This morning as we all shiver our way through the day I have some more winter bridal inspiration to share with you. I loved this shoot, with beautiful images by wedding photographer Brett Symes -with help from make-up artist Tora Young and stylist Natalie Dale. Brett has photographed numerous bridal fashion shoots, many of which have ended up in the national wedding magazines. He told me, “it’s incredible how these shoots start in influence and spill over into the way in which I photograph a wedding”.
Winter wedding look one: ethereal lace
Lace is a huge trend in 2012 weddings. Kate Middleton made a big statement with her beautiful lace sleeves (the story of which still brings shivers up my spine: lacemakers having to wash their hands every 20 minutes, the lace so very delicate and fine) – but there’s none of the formality of Kate’s dress here. Lace is beautiful and ethereal, a fabric so intricate spiders could have made it for the queen of the fairies in a forest…
I used to make lace, by the way! Nothing like this…
Winter wedding look two: effortless elegance
My mum’s wedding dress was a little like this – my parents were married in December 1971 and she made her own wedding dress. The dress is beautiful with almost seamless white fabric, beautifully tailored and exquisitely elegant – for any bride proud of her figure, be she curvy or willowy – I adore this dress… there’s something comforting about the ruffles at the end of the sleeves here too!
I adore the simple cotton dress this model wears – it’s lovely: proof that you don’t need a big designer wedding dress (if anyone needed proof!) to look beautiful for a summer wedding. This for me is the ‘girl next door’ look: pretty, sweet and innocent… yet there’s something alternative about this look and I’d say this particular girl next door is a free spirit: she doesn’t follow the crowd. She wears what she chooses, she knows she’s beautiful inside and out.
I asked Brett a little about his photography. He said, “I don’t think my style fits neatly into any of the boxes such as reportage or vintage. Perhaps I aim for a bit of a modern twist on classical but without the formality. I like to capture the proceedings of the day as they naturally unfold but I also love to add some input on the couple’s portraits to infuse them with style and glamour.”
Brett’s own story is a fascinating one. Although I’m based in Bristol, I pretty much work throughout the country, I frequently find myself in London or the Cotswolds.
I love the depth and breadth of photography that a wedding offers, from the grand ceremonial proceedings to the tiny delicate details. I also love the different photographic disciplines that come into play: portraiture, architecture, children, fashion, interiors.
I also think that wedding photography has dramatically changed over the last few years, or at least the perception of it has. There are some wonderfully talented photographers working in the wedding industry who are now proud to stick their hands up and say ‘YES, I’m a wedding photographer’. I think that wedding photography is now as creative, innovative and interesting as an other form of photography out there.
Prior to being a photographer I spent many years working in the film industry and had the luck & joy of working with visionaries such as Terry Gilliam and Sam Rami amongst others. So film is most certainly a key influence. Music is another major influence but it’s the magic that happens when you put music against film that is my driving force, the emotions that can be triggered, the places we can be transported to – that’s powerful stuff indeed – one of the great masters of this is Michael Nyman.
I also always love magazines, even from a very young age, I’ve always just grazed through them, taking in the images and the colour palettes more by osmosis than any conscious undertaking. It kind of saddens me the whole movement towards e-magazines, I like to be able to physically interact with what I’m looking at and reading, to turn a page over or rip a page out.
Interior design has also been a big influence or rather the photography of interior design has. I spent far too much of my childhood being dragged around numerous haberdashery shops by my Mum, I guess some of it had to rub off!
What does 2012 hold in store for Brett Symes Photography?
It’s a really exciting year ahead with some fabulous weddings to look forward to. I can’t quite believe that I’m shooting a wedding a St Paul’s Cathedral in February, I’ve got butterflies in my stomach already for that one, I can’t wait.
I’m also exhibiting at my First National Wedding show in March at the NEC, it will be great fun getting to meet with loads of brides-to-be. Do come along and say hello.