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ARJ Photography by Adam Johnson - 2M ago
Walcot Hall Summer Wedding – Jill and Chris Jill and Chris’ summer Shropshire wedding at Walcot Hall

I first met Jill and Chris in Liverpool for their pre-wedding shoot (I’ve started the post below with a few photos from that gin-fuelled afternoon) and instantly we just got on like a house on fire. There was gin and there was lots of laughter and a giant rat, so what’s not to love? Jill and Chris were to be married at one of the greatest wedding venues in existence, Walcot Hall, and they wanted a relaxed day of fun and for everyone to have a great time…

They had arranged for New York Brass Band to arrive into the garden of Walcot Hall to get the party started and it definitely had the desired effect. I had grown up playing brass through my teens and am a bit obsessed with brass bands and that New Orleans musical vibe. I’d heard of New York Brass Band and seen videos of them playing Glastonbury so I think I was almost as excited as Jill and Chris were for their arrival. This was a perfect summer’s evening – everyone was out in the garden really enjoying that unique wedding day atmosphere when NYBB arrived and really whipped up the perfect party atmosphere. I loved it. Everyone loved it. Jill and Chris loved it.

Great venue, great people, great music. I mean what’s not to adore about all of this!

Here are some of my favourite photos from Jill and Chris’ Walcot Hall summer wedding…
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Beautiful Fine Art Peckforton Castle Wedding Photography Charlotte and Dan’s super happy emotional wedding at Peckforton Castle in Cheshire

Two weddings in a row with the tremendous Flossy & Leigh ladies on hair and makeup duty! Lucky me! As soon as I walked into the cottage at Peckforton Castle I could just feel the excitement in the air, and soon realised that Charlotte has one of the best happy faces on this planet. It’s been ages since I’ve been to Peckforton Castle and it was great to be back at this unique wedding venue just round the corner from me (sort of) in Cheshire.

After making my way up from the cottage to the main castle to capture Dan’s final pre-ceremony nerves I found him cool as a cucumber – laughing with legendary toastmaster Stephen Sanders, greeting his guests, a picture of coolness. But that all stopped when Charlotte made her entrance and he just couldn’t hold it in any longer. One of the greatest groom reactions ever and such a joy to see. I’m sure Charlotte will never forget that reaction for sure!

There were a few more tears during the speeches but overall this was a day of ultra-happy people. Charlotte and Dan are just totally happy souls and they milked this day for everything it was worth, just the way it should be done. Two ceremonies – both emotional but in different ways, we explored and made portraits, and they generally laughed their way through this epic day of celebrations. If there was a tutorial for how to embrace everything about your wedding day, Charlotte and Dan would be the stars. Honestly, a total joy for me to be there and capture.

Favourite moment of the day (and possibly of 2018) was while doing the group photos Charlotte’s little flower girl aged 6 said to me “Can we hurry this up, I want to eat this” and produced a mini burger from behind her back. Can’t argue with that, nobody likes the group photos to drag on and those burgers were delicious!

Can we talk about the party? Ok. As soon as I knew that my good friends from Six15 were on party duty I knew it was going to be something special. And to then find out that as well as the legend who is DJ Will Maden on the decks there would be live sax and percussion in the mix, I knew there was a chance it was going off the scale. And it did. You’ll see as you scroll down! I flipping love working with Six15!

Also, big shout out to Geoff of http://www.ourweddingvideographers.co.uk/ who was just a total pleasure to meet and work with – can’t wait to work with you again buddy!

Congratulations again to the brilliantly wonderful Charlotte and Dan!

HERE ARE SOME OF MY FAVOURITES FROM CHARLOTTE AND DAN’S WEDDING AT PECKFORTON CASTLE!
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Browsholme Hall Tithe Barn Wedding Lancashire. Christina and Jack's super fun, super happy wedding at Browsholme Hall Tithe Barn in Lancashire!
Browsholme Hall Tithe Barn Wedding Christina and Jack’s Super Fun Super Happy Wedding at Browsholme Hall Tithe Barn

I love these guys! What a day this was from start to finish. I was made to feel like part of the family from the moment I arrived until the moment I left. It was also – as always – insane fun to work with my friends at Flossy & Leigh who were in charge of hair and makeup for Christina and all her girls (it felt like there were 100 of them at the house in the morning!).

Christina and Jack’s wedding was just pure fun from start to finish. And I know that’s just how they wanted it to be. There were some nerves in the morning – that’s natural – but once they met at the top of the aisle all that disappeared and they massively enjoyed the rest of their wedding at Browsholme Hall Tithe Barn, one of my favourite venues in the North. Such a cool place where the staff are amazing, very hands off while keeping everything running to time, it always makes for a super chilled and relaxed atmosphere for weddings there. I just love it.

Half way through the day Christina decided we were going boating, so off we trekked to the lake and had a quite hilarious, slapstick comedy half hour trying to get into rowing boats, get out of the little boat house, make some photos and then get back into the boathouse. It’s safe to say it wasn’t Jack’s favourite part of the day but he did it for Christina… that’s true love!

I loved Christina and Jack’s wedding – thanks for having me you guys. And if you’re planning your own wedding at Browsholme Hall Tithe Barn in Lancashire or, well, anywhere else in the world, get in touch and tell me about your wedding plans – I’d love to hear from you!

 

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2018. You’re my kaleidoscope.

Every year for the past few years I’ve followed my annual wedding photography collection post with a post of photos from my personal life so I’m continuing that tradition right here, right now. 50ish photos of my family and a few landscapes from some of the amazing and less amazing places I’ve visited this year… Yosemite and Reno being the two ends of that scale… plus everything in between.

Capturing my own life is hard. I always mention it in these posts. Picking up a camera between weddings always feels difficult. Part of that was to do with the fact that I passionately hate carrying my ‘big cameras’ around with me when I’m out and about… because I hate looking like ‘that guy’. So I’ve always tried to find the perfect compact camera. And I’ve always failed. The closest I came was the Sony RX1R which I adored but was just infuriating to use at times. I’ve shot a multitude of film cameras that I’ve loved and then fallen out of love with. Last year I bought, fell in love with and grew to hate the Olympus OM-D E-M5ii. And not having a small camera which inspires me is the biggest reason of all why I don’t take more photos of my own life. I don’t like using a phone for photos.

That changed this year. In my wedding work I switched to the Sony A7iii. You can see my full YouTube review here. That camera is not only perfect for weddings but paired with the dinky Sony 35mm 2.8 lens (aka the minibeast) it’s ideal for my personal photography too. It’s small enough that it doesn’t make me look like ‘that guy’ and I know it inside out and trust it so much to make the kind of photos I want to make when I lift the camera to my eye. And I say that without any affiliation to Sony. Yet. It reinvigorated my creative spirit in so many ways and I now take it pretty much everywhere hanging off my belt… which sort of still does make me look like ‘that guy’ I guess but we’ll gloss over that.

Taking photos between weddings is my playground where my ‘work’ gets better and evolves. It’s where I try equipment and test techniques and play with photography so that I can bring new approaches and ideas into my wedding photography and editing style. As I did with my 2018 weddings post I’m going to start with a little video where I introduce you to two of my favourite people whose faces feature throughout the rest of this post…

Happy 2019!

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ARJ Photography by Adam Johnson - 5M ago
2018 THE ANNUAL COLLECTION FROM ARJ PHOTOGRAPHY

This wedding year started in deepest Devon and finished in central London and in-between took me to Northumberland, Yorkshire, Bournemouth, South Wales, Italy, Derbyshire, Lancashire, Shropshire, Nottingham, Cambridge, Bulgaria, Northampton, Cheshire, St Andrews, California, Cyprus, Morocco, Cumbria, Liverpool, Spain and Norway. And now, as I sit here and take a breath I’m attempting to take it all in. That all happened in 12 short months. Another incredible 12 months. I always say it but it’s true – each year as I sit and write this post I think surely next year can’t be as good or better than this one. And each year I’m surprised at the level of opportunity this job affords me. It’s absolutely bonkers. The incredible people I’m able to meet who inspire me week in and week out, the amazing places I get to visit which I know I wouldn’t be visiting if it weren’t for this job. The friends I’ve made and continue to make by existing in an industry of amazing, interesting souls.

Thank you.

I painstakingly agonise over this post every year because I feel like it’s my equivalent of a wedding speech. To stand up with gratitude and thank each and every one of you who’ve had an impact on me this last 12 months and contributed to the existence of these photos and this life I get to lead. So thank you – to those of you who invited me to your weddings especially, and all those of you who’ve already invited me to your weddings next year and made it so that I know I have at least one more year of this beautiful adventure ahead of me.

This year I’ve chosen to make a video to accompany this post and share some more of my thoughts about it all. So have a watch/listen then I hope you enjoy looking through this year of photos as much as I enjoyed standing there and pressing the little button at that exact moment. Magic happens.

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Cressbrook Hall Wedding Photography Becky and Chris’ Peak District wedding at Cressbrook Hall

If you’re an avid reader of my blog then you’ll remember Chris and Becky’s icy cold pre-wedding shoot! Fast forward to much warmer times and their wedding at the beautiful Cressbrook Hall in the Peak District. Such a cool venue – a beautiful manor house tucked away in a trademark Peak District valley! They also had their ceremony at the amazing Tideswell Cathedral.

Their was a day jam packed with emotion – Chris failed to keep it together as Becky walked down the aisle with her dad – she had the widest smile you can imagine and Chris was totally overwhelmed. Such a great moment and I love it when people wear their hearts on their sleeves!

The rest of the day was full of laughter, hugs, kisses, more tears, dancing, golden confetti and an epic fireworks display to finish it all off. Such a great day! Congratulations to Becky and Chris!

Here are my favourites from Chris and Becky’s Cressbrook Hall wedding photography
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Bawtry Doncaster Wedding Photography Charles and Kim’s moment-packed church and garden marquee wedding in Yorkshire

If there ever was a moment-packed wedding it was Charles and Kim’s. From the moment I arrived to the moment I left these guys enjoyed their wedding day with every ounce of their souls – and my advice to any couple is to do just that. Commit to enjoying it. Let go of all the planning stresses and just live the moments.

Charles and Kim got married at the local church before heading back to Charles’ parents house for the reception in a marquee on the garden he grew up playing in (I got a good tour of all his favourite childhood play spots in the morning by his parents) and there’s just something so special about weddings in such personally meaningful places. This was a really classic British rainy day. We only had a few gaps in the constant drizzle but nobody cared about the weather. The weather never spoils weddings in my experience and somehow the fact people had to stay inside the marquee just made it all the more intimate and allowed the moments to flow!

Thanks so much to Ste Walker for assisting me on this one.

Congratulations to Charles and Kim – it was such a pleasure to spend this day with you! Here are some of my favourites from their Bawtry Doncaster Wedding

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Le Petit Chateau wedding photography Otterburn Northumberland Kate and Andy’s wedding at Le Petit Chateau, during the Beast from the East storm!

Remember when it snowed?

No, not that time. I mean when it SNOWED. And snowed and snowed and snowed. Yeah. That time. The “beast from the east” time. Well do you remember how one of the worst hit areas of the UK was Northumberland? Well it was. And Kate and Andy’s wedding at Le Petit Chateau in Otterburn was right in the middle of it. A couple of days before I had a message from my AirBNB host to say that there was no way of accessing it so I was stuck without accommodation and the best option I could find was in Newcastle. But the roads around Manchester weren’t in good shape either so it took me over 6 hours to get to Newcastle. But I got there. And the next morning I set off into the unknown to try to get to Kate and Andy’s wedding at Le Petit Chateau… I knew that Kate and Andy and many of their wedding guests had made it there the day before so that was a good sign, and I had found out that the wedding the day before had gone ahead, albeit with reduced guest attendance. It wasn’t long before I was hitting the ‘road closed ahead’ signs and had to head cross country. Let me tell you I’ve never been more worried behind the wheel of a car. The road was just snow, and I don’t have a particularly snow-friendly car. Slow and steady was all I could do, using my gears instead of brakes like I was taught age 17 by my step-dad. But I came around a bend on a hill and the car lost traction. I gritted my teeth and hoped, because I knew if the car came to a standstill I was stranded. But luckily at the last second it found some traction again and I made it up that hill… and every other hill, eventually pulling up outside Le Petit Chateau. Honestly I’ve NEVER been happier to arrive at a wedding!

All the guests had also made it apart from Kate’s brother and family who were stuck in Geneva. There was definitely an amazing spirit to the wedding because of the collective feeling that we’d fought the Beast from the East and won! Classic Brits! Le Petit Chateau is an amazingly cosy venue well suited to that sort of weather and it really suited the icicles and feet of snow as you’ll see from these photos! I’d never been to a wedding at Le Petit Chateau before – I’m really glad that this was my first, and I have a feeling it won’t be the last!

Here are some of my favourites from Kate and Andy’s wedding at Le Petit Chateau!
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Huntsham Court Wedding Photography Devon Katie and Matt’s Wedding at Huntsham Court, Devon

Katie and Matt chose the beautiful Huntsham Court in Devon for their wedding weekend. They wanted somewhere all their guests could come and hang out and party with them in a home-from-home vibe for their wedding, and their searches took them to Huntsham Court because everyone could stay and they could have it to themselves for the whole weekend. By the time I joined them for their wedding day they’d already partied for a day so there was a definite serenity to the wedding day itself with less nerves than usual – although Katie did get pretty nervous as the wedding ceremony approached!

This serenity didn’t mean less emotion though, and there were tears all day long from this heart-on-their-sleeves couple as they dabbed tears from each others eyes on many-an-occasion!

Everyone got ready at Huntsham Court as I zipped between rooms to capture the atmosphere and went for a wander around the spectacular grounds of Huntsham Court with views over the Devon countryside. This was the end of winter so no leaves on the trees but Katie and Matt struck lucky with one of those crisp, sunny, winter days that made everything perfect and even allowed them to spend some time outside with their guests and for some portraits in the Huntsham court gardens!

I had such a fun day with these two!

Here are some of my favourites from their Huntsham Court wedding photography…
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Hilton Gatwick Wedding Photography Mona and Dipesh’s wedding reception at the Hilton Hotel Gatwick

Just in case you missed them you can catch parts one and two of Mona and Dipesh’s tri-county wedding celebrations at these two links:

And then when you’re all caught up we can crack on with this post, the third and final instalment – their big wedding reception at Hilton Gatwick! After celebrating their Indian wedding first in Buckinghamshire at Hedsor House, followed by their civil wedding in Oxfordshire at Tythe Barn Launton, here we are now in the great city of London for their wedding reception at Hilton Gatwick! Everyone was really ready for a party after a day of resting (me included) and it was great to team up for this final day with the wonderful Ray and Sarah of Ray McShane Films!

This is also a bit of an “Inception” post for me… You’ll see below that Mona and Dipesh’s DJ provided an insanely massive screen as the backdrop to the party and a lot of the evening they ran a slideshow of photos from the first two days of their wedding. I love seeing my photos on the massive screen like this but I loved the comments from Mona and Dipesh and their guests even more, such a wonderful couple with amazing family and friends.

This was an evening of dinner, dancing, speeches, more dinner, and lots more dancing! A perfect ending to three brilliant days of wedding celebrations across three different counties. A really great time was had by all, including me!

Here are some of my favourites from Mona and Dipesh’s wedding reception at Hilton Gatwick! Here are some of my favourites from Mona and Dipesh’s wedding at Hilton Gatwick…
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