October 11th, 2014
Wedding Venue – The Saxon Mill, Warwick UK
Sarah and Mike’s Wedding was my second Saxon Mill wedding and it was great to be back. The building has great character and even better surroundings with the views across the River Avon to Guys Cliffe. The day actually started in the morning at Chesford Grange Hotel for Sarah’s bridal preparation photos. From there we moved onto the Saxon Mill for the wedding ceremony that was held upstairs. It was not a huge wedding so the room worked well for the number of guests. After the ceremony we did group photos and wedding portraits outside then back upstairs to sit down to eat for the wedding breakfast, speeches and cake cutting. My day finished after the first dance and it was then time to pack up and drive…
August 1st, 2014
Wedding Venue – Eaton Hotel, Birmingham UK
I started the day with Mat and his guests at The Bell pub in Harborne next door to the church. Sian met us at the church then after the wedding ceremony we did the group photos then moved on to Eaton Hotel on the Hagley Road for the wedding breakfast and evening guests arriving.
Here is a selection of photos from the wedding day. The couple opted for digital wedding photography and I had planned to do some additional medium format film photography but we didn’t get chance due to time constraints.
Digital Photos – Leica M9 + Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 at f1 for most of the day (including all group photos at 50f1)(excluding some 21mm f2.8 + 28mm f2 wide angle photos…
July 26th, 2014
Wedding Venue – Highnam Court, Gloucestershire
It was my second visit to Highnam in Gloucestershire as I was there last year for Paul and Deb’s wedding. Deb’s was one of Sam’s bridesmaids so you may recognise her! We had the wedding ceremony at Highnam Church then moved across the field to Highnam Court for the rest of the day.
Here are a selection of photos from Sam and Chris’s wedding day. The couple opted for a mixture of digital wedding photography and medium format film photography.
Digital Photos – Leica M9 + Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 at f1 was used for most of the day (including all group photos at f1)(excluding some 21mmf2.8 & 28mmf2 wide angle lens shots, some 90mmf2 Summicron photos for the speeches and the 75mmf2 Cron photos for detail images).
Film Photography – 1980s Fujica GS645 medium format folding film camera + 120 Fuji Pro 400H film (lab developed and scanned with an Epson v600 scanner)
Venue for Engagement Shoot: Coombe Abbey Hotel, Coventry + Coventry Studio
Pre-wedding engagement photography a using a Leica M9 camera. You may recognise Maria from past Flickr photos I have shared as she has modelled for me before. Maria asked if I could do a black and white studio photography shoot for her and Dior who recently got engaged. I agreed but recommended we also did an outside location shoot too as that is where the Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 v2 lens really comes into it’s own. With that all agreed we did a part one and part two shoot, with the first being in the studio and getting Dior used to the camera and the second at the popular Coventry wedding venue, Coombe Abbey Hotel as it is only down the road from them.
Alexa and Rich opted for a mix of film photography and digital photography for their wedding day. Here are a selection of the film photos taken at Hatton Hall, Warwickshire wedding venue using my 1950s Leica M2 loaded with 35mm Kodak Portra film. I used a Leica Summilux ASPH 50mm f1.4 lens for most of the day. Lens used is marked on each photo.
(These photos were also shared as part of the “Wedding: Alexa & Rich” blog post however as they were tucked away at the bottom I thought I better re post to make them more findable).
Two Weddings in Two Days
Coventry Wedding Photographer
I had a busy yet very enjoyable weekend. Saturday I travelled south for Claire and Chris’s wedding at Bartholomew Barn, Sussex. The old barn is a beautiful wedding venue especially if you want a rustic look or vintage style wedding. Claire is my cousin but I was the only official photographer on the day. Sometimes family weddings can be more stressful so I had mixed emotions beforehand. I was excited and eager to get started (like every wedding!) and at the same time a little anxious at my extended family seeing me in action! For a wedding I have to act out of character to get the most from the couple and wedding guests. My natural style is unobtrusive candid documentary style wedding photography but for group photos I need to be more assertive and vocal to get the best images. The last time I had done a family wedding I was new to wedding photography so really struggled and it took a lot out of me. This time though I didn’t really notice or even remember that people were looking at me and just got on with the job as I would for any wedding. I think once you get in the zone you are so focused you forget what is around you. As I now work with people for much of my photography I find it easy to direct poses, whether models or a bride and groom.
Sunday’s wedding was closer to home in Coventry and I was shooting as a freelance photographer for an Asian wedding photography / videography team. I was the main photographer but had the benefit of a second shooter covering different angles. I was shooting for them so shot per their directions to get the photos they wanted for their clients. I can of course still get creative and put my twist on things but it meant we always had everything covered working as a team. Sunday was a Sikh pre-Wedding ceremony yet it lasted 12 hours and followed a similar theme to the standard wedding day (on the whole) hence the blog post title. We started at the house for family photos, then onto the Sikh temple and then spent the rest of the day at the Marriott Forest of Arden Hotel and Country Club wedding venue, Coventry. There was no expense spared and it was crazy to think that the actual wedding is still to come!
Two Weddings in Two Days, Two Camera Systems and Two Photography Styles
Here is a quick summary of gear used each day
Saturday – Leica Wedding Photography (Manual focus wedding photography)
One camera used – Leica M9
Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f1.2 ASPH ii – 75%
Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 (1981) – 12%
Leica Summilux ASPH 50mm f1.4 – 7%
Leica Summicron 90mm f2 (1973) – 5%
Zeiss Biogon 21mm f2.8 – 1%
Sunday – Nikon Wedding Photography
One camera used – Nikon D800
Nikkor 35-70/f2.8D AF – 40%
Nikkor 50mmf1.4D AF – 30%
Nikkor 200mm f2 AI-s – 30%
Saturday was my first wedding to date where I only used one Leica camera all day. For previous Leica weddings I used the Nikon D800 either side by side the Leica or for certain purposes such as longer focal lengths or very low light. One of my best weddings was when I got split up from my camera bag so I used the Leica M9 and a 35mm lens for nearly the entire day. With that in mind I used a similar setup yet changed lenses at certain points of the day depending on need. I used the Summilux ASPH for group photos where I had space to do so, I used the 90mm for the wedding speeches, 21mm for a few wide shots including first dance photos to show the wedding guests and then the Leica Noctilux f1 when available light levels fell and also for some creative detail shots. I was happy with my setup and I will use this for future white weddings.
Here is a sample image from Saturday (Leica M9 + CV Nokton 35/1.2 ASPH ii)
Sunday. I had planned to use the Leica on the Sunday also but I woke up with a very sore hand after wielding the heavy Leica Noctilux on the M9 for almost 14hrs on Saturday. I always favour the Leica vs. Nikon but sometimes it is just easier to use DSLR for wedding photography. The high ISO capacity and autofocus lens make life so much easier in dark venues. Also when shooting as a freelance photographer as part of a team the larger 36mp RAW files are better for editing and match closer to other DSLR images. (Leica images have that certain Leica look which people often describe as more grainy or film like). Sikh weddings often have very large numbers of guests compared to English weddings so the rooms tend to be much bigger to cater for everyone, whether at the Sikh temple or at the wedding venue. I find the 200mm f2 lens perfect for this environment where I cannot always get as close as I would like to with my subjects. The 200mm focal length is a big contrast to the 35mm lens I normally use for white weddings! Using a Leica camera for much of my photography, I sometimes forget quite how amazing the big heavy Nikkor 200mm f2 lens is. It is really easy to shoot with at f2 and gives stunningly sharp subjects yet super creamy bokeh. That said, habits die hard and once we were at the hotel I changed to a 50mm f1.4 and got closer to my subjects as I would with the Leica. When I think how expensive Leica lenses are the Nikkor 50f1.4D offers staggering beautiful images at such an affordable price. I was using it for both macro detail shots and portraits.
The Leica cameras really suit my style for my own wedding clients and especially for smaller white weddings. That said, the Nikkor D800 DSLR still proved itself as a fantastic go to camera for Indian weddings and for use as a wedding freelance photographer when shooting for others. I actually really enjoyed the ease of using the D800 again, so much so that I might get another lens for it! I want a small compact Nikkor 28mm to match my 50mm prime. I have larger 24f1.4, 35f1.4G, 85f1.4D for sale if anyone want them.
MatthewOsbornePhotography – Coventry Wedding Photographer