Recent and Interesting News


Haslington Hall Wedding Venue

Haslington Hall, a beautiful Tudor mansion near Crewe, makes a really romantic wedding venue in the heart of the Cheshire countryside. We were asked to provide photographic services for a wedding and product shoot by Wedding Organiser Tracey Allen.  In spite of inclement February weather and temperatures close to freezing, our ten “models for the day” braved the cold and did a fantastic job all day.

Mike and I were on our feet from 9 am to 5 pm and very tired by the end of the day, but sheer enthusiasm kept everyone going.  I was aided and abbetted by friend and photographic artist Joan Blease, who became dress fluffer extraordinaire as well as ably assisting with reflectors and models. I could really get used to having an assistant photographer and Joan’s knowledge of working with models was most helpful. Thanks Joan.

Dresses were provided by Cheshire Bridal Wear. The full skirted and floating designer dresses were so gorgeous and the models all looked fantastic in them.

Jan of Acer Flowers provided bouquets and table flowers, with a showstopper of a centrepiece displayed in an enormous and amazing candelabrum provided by Munique Designs.

Helen of Scrumptillious brought a black and white cake to compliment the black and white themed wedding stationery by Rattytatty Designs. Gold and “oranges and lemon” themes were played out in the stationery and in cakes and cupcakes by Karin of Mummy’s Yummys. The delicious smell of these cakes sent us wild all day…it was so difficult not to pinch one!

Formal wedding attire for the men was provded by Colin of L&J Formal Attire . He was so pleasant and easy to work with.

Total Pamper and Vicky Quinn worked so hard all day with hair and make-up and coping with the many changes of clothing.

Malcolm of Smooch Rings provided a stunning array of bride and groom rings in beautiful and unusual designs.

For something really unique and different, Sarah of Tiny Gems provided us with a fantastic heirloom bouquet, which could be used at period weddings and would be treasured forever.

The models loved wearing Tanith’s fabulous Venetian Masks from the  Mask Boutique, which were a talking point right up to the end of the day…everyone wanted to try them on!

Thank you Tracey for arranging all this.

More on Tracey’s Blog

Family Shoot

Following on from the high and low key options, here are some different ways to present family portraiture, in duo or triple frames.

Achieving a balance is the key to success and choosing images from the shoot that work together and help to tell the story of the day.

Colour and monochrome images in the same frame can look good together, especially where the colour is kept soft without too much saturation.

Slide Shows to Music

There is an increasing tendency for wedding clients to buy a CD of images to accompany their album. This way, they can choose their favourite pictures for the wedding album but continue to share the wider selection of images that we supply, with family and friends, via the internet and by making slide shows. We give a discount on the full price of album and CD for couples wanting to do this, as we only have to process the images once.

A lovely way to share pictures is by setting them to your favourite music, so we are putting together some tips to help you to do this.

We are starting off by showing you how to make use of a superb piece of software that we use to produce many of our own slide-shows, to show your images with music on a computer or TV.

The software is called Pictures To Exe and is very inexpensive – it’s available from WnSoft.
For those who are not familiar with YouTube click on the second button from the right at the bottom of the player to make it full screen (see inset).
YouTube Full screen button

Pictures To Exe Basics:

Part One

Part Two

How to use Pan and Zoom in PTE:

Let us have your comments.


Advice for Brides

Getting married is one of the most important events of your life and you’ll want to have wonderful photographic memories of it for years to come. There is nothing to match the immediacy and spontaneity of a still photograph. It captures a fleeting moment in time, an expression, a detail that you can revisit time and time again. It has been said that all you eventually remember about your wedding is what is in the photographs….as other memories fade, your photos are still there to remind you of that important life-changing day.

Bride and Groom in Church

Choosing a photographer that you are comfortable with is the first step. If you have a rapport from the outset, you will be well on the way to achieving the album of your dreams. Make sure that you see more than one example of the photographer’s work and that you see a real album with a real wedding, not just stock photos of model brides…and of course you need to talk about any extra special moments and favourite people that you want to have captured… Continue reading

Fine Art Printing

Fine Art photographic printing took a major leap forward in the last few years with the introduction of high quality pigment ink printing. We upgraded to the HPB9180 printer last year and, hey, is it brilliant?! Low metamerism, low bronzing on gloss/lustre papers and bright saturated colour on matte and textured fine art papers make this a very desirable piece of kit. After several months of making prints with this beast, I have come up with a series of papers that work well with it. There’s a growing list of icc profiles available at HP here and it’s a simple process to load them – just follow the instructions in the HP Digital Imaging Monitor.

All of the following papers produced very good results:

HP Advanced Photo Paper Glossy
As you would expect with a paper made for HP pigment inks, this paper gives an excellent result with good detail, low metamerism and only a little gloss differential. It’s a good all round gloss paper and, at 250g/m² it’s a good weight and feels like a wet process photo. Be careful only to choose “advanced” papers from HP and not the more readily available “premium” papers, which are made for dye inks and do not produce as good a result. Unfortunately, in the UK, it’s quite difficult to obtain HP’s own paper in anything above A4 size.

Epson Premium Semigloss Photo Paper
This paper gives an excellent result with the HP inks. There is just a little gloss differential (which you can see if you tilt the print so that the light hits it at an angle). It’s best used with the icc profile downloadable from HP, who seem to have realised that people will make prints with other manufacturer’s papers and cater for it. Thanks HP!

Epson Archival Matte
A good everyday paper with a smooth white finish which takes the ink well. A minor crit is that the paper is rather thin and so the resulting print doesn’t feel too much like a high quality piece of art. It’s great for sending away to competitions though, where it’s light weight (192gm/sq m) is an advantage and it’s the cheapest of the bunch to buy too. Continue reading