Marc & Lou's Wedding

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Marc & Lou's Wedding

There are a few moments which have a dramatic impact on our lives and, as a photographer, I always see it as an honour to be part of these moments.  Wedding days are one of these moments and I am so pleased to be trusted by Marc and Lou to document theirs.

Marc & Lou are a great couple.  We had a brilliant time on their wedding pre-shoot so it was wonderful to see them get married.  As with all weddings, the bridal party, grooms men and guests helped make the day memorable and it was great to be welcomed by Marc & Lou's family and friends.

The ceremony took place at the beautiful  St Mary's and St Margret's church.  When I arrived I was greeted by brilliantly played organ music and a church full of wonderful stained glass windows.  Despite the rain, there was no dampening down how happy everyone was to be there.


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Wedding ceremonies are always beautiful and full of emotion; wedding receptions are full of character and this reception was no different.  It was wonderful to see the guest relax and see how happy they were for Marc and Lou.

The reception took place at the gorgeous Norfolk Mead Hotel in Coltishall.  The team at the hotel put on another great reception and delicious wedding breakfast.  It was a shame the grounds were waterlogged but the inside of the venue made for some great photos and we made it out into the gardens for a few shots.

Time flew by quickly and, before I knew it, it was time for the final dance.  The day had been all about love.  Watching Marc and Lou have their first dance as a married couple you could truly see how much Marc and Lou loved each other.

I truly wish Lou and Marc all the best for the future.

I would like to also thank Steve Palmer, from A Memory Captured, for helping me throughout the day.  

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Devils Vs East Essex Sabres

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Devils Vs East Essex Sabres

I spend a lot of my time looking through a camera view finder.  It gives me a very constricted view, depending on the lens I am using.  When I shoot the devils I usually shoot using a long focal length with a very small field of view.  What you see in my photos is how I watch a devils game and finding the ball is like a "Where's Wally" book with all of the characters running around.  It isn't very often I want to put the camera down and just watch but this game was different.  The majority of the games I have watched had the devils winning with comfortable lead.  This game was different, the devils had to fight for every yard and the focus and desire to win, from both of the teams, was palpable.

Luckily, I didn't put the camera down.

For me, there is always a bigger story than just the game.  Every single game I attend leaves me impressed with the level of sportsmanship on display.  The teams spend hours battering each other on the field only to shake hands and then grab a photo of both teams together.  This game had another level of sportsmanship on show.  At the start of the game both teams, officials and support staff took a knee in the middle of the field for a minutes silence to remember a player from another team who recently passed away.  The Devils also took the time to add decal to their helmets as a sign of respect. The game was intense and a number of players were injured.  In another show of amazing sportsmanship the head coaches from each team went to their aid, irrespective of which team the injured player belonged to.  So many sports could learn from these American Football teams. 

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Gear used

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Meet the Devils

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Meet the Devils

The Norwich Devils have re-entered the National League off the back of hard work both on and off the pitch.  With the start of the new season the Devils received their new kit which was kindly sponsored by K Foley LimitedMacDonalds franchise owner.  The colours carry significant importance for the team.  The colours of the latest Devils kit are inspired by the kit worn when they won the Championship in 2002.  

So what better way to introduce the team to their new kit than holding a photo-shoot.  The images will be used in their team roster and on their social media.  The images are also there to help publicise K Foley Ltd sponsorship, so the MacDonald's Golden Arches are proudly worn and at the front of the image. The team is quite big so its taken some time to work through the images and I am pleased to be able to release the first set, head shots.

There are times, as a photographer, it is hard to get people to stand in front of a camera and look good.  I have to say this ins't an issue when working with the Norwich Devils.  Everyone was more than happy to step into the light and have their photo taken.  I hope I've done their enthusiasm justice in these shots.  Once again it was great to work with such a dedicated group of people who's passion for the sport is evident every time I meet them. 


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How I took the shots...

The shoot took place in a school sports hall.  Hopefully this isn't obvious from the images I have published.  It's always a challenge to get studio quality images when you are not in the studio. I set up three strobes; one on each side and a key light slightly above the subject and to their left.  The two lights to either side were contained in soft boxes with grids attached and the key light had a beauty dish attached, also with a grid.  

I set up around 6 meters from the wall and set my exposure for the strobes to try and crush the ambient light.  Unfortunately, the ambient light was brighter than I wanted and the background didn't drop off into black as cleanly as I had hoped.  Only one of my strobes has a high speed sync (HSS) option so I had to keep the shutter speed lower than I would have liked.  To get the final images I had to "fix it in post", not ideal but effective in this case.  Post processing in Photoshop made sure there was a clean background for the final images.

I chose to use the Canon 70-200mm F2.8 USM II lens as I was taking 6 shots per player; a head shot, half and a 3/4 length shot.  Three without a helmet, three wearing a helmet.  Having the focal range of 70 - 200mm allowed me to shoot from the same spot and not have to move for each shot.  The lens is also fantastically sharp and creates stunning shots.

I'm not the best Photoshop editor out there and find the process of selecting and masking a real pain, especially when you have 40+ images to work on.  Luckily the most recent release of Photoshop CC includes a feature called "Select Subject" which is accessible through the "Quick Selection Tool".  This sped the process up.  It did have an interesting effect on hair as the selection created a smooth line rather than trace hair perfectly.  After some failed attempts with the "refine edge" tool, I opted to create a darker layer of the portrait and blend in the edge of the hair and beards.  

I'm really pleased with how they have come out and I hope the team like them too.


Kit used

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Norwich Devils Vs Maidstone Pumas

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Norwich Devils Vs Maidstone Pumas

The second game of the season saw the Norwich Devils play at home against Maidstone Pumas.  It was great to see the Devils out in their new kit ready to take on the Pumas.  The conditions looked good and play commenced at 2pm, Sunday.  Once again it was an great experience to be on the sidelines to capture not only the game but also its charater.  

The devils started the game strong against a resilient opponent and gave me plenty of chances to get shots full of action.  The bright sun created harsh conditions to grab great shots; testing my camera's dynamic range to its limits.

The match cannot go on without the a dedicated team of staff who also keep me company on the side lines.  It's great to be able to work with such dedicated poeple.

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Marc and Lou

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Marc and Lou

We had been waiting for the weather to improve for Marc and Lou's wedding pre-shoot but time was against us.  Their wedding was only 2 weeks away and we needed to complete this shoot or it would soon be a post wedding shoot.

We had been teased by the forecast and expected a warm weekend; nature had a different idea and presented us with a cool and overcast day.  We planned to get to our location, Felbrigg Hall, to get the sun low in the sky but the thick cloud cover stopped the sun from being a big feature in any of the images.

We worked across a series of locations scouted before the shoot.  The daffodils contributed some much needed colour into the shots to make up for the bland sky.  

Marc and Lou were great fun to work with and the pre-shoot gave us a chance to get to know each other before their wedding, try out some poses and talk through their big day.  Wedding days are quite fast paced and there is limited time to get shots so it was really worth spending the time to talk through what they were after and also bring them up to speed on what to expect from me.


Kit Used

For this shoot I used my trusty 5D mark III and Canon 70-200mm f2.8 L USM lens along with my Godox 600BM strobe fitted with a Beauty Dish.  For the wedding I'll also be bringing along 2 additional bodies, a Canon 24-70mm and a ultra wide Sigma 12-24mm for those large group shots.  Along with my Godox strobe I'll have two yongnuo YN560 IV speedlights.

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