My favourite wedding photographs – 3

This photograph was taken at our friends Julia and Carl’s wedding at the Adam’s Beach Hotel in Cyprus in May 2008.  It has long been a favourite of mine, not only because it was taken at a friends wedding, but because of it’s unusual perspective and composition – I have not worked in another wedding venue where I would have been able to take this photograph.

I first had the idea for this shot whilst we were visiting Julia and Carl in their hotel room a few days before the wedding. Whilst we were stood on their balcony, which overlooked the hotel gardens where weddings in the Adam’s Beach hotel are held, another bride whose wedding had just finished walked underneath and it struck me that the unusual angle would make a great photograph.

On the wedding day itself I obviously couldn’t be in two places at once(!), so once the ceremony had finished, I set up Julia and Carl and their bridesmaids downstairs before going up to their room to take this shot looking down from their balcony, whilst they walked below me.

Apart from basic levels and contrast adjustment, I did very little to the photograph in post production so the final image is more or less as it was straight out of camera. I was lucky that Julia chose black bridesmaids dresses because, together with the usual angle, the contrast of the black against the white floor is what really makes the photograph work.

This image will always be a particular favourite of mine as it was the photograph which won me the title of SWPP Members Choice Wedding Photographer of the Year 2008.

Each week on the SWPP (Society of Wedding & Portrait Photographers) forum, members are invited to participate in a wedding photography competition with each of the weekly winners going forward to the final vote for the annual title. I was really pleased that my image won as there were some exceptional wedding photographs nominated.

The award was given to me at the SWPP’s annual Awards Dinner at the Novotel Hotel in London in January 2009 by Jon Jenkins, a fantastic wedding photographer based in Wales.  It was a real honour to pick up the award in front of some many of the UK’s best wedding photographers.

Adams Beach Hotel Cyprus Wedding Photographs 1

SWPP Members Choice Wedding Photographer of the Year Award 2

SWPP Members Choice Wedding Photographer of the Year Award


  • November 16, 2009 - 9:28 pm

    Kevin Mullins - I remember this shot Neil – very very cool, and a deserved reward. Well done fella.

  • November 16, 2009 - 9:58 pm

    julia harvey - Aw Neil was wondering when we would be on your list of favourites! was getting worried! I think u know how much we love this photo, and how proud we were that it won u the award, makes us feel a little less guilty that we dragged u all the way to cyprus to take it!!

  • November 16, 2009 - 10:09 pm

    andy mcdonald - Neil

    I wasn’t around when you won this award, but I agree its an awesome image.

    well deserved, hope you’ve made the most of it.

    cheers,

    Andy McDonald

    wedding photographer in Manchester

  • November 16, 2009 - 11:35 pm

    Alan Hutchison - Excellent shot – and so different. It was a very well deserved award.

  • November 17, 2009 - 9:32 am

    Rick Mason - Fantastic work Neil and a well deserved award!

  • December 2, 2009 - 12:47 am

    Emma Hyles - Well done!!

  • April 9, 2011 - 2:23 am

    Jon Jenkins - Cheers for the mention Neil! A very well deserved win, very proud to present this to you. Well done!

My favourite wedding photographs – 2

This photograph was taken at Elizabeth and Austin’s wedding at Liverpool Town Hall in August 2008. I really enjoyed this wedding and took quite a few photographs which I was particularly proud of, but this one is definitely my favourite.

It was taken in Liverpool Town Hall’s large ballroom during the couple’s first dance.  It is one of those unposed emotional moments that would be almost impossible to set up. Elizabeth and Austin look so happy and everything in the shot, from the emotion of the bride and groom’s faces to the candles in the background, just fell right at that moment.

As well as myself, Elizabeth & Austin also hired a videographer to capture their wedding and whilst I was talking photographs the videographer was also on the dance floor filming.  The videographer was using a video light on his video camera and it is this light which is lighting up Elizabeth’s veil and giving the rim of light around the couple’s faces.  I think this really makes the image and it is an effort I have recreated at many weddings since by using off-camera flash.

To get an unposed photograph as strong as this also requires quite a bit of luck.  For example I wasn’t consciously trying to position myself so that the candles in the background were just in the frame – but I’m thankful they were as they give the image depth and warmth.

This photograph was awarded a Gold Award in the wedding traditional category in the SWPP (Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers) monthly competition and was also featured in the SWPP’s ‘Annual Collection 2008′ publication which contained the top 3 images per category submitted to the SWPP’s monthly competition in 2008.  To have one of my wedding photographs included in the collection was a real honour.

In my opinion, this is certainly the best first dance shot I have ever taken but I will being doing my very best to beat it in the future!

Favourite Wedding Photography from Liverpool Town Hall-1

Favourite Wedding Photography from Liverpool Town Hall-2


  • November 10, 2009 - 9:01 pm

    Crash Taylor - Well done buddy. Love that image!

  • November 10, 2009 - 9:57 pm

    Donna Chipping - That is one beautiful photo, no wonder you’re so proud. Congratulations :-)

  • November 15, 2009 - 3:20 pm

    Sofie - Lovely image Neil & well done for getting it in the SWPP book!

  • November 16, 2009 - 6:00 pm

    Kevin Mullins - Lovely image Neil – well worth the award and I can see why it is one of your favourites.

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