Fletcher Moss Botanical Gardens Pre-Wedding Photography ~ Dan Barlow

Shabina & Usman

Shabina & Usman had their autumnal pre-wedding photoshoot at Fletcher Moss Botanical Gardens in Didsbury which we did in the late afternoon to get the gorgeous sunset light. They wanted a mixture of posed and unposed portraits but with a strong bias towards the unposed. By reviewing the posed portraits together, they could decide what what was working well for them – entirely what I’d consider to be the key point of a pre-wedding photoshoot.

The following portraits are from the undirected and unposed end of the spectrum; they required minimal direction as we had talked through posing earlier in the session and Shabina & Usman were now comfortable and confident enough to show me what they could do.

Here’s a small selection of Shabina & Usman’s set:

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The Pinewood Hotel Pre-Wedding Photoshoot ~ Dan Barlow

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Rachel & Dom

Rachel & Dom are getting married later this year at The Pinewood Hotel which is where we are for this pre-wedding photoshoot.

They had quickly outlined that they want relaxed, naturally posed photos so we choose secluded spots around the gardens so they felt comfortable to show me what they could do. They quickly relaxed in front of my camera once we had reviewed some of their photos and talked about the process taking place – entirely what I’d consider to be the key point of a pre-wedding photoshoot (as well as getting some superb portraits together!).

Here’s a small selection of Rachel & Dom’s set:

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Tatton Park Pre-Wedding Photoshoot ~ Dan Barlow

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Vanessa & Bob

There’s an old adage which says something like ‘never work with children or animals’ and it’s clearly something said by some joyless crackpot because I always encourage couples with dogs to bring them to their pre-wedding photoshoot – they’re family so why wouldn’t you?! Before their wedding at Great John Street Hotel, Vanessa, Bob and their pup Minne met with me for their pre wedding photoshoot at Tatton Park. It gave us plenty of open space to let Minnie run around while we concentrated on posing and was lovely and private which meant that Vanessa & Bob could relax in front of my camera, see what naturally works for them and see how I work first-hand, just some of the reasons why I offer a pre-wedding photoshoot.

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Castlefield, Manchester Pre-Wedding Photoshoot ~ Dan Barlow

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Helly & Andy’s Pre-Wedding Photoshoot

Back at the start of 2015 I ran a competition to win my services for the day; the lucky winners were the lovely Helly and Andy, a pair whose wedding plans sounded so outrageously cool that it had to be them who won. And because their venue isn’t quite finished yet, we decided on this spot around Manchester to squeeze in a pre-wedding photoshoot, regardless of rain or shine.

The metal, brick and industrial feel of this place stands in total contrast to the rural, rustic feel of their wedding venue; the similarity is that it is just as secluded which meant that Helly & Andy could relax in front of my camera, receive some beautiful photographs, see what works for them and see how I work first-hand, just some of the reasons why I offer a pre-wedding photoshoot.

The photos run in time order and you can see how Helly & Andy became more at ease – they were strongly encouraged to mess about and we had a lot of laughs and fun!

Please see their wedding day photography here

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Manchester Town Hall and Midland Hotel, Pre-Wedding Photoshoot ~ Dan Barlow

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Anwen & Adam’s Pre-Wedding Photoshoot

Anwen & Adam met with me in Manchester city centre for their pre-wedding photoshoot to get a flavour of how I work on a portrait session and to build a bit of photo confidence ahead of their Manchester Town Hall wedding next month. We chose a secluded spot in the Town Hall which meant we could run through posing at their own speed before we planned out how their portrait session would work on the day. We then headed on to The Midland Hotel which will be the second venue of their wedding day, getting to know the building and adding a few more unexpectedly beautiful and dramatic locations for portraiture. Seeing this lovely couple become comfortable enough to choose poses themselves was a wonderful thing to see and allowed me to shoot unobtrusively and keep the photography fun, relaxed and natural.

You can see Anwen & Adam’s wedding day photographs here.

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Great John Street Hotel Pre-Wedding Photoshoot ~ Dan Barlow

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Sarah & Nick

Sarah and Nick chose to meet me in the opulent surroundings of the Great John Street Hotel where they’ll marry at the end of October. As well as working on the plan for their wedding day around the hotel, we managed to get out and take some photographs. Sarah and Nick showed me what they liked about the Great John Street Hotel which means I can begin to think about how I will incorporate these details into my work. As well as giving them a set of lovely photos, this photoshoot gave Sarah and Nick an opportunity to relax into natural, comfortable poses in from of my camera, build their photo confidence and show them how certain scenes could make amazing photographs.

See Sarah and Nick’s wedding day photographs here

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Broadoaks Hotel, Lake District Wedding Photography ~ Dan Barlow

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Amanda & Simon

Amanda and Simon chose a great way to get prepared for their wedding day at Broadoaks Country House Hotel – by having a mini holiday, surrounded friends and family in the North-West’s beautiful Lake District. At the end of this holiday came the special day retold in photographs below…

After a relaxed round of bridal preparations at Amanda’s holiday house, we moved onto Broadoaks where she could get into her amazing dress; look out for Simon, Dad and the guest’s expressions as Amanda walked down the aisle – I love them and think these say it all about how she looked!

The rain which had interrupted the group photos earlier had given way to some evening sunshine which gave us the opportunity to head out for bridal portraits, beginning the session on the hotel’s helipad/lawn (when we saw the sign, we thought it might be a joke but you really can land a helicopter here!) before taking a stroll around the gardens. When we met in May for the pre-wedding shoot, I felt Amanda and Simon had found what worked well for them when it came to portraits and it seemed to me that they picked up where they left off to make these beautiful portraits.

After the wedding, I was so happy to be called ‘The 5th bridesmaid’ by Amanda; she wasn’t sure which way it’d go down but I love it and reminds me of how involved I was in such a special day!

Congratulations Amanda & Simon!

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Barcombe, East Sussex Wedding Photography ~ Dan Barlow

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Gemma & Joe

Every one of these blogs that I post begins as a list of words summing up the day before it’s fleshed out with prose; this blog post started life as ‘bunting, puppies, new born baby, Bob Dylan, dance off’; an intriguing set of phrases I never thought I’d be using to start reporting this relaxed, unique wedding set deep in the Sussex countryside!

Arriving a bit too early for bridal preparations in Brighton meant I could soak up the sunshine and listen to the seagulls (the flying ones, not the football-kicking ones) before getting down to photo-taking-business of Gemma, her bridesmaids and flower girls. While Powder & Pin got busy with their hair and make up talents, the pretty bunting adorning the lounge gave me the opportunity to make one of my favourite images of the day (Gemma’s shoes) which happily tied in with the flowers and the bunting decorating Gemma and Joe’s venue at Barcombe.

At the pub, the sun did what it does best and shone throughout the service on the lawn while Gemma’s brother-in-law conducted the ceremony with such mastery and authority that I wondered for a moment if he did this for a living! After Gemma and Joe tied walked down the aisle, guests gathered for drinks on the banks of the River Ouse while I set about taking some unposed, natural photos of all the good times going on.

When we met in May, Gemma and Joe told me about all the games planned and knew these, along with the bouncy castle, would make for great photos – I’m not entirely sure what the bat, ball and strange wooden device game was called but it provided hours of entertainment and intense moments! Apart from the wedding breakfast and speeches, the rest of the day was spent outside where there were the aforementioned puppies and the youngest guest I’ve ever seen at a wedding at just one day old!

The sun set in spectacular fashion and we could break out the sparklers before heading into the marque for the first dance to Bob Dylan followed by a flamboyant dance off between the bridesmaids and the groomsmen. This was a such a fun, laid back day for everyone and I feel so honoured to have been a part of it; thank you so much for having me.

Congratulations Gemma & Joe!

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The Pinewood Hotel, Handforth, Cheshire Wedding Photography ~ Dan Barlow

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Kaz & Jon

I feel rather blessed being able to work alongside so many fabulous people on some of the most important days of their lives. Kaz and Jon are no exception to this rule – ever since they got in touch earlier this year, I’ve known that they would be awesome to work alongside and it has certainly been the case for their special day at the Pinewood Hotel in Handforth.

The photography started at Kaz’s Mum’s house where I spent the morning capturing some very relaxed preparations; there was even time between hair and make up (and champagne) for Kaz to present her bridesmaids with some very pretty necklaces with Jon’s daughter receiving an extra special one to mark the occasion.

Over at the Pinewood Hotel, I was greeted by Jon whose nerves just melted away as he first saw his daughter, then wife-to-be walk down the aisle. After the ceremony, guests were given balloons to release which was a really fun way to begin the group photos and get everyone out into the sunshine. Guests were then treated to entertainment from mind bendingly good magician Alan Hudson and talented caricature artist Mike Bryson while Kaz, Jon and I picked up what we were doing when we were last here and took in the gardens for their bridal portraits.

After the speeches came the part I had been really looking forward to. I’ve been a Northern Uproar fan since I was 14 so meeting the band then seeing them play live that evening was a massive pleasure and well worth staying around for. Leon Meya was on top form with his band, keeping the dance floor filled all night, a rare skill that you don’t see that often and one which made this an incredible night for everyone involved. Thanks for having me along, please find a few of my favourite documentary wedding photographs below.

Congratulations Kaz & Jon!

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Sandall Beat Wood Pre-Wedding Photoshoot ~ Dan Barlow

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Ashley & Brent’s Pre-Wedding Photoshoot

Ashley, Brent (and Layla their dog) took me along to Sandall Beat Wood for their pre-wedding photoshoot ahead of their wedding later this summer. This secluded spot was chosen by Ashley & Brent as it’s not only peaceful and pretty, but one of Layla’s favourite places. By picking a familiar place, Ashley and Brent could relax a little while we practiced posing and building a bit of photo confidence; as you can see from the photos, there was a lot of messing about and laughter, the best thing for overcoming nerves when having your photo taken!

See Ashley & Brent’s wedding day photographs here.

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