Welcome to the Blog, I am Steve Watkins, Bristol and Bath based photographer and wedding photojournalist. I've a great passion for photography and wanted a space to run along side my website where I can keep people upto date with life generally and share some of my photographs. Please feel free to the main website. www.stevewatkinsphotography.co.uk
Nov 052011

This was a nice little wedding and the day went really well everyone had a nice time, Zara and Ali were keen to get featured on the blog. But this was one wedding where it could have been badly spoilt by one individual.  The bride said early on the florist is a bit odd he turned up in the morning looking like a proper tramp off the streets having done completely the wrong flowers from the picture the bride had given him, then started to talk in a somewhat aggressively manner towards the bride without listening.  I could see the situation potentially getting much worse as he wouldn’t drop it or go away. After a quick general agreement to get shot we almost had to force him out and I ended up having to half stand in the street to stop him from going back in for another rant, unbelievable.  I got an email the next day off this groom thanking me for the way I handled the situation. The bride got her money back but thats not the point. I guess why I mention this is although rare it’s not isolated and another instance is fresh in my mind, only last week the best man at a wedding overstepped the line in his speeches offending older guests and younger ears was extremely offensive language both spoken and projected on an overhead screen for several minutes. Many faces including the groom and grooms father weren’t happy, I was half expecting a punch up later and thats not what anyone wants, although might make for some good pictures lol. I even recall one vicar lecturing guests banning the videographer and sending a young mum with crying baby out in the snow and then saying God is love. You almost have to laugh it’s so incredible. I guess the only thing I can say really is choose your people wisely.

Anyway now for some photos.

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These are the offending flowers, although not what the bride ordered I actually quiet like them.

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The vicar only brought the funeral book instead of the wedding book and was desperately trying to find someone with a phone signal to call his wife.

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Nov 052011

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I know there a lot of followers of my blog looking to see what equipment I use. I never buy anything unless I think it will allow me to be more creative or to have an edge in what is a very competitive market. Well recently I got to test the new Canon 1DX, it’s canon’s new flagship professional camera and not available until next March. I actually ended up pre ordering one of these so I’ll have it for this coming season, it certainly ticked all my boxes. My equipment is already the best available but it still has it limits. You really have to be rich or very passionate about your work to justify buying one of these. I’m not rich, my prices have to be competitive so it’s like the artist who would rather starve to buy a special type of paint brush for one brush stroke that most wont even notice.

The big advantage of the Canon 1DX for me personally as a wedding photographer or wedding photojournalist is action in low available light situations. Only a few short years ago a lot of low available light images at weddings were impossible to capture without a bulky tripod. There’s always so much atmosphere and energy to be captured at a wedding in these situations but its the actions in low light which currently is missed. A child running lovingly into the arms of his mum the bride at a dimly lite reception blurs and is lost. Or a bride laughing in a candle lite church in the middle of winter or on a rainy day where the vicar has said no flash, the quick movement of her head might be enough to blur her face making the image unusable. Plus the focus is slower when it gets dark.

Powerful professional flashes are fine for a few minutes, no one minds a flash or two but are very intrusive over the whole day or evening, for a start they are much more powerful and much brighter than most people have, often I’m taking a burst of images so you have a blinding series of bright flashes. Plus to balance the light correctly they have to be placed everywhere so it’s not just the bride and groom to think about, uncle John is also blinded in the corner of the room.

Canon have helped iron these problems out and made it more possible for the wedding photojournalist who like me loves available light. There is also faster autofocus in low light which means more of those shallow depth of field images I know you love being in focus, a more advanced exposure metering for tricky light and a better sensor. Add to that 12 frames per second, faster response time to pressing the button, a clearer viewfinder and there is almost no excuse for missing a moment.

As far as the bride and groom are concerned it means hopefully I am more able to capture more of the images you love and they will look generally better when actually printed in the finished album or blown up on the wall.

Nov 022011

Well I thought it’s about time I shared a few wedding photo’s with everyone as its been a while. I think you’ll like this one, it’s a little unusual in that the clients wanted their wedding photos to be 100% black and white with a lot of moodiness about them. The brides mum was a keen photographer back in her day and spent a lot of time in the dark room so they all knew what they were looking for. Huntsham Court is quite a good venue for my style of black and white reportage wedding photos. Those dark oak panels with big windows means the light has a great contrast to it, I know a lot of wedding photographers struggle with this sort of light ending up resorting to the dreaded flash, you need to really know your stuff and you need top end equipment. For me it a dream, I am still as passionate about my work if not more passionate these days, it’s always about artistically capturing the atmosphere and feel of the day but here I’ve got the wonderful available light and get to use my favourite lenses to their best giving that shallow depth of field with those lovely blurry backgrounds. No matter how good someone is you’re never going to get the same effect when you’re in some plain hotel function room with strip lights.

Whilst I do like a bit of colour I love these dark arty black and whites, I put an awful lot of work afterwards into getting them right, it’s not just a case of clicking the mouse with settings although digital I still use all the old school skills I learnt in the dark room to bring it together. Unfortunately as so many people don’t have calibrated computer monitors and it not until its professional printed that you really see how your eye is directed within the image and the feel of the wedding comes to life.

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