Behind The Scenes in 2015 | Wedding Photographer Leicester

(that last bit is to make Google happy)

Behind The Scenes in 2015!

So we are nearly at the end of another busy year and in 2015 I photographed 21 weddings. I still have two photograph but my last this year is on the 23rd of December and I won’t be writing my blog on Christmas eve! Every wedding has been unique and I thought it would be fun to share my highlights, best bits, wedding panics and behind the scenes of my wedding shoots this year. I would also like a little help from my newly weds, so please feel free to comment with you best, worst or funny highlights. Maybe some advice for my future couples who may be reading this blog.. what not to do on the day, or what to plan for!

Bridal Prep and Panic with the Zips




My first top tip for any bride-to-be is to give enough time to get into the dress! twice this year there have been sweats on as zips have snagged and those lovely tie laces that tie so easily at the fitting just don’t tie so well in the morning of the wedding! It is fine to have some time to chill before you leave for the church. I love photographing the clock! the morning of the wedding is always so calm, and then you just seem to blink and are at the first dance, enjoy the calm of the morning while you can and leave plenty of time for the dress. I now always carry a mini sewing kit in my camera bag for dress emergencies, this year, 10 minutes was the latest a bride walked down the aisle and it wasn’t because of a dress drama, she just wanted to take her time!





My favourite venue for photographing bride prep was at Plum Park in Towcester, I just love the way the have decorated the bedrooms, it made the background to the bridal prep photographs beautiful. The colours and mirrors meant I could have some great fun finding the unusual angles and reflections.



Navigating The Mobiles – Photographing The Ceremony





There are some things that are completely out of my control. I explain to all my couples at their pre-wedding consultation that what photographs I am allowed to take during the ceremony is restricted to the wishes of the Church. Every vicar has their own rules and I give them absolute respect. The ceremony is a serious exchange of vows and to have a crazy photographer jumping around firing off flash ninja style is very distracting. I always introduce myself when I arrive at the church and ask what rules they would like me to observe, I explain that unlike ‘ninja photographer’ I don’t jump around and fire distracting flash, I use fast lenses and move discretely around the church if I am allowed. I also don’t need to capture every second of the ceremony, for the most part the couple are still and to capture every second would be fruitless. I also have very long lenses so to be restricted to the back of the church is fine, I often think the images are a little better from the back of the church without the vicar in the foreground, so much nicer to have my couple in full frame with the church window and vicar behind. So although it can be frustrating being told I am only allowed to stand at the back of the church, or ‘behind the pillar’ (it happened last year!) or, it has happened but ‘no photographs at all’, I can at least work around what visibility I have. I often also have a second photographer so in an ideal world with all freedom given, we can photograph both from the back of the church and the front.  I did have one wedding this year where I was restricted to the back of the church but the vicar forgot to tell the bridesmaids to sit down! This was something that was completely unexpected and once the ceremony was underway there was nothing to be done. So the vicars requirements can mostly be worked around and there are still great opportunity for lovely photographs.





What is a pet hate of mine is something that can be avoided and yet can ruin the perfect opportunity for a beautiful shot… guests mobile phones and Ipads! I belong to a couple of photographer’s organisations and we have online forums where we discuss wedding woes, one thread that appears without fail every monday morning in wedding season is a photographer’s exasperated rant at a ruined church or ceremony photograph where wedding guests have stuck their camera or phone in the aisle to get a shot. If you are hiring a professional photographer to photograph your wedding, you really have to decide how important it is to get photographs in the church. If you are not bothered if the image of your first kiss is from a guests mobile phone then don’t worry about it, but photographing in a restricted space is hard enough without trying to navigate mobile phones. I was at this beautiful wedding at Normanton Church this summer and although I was at the front of the church, I had the registrars in the foreground, I really wanted my second shooter to get the shot from the back of the church but this is what happened!





This is something that can be completely avoided, this year I have seen polite notices left by the bride and groom to ‘not take photographs during the ceremony’, the vicar or registrars are also more than happy to put a mention out to guests before the service to restrict mobile phone and camera use during the service. It means the photographs you get a full set of images from me and that are of the ceremony and not of the ceremony through the viewfinder of guests mobiles!

Rugby Balls & Broken Noses, And Insulting The Groom’s Sister… 





I put a huge amount of planning into my wedding photography, I have written a blog about it in the past. It would be unprofessional and madness to turn up at a wedding with no idea what the couple had planned for the day. Organising the group photography in advance is extremely important. I find out who is married to who, is there a step family or two? who really wants to stand together and how to avoid world war three. I also don’t feel the group shots should take up over an hour during the wedding. Every minute spent organising the wedding party into groups is a minute lost socialising and relaxing with guests. Planning is essential for the group shots to be taken quickly and with minimal fuss. I love injecting a bit of humour into the group photography, firstly this is great fun for the wedding party and secondly it gives me some great photographs that are a little different to all the formal groups.





So this year I right put my foot in it! Bear in mind that the last four weddings had been couples marrying for the first time. I was organising the group shots of a lovely couple marrying later in life and I turned to ask for the mother of the groom staring and gesticulating wildly at his sister….. I am blushing as I write this.  My very kind second shooter photographed the whole episode which (thankfully) had the wedding party in fits of giggles. I was mortified but my bride and groom did not take offence (neither did the sister….) although my faux pas did make it into the speeches so once again I had to hold my head in shame! I wish I could say I will never make that mistake again, but knowing me I probably will put my foot in it next year at some point!





One wedding this year, I was up most of the night before worrying about! At our final wedding meeting, we were going through what group shots and particular requests my couple had planned for their day when they said they wanted to replicate a rugby lineup shot. (I know absolutely nothing about rugby so we looked at pictures) The request was that my groom hold my bride up in the air so she catches a rugby ball above her head thrown by the best man (they were all rugby players). That would have been almost okay except my bride told me she couldn’t raise her arms up in her dress beyond her face so she would be catching the  ball in the middle of her face… great! I had visions of an exploding nose…The groom had a great time in the morning of the wedding joking with me about it. Of course it went fine, on the day I mocked the shot up so my bride held the ball in one shot and it was thrown over her head in another… no one will ever know and there was no need to call an ambulance!



Beat Boring – Throwing Light Around and Creating Drama –  Bridal Portraits





Most definitely the best time was had this year throwing lights around. Okay, natural light is lovely and this year we have been so lucky with the weather for sunlit bridal portraits but Peter and I have had such fun this year creating drama. I’m the sort of person that if I photographed at the same venue, using the same locations time and again I would get bored, I think also the photographs would become so similar and uninspiring so Peter and I make it a challenge at our weddings to try and find the most interesting location and then play with lights, we lit up the back of the church at Normanton, we lit the outside of Prestwold Hall, threw light to make it look light night on a summer’s day in July, we dodged the rain at Plum Park to light the stairwell for a dramatic bridal portrait. It takes a few seconds to set up and doesn’t add any extra time to the bridal portraits but makes such a difference to the final wedding gallery and also gives me something to look forward to! I love looking at a location and think okay so natural light will look lovely here and here but now lets throw a light from here and stick a light there and let’s see what we get!





We have also thrown a veil or two to add a little drama to our portraits, it has meant a little effort from my assistant on the day and a bit of editing but the end results have been worth it. It is always a bit of a giggle on the day, watching my second shooter or assistant trying to get out of the way of the veil.







Bottoms, Arrests and Tears – The Speeches






This year I have heard a lot of speeches and I love the effort that has gone into every single one of them. There are few that I obviously templates found on the internet but if you are a best man-t0-be and are struggling with this task, don’t shy away from templates found on the internet, they can all be tailored to suit and it really does help with structure. So 21 weddings…assuming that Father of The Bride, Groom and Best Man all offer a speech that probably works out at over 63 speeches this year, that’s a lot of speeches! I have heard how the groom liked to get his bottom out in photographs as a teenager, the story of a trip to Austrailia (I think) where the groom got deported, a groom’s fear of the silver statues that stand in city centres… it’s true! I have heard how couples met on dating websites, on the walk to school, at a party. I have also seen father’s tears and brother’s tears, and tales of babies in special care, of departed relatives and friends. There have been moments when I have stood there with tears in my eyes and completely forgotten that I am supposed to be taken photographs, and times when I have been laughing too hard to focus! So I love the speeches, I take way to many photographs of the speeches, I am sure my couples go through their gallery and think… ‘how many photographs?’, but I think the photographs of the speeches should read like a book, i’m hoping that when they look through they remember the joke, the story, the memory and it brings it all back. Pointless to me to just photograph a couple of laughs and a couple of nice shots of the speakers, I want to show ‘he said this… then we laughed like that… and we all clapped.. and laughed and then this happened….’ see, like a story in pictures! So yes a lot of photographs but a lot of speeches!





Kissing, Grooving and Dad Dancing – Payback Time!






This is payback time…!  for all those glasses of champagne I have turned down throughout the day on all my 2015 weddings. It is so very very tempting, the sun is shining, everyone is smiling and the champagne looks so very inviting. Every bride this year has popped open the fizz at some point in the morning proceedings, I must have turned at least 30 glasses of fizz down this year, that is not an easy thing to do! The upside of this is, at the end of the evening apart from not finding myself flat on by back, I am totally sober and get to look on as your groove your moves… I love it.  I always have an additional light or two set up to capture the evening celebrations. Without additional flash lighting a camera’s on camera flash will only light the foreground, you then get a flash lit bride and groom against a black background, with no background ambience or guest’s visible in shot. There is always a very special moment, just after the first dance before everyone busts a move,  when everyone is invited onto the dance floor to join the newly-weds, for the rest of the track there is a moment when everyone is in love! It is great to observe, everyone gets smooching! After this the Dj or band takes it up a notch then it’s payback, here are some great dance moments captured in 2015 🙂





So I am just about to photograph the last two weddings of the year and I love Christmas weddings. Last year I had a wonderful time photographing two weddings at Hothorpe Hall. Just to get you in the Christmas mood here are a little selection of images from last Christmas weddings. I have particularly fond memories of Andrew & wedding who were fantastic singers, photographing at the end of a blessing in the Chapel, full of Choristers sining christmas carols. It was a beautiful moment, the power of all those voices singing in harmony a few days before Christmas.. it was so special.



So that’s the best moments from 2015, I wonder what 2016 will bring? I still have space for weddings next year although am not taking on many more and am now taking bookings for 2017 so if you would like information about my wedding photography service contact me for an up-to-date brochure. My prices are due to increase at the end of January so if you want to take advantage of 2015 prices book before the new year x


Kyra x