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Asian wedding photographer london
I bloody love Asian weddings, the dancing, the colour, the festivities. The whole day is full of emotion. The beauty of the work that I do and living in London is that you become exposed to all different cultures and ways of life. It’s amazing to see how so many different people celebrate the union of two people. What also makes it fascinating, is when two different cultures come together and celebrate traditions from two very different parts of the world. I was lucky enough to photograph a wedding in the highlands that celebrated all things traditionally Scottish, whilst honouring the brides Asian heritage and having a Chinese tea ceremony as well.
You might find my work differs from the usual and i’m not the typical Asian wedding photographer. Emotion drives my work. People are a constant source of inspiration. Working spontaneously in the moment is such a thrill, you never know what people are going to do next. Laughter, tears, dancing, singing, it can all happen in a matter of moments, that’s what I love to capture. There is a tremendous sense of community that one can experience at Asian weddings, everyone comes from far and wide to celebrate two peoples union. Everyone, and I mean everyone, is invited. Nothing is too much trouble and anything goes as long as it involves having a good time. It’s incredibly inclusive and open, Asian weddings recognise that it’s the chance for the community to celebrate, and I love that.
The dancing! Oh the dancing! I love this picture of a chap on his knees dancing to the rhythm whilst his mate slaps a twenty pound note on his head. Weddings, music and drink do the most wonderful things to people, the joy takes you to a new blissful place, where nothing really matters except for the beat of the drum.
I’ve been an Asian wedding photographer in London for approximately seven years and have been fortunate enough to have travelled all over this great city documenting peoples celebrations. I love how there is always an element of home life in an Asian wedding. No matter how grand the reception room is or how ornately decorated the ceremony room, we always start at home, paying respects to family. It’s a beautiful way to honour family and tradition but also to recognise where one comes from and what it took to get them where they are today, it must be quite a humbling experience. To see all of your closest family and friends, but also distant members of the community who have seen you grow come out and wish you well is a beautiful thing and something we could all learn from. To look out for and love each other, that’s the ideal.
Another element that I love about Asian wedding photography, is the contrast between eastern and western elements that make up the day. I love seeing bright colours against the Victorian landscape of London. The contrast between east, west, new and old creates a stunning spectacle. I’m yet to see an elephant ride to a church yet, but here’s to hoping! Whatever your background, creed or culture, a wedding is a time to celebrate, if you’re planning an Asian wedding in London and are in need of an Asian wedding photographer in London then send me a message via the contact form and we’ll get the ball rolling! I can’t wait to hear what you’ve got planned.
Stowe school is one of Buckinghamshire’s absolute gems.
Here’s a load of reasons why you should absolutely consider getting married at Stowe if you live in and around Milton Keynes, of if you simply want an entirely unique venue to get married.
Exclusivity and privacy
The wedding below was held at the temple of concord and victory in the grounds of Stowe. It’s a national trust park which means anyone wanting to visit has to pay to get in. You may have a few amblers, but during the whole day, I think we saw four. That’s because concord and victory is so far up one end of the park, no one ever walks that far, the grounds at Stowe are that expansive.
Only a hundred yards walk from the temple is a private car park only for your guests. There is a security barrier to pass through on the way to the event area which is manned all the time so there’s no worries about leaving vehicles in public car parks. Not on the list, not getting in!
The grounds are so huge that you need a golf buggy to navigate them for pictures. This also means that even if there is another wedding happening on the estate, you will one never hear them and two never see them. This really can’t be underestimated as I’ve seen estates where they have put two wedding parties in too close proximity. Of course everyone is convivial, but I think it detracts from the uniqueness of your wedding experience.
Stunning and unique photo locations
Stowe is full of unique locations for pictures. Dotted with interesting temples, statues, archways and bridges, the grounds have so much potential for awesome pictures that you could photograph thirty weddings in a year there and never come away with the same set of photographs. Not only are the architectural features really cool, but so are a lot of the trees – i’m being serious. I love trees, so much so that I donate part of your wedding fee to a tree planting charity. They weave and knot and bend and hug, all different varieties offering plenty of different backdrops and spaces to interact with.
Any outdoor catering you want
Because there is no kitchen in the temple, you can have whatever you want around it. These cool cats opted for a really cool tipi to have the wedding breakfast in and barbecued everything for the food. After dinner, an ice cream van rocks up to dish out all the sweet goodies, it gets your guests up off of their feet and ready to mingle. Then in the evening, a wood fired pizza van shows up to help soak up the free espresso martinis they’d been drinking all day.
I don’t think there is anywhere else in the area that offers you a unique place to get married that is set in amazing scenery, with entirely unique surroundings AND let’s you decorate, dress and cater the event however you want. If I was going to plan a second wedding (to my Jen again of course) Stowe would be top of my list.
Ah yes, flowers by the immensely talented and all kinds of lovely girls from Herbert & Isles, check them out for all your wedding floristry needs.
Choose a wedding photographer…
Sounds easy right?
Firstly, what if you don’t know anything about photography? Worse yet, what if i told that every single discipline of photography is different and that Wedding photography is, on balance, one of the hardest, so how do you choose a wedding photographer for your own wedding?
It seems daunting, overwhelming, or even just fucking annoying. So many to choose from, so many packages, so many awards. What makes a wedding photographer…good?
You know you like pictures. You want good, natural pictures of your guests enjoying the day. They should capture the spirit, the atmosphere and the mad ting vibes ya get me?
Do you actually get me though?
Photography is subjective, what you like, someone else might hate. BUT. It’s important to know what you’re looking at. In the same way a french chef is different to an Indian cook, and Gurkha food is different to food from the Punjab, photography comes in different flavours. You have distinctly different groups and genres and then subsets of that group. There are good and bad in each flavour.
(Most if not all of my analogies are food related, food is everything. If you want to get me a gift please post cheese to the following address..)
Where was I.
Here we will take a look at how i construct my images, what I look for, and why I work the way that I do. In doing so, hopefully you will be armed with a bit more knowledge of wedding photography, but also photography in general which will in turn enable you to book me (great idea) knowing more about what I do before we meet. Or, make an informed choice of what else to look out for on your search for the best wedding photographer in London or the rest of the UK.
Good. What is good?
Lets get it right out there. Good is subjective. If you bloody love it, then you love it. That’s it. Sometimes poetry, music, food, literally anything can speak to you on an unconscious level. It speaks to you in a way that you cant even begin to comprehend, it just is what it is, and whatever that happens to be, you happen to love. Its the classic Marmite story, some people love it, some people hate it. To some it tastes great, to others it tastes unbelievably bad. You cant explain your taste buds. It just is.
Sometimes pictures and photographs can work in the same way. The images you parents had in your home, the films you watched as a kid or even the culture in which you were brought up in will radically change your perception of images and what feels right to you.
All I’m saying is, go with your gut.
That being sad, this is how I work, and what I love about wedding photography.
William Klein has long been a hero of mine.
I’m not too keen on the word hero (even though my word cloud suggests I use it alot?) as I have a tendency to change who my influences are on a regular basis in my constant desire to gain knowledge. Klein however, has been a lasting love. His images are direct, unambiguous and confrontational. I love that. But more so than that, I love that his images capture reality. Nothing forced, staged or repeatable, they show moments in their purest form, that’s where magic lives.
I took this image at a wedding in 2018.
The content is fairly self explanatory, the guest reaching for the strawberry is clearly irritated at my presence. Whats the story? Just so you know that I don’t walk around the wedding trying to antagonise guests. It just so happened that every time i was near this guest she happened to be eating. It was very funny. If she was genuinely mad at me though, I probably would have deleted it.
It reminds me of Klein’s most famous picture, and that’s probably why I love it. Its honest, its direct and its confrontational.
Composition. Depth. Multiple narratives.
When I take wedding photographs I want there to be intrigue on multiple levels. Lets do a side by side so you can see what I mean.
Here is a picture of a guest hugging the bride. This is still technically a good photograph. Its in focus, its well exposed and it captures a moment. Their outfit establishes context so the viewer can look at it very quickly and ascertain that the person is at a wedding and is happy about it. Great.
Now lets look at this image.
The same is true as before. Its sharp, in focus and its fairly obvious that we are looking at a wedding.
This time, we have two people, which invites you as the viewer, into the moment to experience it with them.
This time, we have depth, not just the story of one person, we have multiple stories happening within one frame.
This is harder to do.
The moment is unfolding in front of me, but you have to be aware of what’s happening all around you in order to take the best shot.
If we are trying to define what ‘good’ wedding photography is, then in my humble opinion, its shots like this.
The tide is finally starting to turn in favour of wedding photography, for years it was seen as a gateway to other varieties of photography. With the influx of wedding photographers like me who take it more seriously and strive for greatness, the industry has improved no end and is becoming increasingly recognised for its difficulty.
I believe images with multiple narratives are what makes wedding photographs ‘good’. But it’s not possible within every single image you take, sometimes the right way to go is to play it simple and clean. Maybe I should bin this entire post and say instead – if you like the portfolio and you trust the photographer, then you’ll ultimately trust them to make the right call on the day.
What is widely considered to require considerable skill is to weave multiple stories into one image. It allows the eye to move across the image and digest sometimes multiple narratives within a single frame. In all honesty, taking a photograph of a close crop of a single person laughing is really easy, but, if that’s what you like and that’s what you want, then there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t seek that out, it’s your wedding, you do you. It’s important to establish however that that is not how I choose to shoot, I will always look for laughter and odd moments, but I shoot wide, and I will always look to create depth where possible.
Like in any industry there can be a great deal of snobbery around the execution of a practice. Some people love Constables paintings and hang replicas in their home. I find them twee and if I were given an original would sell it immediately. This is the joy of life and ones taste is incredibly important, which is exactly why you have to embrace it and not bend to the will of the market or what is in vogue, we all know that fashions change anyway. In my opinion weddings shouldn’t be seen as something to commodify or be subject to whim and fashions, it of course is, but I like the idea of keeping it about the celebration and not what others are wearing, or what colour palette or dress style is the most popular. You are unique, you do you, I’ll photograph that because that’s real, and real is awesome.
That helps explain the single image, but what about the narrative?
Wedding photographers are really good at coming up with stupid phrases to define their work. Visual storyteller, photo ninja, blah blah blah (I bet if you search enough you’ll find something like that in my archives…moving swiftly on). What is however true is that you won’t be presented with just ten images in the final product, the biggest wedding gallery that I delivered this year had 1564 images in it.
Many factors contribute to the number of images that will be delivered, considering in my package it says 400, that’s a big increase. This is why I divide the presentation up to mix what I want to deliver and what people want in the real world. If it were up to me and my theatrical artistic vision, I would deliver only ten images, but then who would hire me? The reality is, people want to see pictures of their guests, not just ten pictures which meet the photographers ‘vision’. That being said, I present approximately 400 images in a slideshow which balance the artistic side and the narrative and the deliver the entire gallery last. The intention is to give you the highlights of the day to relive whenever you would like, and then the full gallery fills the additional requirements of the photographer and contains all of the group pictures and images of guests that may not meet my highest of standards, but whats the point in me keeping back pictures of your family that you could otherwise have? Pride? Maybe, luckily I don’t suffer from that and have no problem handing over images of a person who would have otherwise have been missed (some guests do hide from me and can be very difficult to capture)
The skill in telling the narrative comes from being able to take the pictures in the first place. This may sound stupid, but honestly taking photographs of strangers is incredibly difficult and took me a long time to get used to doing. Some photographers still aren’t confident in this practice and is the reason why their galleries are only full of pictures of the couple.
So here’s a top tip when looking for a wedding photographer – if the gallery is full of pictures of the couple and not much else, don’t expect many pictures of the guests. The couple portraits will probably be the priority for that photographer.
There we have it. In a nutshell, if you’re hoping to understand what makes an individual image great, you’re looking for depth, multiple stories and lots of emotion.
Like my work? Well darn tootin’ that’s great, we should meet up and drink tea.