Colour Wedding Photography

As much as I’ve always loved and sung the praises of Black and White wedding photography, there is a clearly important place for good colour wedding photography, capturing the history and beauty of the day alongside the more ethereal black and white images. Looking back through my full set of wedding stories from 2013, these are definitely some of the images that stick in my mind.

Snow falling wedding portraits

Starting the year at The Moat House in Acton Trussell in January last year documenting Bec + Tom‘s wedding was a great start to the year. A beautiful winters day with gorgeous sunshine, and to complete the day, a wonderful dusting of snow. This was the second time I’d worked with an image in this way, but this has stood the test of time and still a photograph I love! Relaxed and beautiful wedding photography by Stafford Wedding Photographer Stuart James

Yellow Field

Aimi + Ian held their wedding in late spring at Alrewas Hayes in Burton, a fantastic venue that I hadn’t had a prior chance to work at – but what a stunning venue it is! I’d first met Aimi + Ian when photographing their friends wedding in April the previous year (which you can see here) and had a brilliant time with their great group of friends on a stunning summery afternoon. Alrewas Hayes has so many great locations for photography, but with the rape field in full bloom, and a clear Blue Sky, this photograph had to be created. Creative natural bride and groom portraits at Alrewas Hayes in Burton by Documentary Wedding Photographer Stuart James

Intimate Sunset Portraits

I had to wait until June for my first wedding at Sandon Hall when I had the great pleasure of capturing Suzanne + Andrew’s amazing summer wedding. From the morning preparations at The Dog and Doublet and at home in Burston, through to the conclusion of an amazing evening with some of the craziest partying I’ve had the fun photographing was a pleasure to be part of. One of my favourites sessions during Suzanne + Andrew’s wedding was again the evening portrait session – taking time away from the guests and the rest of the wedding, and taking the Bride and Groom for some quiet time in gorgeous light, it really is one of my favourite things to do! Beautiful timeless bride and groom portraits at sunset at Sandon Hall in Stafford by Staffordshire Wedding Photographer Stuart James

Morning preparations

Another photo from Suzanne + Andrew’s wedding that sticks in my mind, is this simple photograph of Suzanne talking to her daughter. Being framed by the window in a semi-sillhouette, there’s something I love about this image. Reportage coverage of bridal preparations at The Dog and Doublet ahead of wedding at Sandon Church and Sandon Hall by Staffordshire Wedding Photographer Stuart James

Bridal makeup photography

The last weekend in July, as I discussed in last weeks Wedding Photographs of the Year post, was such an amazing weekend, starting with Lucy + Sean‘s Somerford Hall wedding. There are so many photos I love from their day – which is why they’re one of my featured weddings – but the lines on this photograph during Lucy’s makeup session is one I love. Bridal makeup and preparations ahead of her Somerford Hall wedding in Brewood by Documentary Wedding Photographer Stuart James

Wedding transport

Another of my favourites from Lucy + Sean’s wedding is this photograph as Lucy entered her wedding car. Such a simple idea, and a photograph I have thought about on many occasions, but with the clearing of any reflection over Lucy’s face, this photograph stands out as one of my chosen photographs of the year. Morning preparations ahead of Bride and Bridesmaids ahead of wedding at Somerford Hall in Brewood by Reportage Wedding Photographer Stuart James

Rain makes beautiful portraits

Along with documenting Lucy + Sean’s wedding, my weekend in July was completed by capturing Hayley + Karl‘s stunning wedding at the sublime Weston Park. The wedding day was an absolutely gorgeous summers day, and we were blessed with sunshine right until the evening when unfortunately the weather took a turn for the worse – however, as you can see, rain can definitely be used to ones advantage to create stunning portraits – and this one of Hayley + Karl has actually become the favourite photo of the wedding, not just for me, but also for the couple and their friends and families too! Beautiful wedding photograph during wet wedding at Weston Park in Staffordshire by Documentary Wedding Photographer Stuart James

Documentary photography of morning preparations

On the morning of Hayley + Karl’s wedding after starting the day at Crowning Glory in Merry Hill I spent the rest of the morning with everyone at Hayley’s parents house in Brewood. It was fantastic having so much time with everyone, allowing a full documentary story to evolve. There are so many photos I love of Hayley + Karl‘s day with a great deal being from the morning, including this photograph of Hayley’s dad preparing his speech… Candid photos around home capturing the magic of a wedding morning - Weston Park in Staffordshire by Reportage Wedding Photographer Stuart James

Natural bridal portraits

To start August I was invited to document Amy + Tammy‘s wedding at The Boathouse Restaurant at Bracebridge Pool, Sutton Park. On such a stunning day blessed with gorgeous weather, and accompanied by my brother Stephen as a second photographer, the story we created really captured the love abounding around their relaxed intimate wedding. One of my favourite photographs from the morning at Amy’s mom’s house is this little capture of Amy looking at her mother – so simple, but a beautiful portrait of a beautiful bride on the morning of her wedding. Natural candid photographs of morning preparations in Sutton Coldfield by Birmingham Wedding Photographer Stuart James

Woodland portraits

When I sat down and had a meeting with Amy + Tammy ahead of their wedding after their pre-wedding portrait shoot at Sutton Park, Tammy was especially coy about what she was going to be wearing for the big day, and when I saw her in her stunning outfit, I just knew how big Amy’s smile would be when she saw her Bride! Working with the shape of the two outfits during their portrait session here in the woods by Bracebridge Pool, I love how the two Bride’s stand so perfectly together. Creative classical photos of couple by Bracebridge Pool at The Boat House, Sutton Park in Sutton Coldfield by Documentary Wedding Photographer Stuart James

Foreground elements

A lot of the time when I’m documenting weddings I’m looking for something a little different – whether that be a different angle, a reflection or indeed an element to add depth to the photograph, and that was the case when capturing Kirsty’s exit from her mom and dad’s house on her way to Alrewas Church to marry Paul. The colours and tones of the hanging flowers added something extra special to such a traditional photograph of Father and Bride on the house doorway. Creative reportage photography during morning preparations of hair and makeup at home before wedding at Alrewas Hayes in Staffordshire by Documentary Wedding Photographer Stuart James

Evening Sunset Portraits

As was the case with Suzanne + Andrew’s wedding in June, my favourite session of Kirsty + Paul‘s wedding was their evening portrait session when we were showered with a stunning sunset, adding a beautiful warmth and flare to their photographs. After photographing Aimi + Ian’s wedding at Alrewas Hayes earlier in the year, it was brilliant to be back at the stunning venue again, this time with my father Barry James acting as wingman, and I love their Alrewas Hayes Wedding Photographs. Creative stunning portraits during evening at Alrewas Hayes in Staffordshire by Documentary Wedding Photographer Stuart James

Moat House Evening Portraits

Returning to The Moat House in Acton Trussell so many times during 2013 was an absolute pleasure, and Amelie + Matt‘s wedding was no exception to the rule of a stunning summer wedding at Staffordshire’s Premier Civil Wedding Venue. I had such a fabulous time with Ames and Matt and their wonderful friends and family from morning preparations through to these creative flash lit nighttime portraits on the canal bank, and looking back at the photographs from the morning full of laughter through to the fantastic first dance and choreographed mob dance to the Bride’s surprise, the wedding was full of love, laughs and a lot of fun from start to end. Check out their full Moat House wedding story to see more. Creative night time portraits outside at The Moat House in Acton Trussell by Staffordshire Wedding Photographer Stuart James

Stunning simple portraits

A week after Ames + Matt’s wedding I was back at The Moat House in Acton Trussell to photograph Sabrina + Chris‘ wedding at St James Church Acton Trussell and then the Moat House. With such a relaxed couple I knew the day was going to be a blast to be part of, and I love this photograph of Sabrina cuddling Chris with their massive smiles, giggling away at each other! Relaxed natural wedding portraits at The Moat House in Acton Trussell, Staffordshire Wedding Photographer Stuart James

Bride and Groom portraits

In September I was back at a venue that has had a wonderful transformation in the past few months – Weston Hall in Stafford. Jo + David invited me to document their wedding and from starting in Stafford on the morning at Koo Hair through to into the evening it was a true documentary wedding story, and when looking back at their photos there are so many that jump out to me. When enjoying their wedding portraits around the grounds of Weston Hall I took the opportunity to shelter from the fierce summer sun, and working through the trees took the opportunity to create relaxed portraits of the Bride and Groom – and this is one that stands out for me. Storytelling wedding photography at Weston Hall in Stafford by Staffordshire Wedding Photographer Stuart James

Creative evening portraits

To finish Jo + David’s wedding album I knew I wanted to create a stunning evening portrait utilising the stunning features in the gardens of Weston Hall, and the idea to revisit a location we had used during the day worked beautifully, and when presented in their finished album, really wrapped up their Weston Hall wedding story perfectly. Candid reportage wedding photography at Weston Hall in Stafford by Staffordshire Wedding Photojournalist Stuart James

Lichfield Cathedral Wedding Portraits

I have long loved photographing weddings in Lichfield City Centre, and after the wedding ceremony at Lichfield Registry Office, Sue + Paul took the opportunity to head around Lichfield Cathedral and the surrounding streets for their wedding portraits, and leaving the guests enjoying champagne in Beacon Park before embarking on the Route Master back to The Lion Hotel in Brewood, it was a stunning use of the wedding afternoon. Stunning relaxed wedding photography at Lion Hotel Brewood and Lichfield City Centre by Documentary Wedding Photographer Stuart James

Bouquet Toss

Sometimes timing just works perfectly, and the framing of Sue’s bouquet in this photograph on the bouquet toss is certainly one of those moments! Candid reportage wedding photography at Lion Hotel Brewood and Lichfield City Centre by Staffordshire Wedding Photojournalist Stuart James

Bridal portrait

Sally + Jared chose the stunning Packington Moor to hold their midweek wedding, and being recommended as close friends brought an extra element to their wedding. Despite being a rather chilly afternoon, the lighting was absolutely gorgeous and this photograph of Sally under the arbor in the garden at Packington in her stunning gown is one of my all time favourite Bridal portraits. Documentary candid wedding photos at Packington Moor Wedding Venue in Staffordshire by Lichfield Wedding Photographer Stuart James

Night portraits

During a break in the evening Sally + Jared took the opportunity to head outside with me to create some relaxed evening portraits, adding another element to their coverage. The courtyard at Packington Moor has so much character to work with, both during the daytime but especially of an evening, and there is something I love about the relaxed nature of this photograph. Reportage relaxed wedding photography at Packington Moor in Lichfield by Creative Wedding Photographer Stuart James

Storytelling wedding photography

Starting my run in of Winter weddings, December started for me documenting Becky + Paul‘s wedding at St Marys Catholic Church Brewood and Chillington Hall. Again the luck was with us with the weather and from documenting morning preparations in Cannock throughout the whole day, it was a pleasure to be a part of Becky + Paul’s wedding. There are so many photographs that stand out for me from their wedding, but this wide photograph as Becky + Paul made their way to their waiting car is one of my favourites – the wide nature of the photograph telling the complete story of the wedding. Documentary story of church ceremony at St Marys Church in Brewood by Cannock Wedding Photographer Stuart James

Flash lit evening portraits

So it was again a perfect opportunity to create a fantastic evening portrait outside the stunning Chillington Hall to conclude Becky + Paul‘s wedding. No rain but a winters mist lying on the ground added something amazing to their photograph. Beautiful relaxed portraits at Chillington Hall in Brewood during winter wedding by Stafford Wedding Photographer Stuart James

Bridal dressing

The room that Sam dressed in at Muncaster Castle was one of the darkest rooms I have ever worked in, however when looking at their full story, the dramatic lighting certainly added to the photographs. This photograph of Sam will all hands coming in to help her finish getting dressed is one of my favourite colour wedding photographs from the year.

Winter wedding photography at Muncaster Castle in Ravenglass by Documentary Wedding Photographer Stuart JamesBeautifu wedding photographs at Muncaster Castle in Ravenglass by Documentary Wedding Photographer Stuart JamesWedding photographs at Muncaster Castle in Ravenglass by Documentary Wedding Photographer Stuart James

Sandon Hall Conservatory

To conclude my year I was again at Sandon Hall to document Lizzi + Darren‘s gorgeous winter wedding. Finally my luck with weather ran out for their wedding with pouring rain almost all day long, however, when photographing a wedding in such a stunning venue as Sandon Hall it really isn’t an issue. The conservatory at Sandon Hall is such a stunning location for portraits, and working slightly differently on the evening added an extra dimension to this photograph of Lizzi + Darren, being slightly different than the summer portraits in the same location of Gemma + Ade from the summer before. Elegant timeless nighttime portraits at Sandon Hall in Staffordshire by Reportage Wedding Photographer Stuart James

A final nighttime portrait

So not the final wedding of the year, but one of my favourite photographs came from Sam + Manf’s wedding at Muncaster Castle in Cumbria. This stunning tree is outside the Castle and provided the perfect setting for a stunning powerful portrait when the rain finally abated on the evening. Wedding photographs at Muncaster Castle in Ravenglass by Documentary Wedding Photographer Stuart JamesBeautifu wedding photographs at Muncaster Castle in Ravenglass by Documentary Wedding Photographer Stuart JamesReportage wedding moments at Muncaster Castle in Ravenglass by Documentary Wedding Photographer Stuart James

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