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I’d not entered any photography competitions for almost a year, it became one of those jobs that you put off and then find something less important to fill your time, before you know it the deadline has passed and you’ve missed the boat.  I’m going out of character here and into gloat mode, so please bear with me…. Last year I won The Societies Overall Photographer of the Year, (quite an achievement with around 18,000 images entered from around the world). This had followed on from the previous years success with the Guild of Photographers where I won Wedding Photographer of the Year and Overall Photographer of the Year. I suppose after two successful years I felt able to sit back and not feel pressured into entering, I’d kind of justified myself.

Whilst entering competitions I’ve found it has improved my photography, sharpened me up and prevented lazyness creeping in. Certain disciplines became the norm and as a result my photographs were stronger. There’s always an argument amongst photographers that good client photographs don’t make good competition photographs i.e an image that a bride and groom / Facebook will love isn’t necessarily a good one for a competition. But, a strong competition image will almost always be loved by a bride and groom.

So with the above in mind I set myself a target this year of entering competitions. Starting in April with the Guild of Photographers and May with The Societies, yes it was almost half way through the year but at least I’d entered!  The initial results weren’t too bad. The Guild of Photographers awarded me four Silvers for wedding and pre-wedding photographs and The Socieities awarded me a Gold for a Kingfisher photo and a Highly Commended (it’s like a booby runner up prize but not an award) for one of my recent landscape photos from Venice. ( I did also receive two bronzes from the Guild, but I don’t really shout about those).

Full details and photographs below.
Hazlewood Castle wedding photograph, chris chambers wedding photographer. Bride in the flemish hall at hazlewood castle

Above: A Silver from the Guild of Photographers for this wedding photograph of Amy at Hazlewood Castle. Amy and David were married earlier this year at Hazlewood Castle. The dark wood paneling and chequered floor make the Flemish Hall a must use location for wedding photographs at the Castle. We used the window light as our main light source and added a small amount of flash to help lift the shadows.

Kingfisher - wildlife photographer Chris Chambers

Above: This Kingfisher photograph was awarded a Gold by the Societies. Taken in March the bird is bursting from the water with a fish to take back to the nest. Pre-planning and firing remote cameras enabled me to catch this split second action without disturbing the bird.

Paris pre-wedding photo shoot. Paris photographer

Above: A Silver with the Guild of Photographers – During a Pre-wedding shoot in Paris with Kenneth and Eve. This was an early morning shot taken before the crowds gathered around the Trocadero overlooking the Eiffel Tower. A speedlight has been used to provide fill light on the overcast morning.

Pre-wedding shoot with a bride and groom. Chris Chambers Photography

Above: A Silver with the Guild of Photographers. Kenneth and Eve again on a pre-wedding shoot. This was the first day of their mammoth pre-shoot that saw us photographing them over four days in Yorkshire and Paris. We collected them from their hotel at 3.45AM and started shooting at 4.15AM. This photo was taken around 5.30AM, again beating the public and crowds to locations often requires an early start. A low powered speed light is providing fill flash.

Venice Gondolas at St Marks Square. Landscape photography from Chris Chambers

Above: The Societies awarded this photograph a Highly Commended, that’s competition speak for not quite right but close. It’s always annoying when you pick up an almost ran but I’ve learned to use these as an aid to learning, helping us improve our photography, re-looking at the image to spot areas where it lost points and what we could do to improve in the future. This was a natural light long exposure image using a mixture of filters to create the 30 second exposure and retain sky detail.

Waterton park Hotel wedding photo. Walton Hall Wakefield wedding photography from Chris Chambers

Above: A Silver with the Guild of Photographers for this wedding photograph taken at Waterton Park Hotel during the wedding of Leah and Steven in March this year. We have photographed around a hundred weddings at Waterton Park, each wedding we look for something different we can do and try new ideas and techniques. This was our first wedding with smoke where we kind of knew what we were doing. Three Speedlites have been used to create the wedding photograph. We cover similar techniques on our speedlights for weddings training courses – details here

Useful Links – The Societies   The Guild of Photoraphers Chris Chambers Training Courses

Stubton Hall Wedding Photographer | Gemma and Nick’s wedding at Stubton Hall | Chris Chambers  Wedding Photography

Stubton Hall near Newark in Lincolnshire was a new wedding venue for us to work at for the wedding of Nick and Gemma. Following on from their recent pre-wedding shoot at the venue we were excited to work with new locations and try some different ideas to create their wedding photographs.

Our day started with bridal preparations as joined Gemma and her excited bridesmaids in the bridal suite at Stubton Hall. The large room was ideal  for the set up of various preparation stations with hair and make up for the ladies taking place in the same room. During the prep phase we were also able to photograph the wedding details, wedding dress, wedding shoes, etc.

Nick and the groomsmen were getting ready in one of the adjacent rooms and we caught up with them downstairs for a number of photographs with the groomsmen before the wedding ceremony. During the pre-wedding shoot I’d seen several locations inside that I knew would suite my style and help create some strong wedding photos of the groomsmen so was keen to try these out. thankfully they worked well!

The wedding ceremony took place in the Music Room before the drinks reception out on the rear terrace. Blue skies and a Prosecco box helped ensure spirits were high and everyone was enjoying themselves whilst we quickly completed the group photographs Nick and Gemma had requested.

Before wedding breakfast in the Orangery we quickly completed a couple of wedding photographs with Nick and Gemma with the plan to complete the remainder after the meal when it would have also cooled down a little. Again we had several locations planned and ideas so we were able to quickly run through a number of photographs with Nick and Gemma both inside and out before their evening guests arrived.

Blue skies and sunsets don’t always mix well and today was just one of those days, the sun dipped below the horizon without any real explosion of colour, all the same we still found a location overlooking the north west and the sunset. Our final photo session was during twilight, Gemma and Nick’s wedding package included twilight photographs. The first of these was with the groom and groomsmen with cigars before we took Gemma and Nick off for a final couple of minutes of photos.

The following blog post contains many of the photographs we played on the large screen slideshow during the evening reception.

wedding photographer at Stubton Hall. Newark and Lincolnshire wedding photographer

Stubton Hall, the distinctive rear lake and grounds. Although only a few miles from the A1 and Newark, the aerial photographs show the stunning location of this wedding venue.

Stubton Hall wedding photographer - Lincolnshire weddings - chris chambers

wedding photographer at Stubton Hall. Newark and Lincolnshire wedding photographer

Stubton Hall wedding photographer - Lincolnshire weddings - chris chambers

Stubton hall weddings, award winning wedding photographer

wedding photographer at Stubton Hall. Newark and Lincolnshire wedding photographer

  Stubton hall weddings, award winning wedding photographer

One of the locations inside Stubton Hall I’d seen during the pre-wedding shoot and one I knew would work well for photographs of the groomsmen.

Stubton Hall wedding photographer - Lincolnshire weddings - chris chambers Stubton hall weddings, award winning wedding photographer

Stubton hall weddings, award winning wedding photographer

wedding photographer at Stubton Hall. Newark and Lincolnshire wedding photographer

The wedding ceremony took place in the Orangery, large windows and a bright interior made this room ideal for photography.

Stubton hall weddings, award winning wedding photographer

Stubton Hall weddings, wedding photographer Chris Chambers. Wedding photographs at Stubton Hall.

Stubton Hall wedding photographer - Lincolnshire weddings - chris chambers

Stubton hall weddings, award winning wedding photographer

Stubton hall weddings, award winning wedding photographer

wedding photographer at Stubton Hall. Newark and Lincolnshire wedding photographer

Stubton Hall wedding photographer - Lincolnshire weddings - chris chambers

Stubton hall weddings, award winning wedding photographer

Stubton Hall’s Orangery set for the wedding breakfast. Large windows created  a bright and airy feel and like the music room really helped with photography.

Stubton hall weddings, award winning wedding photographer

Stubton hall weddings, award winning wedding photographer

Stubton Hall wedding photographer - Lincolnshire weddings - chris chambers

The staircase at Stubton Hall was on my personal must include list. This wedding photograph involved a little bit of trickery with the flash as the chandelier above the Gemma  and Nick’s head didn’t have any bulbs in. (This is something we often cover on our wedding photography training courses – details here)

wedding photographer at Stubton Hall. Newark and Lincolnshire wedding photographer

Stubton hall weddings, award winning wedding photographer

Stubton hall weddings, award winning wedding photographer

Stubton hall weddings, award winning wedding photographer

Although no big flaming skies, we managed a few wedding photographs at sunset.

wedding photographer at Stubton Hall. Newark and Lincolnshire wedding photographer

Stubton hall weddings, award winning wedding photographer

Stubton Hall wedding photographer - Lincolnshire weddings - chris chambers

Stubton Hall Wedding Photography – Stubton Hall, Fenton Rd, Stubton, Newark NG23 5DD  Stubton Hall Website here 

Hazlewood Castle Weddings | Amy and David’s Wedding photography at Hazlewood Castle, Yorkshire | Hazlewood Castle wedding photos

Amy and David were married recently at Hazlewood Castle in Yorkshire. The historic castle is one our favourite wedding venues and as a recommended supplier of the castle we are lucky enough to photograph a number of weddings there each year. Amy and David chose a civil wedding ceremony in the Old Dining Room, our day began a few hours before this for preparation photographs with both Amy and David. Both the bride and groom were getting ready at Hazlewood Castle so we took the opportunity to cover preparation of them both.

The photographs below include many we showed on our large screen slideshow during the evening reception. the slideshow is included with all wedding photography packages.

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Hazlewood Castle, North Yorkshire.

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With David also getting ready at Hazlewood Castle it was a good opportunity to capture some photographs of the guys preparing and finishing off dressing ahead of the wedding ceremony. 
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Tadcaster-Wedding-Photography-Hazlewood-Castle-Amy and her bridesmaids were all preparing in the Lavender room upstairs at Hazlewood. we joined them there for a number of photos before and after dressing, allowing us to photograph the wedding details, make up and finishing off the fastening of the wedding dress and finishing touches. (below)
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Drinks reception was in the courtyard at the castle. The weather thankfully allowing guests the opportunity to venture outdoors and allowing us better opportunities for candid and natural wedding photographs.

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Amy wore a long Cathedral length veil with her wedding dress meaning we had to make use of it for the wedding photographs complete with some swishing and shape making.

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The Great Hall at Hazlewood Castle set for wedding breakfast.

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After the wedding breakfast we stayed indoors for a number of wedding photographs of Amy and David around the castle interior.

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Twilight photographs at Hazlewood Castle always work well and with so many photo locations and opportunities we are spoilt for choice. The courtyard always proving a firm favourite. 
Hazlewood-Castle-Wedding-Photos-Tadcaster-Wedding-Photography-

For more information on our Weddding photography packages for Hazlewood Castle and other wedding venues take a look at our packages page here Wedding Packages

Hazlewood Castle Hotel – Paradise lane, Hazlewood near York. Hazlewood Castle website here 

Our latest bride and groom wedding albums – Italian Storybooks from Graphistudio.

We’ve had a delivery from Graphistudio this week with a selection of albums for our bride and grooms, working along side the Italian company helps us to provide our couples with beautiful albums that they can treasure forever. The albums are part of our Exclusive Storybook album range.

David and Louise opted for an exclusive storybook for their Lake District wedding at The Langdale Hotel. Their album featured a deep gloss acrylic cover and leather back and spine. They also ordered three parent copies, mini copies of their main wedding album.

Storybook wedding album from Graphistudio. Italian storybook wedding albums

The Exclusive storybooks feature a stunning content page displaying the full selection of bride and groom choices for the wedding album. Storybook wedding album from Graphistudio. Italian storybook wedding albums Storybook wedding album from Graphistudio. Italian storybook wedding albums

Paula and Niall who were married at Swinton Park in North Yorkshire opted for a split spine grey leather covered  Italian Storybook complete with embossed names. Storybook wedding album from Graphistudio. Italian storybook wedding albums Storybook wedding album from Graphistudio. Italian storybook wedding albums

Storybooks are all designed in house and allow us the flexibility with layouts and image choices to create a stunning visual representation of the wedding day.

Andrew and Kate’s Exclusive storybook wedding album from their wedding at The Mansion in Rounday Park, Leeds featured a twilight photograph on the cover and for their large printed album box a different twilight wedding photograph. Twilight photos are included with all Exclusive Storybooks.

Storybook wedding album from Graphistudio. Italian storybook wedding albums Storybook wedding album from Graphistudio. Italian storybook wedding albums

You can view our full range of wedding album packages here

Coniston Hall Hotel Wedding Photography | Coniston Hall Hotel Wedding Photographer | North Yorkshire Wedding Photography

Claire and Matthew chose Coniston Hall Hotel near Skipton North Yorkshire for their wedding venue. The hotel on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales sits in a 1400 acre estate complete with lake. The weather forecast was varied to say the least with heavy showers forecast through the day. Rather fortuitously these appeared during the wedding breakfast allowing us time to make full use of the grounds and lakeside for the wedding photographs.

With all wedding photography packages including those at Coniston Hall Hotel we include a large screen slideshow in the evening. Featuring around 50 fully edited wedding photographs the slideshows are always a big hot with brides grooms and the wedding guests. The images below include many that were displayed during the evening reception.

Coniston Hall Hotel Skipton North yorkshire. The wedding venue for Claire and Matthews big day

Just North of Skipton in North Yorkshire Coniston Hall Hotel sits on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales. The hotel overlooks a stunning 1400 acre estate complete with lake which is available for wedding photographs. Seen here on the cloudy morning of Claire and Matt’s wedding day. Coniston Hall Hotel wedding photography copyright Chris Chambers.

Coniston Hall Hotel wedding photography

Bridal details and preparation wedding photographs at Coniston Hall Hotel - wedding photography

Coniston Hall Hotel wedding photography

Coniston Hall Hotel wedding photography

Coniston Hall Hotel wedding photography

Coniston Hall Hotel wedding photography

In keeping with the season Claire and Matt chose autumnal colours, the wedding breakfast room and wedding cake all featuring oranges and reds along with pine cones and foliage. Coniston Hall wedding photography – Chris Chambers Wedding photographer.

Coniston Hall Hotel wedding photography

Coniston Hall Hotel wedding photography

Wedding Photography at Coniston Hall Hotel. Award winning Yorkshire wedding photography Chris Chambers.

The grounds and nearby lake at Coniston Hall Hotel near Skipton make an ideal backdrop for wedding photographs.

Coniston Hall Hotel wedding photography - Skipton North Yorkshire from award winning wedding photographer Chris Chambers

Coniston Hall Hotel wedding photography

Coniston Hall Hotel wedding photography

Coniston Hall Hotel wedding photography

Consiton Hall Hotel near Skipton – website can be found here