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Sarah-Jane and Jason, St John's, Shildon

  • By Ian Sanderson
  • 10 Jul, 2017

Getting back on the horse

It’s been some time since I have shot a wedding. 4 years in fact. This was a great one to get back into the swing of things! Classic car, lovely local venues and my absolute favourite, a RODEO BULL! Yes that’s right, I’ve seen plenty of things over the years but this was the first Rodeo Bull wedding I’ve shot.


The day started out pretty much like any other wedding day, which is to say absolute hysteria! Made even more manic when Sarah-Jane decided she didn’t actually like her hairstyle, and being a hair stylist herself, got to work on fixing it. I can relate to an extent, as I always hate having my photo taken. (My face belongs firmly behind the camera.) As you do, you roll with the punches on the big day, that’s part and parcel of the job. Adopt and adapt to the situation as it unfolds. My assistant and I quickly managed to help get everything on track (including a quick McDonalds run) and that was the Bridal prep done and dusted!


The Groomsmen went without a hitch thankfully, little Jason was an absolute superstar in helping with some great posing for some of the more creative shots. We had a little less time than I would have liked but we got some really great shots of Jason and his Groomsmen.


Onto the ceremony at Saint John’s Church. I’ve been in this church many times over the years. But this was actually my first wedding shoot here. In the past I’ve been more of an all over the country shooter and even a few abroad. As Sarah-jane arrived, I grabbed a few shots as she got out of the car, and a few with her and her father before they entered the church. I quickly made my way down to the altar to get those iconic walking down the aisle shots. Now churches can often be awkward. For obvious reasons the Vicar or whoever wants people to focus to be on the ceremony, not the photographer running around to get the best angles or find a nice catch light. So throughout, you are pretty much confined to a single spot.


The reception and evening was held at Elm Road working men’s club in Shildon, but the way it was decorated, you wouldn’t believe it was a WMC at all!  Even the venue staff were amazed at the transformation that the function room had gone through.


The whole day from start to finish was a pleasure to be a part of! I hope Sarah-Jane and Jason enjoy a long a happy marriage together!


By Ian Sanderson 27 Nov, 2017

Wedding Photography can be a little bit manic, any event photography can be I suppose. Things rarely run smoothly or on schedule. So now and again it’s nice to be able to slow things down and take your time in making an image. That’s what I decided to do this past week.


After an eventful weekend, which ended up with us covering a Student event at Loft Studio Nightclub in Durham, and not getting home to 3am. I decided that Monday would be a day for long exposure Landscape photography and an excuse to try out some new filters.


I packed up the gear and headed down to Bishop Auckland Castle to find a nice spot. I had in mind an image of either the river Wear as it meanders through the Bishop’s Park, or the smaller river Gaunless that joins the Wear in this area. I found a nice spot where the Gaunless snakes through an S curve, with the river itself framed between two small tree trunks.

To be honest, this was less about getting a nice image than it was about spending a few hours in among the trees and taking in some fresh autumn air. I must have explored the park for a good 2 hours before finding a good spot that I was happy with. That and ducking into what little tree cover remains to avoid the sporadic but heavy rain showers.


I also tried something a little different for me, with a “Behind the scenes” shot. I’ve seen a few other photographers do this type of thing and use the shots well on their social media pages. Personally I’m still on the fence but I will see how well the images are received.