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Naomi + Jack

documentary wedding photography in Bristol

In October last year I responded to a thread in a Facebook group. Another photographer had been contacted by Naomi and Jack about their upcoming wedding, but he was already booked. The details he posted sounded incredible, so I left my details and carried on with my day, never expecting to hear anything back because the other photographers who put themselves forward were so incredible.

But then Jack got in touch, and we had a chat over the phone. I was in love with everything they were saying – a summer wedding, open air, at Ludlow Castle. HELL YES. I always get so happy and excited when a couple books me, and I was on the ceiling for about a week with these guys. They just seemed so relaxed and warm that I knew we’d get on.

Fast forward a few months and an email landed in my inbox. It was one of those emails I read with my heart in my mouth, because I was worried they were going to bail. But no! Just a change of venue to Old Down Estate in Bristol, so they could accommodate some extra guests in their day. 

In March I popped down to London for a shoot, and met up with Naomi and Jack for their pre-wedding shoot on the Southbank. I was back on the ceiling again after that, not just because they’re incredibly photogenic. All my feelings about how warm and relaxed these two are were confirmed, and although we were shooting for a documentary style feel I knew that Naomi especially wanted some more slightly posed photos.

Bemba + Smoke bombs + traditional + dance offs 

Seriously. I always urge couples to put something of themselves into their wedding plans, and holy shit! this couple delivered!! I worked with a second shooter, the lovely Gina Fernandes, on this one, as I was also filming snippets on my camera to make a short wedding film for Naomi and Jack, so all bases were covered. 

Naomi’s family comes from Zambia, while Jack is British, so some of the little details were written in Bemba as well as English. The fusion of cultures in their details – like having everyone’s names written on an orange leaf in both languages – was perfect. They did the legal bit several weeks before their wedding, so that they could go to town with a couple of readings and religion in their blessing out doors at Old Down Estate. 

Aside from the wildflower meadow we discovered, my favourite part of Naomi and Jack’s wedding was when they broke out of their intimate first dance. The music suddenly changed and the dancing happened. The guests soon joined in and OH MY, that dancefloor was one of the most packed I’ve ever seen! 

Prep

I firmly believe that every bride and groom should have a supportive group of people around them as they get ready for their wedding day. People who’ll understand the excitement and nerves, and feel them along with them. Naomi had a great group of friends, sisters, mothers in law and her own mum with her, and the vibes in that room were brilliant. There were gifts given, hugs in return, a few happy tears shed…ah! Documentary photography heaven!

Blessing

Naomi and Jack got had a legal ceremony when they eloped earlier in the spring – as explained by Jack in this video. Their wedding at Old Down Estate involved an outdoor ceremony, performed by a member of Jack’s family, rather than a legal deal. They had an incredible 5 piece gospel group, a beautiful reading by Jack’s sister, Amy, and gorgeous views over the Bristol countryside out to the Severn Bridge. 

Massive thanks

to Jack, Naomi & their families for being thoroughly awesome

& to Gina Fernandes for being a stupendously kick ass 2nd shooter on the day, enabling me to capture lots of lovely snippets for a diddy wedding highlights film.