Lisa Webb Photography – Shropshire Wedding Photographer » Alternative Wedding Photography

wedding stationary

KnockKnockPenny Studio is run by the lovely Hannah, who is a super talented graphic designer and wedding stationer. She is someone that I would recommend to all my couples for any of their wedding stationery needs. I caught up with her recently to ask her a few questions.

How long have you been doing stationery weddings and how did you get into doing it?

I have been running KnockKnockPenny Studio for roughly 4 years now since I had my little girl. I am a Graphic Designer and fell into wedding stationery purely because I loved planning my own wedding so much I wanted to stay involved with weddings. I think I may have a problem because i’m still watching Say Yes to the Dress now!

What’s your favourite thing to make and design?

I love wax seals. I think they really add a luxury level to stationery. I use them in a modern way so it suits a more stylish wedding but it is a nice throwback at the same time. I also love menus. I think some couples under estimate what a lovely layer/element they add to your tablescapes. One of Lisa’s previous brides Sarah didn’t miss those final touches and it really showed in the photographs Lisa later took.

What’s the best bit about being a wedding stationer?

I love working with couples and hearing all about their plans. I love watching their ideas come together in the final package. I have to be honest but I also like it because it’s the type of job on the most part you do in your PJ’s with Gilmore Girls on and a good snack. I set my own time table and it fits around my family.

What’s your favourite style of wedding stationery?

I love a more fine art style of stationery. Tactile stationery is the best. You want people to want to tough it and to keep it. Anything with wax or ribbon or even Hot Foil on it is just exciting now as it was when I started out.

Out of all the weddings you’ve done stationery for, what has been your favourite design?

That’s really tough as I think the final product has a personality so it’s kind of like saying what couple you prefer in a way. I love my semi-custom designs as I like to see the different ways couples style them with ribbon wax or even the colour scheme. I also love it when couples add personal things like Venue Drawings.

If you were going to recommend any other supplier to a couple, who would it be?

I would go for the one and only The Flower Lounge based in Didsbury, Manchester. Not only do I have first hand experience of her skill in creating my own wedding flowers but from day one she has gone out of her way to support me and my business. Sian is an amazing bundle of energy and she knows exactly what you need and she knows how to do it.

Go and check out Hannah’s website if you’d like to see more of her work!

wax seal wedding invitationsIscoyd Park weddingIscoyd Park marquee

chirk castle engagement shoot

Steph and Sam had their engagement shoot at the beautiful Chirk Castle near Wrexham back in November 2018. I can’t believe it’s taken this long for me to share this amazing shoot! When Steph and Sam first got in touch they were a little bit nervous about having their photo taken, I hear this a lot and I always tell couples not to worry, an engagement shoot is a great thing to do if you are nervous. Steph and Sam have quite a big height difference, they were worried about posing together and if it would look a bit strange or if certain poses wouldn’t work for them. I give all my couples similar directions and I always say if something feels weird and awkward, it will probably look weird and awkward too, so don’t do it! Steph and Sam’s height difference was no problem at all, and their engagement shoot made them feel really confident that their wedding photographs were going to be an absolute breeze!

When we first arrived at Chirk Castle we were met with lots of mist, and it was very atmospheric, however I was a little bit worried at the start of the shoot if Steph and Sam would be visible at all if I wanted to get a wider shot of them! I needn’t have worried as while we walked around Chirk Castle’s grounds the mist eased off and gave way to bright, even light which was perfect! For their shoot we really dealt with everything the elements had to offer, we had mist, sunlight, overcast skies and finally torrential rain! We were lucky that we were heading back to our cars just as the heavens started opening. This was my first time shooting at Chirk Castle, I was blown away by how beautiful the gates were and we knew that we wanted to get a shot in front of them before we ended the shoot. Even though the rain was pouring down Steph and Sam were completely up for standing out in the elements, getting drenched so we could get some photos in front of the gates. I was so pleased they were up for that, I know I would have been gutted if we hadn’t managed to get that shot!

I loved doing this shoot with Steph and Sam and I can’t wait to share their beautiful wedding at Iscoyd Park with you on the blog very soon!

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garthmyl hall confetti

Craig and Rhiannon chose the beautiful Garthmyl Hall for their wedding day back in September. It was the perfect venue choice for their super relaxed wedding! They opted for a 5pm ceremony with around 30 of their closest family and friends present, this made it such a wonderful, intimate day and also meant that when they came out of their ceremony we had some gorgeous late summer golden light. I hadn’t met Craig and Rhiannon before their wedding, however I could tell from their emails that they were really relaxed and just wanted a chilled wedding with their closest family and friends. When I arrived at their venue I was blown away with how they had styled everything, Rhiannon is a designer who makes and sells prints, ceramics and stationary. Little did I know at the time of her wedding that I had lots of her Etsy shop items already favourited! Rhiannon had poured her designing skills into their wedding and had created the most beautiful seating plan and order of the day. I was completely blown away by these little details, it was clear that a professional had made them and when I asked Rhiannon who they were by I was so impressed when she said it was her! If you like the way Rhiannon and Craig have styled their wedding, you need to go and check out her shop, Wilonne. I met Rhiannon and Craig as I was taking photos around Garthmyl Hall that morning of their beautiful set up, they were together before they got ready and I loved how chilled they were about it. There really are no rules when you get married, if being with each other on the morning of your wedding will make you feel more chilled, then do that!

Late Summer Ceremony at Garthmyl Hall

As Craig and Rhiannon only had around 30 guests, they were able to have their ceremony in the Summer House at Garthmyl Hall. This is usually the place that the drinks reception is held but it is such a beautiful space I think it worked perfectly for their ceremony. It is quite a tight squeeze in there so it only really works for a wedding with smaller numbers, this also works really well because the smaller room makes the ceremony feel more intimate, rather than having so few people in a large ceremony room. Garthmyl Hall has so many beautiful areas that you could have your wedding ceremony. There is the main ceremony room, this is where Craig and Rhiannon had their wedding breakfast, the summer house and the walled garden which is a wonderful option for an outdoor ceremony. Having such a late ceremony in late summer meant that we did have to be a bit more mindful of their photographs. We knew that we had to do their group shots and their couple portraits before it got too dark outside, and that there wouldn’t be an opportunity to get any more after their meal because the light would be gone completely by that point. Craig and Rhiannon made sure there was ample time between the end of their ceremony and their wedding breakfast for us to capture all of their group shots, some natural shots of them and their guests and of course their couple portraits. And they even managed to disappear up to their room for a quick snack too! This meant that for their couple portraits we had the most beautiful golden light, I was honestly living the dream photographing these two in Garthmyl Hall’s dreamy walled garden!

Florals by Ivypip and Rose

Flowers were a big feature at their wedding which I absolutely adored. They hired Ivypip and Rose for all of their floral needs and it all looked beautiful. I loved how romantic their flower arrangements were and I would honestly recommend them to anyone looking for a florist! The flower arrangements in the summerhouse in particular gave their ceremony such a gorgeous, romantic feel. I truly believe flowers are such an important element of a wedding and can change the entire look and feel of a wedding day.

The relaxed theme for Craig and Rhiannon’s day continued throughout the entirety. They had speeches before their food, including a speech from Rhiannon and her maid of honour. And for their evening bash they had a PA system and a playlist! This worked just as well as many DJ’s I’ve seen and their dancefloor was full from the moment the music began until well into the night!

Thank you so much Rhiannon and Craig for having me there to celebrate with you, I loved every second! If you’re planning a wedding at Garthmyl Hall then get in touch, I’d love to hear from you!

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Venue: Garthmyl Hall
Flowers: Ivypip & Rose
Wedding Dress: Pronovias at Brides of Chester

bumble bee on lavender

It’s been a long time since I shared a photo of the week. This is mainly because this year has absolutely knocked me for six and there’s definitely still a part of me that’s stuck in March, I can’t believe it’s almost August! I’m slowly starting to get back into the swing of things and I definitely want to start doing my photo of the week feature again as I love sharing my favourite images with you all and it’s a space I can show my work and my personal work. This year the photo of the week feature will mostly be of personal work due to COVID. Most of my weddings for this year have postponed, I was lucky enough to shoot one at the start of February and have only shot one small wedding since then last month. It’s very strange for me as I love my job so much, having to stay at home and not being able to photograph people has been hard. It does however mean that next year I’m going to appreciate my job even more. Next years bookings have come through thick and fast and I’m only accepting two more weddings next year so please get in touch soon if you want me to be there for your wedding! Whilst I’ve been off work I’ve been busy working away at decorating our house. We’ve managed to paint two rooms so far and only have four rooms and the hall, stairs and landings left to do! We’ve also been working on our garden, when we first moved in it was landscaped with lots of different plants, not many flowers and not a blade of grass in sight. We much prefer a more natural garden with grass and an abundance of flowers so we’re currently getting rid of lots of the plants that are in the garden to make room for what we want! While I was spending time in the garden yesterday I noticed this little bee doing his bit for the planet in the lavender, I absolutely adore the colours in this photograph!

This week I have two couple shoots which I’m really excited for! It’s been a while since I’ve had two shoots in one week! Check back here next week to see my next photo of the week!

become a wedding photographerEvery now and then I get emails asking how I became a wedding photographer, usually asking for tips about how I started out in the wedding industry and how I began getting my first clients. I also get asked a lot if people can come along to a wedding with me to second shoot or assist. I’m always happy to reply to these emails and help as much as I can, I remember being in the same boat, six years ago when I was fresh out of university and trying to make my way in wedding photography. At the time it seemed almost impossible to gain experience in the industry and I really didn’t have a clue where to begin. Six years on, after a lot of hard work and investment I’m finally at a place in my business where I am fully booked shooting weddings every year and get more enquiries than I could possibly shoot. I feel very lucky to work for myself and to be able to say I have a job I absolutely love doing, I know not everyone can say that! I am also eternally grateful to my couples for choosing me to photograph their weddings, it’s because of them that I get to keep doing this job every year. I don’t always have time to reply in depth to every single email I receive asking for help on how to get started shooting weddings so I’ve complied this blog post to send out to all of you with all of the best advice I could possibly give. I am friends with many wedding photographers and honestly think it’s the best industry to work in. We all help each other and these connections are absolutely essential, for using second shooters and also as emergency contacts if you’re too ill to shoot a wedding. Keep reading to find out how I started and what advice I would give to anyone who wants to become a wedding photographer now.

Why I don’t let beginners second shoot with me

When I was at university I emailed a shit load of wedding photographers asking if I could second shoot for them. Unsurprisingly, most of them said no, they were (for the most part) very kind about it, but it was still disappointing opening up the email response and finding another rejection. Now the shoe’s on the other foot. Six years later in my business and I get asked if people can second shoot with me A LOT. Often they are like me, fresh out of uni with no real idea of what they’re doing or how a wedding works. And now I get it, from both sides of the situation. In the earlier stages of my business I took a couple of second shooters along to weddings with me for them to portfolio build. I never used someone starting out when the couple had paid specifically for a second shooter, then I only ever used another professional who I knew would produce images that were the same quality as my own. The few times that I’ve had people starting out in the industry along with me I instantly understood why I got so many rejections when I was starting out. One of the seconds suggested I switch up a shot in front of the couple, this was super uncomfortable because the couple knew she was there to portfolio build and it undermined my knowledge. This was my fault as I hadn’t made it clear to the second shooter that she was mainly there to watch and observe what I did and shoot around me. Lesson learned! The second time I used someone who was starting out they used the images they had taken at the wedding on their website and social media and passed it off as though it was a wedding they had shot by themselves, this is a complete no no. If you’re second shooting, you need to ask the photographer who is the main shooter if you’re allowed to use the images at all. If they say yes that’s really lovely of them! The etiquette when sharing the images is to tag or link back to the photographer who was the main shooter and make it very clear you were second shooting with them. Unfortunately these couple of experiences have put me off personally allowing people to come along with me for their own experience. I do understand that’s frustrating however I want my couples to have the best day possible and that includes knowing anyone I bring to their wedding is going to do an amazing job. I only ever use second shooters I know and trust and who have their own wedding photography businesses. There will be some photographers out there who will allow you to tag along with them on a wedding day however I honestly don’t think that’s the best way to learn and get started in the industry, it’s like learning to run before you can walk.

Invest as much as you can

The biggest piece of advice I would give to anyone wanting to become a wedding photographer is to invest as much as you can. By this I mean time and money. I did start out by second shooting with another photographer and I will forever be grateful to him for taking a chance on me and allowing me to tag along with him to so many weddings. If however I knew what I know now, I probably would have done things slightly differently. The photographs I took at that first wedding as a second shooter were honestly shit. I had a fairly good eye but I didn’t really have a clue how to use my camera, I’m still not 100% sure why he allowed me to keep coming to weddings with him (but I’m glad he did!). In this time I also invested in doing a workshop, specifically in wedding photography. This was a massive turning point in my career and I would not be running the business I am now if I hadn’t gone down the route of attending workshops. The workshop I attended was Welcome Home by Emma Case. They don’t run this workshop anymore or else I would recommend it with every fibre of my being. There will be lots of good wedding photography workshops out there still though, it’s just a case of finding the right one for you. I would look more for workshops with an emphasis on posing couples and workflow rather than a workshop on how to use your camera. I would head to YouTube for camera advice, you can easily learn that at home. From that workshop I got to know other photographers in the industry and from there I found more workshops and got to know even more people. I still do a workshop every single year, I think it is really important to continue investing time and money in your business, no matter how established you are. There is always more to learn and there is always more that you can do to offer your couples. I think the constant learning and evolving is the beauty of running your own business! Workshops I would recommend are Snap Photography Festival, I’ve been to this three years in a row and every year was wonderful and well worth every penny of investment. Photography Farm and Wolves Workshop are two that I haven’t yet attended but they’re definitely on my list to do at some point, these are both still running so I would definitely check those out if you’re looking to invest in a workshop. If there are photographers you particularly admire it’s worth asking them if they offer mentoring too. This isn’t something I personally do at the moment however if there was enough interest it’s something I could look at setting up, just pop me a message if this is something you’re interested in!

I would also invest in equipment. I built mine up bit by bit while I was second shooting but by the time I was shooting my own weddings I had a full kit with back ups. You can see my full kit list here. Personally I would recommend that you invest in a camera with two card slots and shoot RAW to both. This is personal preference however I wouldn’t feel comfortable shooting a wedding with one card slot. Two card slots provide you with an instant back up, a wedding isn’t something you can just re-shoot. I know some photographers shoot RAW to one card and Jpeg to another, this is absolutely fine and would be quicker than shooting RAW to both, however I’d rather have a slightly longer buffer in camera than have to deal with potentially having to edit jpegs. Backing up as Jpeg is better than no back up at all though. You NEED a second camera. I always have two 5D Mark iii’s on me at all times, this way if one of them dies mid-ceremony I can just switch to my other camera instantly and don’t have to disrupt anything or potentially lose any coverage. None of my cameras have ever died but it could happen and I am not willing to run that risk. And obviously you need a shed load of memory cards and batteries. When I come home from a wedding I also back the wedding up that night onto my computer and two additional external hard drives, I also don’t delete the images off my memory cards until I’ve edited them and delivered them to the couple. You can never have enough back ups!

I would recommend that following on from workshops that you connect with the other photographers who attend them. You can’t have enough friends in this industry and there is definitely a big emphasis on community over competition. Good luck on your journey if you’re looking to start out into the wedding photography world, it’s the best job in the world and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else!

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