Family | Lana - One

To say I'm fortunate in the work that I do is an understatement; I have the best job I could think of!

I get to connect with new people every time I go on a new shoot, I get to share in their lives for a day, sometimes longer.  I get to see babies grow into toddlers, and toddlers into children.  I'm lucky enough to see couples get engaged, and then say 'I do'. 

This is the second of three shoots I will do with Gina, Daryl and their seriously cute daughter, Lana.  We all met at Compton Acres, where Gina and Daryl were married a few years ago, and also happens to be one of my favourite places to visit in Bournemouth - I could get lost in their gardens for hours.  

So we had an afternoon celebrating their wedding anniversary and Lana's 1st birthday (officially on the 23rd September), wandering around the gardens, sharing in some giggles and some more grizzly faces.  She definitely knows how to work the camera, so I'm expecting big things for her second birthday next year.  She's not so keen on the stepping stones in the Japanese gardens, however.  You can see her reaction in the photo highlights below.  

It was all rounded off with an awesome slice of chocolate cake and tea/glass of red wine for the happy couple in the cafe afterwards.  All in all, an ace day out! 

If you would like to book me for a fun family shoot, get in touch, I'd love to hear from you.

Until next time, 

R x

Source: http://www.rgw-photos.com

Hitched - Jason+George

Well, what can I say about this one...

This was a first - a first of many more to come, a dream come true, a day filled with truly beautiful moments.  Ever since I proposed to Rob back in 2008, to our civil partnership ceremony in 2011, to our upgrade to marriage in 2015, to being a wedding photographer myself, I've wanted nothing more than to be able to capture these precious moments for another gay couple. 

After much wishing and dropping a multitude of hints on my Facebook page, to writing a blog that almost instantly got the attention of George and his now husband, Jason, I finally got what I wanted.  My mum always said that you make your own dreams come true, and as always, she was right.  You are the builder of your own dreams, so there's no point just dreaming them, you have to chase them and make them come true. 

Thursday 24th August was the day Jason and George's dreams came true, and the moment they said their 'I do's' I had to hold back a tear or two.  That moment made me feel every emotion I felt the day Rob and I said 'I do' to one another.  

It was similar to our day on so many levels: A town hall ceremony at the Bournemouth Town Hall, followed by the reception at The Dudsbury Country Club, attended by their closest family and friends.  The boys suits were from Zara and River Island, the beautiful wedding cake from Pandora's Bakery in Ferndown, and flowers/buttonholes from Amore Flowers.

Best of all for me, was I finally got to make use of my coloured smoke flares.  I've been dying to use them, and both grooms were totally up for having a few shots done with them.  

For those who don't already know, George is a fabulous drag artist known as Marilyn Mountbatten, and Jason, a drag DJ, Miss SeeQueen.  Go follow them on Instagram, or better still, go see them live at Cafe Jagos before they head off on their next big adventure together, to London. 

You guys helped make a dream of mine come true, so I wish you both the brightest future together.  I hope all of your dreams come true. 

As always, here's a selection of photos from their day.  Enjoy!

Until next time, 

R x

Source: https://www.rgw-photos.com

Collaboration - Chameleon Bridal Boutique and Love By Design Weddings

It's amazing how quickly things can turn around.

This time last year, I was very close to throwing in the RGW PHOTOS towel for very personal reasons.  The very same reasons that made me think twice about that decision.  Over the last few months, I have seen quite dramatic changes to the way I work and the people I now work with.  

It's blowing me away!

I now have a little team of suppliers who I collaborate with on a regular basis - who'd have thought I would ever be saying that?!  We share similar ideas about the direction we want our individual businesses to go in, and we all feel the same way about working alongside one another.  One of these suppliers, as you must be well aware of by now, is Rachel from Love By Design Weddings.  

We have worked together with Natasha - With Love From - on a coastal chic inspired photo shoot - which you can read more about here - and since that worked out so well, we now work together  at Chameleon Bridal Boutique, where she dresses the windows.  I don't get involved with the actual window dressing, Rachel needs no help with that.  She adds a theme to the windows once a month, giving the stunning bridal wear an extra something special.  It helps bring them to life and hopefully gives future newlyweds some inspiration as to how to dress their wedding venue.  

I could go on and on about how good her products are, but to see them for yourself is the best way, so here's some photos from my last trip to Chameleon.  This month's theme is 'Travel', and everytime I look at these photos, it makes me want to fly away somewhere. 

Where is your dream destination?

Until next time, 

R x

Source: http://www.rgw-photos.com

Spoilt For Choice - Choosing Your Perfect Wedding Venue

One of the things I love the most about living in Bournemouth - and subsequently running my business from here - is being surrounded by so many stunning places of natural beauty.  We have the New Forest, Moors Valley Country Park, The Jurassic Coast, The Purbecks, Brownsea Island, and so many more.  On top of that, an almost endless list of venues that fill these areas, which you couples get to choose from. 

Basically, we are spoilt for choice. 

For me as a wedding photographer, it is one of the most amazing things, to firstly be invited into a couple's special day, but on top of that, to get to work within these venues - that's just incredible. 

I've been very fortunate in the (comparably) short time I've been a wedding photographer, by having a portfolio that is now made up of completely different venues for each couple I've photographed - with the exception of just two.  Next year also, the venues I'll be covering weddings at are all different.  So far I've worked at the following: The Legacy Rose and Crown Hotel, Merley House, Passford House Hotel, Poole Guildhall (twice), Bryanston School, Les Bouviers.  This year I still have weddings at Bournemouth Town Hall, Dudsbury Country Club, St. Laurence Church in Upwey (with reception and evening at Upwey Village Hall and The Old Ship Inn), The Holiday Inn - Southampton, and Gorwell Barn, Abbotsbury.  

Next year I've got a growing list of fabulous venues which include: The Hilton - Bournemouth,The Italian Villa, The Old Hall - Ely, The George Hotel - Huntingdon, The Sibson Inn, The Chine Hotel, Newbury Rugby Club, The Orangery Suite, Spitbank Fort, Kingston Maurward, Barford Park and RAC Woodcote - Epsom to name a few.  I'm absolutely loving the variety.  

I've always been a bit of a dreamer, and was always told that unless you win the lottery, you are the builder of your own dreams.  I stand by this.  So in light of this, when I first started down this road of becoming a photographer, I purposely made a 'wish list' of venues/types of weddings I think of as my dream list to photograph.  

The List - or at least a portion of - in no particular order:

  • Same-sex weddings 
  • Bournemouth Beach wedding (obviously)
  • Kew Gardens (and any other botanical gardens)
  • London/Urban wedding
  • Theme weddings (especially Star Wars!)
  • Destination weddings - New York would be amazing (because I LOVE to travel)
  • Festival weddings
  • Barn weddings
  • Cinema/Theatre wedding
  • Forest wedding

Specific venues would include: The Barbican Centre, The Southbank National Theatre, The Sky Garden (Walkie Talkie building), The Shard, so basically most well known buildings in London. 

Anyway, I digress.  Getting back on topic, I suppose what I'm trying to say is; I fully understand the dilemma couples must face when it comes to planning their wedding.  They're a political minefield anyway, but to add on top of that choosing where to hold the day can be (but hopefully won't be) a nightmare.  

I remember planning our wedding.  Rob and I did the guest list first, then sorted everything else out around that.  We live in Bournemouth, most of Rob's friends and family who came live in fairly close proximity, so the only challenge was whether we held it here or nearer my family.  Both options caused the similar issues - namely travelling distances.  So we thought about it some more and came to the conclusion; it wasn't about making our families happy, but rather about making us happy.  So we landed on London and had a bloody good long weekend there.  So that would be my advice to all of you future newlyweds; choose somewhere that makes the both of you happy, reflects you as a couple and the guests that join you will enjoy it all the more for doing so. 

Below I've posted a few photos from the venues I've covered weddings at, so expect a follow-up to this post at some point next year.  

Until then, 

R x

 

 

Source: www.rgw-photos.com

Collaboration - A Vintage Woodland Wedding

The day finally arrived! 

After being rained off on the original day we had planned to do the shoot, this time the sun was out and the light was just perfect.  As much as we'd talked about and planned this, there were certain elements that had been kept secret even from me, which I suppose is fair enough given that social media drives our businesses these days, and you don't want to give it all away before the big day. 

So we arrived at the wooded area Vicki had chosen as our location, unpacked and trekked with all of our gear into the woods.  Luckily, there were no bears, but plenty of wild mushrooms, slimy logs (yuck!) and mosquitos - I have the bites on my arms and ass to prove it.  Back to the photos.  Once we'd got everything to the site, it was immediately clear in my mind that we had to recreate a pseudo-Alice in Wonderland/Mad Hatter's Tea Party set.  

If you're wanting this theme for your wedding, believe me, we can pull it off for you!  With Vicki's glorious vintage china and Lucie's mind blowing cake creations, how on earth could you go wrong?!  If you're in any doubt, just take a look at their pages (links below).  I suppose you'll be wanting to see some photos...well feast your eyes! 

Until next time, 

R x

Vintage China Hire - www.grannyschinacupboard.co.uk

Stunning wedding cakes - www.lucielovestobake.com

Source: www.rgw-photos.com

Daniel+April - Pre-Wedding

It's been a bit of a whirlwind meeting this amazing couple.  We met at Circo Lounge, Bournemouth about six weeks ago for a cuppa and a chat about their wedding plans, with little over ten weeks until their big day.  I've said it before and I'll say it again, I love a good challenge.  

Meeting a couple for the first time - as with meeting a photographer for the first time - can be a daunting thing for some, but it was quite clear from the minute we said hello that things would go well.  Anyway, to cut a long story short, they booked me (hurray!) and I couldn't be happier to be working with such a loving couple.  

There is something about spending time with another couple, and seeing how they interact, those magical little moments where there's a glint in their eye. It's unmistakable and irreplaceable. You know when they're meant to be.

So here's a decent bunch of photos taken during their pre-wedding shoot last week in Swanage.  Bring on the wedding next month! 

Until next time, 

R x

Source: http://www.rgw-photos.com

Les Bouviers: A Wedding Showcase

Last month I spent a glorious day capturing the wedding of Chris and Debbie, and today I was able to return to their beautiful wedding venue, Les Bouviers

Today was a first for me.  Attending a wedding showcase is something I would recommend all those new to the wedding industry should do at least once.  It's a great way of understanding and seeing another level of what your potential clients want/expect from us, the suppliers.  Although the showcase itself was a quiet one, it's all part of the process of learning to be a better wedding supplier.  

The venue itself is set in a few acres of wonderfully lush green gardens, just off Arrowsmith Road. It's a perfect example of a 'blank canvas' venue, which is ideal for all of those D.I.Y brides and grooms-to-be, and is so on trend right now in the wedding world.  It enables you to fill a venue with your personality and is a great way to be truly creative with your big day. 

If you are one of those couples looking for a wedding venue in the Bournemouth area, I would seriously consider giving this one a viewing, and come in with an open and creative mind (or I could suggest a few fellow creative suppliers to do that for you).  

Today the main function room - which overlooks the expansive gardens - was decked out beautifully by Party Proppers, venue stylists based in Wimborne.  The colour scheme was a gorgeous deep purple - very romantic.  They've been working the wedding scene for well over fifteen years now, so well worth a call if you're looking for something similar for your wedding. 

Anyway, I've included some photos below from the day, so you can see for yourself. 

Until next time, 

R x

Source: http://www.rgw-photos.com

Love is Love

Hi guys and gals! 

So I'm officially back from my days off with the other half - did you miss me??

I've had five brilliant days together with my wonder-man, Rob.  We celebrated his 21st... ahem, 37th birthday, spent a day playing computer games (both massive geeks!), had a wonderful night in Brighton, a day at Moors Valley Country Park, and a day at Compton Acres.  Side note: I can't wait to do my first wedding there in March!!

So what's the reason for this post, I hear you all ask?

Well, when we were in Brighton, we got to walk hand-in-hand and watch other same-sex couples doing the same - it was truly heartwarming.  Brighton was the first place where we shared a night away together back in the early dating days.  Before we came home, we were stood at the Victoria Square fountain, I was taking a photo and Rob tapped me on the shoulder - a couple were meeting there.  What's so special about that you might ask?  It was two young guys, one was waiting by the fountain as the other approached, they immediately went to hug and kiss one another, and then the guy who was waiting by the fountain took the hand of his partner and span him around - it was the most romantic scene I have witnessed in a very long time. 

When we got home, I was going through the photos on my computer and looked through the photos from our civil partnership back in 2011 - there was probably a maximum of 50, all taken on the phones/compact cameras of our guest as we didn't hire a photographer (doh!) - and it got me thinking... Mainly that I wish we'd had a photographer that day, and about how much it means playing that part in another couple's special day.

I know I bang on about this all the time lately and it's probably driving some people nuts - I'm sorry (not sorry) - but I mean this, that it would be everything for me to be involved in another (or many) gay couple's wedding.  I've had two wonderful years of photographing so many beautiful couples with many more to come, but I'm still waiting for the day another gay couple book me as their photographer. 

I've tried many ways to attract more same-sex couples to RGW PHOTOS, and almost got there with one.  So I've put my thinking cap on again. 

I would like to offer a FREE couple's shoot to all you gorgeous gay guys and girls - how's that for aliteration!  You don't need to be getting married (just yet!), but ideally be planning it in the not-too-distant future.  

What do you get?

  • A free (yes, FREE!) photo shoot with me
  • All the photos lovingly edited by me
  • An online gallery to view, share and download all of your photos
  • One mounted 10x8" print of your choice from the shoot

Ideally the shoot will take place in the Bournemouth area, and all travel will be covered, but if you want to do the shoot somewhere else, all I'd ask is for a contribution toward my travel. 

If you're interested, get in touch, I would love to hear from you!  You can email me at: richard@rgw-photos.com - message me on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/RGWPHOTO - or just give me a call on 07533 401199. 

Until next time, 

R x

Source: http://www.rgw-photos.com

Collaboration - A Coastal Chic Styled Mini-Shoot

By now, you've probably heard me going on about how good it is working with other local suppliers.  Well, for those of you who think I'm talking out my a***, you'll be eating humble pie soon. 

In less than a month, I've got to know some fabulous, talented and inspiring, like minded people who just so happen to be local wedding suppliers.  There's no room for berating and competing with other wedding industry folk - after all, that's far too bloody easy to do.  It seems too difficult for some people to actually contribute and support. 

Anyway, a long story short, we did it.  We shared some ideas and got together last Wednesday down at Boscombe Overcliff for a coastal chic themed styled photo shoot.  God, that was a mouthful.  It was great fun seeing what others do, and getting involved, helping with the set up of our shoot.  After all, most people think that as a photographer, all I do is turn up with my camera and take some pictures - I wish it was that easy.  I like to get involved.

Rachel and Natasha brought so many cool things along.  It's really incredible to see how much talent these women really have and chic is most definitely the right adjective for their goods.  It's hard to believe that most of Rachel's items are homemade - there is so much attention to detail, it's crazy!  As for Natasha, her artistic floristry is so elegant - I couldn't believe that some of the arrangements were artificial.  The combination of natural and artificial flowers was genius, and you would have never known.  So, this will be a regular thing, and I'll be doing another later this month - a woodland themed tea party shoot.  WITH CAKE!!!  So you haven't seen or heard the last of us yet. 

Well that's enough from me for now, so here's some photos from the shoot. 

Until next time, 

R x

Source: http://www.rgw-photos.com

Collaboration - It's good to work with other businesses.

Starting out in the wedding industry is so easy... said no one, ever! 

Two years of blood, sweat, tears and a lot of frustration later, and I can finally say that things are starting to come right in my little world as RGW PHOTOS.  I jumped in head first thinking it would be an easy ride to a flourishing business and an easier life - and I was a fool to think that way.  There have been many instances where I've been asked if I do it all myself and the answer is, YES.  There have been an equal amount of instances where people have asked if I ever assisted other wedding photographers, before I went it alone, and the answer should have been yes, but it was, NO.  Shoulda, woulda, coulda.  Sound familiar?

I had quite a lot of confidence and belief in myself at the beginning, constantly telling myself that one will lead to another - which technically it did - but the reality of it all doesn't always match up to what was in my head.  

After putting it off for the last two years, I've finally started to make a concerted effort to network with other small, local wedding businesses.  You might wonder, 'why didn't you do it sooner?'.  Good question.  The answer is, I have no bloody clue!

Not all other wedding industry folk/businesses are as forthcoming with useful tips to point you in the right direction.  Which is the most bizarre thing.  I don't personally know their reasons why they are so resistant (I've got my theories), but the truth is, there's not always a lot of support from business to business. 

Until now. 

A few weeks ago whilst doing my regular trawl through Facebook, I came across a page for wedding businesses like my own called Build Your Wedding Business With TWE.  Since joining the group I have met up with and organised styled shoots with three other businesses - Love by Design - With Love From  and Granny's China Cupboard.

Love by Design is a local venue decoration business run by Rachel, based in Christchurch near Bournemouth.  

With Love From is a florist catering for weddings and other occasions, run by Natasha and based near Bournemouth. 

And Granny's China Cupboard is a vintage china hire business run by Vicki, catering for weddings and other events, based in Canford Heath, Bournemouth. 

I've since done my first collaborative shoot with Rachel from Love By Design at a local bridal boutique, Chameleon Bridal Boutique, where Rachel will be dressing the windows each month.  I've attached a sample of the shots we did.  Tomorrow we'll be getting together again for another shoot, this time on the beach near to Boscombe Pier, and working along side Natasha from With Love From and her beautiful floristry!  Keep your eyes peeled for a follow-up blog on that. 

I'll be writing a blog featuring these wonderful wedding businesses, each one will showcase the shoots we'll be working on together.  This is more of an introduction for them, there will be plenty to follow, I assure you. 

My main point is, there are others out there who are in the same position as you are, who are more than willing to help you out.  Even if it's just to meet up, have a coffee and a chat about what you're up to.  At the end of the day, you don't know where these chats might lead and who will be willing to lend a bit more assistance than you first expected.  They're not all know-it-alls who hit the ground running.  I'm a firm believer than business breeds business, and if we're all a little more open to helping out someone else, we all stand a chance of growing and becoming a success. 

Until next time,

R x

Hitched - Chris+Debbie

Rewind to August 2016... A beautiful, warm summer evening and a near treacherous walk to Les Bouviers, the reception venue for Chris and Debbie, the bride and groom-to-be.  I couldn't have been happier to finally reach my destination, and a warm and welcoming couple. 

We sat and had a drink, chatted about a lot of things that weren't necessarily wedding related, and got onto the subject of architecture - I knew it was a good match! 

Fast forward to 3rd June 2017 and the big day had arrived. 

The sun was shining, the guests were arriving, Chris was nervous (like really nervous!!) and everything was falling into place nicely.  A beautiful church ceremony later and we have a very happy newlywed couple.  

This was the first time I have worked alongside videographers, which was great for me, as my style isn't based around formal group shots, posed and staged beyond belief, so while they organised their shots, I snuck in and stole some great candids, so thanks boys! 

I loved all the little finishing touches to the venue as details are my thing; the sweet table with its very own ferris wheel; the popcorn machine (YUM!!) and of course the cake, wow, what a cake! Elegant and minimal, and the smell of the white chocolate was to die for.  The best part of the day for me was being able to talk to so many of Chris and Debbie's family and friends.  A lot of the time, because of my documentary approach, few people feel like they can talk to me - they very often say they didn't want to disturb me - but honestly, come and disturb me, I love a good chin wag (any excuse for a break, ha ha!).  

Hands down, this wedding featured the funniest best-man speech I've heard.  I was laughing so much I almost forgot to take photos of it, so future couples, they better be good! 

The evening wore on and everyone hit the dance floor, all to be shown up by a little dude named George.  Time to call it quits then I guess. 

Until next time, 

R x

To shoot or not to shoot...? Why you should have a pre-wedding shoot.

So you've recently got engaged to the love of your life and are now in the midst of planning your dream wedding.  Congratulations to you both!! 

You start buying all the best bridal magazines, taking day trips to the venues you've always wanted to get married in, the list of guests is getting longer, you've decided on the theme, and you've booked you wedding photographer.  Looks like you've got things under control.  

When you had your consultation with your photographer, you noticed that the package you want/have booked includes a pre-wedding/engagement shoot and you're wondering whether it's worth it, or whether they may knock a bit off the price if you don't bother with it.  All fairly reasonable thoughts to have.  Then you think, 'Why are they offering it in the first place?'.  

Just to clarify, this blog isn't meant to sway you towards booking me as your photographer - unless you really want to ;) - more to let you know the reasons why you should take your chosen photographer up on their offer of that pre-wedding/engagement shoot.  I'd say I'll give you five reasons, but I'll probably give you more. 

  1. No one likes to feel awkward  -  I'm guessing this is the first time you've been engaged?  Being in front of a camera and a photographer can be a daunting thought - believe me, that's why I'm the photographer - so why not take that out of the equation.  I was always told that practice makes perfect, or least makes you better at something.  The same applies to having your photo taken.  You're bound to want a romantic shot (or ten) of the two of you to look back on, and the photographer will want only to give you the best photos they can.  
  2. Practice makes perfect  -  As I mentioned in the point above, practice does indeed make perfect, or at least better at what you're doing.  The photographer you've chosen will want to direct you at some point, regardless of their style.  So a pre-wedding shoot will allow you a bonus couple of hours - or more if they're a generous photographer - to spend going over ideas and getting you relaxed in front of the camera in readiness for your big day.
  3. No one likes to feel awkward...pt.2  -  Going back to my first point - no one likes to feel awkward.  If nothing else comes of it, you will enable yourself extra time to get to know one another.  Your photographer will be able to see the chemistry you have as a couple, what you feel comfortable with and most importantly, what you don't.  
  4. It's a day out with an added bonus  -  On top of getting a bunch of extra photos of you both, you will have a great day out.  For example:  I like to choose a location within Dorset - there are a multitude of them - or to visit the venue.  We have a coffee, some cake, and then I stand you up against a wall and shoot you.  Kidding!!  Forget I'm there and enjoy yourselves.  Just like on your wedding day, your chosen photographer will use their skills to document you in an unobtrusive way, most likely without you even noticing.  If you go to your venue for the shoot, you'll already know the best places for photos on the big day.  Bonus!!
  5. They're really good fun!  -  It's not like going to one of those photo studios to have your family portrait taken.  You know the sort, the ones with the fake backdrops of Christmas trees or beaches, or whatever they have nowadays.  No.  You'll most likely be outdoors somewhere you've been together and enjoyed, or have wanted to go to for a while.  And like I said before, there could be cake involved.  I also like to bring some other extras with me, like sparklers or coloured smoke grenades to give your photos an extra pop. 
  6. It's probably included in the package, so what the hell!  -  If none of the above has managed to convince you, then hopefully this will.  It's more than likely included in the package you've booked or are about to book, so just go for it.  It's not like you've got anything to lose, just more to gain.  Honestly, you may kick yourself for not doing it, and there's nothing worse than seeing a friends, falling in love with their photos and thinking 'If only I'd done it'. 

Well, there you have it, six bloody good reasons why you should have that pre-wedding shoot after all.  I could've added more, but I think there's enough in there to convince you.  If you're still not convinced, send me a message and we can have a chat. 

The photos are from a pre-wedding shoot I've done. ;)

Until next time, 

R x

Hitched - Lauren+Chris

What a gorgeous day it was!

Well, earlier on in the day I was starting to think there would be a good downpour.  Thankfully it all blew over and the sun came blazing out.  

Lauren and Chris have been together for 7 years and first met whilst at school together, making this a real life childhood sweethearts wedding - totally sweet!  They were married at Poole Guildhall, in their Robing Room, and followed it by a low key reception back at their house.  For anyone wondering whether there's really a need to go all out in order to make it a special day, the answer is clearly, NO!  It is what it is, and most importantly, what you both want it to be.  

This was by far the most intimate wedding I've had the pleasure of being photographer at, with the Bride and Groom, and their closest four relatives.  They were also my first 'ceremony only' couple.  So after the ceremony, we all went for a casual walk down Market Street towards Poole Quay, which is perfect for me as a documentary wedding photographer, allowing me to capture all of the perfect moments as they happen - real smiles and laughter.  The reactions from Joe public were hilarious and wonderful - it's amazing how nice everyone suddenly becomes when they see a wedding party walking by.  We also gave the staff at Harlees fish and chip shop a good laugh when we stop in for a can of pop.  

We finished the afternoon with a shoot down at Lake Pier, near Rockley Park, just for the newlywed bride and groom.  A perfect location for this type of shoot, and just because it was a location shoot, didn't mean it fell into the typical style of pose and shoot.  It was lovely to see a couple really be themselves, having a nice walk, catching the fresh breeze and having a good old smooch!  

All in all, a bloody good day! 

Wedding Dress from Pascali  //  Hair and Make-up by The Cutting Crew

Here's a selection of my favourites from the day. 

Until next time, 

R x

Mads+Nate+Bump

I know that not every photographer likes to give discounts or run competitions, but I'm not every photographer.  I quite like doing things a little bit differently to others. 

Michaela was a recent competition winner, for the contest I ran just before Mother's Day.  She was given the prize by her sister-in-law, Beth, who was also my second bride back in November 2015.  I love to do my portrait shoots outdoors, so they can really embrace my documentary style, and also, so those I'm photographing can have a more relaxed and enjoyable shoot. 

Anyway, I'm digressing slightly.

We talked about the shoot, and Michaela had decided to have a family-cum-maternity shoot.  Bonus!!  I've wanted to do a maternity shoot for a while now, so two birds with one stone and all that.  Mads was a flower girl at Beth's wedding and Nate was just a little cutie/page boy.

Letting kids be kids, allowing them to act the fool and tell you to "take that photo upside down" is just wonderful.  Most people react to a camera by freezing up and smiling weirdly, and it's no different for kids.  So we talked nonsense about dinosaurs and space hoppers, running around like lunatics and jumping up to the clouds on their trampoline.  The rest is history, and the photos will be treasured.  Word to the wise, watch out for my next contest. ;) ;)

Here's a selection of my favourites.

Until next time, 

R x

Photo Books - by Saal Digital

It's taken me a while to get round to writing this, so first off, an apology for that.  Secondly, this post is all about the beautiful photo books I've now been giving to my gorgeous wedding clients, made by Saal Digital.  They're specialists in incredible wall art and these stunning photo books. 

I first came across them on Facebook as a suggested post; they were offering 40% off your first order if you tested their product and wrote an honest review for them.  As skeptical as I may be, I thought I'd take them up on this offer and you know what, they not only said they were good, but they really delivered the goods! 

I'd tried a couple of other companies when I first started down the road of being a wedding photographer - I mean, who doesn't like a good wedding album to look at - and they were okay, I guess.  Unfortunately for them, okay doesn't really cut it these days with brides and grooms, they're paying good money and they deserve a high quality product to treasure. 

The whole process is so simple, from uploading the photos and designing your layout, to ordering the product.  Best of all, it's delivered to your door a week later.  Honestly, if you're thinking of making a photo book for personal use or as a gift, or even for your own business like me, you should definitely give them a go - you will not be disappointed!  

Anyway, that's enough prattling on from me, here's some photos of my latest book I ordered to use as an example for prospective clients to look at. 

Until next time, 

R x

Happy Anniversary... to me!

Wow! Its been two years since I officially launched RGW PHOTOS and set out on the most exciting journey to becoming a professional photographer.  It's been a crazy and fulfilling time, with lots of blood, sweat and tears at times - I know for most that's a clichéd expression, but I mean it.  

I've gone from cautiously being persuaded to photograph a wedding, to being a portrait photographer, a family photographer, a volunteer photographer for Julia's House (which has led to me working with celebrities including Julian Fellowes and Martin Clunes) and so many weddings since and still to come.  

There were times I almost managed to convince myself that it would be an easy ride - and is a very common misconception from an outsider's perspective - before being smacked in the face with just how bloody hard it ACTUALLY is to start, and maintain your own business.  It's a tough realisation to get used to and one that doesn't always taste as sweet as some would have you believe.  True to my nature as an Aries, I'm a stubborn old goat - figuratively and somewhat literally - and have managed to stay the course.  The rewards are most definitely there, especially when handing over a body of work to your client - their expressions and kind words are all you need. 

Last year was the most difficult without a doubt, and at one point I came very close to throwing it all away after my Dad's cancer diagnosis.  Putting on a brave face around others that are celebrating life and love, whilst one of your most treasured family members are suffering massively is quite a challenge, and one I nearly succumbed to.  But I'm not a quitter.  The one blessing that comes out of dealing with cancer, is a new found appreciation for life and those who fill it.  Everything else becomes a secondary notion.  If anything, it's made me want to work harder to succeed and reach my goals.  

So I guess I just want to give massive thanks to everyone who has been a part of my journey so far, you all mean so much to me (even though you may not realise it), and I'm thrilled to have been a part of so many special moments in your lives - a true privilege!!!

There are too many people to thank, so here's a selection of my favourite moments from 2015 to now.

Until next time, 

Richard x

Lana - 7 Months

I first met Gina and Daryl at the beautiful wedding of Kristy and David back in April 2016.  Well now they have a gorgeous baby girl, Lana, and I recently had the pleasure of doing a little photo shoot with them. 

From the moment Lana laid eyes on the camera, it was clear to me that she was a natural.  True to form of such a youngster, it can also be a little too much after a short time - I mean, a girl needs her milk bottle and a nap.  When it comes to photographing young children, you have to allow yourself some extra time and just go with the flow. 

Just like my wedding photography, I like to keep my portrait shoots as natural and relaxed as possible, allowing them to have a documentary feel to them - there's nothing worse than those naff, fake smiles and awkwardly posed people.  After an hour and a half, I walked away with a really sweet set of images to work with, and that Gina, Daryl and Lana will be able to enjoy for the years to come. 

And the best news is, I get to do it all over again just after her first birthday, and again after her second.  Lucky me!!

So here's a bunch of my favourites (which wasn't easy to choose) from the first of the three shoots.  

If you're considering a family shoot, please get in touch, I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, 

Richard x

Hitched - David+Clare

It's crazy to think about how quickly time passes by - when they say "blink and you might miss it", they're not wrong. 

A month has gone by already since the beautiful wedding of David and Clare - Mr and Mrs Segelman.  We met only a few months prior to their wedding date, and hit it off from the outset.  Both mine and their visions matched perfectly, which is something you always hope for. 

The wedding took place on March 25th at St. Martin's Church, with the reception spilling out into the halls of the magnificent Bryanston School.  The school isn't typically a wedding venue, so I felt very honoured to have been chosen to photograph at this stunning venue.  The day kicked off with bridal prep at Hotel Du Vin, near Poole Quay, with some stunning hair and make-up skills by Sian Stone and her lovely ladies.  

I can't think of a day that has run as smoothly as this one did, even though it was the largest wedding party I've worked with to date.  If you ever get the opportunity to photograph a wedding, or any other function at this venue, I would highly recommend you take it! 

The newlyweds have had their honeymoon, and we had a chance to get together shortly afterwards for a coffee and a catch-up (and to hand over their photos, of course) - their reaction to them is what makes it all worthwhile!  I can honestly say, I've never felt more welcomed by another family before.  

All that's left to say is, I hope you both share many more years of happiness together!

Until next time, 

Richard. x

Moving Forward...

I've been a little behind of late and have meant to write a new blog for a while, but just haven't managed to get around to it.  I've had a lot going on family-wise, what with my Dad going through his chemotherapy treatment - it's been a difficult time - and I've struggled to get myself motivated again.

Thankfully, I have a lot to look forward to this year and have become more positive.  In less than two weeks I'll be getting back to capturing more beautiful weddings, and I can't wait!

Last month I had a competition to win a full day of wedding photography, and am very much looking forward to ending this year on a high by capturing Richard and Helen's New Year's Eve wedding at the stunning Gorwell Farm, near Abbotsbury.

As Mother's Day is almost here, I've decided to run another competition to win a outdoor portrait shoot. The winner will receive a 1 hour portrait shoot - worth £75 - which will take place in Bournemouth.  The competition will run until midnight on Friday 24th March, with the winner being announced on Saturday 25th March.  They will receive their beautifully edited photos on a wooden USB with an online gallery for friends and family to view/download web format versions, and two 10x8" prints.

Feel free to enter on behalf of a friend or relative you think might love this prize, or share with them.

Until next time,

Richard x

All Loved Up

A belated happy new year to you all, and to those of you who got engaged over the festive period - Congratulations!

Now the task of planning your big day is upon you, you may be starting to look at venues and all the things you want to make your day as perfect as you envision it being.  One of those things will probably be your wedding photographer?  I'd love to be able to help you with this part, and I think I offer four great packages to ensure you get the beautiful images you'll both treasure forever.

I was going to launch this offer at the end of the month, but seeing as that's only one week away, I thought I might as well share it with you now.

Until 28th February2017 I will be offering a massive £150* off all wedding photography packages.  The discount will be applied as follows:

  • Silver Package was £500, now £350
  • Gold Package was £675, now £525
  • Platinum Package was £850, now £700 (most popular option)
  • Diamond Package was £975, now £825

(*Please note, this discount will only be applied to new bookings made from 24/01/17)

If you would like to book any of these for your wedding, I'd love to hear from you.  So please get in touch with details of the date, venue etc, and then we can arrange to meet up and discuss your day. A £100 deposit will secure you date (subject to availability). 

I look forward to hearing from you!