St Marks Church and Onley Grounds Farm Wedding

St Marks Church and Onley Grounds Farm Wedding, Rugby Warwickshire

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Some people are just lucky and when these two met that doubled!  Frankie and Sean are one of the loveliest couples, they know how to relax, have fun and throw a great party.

To share a day with the cup final and the royal wedding whilst still creating a day that is totally yours takes some planning.  Frankie managed it all perfectly with a gentle nod to Sean’s love of cycling included. 

A few hours coverage enabled us to create images from the arrivals at the church to the dancing in the evening which included a vintage VW Golf to arrive in, the earliest groom to a service, a dress that was pure elegance, a church full of friends and family and lots of smiles and laughter. 

A late afternoon service at St. Marks Church in Bilton, followed by a chilled party with live band at Onley Grounds Farm and Equestrian Centre had the assorted wedding guests dancing late into the evening.  For Onley Farm this was the first wedding party they had hosted and as a venue they were superb.  Food the guests loved, friendly, unobtrusive service that fitted perfectly with Frankie and Sean’s style for their party. 

It was a beautiful day, we loved being part of it all, thank you both. 

Suppliers list:

Dress:  Sammi Lou Bridal Couture    Flowers: Garden Gate Flowers   Make up: Beth Hall

Suits:  Salters    Hair: The Little Retreat   Venue: Onley Farm Barns  Cake:  Spin Sugar Cakes  

 

 

 

Pawprints Dog Rescue - Fun Dog Show

Pawprints Dog Show -  Dog Photography Special Offer

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Last year I/we were really lucky and adopted a Jack Russell cross from Pawprints Dog Rescue in Rugby.  He has changed our lives and us his.  

At the time I created a post about him, he was small and nervous (which he remains) but steadily his confidence is growing and he has turned himself into the most fabulous doggie model (or at least can sit occasionally for treats).

Pawprints hold a Fun Dog Show every May, and yesterday I had a stand there showing my dog photography.  For me to be able to support the team that make Pawprints so special was great, and they’ve continued to keep in contact over the last ten months.  The volunteers had worked tirelessly to create a fun family day for both people and dogs to enjoy.

Lots of the now homed dogs attended and the change from rescue to being part of a family was evident by the wagging tails, sparkly eyes and general contentment they now display.  I met some lovely people, the furriest friends and had the most enjoyable time. 

I had an offer on my dog photography which is detailed below.  

This offer runs until 20th June, 2018 (book now and we can arrange a date) and includes a donation to Pawprints.

Pawprints Dog Show - Dog Photography Special Offer

Dog photo session - one dog £50 (£5 from the session fee will be donated to Pawprints Dog Rescue)

A photo session for your best friend with one 8” x 10” print (in mount) included

Sessions are outdoor portraits and active (April - October) in your own garden, local park, favourite walk (within 15 miles of Rugby) 

Additional dogs welcome, same owner £15 per dog please arrange in advance

Session includes:

Initial phone/Skype call with owner

Meet on day/evening and up to 90 mins photo session

On line gallery of your edited images

8” x 10” print of your choice from gallery

Prints, Wall Art, Trio and Duo displays will all be available to purchase afterwards.

Please email: steph@stephaniecolledge.com or telephone: 07540 749236 to book in.

Bryan Ferry at the Symphony Hall

Bryan Ferry in Birmingham

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Continuing my current run of gigs in seated venues last night was the chance to shoot Bryan Ferry at the Symphony Hall.

The audience were a real mix of generations, those who had seen him in Roxy Music those who joined in later.  I met some lovely people who going to lots of the shows, they were simply loving the experience.  

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The man has charisma and presence, every suave and sophisticated description I've ever read he personifies, his voice is perfect he can still take you on that journey and his audience were with him from the start.  The question of a mirror in the attic should be addressed, he looks good, no scrap that he looks great.

Support for the evening was Juanita Stein who was as lovely as she appeared on the videos I've watched, and well worth seeing in her own right when she returns to Birmingham.

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For a kid who first saw Bryan Ferry on Top of the Pops in the 70's he remains as impressive and striking as my initial impression. 

The full review and images will be on Birmingham Live.

 

 

 

Joan as Police Woman at Town Hall, Birmingham

Joan as Police Woman in Birmingham 

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A quick trip into Birmingham last night to photograph Joan as Police Woman at the Town Hall as we were covering this for Birmingham Live.

Support was from Birmingham’s own Fyfe Dangerfield who I hadn’t see for years but as was as lovely as I remembered.  Joan has an incredible voice, our reviewer was starry eyed within a few minutes, the full review with more images is here. 

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I seem to be shooting at more seated venues for the next few gigs I’m covering too.  Pits and flying drinks will have to wait a few weeks.

 

Lisa Stansfield at Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Lisa Stansfield in Birmingham

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After a few weeks, which have allowed time for some of the additional technical aspects I want to create, adding more techniques and working further on my photoshop abilities I’ve another run of gigs starting.

Last night I stepped in for a friend to shoot Lisa Stansfield.  I remember her well, superb voice, great 90’s hits, one of the best signature songs ever and I got a big surprise when I arrived.  Often for concerts I take images and leave, last night I had been given a seat and what a treat that turned out to be.

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Support for the evening was Irit, who is a multitalented singer. Complete with band, her music is a combination of a kind of folk and jazz.

Lisa is better live than I imagined, I’m still wondering why didn’t see her years ago.   Her vocal ability is as strong as ever and in the Symphony Hall she had the venue to value it.  She is perfectly toned and super fit giving her the capability to perform with ease for a full hour and half.  A beautifully paced show, with real highs and those gentle moments when the tempo is taken down and her voice is showcased.  

The crowd loved it, the band were tight and Lisa shone. 

The full review and images are on Birmingham Live.

 

 

Hands and expression

Hands

I was editing some portrait work and realised as I was cataloging, how often I photograph hands, just hands, as a main subject as part of a wedding day.

The photo with the mehndi was the grandmothers hands, we did’nt share a language but we both understood what I saw when i showed her the image.  

It never fails to surprise me how much we say without words and that a gesture or action conveys so much, the togetherness,  the support, the fun.

Mark E. Smith

Mark E. Smith 

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When I first met my other half an essential part of getting together involved a joint love of music. The Wedding Present, Magazine and The Fall were essential listening on his part after all I loved The Smiths and Morrissey how could I have missed out on these greats?

That was soon put right.

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The first time I saw The Fall live I was well aware of the anything can happen aspect...but I watched a brilliant gig and MES mesmerised.  Maybe I just remained lucky but I've seen The Fall a fair few times and each was an event, with a crowd that loved the gig.

The music of The Fall often accompanied me on long car journeys as I had a job (previously) that required me to be “on the road” for a majority of my time.  I played them before heavy duty meetings - lyrics that would make me inwardly smile always helped.  

On a personal level I wanted to photograph them, MES could sparkle but small gigs could be tricky if MES started flaying the mike stand about. 

 

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My chance came at a festival in 2010 but from the safety of the barrier, by getting down the front early and shooting on the barrier, in the crowd.   The regulars who piled in were great, lots of big lads but they looked after me, maybe they got how important it was to me - the place bounced.  It was tricky but I look at the images now (still early in my live music shooting) and I still get what the younger me was aiming for - the character. 

Our reviewer noted that The Fall produced “the defining set of the weekend” which said it all and they were amongst some stern competition.

Close friends and my other half feel they’ve lost family. Mark E.Smith created music thats touched their lives for decades. Many had met him and are sharing great stories. 

I have photos which are my memories,  so I’m sharing those.

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Author: Stephanie Colledge 

Back to the Convention 

SWPP Photographers Convention in London

Luckily for me I love learning, I always have, so every opportunity to extend what I can do photographically is a must.  I want to be able to offer the best images I can produce. 

The Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers (SWPP) of which I am a member, hold a yearly convention in London.  The event is perfectly timed as a great kick off to the new year and includes a range of speakers giving classes on all aspects of photography.

For me it is great opportunity to learn and expand my outlook.  I select classes on specific subjects that I intend to work further on this year.    This time these included natural posing, (which is the way i like to work) and have I some additional things I can bring to this.  A more technical class looking at technology changes within equipment which will help with some of the investments I will make over the year, and a lighting class which I should joke was illuminating, but really gave me some ideas about using the equipment I have but in a more daring way! Its a technique that needs lot of practise and I’m working on it - as I loved the results.

Wedding Fayres for 2018

Exhibiting at local Wedding Fayres

I will be exhibiting at more wedding fayres over the next few months.. confirmed ones detailed below (more to be added).  Please come along and say hello,  I would love to hear about your plans for your day. 

If you would like information to attend let me know. 

2018 Dates

25th February @ The Chace Hotel, Coventry

7th June @ The Chace Hotel, Coventry - Evening 

9th September @ Mercure Hotel,   Daventry 

30th September @ The Chace Hotel, Coventry 

2017 a quick look back

My favourite images from 2017

Well its all about looking ahead now, its 2018 and lots of things are happening already!

I’ve met some lovely people last year, at a whole range of events and I’m looking forward to photographing a wide range of engagement shoots, people and creating wedding photography for my couples to treasure.

So before I start talking about that, a quick look back at some of my favourite images from 2017.  

As a wedding photographer providing photography is a real pleasure. Thank you to my couples for letting me share your day.  Shooting couples who deeply love each other, just makes the whole experience even better. I love watching the telepathy between people who are so in tune, it is a delight. When there is lots of laughter and the pure enjoyment of just being with each other is the most important thing, it really shows and helps me create natural photographs that show how you are together. 

Character shows in all sorts of ways and furry character is fun to capture.  In  2017 I met a few fabulous dogs to photograph.  I’m hoping a few more may be at the weddings and engagement shoots I’m doing in 2018 (good behaviour permitting).

Live music has been a passion for a long time and in 2017 I had some great opportunities to shoot and see bands and musicians that put in stunning performances and expanded both the types of images I shoot and my listening.  These included Queen and Adam Lambert (I've still not recovered), Elbow, British Sea Power, Richard Ashcroft, Rag 'n' Bone Man, and Public Service Broadcasting,  A first for me in shooting a jazz orchestra, the NYJO  and country music courtesy of  Keifer Sutherland whose gravelly tones made for a different type of gig .   My personal favourites, The Cribs,  Dutch Uncles, The Wedding Present and Sparks are bands I love which means shooting them is a combination of challenge and enjoyment at the same time.

2018 is lining up to be an interesting mix of subjects again, weddings, relaxed portraits, more dogs and of course live music - I can't wait. 

 

 

Its really snow joke!

Furrrst time in the snow 

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My lovely JRT boy had never seen snow......he put two paws out of the door and reversed back in.  As he can be a shy one, we showed him it was ok and the next thing he was playing, snuffling and enjoying a whole new experience.

Snowflake nose soon became his speciality alongside bounding in untouched snow!

 

 

Queen and Adam Lambert in Birmingham

Queen and Adam Lambert

This year the opportunities have kept coming and I was delighted to gain a pass for Queen and Adam Lambert on their first night at Arena Birmingham.  

The combination of Queen with Adam gives a whole new life to the music live. It was a delight to have the chance to hear and see some of those great songs performed.

The mini review and images on Birmingham Live!

 

Bananarama!

Bananarama - the original line up Birmingham 

I was in pinch myself territory when the announcement was made that the original line up of Bananarama, Siobhan, Sara and Keren would be touring at the end of this year.

Fast forward a few months and I'm at packed out Arena Birmingham with the chance to photograph.  Party night was in full swing as soon as the group appeared.

The full review and photographs are here on Birmingham Live! 

 

James Blunt live in Birmingham

James Blunt 

This year I set myself all sorts of photographic challenges one of which was to get out and  shoot bands and musicians that were not "indie bands with duelling guitars".   It's good as it makes me work in different ways, learn and try new techniques, plus I listen to lots of different music!

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Last night I ventured into Birmingham to see James Blunt and if any of you are surprised, I know he is a marmite choice for some,  but hey  - I was impressed and so was our reviewer  (the full review is here on Birmingham Live.)

The man has talent, charm, humour and that voice. For gig photographers it is often the case that you leave the venue as soon as you have shot the allocated songs, often 3 (in this case only 2).   Often thats fine, but sometimes like with this one I'd have loved to have seen the whole gig (next time I will). 

 

 

 

Wedding Photography Workshop in Brighton!

One Gay Wedding Day Workshop 

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The last couple of weeks have been challenging with lots of things happening and hardly any time to fit it all in.   I’ve been looking forward to this weekend in Brighton for a long time as it was to include a day on a same sex wedding course run by Emma at Shotgun Weddings

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Training and improving my photography skills is important to me, there are always aspects with courses that I choose that can help or inspire me further.

The promise was a small group of photographers, lots of time with the couples shooting and plenty of locations to include the bandstand at the beach, street locations in Brighton and the prestigious Royal Pavilion (but more of that later). 

For me the course offered the opportunity to work alongside a specialist who has helped to spark some different workflow ideas and apply some technical aspects that I wanted to try in order to give me some more creative and alternative images - that I can now create, in my own style.  

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The beauty of a course with Emma was the time allowed to try new things and combine this with aspects of how I work already;  it will allow me to enhance what I can offer to all my couples whose weddings I shoot.

Time spent in the classroom initially was followed by an intense shoot schedule that whizzed us literally, to the beach, the town, the lanes and finally the Royal Pavilion.  The attention to detail was perfect and  included a celebrant to meet us and our couples at the venue and fresh flower bouquet and buttonholes for our brides and grooms. 

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The whole day was enjoyable but the high point was being allowed access to shoot within the Royal Pavilion,  a place I’ve visited previously and was stunned by.  The building is simply spectacular.   

As a wedding venue it has a commanding presence.  The internal colour and design are intense and offer a totally different experience as a photographer.   This combined with the consideration that you are in a heritage property surrounded by art, objects and canvas of incredible importance brings additional challenges.  

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The oriental architecture makes the perfect backdrop for low light evening shots.

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This is just a flavour of the images from the course - I've hundreds more to work on but the experience was great and I'd recommend the course to any aspiring wedding photographer.

Thanks to the Royal Pavilion, Emma, my fellow photographers Tina and Emir, our models and celebrant Sam Goodchild. 

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SPARKS live in Birmingham

Sparks, yes Sparks!  

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I’ve been lucky enough to see them a few times over the years and 5 years ago had my first chance to shoot them on the Two Hands one Mouth tour, which was a sheer delight.

Last night was Sparks in full band form and they were breathtaking.  As a child of the 70’s watching them on Top of the Pops I was intrigued, later on (as in you grow up) you realise just how impressive they really are.  

In a live setting they are a stunning and last night wowed and charmed a Birmingham audience.  That impressive vocal, the intense love of the crowd, yes simply beautiful and emotional.   My editing day will be spent listening to more of Russell and Ron. 

The full review and images are on Birmingham Live

Come along and say hello

Wedding Fayres 

I’m going to be exhibiting at a few local wedding fayres which have meant the last few weeks I’ve been fitting in some planning alongside shooting.

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It’s really exciting (as I previously worked in a commercial environment where the marketing team do everything) to now have the complete freedom to design and plan my presentations on my own (with guidance and some input).   

My first show was last Sunday at the Manor Hotel in Meriden, a venue that I’ve shot at previously (see image above) and one that I really enjoyed.   I believe I have the balance between showing both printed images and digital display right so that I can show what I am able to offer. 

I met some lovely couples on the day with great ideas and themes for their weddings. 

The next show I will be at is on 24th September at The Chace Hotel in Coventry, a venue that I’ve shot at in the last couple of months.   

Click here for the link to tickets

Here's my boy!

The brilliance of dogs 

Well in a year of big changes here is the next one!  Part of my new life was planned to allow Ian and I enough time to be able to have our own dog.  We visited some rehoming places and came away disheartened.  We considered puppies but the nagging promise of there might be just the right dog waiting, remained.  

For months we continued to check on line and then we saw a local rehoming charity (Pawprints Dog Rescue) had a young boy who might be the one.  Small, extremely nervous and bit more of a special case than our original plan, but as soon as we met him Ian was sure he had potential.  The Pawprints team were fully supportive and gave us and him, time to consider and allowed us to visit him 3-4 times a week.  Meeting new people (was/is a scary thing for him) but with good handling by his Pawprints mum he slowly began to accept us. 

We spent 6-8 weeks seeing him regularly, hanging out with him, gaining his trust enough to have him sit on a lap and starting to play basic games -  the things he had missed out on in his early puppy days. The plan was that we would foster him first and if that went well we could adopt him.  Well the fostering was shelved, he showed he trusted us and our time spent with him has had really had big benefits.

We went straight to adoption!  He moved in recently. He is settling in and is now learning that being my little helper has the benefit of extra treats.  His cheeky personality is beginning to show and should be able to develop fully over the next few months.  

He is nervous and we will help him learn to control that over time.  Routine, lots of exercise and bundles of love will be good for all of us.  Nothing is as sweet as him and Ian running round the garden playing together, going on walks (good exercise for all) or just chilling doing man stuff (beer for the bigger one water for fur boy).

We found working with Pawprints Dog Rescue to be excellent.  They are a charity with a small number of dogs at any one time.  The volunteers who run PDR really get to know the dogs personally and help both the dogs and the potential adopters; the whole experience has been positive.  (Massive thanks to Anita, Kathryn, Dave, Trisha and Christine). 

We’ve had help and support all along to help with interacting with him, gaining trust, plus guidance and assistance with any questions since he has moved to his/our home.   His first time in front of my camera so we tried natural images just observing how he is (as in many ways he is like a puppy) and a little bit of running around on his harness.  We are starting training classes soon so no doubt there will be updates. 

I love shooting pet photography, especially dogs as they are such brilliant companions and personalities.  To finally have my own after waiting so long makes me happier than I can express in words (and he seems to like us too). 

His adventures will be fun for all of us!

The Flaming Lips and Public Service Broadcasting

Inner City Live - The Flaming Lips and Public Service Broadcasting

The Flaming Lips o2 Academy Birmingham

Saturday night was a trip into central Birmingham to shoot a one day festival.  Originally planned for outdoors and then recently venue changed to inside at the o2 Academy.

The opening bands on were local, Hoopla Blue and Amber Run the first was new to me the second the Birmingham Live team have reviewed earlier this year and liked.

My original plan had been to shoot this as a festival, outdoor shots, lots of people dressed up etc, but that changed with the move to indoors, the quality of the event though was superb.  The o2 Academy was great, relaxed and even offering passes out. 

Special guests Public Service Broadcasting were the band I missed seeing with Ian on a previous occasion and was really looking forward to.  They were as good as promised, tricky to photograph as they have so much on stage equipment and a back projection which was running behind the cage for the props belonging to The Flaming Lips. 

Then came the riot of colour that is The Flaming Lips an experience like no other to shoot.  Light, screens, colour, confetti canons, balloons so big you can't see a thing and are constantly bombarded with the bouncing, let alone shoot and its the fastest explosion of action and distraction combined.  

Fun - beyond belief.  I knew a little about them but the reality of being in the pit,  between a band so vibrant and a crowd having a party was something else.   It was a relentless stream of activity and paper whirling down.  I was picking confetti out of my pockets and inside my shirt and bra when I got home!  Wayne Coyne has a devilish charm - I enjoyed them so much I want to go again!

Full review by Ian on Birmingham Live with a few more images.

Best friends and rescue

Lovely lurcher 

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My plans to own my own dog are getting much much closer and I’m hopeful that I will be introducing my furry family member here soon.

I've recently met some very loved rescue dogs and have been lucky enough to see the changes that a new life offers both them and their family.  I fully understand that adoption won't be for everyone but it is the way I/we are choosing to go.

Meanwhile I’ve been busy shooting this gorgeous lurcher.  He is a wonderful mix of adorable and comical.  I’m sure he thinks he is answering when he is spoken to, as he is quite talkative and extremely playful  (a moment of down time shown above).  He combines the most quizzical expression and gentlest temperament for a family dog.  

Now that he has learned to lay down he was happy to demonstrate...