Juliet and Gerard

February isn't a particularly popular time for weddings in Scotland - the weather... argh! That being said, Juliet and Gerard got pretty lucky with some nice bright skies and even had the chance to have a celebratory drink up Arthur's Seat - a brilliant day. They had a lovely ceremony at the stunning St Johns' Parish Church in Portobello, a tour around Edinburgh by the Red Bus Company, a pit stop in Hollyrood Park, and a brilliant reception at the Roxburghe Crowne Plaza. A great day full of fun and happy faces!


What is a Vintage Wedding?

I've read that it maybe started with a trend towards vintage-style wedding dresses, but who knows - I find the term 'vintage wedding' to be a confusing one! It's not that vintage is a tricky concept, it's just I'm not sure how it fits with all the super cool, colourful and modern wedding suppliers that use the term; it's clearly nothing to do with historical traditions and styles – at least not exclusively. Having pondered all this and given up, I now just find it easier to think of 'vintage' as an umbrella term used to describe anything that takes a step away from what we consider to be a traditional wedding day. In other words, an 'alternative' wedding.


Having had the pleasure of attending so many weddings, and gotten married myself recently, I am a big believer in the fact that all you really need for a perfect day is family, friends, and a setting that allows everyone (especially the couple) to relax and have fun. That being said, my own wedding was a super home-made DIY affair, and so I've naturally got a bit of a soft spot for anything similar and feel excited for couples who choose to do things a bit differently. It definitely feels special turning up to a wedding where there are quirky suppliers, crafty DIY additions, or just some nice personal touches and details – a bit of uniqueness will definitely make a wedding more memorable.


I think the main argument for going down the alternative wedding route is that it's your day, so why not make it about you and what you love. You don't need to be super hip or even do a great deal of work to make a wedding more personal and memorable – and similarly you don't have to freak out your parents by breaking away from all the traditions. Something as simple as a photo time line of you both can add a nice personal addition, and similarly I've seen a couple cutting their hog roast because they didn't want a cake. The possibilities are endless. Whether you want to design your own order of service, put up some home made bunting, or have your dog be the ring bearer, what matters is that you have the best day ever – as such it can't hurt to include some special details that are personal to you.


Here are some shots from the wedding of unbelievably brilliant Ruth and David, who kitted out and got married in the Log Cabin in Tyninghame. A super DIY wedding at possibly the most stunning venue in Scotland.











Choosing a Wedding Photographer: Photojournalism VS Traditional

I was recently asked to submit an article to the super cool Vintage Wedding Collection. I decided to jot down my thoughts about the types of things to think about (and the importance of) choosing the right wedding photographer for your day. In case you missed it, here's what I gave them.


...Your photographer is, without a doubt, one of the most important things you'll have to consider when planning your wedding. As you grow old together it is, unfortunately, fairly likely that you will forget some of the little details of the day; and so having a great photographer to record it all is a bit like creating a physical external memory of your wedding. While I love cake, flowers and a nice dress, these definitely can't boast the same long term value as a great set of photos.


That being said, how do you go about choosing a photographer? Some people pick there's because they were recommended by a friend or a venue, while others base their choice on simply meeting and liking a particular photographer. I would suggest a more common sense approach – pick a photographer who takes photos that you love. After all, a photographer's product is the photographs that they produce, not their winning personalities or venue connections. You would never choose a dress just because a friend of your bridesmaid used the same designer, or a venue because the owner makes you laugh; your photographer should be chosen with equal care and thought. Also, there is the fact that you will be looking at your pictures A LOT.


So what to look for? You'll likely run into all sorts of different terms that photographers use to define their style – reportage, photojournalism, natural, modern, fun, documentary, portrait, traditional, stylish, vintage etc. - but it's best to forget all this and think of it in a simpler way. This is how I tend to describe it: imagine a spectrum... at one end is what I call traditional wedding photography. Traditional wedding photographers concentrate on taking posed shots of you and your guests, so all the images will be staged with no spontaneous or natural moments captured. At the other end of the spectrum are the photojournalists, who take purely natural, candid moments as they occur – no photos are staged and so the result is an album that reflects what really happened at your wedding. The reality is that most photographers will fall somewhere in between these two extremes but will lean closer to one end or another - and so finding the right person for the job should start by thinking about how much you prefer each of these contrasting styles.


So, let's think about some of the differences between each so that you have a better idea of what to look for. As I've said already, a traditional photographer will focus on getting great portraits of you and your guests. If this appeals to you then the skills you might want your photographer to posses include things such as them being able to use different off-camera lighting systems and techniques, and their ability to create great photos by moving people into neat and attractive poses/positions (which is much trickier than you might think!). They will also likely be great communicators as they will be experienced at directing and interacting with people to get the best look out of each shot - as such, contrary to what I've said previously, picking someone that is very personable and that you get on with will probably be useful for this style of photography.


Photojournalists rely on a different set of strengths. Being used to capturing natural moments they will probably feel less comfortable directing people on how to pose for photos, and as such they won't necessarily appeal to those of you who love getting in front of the lens. They will however capture the rest of the day with a lot more skill and style than a traditional photographer – and they will definitely appeal to those of you who would rather not spend too much time away from your guests, or just feel a bit uncomfortable in front of a camera. A common misconception is that anyone with a pro camera can snap away and get good photos of what's going on around them – not so! An experienced photojournalist knows what, when and how to take the photos that really capture the essence of your day. As such their abilities lie in anticipating potentially fleeting moments and details, and being skilled enough with their equipment to capture them as they happen. Ultimately a photojournalist's goal is to tell a story with their pictures, and make you feel like you are in and experiencing the photos when you are looking at them. If this is what is important to you then you should look for someone who leans closer to this end of the spectrum.


You can probably guess my own and favoured style, but ultimately there's no right or wrong choice - everything boils down to your personal taste and how you want to remember your day. All I can advise is this... choose carefully - your photos are important! If you want good portraiture then find someone who does that and does it well. Similarly if you want your images to look more natural and tell a story of your day, then find someone who has the skill to pull off quality photojournalism. There are photographers out there who will offer anything to anyone, but I'll always argue that the best photographers are the ones that offer a particular style and stick to it – any photographer who gets to create the type of images that they themselves love will inevitably be the best and most committed photographer that you can find, which is just what you need for the most important day of your life. :)