Category Archives: Chichester wedding photographer

Southend Barns Wedding Venue Guide

Southend BarnsSouthend Barns opened in the summer of 2012. Since then it has firmly established itself at the very top rung of wedding venues in Chichester. It is located in Donnington, a village to the just to south of the city. This is a 10 minute drive or taxi ride from central Chichester. It is an ideal location if you will have a lot of guests staying in hotels in the area.

The venue itself consists of  three main areas. The Dairy Barn, which is the ceremony room with a capacity of 150. The Threshing Barn, which accommodates 150 for seated dining, and 200 for the evening reception. And finally the Milking Parlour which is a luxurious bridal suite. These buildings surround a large well tended lawn as well as a covered outside area named the Collecting Yard. The covered outside area is a great addition to a barn venue and unique in the Chichester area as far as I know. It is big enough to shoot small to medium sized group photos under. This makes the venue a lot more weather proof  (not that it ever rains in Sussex!) and the area is heated by a lovely wood burning fire on winter days or chilly evenings. The standard of decor throughout the venue is beautiful and well thought out. White walls and pale wood make the Dairy Barn feel light, airy and modern without losing any of its period charm. Exposed woodwork and high ceilings make the Threshing Barn an impressive sight for all your guests. The Collecting Yard has a really excellent level of furnishing for an outdoor area, and you could happily sit out there for hours.

Southend Barns

Southend Barns’ Collecting Yard and Gardens has a large sheltered area. Excellent back up if the weather is not ideal.

Southend Barns attention to detail is second to none.

From a wedding photographer’s point of view it is a very straightforward venue to work at, the decor has been well thought out and the attention to detail is excellent. I don’t think there is a single part of the venue that doesn’t make a nice backdrop to photos. Everything is close together so guests are always on hand for group photos. The gardens are divided up so you can photograph the bride and groom without all the guests looking on. This makes the couple far more relaxed, and really helps the photos.

Southend Barns

Just one of the many little corners that are great for photographing couples.

If you look on my Featured Weddings Page you can see James and Amanda’s wedding at Southend Barns in its entirety.

Milking Parlour

The Dairy Barn is bright airy and modern, The ideal venue for your ceremony.

Visit Southend Barns website.

 

Toby

I am a West Sussex Wedding Photographer. I also shoot  portraits and commercial work

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George and Leah’s Wedding, Upwaltham Barns.

 

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George and Leah got married right in the middle of last summer’s heatwave at Upwaltham Barns, right in the heart of the beautiful South Downs. I know how hard it can be to shoot in very hot weather, so my camera bag was weighed down as much by water bottles as it was by lenses. I liberally applied sunblock as well, as it is very easy to get burnt to a crisp without even realising it on days like this as I have learnt to my cost in the past. There is nothing worse than shooting groups, you start to feel that you are getting burnt, and there is nothing you can do about it!

Upwaltham Barns Wedding

I was particularly lucky at this wedding that I got an opportunity to shoot with George and Leah as the evening light  drew in and we got some really beautiful shots. One of the biggest challenges for a wedding photographer is dealing with available light, whether it is a gloomy Saxon church or shooting groups in the middle of the day. I have my tricks and things I’ve picked up over the years that help make the best of any situation, but a photographer has no greater ally than good light, and no light is better than the golden sunshine of a summer’s evening.

Upwa;ltham Barns Wedding

 

 

 

 

 

Ihave worked at Upwaltham Barns many times

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How to Conquer Wedding Day Stress

Wedding Day StressWeddings are a big deal. That doesn’t mean that your day has to be overwhelmed by wedding day stress. Here are some simple tips to help you enjoy your wedding day to its maximum.

You are not alone.

I get nervous at the beginning of a wedding day. I worry about what could go wrong, what the weather will be like, or a guest straying into the shot at a never to be repeated moment. I worry because I want things to be perfect and you wedding photos to be the best they can be. I’m sure the caterers get nervous, the florist worries and the vicar prays he won’t fluff his sermon. Your wedding photographer, florist and event managers are probably just as emotionally invested as you are that the day goes well, so don’t think the responsibility rests just on your shoulders.  We all care about this stuff as much as you do.

Delegate. Delegate. Delegate.

Try to share the load of organisation with your wedding professionals and your friends and family. The more things that you delegate the easier your day becomes. Remember friends and family members love to be involved and are often flattered to be asked, so take advantage of this and everyone benefits.

Take time for yourself

Weddings can often seem like a never ending stream of people to say hello to and keep happy. Make sure your take five minutes here and there for yourself. Perhaps five minutes on your own before the ceremony or a short stop in the wedding car on the way back from the church.  A quiet moment to pause and appreciate the day can give you that all important inner calm that will stop your day going by in a blur.

Remember you can’t control everything.

Try not to worry about things you can’t control. I have photographed weddings in all weathers and rarely has the day been spoiled by a spot of rain or a chilly wind. Weddings are robust occasions and you’ll be surprised by your guests determination to have a good time. Couples often worry about family disharmony, especially if their parents have separated. I have shot dozens of weddings where the bride or groom’s parents have divorced, and there has never been a problem. The people that love you will find a way to call a truce when they now how important the day is to you.

The more you plan, the more stress free the day is.

Having a well worked out schedule can take a lot of the stress out of the wedding day. It might seem counter intuitive, but a well organised day feels more relaxed. Knowing what you are doing and when  is essential. Make sure all your wedding professionals tell you how long things will take , and make sure they are the kind of professional that is honest enough to tell you when things aren’t possible. At the sketchier end of the market suppliers will tell you anything to get your business, and then let you down on the big day. Make sure you have experienced professionals who know how everything works.

Remember your main objective.

As I have said to a lot of nervous brides as they get ready, as long as you finish the day married, the day has been a success. Nothing else really matters that much. So don’t let wedding day stress spoil your day. Enjoy the first day of the rest of your life with the person that you love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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10 Tips to help your Group Wedding Photos Run Smoothly

Group Wedding Photo

Group wedding photos are one of the potential logistical pitfalls at a wedding. They normally take place between the ceremony and the wedding breakfast, and  involve a lot of different shots compressed into a relatively short time frame. If things don’t run smoothly, guests get bored, caterers start to get anxious, and it can kill the atmosphere of the wedding.

Ideally, all your group shots should be agreed with your photographer at your wedding planning meeting. I usually advise my clients to set aside about 45 minutes for group photographs. Most wedding schedules allow between one and two hours between the ceremony and the wedding breakfast, around an hour and a half would be the average. So if you allow 20 mins after the wedding for everyone to have a drink and congratulate the newlyweds, 5 or 10 minutes or so to corral everyone for a confetti shot you generally have a total of one hour to fit photos into. I don’t like to schedule all of this time as it is important to have a bit of leeway in case people disappear or are just difficult to round up.  I prefer to work pretty quickly and keep things moving. Your guests’ enthusiasm can start to wane as you approach the hour mark. Luckily there are plenty of things you can do to make sure this part of the wedding runs smoothly, and is enjoyable for you and your guests. These are my top ten tips to ensure group photos don’t become a chore that frustrates you and bores your guests.

1.Make Sure You Have a List.

The first step into making sure your group photos run smoothly is to agree a list of photos with your wedding photographer beforehand. Your photographer can guide you as to how long he thinks it will take and advise you if you have missed anything. If you are pressed for time in your wedding schedule the best way to make sure you run to time is to not have too many small variations in your list, or combine related shots into one larger group. For example, shoot bridesmaids and ushers as one group instead of photographing them separately. I always bring two or three hard copies if the list to each wedding. One for me and another for whoever is helping me round people up.

2. Start with large groups and gradually send people away.

It’s usually best to start off with the largest groups as people are easier to round up just after the ceremony, and less likely to have wandered off. Also guests tend to be smartest early on in the wedding, and loosen ties and take off jackets as the day goes on. Things like that can be hard to spot in a group of 120 people! Whittle the groups down so that immediate family and closest friends are last, as they are usually the most invested in having photos taken with you.

wedding photography in west sussex

3. Ushers and Bridesmaids are Best for Rounding People Up.

I like to have someone to round up the the next group of guest while I am concentrating on the current shot. This should be someone who knows who most of the guests are. So if I say I need Auntie Mavis for the next photo, someone who knows what she looks like can go and fetch her. That’s why it is best to get an usher or bridesmaid to be the shot wrangler, it makes things a lot quicker.

 4. Can People get Refreshments while they are Waiting?

Whenever possible it is better to shoot groups at the wedding reception where guests can get refreshments while waiting to be photographed. If I shoot group photos at the church I tend to work to a fairly short list and then complete them at the reception venue, especially in the height of the summer when people can be waiting around in the hot sun without access to water. This is especially true if you have older guests or small children in the wedding party.

wedding photographer in west sussex

5. Prioritise Older Guests.

If you have elderly family members at your wedding make sure they are photographed quickly and are not left standing around for obvious reasons. If you can make sure there is a place to sit nearby, so much the better.

6. Keep your Shooting Location close to the Wedding Guests.

This can be a real time saver. If the groups are shot even two minutes from where everyone is gathering it will take a minimum of four minutes to find that missing person or go and get a missing bouquet. This time can really add up if you are shooting 20 groups. Always make sure that your shooting location makes logistical sense as well as being nice to look at.

sussex wedding photographer

7. Make allowances for complicated family situations.

It is sometimes the case that a bride or grooms parents might be divorced or remarried. Often both birth and step parents are attending the wedding. In situations like this make sure your photographer knows exactly who is who so he or she doesn’t inadvertently cause offense or embarrassment. Sometimes this means shooting extra groups so that everyone feels valued and included, other times it just means carefully arranging individuals so no one feels uncomfortable.

 

8. If your list is too long – split it up.

There is nothing that says you have to shoot all of your group photos in one long session. You can just as easily break the list down and shoot groups at different times during the day. Groom and Bridal parties before the ceremony, family after the ceremony, and friends after the meal can work well. Breaking group sessions down into 10 minute chunks can make the a lot more manageable.

9. Make sure you have a plan for bad weather.

If you are unlucky and it rains on your wedding day, having a contingency plan will worth its weight in gold. You might be able to use an indoor space or have a decent supply of umbrellas, but having a plan will put your mind at ease. Nothing guarantees that it won’t rain on your wedding day like buying half a dozen white umbrellas!

10. Enjoy Yourself

I often tell my clients it’s my job to worry and your job to enjoy yourself. Do all your planning beforehand and then let the professionals at your wedding look after you, that’s what we’re all here for. From my point of view the happier the wedding party is, the easier it is to take great photos of them. Keeping you happy makes my job much easier!

 

Tobias Key is a wedding photographer in Chichester, West Sussex. My dedicated wedding photography website is wedding.tobiaskey.com

 

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Wedding Photography Styles Explained

Wedding Photography in Bosham

You’ve chosen your date, booked your venue and started shopping for dresses. Now you’re looking for a wedding photographer. There are a lot of styles of wedding photography out there, and while people in the industry might know these styles inside out they be confusing for couples.  Remember as well that not only are you picking a style of photography, but different types of wedding photography can make different demands on your time on your wedding day.

When picking the style of photography you want at your wedding your choice boils down to three things. What style of images you want, how long you want to spend with a photographer on your wedding day, and most importantly of all your own personality and comfort in front of the camera.

There are plenty of different photography buzzwords out there. Vintage, editorial, artistic or contemporary are just a few. Perhaps more confusingly they are used by different photographers in different ways. Ultimately it is up to couples to ask plenty of questions and do plenty of research before picking a photographer, and to rely on seeing full set of photos from completed weddings Do  not  rely on the  best five or six shots from several weddings to make a choice.

Wedding photography styles are a compromise between producing fantastic work and keeping to a timetable. A photographer might produce brilliant photos, but if he takes too long to produce them you probably won’t enjoy the experience.

Traditional (or Posed) Wedding Photography

Upwaltham Barns 2

A lot of people think of traditional wedding photography as endless stuffy group photos where everyone looks stiff as a board. Worse still, the different collections of people seem to go on forever. I think there is a fashion to be down on traditional wedding photography, but the actual working framework is still the same for most wedding photographers. The photographs may be more stylish but the actual experience on the day for the bride and groom is very similar.

There is always a trade off between the type of work a photographer does and the time it takes to shoot it. More formal posed photographs will take longer to set up and achieve. Any photographer who produces artistic posed work will need a certain amount of time to produce his best work. It is important that you find out how much time he will need, and work out how it will fit into your day. There are photographers who spend a couple of hours on formal shots. Make sure you are happy with giving over that amount of time on your wedding day. If you are not that comfortable in front of the camera you may find this type of photography more difficult. A good photographer should be able to help you and put you at your ease but for many individuals it can still seem a bit daunting.

Reportage Wedding Photography (Wedding Photojournalism)

Wedding Photography

If traditional is all about posed photographs, then reportage wedding photography is the opposite. It relies on capturing moments as they happen, and is more like a fly on the wall documentary. This form of wedding photography means that the photographer spends most of his time in the background, and so has become increasingly popular with couples. Weddings are also increasingly less formal than they used to be. Documentary wedding photography demands a different skill set from traditional wedding photography so you have to make sure that your photographer has the correct photographic background and can show you full weddings to back this up. Wedding photojournalism is more about a complete set of pictures from the whole day than a set of a dozen highlights. There are photographers out there who will jump on the latest bandwagon to gain business, but still use the same old style they always have. Wedding photojournalism is all about anticipation and being in the right place at the right time. It is not about closely directing people, so it puts many traditional wedding photographers outside of their skill set. There are some less ethical photographers who will use the latest buzzwords to improve their search engine presence, but still shoot the same tired old pictures.

If you are reticent about having your photo taken, wedding photojournalism is probably your best choice. The photography happens without you really realizing and you’ll look your natural best.

Although these two approaches might appear polar opposites, in reality most wedding photographers will offer a blend of these two styles. There are not many wedding photojournalists who don’t shoot at least some formal photographs and traditional wedding photographers will shoot informal pictures as well.  Find out what proportion of each a photographer likes to shoot, and better still ask them what they like to shoot the most – chances are this is what they are best at.

Vintage Wedding Photography

Vintage wedding photography is a style that has been coming into vogue recently, but in lots of ways its a hard one one to quantify. Vintage can mean anything from using old film cameras during some of the wedding to just a different approach to post production to produce ‘vintage’ looking digital files. There are some great photographers out there, but bear in mind that if you are receiving files that are heavily edited in a certain style, you run the risk of your photos looking rather dated a few years later. If I was hiring a vintage style photographer, I personally would want at least some of the wedding shot on film, I’m not a huge fan of faking things. As always ask questions, see examples and make an informed decision.

Editorial Wedding Photography

This wedding genre is inspired by the fashion editorials of glossy magazines, at it’s best it can produce fantastic high-end images. To produce this successfully on a wedding day the photographer needs to be highly organised, and would probably need an assistant to help set up some of the shots in advance, although that would depend on his or her style. Do your research to make sure that the time requirements for this type of shoot fit in with your plans. If you really like this type of photography but don’t want to devote too much time to it on your wedding day, consider booking a separate photo session after the wedding. Often describes as a trash or cherish the dress shoot, a separate photo session might be the best way to get the wedding day you want and the photographs you’ll love without losing a huge chunk of your wedding day. It also means that you and your photographer can pick the ideal time of day for the right light and you have scope for rescheduling if it’s pouring with rain. In many countries, particularly the US, high end wedding photography is evolving towards three shoots: the engagement shoot, the wedding day, and an editorial session. Don’t necessarily think that it all has to be done in one day.

Artistic or Fine Art Wedding Photography

Essentially an evolution of traditional wedding photography, this type of photography offers a contemporary take on the traditional set of posed photographs, although these are both terms that have been somewhat over used by the photographic community, so again do your research. At its best this genre can produce moving romantic images, but some photographers can over use the same poses, so it can feel a bit impersonal. Ask to see lots of shoots and don’t be afraid to input your own ideas at your pre-wedding meeting.

 

Conclusions

There are lot of styles of photographer out there, but the main thing is to look beyond the catchy buzzwords and look long and hard at portfolios. Ultimately it is the competence of the photographer you are hiring that really matters. Experience, personal service and professionalism are what ensure a consistent standard of photography from wedding to wedding, and the consistency and ability to deal with the different shooting conditions that present themselves throughout a wedding day. Their portfolio should show a good balance of shots from bridal preparations to the first dance. Ask questions about how much time they will need to complete those all important formal and couples shots, and work out how much time you are happy to give. Even with more observational styles, planning and communication before the wedding is vital to get the best results and to get them efficiently. Keep to the guidelines and you are sure to have a memorable wedding day with photos to match.

 

About my Wedding Photography Style

I work as a Wedding Photographer in Sussex, Hampshire and Surrey.

I predominantly work in the reportage style, but pride myself on being able to produce great formal pictures as well. I talk to couples and try to work with them so they get the right balance of photos they need, so sometimes I shoot hardly any formals while other times I’ll shoot an extra session of couples shots after the wedding breakfast. I’ve always found this to be a good way of breaking up the more formal pictures into manageable chunks of time, and the light is a lot better then anyway. I have had a lot of experience in both weddings and editorial/commercial work which has helped me gain a more flexible style, and to get the perfect balance between great results and the time taken to get them.

You can read more about my wedding packages or check out my portfolio.

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Wedding Venue Guide – Upwaltham Barns

Upwaltham Barns is a Sussex wedding venue about 8 miles outside Chichester, on the A285 towards Petworth. It comprises of three main buildings. The East Barn, which is the ceremony venue. The South Barn is  for the wedding breakfast and has an adjoining bar. Jasmine Cottage provides accommodation for the bride and groom to get ready and stay overnight in. This is all set in an absolutely stunning part of the South Downs, and there is access to the surrounding area to provide stunning photos in this beautiful landscape. Most of the weddings I have attended here have been around the 120 mark and it can certainly cope with that number of guests in some style.

Upwaltham Barns 2Upwaltham Barns

The great thing about venues like this is they really make the logistics of your wedding much simpler. The bride is able to get ready there, and there is no travelling between the church and the reception venue. That means that you and your guests get a relaxed day. You do not have to worry about about whether they can park near the church or what the traffic will be like on the way to the reception.

Catering is done in house by Nibbles2Nosh.  I’ve personally found the food is always excellent and the staff have always looked after me. Something that always really appreciated by us hard working photographers!

Upwaltham Barns _MG_0323Cla

I’ve always liked the feel of the venue, they always give a really personal service to every couple, and it never feels like anyone is just another client, which is some achievement when you think how many weddings a venue like this will do in a year. Upwaltham Barns have maintained consistent and very high standards for  as long as I have been photographing there.

Upwaltham Barns Website

 

I work as a full time Wedding Photographer in the West Sussex area, I also shoot Portrait Photography and Commercial Photography

Happy Shooting!

Toby

 

 

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Portrait of Catrina, Chichester.

Portrait Photography by Tobias Key

Portrait of Catrina Rose, shot in Chichester

 

This was the first large format image I made after the terrible weather we had at the beginning of the year, so even though there isn’t any new leaves sprouting it feels like my ‘Spring’ photo. One of the things that’s very limiting about large format photography is that the camera is very hard to keep still in windy weather, even on a tripod. The process is also not very waterproof, so unless you can put up a makeshift shelter, wind and rain pretty much stop play with this camera. It does make you value fine days a bit more, and there are plenty of large format photographers devising new and ingenious ways to keep their cameras dry and still. This image was shot in Brandy Hole Lane woods, and the coppiced trees give the area a particular look that I really like. This is one of those photos that is not what I’d call an ‘internet’ picture.  It doesn’t work well as a thumbnail, so doesn’t encourage clicks on social media. I still like it though 🙂

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Sussex Wedding Photography – Jon and Rani at Buxted Park Hotel

Buxted Park in the sunshine. A great setting for a wedding

 

I love working at Buxted Park Hotel. It has stunning grounds, beautiful ceremony rooms and every wedding I have shot there has run very smoothly. I photographed this wedding at the end of May, and we were very lucky to have a nice day, the weather had been grim all week. I arrived just after the groom and photographed the guests arriving while we all waited for Rani, the bride to arrive. It was a civil ceremony, but had lots of nice touches that took account of Rani’s Indian heritage. Rani looked stunning in her dress and beautiful henna tattoos and arrived in style in a convertible Morris Minor.

After the ceremony everyone had drinks out on the terrace while I got to business herding people for the group photographs. The one point in the day where I have to step forward and get everyone organised so that we don’t over run and I don’t get told off by the caterers! I went through my list and got the ushers rounding people up. It all went pretty smoothly apart from one member of the bridal party disappearing to change her baby’s nappy. There are some things even the most assertive wedding photographer can’t control! Group shots at a venue like this are relatively easy as you can keep the everyone nearby so changing from one group to the next or finding someone is easy. It is also great as the guests can get fed and watered while you are working, so they don’t get bored and the day flows much better. I’m always acutely aware that everyone has a limited amount of enthusiasm for group photos that runs out quickly if you take too long. It’s not just about taking great photos. It’s about taking great shots within an allotted amount of time, without being too bossy and making it fun. That’s where the real skill in this type of work lies.

The guests were called into the dining room and I merged into the background catching moments between the guests as they laughed and chatted, renewed old acquaintances and introduced themselves to new additions to the extended clan. I did my usual, taking candid portraits of guests as the laughed and joked between courses, or as children played.

 

 

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Arundel Town Hall Wedding Photography – David and Polly

Spring is finally here so the wedding photography season can begin in earnest. This is David and Polly’s lovely wedding at Arundel Town Hall.

 

 

 

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