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Andrew Billington Photographyon

Monday, 28 November 2011

Dick Whittington at Oldham Coliseum

As well as my wedding work I also shoot production photography for theatres. On Friday I zoomed across to Oldham Coliseum to shoot their very traditional family panto Dick Whittington. Bright, colourful, fun and funny - I couldn't have hope or a more enjoyable afternoon.

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Eastington Hall Wedding

I'm spending this week designing the album for Tamatha and Richard after their fantastic wedding at the gorgeous Eastington Hall. I think I'll have fun bringing everything together.

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Thursday, 24 November 2011

Back to Basics

After my adventures into the world of extreme Photoshopping I had to revisit an image from a wedding in the summer, just to remind myself of the images I get most satisfaction from.
I like the simplicity of this shot - we have context (Manchester Town Hall), lots of lovely space around the subject, a bit of a narrative (What is she looking for?, Where is she going?, Where is everyone else?) and I love the shine from the floor.

PS - the answer to the questions are: She is nipping to the loo just before the ceremony.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Is this right?

I was out in the fog and general autumnal mist and mellow fruitfulness yesterday and snapped a quick image of some horses in a field. I liked the tones within the photograph and the way that the fog created a backdrop that just silhouetted the trees at the edge of the small field.
Then just a was dropping off to sleep last night my mind revisited the picture and I wondered what it would look like with a Bride and Groom instead of the white horse on the left - so I found a photo of a couple I thought might work...
An hour and a quarter in Photoshop later (my photoshop skills are fairly rusty as you can tell) I had my picture (see the top of this post). But the question is - should this ever be done?
Were my skills better, or I paid to have some proper post-production work done with the images, this could be a very convincing image. But should it ever be used commercially.
Personally I would never have the image on my website as it doesn't represent what truly happened on the day with this couple - they never walked in that field, the wedding and the field are 90 miles and 9 months apart! But had the reception been next door to field and they were up for it I would undoubtable asked them to create this shot.
As a photographer I could go and photograph St.Paul's Cathedral, Balmoral or the chicest boutique hotel and drop images of wedded couples into the pictures to advertise me as a photographer - but I don't think I ever should. Websites should be honest and show couples the style and a true representation of the images they will get from their weddings. I do post-process images to bring out the elements I want the viewers eye to be drawn to within the frame - to aid the narrative flow within the picture but I could never tell a lie! (How very George Washington)

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Now THIS is a wedding video...

What happens when you ask a 'film-maker' as opposed to a 'videographer' to record your wedding day? Well you get a result something like this:

Now I think this is fantastic. It may not have the couple running away from camera, running to the camera or spinning around but I don't think that's something they would naturally do on their wedding day anyway (!). It's a great snapshot of the day, with all the texture and feeling.
I aim to be a 'photographer at a wedding' and not a 'wedding photographer'. In my mind it's a subtle distinction but a very important one for me. Any other photographer has an absolute right to work how they see fit and I'm not knocking it - I'm just trying to do what works for me and gets the results I'm looking for.
Well done Will Herbert for your refreshing approach to filming the day - I'd work alongside you every day of the week.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Engagement Shoot - Trentham Gardens

Popped out to Trentham Gardens yesterday with Ruth and Geoff for an engagement shoot - thanks for to them for being game and playing in the leaves and generally having a fun time, it can sometimes seem a little embarrassing to be in the middle of a photo-shoot in a public place but they didn't seem to mind at all - and I'm certainly over the embarrassment of climbing, laying down and generally looking a bit stupid to get the shot I want.
I love the Italian Gardens there and they looked great in the gorgeous Autumn morning sun. It was a while since I dusted off my 70-200mm lens but I think it worked really well for the shoot, it's great to use on portrait shoots like this but I think I'm still a bit of a fan of primes for weddings...

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Monday, 7 November 2011

Friday, 4 November 2011

Getting Ready for a Full Weekend

I'm preparing for a fun and full weekend ahead. Kit checked, clothes ironed, lists made and car full of petrol. I'm spending most of the weekend in the South West around Bristol and Gloucester - firstly for a Charity Ball this evening where I shall be taking some studio portraits of the attendees in exchange for contributions to the charity I support, (please check out their website and see if it's something you could see yourself supporting). I then shoot Tamatha and Richard's wedding at Eastington Hall on the Saturday - I hoping for a fine day as it's a beautiful location and it would be good for everyone to be able to use the outside space. Then it's back on Sunday for lunch with friends.... that's not a job and shouldn't really count as part of a full weekend :)

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Damian McGillicuddy Workshop

Photography can be quite an insular profession so I always like to take the opportunity to expand my experience and see how other photographers work. I did this yesterday on a workshop in Warrington with internationally renowned portrait photographer Damian McGillicuddy. I was interested in his approach to studio lighting - he creates some very dramatic and arresting images with the simplest of set ups - and to learn a little bit more about photographing people in the most flattering and aesthetically pleasing way.
Damian has a very relaxed approach to teaching - it’s certainly not about theory and science - and dives straight into setting pictures up in his studio, which suits me fine. I’d much rather chatter, observe and absorb whilst someone works than sit in front of them whilst they ‘tell’ me how they do it.
It was a full on day with multiple set-ups and I came away with that extra knowledge and confidence I was looking for. Studio work doesn’t have to be complicated, just small changes in the position of a leg or hand can make a huge impact on the final look of an image and I think that it will be very possible to transfer the knowledge gained in the studio to working with real people in real situations - quickly and easily.