Sussex wedding photographer's blog » Wedding and corporate photography from Lucky Dog Photography

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Winter wedding at the Alexander House Hotel

The bride and her sisters outside the Alexander House HotelJo and her sisters outside the Alexander House Hotel in West Sussex

I had my final wedding of the year last Saturday. Jo and Pete booked me as their wedding photographer a few months ago after being let down by someone else and finding me through my website. We didn’t get a chance to meet up before the day, so Saturday was the first time we saw each other.

It was also my first time at The Alexander House Hotel, a lovely wedding venue near Turners Green in West Sussex. I arrived a bit early to have a look at the grounds and see the various rooms that Jo and Pete would be using. I was shown round by Jenny, one of the wedding planners at the venue, who was very helpful and made sure I knew the schedule for the day.
I started with the preparations of the bride and her sisters. I hope they won’t mind me saying that they were a complete bunch of posers, and obviously enjoyed having their photos taken. Most of the people I photograph try to hide and throw garlic at me when I arrive, so this was a pleasant change. See the top photo for an example of their excellent posing techniques!

Because it was a winter wedding my main concerns were the weather and the light. The wedding party was made up of family and close friends, about thirty five people, so in the event of really heavy rain I knew I would have enough room to set up lights indoors and cover most of the group photos. As is turned out it was a bit dull, extremely cold, but dry, so we managed to take everybody outside for the larger family shots. By the time I’d done these, and was ready to take the main shots of the bride and groom, the light was beginning to fade. With the current generation of professional cameras low light is not so much of a problem but, even if there is enough light to take a photo, the quality of it may not be very good. In these conditions I tend to use a speedlight and umbrella to light the subjects. That means I can underexpose the background slightly and get a more interesting look. After a bit of a late start we ended up having about five minutes to do these shots, so it was rushed (as usual). The photos of the bride and groom are the most important shots of the day, so I took a few more on the stairs inside the venue later in the afternoon to make sure I was covered. Jo was also quite keen on the look of the interior of the hotel, so she has some photos to remind her of the feel of the place.

It was a good wedding to end the season, everyone was very friendly and seemed to be enjoying themselves. I even got a little cheer as I left, thank you very much!

That’s it, I’m retiring for the year now. I’ll be back at the computer designing wedding albums in January. Thank you to all my clients, hope you have a happy Christmas and a great New Year.

If you would like some more information on booking me as your photographer please have a look at the wedding photography page on the main site.

Bride and groom laughing in grounds of Sussex hotel

Jo and Pete in the gardens at the Alexander Park Hotel just after the wedding

Bridal preparations at West Sussex wedding venue
Sisters and mother preparing for wedding in bathroom
Sister preparing for wedding at Alexander House Hotel
Groom and best man getting ready at Alexander House Hotel
groom, father of the bride and brother in law getting ready for wedding
Bride and her sisters in the bridal suite
Bride putting final touches to make up in the mirror
Groom and his crew before the wedding
The bride and her mother in the bridal suite Alexander House Hotel
Bride and her father waiting outside the ceremony room
Bride being given away by her father at Alexander House Hotel
The bride
Bride and groom lighting eternity candles during the wedding ceremony
Bride looking at her husband to be at West Sussex weddding venue
Exchanging rings during West Sussex wedding ceremony
Bride and groom embracing after being declared husband and wife
Bride and Groom signing the register at Alexander House Hotel
Groom shares a moment with his new bride at Alexander House Hotel
Bridal party group photo outside West Sussex wedding venue
Grooms party walking down path at Alexander House Hotel
Bride and groom in the grounds of Alexander Park Hotel
Groom kissing laughing bride at West Sussex wedding venue
Newly wed couple on the stairs at Alexander House Hotel
Newly weds on the stairs at Sussex hotel
Newly married couple in front of fireplace at Alexander House Hotel

Berkshire Wedding Photography - Great series of photos Dave,

My favourites are your outdoor shots. The illumination looks so good I would have thought you used a full studio strobe with a light box. It really lifts the pictures. One would have never guessed that it was probably -3 degrees at the time!

Great work. Keep it up in 2011!


DaveP - Thanks Luben,

Yes, it’s just one speedlight with a large brolly. I’ve moved the stand as near to them as possible to keep the light soft.
Hope 2011 is good for you too.


Essex wedding photography - Your images truly capture the emotion of the day. Stunning!

DaveP - Thanks Jasmine, Dave.

David Fenwick Photography - Hi Dave,
I’ve just been having a good look through your blog and wanted to compliment you on your great work. I can see you care passionately about finding, or creating, good light for your images (I’m with you on that one). I really like the light in the images taken with the Speedlight and brolly. What’s your precise set-up (stand, assistant, recruited guest)? I’m tempted to do this but would like to keep the kit highly portable. I suppose it would even be possible to get a guest to hold the brolly and Speedlight!
All the best,

DaveP - Thanks David. It’s a very simple set up, just a light stand with a Manfrotto adapter to take a brolly and speedlight. I use Elinchrom Skyports to trigger the flash. You often need someone to hold the stand as it tends to fall over with the first puff of wind, I usually recruit the nearest willing volunteer for the job! I use just one light for fast portraits, though it’s useful to have two kits available, together they are great for doing group photos if the weather turns bad. Very portable. Dave.

David Fenwick Photography - Many thanks for the info Dave – really appreciated. I feel some investment in kit is now required!

Nick Rose - Really great wedding photography here and awesome lighting. You answered Davids question with ‘just one speedlight with a large brolly’ do you combine with an ‘on camera’ or is it literally just the one speedlight remotely triggered?
Good work here!

DaveP - Thanks Nick. Yes, just one off camera speedlight in this case. I do sometimes use off camera flash together with on camera flash. If I’m using a bare speedlight off camera, at a conference for example, I might use a blip of on camera flash to fill the shadows and reduce the contrast a bit. Generally if I’m using a flash and brolly, and need more lighting, I’ll use another off camera flash to supplement it.

Photographer Aberdeen - Nice photos, I really like the shots on the stairs! keep up the good work.

Wedding Photographer Kent - Great photographs!

Wedding Photographer Bath - Super set,I really love the traditional shots at the end great work!

Nick Rose | Kent Wedding Photographer - I love the father of the brides expression in the shot near the top where he’s holding his finger in the air!

St.Helens Photographer - Like your work!

Wedding Photographer Santorini - As a wedding photographer myself, I would like to give you my congratulations for the beautiful photographs!

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