December 14, 2021

Guest Blog: Chris Giles Photography

A huge thank you to Chris Giles for taking the time to write our latest guest blog with tips and advice on how to get the best out of your wedding day photos and take advantage of all the beautiful settings and backdrops our venue offers. Chris has photographed many weddings here at Southend Barns and we love his work!

If you’re getting married at Southend Barns then you’ve chosen well! Aside from being a wonderful wedding venue with fantastic staff, it’s a perfect all-weather venue when it comes to photography.

In dry weather you’ve plenty of locations to use for photographs, including the outdoor ceremony area and adjoining meadow, the lawn with its floral backdrop of alliums, grasses and beech trees or the bridal garden complete with water feature that complements the conifers, rose garden and stables.

On a rainy day, the neutral colours of the Dairy Barn provide a beautiful backdrop to pictures, the Threshing Barn also has a warmth unique to itself with lots of places to turn to for amazing photos under cover.

When it comes to photo locations at Southend Barns you’re spoilt for choice but that’s just a small part of the process, here’s some tips to get the best out of your photo session….

  • It’s not a photoshoot for Tatler, it’s fun!
    Natural, relaxed and honest images happen when you’re in the right place emotionally. The key to finding this is to realise it’s just the three of us having a laugh around the venue. A good photographer will be able to distract you enough verbally while having their finger on the shutter button ready for the right moment. It’s a conversation, with the addition of a camera. It’s easy to make it feel more than it is when in reality it’s photos taken to capture your special day. It’s all about you two – everything else is secondary.
  • 15 minutes before, 15 minutes after
    Moving from scene to scene can be refreshing. Breaking up your shoot is an opportunity to spend more time with your guests during your reception. For example by having half your photos before dinner and the rest later when the sun is lower, the light is different and the speeches are over. Emotionally you’ll be in a good place and it’ll give you more variety and mood in your photos.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff
    Things like your veil, flowers, how your dress sits, things in pockets etc are generally the domain of your photographer. When we go to take your photos, we’re on the lookout for everything in the frame that might be off. Stay focused on the space you are both in, be silly, stupid, fun and let us worry about the rest. It’s our job to give you the awesome photos.
  • Leave every bad photo you’ve ever had behind you
    We’ve all had photos taken of us we’d like to forget ever existed and over time they can give us a warped perception of how we actually look. It can be a source of worry that can materialise at your wedding and haunt you a little bit, influencing the photos you have.
    The difference between those pictures and your wedding day photos is that we’re here to show you at your very best, we’ll consider the light, your mood, your positioning relative to each other in an effortless way you won’t even notice. There’s a big difference between a friend snapping a picture on a phone and a high end DSLR with an experienced photographer behind the lens.

Other tips:

  • Before your big day, let your guests know the photographer is not just yours but theirs too. We’re there to take as many photos as possible. By introducing your photographer to everyone, you make them more approachable and therefore better able to capture those special moments.
  • When meeting your photographer, describe what type of photos you don’t like, not so much the ones you do. Give us the freedom to create while avoiding the stuff you definitely don’t want.
  • Avoid any shot lists available on the internet as they’re generic and unrelated to your day. If you give a photographer a list of 80 obvious photos like 1. The Flowers. 2. The Dress etc you risk losing out on the important photos of family, loved ones and beautiful moments because they’re running around shooting inanimate objects to order.

Find out more about Chris by visiting his website.

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