THE LATEST

I always love going back up North for a wedding, especially Cheshire. I met Melanie and Christian a year before their wedding date and the big day came around so quick. It started off as a lovely dry day but quickly after the ceremony turned into a huge downpour and thunderstorm (which I secretly loved!) resulting in some really cool photographs!

They both got hitched in the supremely gorgeous St Mary’s Church in Eccleston and held their reception in the village hall.

Here’s a peek at their fab day..

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I belong to a lot of facebook photography groups that have thousands of amazing, top end photographers as members. Everyday my facebook feed is filled with gorgeous photography from around the world. It’s hard not to feel inferior when you see shots that you couldn’t even dream up, nevermind take. Whether it’s because you’re stuck in rainy England and you keep seeing stunning photographs from sunny California or the snow capped mountains in Canada, or because you feel like your skill is not quite to their level yet.

Sometimes when I feel like that, I comb through my old photography – if you can even call it that *super cringe* – and remind myself of all the progress I have made as a young photographer. So I may not have taken a kick ass picture of the Golden Gate Bridge in rolling fog, during a sunset… but that doesn’t mean that I’m a sh!t photographer. It doesn’t mean you are either! It’s an art form and a skill that takes time to develop. Since the first day I picked up a camera, I feel I’ve developed my style pretty well, but there is always time for me to learn and hone my skills even further. It’s what makes you a good artist. Challenging yourself to be a better photographer with every press of the shutter.

Instead of feeling crappy about your own work when you see another photographers portfolio, use it as inspiration to learn a new technique, or to take on a new project.

Just to embarrass myself and make you feel better, especially if you’re a new photographer feeling overwhelmed by the huge learning curve, I have compiled some before and afters of my photography in progress. The old pictures were taken between 2005 and 2012, the rest were taken from 2013 onwards.

Laugh away…

 

Nature / Macro

I think my first macro lens was a Sigma 70-300mm with macro, it wasn’t a dedicated macro lens but it let me take pictures of insects without being anywhere near them so I was good with that. Most weekends I’d be out with my Pentax taking pictures of the flowers in the back garden, learning about depth of field and composition. Even though I ended up being a wedding photographer, those skills I learnt in the garden have helped me immensely.

Then and Now Photography

 

People

An amateur photographer with really bad social anxiety is probably the last person you would expect to take up portraiture. I like a challenge though and with that, I conquered my fear of human interaction using my passion for photography. Wahoo!

Here’s some gems..

 

Then and Now Photography

My friend Rosie (pictured left) was one of my practice subjects back in the day. We’d take really moody and edgy fine art portraits (LOL!!!) in the garden, edit them with the free software that came with my scanner and post them on MySpace! We were sooo cool.

 

Then and Now Photography

I also took a lot of self portraits – ya know, cause of that social anxiety thing I mentioned?! Well, the left image was taken with my camera on a gorillapod which I strapped to a tree to get a good vantage point. Except, I didn’t have a remote shutter back then so had to reach the shutter myself to take the picture. May as well have just taken it handheld really, but where’s the challenge in that?

 

Then and Now Photography

Left one was a self portrait in the back garden. It was gonna be so cool with the dandelion blowing away in the wind. Well it would have been cool, if I’d have separated the background with a nice shallow depth of field.

 

My Photography Progress

Both pictures of Kitty Von Crypt. The first one being one of my first model shoots EVER. We both started our careers around the same time and this was from a shoot in Rhyl (the most stunning place on earth – you should visit) and neither of us had a clue what we were gonna shoot so we just walked for miles shooting in every cool location we could find.

 

My Photography Progress

It’s Rosie on the left again! Sorry Rosie,  but look at those editing skills! I don’t know if that’s sepia, or black and white, or something entirely different but whatever it was I think I nailed it. I was pretty shit hot at make-up too, as you can clearly tell.

 

My Photography Progress

Another self portrait comparison. GOTH4LIFE! The left one was taken in my bedroom turned studio, on a self timer and clearly I missed the focus on my face so I made it up in Photoshop 7 by sharpening the shit out of it. I still have that coat too btw.

 

Landscapes / Other outside stuff like buildings and things.

Still an area of photography that I’d like to make more progress in, as it’s not something I get to do often. I definitely think I’ve improved though… I hope…

Then and Now Photography

Foggy morning with a Fuji Finepix and no concept of how to take an atmospheric shot on the left. On the right, the fog rolling in during an evening which I’d planned to take Milky Way shots – whoops.

 

Then and Now Photography

I don’t even remember the name of the digital camera I used on the left – it was my first digital, a little compact that wouldn’t even compete with a mobile phone these days and the memory card I had was so small, I could only store 5 photographs at a time. BUT I could see my photos straight away – which was awwwwesome.

 

Then and Now Photography

The picture on the left was my favourite photo ever at the time. Look at the sun beaming through the tree, look at how the branches frame the photo… wow. just wow. I was the next Ansel Adams….

 

Then and Now Photography

Okay. Those of you who live in or know my home town of Connah’s Quay (it’s a paradise – you should visit) are probably wondering why I ever thought it would be a good idea to shoot landscapes there. But that was the nicest view I could get, and look at those clouds! Overblown highlights? Suuure, but dramatic? Yeess.

 

Children

My Photography Progress

I didn’t really start shooting children portraiture until the second year of my business apart from the one on the left. I asked a friend if she wanted a free shoot so I could practice mah skillz. A telephoto lens would have come in real handy for this shoot but I only had a “nifty fifty” and I had no idea what to expect, or how to compose a good shot of a very hyperactive kid. It went better than expected though and it was a great learning exercise.

 

Wedding / Bridal

And last but not least, weddings. My speciality. My jam.

My Photography Progress

First was a styled bridal shoot that we’d set up for portfolio purposes. There are a few from the bunch that I still really like but this one isn’t composed very well and I have the model looking straight at the camera.. which is something I try and stay away from as much as I can with wedding portraits nowadays. The second shot was from a wedding last June, still a posed shot but a more natural way of doing it – not looking at the camera, body a little more relaxed etc.

 

My Photography Progress

Just like child portraiture, I didn’t venture into weddings until my business was up and running. I did some second shooting for other photographers before I took on my own, so that helped me a lot in getting the practise I needed. I don’t think weddings are something you should take on if you’re not confident in your skills as a photographer. I definitely see some improvements in my work though, not just as my equipment gets upgraded and built upon but as my posing style becomes more refined. I actually really love this shot on the left, I’m a huge lover of foreground bokeh and I still think it’s a nice intimate pose.  The shot on the right is from a very recent wedding and pretty much sums up my wedding photography style and where I’ve been directing myself in terms of posing my couples. My goal is natural, fun, personality driven photographs. The more candid and natural the better!

 

 

So there you have it – my photography in progress – I hope that makes you feel a ton better about your own work. I sure feel relieved.

 

THEN

My Photography in Progress

 

NOW

My Photography in Progress

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As a photographer I have always found it incredibly important to be able to click with my couples. The more relaxed you are with your photographer, the more natural your pictures will be. Well, it would be incredibly hard not to click with these two. From the first meeting over coffee, it had felt like I’d known them for years.

Kirsty and Gary’s forest wedding took place in Abbeywood Estate in Delamere. Basically a dream venue for any photographer like me, who loves trees and lots of natural light! It was such a perfect, beautiful day with a gorgeous sunset, lots of happy tears and cheekbone-aching hilarious speeches. Gary even turned up to the wedding in style, in a Del Boy van!

I’ve also never seen someone so happy over their bouquet before either – Kirsty is a florist at Wild so her flowers were mega important, there were many tears of joy when the flowers were revealed.

I can’t thank Kirsty and Gary enough for choosing me as their photographer, it was such a pleasure to share their day and to get to know their wonderful family. Hopefully we have many more catch ups over red velvet cake to come!!

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Somerset Wedding Photographer 2015 - 2016

An overview of 2015.

2015 was a lovely year for me both personally and professionally as a wedding photographer, and while it seems to have flown by so quickly, so much has happened in what feels like such a short space of time.

We moved to our new place in Somerset at the start of the year, the best decision I’ve ever made. I’ve traveled the UK shooting weddings that included an Alice in Wonderland themed wedding and a handfasting ceremony in Glastonbury Abbey, meeting some of the loveliest couples I’ve ever met. I made a point to take time for my personal work, where I started my horror portfolio back up again. I spoke in public for the first time, giving a presentation on my work at the Bath Photographic Society. I’ve been published on Rock N Roll Bride, Bespoke Bride, Marry Me Ink just to name a few and like many this year had the wonderful experience of photographing the Solar Eclipse (that was my highlight of the year! I loves me some space!!).

New Year..

A lot of 2015 was spent splitting my time between lots of different places, moving and pushing myself out of my personal comfort zone. This year I want to keep it simple and get my business to a place it was when I lived up North, as well as taking care of myself which is the most important thing – it’s not easy carrying around all this camera gear y’know ;)

I have some incredible weddings lined up with some equally fabulous couples, who’s weddings I can’t wait to document. Hopefully this year I’ll also get to tick some stuff of my bucket list! Who knows :)

 

Thanks to everyone who made my 2015 special. My brides, grooms, family, boyfriend and all my new friends in Somerset who have made me feel very much at home.

Kelly Xxx

 

Somerset Wedding Photographer 2015 recap

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