Wedding Photography at The Vu:
Jen & Ben

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So, a couple of weeks back, and unusually on a Wednesday, I was very honoured to be shooting the wedding of Jen & Ben at, somewhere that I know just a little, The Vu in Bathgate where, by the end of the year, I will have been eight times, notwithstanding the numerous times I’ve been there since I started the business. For me, The Vu is one of those venues where you do really benefit from good weather and being able to get outside, and that’s exactly what we got – at this rate, that sun cream will be coming out again any time soon!

I’d done a pre-wedding shoot with the guys back in October and, as well as those shoots benefiting couples in terms of getting used to being in front of the camera, for me, I also get a good feel for how the wedding day might pan out – of course, the dynamics of a wedding day are very different to those on the pre-wedding shoot, but it’s a good indicator all the same. And, I was pretty much “on the money” this time – brilliant day guys, loved every minute of it :-).

Oh, and as a wee bonus, at the church, St. Mary’s in Hamilton, we even had a priest who just told me to go and do what I wanted – “just create memories for the couple” were his words, I think! So refreshing to have an approach like this – all too often these days, I’m still bound by some very strange restrictive rules when shooting in churches, if I’m allowed to shoot at all…and this does still happen…grrr!

Jen & Ben, thank you for choosing me to shoot your wedding day. Here’s just a few of my early favourites which I hope you like – just click on any thumbnail to start the viewer.

Please leave a comment…and help Jen & Ben win a framed print

Family & friends (plus anyone else who might stop by), it would be fantastic if you could leave a comment at the bottom of the post as I love to hear what you think :-), and, you can help the guys win my monthly competition to win an 18″ x 12″ framed print of their choice. Also, if you really like these pictures, why not give me a “Like” on my Facebook page to keep in touch with what I’m up to – would be great to have you on board!

Mike

Wedding Photography at Glenskirlie House:
Rebecca & Stuart

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Second wedding of last weekend’s “double header” and I don’t get to shoot many weddings on a Sunday as a rule. As you would expect, Saturday is the popular day followed by, I would say, Friday, and then perhaps Thursday. But Sunday weddings…don’t do many of them. But then, of course, the day after was a Bank Holiday so no need for the early rise for the majority of guests I would guess :-).

It’s a funny thing but, since I started the business and went self-employed, Bank Holidays are just not something I even think about anymore…in fact, I don’t even know when most of them are! I just work on regardless.

Along with The Vu, Glenskirlie (both the House and the Castle) is the venue I’ve worked at most often, so fair to say I know my way around. And, as a wee bonus, Rebecca and Stuart had the place to themselves today…no other wedding being held :-), so we were able to make use of the grounds in the Castle as well as the House for the bride & groom shots. The fantastic weather continued as well – the icing on the cake to a fantastic weekend of weddings.

Rebecca & Stuart, thank you for choosing me to shoot your wedding day. Here’s just a few of my early favourites which I hope you like – just click on any thumbnail to start the viewer.

Please leave a comment…and help Rebecca & Stuart win a framed print

Family & friends (plus anyone else who might stop by), it would be fantastic if you could leave a comment at the bottom of the post as I love to hear what you think :-), and, you can help the guys win my monthly competition to win an 18″ x 12″ framed print of their choice. Also, if you really like these pictures, why not give me a “Like” on my Facebook page to keep in touch with what I’m up to – would be great to have you on board!

Mike

Wedding Photography at Solsgirth House:
Lynsay & Ian

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My third “double header” wedding of the year already took place last weekend, kicking off with Lynsay & Ian’s fabulous day at one of my favourite venues, Solsgirth House, preceded by a church ceremony at Calder Parish Church. And, I was thinking to myself, as I do, that this was the first wedding this year when the temperature could be described as “warmish”, and boy does that make a difference :-). Let’s hope it stays that way for a while now.

As most of you know, I always start the day with the bridal prep and often, but not always, the mood at that time often sets the tone for the day to follow and today was no exception – lively, fun and just an enjoyable place to be, so thank you guys for making me feel so welcome :-). I do love my job at all times but it really does make it even better when you have a wedding party that are so accommodating and welcoming.

Lynsay & Ian, thank you for choosing me to shoot your wedding day. Here’s just a few of my early favourites which I hope you like – just click on any thumbnail to start the viewer.

Please leave a comment…

Family & friends (plus anyone else who might stop by), it would be fantastic if you could leave a comment at the bottom of the post as I love to hear what you think :-), and, you can help Lynsay & Ian win my monthly competition to win an 18″ x 12″ framed print of their choice. Also, if you really like these pictures, why not give me a “Like” on my Facebook page to keep in touch with what I’m up to – would be great to have you on board!

Mike

Wedding Photography at Keavil House Hotel:
Aisleen & Michael

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Second wedding from last weekend and, this time, I was back at the Keavil House Hotel, where I’ve been quite a few times now, so I know my way round pretty well :-). My reason for being there…Aisleen & Michael’s wedding day, kicking off at the Keavil for a few bridal prep shots before heading off to St. Margaret’s Church in Dunfermline for the ceremony, and then back to Keavil for the reception.

Big bonus as well for me when shooting the large group shot of all the guests. Usually at Keavil, it’s always been a bit challenging as there’s never been a natural elevated vantage point from which I could shoot downwards or, for that matter, any steps that I could arrange the guests on to. But today, for the first time, I was allowed out on to the roof…not sure health & safety would have approved and, you should know, this was at my own risk and I do have a cut on my knee to show for my troubles but it sure was worth it…the best large group shot I’ve ever been able to take at Keavil.

Aisleen & Michael, thank you for choosing me to shoot your wedding day. Here’s just a few of my early favourites which I hope you like – just click on any thumbnail to start the viewer.

Please leave a comment…

Family & friends (plus anyone else who might stop by), it would be fantastic if you could leave a comment at the bottom of the post as I love to hear what you think :-), and, you can help Aisleen & Michael win my monthly competition to win an 18″ x 12″ framed print of their choice. Also, if you really like these pictures, why not give me a “Like” on my Facebook page to keep in touch with what I’m up to – would be great to have you on board!

Mike

The Original, The Edit & The Album:
My Editing Process Explained

One of the questions that I get asked every now and then from couples, is to what degree I edit their images post wedding. So, to try and explain this, and what better way to do this than with images, here’s what I do.

The Original

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Above is a recent image from Stephanie & Richard’s wedding at The Cruin, Loch Lomond. The image as you see it is straight out of camera, with no adjustments made at all. My thought process behind the shot was to put the guys in the gazebo, and then use an off-camera flash to the left to throw some light on them, keeping the background kind of moody to reflect the conditions on the day. Now, firstly, I would never give an image like this straight to the couple without some adjustments and there’s four things in the above that jump out at me straight away:

  • the horizon is not straight – forgive me guys, but, unless I spend an eternity on the day with a spirit level, then this is a common issue
  • I’ve caught the edge of the waste bin to the extreme left of the image
  • there’s too much light on the couple and also the left side of the gazebo
  • there’s a few spots to the top right caused by dust on the camera’s sensor

The Edit

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Here’s the same image with the adjustments. Firstly, I’ve straightened the horizon and in turn cropped slightly to remove the waste bin. I’ve then toned down the highlights so that the couple aren’t so brightly lit, all of which make for a more pleasing image. The spots have been removed with a tool called the “healing brush”. In addition, the contrast has been boosted a little, along with the vibrance. The image has also been “warmed up” a little and a subtle vignette has been added to the edges to draw the eye into the shot. Finally, I’ve lifted the shadows a touch so that you can see a little more detail in the dark areas (the barrel is a good example of this).

I hope you agree that with all these adjustments made, the image is much better than the original.

I supply all the images from the day to couples as part of all my wedding packages and the above image is typical of the way in which they will all be finished, ie with a few basic adjustments and in full colour.

The Album Edit

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Now, for couples that have ordered an album, a different process altogether kicks in. For me, an album should contain images that really have that “wow” factor and, therefore, all the images I use in an album design will have more editing done on them. Take the above example – firstly, it’s clearly been converted to black & white, that much is obvious. I’m going for a more dramatic effect here so b&w suits the mood better than colour. What I’ve also done is to use a technique called dodging and burning – I noticed that the light from the flash was adding too much light to the paved area on the left, so this has been darkened down using the “burn” tool in Photoshop. I also wanted a bit more light coming from behind the trees, so have used the “dodge” tool to subtly lighten these areas, providing a more “mysterious” look, if that’s the right word. A more pronounced “vignette” has also been added to the edges of the image.

Here’s another take on the album edit…

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This time, I’ve left it in colour but have toned the image to create a more vintage effect by adding yellow and blue tones, which again, I feel suits the mood of this image. The same dodging and burning technique has been added as above but I’ve also added a subtle pale yellow light behind the tree to the left, simulating the sun behind the clouds, again, adding to the mood.

Honestly, there are so many ways in which an image can be edited these days, thanks to the wonders of Photoshop and the like, but I still feel that the edit must represent the mood of the image. This one, for example, would not look good, in my opinion, with bright vivid colours. But photography is an art and, as such, is subjective, so each to their own I guess…

Summary

So, you might be thinking why I don’t apply the level of editing that I do for an album to all the images that I supply to couples as part of their package? Well, it’s a question of time and numbers. Firstly, the editing of an image for the album can often take about 10-15 mins each. On average, I give couples about 500 images from their wedding day and 500 x 15 mins = 7500 mins = 312 hours = approx 13 days, and 13 days to edit one wedding is not practical I’m sure you’ll agree. Also, I find that by giving couples all the images from the day all edited to a consistent standard, this provides the most flexibility for couples when using the images for themselves. For example, they may not want a black & white or toned image as they’re then stuck with it with no way of getting it back to the original format (unless they ask me).

Albums, on the other hand, are meant to be showpieces and therefore deserve a lot of time devoted to the design to make them look stunning.

I do hope you agree but, as always, I’m sure there will be different viewpoints and naturally, please feel free to leave your comments below.

Mike