area. There are so many main rooms and floors you have your pick when it comes to wedding breakfast location and dance floor area.

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If you head up a gorgeous wrought iron staircase you come out on the rooftop, overlooking south London. This is the perfect place for sunset portraits – something I think is a must for your big day!

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This is the venue for you if you’re a bride who loves colour, quirky props, mismatched furniture and a sense of untouched industrial charm.

I personally loved this venue because the sense of fun that came off it. It is also a good blank canvas, but ready and waiting with props to use as wanted. There are so many things you could do with this space – I’ve seen so many different setups at this venue, each wedding is completely unique. For me, the portrait opportunities are endless – the peacock chairs in the conservatory, the coloured abstract walls, the rooftop – all make for fantastic couples backdrops. Group shots would also be fantastic here with plenty of room both indoors and outdoors.

If you’re getting married here do get in touch – I would love to shoot your wedding, or can even offer friendly advice on making the most of this quirky venue!

Capacity: 120 dining, 250 standing

Venue address:  One friendly Place, London, SE13 7LS (A few minutes walk from Deptford Bridge station)

To book: Contact Steph or visit the website

Caroline x

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London Engagement Shoot: Cassy & Declan in Greenwich

 

A brunette couple on their engagement shoot in Greenwich Park LondonBack in the autumn, I gave away an engagement shoot on my Instagram account, and my lovely winners were Declan and Cassy. 

We met in the late afternoon at the Cutty Sark, with the aim to take advantage of the beautiful soft pre-sunset light. Taking a chilled walk through the Naval College and up to Greenwich Park, I remembered how stunning Greenwich is for an pre wedding photo shoot! I love the grand and old architecture – it provides so many interesting lines, shapes and backdrops. The park in October was also filled with fallen burnt orange leaves – my favourite.

Cassy and Declan were an absolute delight to photograph. So natural around each other and I had a great afternoon hearing about their relationship and plans for the wedding so far.

 

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Expect more engagement photography posts coming up over the next few months as my engagement season starts in March! Can’t wait to be photographing couples again after a winter break!

To book an engagement shoot with me, or your wedding please get in touch! I would love to hear from you.

Caroline x

London Wedding Photographer: 5 Tips for Planning Your Wedding Day Timings

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If you are planning your wedding and trying to figure out the perfect timings for your day, have a quick read of my 5 top tips to consider:

1. Leave time for you and your new spouse

This may sound obvious/stupid, but you would be surprised at the number of couples who tell me their day went by in a flash and they hardly saw each other! Try and enjoy some time out together, even if its just a 10 minute walk after the wedding breakfast. I also always think your portrait time is a perfect opportunity to get some quality time together and step back from the day (if you excuse the third wheel) 😉

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2. Set aside plenty of time for group shots and portraits

Ideally I would suggest setting aside between an hour / an hour and a half before your wedding breakfast for group shots and portraits. However, this will largely vary on the number of group shots you want. Make a list of the groups you want, and chat with your photographer about timings. If you want a photo of the whole wedding party, this alone can take 20 minutes to organise! Provide entertainment for your guests while you are away, and have your ushers or bridesmaids on hand to round up the troops for the group shots.

3. Revel in your bridal prep 

Am I the only one who thinks part of the enjoyment of a big girls night out is getting ready? I think the same applies to your bridal prep! Start early to avoid a mad rush at the end and factor in time for distractions.. inevitably you’ll have people popping in and out to say hello/check on final preparations. Most importantly, make sure you eat as it’s a long time before the wedding breakfast and that bubbly will be in full flow after the ceremony 😉

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4. Hellos & Congratulations

Factor in some extra time straight after the ceremony for congratulations/ hellos with your long lost family/ friends you haven’t said hi to yet. I would suggest 15-20 minutes of mingling. If your ceremony is in a different location from the reception, don’t forget to work out how long it will take people to get there (and allow an extra bit of time for the dawdlers / people getting lost).

5. Consider sunset portraits 

The standard time for portraits is in between the ceremony and the wedding breakfast. However, photographically this isn’t the best time to do it: light is harsh in the middle of the day, particularly if it is a completely clear summer afternoon. Light in the evening will be a lot softer and frankly, gorgeous, so consider doing some sunset portraits. These can be either before your first dance or after, dependant on when in the year your wedding is. I’m sure by that point in the day you will be in full party mode, but 10-15 minutes is enough. Bring it up with your photographer – I am sure they wouldn’t be adverse to the idea. Sunset portraits are my personal favourites.

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Follow me on Facebook for more tips and blogs, or get in touch now to book your 2018 wedding!

Caroline x

London Wedding Photographer: 10 Boho Wedding Trends for 2018

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  1. Macrame

I personally love this 1970s craft – it’s so versatile. You can use it in different areas of your big day – you could be bold and go large with a ceremony backdrop like the below from Vintage Garden Weddings, or go small and include macrame in your table decor. There are endless possibilities – and the great thing is with macrame also in trend for interior design you can then re use it at home after the wedding!

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  1. Floral crowns 

Flowers in your hair are a staple of bohemian! For the wedding day, floral crowns are totally on trend. You can get either fresh crowns from your florist, or you can get a pre version with fake flowers. Both look fantastic, especially with a loose updo. If you don’t want to go for a full crown, you can still incorporate flowers in a more subtle way for a bohemian goddess look.

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3.Wild Flowers / Foliage 

Foliage and greenery in interior design has definitely been a huge trend in 2017 and it is spreading into the wedding industry in 2018. I am a huge fan of this look – I try and incorporate nature and greenery into my photography a lot as I find it really inspiring, so for it to be incorporated into weddings more can only be a plus! This look can play out in various parts of your wedding – in a bouquet, perhaps with wildflowers, table decor (foliage runners), and also across your wedding stationery.

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  1. Dreamcatchers

 I didn’t realise this was a trend until Vintage Garden Weddings came armed with a ton of them to my first styled shoot. I’ve always loved dreamcatchers so I was more than happy. They can make the perfect backdrops for a ceremony, portraits, hanging around your venue, or as place decorations at your reception dinner! There are so many ways you could use them, and you can personalise the colours to your theme.

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  1. Less rustic, more new age bohemian

Walking round clothes shops over the last few months, edgy but effortless and romantic is EVERYWHERE. It’s been a nightmare on my bank account as this is basically my favourite style.. Just think Stevie Nicks as your style icon and that’s a great starting point. Wedding decor style, this translates into skulls with feathers and tons of florals, crystals and precious rocks, and rich colours. Which neatly leads me on to…

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6. Deep colours

Whilst blush and light colours will always be a wedding favourite, they are being nudged out slightly, with favour falling towards deep colours. As someone who loves pastels it wasn’t until I did a burgundy and navy wedding shoot that I started to find a huge love for bolder palettes. Burgundy is proving to be the in colour for this year, along with navy blue, dark greens (in line with the foliage trend) and black.  

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  1. Velvet

The 1970s are officially back.. Yay!! I’ve always wanted a velvet jacket and it seems I can now go wild. If you are also a velvet fan, velvet bridesmaids dresses or jumpsuits could be a way to make use of it! If you want something for yourself, how about some velvet heels? As for the guys, velvet dinner jackets could be the option for your groomsmen.

  1. Oversized Bouquets

Big is definitely better in 2018! Bouquets are getting larger and featuring a more cascading look. This is where the greenery trend ties back in – get as much foliage in there as you can! I’m not sure if it is more of a trend from across the pond from here, but I also love the look of long flowing ribbon around your bouquet – matched to your colour scheme of course.

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  1. Industrial spaces

That edgier new-age bohemian style works so well in an industrial space. They also leave lots of room for imagination and personalising for your big day. For styling, you may want to consider some bigger, bolder pieces to fill the space – soften the look with a lovely vintage sofa or some macrame backdrops around the place. Florals and greenery everywhere will also take the space to a chic but pretty vibe.

  1. Burgundy for guys

Yep.. back to those deep colours again! Perfect for a autumn or winter wedding, burgundy is where it’s at for the boys. If you have a burgundy colour scene but aren’t won over enough for a burgundy suit, burgundy accessories will work too!

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So..in conclusion.. A recipe for a 2018 wedding…. Take an edgy industrial venues covered in macrame and lots of greenery. Combine with deep colours, and kit out everyone in a burgundy velvet suit.. Voila! 😉

What do you think of these trends? Drop me a comment below!

London Wedding Photographer: 20 Alternative First Dance Songs

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If anyone knows me or follows my Instagram account, they will know I am a huge music fan. Rock and indie makes my heart glow. Having witnessed a lot of first dances I often wonder what I would pick. I know a lot of couples I chat to don’t want to go for a traditional cheesey love song, or Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran – the most popular first dance song of 2017.

 I’ve compiled a little list of some alternative options to get your first dance inspiration flowing:

  1. Yellow – Coldplay

  2. Angels – The XX

  3. You’ve Got The Love – Florence and the Machine

  4. Toothpaste Kisses – The Maccabees

  5. Everlong – The Foo Fighters

  6. The Most Beautiful Girl in the World – Prince

  7.   You Always Make me Smile – Kyle Andrews

  8.   I could Die For You – RHCP

  9.  Anyone Else But You – The Moldy Peaches

  10.  All I Want Is You  – Barry Louis Polisar

  11.  I Would Do Anything For You – Foster the People

  12. Only love – Ben Howard

  13.  I’ll Be Yours – Those Dancing Days

  14. You Make My Dreams – Daryl Hall & John Oates

  15. XO – John Mayer

  16.  Everlasting Light – The Black Keys

  17. You and I (Forever) – Jessie Ware

  18. Still Into You – Paramore

  19. She’s Got You High – Mumm-Ra

  20.  Wonderwall – Oasis

    Check out my Spotify playlist below so you can listen to all the songs. Let me know in the comments what you think – or what you personally would have 🙂

    My summer 2018 is also getting booked up quickly, so contact me now to save your date!

    Caroline x

https://open.spotify.com/embed/user/missfunkymonks/playlist/5yIeBgCEp0YIb6Rq7HBKQw

 

 

London Wedding Photographer: A Couple’s Guide to Posing for your Wedding Photos

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When realising that you need to book a wedding photographer, I’m sure most couples thoughts go to ‘OMG but I hate being in front of a camera’, ‘I hate cheesy, posed shots’, ‘what if we look really awkward together?’.

You are most definitely not alone in these thoughts – even people who like the camera are probably not used to being overly affectionate with their partner in front of a stranger and their camera. I know I am totally useless at photos.. I’ve become so used to being behind it anytime someone turns a camera on me I default to stupid face mode.

Posing is one of the most important parts of capturing good photos of you and your fiancé. Done wrong, it can look horribly awkward, or make you feel uncomfortable, which will show in your photos. Whilst there are things you can do to get the best out of your photos, I think it is down to the photographer to lead the way. I’ve put together this blog to give you an insight into posing.

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Firstly, I can’t emphasise enough how important I think an engagement shoot is before the big day. This is the perfect chance to meet your photographer, get to know them on a personal level, and get comfortable with their presence. More importantly, from my side it is a chance to see how you naturally interact with your fiancé, and to try out what works and what doesn’t. This is essentially a test run – you don’t want to be testing out posing on the big day, as time will be limited. I am very relaxed and tend to chat with my couples and see how they naturally fall together while we get to know each other. This immediately gives me an idea of how much guidance is needed, what poses would work, and what wouldn’t. I then go ahead and try a few different options, in 3 or 4 different settings,  so by the time I leave I know exactly which poses I would use again for the big day, and how to make you feel relaxed quickly.

On the big day, giving your hands something to do is really important. Hands can so easily look really awkward if left hanging! For walking shots, you will be holding hands, so this isn’t a big deal, but what about when stood still? I tend to pose my brides holding their bouquet, either down at their hip to the side, or out to the front at a low angle. I normally then pose up the groom with his hands around the bride’s waist, resting on the hip, or one hand in his trouser pocket for a more relaxed casual look.

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Most importantly, I want you to relax! This may be harder on an engagement shoot when you’ve just met me, but I will work hard to get you to feel comfortable around me. This has to translate into your body posture though – I’m not talking about slouching, but relax your legs and knees, loosen and drop your shoulders a bit. (Any fellow yogis out there may find this easier!).  Don’t feel you have to be stiff and proper – it will look stand off-ish and separate you from your partner.

The walking shot is a really good way to start off a shoot – I can let you slowly get into the idea of me taking pictures. I encourage my couples to chat as much as possible – this is when you get the really natural moments of interaction. These are the moments which really shine, and always end up being my favourite photos.

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Depending on height, the groom stood behind the bride with arms around her is also a really lovely pose. Again this is only one I try after an engagement shoot as some couples find it awkward and unnatural. This kind of shot is also really good for close ups of the rings.

Hopefully that has given you a little bit of insight into what to expect during either an engagement shoot or your wedding day, and therefore will make you feel more relaxed already! If you would like to work with me, head over to my contact page – I would love to hear from you.

Caroline

Happy New Year & Welcome to my new Website!

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A very Happy New Year to all of you. I hope you are feeling sufficiently stuffed and relaxed after Christmas and ready to take on the coming year. For all of you getting married in 2018… this is it!! I’m also going to take a good guess that  there are a number of you who got engaged over the festive period.. congratulations.

I would like to welcome you to my new website. A while in the planning, it took me until the Christmas wind down to find the time to build this. The benefit of this timing is that at least I’ve had an excuse to be sat with a glass of mulled wine while creating it 😉

Hopefully this site will provide you with more information than the previous one, and work better on mobile. I’ve also added in a new page – go check out my testimonials. There are still things I want to add and change about the site,  so keep visiting back to check out what things I have been updating. If you see anything that isn’t working, comment here and let me know so I can fix it 🙂

You can also expect more regular blogs – including a personal based one where I round up my fav things at the end of each month. As always, my blog is still a resource for brides to be – if there are any specific topics you want me to cover, or have questions, drop me a line!

Go have a peruse and a play. Get in touch here to book  your date for next year, or just tell me all about your big day/ plans for 2018/ whats rocking with you. Would love to hear from you.

Caroline x