Wedding Photography by Jo Hughes

You may recognise some of these photos from Johnny & Laura’s Autumn Wedding shot by the wonderful Jo Hughes. Jo Hughes at Captive Photography has a way of capturing much more than a moment, she has the ability to stop time and her photos often portray the sheer emotion of the second they were taken. Perhaps her ability to do so comes form her love of capturing LOVE.

Jo Hughes’ photography is a mixture of photo journalism and creative portraiture – she photographs weddings as they happen, capturing moments that can’t be recreated. With Johnny & Laura’s shots being some of our favourite here in the Fulham Palace weddings team we asked Jo to share her experience during the day, watch you don’t well up!

The Art of Weddings – My Style

I am always looking for ways to capture the essence of each wedding day and to tell it’s own story- this means searching for the best light, capturing the natural happiness and emotion of the moment, and striving to create images in a way that each client will love… documenting who they are in that moment and what they wish to always remember.  The results of each wedding are unique, but below is an example of how I work throughout the day.

A Wedding day story – Johnny & Laura, Fulham Palace October 2013

The day started early as I planned to photograph both the ‘girls’ and the ‘boys’ getting ready.  I parked up at Fulham Palace so I had spare photography kit & lighting in the car should it be needed later, and then headed off by cab to meet the boys.  The Groom, his father, best man and groomsmen were having a very refined boys brunch at The Harwood Arms in Fulham.

After taking some natural reportage shots of the boys banter and jovial atmosphere, I left them tucking in to brunch as I headed straight to the girls at Number Sixteen, a gorgeous boutique hotel in the heart of South Kensington. Laura and her entourage of stunning bridesmaids were all getting ready together and helping Laura into her breathtaking dress – there was much laughter and some happy tears as Laura transformed before all our eyes.

I took some candid shots of the bridal preparation and then gave Laura some subtle direction to help her feel happy & relaxed for a few bridal portraits in the hotel reception.  My aim is always to keep the photos looking as natural as possible.

I travelled with the bride & bridesmaids to the church, as I jumped out to meet the ushers at the front, the girls all continued to the back of the church to wait inside hidden from the prying eyes of the guests.  This gave me time to take some candid shots of the guests arriving, and the groom and best man waiting at the front of the church.  I always take this opportunity to have a quick chat with the Minister or Curate who is conducting the wedding and to check on their requirements.  On this occasion the Curate was very relaxed and happy for me to take photographs during the ceremony and to allow confetti outside afterwards.

The bride was given away by her father and Johnny & Laura were married in an emotional ceremony in front of a packed congregation of family and friends. The guests were treated to a beautiful acoustic rendition of What a Wonderful World sung by the enormously talented Jessie Ware, a relative of the groom, during the signing of the register.

I stay discreet during most of the ceremony but am always ready to get the joyous shots during the recessional when the bride and groom and the rest of the wedding party walk back up the aisle.

The congregation left the church by the front exit . At this point I try and give the newly marrried couple a few private moments together while I informally organise the crowd of guests to be ready by the back exit with confetti and cheers…  Then a few minutes later when the couple exit the church I’m ready to capture the moment as they are greeted and the pure joy on the faces of the bride & groom – it’s always one of my favourite shots of the day!

Wedding Reception, Fulham Palace

The guests were driven on a vintage London bus to Fulham Palace which is situated on the northern side of Putney Bridge which crosses London’s River Thames.  Meanwhile the bridal party and I snuck ahead to the palace allowing us time for some portraits of the bride & groom before the reception is in full swing.  I position the bride & groom in the best soft natural light and then allow them to interact naturally – for some couples this is easy but for others I give them something to do to allow me to capture natural movement – practice their first dance or take a short stroll together.  Without fail this takes away the feeling of ‘posing’ and lets me create photographs which look natural, relaxed and flattering.

For Winter Weddings I will work with an assistant who can help create more light artificially, combined with the  existing ambient light of a venue this produces soft flattering images which are beautifully lit.

As the guests arrive and the reception gets underway I use my time to capture candid photos of the guests and the atmosphere.  I also slip away and take some detail shots of the wedding venue dressing and all the themed details.

Most couples want a few formal group shots – I recommend keeping this to a minimum so I am able to photograph quickly and efficiently, and keep the moment fun and light hearted.

The catering by Bovingdons was amazing as always, and the additional lighting by Effectevent enabled me to continue to capture the atmosphere of the evening. The final piece of the wedding photography is the first dance – I always stay to capture this moment, it is the final piece of the story in the wedding album!


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