Croshaw Photography: Blog https://www.croshawphotography.com/blog en-us Croshaw Photography mike.croshaw@googlemail.com (Croshaw Photography) Thu, 09 Aug 2018 15:38:00 GMT Thu, 09 Aug 2018 15:38:00 GMT https://www.croshawphotography.com/img/s/v-5/u853302165-o886017732-50.jpg Croshaw Photography: Blog https://www.croshawphotography.com/blog 120 91 Summer wedding at Crockwell Farm https://www.croshawphotography.com/blog/2018/8/summer-wedding-at-crockwell-farm This was a bit of a last minute wedding booking, truth be told.  A friend of mine who runs a studio in Northampton ( the Natural Light Studio ) asked on facebook if anyone of his friends was a wedding photographer.  I of course replied that I was and within half an hour I was on the phone to Dom discussing his wedding on 12th July.  Within a week all the formalities were concluded and I was booked to do it.   I had to scramble a bit to find a second shooter, as it was a midweek wedding, but I found a fellow Sony user to come and assist me.  Northampton is a bit of a drive for me so I found a last minute hotel for a good price and all was set.  Dom and Jacqui wanted very relaxed, informal coverage, mostly candid wedding photography.  This is my speciality, so I was very happy to oblige.  The venue was fantastic, a rambling, rural venue with beautiful grounds and some lovely interior rooms.  It was a mostly outdoor ceremony ( the actual ceremony has to be undercover in the UK, so it was performed in a pagoda ).  Here are a couple of shots of the venue.  The first shot was taken in the evening by my second shooter Simeon ( link to his website will be at the end of this article ).

Evening shot of Crockwell Farm - Northampton Wedding venueCrockwell Farm - Northampton Wedding VenueEvening shot of Crockwell Farm by my second shooter Simon Jade Baker

Crockwell Farm wedding venue interiorCrockwell Farm wedding venue interiorCrockwell Farm wedding venue interior Crockwell Farm wedding breakfast roomCrockwell Farm dining room Crockwell Farm dining room ready for the wedding breakfast The interior decor was done by Dom and his company, the horse theme was important to Jacqui.  They did a fantastic job and we had a hot, sunny day for the outdoors bit.  As any wedding photographer will tell you, a hot sunny day is not ideal for flattering photos ( a dull, cloudy day is much better for flattering light ), but we did our best and the results have quite a punchy, contrasty look that I quite like.   Here are some shots from the start of the day when Dom arrived and greeted his guests.

Crockwell Farm wedding - Dom greeting his guestsCrockwell Farm wedding - Dom greeting his guestsCrockwell Farm wedding - Dom greeting his guests Crockwell Farm wedding - greeting the guestsCrockwell Farm wedding - greeting the guestsCrockwell Farm wedding - greeting the guests Crockwell Farm - the barCrockwell Farm - the barCrockwell Farm - the bar

Crockwell Farm supplied a co-ordinator to run the day, Fiona, who helped me keep on track with things.  She was fantastic and really helped things run smoothly throughout the day.  Here are some shots from the start of the wedding ceremony ( the one of Jacqui and her dad walking through the grass was taken by Simeon).

Crockwell Farm summer wedding processional - the childrenCrockwell Farm summer wedding processional - the childrenCrockwell Farm summer wedding processional - the children Crockwell Farm wedding processional - the bridesmaidsCrockwell Farm wedding processional - the bridesmaidsCrockwell Farm wedding processional - the bridesmaids

Crockwell Farm wedding processional - Jacqui and her dadCrockwell Farm wedding processional - Jacqui and her dad -photo by Simeon Jade BakerCrockwell Farm wedding processional - Jacqui and her dad - photo by Simeon Jade Baker Crockwell Farm wedding processional - the bridesmaidCrockwell Farm wedding processional - the bridesmaidCrockwell Farm wedding processional - the bridesmaid Crockwell Farm wedding venue - bride and dad in the summer sunCrockwell Farm wedding venue - bride and dad in the summer sunCrockwell Farm wedding venue - bride and dad in the summer sun

Although it was hot ( especially for the audience ) there was a very relaxed feel to this ceremony and everyone was clearly enjoying themselves.  We moved on the ceremony itself, which included some very amusing and moving custom vows ( I think I recall something about leaving clothes on the floor ).

Crockwell Farm wedding - Dom waiting for his brideCrockwell Farm wedding - Dom waiting for his brideCrockwell Farm wedding - Dom waiting for his bride Crockwell Farm wedding - Jacqui and her dad walking down the aisleCrockwell Farm wedding - Jacqui and her dad walking down the aisleCrockwell Farm wedding - Jacqui and her dad walking down the aisle Crockwell Farm wedding - Dom and Jacqui at the ceremonyCrockwell Farm wedding - Dom and Jacqui at the ceremonyCrockwell Farm wedding - Dom and Jacqui at the ceremony Crockwell Farm wedding ceremony - getting the ring on the finger!Crockwell Farm wedding ceremony - getting the ring on the finger!Crockwell Farm wedding ceremony - getting the ring on the finger! After the ceremony, there were some rose petals that needed throwing, so I organised a line up.  Outside of the group shots, this is the only time in the day that I actually tell people where to stand and what to do.  I find that if you don't organise a confetti run, chaos is the end result and no one gets any good images ( most guests love to take phone shots of this bit and I don't mind that at all ).  

Dom and Jacqui on their confetti run ( with real rose petals ) at Crockwell FarmCrockwell Farm - confetti runDom and Jacqui on their confetti run ( with real rose petals ) at Crockwell Farm Crockwell Farm wedding - confettiCrockwell Farm wedding - confettiCrockwell Farm wedding - confetti It was then on to a lovely, relaxed outdoor drinks reception with lots of Pimms and guests catching up with each other.  We did a couple of group shots, but nothing too major as I knew Dom and Jacqui didn't want photography to spoil the flow of the day.  Here are a few of the candid shots.

Crockwell Farm wedding - drinks receptionCrockwell Farm wedding - drinks receptionCrockwell Farm wedding - drinks reception Crockwell Farm wedding - guests mingling at the drinks receptionCrockwell Farm wedding - guests mingling at the drinks receptionCrockwell Farm wedding - guests mingling at the drinks reception Crockwell Farm - candid shot of the bride enjoying herselfCrockwell Farm - candid shot of the bride enjoying herselfCrockwell Farm - candid shot of the bride enjoying herself

After a fair bit of mingling and catching up it was time for the meal and speeches.  The food was fabulous  and all delivered on time ( no easy task with 130 guests ).  My second shooter Simeon took a few shots of the food during the drinks reception and when it was being prepared to be served for the wedding breakfast.

Crockwell Farm - wedding foodCrockwell Farm - wedding foodCrockwell Farm - wedding food Crockwell Farm - wedding foodCrockwell Farm - wedding foodCrockwell Farm - wedding food Crockwell Farm - wedding foodCrockwell Farm - wedding foodCrockwell Farm - wedding food Crockwell Farm - wedding foodCrockwell Farm - wedding foodCrockwell Farm - wedding food Crockwell Farm - wedding foodCrockwell Farm - wedding foodCrockwell Farm - wedding food It tasted as good as it looked!  After everyone was very well fed and watered it was time for the speeches, the cake cutting and the dancing.  The speeches were great, really funny and nothing too rude!  The cakes were wonderful, there was one fairly formal one and then another one of a houseboat ( I believe Dom and Jacqui live on a houseboat, Dom is ex-Navy ).

Crockwell Farm wedding venue - cutting the cakeCrockwell Farm wedding venue - cutting the cakeCrockwell Farm wedding venue - cutting the cake

Crockwell Farm wedding venue - first dance for Jacqui and DomCrockwell Farm wedding venue - first dance for Jacqui and DomCrockwell Farm wedding venue - first dance for Jacqui and Dom

Crockwell Farm wedding - dance floor anticsCrockwell Farm wedding - dance floor anticsCrockwell Farm wedding - dance floor antics Crockwell Farm wedding venue - Dom dancing with a bridesmaidCrockwell Farm wedding venue - Dom dancing with a bridesmaidCrockwell Farm wedding venue - Dom dancing with a bridesmaid I'll finish this with a couple of photos taken a little earlier in the day when Dom and Jacqui had a little time to themselves.  

Crockwell Farm wedding venue - bridal and groomCrockwell Farm wedding venue - bridal and groomCrockwell Farm wedding venue - bridal and groom Crockwell Farm wedding venue - bridal and groom monochromeCrockwell Farm wedding venue - bridal and groom monochromeCrockwell Farm wedding venue - bridal and groom monochrome

Here are some useful links from this article.

Crockwell Farm - I cannot recommend this place highly enough.   The staff were so helpful and friendly, brilliant venue.

www.setconnection.co.uk - this is a link to Dom's company if you want to find out about his wedding venue supplies/decor which he did himself for his own wedding and the room looked amazing.

And finally, here is the link to my excellent second shooter for the day, Simeon, he did a fab job and I'd certainly recommend him for any wedding or event...

https://www.simeonbakerphotography.com

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mike.croshaw@googlemail.com (Croshaw Photography) https://www.croshawphotography.com/blog/2018/8/summer-wedding-at-crockwell-farm Thu, 09 Aug 2018 10:25:57 GMT
Caroline and John's Coventry Wedding part 1 https://www.croshawphotography.com/blog/2018/8/caroline-and-johns-wedding-sneak-peak This wedding came about as a result of my visit to Rugby last year to photograph the wedding of Gareth and Natalie ( who were there as guests this time! ).  Although I'm primarily a Berkshire wedding photographer I'm happy to travel as long as travel expenses are covered, which is just as well as most of my weddings this year seem to have been in the Midlands or Brighton.  Caroline and John had chosen Coombe Abbey as their venue and it was one of the most spectacular wedding venues I've been to, the area around Rugby and Coventry really does seem blessed with some amazing venues.  As usual, bridal prep was great fun ( although the first shot is from the groom prep where Florence is getting ready with John )

Bridal party getting ready - Coventry weddingCaroline and her bridal partyCaroline's mother making some last minute adjustments Father of the bride first look - Coventry WeddingFather of the bride first lookFather of the bride first look - Caroline's dad see's her for the first time in her dress

  We'd been warned to be on time so bridal prep went by very quickly and then it was on to the Church.  The vicar turned out to be absolutely lovely and was very interested in my camera ( I mainly shoot with a Sony A9 ), especially it's ability to be completely silent.  The only real issue we had was a fairly restricted view of Caroline and John once the ceremony began, but we always work within the restrictions of the ceremony and respect the wishes of whomever is in charge of it.

Groomsmen and groom in the Church - Coventry weddingGroomsmen and groom in the ChurchGroomsmen and groom in the Church Wedding processional - Coventry weddingCaroline and her dad walking down the aisleCaroline and her dad walking down the aisle Caroline and her dad walking down the aisle at her Coventry weddingCaroline and her dad walking down the aisle at her weddingCaroline and her dad walking down the aisle The vicar greets the bride and groom - candid photoThe vicar greets the bride and groomThe vicar greets the bride and groom The ceremony itself was lovely, not too long but full of fun and emotion. With so many small children present there was plenty going on behind the scenes as parents tried to keep them entertained, but for the most part the children behaved beautifully and the vicar was very understanding when they didn't.  That is all for part 1, part 2 to come soon, but I have a wedding to prepare for tomorrow in Oxford!

 

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mike.croshaw@googlemail.com (Croshaw Photography) candid wedding photography Coventry wedding photos documentary wedding photography https://www.croshawphotography.com/blog/2018/8/caroline-and-johns-wedding-sneak-peak Fri, 03 Aug 2018 19:52:41 GMT
Why I love this image - Caroline and John's wedding https://www.croshawphotography.com/blog/2018/7/why-i-love-this-image---caroline-and-johns-wedding As a documentary wedding photographer what I really love to capture is the unscripted moments.  I do notice that even when couples specify before a wedding that they want a bunch of formal, posed, group shots, the images they really love afterwards are not those images, but images like these, which go a little off piste.   This was supposed to be one of the formal shots of the groomsmen and the bridesmaids..but then the bridesmaids attacked!  I love this shot and this for me is what weddings are all about, unscripted moments.

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mike.croshaw@googlemail.com (Croshaw Photography) bridesmaids documentary groomsmen reportage https://www.croshawphotography.com/blog/2018/7/why-i-love-this-image---caroline-and-johns-wedding Wed, 18 Jul 2018 21:26:19 GMT
So what happens when you decide to book me to photograph your wedding? https://www.croshawphotography.com/blog/2018/6/so-what-happens-when-you-decide-to-book-me-to-photograph-your-wedding This is one of a series of blog articles I decided to write to give more information to couples looking to book me.  My process is quite standard in the wedding industry so it might be helpful for you to read even if you don't book me.

1.If you've been in contact about booking me then the first thing to do is for me to check I have the date available.  Weddings get booked well in advance and it's not uncommon for my diary to be booked a year to 18 months in advance.  If you want a date over the summer months in particular, you need to book well in advance ( unless it's a weekday wedding, these are generally easier to accommodate ).

2.Once we've established the date is available and you are happy with the package/price then I'll arrange a meeting either via skype if you are more than an hour away, or in person if possible. At this point nothing is decided yet, and this initial meeting is quite important.  I'll be spending the most important day of your life with you so we both need to be sure we will get on.  This is also a good time to establish that my style and way of doing things is a good fit for the style of photography you want.

3.Assuming the meeting goes well and you still want to book, then you will need to pay a 25% deposit of the final package.  This is to secure the date. Once I have that deposit no one else can book me for that date, even if they offer me twice the money!  I'll send you an invoice for the deposit.

4.Once the deposit has been paid then I'll send out two contracts, pre signed.  These are standard wedding photography contracts, designed to protect both parties.  You will need to sign one and return it to me, and keep the other for your records.

5.I'll need some details of the day, like lists of group shots, VIPS, venues and contact numbers.  I'll keep reminding you to provide me with this don't worry:)  

6.4 weeks before the wedding the final balance is due, I'll invoice you for this as a gentle reminder to pay up, and also for your records ( and mine )!

7.One the day, I'll show up ( probably early ), do my job and then leave once I've gotten all the shots we have agreed.  Within 2 weeks I'll have your images ready.  If your package includes an album I'll then ask you to pick 120 images for the album.  I'll then design it and post it online for you to approve.  Once you have approved it I will order it for you.  At that point, our contract will have been fulfilled but if you have any further queries or requests I'm always happy to hear from past clients.

If that all seems complex, it really isn't, and I'll guide you through the whole process should you decide to book me:)  After that wall of text I feel the need to stick a photo in, from the awesome wedding of Karl and Alice at Ye Olde Bell in Hurley:)

  First kiss at the wedding ceremonyFirst kiss at the wedding ceremonyFirst kiss at the wedding ceremony

 

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mike.croshaw@googlemail.com (Croshaw Photography) https://www.croshawphotography.com/blog/2018/6/so-what-happens-when-you-decide-to-book-me-to-photograph-your-wedding Mon, 25 Jun 2018 19:34:36 GMT
What is Documentary Wedding Photography? https://www.croshawphotography.com/blog/2018/6/what-is-documentary-wedding-photography I get asked this a fair bit by clients so I thought a blog post was in order!  I think of myself as a reportage/documentary photographer, but what does this actually mean?  Traditional wedding photography was basically a collection of group shots and then some staged shots with the happy couple.  This was back when we were all shooting on film, and my own wedding photos follow this pattern.  Now that digital photography is firmly established couples expect more, and the era of candid/documentary photography is very much upon us ( I think this is a good thing ).  Simply put, documentary wedding photography is unposed, follow the day, shoot what happens photography.  This is a documentary wedding photo...

A moment between father and brideMaria and her father on her wedding dayA moment between father and bride They had no idea they were being photographed, it was a candid moment at the reception between the bride and her father.  This is a posed photo by comparison...

There is nothing wrong with this ( they loved it ), but it is a posed photo.  There are various degrees of documentary wedding photography.  Some photographers are 100% documentary, nothing is posed.  They turn up and they document the day looking for awesome moments.   There is a lot of skill that goes into this, from choosing the right backgrounds to being able to use flash in a non invasive way.  It's not just turning up, putting the camera into burst mode and then firing away.  Then there are people like me, who are 90% documentary/reportage but we will do posed/group shots.  I believe they are important, as a record of the day.  It's impossible to guarantee that you will capture everyone on the day, so the group/posed shots are a kind of safety net, to capture those people who have evaded you otherwise during the day.  This is a good example of a shot that is 50% candid and 50% posed....

I love the confetti shots, its not a candid shot because I set it up, but there is a large element of chaos in the confetti run which means its a nice mix of the two genres ( in my opinion ).

Part of the skill of documentary photography is being inconspicuous and this is where gear can play a part.  I use a Sony A9 as my main camera for weddings, the main reason for this is that it is completely silent and I find that I can fade into the background a lot more easily than with a big DSLR with a loud shutter sound.

So which should you go for?  Well, that's up to you of course.  I do find that couples who want a whole load of group shots come to regret it on the day and often abandon the idea when they realise what a stress it places on the whole timeline.   If you are going to go for group shots allow 10 minutes for each one.  That may seem a lot, but once you factor in the missing relative who has disappeared off the toilet just when you need them most, it starts to make sense.  When couples see the final shots its always the candids they prefer, but don't discount the group shots, there are an important record of who was there on the day, and you can always opt for a mix of the two.

 

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mike.croshaw@googlemail.com (Croshaw Photography) documentary photography wedding https://www.croshawphotography.com/blog/2018/6/what-is-documentary-wedding-photography Sun, 17 Jun 2018 21:35:34 GMT
Why does wedding photography cost so much? https://www.croshawphotography.com/blog/2018/5/why-does-wedding-photography-cost-so-much I get this question quite a lot, and I believe it is important to explain the value of good wedding photography, as well as the reason it costs what it does.  I'm talking about the average price for wedding photography here, which in the UK is between £1100-1200 for mid range weddings.  So I'm going to talk about the value of wedding photography first and then go into the costs. 

1.Your wedding photography is not just for you.  Think about your parent's wedding photos, or your grandparent's wedding photos, and the value they hold.  They are priceless, especially when the people in them are gone. I don't want to be morbid about this, but there have been numerous occasions when wedding clients have said to me, sometimes years after their wedding, that I captured some of their favourite photos of people who are no longer around.  For your children and grandchildren, these photos may mean even more than they do to you, so yeah, wedding photography is important.  Your wedding is one of the few occasions in your life when almost all your nearest and dearest, both friends and family, are in one place, and its important to capture those moments when everyone is together and ( hopefully ) having a great time.

Dale and Lauren first dance at their weddingDale and Lauren first dance at their weddingLauren and Dale - the first dance

2.After the big day, the flowers will eventually wilt, and the food will have been eaten, the drink will almost certainly have all been drunk!  All you will have left is each other, the rings, and the memories of one of the best days of your life.  Good wedding photography will transport you back to that day, and really good wedding photography will show you moments you may have missed because you were so busy being, well, married.

Sian and Mikey church processionalSian and Mikey walking down the aisle<strong>Sian and Mikey escaping the Church!</strong>

3.Good wedding photography is not always easy.  The pros will make it look easy, but it really isn't.  Sure, you may get lucky and have beautiful weather, well behaved guests who love being in group photos, and a spectacular venue, but that doesn't always work out the way you think it will and it can be very challenging to get decent photos on the day.  A pro will get the photos no matter what happens, an amateur, or your best mate who happens to have a DSLR, will need a good slice of luck to come out the other side with some decent shots.

Natalie and Gareth - wedding confetti runNatalie and Gareth - wedding confetti runNatalie and Gareth - wedding confetti run

 So why not get your niece or uncle with the nice camera to take your wedding photos?  Well, that may work out if they are skilled and have done a wedding before, but don't you want them to enjoy the day?  If they are doing wedding photography properly on the day they will be working all day, with barely time to eat, so no, they won't be enjoying the day in the same way as a guest.  It's a lot to ask, and there are numerous stores out there of friends or relatives who felt pressured to photograph a wedding and as a result had a horrible time, or at best just didn't get to be a proper guest and enjoy the day.  I'd never ask one of my friends or relatives to do it, when the time comes for my kids to get married ( a long way off just yet! ) I'll be budgeting for a pro to photograph it ( they'd better be awesome if they are going to make me look good!).

 

So why is wedding photography so expensive?  

1.It's not really that expensive when you think about what you are getting and all that goes into it.  An average wedding takes about 30 hours of the photographer's time.  It's not a case of rocking up on the day and taking a few snapshots.  There are timelines to plan, wedding contracts to send out, pre-wedding meetings to attend with the bride and groom and then there is the editing process, which can take as long as the wedding day.  For an average wedding I will have between 3500 and 5000 photos to go through.  Then they will need cropping, colour grading, and delivering to the client.  After which there will probably be an album to design.  

Jenny and Simon - the first look at their Dorset weddingJenny and Simon - first look at their Dorset weddingThis shot was really important to Jenny and she cried when she saw this shot.

2.There is a lot of training to go through to become a good wedding photographer.  Your wedding photographer will have spent hundreds of hours learning their trade, including things you may not even see them do on the day, such as using flashes or other lighting equipment when the natural light is not good enough.  

3.Wedding photography gear is expensive, I mean really expensive.  An entry level camera and lens just will not cut it, unless conditions are close to perfect ( lots of lovely natural light, no rain, bright venues ).   Your gear needs to be able to operate in all kinds of conditions and enable you to get the shot when the light is terrible, it's raining, and there are awful LED lights from the venue making everyone look like Shrek.  And for each bit of expensive equipment you will need a backup, because on the day you can't afford for your camera to go wrong and not have a backup handy.  You then need insurance for all that expensive equipment and that is not cheap.  You also need public liability insurance to operate in most venues.  Photographers operating at the cheaper end of the market may well cut corners on some of these things, but can you afford for them to do that if it means they can't get the photos you want?  

A moment between father and brideMaria and her father on her wedding dayA moment between father and bride

Conclusion:

The recommended amount to spend on wedding photography is around 10% of your budget, though of course if you want a particular photographer you may need to spend a lot more than that.  While every wedding vendor adds a tremendous amount of value to your day, it's important to be able to capture the memories of all those things, so don't cheap out on your wedding photography, you will regret it if you do!

 

 

 

 

 

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mike.croshaw@googlemail.com (Croshaw Photography) berkshire wedding photography croshaw documentary wedding photography photography wedding wedding photography cost https://www.croshawphotography.com/blog/2018/5/why-does-wedding-photography-cost-so-much Mon, 07 May 2018 16:44:57 GMT
Wedding Photography is all about problem solving https://www.croshawphotography.com/blog/2018/5/wedding-photography-is-all-about-problem-solving This is something I'll come back to again and again I'm sure, but photography, and particularly wedding photography, is all about problem solving, and that is what makes it fun, at least for me.  There was a perfect example of this at the wedding I was the photographer for n Berkshire a few weeks ago.  It was March in the UK, and we don't usually expect snow in March over here.  We expect wind and rain, but not, generally, snow.  My bride and groom were not phased by this in the slightest though, which was good.  They decided, in fact, that they wanted to be photographed in the snow shower that arrived late on in the wedding, when it was dark, and very cold and icy.  Normally I'd have had my assistant grab a flash, and we'd have been able to do the shot very quickly with no problems, just balance the flash against the ambient light from the venue ( there was no ambient daylight left ) and it would have been fine.  However, the groom suffered from epilepsy, so had asked, quite reasonably, that we didn't use flash at all.  I'd also sent my assistant home, as it was getting late, the snow was getting heavier and he had a 2 hour drive ahead of him.  I thought he wouldn't be needed again that day as we'd completed almost all the planned shots for the day.  However, the couple asked me out of the blue for these snow shots so I was happy to try and get something for them.

I grabbed an icelight, which for the non photography geeks amongst you is an LED light that basically looks like half a lightsabre, and is daylight balanced, stuck it on a stand and we headed outside.

 Upon seeing the photos Karl wrote to me "Amazing work. The shots in the snow look great: hopefully the cold was worth it!".  Certainly was:)

 

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mike.croshaw@googlemail.com (Croshaw Photography) berkshire wedding photographer berkshire wedding photography croshaw march uk wedding photography wedding https://www.croshawphotography.com/blog/2018/5/wedding-photography-is-all-about-problem-solving Tue, 01 May 2018 12:52:32 GMT
Sneak Peak - Karl and Alice https://www.croshawphotography.com/blog/2018/4/sneak-peak---karl-and-alice So Karl and Alice got married in the snow a few weeks back!  It was a classic Berkshire wedding and was a real pleasure to be the photographer.  I already knew a few people at the wedding as I was the wedding photographer for Karl's brother Ricky last year at a very hot summer wedding.  This was at the opposite end of the temperature spectrum but just as much fun.  Here are a few shots.

Bridal Prep - Alice Makeup before the wedding Bridal PreparationBridal Prep - AliceAlice getting her makeup done Bridal Prep - Alice and her mother in law to beAlice and her mother in law to be!Alice shares a moment with her future mother in law Bridesmaids Bridal PrepBridesmaids Bridal PrepBridesmaids Bridal Prep Wedding Processional - Alice and her FatherWedding Processional - Alice and her FatherWedding Processional - Alice and her Father Alice and Karl's wedding ceremonyAlice and Karl's wedding ceremonyAlice and Karl's wedding ceremony Wedding Vows - Alice and KarlWedding Vows - Alice and KarlWedding Vows - Alice and Karl More to come soon with a full write up of this awesome Berkshire wedding!

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mike.croshaw@googlemail.com (Croshaw Photography) berkshire wedding photography croshaw photography wedding https://www.croshawphotography.com/blog/2018/4/sneak-peak---karl-and-alice Fri, 13 Apr 2018 07:47:48 GMT
Karl and Alice - Berkshire Wedding https://www.croshawphotography.com/blog/2018/3/karl-and-alice---berkshire-wedding I had the great pleasure of photographing the wedding of Karl and Alice in Berkshire recently.  They got married in a snow covered Hurley, at the Old Bell.  I'll put up some photos soon but here is a slideshow I did for them ( with music ).

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mike.croshaw@googlemail.com (Croshaw Photography) bell berkshire hurley old wedding https://www.croshawphotography.com/blog/2018/3/karl-and-alice---berkshire-wedding Fri, 30 Mar 2018 18:31:32 GMT
Sony A9 Initial Thoughts after 4 months https://www.croshawphotography.com/blog/2018/3/sony-a9-review This camera is such a complex beast that even after 4 months of quite heavy use I don't feel qualified to give a full review, for example, I've not even gotten around to using the video on this camera yet, although I plan to very soon.

This article is probably more of interest to photographers than wedding clients, but here goes anyway!  I moved system this year from Fuji to Sony.  The main reason was autofocus performance, particularly in the area of tracking and also low light performance.  The Fuji's are fantastic, but I do find the image quality a little mushy in low light and the tracking is mediocre, at least compared to the latest Sony cameras.  It was really the A9 that prompted the switch.  Totally silent shooting with minimal rolling shutter, ridiculous frame rate and stellar AF.  I had to try this thing out and once I did, I made the switch.  Lets talk a little more detail...

Autofocus:

The AF on this camera is insanely good, especially when it comes to tracking, compared to other mirrorless cameras.  One of the main reasons for switching to this camera was to get access to this next level AF and it doesn't disappoint.  In addition to standard tracking you get best in class face detection and eye-AF.  Eye-AF has to be assigned to a particular button but it works really well and allows you to effectively track a person with the AF point sticking to the eye like glue ( not literally, that would be painful ).  Here is a walking down the aisle shot from the last wedding I shot where I used face recognition to track my subject.

I have to admit, I don't yet feel I've fully mastered the AF system on this camera, and I sometimes feel like I'm fighting against it, but for the most part it works brilliantly.  Face detection and eye-af are genuine game changers for wedding photography.  I was in a dark room full of guests recently at a lovely venue in Berkshire, the Old Bell in Hurley.  My second shooter had a Nikon D750 and was trying to capture reportage images of the guests, I was doing the same with my A9.  Now the D750 is no slouch, it is in fact a superb wedding camera, but the A9 was nailing the shots with much greater ease, mostly due to face detection.

Image Quality:

This camera uses a fairly unique sensor design that is optimised for silent shooting using the electronic shutter.  You therefore lose the extreme dynamic range of the Sony A7R3, but I have to say, the image quality is still fantastic and you get decent enough dynamic range.  I read one review where they stated the A9 could be used for landscapes "in a pinch" but that it wasn't really optimal.  I think this is a more than capable camera for landscapes, even if that isn't specifically what it is designed for, in fact it can shoot pretty much anything and give you spectacular images.  There are better cameras for landscapes, if that is your primary purpose, but the overall image quality is suitable for 99% of photographers.  It uses a 24 MP sensor, which is ideal for wedding photographers, it gives you room to crop but you don't end up with huge files to go through.  This is important for a wedding photographer, as on average I'll be shooting around 3000 images per wedding.  Below is a studio portrait from a recent workshop.  The images from this camera have a lovely tone to them that I really like, sometimes more than the A7R3 for some reason.

Zara Studio PortraitZara Studio PortraitStudio portrait of model Zara Watson

Silent Shooting:

My Fuji cameras were very quiet, before that I used DSLRS, which sound like a machine gun by comparison.  Aside from the X100 series cameras, this is the first camera I've used that is totally silent ( in electronic shutter mode ).  I now have to tell my clients in advance about this, in case they get worried that I'm not taking photos!  This feature is particularly useful during the ceremony, when I will generally get my second shooter to stand at the back ( as they mostly still use a noisy DSLR ) while I go up to the front and make no noise whatsoever.  It's also handy during bridal prep, where you are often in a relatively small area with a bunch of nervous, excited people who may not want to feel they are being photographed all the time.  I have to admit though, this camera is not as small and discreet as the X100 series, people notice me lifting the camera up and taking photos more than they ever did when I used the X100F.  As my style of shooting is very candid, this is important, but the silent shooting helps, a lot, and I can always shoot from a lower angle and use the flip screen to get my shots.

Ergonomics:

This is what has held me back from switching to Sony before, that and the high cost of the lenses.  I've tried Sony cameras before and always hated the ergonomics.  I have to say though, this latest generation are a big improvement.  Coming from the Fuji line, which has superb physical controls, I've not found the A9 bad at all, the addition of an AF joystick is great and something I'm used to from my XPro-2.  The menu system is complex, but then this is a hugely complex camera, at least you can customise every button, and there is a nifty My Menu feature where you can add your core menu features.  It takes a while to set up, but once it's done, I find it easy to use.  I love the 3 custom menu buttons on the top plate, C1,2 &3, as this lets me store three different setups for photos and video.  At the moment C1 is for silent, fast shooting ( weddings and sports ) and C1 switches to studio/strobe settings where I am using flash. 

My daughter playing football, shot with the 70-200 GM.

 Lenses:

There is a perception that many mirrorless systems, including Sony, are lacking in lenses compared to Canon and Nikon.  Technically this is true, but Sony has covered most of the bases now with their superb lenses.  They are expensive, and I think over priced.  However, the quality is fantastic and the GM lenses are easily as good as the Canon L glass, in some cases better ( more modern design and materials I guess ).  There are some very good cheap(ish) primes, the 28 f2, 85 f1.8 and 55 1.8 are all superb ( ok, the 55 is not cheap compared to most 50 mm primes ).  Then there is the 16-35 2.8, one of the finest ultra wide zooms on the planet, and the 70-200 GM 2.8, which is the best 70-200 I've used.  You can also adapt almost any lenses to use on this camera, including some lovely Minolta glass, and the Sigma lenses using the MC-11 adapter.  In most cases you can get great autofocus, though not as good as native lenses, but still pretty useable.  Sony is coming out with some longer glass, a 200-600 is apparently in the works.  Anyway, to sum it up, for most people who are not pro sports/wildlife photographers, you are covered for lenses.

High ISO performance:

In a word, superb.  Here is a shot at 12800 ISO from my last wedding.  No noise reduction applied, straight from Capture 1.  Nothing more to say really, its just incredible what today's cameras can achieve and it makes wedding photography so much easier.  There have been a number of weddings I've shot recently where I've not been able to use flash at all because a guest has epilepsy, and being able to push the ISO like this great.

 

Conclusion:

Sony marketed this camera as a sports camera, and it does line up against the 1dX and D5, but I think they missed a trick.  This is the perfect wedding camera, it's super fast, tracks incredibly well, has a very deep shot buffer, great battery life ( compared to any other mirrorless ), and has superb low light capability.  The only thing I'd like to see is a better mechanical flash ( the current one is capped at 5 fps ) and more robust weather sealing.  Other than that I'm really struggling to see how to improve this camera, particularly for wedding photographers. 

 

 

 

 

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mike.croshaw@googlemail.com (Croshaw Photography) a9 photography sony wedding https://www.croshawphotography.com/blog/2018/3/sony-a9-review Fri, 30 Mar 2018 14:53:22 GMT
Brighton Marathon https://www.croshawphotography.com/blog/2018/3/brighton-marathon I've always loved running.  Actually, that's not quite true, I hated running until I moved to the West Indies where it was nice and warm, then I got into middle distance running ( I was 12 ).    Fast forward 25 years and for some reason I decided to run the Reading Half Marathon, having never run more than 4 miles.  I put in the horrible months of winter training and did it in a respectable time.  After a few more years of doing half marathons I was offered a place in the London Marathon a couple of years ago.  This was a big step up for me, and I never realised just how time consuming the training would be.  I completed it in under 5 hours and vowed never to do another marathon..ever.  So, here I am 3 weeks away from doing the Brighton marathon, everything aches, and I've got a 20 mile training run to do this Sunday...

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mcroshaw

I'm not running this marathon for me, I'm running it for Tim.  Tim is the husband of a friend of mine, Sandra Parsons.  I've worked with Sandra on a number of photoshoots and she is a lovely person.  Last year, after a bridal shoot in Brighton, Sandra told me that Tim had been diagnosed with lung cancer.  Eventually he was taken into St Barnabas Hospice near Worthing, for palliative care.  I suggested to Sandra that we do something to raise some money for the hospice, as they were doing a fabulous job looking after Tim.  We had both done marathons before ( well, I'd done one, Sandra has done two, many years ago ), so we picked the Brighton Marathon.  Sadly, Tim died in November last year, but here we are, 3 weeks to go and we've reached our target for fundraising ( more is always welcome though!).  Here is a picture of me just before running London, I didn't look half that cheerful at the end!  I'll post an update from Brighton once we've done it...

 

 

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mike.croshaw@googlemail.com (Croshaw Photography) 2018 brighton marathon https://www.croshawphotography.com/blog/2018/3/brighton-marathon Fri, 23 Mar 2018 10:54:34 GMT
Coco and Joe's wedding part 1 https://www.croshawphotography.com/blog/2018/3/coco-and-joes-wedding I've been looking forward to this one for a long time, as Coco has been a friend of mine for a few years now and we've worked together a few times in the fashion industry.  Although I am normally a berkshire wedding photographer my second home does seem to be Brighton and the surrounding area, I go there a lot and love it.  This was a themed wedding loosely based on Alice in Wonderland ( with Coco being Alice of course ).  I started the day very early at Worthing Pier, as I had to get down early to avoid the traffic so I thought I may as well shoot a few landscapes...It was pretty cold, but worth it for these shots.  I don't get much opportunity to shoot landscapes in Reading, so it was nice to get down to the coast.

I then went to the venue and began covering Bridal prep.  I knew this would be fun and Coco did not disappoint.  Here are some of the images..Coco had three bridesmaids and one long time friend in attendance.  I love bridal prep, it's usually a really fun, but quite relaxed part of the day.  After that things just speed up and the day starts to flash by, but bridal prep lets me get into the swing of things and get to know the bridal party a little bit.

Coco - bridal prep - eyeliner timeCoco - bridal prep - eyeliner time

Coco - bridal prepCoco putting on a very special necklace during her bridal prep

Coco - putting on the veilBridal prep - putting on the veil Coco - bridal partyCoco - bridal party Then it was on to the ceremony, everything took place at Selden Barns, which made my life very easy and also a lot more relaxing for Coco and Joe.

Coco and Joe's wedding - the girlsCoco and Joe's wedding - the girls Coco walking down the aisleCoco walking down the aisle Coco and Joe - giving the bride awayCoco and Joe - giving the bride away Coco and Joe wedding vowsCoco and Joe wedding vows

After the ceremony it was back over to the reception area, which was a marquee, and absolutely beautifully decorated. 

Wedding cake by Calley's CakesWedding cake by Calley's Cakes

Joe enjoying his wedding receptionJoe enjoying his wedding reception Coco and her brothers at her weddingCoco and her brothers at her wedding Croshaw Photography - wedding photographyCoco and her motherCoco and her mother striking a pose Croshaw Photography Coco and Joe confetti shotCoco and Joe confetti shotConfetti time!

I'll cover the rest of the wedding in a follow up post next week, I've got a wedding in Hurley to prepare for now!

 

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mike.croshaw@googlemail.com (Croshaw Photography) bridal brighton wedding croshaw photography selden barn wedding wedding https://www.croshawphotography.com/blog/2018/3/coco-and-joes-wedding Tue, 13 Mar 2018 21:27:03 GMT
Selden Barns in Woking https://www.croshawphotography.com/blog/2018/2/selden-barns-in-woking This was the great venue for Coco and Joe's wedding.  The reception room was one of the most spectacular I've seen and the food was great too!  I've not had time to write up this wedding properly yet, but they have posted a quick snippet on their blog and it is well worth checking out their website if you are looking for a venue in that area.  Here is the blog post link..

Selden Barns

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mike.croshaw@googlemail.com (Croshaw Photography) https://www.croshawphotography.com/blog/2018/2/selden-barns-in-woking Thu, 22 Feb 2018 10:31:09 GMT
Coco and Joe sneak peak https://www.croshawphotography.com/blog/2018/2/coco-and-joe-sneak-peak I had the great pleasure to photograph the wedding of my friend Coco recently, who was marrying her fiancee Joe.  They had been an item for 8 years and this wedding was clearly planned with great care.  The theme was Alice In Wonderland, here are a few shots, full write up to come soon but it was a fantastic day.  This was not a Berkshire wedding, being down in Brighton, but the drive down was worth it.

Coco and her bridal party Proud father of the bride moment

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mike.croshaw@googlemail.com (Croshaw Photography) bridal croshaw documentary photography themed wedding https://www.croshawphotography.com/blog/2018/2/coco-and-joe-sneak-peak Fri, 09 Feb 2018 08:00:37 GMT
Agency Test Shoot for BMA https://www.croshawphotography.com/blog/2017/12/agency-test-shoot-for-bma From next year I'll be gradually moving to a more editorial style, especially for the portrait side of my business.  When I'm not doing wedding photography in and around Berkshire I often do test shoots to keep my skills improving and just sometimes have a change of pace.  A few weeks ago I went up to London to shoot some tests for a modelling agency called BMA.  The idea behind this is to get some portfolio shots for their new models, which works out great for them, and for me, well, its just practice and a bit of fun.  Here are some of the shots...

 

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mike.croshaw@googlemail.com (Croshaw Photography) https://www.croshawphotography.com/blog/2017/12/agency-test-shoot-for-bma Mon, 25 Dec 2017 18:58:57 GMT
Reading Xmas Social 2017 https://www.croshawphotography.com/blog/2017/12/reading-xmas-social-2017 One of my favourite social events of the year is the Reading Photography Christmas Social.  We usually hold it at Great Expectations pub in Reading and as usual, this year, the turnout was excellent. It's not just photographers that come to this event, but everyone connected to the industry.  We get make up artists, hair stylists and models as well and the whole point of the evening is to network, catch up with old friends and just generally have a good time.  I used to organise the event but this year passed that job onto my friend Kevin Waller, as I've just been too busy with weddings and teaching amongst other things.  He did a terrific job, and it gave me a chance to test out my new camera for next years weddings in Berkshire and beyond, the Sony A9.  I used a 35mm 1.4 lens for these shots and the results are fantastic, given how low quality the light level was.  I can't wait to use this camera at my weddings next year.  I'll put up a full review soon for those interested in gear.  Here are some of the images.

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mike.croshaw@googlemail.com (Croshaw Photography) reading photography christmas social 2017 https://www.croshawphotography.com/blog/2017/12/reading-xmas-social-2017 Tue, 12 Dec 2017 21:04:06 GMT
Why I love this image https://www.croshawphotography.com/blog/2017/11/why-i-love-this-image The confetti run is one of my favourite parts of the image.  This one was especially challenging as there was almost no space outside the church to form any sort of line.  As a result all the confetti was thrown in one place and the result was the most densely packed confetti shower I've ever experienced.  To add to the challenge it was 3pm in the afternoon in blazingly hot sunshine, which made getting the shot quite challenging.  I managed ok though and the result is one of my favourite ever confetti images, which I know the couple ( Sophie and James ) also love.

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mike.croshaw@googlemail.com (Croshaw Photography) confetti croshaw photography reportage wedding https://www.croshawphotography.com/blog/2017/11/why-i-love-this-image Mon, 20 Nov 2017 17:32:17 GMT
Long absense https://www.croshawphotography.com/blog/2017/10/long-absense Apologies for the lack of updates, I've been away on holiday and right before that I had a big wedding, and right after I came back it was more weddings and a huge commercial event shoot that took me weeks to edit!  And I can't share any of the images from any of them just yet!  There will be some updates soon I hope, when I've finally done some work that can be published!

 

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mike.croshaw@googlemail.com (Croshaw Photography) https://www.croshawphotography.com/blog/2017/10/long-absense Mon, 09 Oct 2017 18:05:19 GMT
Sophie and James sneak peak https://www.croshawphotography.com/blog/2017/9/sophie-and-james-sneak-peak Just before I went on holiday ( literally the day before !) I shot this lovely wedding near Northampton ( not just a Berkshire wedding photographer! ).  This is the third wedding I've shot based on referrals from this family, so it was great to see people like Rob and Laura there, and of course Sophie's mum and dad, whom I'd met at previous weddings.  Here are a few shots from the day, full blog entry coming soon!

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mike.croshaw@googlemail.com (Croshaw Photography) berkshire documentary northampton photography wedding https://www.croshawphotography.com/blog/2017/9/sophie-and-james-sneak-peak Mon, 11 Sep 2017 15:47:37 GMT
Why I love this photo - Natalie and Gareth's wedding https://www.croshawphotography.com/blog/2017/8/why-i-love-this-photo---natalie-and-gareths-wedding Every now and then I pick out a particular photo from a wedding and highlight what I love about it!  So here is one from a March wedding up in Rugby ( being a Berkshire wedding photographer doesn't mean I don't travel, I'll go anywhere if someone pays my fuel bill! ).

The speeches are often a great time to capture some funny and emotional moments.  These really stick in your mind as a photographer.  The speeches at this wedding were mostly recorded and put on to a big screen, but they were hilarious, done more as comedy sketches than proper speeches.  Everyone in the audience completely lost it and I had a great time capturing those moments.  This is one of my favourite shots from the a wedding that was packed full of great moments!

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mike.croshaw@googlemail.com (Croshaw Photography) black and white wedding photography candid wedding photography documentary weddings fuji photography wedding wedding speeches https://www.croshawphotography.com/blog/2017/8/why-i-love-this-photo---natalie-and-gareths-wedding Thu, 03 Aug 2017 08:31:53 GMT