Surrey Wedding Photography
London Wedding Photography

Anna and Mike at Hartsfield Manor

Anna and Mike enjoyed glorious sunshine on their wedding day, 26 September.   They really enjoy their photography, and were a fantastic couple to work with.

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Mario Acerboni Wedding Photographer of the Year

I learnt today that I have won the 2009 Mario Acerboni Wedding Photographer of the Year title for the London and Home Counties region.   The UK winner will be announced on 11 October at the Master Photography Awards in Newcastle.   This Award falls under the banner of the 2009  Creative Photography Awards and the judging is based on 3 images from a single wedding (before, during and after the main ceremony).  My images are from Suzy and Nick’s wedding at Northbrook Park on 24 May.

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Gary awarded MPA Associateship

Yesterday I was delighted to be awarded an Associateship by the Master Photographers Association (MPA).   Under the scrutiny of 7 Judges and a Chairman of Qualifications in Darlington, I successfully presented a Panel of 20 Wedding Images from the last 2 years.   The ‘normal’ professional qualification is a Licentiateship which denotes that photographers have an established level of skill and competence.  The Associateship qualification is aimed at the top 10% of photographers whose work shows style, individuality and a high standard of craftmanship and creative ability.    I am grateful to Ray Lowe for his help in mentoring me towards this qualification.

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Wedding Photography Techniques: Part 2 (Light)

At weddings I often get asked by enthusiastic photographers about equipment, and in particular what their next piece of kit should be. Noting that they already have half decent digital SLRs, my usual reply is that the equipment is much less important than the photographer. It is much better to develop style through a better understanding of composition and lighting than worry about a marginal gain in sharpness that an expensive lens might offer you for example. One thing that really strikes me is that many photographers have not grasped the difference between the quantity and the direction/quality of light. The quantity of light can easily be adapted to (especially with digital cameras) by changing the exposure.

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But good photographers must be able to “see the light”. Assessing the direction of light is not always obvious in non-sunny conditions but it is important for making an image more visually interesting (eg more contrast on the subject’s face); or helping ot model the poses outlined in section 1 above; or avoiding ugly shadows in the eye sockets from toplighting. Not understanding the difference often means flat pictures and/or overuse of flash lighting. On a grey day, you might need to “create” direction by placing your subjects under the edge of a canopy or tree. But seeing the light does not just apply to posing either. It also has important consequences for where you should position yourself, for example, during documentary shots.

That is not to say that equipment is not important, because it is. But good equipment will always get overshadowed by lack of technique and creativity. I sometimes use a fisheye lens to add drama to my photos.

For the record, my principal equipment is a Canon EOS 1D Mark III, Canon 24-105 F4L IS, Canon 70-200 2.8L IS, Canon 15mm, Canon 50 F1.8 MkII and a Speedlite 580EX. I also have back-up equipment on standby.

Success at MPA Regional Awards

Yesterday I was delighted to win a number of awards at the Master Photographer Association’s Annual Competition (South East Region).  The competition was judged by industry icon Dennis Hylander FMPA FBIPP.   I was particularly pleased to win the title of MPA 3in1 Wedding Photographer of the Year 2009 because this award is based on consistency across a number of images within single weddings. In fact I came first and second in this category!   I was also successful in the contemporary weddings category.

Winner – Best 3 Images From a Single Wedding

(Images taken at Stoke Park Club, Buckinghamshire).

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Highly Commended and 2nd Place – Best 3 Images From a Single Wedding

(Images Taken at the Bingham Hotel, Richmond Upon Thames).

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Highly Commended and 2nd Place -  Contemporary Weddings

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All images copyright Gary Roebuck AMPA ABIPP.