Wednesday, October 4th, 2017
What could be better that travelling to the beautiful South of France on a Bank holiday weekend to photograph an outdoor wedding in Cannes. I cant think of many places I have photographed at that were as stunning as this particular venue. Chateau Castellaras is situated on a hill overlooking the stunning French countryside and Mediterranean sea, quite breathtaking. Having arrived on Saturday I met with Hannah and we had a guided tour of the Chateau and its grounds, it was then back to the hotel to prepare for a full days shooting in temperatures approaching 35C. Working in such hot temperatures can be difficult and dangerous, so its important to stay hydrated especially during the ceremony when the sun was at its hottest.
I will always remember the first time I met Hannah. It was at Odette and Bens’ wedding at The Savoy Hotel, Hannah was a bridesmaid and she was quite forthright in making me aware that when she got proposed to I was shooting her wedding. And so it came to fruition, Hannah and Andrew are two of the most welcoming, hospitable couple I have had the pleasure in working with. Nothing was too much trouble, we were well catered for in every department, so there was not the usual stresses of a destination wedding to contend with.
The ceremony itself was breathtaking. Hannahs’ walk to the chuppah and down the aisle photographed so well and the photographs really do show such a happy couple.
My style of photography never tries or claims to show how clever I can be. I am not trying to take images to win awards, I’m constantly trying to take images that show the couple enjoying their wedding, that reflect how in love they are and how happy they are. I want them to look back at their images in years to come and say ” look how young and happy we were”, not ” where are we in this image”.
So, yes, I do get close to my clients, yes I do step into their personal space, but no matter how hard that is sometimes its about the final result, and the final result is something that I am proud of.
Monday, September 11th, 2017
Before I begin this review I will just caveat it with the following. These are my own opinions, Sony have not paid me to write this, and that the views expressed below are my own.
I like my cameras to be simple, very simple, I am not a technical person, I do not get excited by gear that has the latest and greatest tech, so as soon as I received the Sony A9 I turned off half of its capabilities, Wifi, face recognition, eye detection, lock on AF and a whole bunch of other stuff that I do not need and would not use. Ive had my Nikon D750’s for a couple of years now, and love them, but with age, and 15 years of shooting weddings without a break, comes bad knees, bad back, shoulders and hips and so I have been looking for a smaller camera with the power of a DSLR for some time now.
Is the Sony A9 it? Well thats a question I also asked myself. Like many people I looked at the reviews on Youtube ( the font of all knowledge) and have seen the Artisans shooting with their A9’s but rarely have I seen anything other than quite a few details and static couples. So I wanted to see if it worked at one of my weddings. I asked Sony if I could borrow a camera and away I went to France to shoot a wedding with it.
The camera itself is small and very well built. I personally like the buttons, its virtually the same as my Nikons, aperture and s/speed buttons in the same place, I love the fact you can change the ISO on the spin wheel at the back and so once I had taken off all the unnecessary stuff I was left with a very small, simple camera.
Embarrassingly the first thing I noticed was how silent the silent mode is. I picked up the camera, stuck a card in and then turned to a fellow photographer, Mike Dickson, who was with me at the time, and told him that Sony had given me a duff camera. Unbeknown to me I had rattled off 40-50 shots in silent mode. So for any vicars reading this, if the photographer has a Sony A9 he can stand at the front and not “ruin” the wedding but taking pictures.
Once I had googled how to turn off silent mode ( the menu system is way too complicated) I also noticed the incredible AF, in one shot and continuous. Again with Sony you have a load of tracking facilities with this camera, which I tried to use, but ended up not, sticking with the plain and simple continuous mode. This camera attains focus quickly and accurately every time, and I mean every time. Coupled with the right lens its amazing at grabbing focus, and tracking moving objects. I used the Sony Zeiss 35mm f2.8, its small light and produces some stunning images.
How did it perform at the wedding? Perfectly. I loved it, initially I used it for the bride getting ready and shot a whole host of images with it. All of them perfectly in focus and all of the exposures were spot on. I have never used a camera with an EVF before and my impressions were that this was perfectly adequate, no jumps, clear and accurate.
Then came my doubts. Here I am shooting a lovely wedding with something that I could not get into my head was shooting RAW 24MP images, that in uncompressed mode were bigger than my Nikon D750 RAW files (49mb v 33mb). As much as I kept telling myself this, the more I doubted it. So I stopped using it. Call we whatever you like, as much as I loved the camera, as much as I told myself its fine, I still couldn’t get around the fact that this thing felt and looked like a toy. It wasn’t hurting my back, or my wrists, it wasnt buffering out when I wanted it to keep shooting, it wasn’t missing focus, I wasn’t chimping, all of these things that I have been used to for 14 years this camera was not doing. Fear struck and back in the bag it went.
When I got home and downloaded the images, I kicked myself. The files are gorgeous, I had nothing to worry about , but it was all a bit too late, I’d wimped out, because this camera was different, groundbreaking some might say.
Conclusion: If I could justify the crazy amount of money that Sony want for this camera then I would buy two tomorrow, buy a handful of Zeiss lenses and away I go. The camera is incredible, its too complicated for me, so I would simplify it to suit my needs, but its everything I want in a wedding camera, small, light, amazing AF, lets me shoot a tonne of images and doesn’t even stop to breathe. I can shoot in silent mode, I can even tell the camera what face is the brides………. I love it, yes I bottled it when I should have carried on shooting, but you live and learn. When it finally comes down to around the £2k price, probably in a year when the A15 is out then I’ll buy it. Sony appear to be taking huge chunks out of Canon and Nikon in this marketplace and I can see why. Ive not seen anything from either of them to challenge this and so Sony gets my whole hearted praise for developing this camera and giving us something that sets a new bar.
Friday, August 25th, 2017
Micklefield Hall Wedding as photographed by David Pullum.
It was great to be back at one of my favourite wedding venues, Micklefield Hall. I first photographed a wedding there some 6 years ago when Tanya and James got married at my first ever Jewish wedding. Ive been lucky to have been back on quite a few occasions to photograph weddings of all different cultures since.
Micklefield Hall has changed quite a bit since then and now the weddings take place in the recently converted barn, as opposed to the marquee, but atmosphere and sense of space has still be maintained.
Carmel look almost regal in her wedding dress, her infectious smile and sheer happiness were a joy to photograph.
The wedding ceremony took place on the lawn in front of the house on a beautiful day in July, and probably coincided with the last day of sunshine we had this summer. I love an outdoor ceremony, its easier to move for starters, I dont have to worry about space as normally we are afforded a lot of room to move about respectfully and get images that normally I would struggle to get at a wedding indoors.
As with most Jewish weddings, the party after the ceremony was full of dancing and some really quite wonderful speeches. Thank you to both families for making us feel very welcome and part of their day, it was much appreciated.
Monday, August 21st, 2017
Chateau Le Pouget Wedding as photographed by David Pullum
It was a real privilege to be asked by Natalia to photographer her and Tor’s wedding in France. I photographed Natalia’s sister Alexia’s wedding at The Mandarin Oriental Hotel in London a few years back and so it was lovely to be back to photograph another wedding for the family.
The wedding weekend started with a party in the grounds of the Chateau on Friday night, the theme being “your childhood”. All of the guests wore fancy dress and there were a host of games from childhood years to entertain everybody, including a huge bouncy castle and a strongman hammer contraption which went down very well with the men.
The wedding itself was held in the chateau grounds, the backdrop being a field of sunflowers that the couple had requested the chateau owner plant some weeks before. I dont know much about sunflowers but apparently there is not a lot of science behind whether they would grow in time and even face the right way, but as luck had it they did both.
The party that followed the wedding was equally spectacular. The couples favourite band was flown in from Scandinavia and the chateau was lit to display all its splendour. All in all quite a superb weekend.
A huge Thank you to Anna Walmsley Events who planned and produced the wedding and looked after me during my stay.
Tuesday, June 27th, 2017
This was my first wedding at Fanhams Hall, a beautiful venue just outside London, that caters for both the ceremony and reception. So, on a beautiful summers day Lydia and Anoush got married. Anoush booked me after having been a guest a Emma and Daniel’s Savoy Hotel Wedding back in 2015 and it was great to see them both there.
A moving ceremony was followed by some hilarious speeches, with Anoush getting roasted by his best man, and his dad…..
Word of mouth bookings, for me, are always some of the best bookings I get. Either the couple have seen me at a wedding before or have seen my photographs of their friends work and like what they see. One of the most important aspects of booking a wedding photographer is to ask yourself ” can I be in this persons company for 10-12 hours?”. Its a really important question to ask, of course the images are important too, everyone has a camera these days, but no everyone can take a picture. If you can combine pictures and personality into one and the clients appreciate that then all is good.
I have photographed weddings for the last 15 years, and always said its my personality that gets me the work, when I met Anoush and Lydia, about 2 weeks before their wedding, we clicked. On the day it was easy, they understood what I do, were happy to let me do my job and we had great fun doing it.
Congratulations to them both, thank you for booking me and it was an honour to photograph your wedding.