Archive for the ‘advice’ Category

Why get married on the Isle of Wight

May 6th, 2013

Why get married on the Isle of Wight? Well for starters it’s one of the most beautiful parts of Britain, a picturesque Island just off the south coast of England, where no passport is needed for the short sea crossing to get married here. The Isle of Wight boasts 13 award winning beaches and more than [...]

 

Isle of Wight garden wedding Ventnor

Why get married on the Isle of Wight? Well for starters it’s one of the most beautiful parts of Britain, a picturesque Island just off the south coast of England, where no passport is needed for the short sea crossing to get married here.

The Isle of Wight boasts 13 award winning beaches and more than half of the twenty-three by thirteen mile Island is classed as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, including spectacular and unspoilt scenery and a rich historical heritage as well as a stunning coastline.south coast of England, where no passport is needed for the short sea crossing to get married here.

There are a number of Churches and Approved Premises on the Island which are licensed to hold civil wedding ceremonies and civil partnership ceremonies giving you a wide choice of settings for your day ranging from striking grand manor houses with stunning sea views to wildly romantic retreats set in beautiful gardens.

Beach weddings, garden weddings and outdoor ceremonies – the Isle of Wight can cater for them all and as one of the UK’s sunniest and warmest places why marry abroad when the Island provides such a diverse backdrop for your wedding?

Wedding on the Isle of Wight in a garden

Stunning coastline Isle of Wight wedding

 

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The importance of your Wedding Album

March 11th, 2013

Wedding albums are more than just a collection of amazing photos. Do you remember looking through your parents wedding album as a child? Imagine being in your parents shoes re-living their joy, excitement, love and emotion, all captured in those pages with you sat next to them. As cheesy as it may sound, wedding albums [...]

 

Wedding album additional copiesWedding albums are more than just a collection of amazing photos. Do you remember looking through your parents wedding album as a child? Imagine being in your parents shoes re-living their joy, excitement, love and emotion, all captured in those pages with you sat next to them. As cheesy as it may sound, wedding albums are a family heirloom and a fine art wedding album is one of the best ways of preserving the beautiful images from your wedding in a timeless format you can enjoy forever.

When you open your album all those happy memories and emotions from your big day come flooding back; as you turn each page you’re able to relive exactly how you felt the moment you put on your wedding dress, how your partner felt the first time he saw you, that magical first dance and just how wonderful your day was spending it with your nearest and dearest.

As the years go by after your big day your memories start to fade, but the carefully chosen photos on each page bring everything straight back as if it was yesterday. To me being able to do that is priceless and that is why wedding albums are so important.
Wedding album couple testimonial Jo and Alex

“Just a quick email to say that we received our albums and we love them! Thank you so so much! We presented both sets of parents with the albums on Sunday and they were very happy!”

    Jo + Alex

 

It’s impossible to overestimate the importance of a wedding album – think beyond sharing your amazing day and proudest moments online and instead imagine wowing your future grandchildren with a bound collection of beautiful photographs.

By investing in an amazing wedding photographer for your day you understand how valuable these photos are and the fact that they will allow you to relieve all the special moments from your day for eternity. We live in a digital age and whilst it’s important to have copies of your wedding photos digitally, it’s killed the enjoyment of printed, tangible photos (and it’s a crying shame to keep all these beautiful images locked away on your computer)!

When looking through my wedding photography brochure I encourage couples to consider a fine art wedding album for exactly this reason- I use the most amazing, hand bound albums which are printed on archival quality paper and I personally design each one in a clean, timeless style.

If you would like to view my sample album in person just get in touch and let’s have a chat over a cuppa.

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Wedding album Isle of Wight Lay-flat wedding album Clean and simple wedding album design Full page wedding album Print across spine, middle of wedding album Fine art wedding album set Parent size wedding album

 

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Why working with me is easy – even if you don’t live on the Island

November 6th, 2012

A lot of couples I work with aren’t from the Isle of Wight. For example, they might live and work in London but absolutely love the beautiful Island and so choose to hold their wedding celebrations here. And why not? It’s a great excuse to invite all your friends and family on a mini-holiday to see why [...]


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A lot of couples I work with aren’t from the Isle of Wight. For example, they might live and work in London but absolutely love the beautiful Island and so choose to hold their wedding celebrations here. And why not? It’s a great excuse to invite all your friends and family on a mini-holiday to see why you love it so much!

One of the many struggles that every couple getting married tend to be up against is time. And not living in the area you’re getting married in means that you might only be able to visit the Island a few times before your wedding…

So I asked some of the couples I’m lucky enough to work with what I could do that would help. These were some of the reasons why they booked me:

  • Easy booking– Get in touch and let’s arrange to have a chat over a cuppa to talk about your day. Don’t have time for that? Give me a call or drop me an email! When you’ve decided that you would like to book me you can do it all in the comfort of your home in a few simple clicks freeing up time for the rest of your wedding planning. Read more here.
  • Excellent communication – I answer every question as quick as I can, no-matter how big or small so there is no need to worry about asking something.
  • Simple photography packages – My packages were designed with some of wonderful couples I’ve worked with previously. They’ve made sure the essentials are included and that costs clear upfront so you know exactly what you’re spending – no hidden costs!
  • Clear process – A clear guide of what to expect (and when) from me as your wedding photographer. Everything from when we’ll meet right up until delivery of your wedding album: How I work
  • Easy viewing of the photos – A secure, online gallery of the wedding that can be shared with all the guests after the big day. If anyone would like copies of the photos they can get them here rather than hassling you.

Does that sound easier than you thought? I hope so- make sure you download my wedding photography brochure and check out my how I work page to learn more. If you wanted to know anything else then just get in touch.

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The secret of getting the best wedding photos

October 18th, 2012

Want to know the secret of how to get the best wedding photos? Book me- that’s it. OK, that was a joke but seriously I’m going to let you in on a little tip I give all my couples about how to get some awesome photos of the two of you looking your best on [...]

 

Want to know the secret of how to get the best wedding photos?

Book me- that’s it.

OK, that was a joke but seriously I’m going to let you in on a little tip I give all my couples about how to get some awesome photos of the two of you looking your best on your big day.

The secret of getting the best wedding photos

 

Whilst meeting all the different wedding co-ordinators involved in the planning of your dream day you’ve probably already started thinking about a rough timeline of events. That’s great and will really help you to organise timings for things like the wedding breakfast, first dance etc. but how is this related to getting the best wedding photos I hear you ask? Bride and groom portraits, that’s how.

Throughout the day I’ll be there documenting events as they happen and capturing the natural moments, but the photos that are most likely to end up being your favourites usually happen when the bride and groom take 20 minutes or so out away from everyone to relax, let their hair down and just enjoy being together in front of the camera.

Allocating some time (the more the better) for portraits of just the two of you not only gives you a chance to take stock of the day (as it all goes FAR too quickly) but it gives me a fantastic opportunity to capture some amazing images of yourselves which you’ll cherish forever.
Imagine one being framed up on the wall at home- it’s your favourite photo and takes you straight back to that wonderful moment every time you walk past.

So sssshh.. Don’t let everyone in on the secret but this is one of the many ways I ensure you get the best wedding photos and all you have to do allow time to enjoy yourselves.

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Creative natural relaxed wedding photography

September 11th, 2012

I met a lovely creative couple a few weeks back who asked me to describe my natural style of photography in three words. Just three words! I looked down at my sample wedding album which the couple were flicking through and simply said without thinking: “Creative, natural and relaxed. My style of wedding photography is [...]

 

Creative wedding photographer Chris Cowley

I met a lovely creative couple a few weeks back who asked me to describe my natural style of photography in three words. Just three words! I looked down at my sample wedding album which the couple were flicking through and simply said without thinking:

Creative, natural and relaxed. My style of wedding photography is creative, natural and relaxed.”

I wrote a blog post recently talking about the various styles of wedding photography as a guide to try and help readers decipher the jargon used in magazines and on photographer’s websites. In it I talked about there being three main styles: Traditional, Contemporary and Reportage but I found that didn’t fit in to one section so I added a fourth one just for me: Creative wedding photography.

So what is creative wedding photography and why am I using it to describe my work?

My style is certainly influenced by the three main types of wedding photography but I don’t sit comfortably being labelled solely as one of them. My instinct for a photo has evolved from years of festival photography in which I’ve photographed all kinds of characters, some famous, and some just plain crazy!

I’ve never had any kind of photographic training, I just like to have fun, be creative and do things a bit differently so I use my camera to show the world how I see it- full of colour, happiness and love.

My approach is unobtrusive and my goal is to capture the love and happiness that you share with your partner, family and friends, as well as the whole atmosphere of the day. I hate posed, rigid photos and so love to try and do something a bit more creative that captures your personality naturally.

Maybe there is some pretty woodland near your reception? Let’s go exploring! Perhaps there is going to be a fantastic sunset tonight? Let’s capture some romantic photos in it! Do you love rolling fields stretching in to the distance? I do – let’s make use of the beautiful landscape the Isle of Wight is blessed with!

Well I’ve poured my soul out to you now and confessed all. I am a creative wedding photographer; and I hope you like that :)

Creative, Natural and Relaxed wedding photographer Chris Cowley

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Why hire a professional wedding photographer

August 1st, 2012

Why hire a professional wedding photographer when you’ve probably got a ton of friends and family who have awesome cameras and can take good photos? It’s a good question and so I thought it might make an interesting discussion blog piece. Now, I totally understand that spending thousands of pounds on a wedding photographer simply [...]

 

Professional wedding photographerWhy hire a professional wedding photographer when you’ve probably got a ton of friends and family who have awesome cameras and can take good photos? It’s a good question and so I thought it might make an interesting discussion blog piece.

Now, I totally understand that spending thousands of pounds on a wedding photographer simply isn’t possible for everyone, however I want to write a bit about what a professional wedding photographer brings to the party that a friend with a nice camera simply won’t. This post isn’t meant to bully you in to using a professional and hey, maybe your wedding photography isn’t that much of a big deal to you? That’s fine, I’m not here to try and tell you otherwise but it would be great if you took a moment to have a read and think about the reasons why you should hire a professional wedding photographer :)

Experience – Weddings are a whole different beast to most other types of photography. You have to work fast, remain calm and composed and provide amazing customer service at all times whilst being an artistic storyteller, a risk manage­ment specialist and a professional bow tie straightener. Oh, and most importantly, do all this whilst ensuring the happy couple have a great day! Getting good at it comes with experience which a friend or relative may not have
Service – Working with friends at any time in life can be hard. You’ve got a solid relationship but if you weren’t happy about something it’s difficult to bring it up with a friend through risk of potentially losing a friendship. In life we hire professionals for their service to ensure that we have an enjoyable experience. This starts at the booking stage and continues right the way through to delivery of your wedding album, and on your wedding day nothing makes more sense than this.

Equipment – All that expensive camera gear a photographer uses comes as a price, but for a good reason. Whilst digital photography is getting more and more affordable, a family friend wouldn’t necessarily think about bringing spare cameras, lenses, flashes as well as all the usual stuff like batteries and memory cards – because you never know when something might break
Insurance – It’s one of those things that you should never have to use but a professional photographer should have Public Liability insurance as an absolute minimum. On top of that, my equipment is fully insured and for peace of mind I have Professional Indemnity. This is the kind of insurance that your solicitor or accountant might have and is there to protect and guarantee that the quality of my work be at the standard you expect

As I write this we’re in the midst of trying to decide who’s going to be photographing OUR wedding so I appreciate that it’s a tough job.
I’ll end on this thought:

Your wedding is a once in a lifetime moment and your photographs will be treasured forever – is it really worth not hiring a professional?

 Professional wedding photographer ninja

P.S. These guys aren’t real ninjas. Well, at least I don’t think they were….

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The golden hour

July 25th, 2012

There’s a magic time of day occurring at every wedding that you need to know about. Truth be told it actually happens twice a day, but the first one you should be tucked up and fast asleep for. This magic time happens roughly in the first and last hour of sunlight during the day and [...]


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There’s a magic time of day occurring at every wedding that you need to know about. Truth be told it actually happens twice a day, but the first one you should be tucked up and fast asleep for. This magic time happens roughly in the first and last hour of sunlight during the day and is called the Golden Hour.

As I wrote about in my natural light wedding photography post I love using the unique, natural light of the Island in my photography and the golden hour in particular is my most favourite kind of light. Typically, it’s soft (read that as flattering) and warm (read that as romantically toned in colour) and shadows are relatively non-existent providing a window of perfect light to capture some amazing portraits of you in.

So if we could grab some shots of the two of you during the golden hour on your wedding day you’ll have even more amazing photos which would look great hung on the living room wall (and you would be making my day).

The golden hour wedding portrait

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Wedding photography styles

April 19th, 2012

I’m sure that you’ve found in your search for an Isle of Wight wedding photographer that there is loads of wedding photography styles mentioned. It’s easy to get confused by all the different names and descriptions so the aim of this article is to help you work out what the style of photography you like [...]


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I’m sure that you’ve found in your search for an Isle of Wight wedding photographer that there is loads of wedding photography styles mentioned. It’s easy to get confused by all the different names and descriptions so the aim of this article is to help you work out what the style of photography you like is called.

Broadly speaking whilst there are many styles of wedding photography the majority can be divided in to three main types. Some photographers stick rigidly to these styles whilst others tend to blur the boundaries creating their own unique style (Hello!).

Traditional wedding photography

This style of photography is what we are used to seeing. Images are highly posed and shots are heavily directed by the photographer who often is working to a specific shot list organising guests into posed groups to produce a traditional set of images. The results will be very safe and predictable but a drawback is that all this posing is time-consuming and this style doesn’t capture your personality or fully convey your happiness due to the stiff and rigid, formal nature.

Contemporary wedding photography

This style of photography has a much more relaxed and informal approach to it than the traditional style. The photographer concentrates less on posing in the traditional sense, intervening far less and is more of a director creating an idealised set of images. Inspired by fashion both in posing and setting, the photographer is likely to seek out interesting backgrounds to produce a unique record of your day.

 Reportage or documentary style wedding photography

This style of photography is nearly the polar opposite of traditional where the photographer records the events of your big day as they happen entirely hands off. Much of the time the photographer will be in the background capturing snapshot images of your day with very little in the way of posing or organising of groups or individuals. This allows the bride and groom to enjoy their day more, not being bossed around by the photographer and who tends to produce unusual and unexpected shots of moments that you didn’t even notice.

So where do I fit?

Simply, I don’t. My style of photography is certainly influenced by the three I mention above but I definitely don’t fit in to one of the headings. My style has evolved from years of festival photography and is unique in the way that it is influenced by the everyday. I’ve never had any kind of formal photographic training so I tend to use photography to show the world how I see it- full of colour, happiness and love.

I like to have fun, be creative and do things a bit differently. So that’s why I’m adding a fourth style to this guide: Creative wedding photography.

Creative Isle of Wight wedding photographer Chris Cowley

 

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Natural light photography

April 3rd, 2012

I was recently asked why I prefer to use natural light in my photography and I thought it might make an interesting blog post, so here it is! There are a few key elements that are required for an amazing photo, and one of the most important is light. With natural light a lot of [...]


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I was recently asked why I prefer to use natural light in my photography and I thought it might make an interesting blog post, so here it is! There are a few key elements that are required for an amazing photo, and one of the most important is light. With natural light a lot of it comes down to timing and angles so when a photographer has a good understanding of natural light the results can be amazing!

I love lighting my photos naturally because it gives each photo a pure feel like nothing else. Sure, natural light can be tricky sometimes requiring a great understanding of how to get the exact look you’re going for but getting those killer shots really makes it worthwhile.

Being a natural light wedding photographer allows me to capture your personality unobtrusively in my unique, creative style. This is the reason why I specialise in natural light photography.

Natural light wedding photographer

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Elope to the Isle of Wight

March 27th, 2012

Elope, “to run away with a lover, with the intention of getting married” is how the dictionary defines eloping but in recent times the term elopement is often used to refer to a marriage conducted away from where you live. Some couples elope because they dislike traditional wedding ceremonies and want to do something different, [...]


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Elope, “to run away with a lover, with the intention of getting married” is how the dictionary defines eloping but in recent times the term elopement is often used to refer to a marriage conducted away from where you live. Some couples elope because they dislike traditional wedding ceremonies and want to do something different, thrive on the spontaneity or simply because they don’t want their life to revolve around wedding planning.

Imagine it- instead of taking the next 6-12 months scrutinising every single little detail to do with your day, whilst getting input from everyone involved, you can just forget it all and do what you intended to do- marry the one that you love. And what better destination to elope to than the Isle of Wight?

Some reasons to elope to the Isle of Wight:

  • Start the party as you mean to go on- incorporate your wedding day and honeymoon at the same time staying in one of the most picturesque places in the UK! The Isle of Wight also has some fantastic accommodation ranging from luxury hotels to more boutique offerings such as yurts and even a luxury tree house!
  • Less stress and worry- particularly on the day! It’s very hard to please everyone and you’re never going to get the venue, food and decor right for each individual. Isn’t it supposed to be your day anyway? Escaping to a laid back, sunny little Island just off the south-coast of the UK never sounded so appealing doesn’t it?!
  • Organising a big wedding takes time, something you’re rapidly feeling you don’t have enough of. Luckily here on the Island we’ve got some fantastic wedding suppliers who can help you with all of it.
  • You want to do something unusual. Eloping is considered a very romantic way to get married since your day is stripped back from extravagant guest lists to what a marriage is meant to be about- love. Also the IOW is one of the sunniest places in the UK with more sunshine hours than any other resort!
  • You dislike attention- perhaps you just want a smaller, more romantic and intimate wedding. Eloping may mean that you can have the exact location you wanted without worrying about the guest list and all eyes being on you.

There are loads of reasons why couples elope – perhaps you’re just so in love you cannot wait another minute to be together, but whatever the reason is make sure the day is about you and your partner, not everyone else.

Are you planning on eloping to the Isle of Wight? If so I’d love to hear from you so get in touch or leave a comment below and tell me your story!

Elope to the Isle of Wight - Chris Cowley