Category Archives: wedding photography

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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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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Also posted in Advice for Clients, Chichester photographer, Chichester wedding photographer, Sussex wedding photographer, wedding photographer, Wedding Photographer Chichester, Wedding photographer reportage photojournalist brighton chichester., Wedding Photographer Sussex

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 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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The Wedding Car Awaits.

 

West Sussex Wedding Photography by Tobias Key

The Limousine waits for the Bride and Groom.

 

A nice wedding car always makes the day extra special.

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The Caseys’ Wedding – Brighton Bandstand and Fabrica

Brighton Bandstand Wedding

 

Sean and Amy got married at Brighton Bandstand which is a great summer venue for weddings. I got there in plenty of time, I have a morbid fear of the traffic and parking in Brighton and can’t really feel confident about being at a weddding on time unless my car is safely parked up with plenty of time to spare.  They had a beautiful late summers day for their ceremony. The wedding ceremony was performed by the registrars from Brighton town hall, and were up to their usual high standards they were friendly and  relaxed and really made the day feel special. Sean and Amy wanted quite informal photographs at the ceremony along with the normal family groups and with a bit of judicious photoshopping I was able to create a bit of clear beach for photo if the two of them in front of Brighton’s iconic but decaying West Pier.

Brighton Wedding

Fabrica Wedding

After group shots were finished the wedding party moved on to the reception at Fabrica Art Gallery where I set up a photo-booth for the wedding guests to pose with some wild and wacky props. I split my time between the booth and taking candid portraits of the guests as well as the speeches, details of the cake and the general decor, so needless to say I was kept very busy. I was very pleased by the images and enjoyed setting up and shooting the photo booth. It is not something I normally do at a wedding but it’s nice to shake things up once in a while.

It always great to shoot Wedding Photography in Brighton. The town has it’s own unique atmosphere, and is very different from anywhere else on the south coast. This is something that I think spills over into events there, it almost feels that I am at a destination wedding even though it is one hour from my house.

Toby

I am a full time Wedding Photographer in Brighton and West Sussex. You can see more of my work on my Portfolio Page and prices in my Wedding Packages and Investment section.

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Michael and Vicky’s Wedding, The Caledonian Club, Knightsbridge, London

 

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Michael and Vicky’s wedding was at the end of last year, on a beautifully and rather surprisingly warm late autumn day in Knightsbridge. This part of London is quite sleepy at the weekend so we were spared much of the hustle and bustle of London and got the opportunity to have fun on the streets of Knightsbridge. The ceremony was at the beautifully ornate St Paul’s Church, Knightsbridge with the wedding breakfast and  party at the Caledonian Club. Vicky got ready at the Caledonian club and looked stunning. Michael was dutifully waiting at the church, proudly wearing his kilt like all true Scotsman should on their wedding day. St Paul’s was a very interesting building and great to shoot in, and it was a pleasant change to be able to walk from venue to venue on a beautifully quiet part of London on a Saturday.

Wedding KnightsbridgeWe were fortunate to have access to one of the local private squares for group photos so we had nice green space to work in in this very built up area. We also got work in the lovely late afternoon light which gave everything a warm glow.Wedding Knightsbridge

It was strange for me to come back here. I used to live not far from here, but moved down to West Sussex when my children were small. London has changed so much that things seemed familiar and yet unfamiliar all at the same time. In lots of ways I feel like a stranger in the town that I have spent most of my life in, although I don’t regret moving away. Coping with the traffic and the stress of London living are not something that appeal to me now and I am far happier being a Wedding Photographer in West Sussex. London is still a nice place to visit though and my children certainly love it when we come up to visit.Wedding First Dance

The evening revelry went off without a hitch and Michael and Vicky enjoyed their first dance together as husband and wife. Soon after I was driving past a few of the places I used to live on the way back to my new home in Chichester.

Toby

I work as a Wedding Photographer in West Sussex and Hampshire, as well as shooting portrait photography and commercial photography.

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