Guildford Wedding Photographer – Lisa Cox & John Box – Gate Street Barn


This is a wedding that I had been looking forward to for a while – the wedding of Lisa Cox and John Box, in Guildford on the 24th of July 2011. From the moment Lisa had got in touch and from the time I first saw the locations that a) Lisa was getting ready in and b) they were getting married at I couldn’t wait for this day to come!

This day also marked the first occasion I’d be working with my own personal assistant – my good friend Will Graham from – who had kindly volunteered to come along, carry my kit, and get a few shots of his own throughout the day.

We arrived at Slades Farm (a stunning location) around half an hour before we were scheduled to, to find the bride looking a little nervous but in superb spirits as she was having her hair done.

As I gave Will a quick tour of the location, along with explaining the ideas we’d be trying to achieve throughout the day, it wasn’t long before Lisa’s nerves started to disappear, and before long she was slipping into the gorgeous dress she had chosen for the day.

Then came the hardest decision to make – which earrings and which necklace should be chosen to accompany the stunning dress?

Once Lisa was ready it was time for the proud Father of the Bride to cast eyes on his daughter, and time to get some photographs of the Bride and her Father in the stunning grounds of Slades Farm. By this time we were competing with harsh midday sun, so made use of the shade in one of the many features of the garden to capture a lovely moment between father and daughter.

But that wasn’t all I had planned for Slades Farm. One of the most amazing features of this location was a huge lake in the grounds. Whilst Will carefully managed Lisa onto the jetty across the lake, taking great care to ensure the dress remained pristine, I composed the shot from the other side of the lake, having previously set up my big portable flash kit near where Lisa was now standing in order to add a little special ‘kick’ to the photograph.

By now though it was time for Will and I to make the short journey a couple of miles down the road to Gate Street Barn for the ceremony preparation and to meet the registrar.

I’ve photographed a fair few weddings, and I have to say the registrar that Lisa and John had chosen was by far the most easy going I’ve ever worked alongside – photography was allowed throughout the ceremony, and we were even allowed to use flash (but we didn’t take her up on that particular offer)!

Here we met up with the groom – and if we thought the Bride had originally looked nervous then she wasn’t a patch on her Groom

As the time of the ceremony drew closer, John suddenly started relaxing more, and as his bride entered the room accompanied by her proud father, John was positively beaming from ear to ear.

The ceremony was an emotional affair, which called for a fair few tissues…

… but as it came time to exchange the rings …

… and to say their vows …

… the happiness and love for each other that Lisa and John share was plainly obvious for all to see. And as they were pronounced man and wife, and as the Groom kissed his Bride you could tell they were the happiest couple in the world.

After the formality of the signing of the register…

… they exited the room as the new Mr and Mrs Box!

After giving the newlyweds a few moments to themselves to just take in the atmosphere and revel in their marriage it was time for me to get some photographs to make the Bride and Groom proud.

Fortunately, the beating sun that had shone throughout the day so far relented to the clouds – making it absolutely perfect for photography! Lisa, being a keen photographer herself, remarked to me that I must have had a few words to arrange it especially for that time. Well, I wouldn’t want to give away any trade secrets!

We started off the Bride & Groom session with a nice, relaxed portrait of the couple just outside the barn where they had been married just a few moments before.

We then moved on to the gorgeous gardens I had seen from my preparation visit a few weekends prior to the wedding to get another natural, unposed photograph.

And then taking advantage of the lovely soft lighting and rural location I posed Lisa and John against a fence and asked them to ‘almost’ kiss in order to get this photograph.

Then it was time for some fun with off camera lighting. Again, putting the knowledge I had gained from my pre-wedding visit into fruition I took Lisa and John into what I referred to as ‘the maze’ in the grounds – a lovely, hedged area which was absolutely ideal for getting creative.

With Will assisting, I set the power on my flash which I asked Will to hold a few feet away from Lisa, and then asked her to twirl her dress around to get some movement and some drama. The flash illuminated Lisa, my camera settings darkened the ambient and the positioning of Lisa’s dress was perfect in order to create the dramatic photograph below.

We didn’t stop there! Lisa had brought along an ornate umbrella which she wanted to use in the photographs. Always happy to please the customer we used the above image as a template, reintroduced the Groom and produced the following, stunning photograph.

After the drama came a moment of tenderness as I asked John to carefully hold the bouquet for a rare type of Groom portrait. Off went the flash gun and back onto natural light for this shot which to me just shows a bit of vulnerability.

Then, as time was rapidly running out for the Bride and Groom session we ventured back to the barn to bring out the flash gun one final time to turn 3pm into dusk for this tender moment.

After the group photographs…

… and the speeches it was time for the ceremonial cutting of one of the simplest, yet most intricate (and therefore intriguing) cakes I have ever seen.

And then came the traditional bouquet toss…

… which was caught somewhat unconventionally!

After the re-throw(!) it was time for the first dance…

… and as the sun set it was time for the final shot of the day, and once which I’d had planned since I saw the location for the first time. Again, the flash gun was brought out to play, along with an absolutely superb sunset, in order to create a stunning photograph which will simply not be repeated any time soon.

All that remains is for me to wish Lisa and John the very best life together, and to thank them for the opportunity of photographing a fantastic couple in a stunning location, and for being so willing to try out some new and different photography which will set their album apart.

A brilliant day all round!