A & M at Ravenwood Hall

This Suffolk wedding was an amazing day – really relaxed, a wonderful couple and a miraculous amount of sunshine!  This booking was actually a really rapid book-to-shoot affair, with only 2 months notice.  The couple approached me whilst I was doing the portraits at a charity ball in Kings Lynn, and asked about their date.  On checking my diary, I was actually already booked for another charity ball in Lincoln – so I initially had to turn them down.  But this got me thinking, as I’d not heard from the existing booking in a while and we’d arranged to meet up sometime in the 1st half of the year.  So, the next morning I e-mailed the clients to confirm all was still on track.  I must say I was glad I did, as due to some sad events, they had actually cancelled the event.

Now, I was left with an empty weekend, and a potential client – but I had no way of contacting the couple who approached me the night before!  This led me to some amateur sleuthing – the charity ball had been organised by an old school friend of mine, and I knew that many of the guests worked at the same company that she did.  So I sent her an image of the couple and asked if she knew who they were – and amazingly she did and passed on an e-mail address.  Obviously they were still interested in booking me and I got the gig!  I guess it shows that it’s worth always chasing those leads!

I wish I’d taken a screenshot of the weather forecast for that day – as it was showing heavy rain all day.  It was looking to be my first proper washout of a wedding day.  But I was prepared with umbrellas and extra lights should I need to do indoor group shots, so I wasn’t panicked.  Arriving at the Bride’s address to capture the makeup and hair it was indeed grey, overcast, and at times quite drizzly.  But from then on, it just got sunnier and sunnier and I had the alternate problem of too much light and squinting guests!  That’s the great thing about wedding photography, you never really know what you’ll be faced with and you’ve got to remain flexible.

Long story short, it was a beautiful day, and the couple were totally enchanted with each other.  The intimate number of guests perfectly suited this day of love.  The venue is perfect for small to medium weddings and the staff couldn’t have been more accommodating – I highly recommend it if you’re in the Bury St Edmunds area.

I’ve put some of my favourite pictures from the day below – I hope you like them!

As I’ve said at the top of this post, I was able to arrange this booking due to a cancellation so it’s always worth getting in touch if your date is creeping up and you’ve not yet arranged a photographer – but in general I’d recommend getting someone (preferably me of course!) booked around a year ahead of the big day – maybe more for popular summer dates, especially bank holiday weekends.

Thanks for reading – Al.

A Lincolnshire Wedding Styled Shoot

I hope this blog post finds you enjoying the Bank Holiday, and that the weather hasn’t been too extreme for you – do you see the brilliant pictures of lighting circulating Facebook?  I’ve missed out on all this as we’ve whisked the kids away to southern Spain to enjoy some reliable sunshine!  Don’t feel too bad for me…

What I actually wanted to talk about today is a recent styled shoot I  did at the beautiful Irnham Hall near Grantham.  Now, I’ve got a conflicted view of styled shoots, in that they can give an unrealistic view of wedding photography for potential clients.  A real wedding day is a somewhat busy affair, with not a whole lot of time to arrange the shots you want – it can be a real “under pressure” situation! A styled shoot however, often provides a whole load of time to get the shots, and also more often than not has trained or experienced models instead of a real couple to shoot.

Because of this, I’ve tended to steer clear of styled shoots, but one did catch my eye on a Facebook group I’m part of, being run by ‘The Alternatives’.  What appealed to me was that they planned to keep the day’s timings fairly up-tempo, moving from one shot to the next at a fair clip, along with 2 couples that were recently married, and in no way trained models.  To me this seemed to be much more representative of a ‘real’ wedding day, giving me some great shots (honestly captured) for the portfolio as well as being able to meet like-minded photographers and suppliers.  Clearly, as I’m taking the time to write about this, I signed up and turned up at Irnham Hall on a (very) bright Sunday, not really knowing what to expect.

The day was spent very pleasantly split between 2 couples, (the photographers split into 2 groups and swapped at lunchtime). I started with the lovely Emily and Gavin, capturing some images of Emily having her hair and makeup done, along with Gavin getting himself prepped.  We then made our way out into an awesome walled garden, and the Hall’s greenhouses for some beautiful intimate pictures.

After our midday break, we swapped over and my group were taking photos of Drew and Adam, making wider use of the Hall’s grounds. Being able to photograph a same-sex couple was also part of the appeal of the day, as it’s something I’d not done before. Drew and Adam were both great fun, and clearly enjoyed being in front of the cameras!

As I said at the top of this post, styled shoots can give us great results, but they are still false representation if the images are claimed to be from a ‘real’ wedding.  However, I found it a really good day of skills-building, bouncing ideas off other photographers and really getting back into the swing of things before the wedding seasons properly kicks in.

As ever, my thanks for reading, see below for a list (and Instagram handles) of the fantastic suppliers who made the day a success.


@emilykweddings - styling

@all_bunched_up - flowers

@meggieandma - dress

@georgettevioletmua - Makeup

@akitoavalanche - hangers

@irnhamhall - venue

@andersandboo - props

@london_victorian_ring_co - rings

@boxandbubbles - prosecco trailer

@raspberry_toast – stationery

@theconfetticakery - cakes and desserts

@opposuits - Mexican suit

@irregularchoice - shoes

@halohairdesignz - hair

@tillyvintage - vintage hire props.

​A word about Data Privacy and the New General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

This email / blog is somewhat different to my usual photo output, but please give it a read, as it’s actually quite important (I’ll try and keep it as brief as possible!)

In my line of work, where collecting personal information (email addresses, names etc) is vital to maintain your business, there is a big shift in the law next month, with regard to Personal Data that I need to be compliant with or face the sort of fine that would essentially be ruinous.  So, best I comply!

Essentially, GDPR is an update of the Data Protection Act, and it means that all businesses need to be extra vigilant when it comes to handling personal information.

So, pretty dull, but what does this all mean to you?  There are a few expanded provisions under GDPR that give you as an EU citizen additional rights (and the UK is adopting this regardless of Brexit.)  The most pertinent rights are as follows:

Right to be forgotten.  You can demand that for all data pertinent to you to be permanently deleted.

Right to object. You can prohibit certain data uses.

Right to rectification. You demand for your details to be corrected

Right of access.  You have the right to know what data an organisation holds about you and how it is being used.

Right of portability. You can ask for personal data held by one organisation be transported / sent to another organisation.

How does this relate to A D Hall Photography? If you’re receiving this as an email, you’re obviously on my mailing list, so I clearly hold and process a certain amount of personal data about you. All personal information I have obtained for both my mailing list and my customer / leads database up to now has been collected in a legal way under the current DPA rules and GDPR does not compel me to remove it or seek re-authorisation (but it must be handled in a compliant way in the future.)

Here is a list of the locations I may hold personal data in order to run my business:

Mailing List.  My mailing list is held by a company called Mailchimp, who I use to automate the sending of ‘bulk’ e-mails (it’d be impossible to do this through Outlook!) This company is fully compliant with GDPR, and gives me the tools to properly-manage the personal data they hold on my behalf.

Customer Database. My customer and lead database is held by a company called Tave, who I use to manage names, payments, contracts and task scheduling - anything else required to run a small business. Again, this company is GDPR compliant and holds the information in a compliant way.

Online Sales. My online sales partner is a company calledShootproof.  This company is also GDPR compliant and only holds sufficient data in order to process your order and deliver it to you.

Social Media and Payment Gateways. Contacts I have on social media and payment gateways is somewhat out of my direct control as the data is held by that platform (FaceBook, Twitter, PayPal etc.)  Data shared with them is only done so in order to communicate with you (ie direct messages, feed posts etc) or to process a payment or refund.

The bottom line is that you are covered by the ‘Rights’ as described above.  If you wish to enact any of those rights with respect to me and my business, then I will action your request as quickly as I can humanly do so – it is a legal obligation and the right thing to do.

If you are so inclined, you can read my full privacy statement HERE, and the links to my partners above will take you to their respective privacy statements.

If you’ve read this far, well done!  It’s all a bit dull, but I believed it was necessary to explain to you as one of my several hundred subscribers, how I hold your data, and reassure you that I hold it and use it in a legal way.

Thanks for reading!

Al.

R&R's Gorgeous Dorset Wedding

R&R's Gorgeous Dorset Wedding

Last summer I had the delight of photographing a military wedding in Dorset in the glorious sunshine.  If you didn’t know I offer an automatic 10% to members of the armed forces and blue-light services; and whilst I’m primarily a Lincolnshire photographer, I’m more than happy to travel.  (I also advertise on MOD discount websites so I never know where I’m likely to be off to!)

M & M's Wonderful North Norfolk Coast Wedding

Back in August I had the genuine pleasure to share the wedding day of M & M in the beautiful North Norfolk village of Holme-Next-The-Sea.  They had actually booked me in Autumn of 2016 at the Knight's Hill Wedding Fair, and we actually met up in the March for a great engagement shoot down on the beach (it costme a smashed flash trigger, but there's no accounting for mother nature!)


The wedding day itself was blessed with beautiful blue skies and no lack of warmth, and we started by finding the ladies at the Old School House of Hair  (http://www.theoldschoolhousehaircompany.co.uk) getting their makeup and hair needs being attended to. This is a fabulous little salon in an old school house, really friendly staff - and they make a great cuppa!  After capturing the girls' preparations, we ventured on to Thornham to see the boys - who were mid-lunch!  We did the obligatory groom's family and best man shots in the garden, and then headed back to see the girls for their final preparations, the dress and the first look with the father of the bride.


The journey to the church was very short – literally across the road!  If only every venue was so easy to get to!  The ceremony that followed was filled with smiles and laughter – an accurate reflection of the bride and groom and their approach to life.  After the deed was done, I whisked them away to the beach for some bright and breezy couple portraits.  The beach has some special childhood memories for them, so it’s wonderful that we could weave that into their day.


The garden-filling marquee was a blessing as we dodged a couple of showers in-between the obligatory group shots, and we then had a wonderful meal, followed by truly heartfelt speeches and the first dance.


It’s such a privilege to be invited into couple’s wedding days to be able to capture these memories for them.  It’s even more fun when the couple are as warm and welcoming as M & M and their family – it was a such a pleasure to be involved.


Scroll down for some of my favourite pictures of the day.


Unit next time!


Al.
ps I must add that I was ably assisted by my niece who is a budding photographer herself, you can check out her growing portfolio here: https://www.mhallphotography.photos/

 

 

A & J's Wedding, Branston Hall, Lincoln. July 2017

In keeping with my look back at 2017, this week I’d like to share a few pictures from a beautiful day in July.

A & J had chosen the wonderful venue of Branston Hall, just to the south of Lincoln, to host their wedding day; a brilliant location that can cater to most sizes of wedding, (including the provision of a large marquee if needed) but keeping quite an intimate and welcoming feel.

The grounds are just brilliant, with plenty of options for pictures and space for the little ones to let off some steam.

I hope you like this latest look back!

Al.

Holiday Escapes

If you have seen my Instagram stories in the last week or so, you'll see that Ive been on holiday on Ibiza.  Not much clubbing to be done when you take the little ones - but we did manage to watch the sunset at Cafe Mambo on Sant Antonio's sunset strip.

Obviously I've come home with plenty of pictures of the kiddies splashing in the pool, I also lugged my tripod an Nikon out there to try and capture some of those dramatic sunsets.

My first attempt was thwarted by cloud, but I still captured the evening glow - I was hoping to get some stars too, but again the clouds were against me!  Anyway, here's what I got that night:

Evening glow - and clouds!

However, on my walk back to the hotel in the darkness, the beach at Port Des Torrents was alive with loads of LEDs being thrown into the air - I think the local souvenir touts had a good day selling them to the kids!  I popped the tripod back up, and tried a few long-exposures to capture the various flight-paths!

 

So, I was left with one more attempt on our last night on the island.  I chose a slightly different vantage point and went for a vertical orientation with the plan for some stars.  The sun actually went down behind a headland with a lighthouse on, but I think it still came out OK.  I merged several different pictures together to ensure I had detail in the bright and dark areas.  What do you think?

Ibiza Sunset.

 

Finally, I was rewarded by waiting and more and more stars began to appear, and I went for longer and longer exposures to capture them.  I also tried some 'light painting' with my phone's torch to brighten the rocks in the foreground.  Let me know which one you prefer.

Ibiza Sunset / Glow / Stars and iPhone lighting!

 

With my holidays now done, I'm heading into the busiest part of the year with loads of summer functions and a bevy of summer weddings - think I may need a break by the end of August! 

Thanks for reading.