The V Factor – Wedding Photography

April 28, 2010 1 comment

It’s the first round of our competition ‘The V Factor’, an opportunity for any supplier in the wedding industry to promote your business to our virtual bride Vivienne.

Today we hear from Mark Skeet Photography as he puts himself forward for selection.

Want to vote? Go over to our Face book page and click the ‘like’ button underneath Marks statement.

The supplier with the most ‘Likes’ goes through to the big day itself in June.

Want to join in? Keep a look out on Twitter and Face book for your category, or put yourself forward by leaving a comment on the blog and we’ll let you know when it’s your turn.

So quick, go vote!


Our New Site Goes Live

April 26, 2010 1 comment

It’s not often that you make your own headlines but we are thrilled to be sharing our latest news about our brand new site updates. We have redesigned The Wedding Vine and given it a brand new look.

To celebrate our new look we have a magnificent round up of features, including an exclusive interview with Ian Stuart, winner of the coveted Best British Bridal Designer of the year 2010 and Jeff Ascough, voted as one of the worlds top ten wedding photographers.

We have added a brand new Real Life Weddings section and to kick it off we share our images of our own wedding with you. If you would like to share your wedding with us at the wedding vine, please contact us.

Categories: News

Wedding Photography – An insiders view by Steve Shipman

April 19, 2010 5 comments

Photographic Styles

Years ago, before digital photography was around, photographers used stuff called film to record images. The film held a limited number of images, usually 12, 24 or 36 frames on one roll. After the film was used up, it was taken to a processor to be developed, then the images were transferred to paper in a process using wet chemicals. Very messy. And very expensive.

I tell you this because wedding photography comes from this processing legacy, and it’s the reason why wedding photography used to be so slow, and laborious, and arranged. The poor photographer only had a few frames to get his images perfect – expensive film, and no Photoshop to sort out any mistakes. This was the era of Traditional wedding photography, and it’s the slow and time-consuming style that everyone dreads at a wedding today.

Luckily we don’t have to endure that now. Things have swung to the other end of the scale, where the buzz-word is now reportage, or photojournalism. These terms have a history too, and come from the noble profession of news and human interest photographers, who, amazingly, are not all Paparazzi. There is a great skill in capturing a moment as it occurs, without intervention, recording an event as it unfolds. Incidentally it is unacceptable for a newspaper to alter an image in Photoshop.

When looking for a wedding photographer, many couples say they want a reportage style photographer. They want unintrusive coverage and don’t want endless group shots. However, they also want beautifully framed, stunningly lit images with the moment caught perfectly as they walk into a shaft of light and turn to each other and tenderly kiss just as the photographer, coincidentally standing nearby, raises his camera with the right lens on at the right setting. Phew. And then it should happen again and again so they will have 500 perfectly caught natural moments taken throughout the day. It’s a big ask, and that’s why styles are changing.

So how do we find wedding photography today?  In good health, stylistically, but difficult to define.

Some couples who booked a reportage style photographer have been disappointed with the results. We can shoot thousands of digital frames at little cost – surely some will come out right? Not always. It takes great skill and experience to be present in every moment of the day, while at the same time not being intrusive. Reportage photography does not make it acceptable to have poor composition, poor lighting or distracting backgrounds. From the other perspective, many photographers have realised that, actually, couples do want creative and stylish photography, some of which will need a bit of time and collaboration to achieve, but need to be talked through the process plenty of time before the wedding day. This style is becoming known as Contemporary, and is influenced by fashion and trends from outside the wedding industry, such as fashion lifestyle magazines and films.

There is a growing number of photographers who now shoot according to the character of the couple (Hooray!) and according to the atmosphere of the day. Speaking for myself, as the day unfolds, I will shoot in styles that  change according to the photographic possibilities presented. I will shoot getting ready pictures in a reportage way, but I suggest that the bridesmaids get dressed first, then they look better helping the bride to dress. When they are completely ready I’ll take the bride (or groom) to the best light in the room and do a beautiful portrait, in a traditional way.

Almost everything in the ceremony will be reportage, including the signing of the register. Then I will gently orchestrate the couple walking down the aisle (as in Slooowwwly), then a lovely traditional shot of them kissing in the doorway of the church.

At the reception I will do a mixture of reportage shots of guests talking and laughing, and some quickly set-up ones of couples and guests. I will also do some traditional family groups. At some suitable point during the afternoon, I will take the couple for a walk, and this is the time I do all the set-up contemporary style shots. Gently though. I will have found the locations I want to use when I did the recce a month ago, and now the couple are expecting to be directed – where to stand, how to stand, what to do, and then how to feel comfortable and look natural. The shots done here are the big ones for the album, the Wow shots, the ones that go on the wall. And the ones I get remembered for. Depending on the couple, we may have several opportunities throughout the day for these shots, depending on venues, light, weather and time.

There is one other style, and that is the photographer’s own. How he sees the world, and how he chooses to present it in a photograph. Some photographers have a very idiosyncratic look all their own, and create signature works much admired by their peers as well as their clients. For a couple looking to choose a photographer it would be wise, if drawn to heavily stylised work, to make sure they get the family groups and the guests, if that’s what they want.

So there we are, a quick gallop through the styles of wedding photography today, which I hope will help you to choose the right style for you.

(words and images by Steve Shipman Photography)

Follow Steve on Twitter @steveship

Finding the perfect wedding dress

As Vivienne, our virtual bride, powers ahead with her wedding plans we take some advice from 7th Heaven Bridal on finding the perfect wedding dress.

Trust yourself

Your dress should reflect you. Whatever your Mum, Sister or best friend may say, it has to be your choice. This is YOUR big day.

Flatter your figure

You wouldn’t normally buy a dress that didn’t make the most of your assets and hide the bits you’re not so keen on, so don’t change the rules for your wedding day.

Be brave

Try on as many shapes, styles and fabrics as possible – don’t rule anything out. You may be surprised at what you fall in love with and suits you.

Always be prepared

Take shoes and underwear to try-ons. If you’re wearing the perfect heel high and a well fitting strapless bra you’ll have a better idea of what the dress will look like on the day.

Accessorise carefully

If your dress is simple, you can get away with a statement corsage, necklace or brooch. But if you’ve gone over the top on the dress, opt for something discreet, such as an understated silver chain or pearl earrings.

Find a shop that fits

Look around for a shop and a shop assistant that you feel comfortable with and whose judgement you can trust as they will be with you for the whole process.


Ensure it’s an outfit that makes you feel a million dollars. Most importantly, don’t forget to have fun!

Take part in The V Factor – here’s why

April 14, 2010 6 comments

So you’ve probably seen our blogs this week launching our new competition The V Factor. But perhaps you’re wondering why you should take part, or what’s in it for you. Well, not only will you be linked to The Wedding Vine, one of the UK’s fastest growing  virtual wedding planner  but we will promote your business through all social media platforms, creating lots of those lovely inbound links.

  • Free publicity
  • Cross promotion
  • Inbound links
  • Huge advertising opportunity

To take part all you need to do is make sure you’re following us on Twitter,  Face book, and the blog and register your interest below. Every day over the next week or so we’ll be asking for 2 suppliers to put themselves forward to our virtual bride, Vivienne and the winner goes through to the big day on the 7th June. Click here to see the rules.

In the comments below leave your Twitter name, the area you specialise in and an email address and keep checking back to see if you’ve been selected.

The V Factor – the rules

April 13, 2010 4 comments

Yesterday we introduced you to our virtual bride Vivienne. We’re looking to host the UK’s first Virtual wedding for Vivienne, but we need you!

We need 2 suppliers from each area of wedding specialists to put themselves forward to Vivienne.

We’ll announce daily and weekly what supplier we’re looking for (florist, dress, photographer etc) and then it’s over to you to sell your business and services. Each supplier that volunteers will be asked to put their unique selling point to the audience in just 80 words (or 60 seconds if video).

Vivienne will then ask followers on Twitter and fans on Face book which supplier to choose. This will be judged by how many re-tweets each supplier gets, and by how many likes they get on Face book.

So make sure you’re a fan on Face book and a follower on Twitter to take part in this very unique opportunity.

*please be aware that this is a VIRTUAL contest, and Vivienne the bride is a made-up character only.

Introducing Vivienne, our virtual bride

April 12, 2010 1 comment

Good morning, my name is Vivienne, and I’m hoping you guys can help me out.

My wonderful boyfriend Sean proposed this weekend and we can’t wait to get married. Like most girls, I’ve dreamt about this day for such a long time. I’d really like it to be dreamy and romantic. Sean and I have been together for 4 years, and I truly believe he is my soul mate. We’re quite traditional in our attitudes, and would like a big white wedding. I suppose I should think of a theme – anyone have any suggestions?

Friends of ours are over the moon for us too, especially my girl friends. I’m the last one of my friends to get married, but I don’t think 26 is too old! They have all sorts of ideas leading up to the big day and will be on the lookout for anything unusual or unique that can be incorporated into the wedding.

I am hopeless at organisation, so The Wedding Vine seemed a perfect option for me. I love the fact that suppliers get the chance to put a face to the name. I think that makes it much more personal.

So I’m sure we’ll hear a lot from each other in the coming next weeks, and I look forward to reading why I should choose you as a supplier.

Take care

Vivienne x

*please be aware that this is a VIRTUAL contest, and Vivienne the bride is a made-up character only.