About Carl O'Connell

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Why do professional wedding photographers charge so much?

April 4th, 2014

This is often a question asked, especially by wedding clients who can sometimes be spending over £1,00o for their wedding photographer.

Like most professions, we get paid for our time and the actual time spent on the day is only a fraction of the time we put in to a job. Even the job itself can be a couple of hours drive from our base.

As a basic calculation, say you’re spending £1,000 on a full day wedding of around ten hours. One thousand pounds for one day sounds like a lot, that’s £100 per hour right? If only it were like that, I’d do that every day.

Firstly, I come with an assistant, who I pay £10 per hour, so that’s £100 taken off the balance to start with. Before the wedding, the photographer will meet the wedding couple at last once but normally twice, once at either their home or if we’re lucky, our offices – then normally again at the wedding locations to discuss the day. That’s another 3 hours minimum, plus petrol costs for the location meetings. So that’s 13 hours for a £900 wedding so far.

After the wedding, the session, we have to go through the images and not only select the best images our of hundreds of shots. This alone takes around 3 hours but I also need to edit the final selection. Editing starts with colour correction and exposure, then cropping and other basic editing. We are not even doing anything to alter the photos significantly, like removing unwanted background objects or skin retouching. Correct retouching does take longer and there aren’t many good shortcuts. On a big wedding I would normally work with 700 images, and even if I just spend 2 minutes on each image that’s well over two days work. So all in all I spend around 3 days in the edit phase after a wedding. So that’s 39 hours for a £900 wedding so far.

I also include a wedding album in that package price, the minimum time I spend on an album is a day and a half. The first day to design and create the album, another half day to make any final amends after proofs have been sent to the wedding couple, plus dealing with the printers. So that’s 51 hours for a £900 wedding.

Apart from the website maintenance, time spent blogging and other labour intensive tasks, there are the very real costs for Google Adwords and other wedding directory submissions. I spend around £150 a month on Google at around £50 on other site submissions. So assuming a generous 4 weddings in a month, that’s another £50 towards marketing costs. So that’s 51 hours for £850 wedding which works out at: £16 which seems pretty reasonable for a professional service.

We haven’t even talked about the cost of the equipment which is heavily used and needs regularly updating and replacing. My main setup is around £5000 which needs to be replaced every three years in my experience. Plus liability insurance, travel costs, wedding outfits, etc. etc. There’s a lot that goes into being a professional wedding photographer!

Special occasion? Celebrate in style

January 2nd, 2014

Getting married can be an expensive business and in these straitened times many people are looking to get hitched without incurring huge debts or spending large amounts of money. Even in those circumstances it is possible to have a delightful wedding. All that is required is some careful planning and being prepared to do a lot of the work rather than employing people. By enlisting the help of family and friends a wedding can still be celebrated in real style.

If money is not such a problem the restraints are removed and a really stylish wedding can be planned.

The venue

To cut down on the need to make a bland and boring reception room look interesting and individualistic, choose a wedding reception venue that has plenty of character and interest of its own. For example, many historic houses (including National Trust) hire out part of their properties for weddings and other big events, and these provide a fantastic backdrop, especially when it comes to having the all-important wedding photographs taken. Other likely venues could include a botanical garden, a tourist attraction or even a zoo.

Doing away with the one size fits all wedding

Hiring a wedding planner can result in a couple’s wedding looking and feeling the same as all the weddings before and after it if everything is left to the company. If a planner is used the overall design and feel of the wedding should be established early on to ensure that you get what you want.

This is best achieved with the adoption of a set theme for the wedding. This can come down to a particular font to be used on all the invitations, name cards and other stationery items. It would also be the use of a special colour for the tablecloths and matching flowers. Larger scale themes could be extended to the use of costume for the guests – for example, a reception like a Venetian Masquerade Ball.

Bringing luxury into the proceedings

When it comes to seating, ring the changes with eye-catching chairs at the top table for the couple and their family, and standard seats for the guests. Or just tie pretty flower bouquets onto the rear of seats reserved for the bride and groom to make them stand out from the rest.

Have silver service with the waiters wearing white gloves when they serve the food and hand out drinks. This is particularly effective when a standard wedding breakfast buffet is changed to waiters serving hors d’oeuvres on trays, as this creates a far more elegant look yet probably costs the same. A guaranteed way to add class to the wedding reception, or indeed any special event or celebration, is to serve drinks in crystal wine glasses, rather than ordinary wine glasses, or heaven forbid, plastic cups.

Centrepieces

One way to deliver a luxury, high impact look at the reception is to create stunning centrepieces for the guest tables. These could include vases filled with flowers that tie in with the reception’s main colour theme, or for a more natural look, could be made up of wild flowers or simple greenery. Rather than a vase, use instead a wireframe birdcage or glass bowls.

Generally there are certain aspects of a wedding that are needed to create style and elegance and lasting happy memories for everyone. Guests enjoy and remember a wedding for all sorts of reasons. The quality of the food, the venue, etc. To preserve those memories it is a sound investment to use a professional wedding photographer to create a permanent reminder of that very special day.

Destination weddings: Andalucia in Spain

January 2nd, 2014

Matt and Sophie had met online and had been looking to get married abroad. Such a beautiful couple who were so romantic together, they deserved only the best location. They chose Arcos Gardens in Andalusia, Spain.

Sophie was looking at local photographers, but chose me as she loved my work and knew I would give her exactly what she wanted, an unobtrusive wedding photographer, to capture the day. As luck would have it, I have family who now live in Andalusia so I knew the area well! I only charge flights at cost, which made the whole package inexpensive for Matt and Sophie. I spent a few days before ensuring I knew the plan and the day went without a hitch.

The resort is beautiful with some great amenities, especially if you’re a golfer! The weather was hot, that’s why they often have weddings which start early evening, when the air is cooler but ground still radiates an lovely evening glow. The staff at the resort were amazing and so very helpful on the day.

The ceremony was in a beautiful location and the food and setting for the reception was out of this world, with great attentive staff and an array of fine food. It was hard to fault. That made for a happy wedding couple and guests and some great photos! The speeches were hilarious and I know “foxy” (Matt) got a good deal of gentle ribbing from his chums.

This was a great wedding, one of my very favourite destination weddings!

Groom at Arcos Gardens

Matt waiting before the ceremony

Groom  with ushers at Arcos Gardens

Matt and the guys

Ceremonty at Arcos Gardens

The wedding ceremony at Arcos Gardens

Bride arrival at Arcos Gardens

Sophie arrives for the ceremony

Wedding Ceremony in Arcos Gardens

Matt and Sophie exchange a look

Wedding ceremony kiss

The kiss!

Arcos gardens penthouse

Formal photos in the penthouse

Bride and Groom photos

The happy couple

Wedding reception in the gardens

Wedding reception

Groom's speech in Arcos Gardens

Matt speaks to the guests

Dancing al fresco at Arcos Gardens

The first dance

The bride and groom kiss

My last photo of the night

Mykonos wedding, a perfect destination

November 29th, 2013

Dan and Emma had been together a few years before they decided to make it official and finally tie the knot. I know that Emma searched high and low for the perfect place to get married. The combination of weather and the desire to keep things small, made her think of a destination wedding. Of the many places she looked at, Ibiza and Mykonos came out as the two to decide upon, with Mykonos seeming like a the best overall place.

Emma wanted to make sure she could get the best wedding possible and I was chosen as the photographer as she knew my work and knew that I would give her exactly what she wanted on the day. No cheesy pics from the local photographer, but an elegant record of her day with beautiful images. I only charge economy flights and 3* accommodation at cost, so it’s generally cheaper than the local option.

The mayor in Mykonos Town always marries the couple, normally at midday in his office. A cosy and hot place to be in the middle of summer! They also put the rings on the right hand which is the opposite to the tradition in England.

A great wedding day, some amazing food, perfect weather of course, we even had a pool break in the middle and all dived in to cool off! The evening was warm and convivial, Dan even managed to pull off some quite unusual dance moves, as you’ll see below!

Windmills at Mykonos

Destination wedding

Ushers in Mykonos

The boys in Mykonos

Bridal photos in Mykonos

Bride in Mykonos Town

Bride and Groom at Mykonos reception

Bride and Groom in Mykonos town

DanEmma341

Mykonos church with wedding couple

Church backdrop for Bride and Groom

Bride looking over Mykonos bay

Emma, the bride looking glamorous

Bride and Groom at Mykonos Bay

Dan and Emma at Mykonos Bay

Dancing at Mykonos

Dan’s unusual dance moves

Paparazzi History

October 30th, 2013

The history of the paparazzi photographer

If you were to see a casual photographer around town and called him a paparazzi, beware; he might be tempted to throw his camera at you, especially if he considers himself to be a photojournalist. So what’s the difference you may ask? The answer is in the meaning of paparazzi, “buzzing insects.”

In 1960, these pesky freelance journalists were immortalized in Federico Fellini‘s internationally popular film La Dolce VitaItalian for “The Sweet Life.”  La Dolce Vita focuses on the life of a jaded journalist, Marcello (played by Marcello Mastroianni), and his photographer colleague, Paparazzo (Walter Santesso). The origin of the name Paparazzo is disputed, but its onomatopoeic resemblance to the Sicilian word for an oversize mosquito, papataceo, made it apt to compare with Fellini’s statement: “Paparazzo suggests to me a buzzing insect, hovering, darting, stinging.” Fellini also drew an image of the character in which he describes; the drawing is of a human-like figure that has no bone structure and instead, looks like a vampirish insect, implying that paparazzi, like mosquitoes, are also parasites.

After the movie was first released in Italy, the word paparazzi became synonymous with intrusive photographers who chase the stars to get that revealing act on film. However, Fellini said it was not the photographers he tried to emulate. Fellini claimed that he was putting newspapers and weeklies on film, and many of the vignettes that make up the movie refer directly to news stories. He wanted to capture the paparazzi-inspired events where reporters often begged involved parties for a story. However, it was the freezing-frenzied movements in the pictures captured by the photographer that sparked viewer interest, even for Fellini. “It recreates life in movement,” he once stated.

The incorporation of the word paparazzi into the English language is indefinitely tied to La Dolce Vita when it was released in the United States in 1961. Time magazine introduced the word to the American public in an article entitled, “Paparazzi on the Prowl.” Included is a paparazzi picture of throngs of reporters blocking the car of a princess visiting Rome. The text discloses “a ravenous wolf pack of freelance photographers who stalk big names for a living and fire with flash guns at a point-blank.” Soon, the term would be spread across the pages of major news and entertainment publications across the globe, often accompanied by incriminating photos of the stars. Publications that were soon to follow this trend included Esquire, Cosmopolitan, and Life magazine. It was later introduced on the television screen by popular news-oriented shows like 60 Minutes. But no matter what the medium used to report on these “celebrity bounty hunters,” it was clear that paparazzo was a derogative term.

One of the on-going issues underlining the very existence of the paparazzi include their intrusive behavior that have taken away many individual’s rights to privacy. This issue has caused many people to question the legalities and moral right of their profession: are they photographers or are they stalkers?

Many people have expressed their feelings for the paparazzi in various ways. Those who claim the paparazzi are stalkers say they have gone too far by trying to get that exclusive shot. It has been said that they “make a career out of pushing their way into other people’s lives in a way that makes them repugnant.” Such actions have given them the title of “modern-day bounty hunters,” carrying cameras instead of guns, who go where the stars are in search of a photo that will sell.

Those who express disgust for the paparazzi have made extensive pleas to the government by lobbying for laws that will make it a misdemeanour to publish photographs taken without permission. Their argument for such laws reflects the ideal of equality, testifying that public figures are human beings also, and they deserve the right to privacy like everyone else. Furthermore, they shout that the paparazzi frequently use illegal actions to gain admission into the private lives of many celebrities. Such violations include breaking and entering, the use of trickery, impersonation, fraud and disguise.

Those who defend the paparazzi say they have a first amendment right to take photos of any celebrity. It lies within that realm of journalism we call “news gathering,” which is protected within the clause of “freedom of the press.” But there are some photojournalists who contend that the paparazzi are not real journalists.

“The majority of professional photojournalists are highly educated, not only in the use of a camera, but also in journalism skills. Their training includes classes on communication, law and, most importantly, ethics…. To lump these dedicated individuals together with paparazzi is hurtful and unfair.”

In defense of the paparazzi, many journalist figure that celebrities voluntarily surrender their right to privacy as part of an unwritten contract with the members of society who pay their salaries as fans. David Cuthbert, a reporter for The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, said that both celebrities and the paparazzi feed off each other. In other words, one doesn’t exist without the other.

“Celebrities preen for photographers only when it suits their purpose. When it does not, they hide their faces, engage in public prowls and haul photojournalists into court. Each needs the other, but it’s a love-hate affair, an apache dance lit by strobe light.

Paparazzo Alan Zanger said that photographers are not at fault, but instead, celebrities invite the paparazzi attention through lavish lifestyles.

“These people earn lots of money. They are very promiscuous with their love affairs. That leads to these pictures being taken,” Zanger said. “We don’t provoke their affairs. We photograph it.”

Celebrity Paparazzi stories

ALEC BALDWIN

A photographer confronted Alec Baldwin and wife, Kim Basinger, as they brought their newborn daughter home from the hospital to their Hollywood abode. Baldwin was arrested after freelance photographer, Alan Zanger, alleged that the angry actor gave him a black eye. A jury acquitted Baldwin for misdemeanor charges in March 1996.

GEORGE CLOONEY

Actor George Clooney, upset about a broadcast of his girlfriend, urged a boycott of Paramount Pictures becasue of its tabloid TV shows’ use of “video paparazzi” footage. Clooney claims that paparazzi peered into his house and took pictures of him and his girlfriend, which was later aired on Entertainment Tonight and Hard Copy.

JOHNNY DEPP

Earlier this year,Johnny Depp chased off photographers in London with a piece of wood outside a restaurant. The Sun reported that Depp “flipped out” and started screaming obscenities when photographers tried to take his picture.

MADONNA

During the filming of Evita in Argentina, paparazzi paid small children to lie down in front of her car so she might accidentally run them over; when they stopped the car, the paparazzi went on a shooting spree. When she married Sean Penn in 1985, overweening paparazzi attention provoked a series of altercations that eventually led to Penn serving one month in the L.A. County jail for assualting a photographer. They divorced in 1989, but not because of the paparazzi.

ROBERT DENIRO

In late 1995, Robert DeNiro was accused by camerman Joseph Ligier of pining him against an automobile outside a Manhattan bar, demanding that he hand over the video. According to Ligier, DeNiro “snapped.” Ligier would not give up the camera, claiming he had footage of Julia Roberts on the same tape. Charges were eventually dismissed by the victim.

WOODY HARRELSON

Woody Harrelson went to court for allegedly assaulting two aggressive cameramen during Ted Danson’s wedding at Martha’s Vineyard in 1995. Technically Harrelson lost the case when the judge ruled in favour of Hard Copy video cameraman Paul Adao and Star magazine photographer Steve Connolly. Harrelson told the judge that he was only trying to protect his daughter from being photographed. Adao won $1 in damages; Connolly was awarded $2,558 to cover medical bills and to replace his camera and film. The biggest winner, however, was lawyer Lee M. Berger; the federal judge ordered Harrelson to pay nearly $80,000 in lawyer fees and expenses–about $200 per hour for time spent on the case.

 GEORGE MICHAEL

Last April, George Michael was caught with his pants down in a Beverly Hills bathroom. Michael told The Advocate magazine he suspects that a photographer tipped off cops in order to sell photos that had been taken of him at the park a year earlier. Michael said the photographer was unable to sell the shirtless shots until the pop star was caught in the act–then, they were worth $100,000.

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER

Almost one year ago, Arnold Schwarzenegger and pregnant wife, Maria Shriver, were ambushed by celebrity photographers and trapped in their Mercedes-Benz between two cars piloted.

Who are the people who buy the pictures?

There is a wave of accordance to the one thing that motivates the paparazzi: money. But who’s to blame for the intrusive behavior of the paparazzi? The photographers themselves? The celebrities? Tabloid newspapers? The people who buy the tabloids?

Have you ever browsed through the Globe or National Enquirer while standing at the checkout counter? Do you religiously watch Hard Copy and Entertainment Tonight to get the latest information on your favourite celebrities? Or have you ever bought People magazine so you can show friends and families the compromising photos of well-respected celebrities? If you confess to doing any of the three described situations, chances are that you are guilty of promoting paparazzi behaviour.

Sue Cater, associate professor of journalism at Michigan State University, claims that the paparazzi is a segment of journalism that is market driven, saying the larger the demand, the more aggressive the paparazzi. She added that “the people who buy paparazzi material are taking a role in the entire process.” (1)

It goes without question that the tragedy of Princess Diana‘s death refocused Hollywood’s mounting fury over the paparazzi’s increasingly ruthless tactics. Initially, society pointed fingers at the media blaming them with creating a market for celebrity reporting. How? Because they are the ones that are shelling out hundreds and thousands of dollars for these celebrity shots. For example, it was reported that pictures of Diana and Dodi, kissing on a yacht in St. Tropez , sold in the United States for $200,000. Also, paparazzi pictures of the fatal car crash were being offered around the world for $1 million. (2) Now there is no more Diana to take pictures of, and there are those who say the public is partly responsible.

“If readers hadn’t waited in the supermarkets to get the newest tabloid issue that had her picture, there would be no group of photographers in high-speed chase to get another picture of the couple, ” said one student reporter at Clarkson University.(3)

He also adds in the same opinions article that, indirectly, all of us may be to blame for Princess Diana’s death.

“We were not there, we weren’t chasing them. But we do thrive on celebrities. We can only blame the paparazzi for so long. As long as we continue to watch and read those tabloid, we are just as guilt as any of them.”

Many others around the world have echoed the same thoughts, even those related to Princess Diana.

According to Charles Spencer, Diana’s brother, “Every proprietor and editor of every publication that have paid for intrusive and exploitative photographs of her has blood on his hands.”

One reporter summed everything up in an online editorial, suggesting that the primary source of the paparazzi could be you or me. “Unless consumers are willing to give up this unholy addition, there will always be some photographer eager to risk everything for that one shot that could make them millionaires, and there will always be enough newspapers around the world ready to pay the price.”

If you are unsure of whether you are a contributor to the paparazzi existence, here is a list of popular tabloid publications and shows that are known to use paparazzi clips and photos. Most of them have been on celebrity lists as the “tabloids” to boycott:
ALPHABETIZED LISTING

CARETAS magazine (Peru)

E! Entertainment Television (TV tabloid)

ENPERSONA (Peru)

Entertainment Tonight

France Dimanche (French tabloid)

Frecuencia Latina (Peru)

Hard Copy

ICI Paris (French tabloid)

News of the World (British)

Paramount Studios Owners/Producers of Hard Copy and Entertainment Tonight

Paris Match (French tabloid)

People Magazine

Prive Magazine (Dutch gossip magazine)

Story Magazine (Dutch gossip magazine)

The Daily Mail (British)

The Examiner (US tabloid)

The Globe (US tabloid)

The Mirror (British)

The National Enquirer (US tabloid)

The New Idea (Australian magazine)

The New Weekly (Australian magazine)

The Star (British)

The Star (US tabloid)

The Sun (British tabloid)

The Sunday Mirror (British)

The Weekly World News (tabloid)

TV Weekly (Australian magazine)

Weekend Magazine (Dutch tabloid)

Woman’s Day (New Zealand magazine)

Woman’s Weekly (Australian magazine)

Woman’s Weekly (New Zealand magazine)

Calls for retaliation

SEPTEMBER 1996       George Clooney lead a boycott against Entertainment Tonight and Hard Copy because of the latter’s use of paparazzi footage of him and his girlfriend. Clooney has charged that the tabloid media has failed to take its “share” of the responsibility for the death of Princess Diana. Many celebrities have approached him because of his previous fight, to hold a Press Conference. These celebrities included Madonna, Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Robert DeNiro, and Whoopi Goldberg. Paparazzi refused to shoot pictures of George Clooney at the opening of “The Peacemaker” in New York, standing together quietly to protest the actor’s criticism of photographers who chase stars.

AUGUST 1997  Steve Coz, editor if the National Enquirer, urges all media to join the them in boycotting publications that publishes photos of Diana’s fatal accident.

SEPTEMBER 1997       State Senator Charles M.Calderon proposes to establish a 15-foot “bubble zone between photographers and their subjects. The idea was taken form similar restrictions imposed on anti-abortion protestors outside abortion clinics. The U.S. Supreme Court declares buffer zones to be unconstitutional. Certain justices claim they constitute an overbroad attempt at restricting free speech.

FEBRUARY 1998          Sharon Stone and Richard Dreyfuss were among the stars who helped Senator Dianne Feinstein and a team of lawyers draft the Personal Privacy Bill to beintroduced in the Senate. The bill, which was presented at a news conference at the Screen Actors Guild offices, would preserve the right to photograph celebrities in public and sell the film, but crack down on actions that could jeopardize their safety.

It forbids “persistent chasing or following” which would be a crime punishable by up to a year in prison, at least five years if bodily harm resulted and 20 years if a death occurred. It also updates the definition of trespassing to including zoom lenses, a provision intended to stop photographers from peering into bedrooms and gardens.

OCTOBER 1998           California Governor Pete Wilson signs a bill forbidding “constructive trespassing.” The bill defines invasion of privacy as trespassing with the intent to capture audio or video of a public figure while engaged in a personal activity. It allows that victim to recover damages form not only the paparazzi, but also the news organization that use their services. The law has been opposed by the media, which views it as an infringement on their right to gather news

JANUARY 1999            Hollywood stars celebrate the introduction of a strict new law that they hope will protect them from photographers known as paparazzi. The law prohibits the filming or recording of anyone “engaging in personal or family activity in circumstances where they had a reasonable expectation of privacy.” Photographers can also be charged if the subject feels “in physical jeopardy.”

OTHER ATTEMPTS

THE PAPARAZZI STOPPER       On March 24, 1998, the “Paparazzi Stopper” made its debut at the Invention Convention in Los Angeles. Philadelphia scientist Joseph Resnick invented the miniature electronic device that contains sensors and transmitters which cause interference between the photographer and subject, resulting in complete absence of images on film negatives. It is triggered by a photographic flash and can be clipped on to a baseball cap, necklace or lapel of a jacket. It is listed at $500.

PAPARAZZI PICTURES A website that gives surfers the opportunity to voice their opinion about the paparazzi. Included is a link of example photos. Since Diana’s death, there have been numerous web pages designed for “paparazzi bashing.”

The Princess Diana Story

On August 30, 1997, Britain awoke to news that would change the countenance of the world: Diana, Princess of Wales, was officially pronounced dead. Within minutes, the nation was grieving; within hours, the world was morning. Throughout the day, people around the globe stopped in motion, with wide, teary eyes and open jaws, as they passed by their television sets to listen to continuous news reports of this tragic event. So what exactly happened, and how is the paparazzi involved?

THE INCIDENT

Pursued by hungry-driven paparazzi on all side, Diana’s Mercedes Benz sedan crashed shortly after midnight Paris time (3 p.m. Pacific time) in a tunnel along the Seine River at the Pont de l’Alma bridge. KFWB News Radio in Paris reported that the car had reached speeds of around 80 and 120 mph while trying to evade paparazzi photographers on motorcycles. Travelling in a 35 mph zone, the car slammed into a concrete post, and spun and hit a tunnel wall before crumpling in a mass of twisted steel. The damage was extensive: the front of the car was destroyed and the roof cave into seat level.

Diana’s millionaire boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, 42, and the chauffeur, Henri Paul, 41, was pronounced dead at the scene. The fourth occupant, Diana’s bodyguard, Trevor Rees-Jones, survived the crash, but was initially hospitalized in critical condition. He suffered a head contusion, a lung injury and facial injuries.

According to television reports, it took rescue crews an hour and a half to pry Diana, 36, from the mangled car and transport her to a nearby hospital. There, doctors spent two hours trying to save her life. She was pronounced dead at 7 p.m. Pacific Time–approximately four hours after the crash.

Although the official cause of death was reported as cardiac arrest, it was said that Diana had major chest wounds, including a severe injury to her left lung. She also had a serious thigh wound. But ultimately, it was her heart that led to her fatality: doctors said they were unable to revive her once the heart had failed.

News reports stated that Diana and Fayed had recently dined at the Hotel Ritz one hour before the accident. They left Hotel Ritz en route to a townhouse, but not without making attempts to deter the paparazzi. A spokeswoman for the Hotel Ritz told the Associated Press that Paul, a former French Air Force pilot, was the hotel’s No.2 security man, but he was not Fayed’s regular driver. Fayed’s driver had left earlier in another vehicle as a decoy to throw photographers off the trail. But obviously, the plan did not work. Witnesses said photographers had surrounded the Mercedes sedan before it even entered the 300-yeard, brick-lined tunnel,just north of the Eiffel Tower.

THE BLAME

Before medical emergency units had arrived on the scene, witnesses had already sentenced the paparazzi to death, and shortly, so did the world. It was evident they would take the rap for this one. The paparazzi were the first ones blamed for Diana’s death. Immediately after the crash, or should I say within seconds, the paparazzi was physically and verbally attacked, not just for taking pictures, but for not offering their assistance to aid the victims. Ultimately, they took all they blame, even after surprising evidence suggested they might not be at fault.

French police said they had detained for questioning six French and one Macedonian photographer who were following Diana’s car early Sunday when it crashed. Although it was never stated what they would be charged with, they were investigated for violating France’s “Good Samaritan Law.” The law makes it a crime when one fails to help someone in danger. The paparazzi were also convicted by local citizens for not adhering to this moral law. A passerby told CNN that horrified witnesses had beaten one photographer at the scene before he was taken into police custody. Others just yelled and scowled at them for continuing to take pictures.

After confiscating two motorcycles, a scooter and 20 rolls of film from the photographers, authorities halted their investigation of Diana’s death after receiving shocking news report: the driver was drunk. The Paris prosecutor’s office had released a statement citing the chauffeur’s blood test analysis was above the legal level. Although they did not give detailed numbers, an anonymous source told AP that Henri Paul’s alcohol level was 1.75 grams per liter of blood–three times the legal limit in France. That is well above the legal limits.

But no matter how intoxicated the driver, the paparazzi were the ones solely prosecuted by many of nations. It is evident that Diana’s death increased greatly the disgust and anger directed towards the paparazzi. Even ex-anchorman Walter Cronkite conceded on Dateline NBC that “the paparazzi are getting a bum rap on this one.” And that they did. Many argued that their intrusive and animalistic tactics contributed to the event and caused the driver to speed. Others have said that pursuers went too far in trying to take a picture. And finally, there are those who attest that Diana would still be with us today, had the paparazzi not been chasing her.

Interesting facts about the paparazzi

October 18th, 2013

It isn’t often that you hear a good word about the paparazzi. Even if you aren’t moved by the shrill complaints of besieged celebrities; the idea of someone spending their life snapping unflattering, long-lens pictures of stars going about their everyday lives is still offensive to most people’s sense of decency. There’s also the perception that the job is easy and it lacks prestige. After all, snapping a photo of Cameron Diaz walking down Rodeo Drive without her makeup doesn’t seem to require much skill. Nor does the trade rank particularly high on the photojournalistic rung.

But believe it or not, not everyone can be a well-paid tabloid sharpshooter. Becoming a viable paparazzo actually requires a variety of skills, as it takes more than mere doggedness (although you will need that in spades) to succeed. The best celebrity photographers are equal parts glad-handers, independent businessmen, and secret agents. They cultivate a myriad of contacts and tightrope risky budgets, they are constantly on the make in a relentlessly competitive industry, and, yes, they actually have to know how to take a high-quality picture.

In the wake of the rare kind words I just threw their way, here are five things that you didn’t know about the paparazzi.

1- They have large networks of assistants

The general public’s widespread use of digital and cell phone cameras at movie premieres and galas has caused red-carpet celebrity shots to become a dime-a-dozen — hence, they don’t sell for much more than that. Due to this intrusion on their traditional territory, successful paparazzi need to be as resourceful as possible in order to ensure that they can snag the rare candid shots that haul in the big bucks.

Therefore, the best paparazzi are now also the best connected, with networks of informants — bodyguards, doormen, waiters, hairstylists, intimates, and even autograph hounds — whom they cultivate or bribe in exchange for a tip about an elusive celebrity’s whereabouts. Noted paparazzo Mel Bouzad claimed to have nabbed £90,000-photos of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez together in Georgia after their breakup based on a tip from “Matt Damon’s wife’s hairdresser.”

Find out the paparazzi’s earning potential and their true power…

2- They can earn in the range of £150,000 a year

Paparazzi are so often viewed through a shady prism that it’s not widely known that they can rank among the best paid photo-journalists in the world. In fact, while most established paparazzi earn around £40,000 to £60,000 a year, a significant number of very successful paparazzi haul in the same income as your average corporate lawyer — about £150,000 a year.

This salary doesn’t include the “big score” or one-time bonanzas like New York paparazzo Steve Sands’ reported £200,000 score from People magazine for pictures of Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin’s second child. Also, the market for a picture of Tom Cruise‘s and Katie Holmes‘ offspring reportedly reached seven figures. But aspiring photographers should note that, like in any profession, you have to work your way to the top. Unless you know Matt Damon’s wife’s hairdresser, entry-level positions generally pay about £2,000 per month.

3- Media savvy celebs share schedules with the paparazzi

Paparazzi commonly argue that though celebrities gripe endlessly about getting their pictures snapped every time they pick their noses, those same stars realize they need the paparazzi to ensure that they remain in the public eye and maintain their popularity. Some stars, at least partially, embrace this theory and have made a conscious decision to cultivate a more mutually beneficial relationship with their tabloid “friends.”

Common conciliatory acts include offers of temporary access or exclusives in exchange for a little privacy, and even celebs voluntarily coming out of homes to provide easier access for the paparazzi on stake-out duty. Some celebs actually work overtime to ensure that the paparazzi follow them around 24/7. Predictably, the talent-starved queen of all tabloid-anointed celebrities, Paris Hilton, has embraced this tactic by notoriously offering the paparazzi her schedule, ensuring a weekly parade of heavy-lidded, Jagermeister-addled, ”I’m about to vomit in an alleyway” snapshots.

4- Paparazzi have organized “boycotts” of stars

Although they are historically on the wrong end of celebrity tongue-lashings and punches, the paparazzi have occasionally acted in tandem to eschew their usual state of victimhood. Witness the case of George Clooney, a notorious critic, after he blamed the paparazzi for causing Princess Diana’s fatal car crash in a 1997 interview. At his next public appearance at the premiere of 1997’s The Peacemaker, the entire contingent of pissed-off paparazzi refused to take publicity shots of Clooney and booed him as he signed autographs for fans.

Clooney survived his freeze-out to become an even bigger star, but others have suffered long-term damage to their careers due to similar battles. Sharon Stone has had a running feud with the tabloids, and vocally backed a new privacy law aimed at stopping photographers from hounding celebrities. In response, the paparazzi has been ruthless in casting Stone in a poor light, including snapping an incriminating shot of her adopted son sleeping in a parked car — under the chauffeur’s supervision — as the star dined with a date.

5- Their expenses can be enormous

The axiom that states that you have to spend money to make money certainly applies to the paparazzi. Photographers often have to shell out big bucks to get within camera range of a key celebrity sighting. Locked outside the gates of a swank star wedding or left ashore as a scandalous Hollywood romance blossoms at sea are mere obstacles to the determined paparazzo. It is common for the paparazzi to hire motorcyclists, helicopters, yachts, and even submarines to get in prime position for a clean — and lucrative — shot.

Yearly budgets aren’t publicized and the range depends on the size of the operation; one paparazzo estimated that the total expense of staking out Brad Pitt‘s and Angelina Jolie’s Paris apartment in the hopes of getting a picture of Shiloh would exceed £6,000 — without any guarantee of return on the investment. In addition, pesky libel claims and restraining orders can eat away at earnings, so like the tabloid press they sell their wares to, independent paparazzi incorporate pricey lawsuit expenses into their budgets.

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Paparazzi at work

Choosing a wedding photographer

September 20th, 2013

There is plenty of advice on the internet on how to find a wedding photographer. And you know, most of it is actually pretty good (yes, even the stuff on HitchedThe Knot or Confetti. I assure you that is not a thing). But recently in the comments of some of our sponsored posts, it’s become clear that a lot of the advice out there is geared toward people who already have a handle on photography, people who can look at a photo and say, “Yup, that’s a great image.” But there isn’t really loads of information out there for people who are at a photographic square one.

Most of the time when I meet with potential clients, they say the same thing. They don’t want their parents’ wedding photos. They want natural, unposed documentation of their wedding from someone who isn’t going to interrupt the natural flow of the day. The good news is, many (and I’d argue most) wedding photographers have already moved towards this kind of wedding photography. With the exception of a few photographers who have built a reputation on the fact that they will pose and move you during the events of the day to create perfect images (and please do ask photographers about this. There is nothing worse than being poked and prodded and posed all day if what you really wanted was someone to hang back and blend in with the scenery), a good majority of photographers are going to capture your wedding as it happens. But if most wedding photographers are approaching their work from a similar logistical standpoint, well, the end results couldn’t be more different. So how do you know what makes a good photo? What should you be looking for when you look at a photographer’s portfolio?

I think it all comes down to storytelling. Each photographer has a personal take on the best way to tell a story through photos. The way a photographer perceives storytelling is going to inform what they take photos of, how they take them, where they are when the important events happen, and everything else in between. And there are a few variables that photographers manipulate that will make all the difference from one portfolio to the next:

Lighting: If you talk to any photographer, they’ll tell you that lighting is 90% of what makes a photo good or bad. One of the best ways to understand lighting is to hold up your hand and face your palm toward a window. Then start rotating your hand back and forth and look at the different ways shadows are cast on your hand as you move it around. If you face your hand directly at the window, the light falls very evenly and cleanly, but if you start moving your hand at a ninety degree angle away from the window, it creates shadows that make your hand look moody and dramatic. This is what photographers do all day. We analyze light. So as you’re looking through photographers’ portfolios, you’ll start to notice that we all play with light differently. Some photographers prefer really bright photos that make the world look light and airy, while others use light to create mood and emotion. For example, take the photos below. They are of the same bride, taken moments apart, but the light is totally different, and therefore the photos are totally different.

As you start looking through photographers’ portfolios, pay attention to the lighting quality in the pictures. Are they dark and moody? Bright and romantic? Each photographer has a certain style, and there will most likely be one that you mesh with better than others. You may also notice while you’re looking through portfolios that some photographers refer to themselves “natural light photographers” which just means that they only use whatever light is available, rather than using a flash or other lighting setups. If you are getting married somewhere dark without a lot of windows, you will want to make sure that the photographer knows how to create light when it isn’t there. Every lighting situation is different for photographers, so make sure you’re looking at photos that have similar characteristics to your venue. An outdoor wedding in the middle of the day with bright sun requires a very different skill than a New Year’s Eve reception in a dark church. (Also, a hot tip: ask to see some reception shots, since many of us don’t include those in our portfolios. Because if you are having an art gallery reception with no light, you want to make sure we can handle it. If all the reception photos are a little blurry and have been converted to black and white, then low-light situations are probably not that photographer’s forte. If you see lots of backlighting and what appears to be bursts of light behind the dancing, it means that that photographer has the ability to create standalone lighting in situations where the light is nonexistent.)

Composition: After lighting, the next thing you want to look at in someone’s portfolio is composition. This basically means, how did they set up the photo? Even when photographers are capturing moments as they happen, we’re still looking for interesting ways to tell the story. Take the below photo, for example. It uses the backs of the the bride and her father’s heads to frame the groom’s face as she walks down the aisle. By doing this, not only do your eyes know exactly where to go the moment you look at the photo, but you also get the added storytelling of seeing the groom’s face from the bride’s perspective.

As you look through portfolios, ask yourself: Are all the photos taken from the same perspective and angle? How does the photographer make things more interesting? Are there moments like this picture below, where they get down underneath the action? Anything that makes you feel like you are in the moment is good composition.

Tools: Most wedding photography advice will tell you to ask your photographer what kind of camera he or she uses. Unless you are a camera buff, this is usually a wasted question (most of the time I don’t even know what the best camera on the market is). But as you look through portfolios, you’ll notice that certain photographers have different tools that they use to tell a story in their own voice.

A lot of photographers like the warmth of film. Film has a texture and a quality that just can’t be reproduced in digital format (no matter how hard we try). Also, if someone says they use film, it means they were probably trained in a darkroom and have an understanding of cameras that goes beyond digital, so not only will your photos look different, but the experience of being shot on film will be different than working with a strictly digital shooter.

Other photographers like the quirkiness of toy cameras that make cool square photos like this one.

As you’re looking through portfolios, keep an eye out for what identifies the photographer’s portfolio as distinctly their own. It might be that they take super crisp images with really high quality lenses. Or maybe they use their grandfather’s camera to take old school black and whites. A photographers’ favorite tool will tell you a lot about the way they see the world (and while you can get an idea of this from their portfolio, don’t be afraid to ask them about it. I could geek out forever over my plungercam. And any photographer who uses film could spend hours telling you why).

At the end of the day, it all comes down to storytelling. Sure, according to Wikipedia or any online photography forum, there is a right and a wrong way to take a photo. But when it comes to wedding photography, what you’re really looking for is a storytelling technique that matches your idea of how your wedding will be. For example, I was recently photographing a wedding with my assistant and I took a photo of the couple dancing that I really loved. She laughed and shrugged and said to me, “You are such a romantic.”

So ask yourself, does the photo you’re looking at have a sense of humor? Is it romantic? Is there a softness to it? Does it look crisp like a magazine image? The story a photographer tells is going to be your story through their eyes, so you want to make sure that they match up.

The conclusion: if all of this seems like too much information to digest, then keep it simple and look for two criteria: Do you like the photos and do they make you feel happy?Not a very visual person? Then it’s fine to ignore the first question and move onto the second: Do you like the photographer and do they make you feel happy? More important than lighting, composition, or any fancy technology, those are the power rules to live by.

But! That’s not all! We know you have a whole variety of questions, we’re going to be talking about photographic styles and what “Reportage”  or Photojournalism is anyway.

So we’ve covered the basics of portfolio gazing: lighting, composition, storytelling. In short, we covered what to look for when you reach a wedding photographer’s website. But sometimes portfolio gazing can be the easy part. If you’re like me, the hardest part of finding a wedding photographer is figuring out what you want to begin with.

I spend a lot of time working at, looking at, and thinking about weddings and marriage. But since I experience weddings in this triangular kind of way, I simultaneously care about and know a lot about wedding photography, while also understanding that it’s just a small piece of the puzzle to getting married.

I also have a healthy understanding of the shortcomings of my particular industry. I don’t think that you need photography for your wedding (professional or otherwise), or that a certain kind of photography is better than another. But I do think that if you do care about photography and want professional photos as part of your wedding, the wedding photography industry can make it difficult to find someone you gel with. Sometimes photographers will use the same words to describe different styles of photography, while others will have similar styles and call themselves something totally different (we use the word “modern” like  the word “vintage”).

So I thought that for Part Two of How To Choose a Wedding Photographer, it might be helpful to talk about the different styles of wedding photography, what keywords you can use to find and/or identify certain kinds of photographers, and what might be some of the benefits and drawbacks of each kind of photography. I’ve used work that I think exemplify each style (though keep in mind the photographer’s overall portfolio might not be in that style, or in one style exclusively). Simply put, these are things I wish I’d known when I was planning my own wedding.

Photojournalism: Just about any photographer who shoots candid moments unobtrusively will at one point or another call themselves a photojournalist. (Guilty as charged, myself.) But photojournalism is one of those words that’s been thrown around so much it’s lost a bit of its meaning. In short true wedding photojournalism evolved as a style when photojournalists (photographers working on assignment for news outlets) weren’t making enough money in the field, or didn’t want to work in the field any longer, and took up wedding photography professionally. Naturally, they were shooting from a completely different perspective than the traditional wedding photographers that preceded them (who focused more on perfectly lit posed portraits) and the result was a kind of wedding coverage that looked like it could have been shot on assignment for The Times.

The Benefits: A photographer who approaches your wedding as a photojournalist will give you pure documentary coverage of your wedding. If you aren’t the kind of person who likes posing, this is your jam. Since the focus is on documentary, a wedding photojournalist will spend most of their time hanging back and capturing the action as it happens.

The Drawbacks: While most wedding photojournalists will do portraits, a true photojournalist will place minimal emphasis on posed portraits, arranged details, or other staged elements of the wedding. So if you’re looking for extensive or creative portraits, someone who identifies as a pure photojournalist may not be the best fit.

Fine Art: Fine art wedding photography, to me, is s hard to define, but I know it when I see it. But that doesn’t really help you does it? Fine art wedding photography is another one of those terms that, like photojournalism, gets thrown around a lot in the wedding industry. Much of the time, it’s a way for photographers to tell you that they want to make photos that push beyond documentary and into art. But I think fine art wedding photography is more about the photographer than the photograph itself. Many fine art wedding photographers have a background in either art or photography, with a majority having some classical training or experience in a darkroom. And while formal training certainly isn’t a prerequisite for fine art wedding photography, it definitely shows in the end result. The best signifier of fine art wedding photography, in my opinion, is that it can be both a wedding photo and a standalone piece of art (the kind that makes you briefly consider whether or not it would be weird to hang someone else’s wedding photo in your house).

The Benefits: Fine art wedding photography is beautiful to look at and chances are, if you choose a fine art wedding photographer, your photos will not look like anyone else’s. Also, many (though definitely not all) fine art wedding photographers shoot with film, which has a different look and feel than digital.

The Drawbacks: Fine art wedding photographers shoot documentary style, but they are often looking for a different way to tell a story (such as shooting you getting ready through a window) so if the occasional abstract or creative composition isn’t your style, fine art photography might not be either.

Epic Wedding Photography: Okay, so I might have made this term up. But I definitely didn’t invent the style. Epic wedding photography is exactly what it sounds like. Epic. Wedding. Photographs. The hallmarks of this style are usually dramatic backdrops with impeccable lighting, and images that have a level of intensity not usually seen in other wedding photography styles. Epic wedding photography is just as much about the location as it is the couple, so epic wedding photographers are usually well skilled in lighting techniques that make the most out of these locations. The end product is dramatic and editorial.

The Benefits: If you are getting married in a location that features dramatic landscapes, or intense architecture, epic wedding photographers are usually very skilled at producing editorial images that capture the essence of these locations.

The Drawbacks: In order to get such technically perfect images, there is a certain level of setup involved in epic wedding photography. And while I don’t think we’re talking hours here, if you aren’t someone who enjoys getting your photo taken, then you may end up feeling like you’re over the epic photo before it even starts.

Modern Traditional Photography: Fine, I might have made this term up too. I actually think it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find true traditional photographers these days (except maybe in smaller towns where the industry hasn’t caught up to the trends yet). However, I do think that there is a new style of photography emerging that’s somewhere between traditional and twenty-first century. The emphasis in this style of photography is on the portraits. That said, these photographers also pay close attentions to the details of the day, often photographing with the intent of putting together a printed album afterwards. The best part of modern traditional photography is that you get the classic style of traditional photos (read: nothing crazy or too artistic) without the intrusive posing of old school traditional photography.

The Benefits: These photos are the most likely to look like your parents photos, just updated. If you like classic, clean imagery, these photographers are going to be the ones to deliver it to you. Also, if you have spent a lot of effort on the details of your wedding, modern traditional photographers put an emphasis on capturing them and making those details part of your wedding’s visual story.

The Drawbacks: One of the great aspects of modern traditional photography is that it promises consistency, but sometimes consistency can mean that your portraits will look very similar to other clients (though that’s certainly not always the case). This can either be a benefit or a drawback, depending on what you’re looking for in your wedding photography.

Now, if this post does nothing except make you worried that one of these styles won’t be right for you, don’t worry. Most photographers are a hybrid of one or two or three and some don’t even fit these categories at all. Predominantly, I think the majority of wedding photographers (at least the ones you’ll see on this site) approach the day as photojournalists, but really throw their personal style into the portraits. So an epic photographer is not going to stop you on the dance floor and position you better for the lighting. And a fine art wedding photographer isn’t going to deny you family portraits because they aren’t interesting enough. But when things slow down and it’s just you and your partner and the photographer, that’s where you’ll see their point of view the most.

And, of course, at the end of the day, if you’re hiring a professional photographer,  Do you like the photos and do they make you happy? Do you like the photographer and do they make you happy? Done and done. You can forget about the rest. (Pro tip: The first rule is actually optional if you want photography, but aren’t a super visual person.) But hopefully, at the very least, this information will help a little bit as you attempt to slay the almighty Google beast and find a photographer who is a good fit for you.

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Vintage wedding sign

Planning your perfect home wedding

September 10th, 2013

A home wedding is perfect for a couple that don’t mind bucking conventional wedding ideas. The appeal and intimacy of such weddings is hard to resist, especially for those who prefer a personal ceremony to a more extravagant affair. These weddings can be tailored to suit the couple’s budget, style and personality, leading to a remarkable day that will be enjoyed by everyone attending.

It is important to note that the actual wedding ceremony, whether religious or civil in nature, has to be performed at a licensed venue. Advice will need to be sought on this point from the Registrar of the district or the local representative of the religious denomination to which the couple belong.

While home weddings are a good idea for some couples, they are somewhat demanding and entail lots of planning and organization to pull off successfully. It’s wise to start tackling tasks early to avoid being exhausted and stressed as the day approaches.

There are some key things the couple should keep in mind when planning a home wedding.

The venue

The house needs to be spacious enough to comfortably accommodate all guests, entertainers and caterers. If it is not then a marquee will need to be hired so that guests can eat in comfort and will be out of the elements should the weather turn nasty. There should also be enough parking spaces at the venue or arrangements will need to be made somewhere nearby.

Since the garden will be on display during the wedding, it needs to be in top form. This will necessitate some landscaping and manicuring. Additionally, flowers should be planted early enough so that they will be in full bloom on the wedding day.

It is also prudent to let the neighbours know about the wedding in advance to avoid any inconvenience.  A neighbour who might object to loud music or the road being obstructed due to parked cars is best invited to the wedding to avoid any unpleasantness on the day.

Furnishing, decor and other essentials

The bride and groom might have to rent most items, including tables, chairs, table linen, dinnerware, glassware, a movable dance floor, perhaps a portable toilet and a generator, among other items. Some creativity will be required to fit everything in the available space. For instance, small cake stands may be arranged on a circular glass dining table to create a beautiful visual effect while DIY projects can add a personal touch to the wedding decor.

Catering

The wedding caterer needs to check out the kitchen before the big day to ensure it’s well equipped and large enough to prepare everything on the menu. Alternatively, the couple can employ an outside caterer to prepare all the food at their business premises and then bring it to the house to serve.

Photography

Wedding photographs provide priceless memories that will last a lifetime. For this reason, only the best wedding photographers should be entrusted with this very important task. Carl O’Connell is regarded as being a master of the art of wedding photography. He will unobtrusively blend in with the guests to capture the special moments that mean so much on a wedding day. He works together with a team of professional videographers to ensure the couple will have outstanding photographs and memories of their favourite moments.

Entertainment

Booking the right entertainment can transform a special wedding into a spectacular one. While the choice of type of music rests with the bride and groom, they should ensure that there is something suitable to keep everyone on the dance floor.

Emily and Paul, a Vintage Sussex Wedding

August 21st, 2013

Emily, a Sussex girl now living in London was marrying Paul an Australian. They had come to see me in Brighton the previous year and discussed their wedding and how they liked my Vintage wedding options. Emily and Paul had decided to go back to Emily’s roots in Sussex and had the ceremony at Lewes Castle. Her and her bridesmaids congregated at her parents beautiful house just outside Seaford.

Paul and his aussie buddies were already at the castle and looking smart in their sharp blue suits, his ushers kept him chilled whilst they awaiting Emily’s arrival on a classic red London bus.

The staff at Lewes Castle were courteous and efficient and they even managed to get a neighbour in an adjoining garden to stop his rather loud DIY which was in danger of drowning out the whole event!

Bridal preparation

The day was amazing, bright blue sky and a warm say – I think the Australians were confused by our balmy weather.. The ceremony held at the very top of the castle in the open air.

Wedding at Lewes Castle

 

After a lovely service and a few drinks and photos down on the lawns of the castle, we headed off in the Routemaster bus to the reception back at the parents house.

Sussex wedding bus

 

So, now back to the venue, the marquee and the real barn setup for the dancing. Despite the minor mishap of a fire in the barn (yes it really did have hay bales in the as well), everything went smoothly. The food looked great, the catering staff were attentive but discreet and smiled almost as much as the guests did. Lovely table decorations and the speeches were truly truly funny.

Wedding reception

Wedding reception

After the speeches and a bit of a play in the garden in the late afternoon summer light..

Flower girls playing

We all headed in the Saloon barn for a good ol’ fashioned ho down, complete with Cowboy dress up box, a proper country band and some great guests,

Wedding reception barn dance

With a  few more evening ones arriving and everyone getting in the swing of things. That’s where we left our lovely couple and headed off into the sunset. If only we’d had a horse to leave on!

Carl O’Connell is principal photographer for Carl O’Connell Photography

www.carloconnell.co.uk

07805 223405

Paul and Angela, Hotel Du Vin, Brighton

January 17th, 2012

 

Paul and Angela, live in Hove just a leisurely walk from their chosen wedding venues: Brighton Pavilion and the Hush Heath Room at Hotel du Vin. In my opinion, probably the best combination of venues in the city both for aesthetics and comfort, and just a stone’s throw from the seafront. The locations are amazing, and a joy for a photographer.

Paul and Angela at Hotel du Vin

Brides dress

Paul and Angela at Hotel du Vin
 

On the Saturday, we met outside Brighton Pavilion, Red Rooms on a cloudy day. All guests arrived on time as the weather just about held out for the ceremony.

Paul and Angela at Hotel du Vin

Once the ceremony was finished we headed along to Hotel du Vin on Brighton seafront

Hotel du Vin
 

Hush Heath Room, Hotel du Vin

So, now back in the Hush Heath room at Hotel du Vin in Brighton, the reception venue for Paul and Angela’s wedding reception. Such a lovely room, with an amazing fresco on the wall and some very nice touches. The staff were attentive but discreet and smiled almost as much as the guests did. Lovely table decorations and, as you would expect, some great wines and fizz. The food elicited admiring glances, followed by long silences as everyone seemed to devour every last morsel, followed by lots of compliments being conveyed back to the staff. Not your everyday wedding breakfast fare by a long shot!

Paul and Angela at Hotel du Vin

The hush heath room

 

If you are thinking of having a city wedding in Brighton, Hotel du vin takes some beating. Just nice touches everywhere before you’ve even put a stamp on it.

Paul and Angela at Hotel du Vin

Paul and Angela at Hotel du Vin

Angela, the bride

Carl O’Connell is principal photographer for Carl O’Connell Photography
www.carloconnell.co.uk
07805 223405

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