In early 2009 we officially set up our wedding photography business, having mooted to friends that we wanted to photograph weddings together. If you believe in the universe leading your path, you’ll not find it coincidence that two sets of our friends announced their engagements soon after and asked us to shoot their weddings.
On the 4th July 2009, we packed our gear, nervous yet excited, ready for Fran and Andy’s wedding in Suffolk. Fran and Andy had been together since their school days and were long term friends of Tom. On the day we relished capturing all the happy faces and the joy and laughter during the ceremony – and we knew our career was born.
Shortly after one of Lina’s oldest friends Rachel married and we followed this with three further bookings purely through couples finding the website. We had lift off.
Our wedding photography is always about your moments, your memories. Yes we want to give you beautiful portraits of yourselves to hang proudly on the wall, but our main intention is always to capture your story. Our wedding collections are typically on the larger side because of this, and when we got married ourselves in 2014 it became apparent to us that we had some initial favourites, yet after a year or two these changed. These images have deliberately not been re-edited to stay true to our journey too.
So as part of a series of blogs celebrating our ten years as a wedding photographer, we decided to go back to one couple from each year and ask for three examples of their favourite images straight after the wedding, and what they consider to be their favourites now. They could give us as little or thorough explanation as they wished.
Fran + Andy
Of course we had to start with these two. We’re proud of the fact that despite us having 10 years and over 300 weddings experience now, these are images we can still be proud of, and show the foundations of who we are now. Fran and Andy married at the beautiful Priory Hall in Suffolk; we arrived the day before to take a look around, and a lady crashed into our car on the way! In fact it wasn’t even our car, it was Tom’s mums! The day however went without a hitch (well, once Fran had arrived – see below!) and the sun shone beautifully. Fran gave us the following three shots which were favourites just after the wedding:
There’s me fussing over my dad. It reminds me of the moments just before he walked me down the aisle, and because so it makes us smile – I am fussing as usual! This one of the best man: I wasn’t sure what he is looking at, but it made me smile because I imagine it is a clock because I was pretty late arriving! Then there is me, Andy and Nannie, we are all so smiley while she attempts to throw confetti over us.
Fran was indeed very late arriving due to her dad unfortunately taking a wrong turn if we remember correctly. So late the registrars were on the doorstep saying they were going to have to leave if she wasn’t there in a mere few minutes – quite something for your first wedding! We’re not sure either if the best man was looking at the clock, but we love that a moment captured in time, something as simple as a person looking with a smile on their face, can evoke such a prominent memory, even if it might not be exactly the right one.
These are some favourites now, because all of them capture the feel of the day for us and that’s what you want to hang on to I think. Fun, excitement, joy and lovely sunshine!
Funnily enough we have photographed many many Giant Jenga matches at weddings since, but we’d completely forgotten how epic this tower was – so it’s one we are very glad to see ourselves again! We think Fran and Andy’s favourites now really convey how as we get older we hold on to those memories that are more joyful and remind us as of the happiness that day. Interesting that none of their favourites include any from their portraits, rather focusing on their moments throughout the day.
Margot + Will
We met Margot and Will as friends of Lina’s work colleague at the time (and whose wedding we also had a blast shooting!) and as well as them being all round excellent folks, it was also to be our first wedding in the Cotswolds at the gorgeous Cripps Barn. This started us off shooting a number of Cripps and Co weddings over the years, most recently earlier this year.. We remember in particular how laissez faire Margo was about her dress and the odd thing going askew (see below!), and us knowing that this was definitely the kinds of bride we wanted to work with in the future!
We loved having Lina and Tom at our wedding. It felt like having friends there. They were receptive to our desires to ensure we captured the essence of the day and that all shots were natural. It’s funny to look back at our album, this was a difficult choice but three shots we loved then were the confetti shot, which captured the fun with all our friends and family. Everyone wailing with glee as they showered us with confetti. I always thought this felt like the money shot. No one posed. Everyone is smiling and having fun and they truly showered us (I had to dig the confetti out of the corset of my dress afterwards!)
Then there is me trying to do a clever jump shot (and ending up on your arse!…. grass stains anyone?) Technically we know this is 4 shots. But we regard it as one as it showed my attitude that because my husband and his grooms men had nailed an awesome jumping shot I thought we could do the same. Well not wanting to be upstaged I managed to jump but the landing was off the mark (the judges would have definitely scored me down!) We also loved the cinematic effect of seeing the bridesmaids reaction. It also summed up the day. We weren’t there to take ourselves too seriously … I wanted a great jumping shot to match the men. Well I did still get a great shot!
We loved the idea of the photo booth studio that they used to do then. We just never knew such a good shot would come out – the upstaging groomsman! This was a life long friend who never shies away from the camera! This photo made us giggle a lot and was a well known photo when our pictures came out. Everyone was talking about how funny it was and that it certainly is…..
So it’s been nine years since we got married and it was quite funny to reflect on what mattered to us then and the shots we treasure now. Having had two gorgeous boys and seen our relationship change and get stronger through the mostly highs but also sleep deprived days (and nights) of parenthood. Our favourite shots now are:
The last time of being a Forsythe… The excitement on my face. The anticipation of seeing my groom and the moment before we did the same all down the aisle. I guess what this picture doesn’t show is that my car to take me to the church was late and whilst I stood on the side of the road outside our cottage in Bibury lots of tourists stopped to take a picture of me. Dad had told me to chill as I would still be on time for the wedding (not to forget I can often be slightly late). This picture sums up relief and anticipation!
The parents shot… where we are oblivious to anyone but each other. I guess surrounded by the love of our friends and family made the day so special but this picture sums up our enduring love and the safety of that love whilst being with our family, surrounded by mums, dads and my step mum.
The father in law’s speech: Just a beautifully lit picture which truly brings out his character.
We have to go for 4 here, lastly and by no means least. The shot of us during our last dance. It sums up how happy we were with our day, highlighting the love we felt then and still do now.
Ah it makes us so happy that this last dance picture made the cut for Margot and Will. Many of you know that our coverage has never ended at the first dance in all our years as wedding photographers, and although our packages have been chopped around in terms of timings and optional extras, we have never ever left after the first dance. Back when we used to do a photo booth, the late coverage was included, and this was when we got the bug for staying late. The first dance gets the focus, but the last dance seems to have extra magic, that final hug that says ‘we did it.’ A mixture of exhaustion and elation – we love it – which is why our coverage is now unlimited as standard and we regularly are still there when the lights go up. This last shot is dreamy, we’re so happy to revisit it and so pleased they have enjoyed revisiting their wedding for this blog!
Thanks for the memories guys.
Sophie + Richard
Sophie was another connection from Lina’s work at the time, and we were thrilled for her when she announced her engagement and even more so when she wanted to take a chance on us for the big day! Sophie and Richard married at the elegant Hinwick House which unfortunately no longer does weddings, but it was great to add another venue to our experience, and it was such a beautiful day too!
Oh Lina and Tom, we’ve just been looking through the album together again and they are just such a wonderful and stunning set of photos and memories. Nearly 8 years on, they have even more meaning and significance now. People who we loved and grew up with who are now no longer with us, friends who we’ve lost touch with a little bit and obviously our most wonderful [children] Rory and Amelie who weren’t there but were twinkle in our eyes!
We loved this image at the gate, such a stunning shot and it was the first time as a married couple we had a moment to ourselves. It was at the back of the church and I think we were looking at guests as they were leaving the church amongst the combine harvester that had just ploughed up all the corn in the fields.
Then there was this epic shot of us in front of Hinwick, we were probably a bit caught up in the spectacle of the wedding rather than focusing on the memories of the people and meaning of we’d done.
Mr and Mrs: At the time this was one of our favourite images, it was at the very end of the night and we had one last “shoot” with you before we all packed up. We were knackered and had been on the go all day, but this was a special moment where we could just be the two of us and reflect on the whirlwind of our special day. We actually chose this as the photo for our thank you cards.
And looking back now…
From the same time as the other church one we had, that one is still one of our favourites now but we actually think this is now edging it for us. People have asked us if this is actually a painting!
The significance of this photo, us taking our vows before our friends, family & God was and still is an extremely poignant moment and so this photo as stood the test of time in reminding us of our promises to each other.
The ‘first dance’ of the celidh: …one of my favourites, I have it framed by my bed. It captures the fun we had after all the formal bits were done and I just love it as a photo of us.
And then a cheeky 4th is this one of all of us. Without whom the day wouldn’t have been what it was and without the love, friendship and support they have given to us since our wedding day.
It is so interesting that Sophie references the big ‘hero shot’, the dramatic wall hanger of them in front of Hinwick, as them likely being caught up in themselves, but now it’s all about everyone else and then their long lasting love. This was largely the reason why we stopped doing single sneak peeks, so that we could tell more of the story in the taster images. Maybe only 3-4 of 20 now will be couples portraits, as real moments are everything to us.
Becs + Dan
Becs and Dan came to us via another connection, they’d attended Dan’s lovely cousin Helen’s wedding and a shot of Dan playing a blow up guitar, with his tie around his head, in the dying hours of the wedding seemed to tell him we were the photographers for him! When it was their turn they chose the stunning South Farm, of which we’re proud to be a recommended photographer, and had a glorious August day. Over to Becs…
Lina this is an impossible task! Choosing just 3?! We love them all and together they create the story… It’s bringing back all of our happy memories. I can’t believe it’s already been nearly 7 years, where does the time go?
These are up there in the original 3. We have them up in the house. The ones of the two of us are gorgeous & classic. They were also special as they involved heading away from the crowds and spending time together – surprisingly hard to do on your wedding day! And the one with others in it manages to include the closest relatives and us in a natural way, capturing genuine happiness and smiles that seemed to appear everywhere across the day.
It’s difficult to say if my favs have shifted over time. I still love looking at those daily in their frames. But it’s also really special to look at others that bring back some of the fun and silliness. Dan’s fav in particular is the one with the flowers in his mouth and the look on my face! I also adore the one of me getting dressed as there were 4 people under it at the time sorting it out!! And of course the end of the night dancing hilarity…
I’m so glad Becs chose that shot of her getting ready. I remember when I took it I knew that as far as ‘natural’ bridal portraits go it was special. She looks so adorable! It’s also great to hear Becs as well as others reference the quiet times when we took them off for couple portraits. We’ve always known you need a time out, and we’ve fought over-zealous catering managers over it too when things have run behind, as it’s so important to take a moment to take it all in. This is where the magic then happens for us, unposed and real. It’s great to see the fun in there too though!
Fiona + Michal
Ahhh Fiona and Michal. We have recently photographed them again for their 6th anniversary. Isn’t that a wonderful idea that we wish more of you would do!
This was a completely organic enquiry, and when we saw ‘King’s College Chapel‘ we were so excited! Yet despite the grand venue these two were so much fun, and we had a blast. Although our first ever group shot for around 200 guests was a challenge!
Interestingly Fiona and Michal are the only couple who sent independent favourites, which certainly made it intriguing reading.
It was really hard to choose three!! Can we not choose them all?!
The photo with Babicia we like because she hadn’t made it to Michal’s cousins wedding and there was some doubt that she would make it to ours, but she did and she was so happy on the day! She has a big copy of this in her house and we were obviously sharing a good joke!
With the shot outside King’s we enjoy the memory of our failure to stand in the right place! Going illegally onto the grass and the reminder of the sheer scale of where we got married! It is the photo people still comment on was the ‘money shot’ of the day for us.
We have the shot of the ‘uber pouting’ in our living room and it’s currently the only one we have up in there (we redecorated and had to take everything down)! We think it sums up our friends/brothers and for some shows their great ‘skills’. It was so nice to play about during the reception before all of the (family requested) group shots. We’ve found as we go on that its less the posed groups and more the informals that we look at but this one we still enjoy.
It’s often we see grandparents feature in the strong memories. It’s difficult to consider but we are always aware they may be the ones who are then no longer with us soonest after the wedding, so they’ll feature highly in our shots of the day. That epic couple shot was a must for us on the day, we knew we wanted to create a showstopper for our first King’s wedding, so it’s great to hear it’s considered the money shot for their wedding. We love the drama!
Interestingly, fun wedding party photos are the most typical choice a couple will use as their facebook photo, understandably, all your favourite people in one shot having fun with you. But when it came to picking three shots that are now more prominent favourites, it seems Fiona and Michal have slightly different images…
Now: Fiona's Favourites
I still love them all but chose these because they are ones I didn’t notice so much at the time but am drawn to them now.
The King’s Choir: With Stephen’s [Cleobury CBE – Director of Music] retirement this year this one brings a feeling of the bittersweet. The choir being full of the boys that I worked with, returning to work after one day off after the wedding, and their excitement about the whole day. Stephen’s absolute mastery of the Gorecki is clear from his whole body conducting, and you can see Michal and I watching if you look closely. This anthem brought friends of ours to tears and is their stand out moment of the day.
Since my dress has not come out of its box since the wedding (as I am scared it will never go back in) this photo shows off the back, which was the whole reason I fell in love with this dress! I loved the bow and the train and the material, I also love that you can see that Michal is smiling at me and not looking terrified!
With the limited number of photos allowed during the service it is lovely that we were allowed back into the chapel after the service to have some photos taken. We rather rushed the kiss in the service so I like that we got to ‘enjoy’ another one. The scale of the windows and door compared to us, and the view of the beautiful flowers make me feel all mushy inside!
Mushy inside! Yes! That’s exactly the kind of reaction we want! We love how Fiona’s favourites evoke strong particular memories: the sound of that masterful Gorecki, the feel and flow of that gorgeous gown, getting to enjoy a moment together in this incredible building they had just got married in – and enjoying a further kiss.
Now: Michal's Favourites
Interestingly Michal still has the King’s ‘money shot’ in his top three, and it’s one we were particularly proud of at the time. As Fiona said earlier, technically it is forbidden to be on the grass, but we were given permission there and then for this one shot, so when Michal dipped Fiona we knew it was a showstopper! The black and white edit gives it something of an editorial feel we think, it’s very chic!
And the other two?
Michal has this one on of us on his desk – he feels it is ‘a true representation’ of his wife!
(Yep, if you have met Fi, you’ll know that big beautiful beaming smile is a notable feature!)
Michal likes the composition of the first dance shot, and also the fact that we actually learnt a dance is a positive memory. Although I’ll note that he has not done any dancing at all since this point in time…)
We love the fact that Michal has one of these photos on his desk, and actually it’s not the big showstopper, but the adorable photo of them walking and laughing, a pure moment of joy. Interesting he goes for all black and white now too, but three fab moments nonetheless, that seemingly all put his wife at the forefront. Awwwww!
So there you have it, our years 2009-2013. Thanks so much to these couples for doing this, we could have of course asked so many more of our lovely couples, but given there are over three hundred of them it would have been a book – one from each year was hard for us too! But we think this gives a really interesting insight into how great wedding photography can make us feel, and how important it is to connect with a photographer you get along with and like their work. We’d love to shoot all of these weddings again now with the hindsight of all our experience, but we’re still happy we delivered on capturing their amazing moments, even if we were young and inexperienced for some of them. We’re also happy our timeless style of editing will stand the test of time, no embarrassing filters or trends to make you cringe now, just gorgeous moments in real colour.
We’ll be blogging our 2014-2018 couples soon but we hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane. If you are married, how do you feel about your photos now? Have your favourites changed? We’d love to know!