NAT & NICK do The Night Yard.. by Dawn Webb

"Alrite Treacle" were one of the first words I heard out of the mouth of Natalie when she came by the house to book with me to shoot her wedding.  Natalie of course is from deep and dirty Essssssssex, I love her for her identity.  People could learn a lot about Essex people, they work very hard and party even harder.

 

The Wedding..

Natalie & Nick chose to get hitched at The Night Yard near Bridge, Canterbury which handy for me is only a 10 minute drive from the house.  

Initially Natalie and the bridal party as well as the boys got ready at The Broome Park hotel, 10 minute drive away.

It was all systems go, chaos in fact but we had the time and space to play and run around which is something I always like rather than being couped up in a spare bedroom.  The light was gorgeous, large north facing windows thus I was spoilt from all 3 sides of the bridal suite for golden light.  The first I do as a photographer is walk into the room, camera over my shoulder and exam where the light is coming from and spots I can position myself into when the action starts to get busier closer to the time the bride starts to get dressed.  Might look odd at first sight to girls who haven't met me, but it's what I am being paid to do isn't it?.

 

Natalie was driven to the venue in a stunning white VW Beetle car courtesy of VW Brides I even managed to fire off a single frame as we drove side by side up the motorway. The car is called 'Belle' and she is a 1973 white convertible Karmann VW Beetle. LUSH...

 

Charlotte who was the manager at the Night Yard was a proper diamond and made feel welcome the entire day and couldn't do enough for me, which made my first trip to the venue a happy one.  Fortunately for Charlotte has now moved onto ventures new and runs the brand new wedding & events company BLACK SHEEP.  I am sure our paths will cross often now that she isn't locked down to just the one location.

The ceremony was perfect, guests sitting outside in the warm summer sun in a courtyard away from any wind. I covered this event on my own, this is just how I like to work unless sometimes a wedding is split over a large distance and I need another photographer to be at a different location.  My job is to blend in and observe and then record my observations.  I work best when left to my own devices and my clients book me just for that reason.

 

It was a very messy day, drink was flowing and I think the heat may have got to everyone come 3pm but in good old Essex humor, it was truly brilliant to be part of.  They had curry for dinner, which was different but it worked, I was just thankful that Natalie didn't drop anything down the front of her dress because we still had the evening shots planned which were pre-discussed to go out into the adjoining orchard.

I used an assistant in the evening to hold a studio light for me, this gives a fantastic effect of isolating the bride & groom against the dramatic clouds.  It's this technique I use to give me those WOW images.

 

Anyway that's enough waffle...have a look and see the day in 97 images.

oh and I always offer 25% discount on bookings held at The Night Yard, purely as mentioned before - it's only 10 minutes from my house so my overheads are minimal.

 

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wedding of Charlotte & Kyle, Willesborough windmill, Ashford Kent. by Dawn Webb

It's not everyday you're asked to photograph a wedding in the base of a working windmill smack back in a town centre but when I was commissioned to undertake such a wedding I couldn't wait.

The windmill in Willesborough Ashford was built in 1869 and is now a grade 2 listed building and hosts smaller weddings throughout the year with the adjacent barn available for the reception venue.

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Wedding of Georgina & Roger Sutton, Chiddingstone castle, Kent by Dawn Webb

 

I have just resurfaced from one of my best ever weddings I've had the pleasure of covering since switching to this genre of photography a few years ago.  Yesterday was scorching hot here in the South East, temperature’s way above 24C on the mercury.  The wedding itself was at Chiddingstone castle near Edenbridge.  With the heat index high and a gentle cooling breeze I knew from the moment I stepped out of the house into the car things were set up to be a good day.

This was a wedding I had been looking forward to covering for sometime, but one I have also been incredibly nervous and anxious about too.

Based purely on the Bride that booked me.  Her name is Georgina Hustler and she is the daughter of British photographer Tom Hustler.

 

Tom Hustler, who died aged 71, was the best-known society photographer of the Swinging Sixties; for several years he enjoyed a reputation as London's most eligible bachelor.

In a career spanning 40 years, he photographed hundreds of Britain's most beautiful women, ascribing his success behind the lens to "the knack of making people feel reasonably relaxed in front of a camera." Hustler also completed 25 royal commissions, including portraits of Prince Charles and Princess Anne for National Savings stamps. At the same time, he managed to charm petulant dolly-birds with ease.

His big break came when his fellow Old Etonian photographer Anthony Armstrong-Jones announced his engagement to Princess Margaret. "The press were caught short of anything to write about Tony," Hustler remembered, "so they wrote me up (quite inaccurately) as the 'next Tony'." The royal romance got Hustler's name in the papers and put him on the map.

Thomas William Mostyn Hustler was born on October 3 1934 at the family seat, Acklam Hall in north Yorkshire. The Hustlers had occupied it for some 300 years; King Charles I was reputedly entertained beneath its superb plasterwork ceilings. The family money came from coalmines and banking, and his Victorian grandfather was high sheriff of Durham. Young Tom's father never did a stroke of work in his life, and the boy hardly ever saw his parents, who were usually away, racing or shooting.

From the minute I took on the commission I knew I had big boots to fill if I were to attempt to impress with my images.  Georgina couldn’t of been any nicer about the whole affair, agreed she shared the same passion for photography as her dad but was very realistic about what can and can’t be achieved.  It was clear from the onset that my documentary style was wanted both herself and Roger the groom wanted.  Tom was a very successful wedding photographer in his time, shooting only with his Rolleiflex which I actually got to hold yesterday I can’t begin to imagine how difficult that would of been.

So armed only with a small selection of primes and my beloved little fuji twins along with my assistant photographer Jodi Hanigan we set out to do ‘what we do’ at what was going to be a mammoth task.

Jodi covered the boys at the Castle Inn pub which is situated next to the castle itself and I was with the bridal party from 8:30am at the house.

Dawn my partner was the hired chauffeur for the day with Marty, which whisked the girls away to the castle for a 1pm service.  The ceremony was held outside in the orangery under the decorative glass panelled roof.  With that cooling breeze keeping everyone at a comfortable temperature it was very pleasant working conditions, thrusting the fuji’s with my life I still confident to keep them in jpeg even though the risk of blown highlights, the use of the EVF is just sublime and really is WYSIWYG with regards to exposures.  Something I never had to DSLR’s and weddings you simply don’t have time to preview each and every image.  OK so RAW is always an option but that slows down my process time and the storage space would be immense.  The jpegs these little cameras produce are wonderful once I have applied my custom settings in both Lightroom and in camera.

Documentary style of photography is very new to Jodi, so it was great to have her along to hone some skills.  

The entire day was perfect in every way, the light, the shadows, the backdrop, the contrasting shapes and textures were everything a photographer could ask for.

The wedding party were so relaxed and quite clearly a collection of people that have been brought up around a camera and used to be photographed at some point by dad. They allowed me to get up close and personal and actually it felt just like I was a personal guest at the wedding, the hospitality was fantastic.  Having such a small and un obtrusive style of camera that is silent in function is just what you need for this style.  Dressing similar to the guests also helps put them at ease with your presence.  Chatting to guests without the camera to your face also helps break down barriers and lets me into their personal space which is just what you want.

 

A little message to Georgina & Roger.....Thank you so so so much for allowing me to cover such an AMAZING and beautiful wedding, letting me be part of your special day and one I hope I have done you both justice and one I hope your dad would be looking down and say 'the boy did good'.....oh and 'Margaret Thatcher's knickers'

Here are a small selection of images from the thousands taken to give you a taste of what we managed to make.  Once the newly weds have received their final versions I will blog and showcase a larger selection but until then these will have to suffice.

Hartley Jazz Picnic by Dawn Webb

Every year I like to get myself involved with some form of charity work, it's a great opportunity for me to give back a little something.

I like to spend my time with the happy folk at the Hartley Jazz Picnic here in sunny Kent.

I have uploaded a little piece on the history of the picnic.

The reason I shoot for the festival is so that I can get my images into the programme and show it off in all of it's glory for all to see and hopefully encourage others to come along.

It's a wonderful day out, people bring their deck chairs, picnic blankets, hampers full of food and lots of plonk.  Hog roasts are burning all day, face painting for children and not to mentioned the Jazz band.  National Lottery announcer Alan Dedicoat is the mani on the mike for the day.  Classic car show is placed next to the main marquee where we bring Marty & Belle for all to see.

So if you live local and fancy a jolly good knees up why not pop along on Sunday 28th June