• The Adventures of

    Alex Beckett Photography

Wedding/Civil Partnership: Andaz Hotel, London Liverpool Street- Jackie and Lindsay

Mar 24
Fun loving artistic Wedding Photographs from a Gay Lesbian Wedding / Civil Partnership.

I met Jackie and Lindsay last year near Paddington Station, and we got on so well I was several hours late for a date night with my wife! That should give you some idea of what a friendly, generous couple these ladies are, and how excited I was to photograph their wedding. I’ve shot at the Andaz a few times now, usually with the hotel’s old wedding planner Carly helping me out. Carly, however, had to move back Australia, and in her place is the lovely Sam. This was Sam’s first wedding at the Andaz, and although it was manic I think it gave her a taste of how awesome the venue can be when you have a star couple getting married there!

I had a bit of a larger team working with me on this one – the brilliant Iain Gomes came along as my second photographer, while I kept my assistant Will Steadman busy helping me. We had a bit of a game of ‘hide the bride’ in the morning, as Jackie and Lindsay were getting ready in separate rooms at the Andaz. This led to some hi-jinx as we tried to keep them from crossing each other’s paths on their way to talk to the registrar. It was also great fun to compare timelines with Iain, as he and I stayed with different brides. You can see from the photos that Jackie and Lindsay were doing exactly the same things (make up, putting on the dress) at the same time, just in different rooms.

Unlike most weddings, Jackie and Lindsay did see each other before the ceremony. I have a soft spot for ‘first looks’ (some of you may remember Simon and Sarah from The Dorchester, who did their first look on Millennium Bridge several years ago). They’re so full of emotion and joy; part of me wants to capture those moments but the other part wants to give the couple time alone to bask in what they’re about to do. In this case, that emotion was only heightened because Lindsay and Jackie have been through a lot to get to this day. I think you can tell from the photos how honoured and touched every single guest was to be present when these beautiful women tied the knot.

The day really was a dream to photograph. Lindsay put an emphasis on getting a lot of photos of the guests having fun, which was a really easy job considering that I don’t think there was a single frown to be seen during the whole day. Even the speeches were totally inclusive: Lindsay and Jackie gave a joint speech where they got everyone to stand up before thanking them each in turn – you were only allowed to sit down once you had been thanked. It was a great way of sharing their love and gratitude with their friends and family. The day was rounded off perfectly by one of the best bands I’ve seen – they got absolutely everyone up on the dance floor for a raucous end to the celebrations.

It just remains for me to congratulate Lindsay and Jackie on a wonderful day. Iain, Will and I were really honoured to have been part of it.

Venue: Andaz Liverpool Street, Dress: Jenny Packham, Flowers: Jam Jar Flowers, Stationary: Roopa Sachidanand, Second Photographer: Iain Gomes, Assistant Photographer: Will Stedman

Click below for all the photos…

Pre-Wedding Shoot: London, Southbank, British Museum and Big Ben – Michael and Joanne

Mar 17
Alex-Beckett-Photography_Merry go round London pre-wedding south bank bride and groom portrait cool fun awesome artistic wedding photography photos

Michael and Joanne are a lovely, fun couple who came over from Hong Kong for a pre-wedding adventure around London. They’re due to get married next year, but wanted to get some shots of them as a couple in somewhere beautiful and grand and, well, London fits that bill perfectly. They only came over for a couple of days before flying on to Paris, so I felt really honoured that they wanted to spend most of their time with me!

Although Michael’s been here before (he’s a travel guide, so he knows the city pretty well), this was Joanne’s first time in our capital city. Luckily, the weather greeted her with what must have been our first properly sunny day of 2014 so we were able to get some great sunlit shots that perfectly matched this sunny couple.

Determined to make the most of the weather and our time together, we started early. I have to give massive kudos to Michael and Joanne here, as they’d only flown in the previous day and must have been shattered, but they still faced the day with so much energy and happiness that it was a total joy to photograph them. We ended up walking everywhere, which was no small distance…

We started out in Holborn, where Joanne and Michael were staying, for a few casual shots against grand Georgian townhouses and inside the British Library. We then worked our way down to Covent Garden for some much needed refreshments and a bit of R&R. Then we crossed the river for a wander along Southbank, where they got changed into their wedding finery. As the sun set we managed to capture them against some of London’s iconic buildings, as well as snapping some more fun images. I may have later regretted getting on the vintage merry-go-round – it turns out those things are really difficult to balance on when you’re trying to take photos!

We rounded off the day with some dim sum at Ping Pong, which I fear was not at all what Joanne and Michael were expecting – sorry about that guys! Before I let you all look at the photos, I’d just like to thank Joanne and Michael for letting me share such a fun day with you. I hope you had a wonderful time in London and have an equally great time in Paris!

Wedding: Chilston Park Hotel, Kent – Lisanne & Simon

Feb 26
Bride and groom black and white guitar crazy lots going on wedding rocking out

I’m not a superstitious person, but with some of my clients, it feels like fate has brought us together! Lisanne and Simon actually used to live very close to me, and one of Lisanne’s bridesmaids lives in the same lot of converted warehouses that I call home. Then Simon and I (both computer geeks at heart) discovered that we had the same first computer – an Amstrad. It was clearly written in the stars…

Lisanne and Simon’s wedding was one of the most relaxed affairs I’ve ever had the pleasure to photograph. They’ve been a couple for many years, and have a little one together – the uber-sweet Joshua, who was determined to be just as involved in the wedding as his parents! In fact, Josh’s enthusiasm during the ceremony set the tone for the whole day, which was fun-filled and felt really youthful.

Chilston Park is a gorgeous Georgian mansion overlooking a lake, full of grand staircases and elegant rooms. Lisanne and Simon make the most of this. For a start, they hired the whole hotel, which meant that all their guests could stay overnight – a really lovely thought as it gave the wedding the feel of an old-fashioned house party. They also used all the rooms: drinks in the library, dancing in the old stable block and in the orangery – a soft play area for the kids (and some adults)!

Thanks to Lisanne, Simon, Joshua and their guests I loved every second of photographing this one, and I think it shows in the photos… which I’ll let you see right now!

Pre-Wedding Shoot: Bristol – Laurent & Lyndsay

Feb 23
Engagement Shoot tree trunk Guitar Couple Bristol Ashton Court

I was a bit of a tour operator as well as a photographer for this engagement shoot in my old haunt of Bristol. Lyndsay had come over from the USA to visit her fiancé Laurent, who is French but works in the UK. They’re currently trying to decide where to have their wedding: Detroit, France or England, but wherever they choose you can be sure it will be an international affair!

Laurent has just moved from Aberdeen to Bristol for work, and they thought it would be a good time to get some photos of them at a new stage in their lives. Now I love Bristol, so I was really excited to show them the best of the city. Unfortunately, the weather had other ideas! Our first location was the beautiful Ashton Court. In the summer Ashton is a really idyllic, sprawling park: in summer I used to walk next to my wife while she rode her horse – like something out of a Jane Austen film. Laurent is a talented musician, so I had great plans for a romantic guitar shot set against sunny greenery. Alas, the sky opened just as we were getting into our groove and the guitar had to make a swift disappearance!

We headed back into town and managed to show Lyndsay and Laurent some of Bristol’s most iconic sights, like the old Cathedral and the more modern Millennium Square. I’m so pleased with the shots we got here, and hope you guys like them too. I’ll let you go and take a look now, right after I give a big shout out to Albert Palmer for helping me out at short notice!

Couple Shoot: Southbank, London – Rahel and Chris

Feb 12
Alex-Beckett-Photography_1329 Southbank Rain

So it’s been a really busy start to the year around here. In the first couple of weeks alone I managed to hit the US, Guatemala, Belize and Mexico (more on that later). I thought that I’d be on a serious downer when I got back to the UK, but I’ve hit the ground running with plenty of exciting shoots and even more bookings (2014 is looking seriously busy already!).

The first of my shoots involved an afternoon along the Southbank in London with new couple Rahel and Chris. When I was much younger (pre-professional!) I used to wander along Southbank late at night taking photos of the city’s lights reflected in the river, so it was really lovely to return there during the day to photograph such an obviously lovestruck pair.

A real international couple, Rahel is originally from Eritrea having grown up in Germany now living in the UK, and Chris is from the UK but lives in Amsterdam. They haven’t been together for all that long, but wanted some photographs to commemorate their budding relationship – a really lovely idea and one that I really wish I could do more of. Why do we need engagements or weddings to show our love via photos?!

Anyone in the Uk at the moment will know that the weather is… erm… changeable. During our afternoon together we suffered though massive downpours interspersed with bright sunshine. Luckily, Rahel and Chris brought beaming smiles that were enough to lighten even the dullest of London days!

Chris, enjoy the rest of your trip to the UK and hope to see you guys again soon!

Hit the link for all the photos…

Weddings: The end of Twenty Thirteen!

Dec 31

Wow what a year. Four years ago I got bored of sitting in front of a computer screen all day long and gave up my job as a computer security specialist. Along with that decision went the stable income and standard career path. I often forget how far I’ve come and how much has changed since I left Citrix, but putting together this end of year video reminded me of just how lucky I am.

This year I’ve met some truly amazing couples and shared in some absolutely breathtaking and incredibly moving weddings. Work has taken me from Hong Kong to Sri Lanka, Crete to Italy (via France!) and I’ve photographed in everything from back gardens to 5* hotels and Michelin starred restaurants. It’s no wonder everyone and their dog wants to be a wedding photographer these days!

So anyway I just want to say a massive thank you to all my couples for believing in me and giving me the chance to capture your day. I’ve made some great friends along the way and for that I’m truly grateful. Tomorrow Holly and I head off to the airport again, this time bound for Central America. Bring on 2014!

Twenty Thirteen from Alex B on Vimeo.

More adventures very soon indeed!
Alex icon biggrin

Wedding: Emily and James – London

Dec 29
038 AlexBeckett_London_wedding

I met Emily and James through Francesca, whose wedding at the Globe you may remember from earlier this year. Well, Emily and James’ wedding was also rainy – although maybe that’s to be expected so close to Christmas! They embraced the winter weather with open arms: the ceremony and reception were all held after sunset, and with the venue decorated with fairy lights, candles and a Christmas tree the result was a really cosy, intimate, golden atmosphere that just warmed you right through!

From the moment I learned that Emily is a chocolate buyer for Tesco’s (which led to a lot of pre-Christmas chocolate binging!), I knew that these guys had good taste. In fact, there were quite a few similarities between their wedding and my own back in 2011, from the converted church setting to the playing of the Jurassic Park theme tune during the ceremony! And as with some of my favourite weddings, the event was filled with details that were hugely personal to the couple. The ceremony was performed by a family friend, bridesmaid Francesca did everyones’ hair, the table plan reflected James’ love of the board game Carcasonne (if you’ve never played it – do – it’s addictive!), and as party animals they had one of the best DJs I’ve ever come across. Emily and James seriously know how to party the night away in style. My wife has also told me that I need to mention Emily’s gorgeous vintage dress and the bridesmaids’ gowns, which she’s been salivating over ever since I downloaded the photos.

I’ll leave you to take a look at the photos now. Thank you for having me along, guys – it was a wonderfully fun and friendly day!

Also, to all my regular readers: Happy New Year! I’m gallivanting off to Central America on New Year’s Day, but will be back late January to regale you with more photos…

Prep Location: London Marriott Ceremony: The Amadeus Hair: Francesca Brunsden DJ: Mighty Fine Entertainment Second Photographer: Maria Assia Assistant: Will Stedman

Pre-Wedding: Lake Como, Italy – B + R

Dec 13
Pre Wedding photoshoot in Italy, Lake Como.

When B & R, who are based in China, asked me to pick somewhere in Europe that would be perfect for a pre-wedding shoot, I immediately thought of Lake Como in Italy. It’s the perfect mixture of old glamour, incredible scenery and, usually, hot weather! B & R agreed and we got everything booked in. There’s an old theatre saying that if the dress rehearsal goes badly, the actual performance will be brilliant. This rings true of our trip, which had to be postponed by a week since the hurricane meant that B & R’s flight from Hong Kong was cancelled.

Luckily they were able to make it out to Italy a few days later. While the weather wasn’t exactly warm, we had a good blanket to help us through the chill! The result has got to be one of my most memorable shoots. B & R wanted old style romance and glamour, so Holly set to work storyboarding and researching locations. We wanted to tell a simple love story, reminiscent of classic Audrey Hepburn rom coms like Roman Holiday – romantic, glitzy, sweet and fun.

With that in mind, we set about lining up some great ‘props’ to help us set the scene. I say props… can you describe a vintage Bentley, a classic speedboat and a location that (literally) comes straight from the Bond movies as mere props? Then there were the dresses: R likes to spoil B and although she’d bought a few dresses from China, they stopped in Milan on their way to Lake Como and ended up buying several more! Holly and our make up/hair designer Flo both coveted the black flowered dress something rotten!

Our base was Tremezzo, home to the gorgeous Grand Hotel where we stayed, as well as some of the most beautiful public gardens I’ve ever seen. From there we travelled up into the mountains, to pretty little Argegno and across the Lake to Bellagio, possibly the most well known town on the lake (and inspiration for the Las Vegas fountains). We also managed to secure a few hours’ exclusive use of Villa del Balbianello, which you might recognise from ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Casino Royale’. It was actually really difficult to figure out the best shots, as I could pretty much point my camera up a narrow cobbled alleyway or towards the water and find a picturesque view. With B & R being such a photogenic couple I really was spoilt for choice!

Anyway, I’ll let the photos speak for themselves now. Thank you to B and R for having us along, and to our make up and hair guru Flo Carter, who I think you’ll agree did a stunning job.

Hit the link to see them all!

Wedding: Trinity College, Cambridge – Caroline and Elliot

Oct 18
Alex Beckett - Trinity College Cambridge Wedding

Wow what a wedding. Trinity College has to be one of the prettiest places in the world to shoot. Really nice to be back with Caroline and Elliot this time where it has extra significance as Caroline’s father is actually the master. Anyway, enough from me, I’m going to hand over the blog again, this time it’s Caroline’s turn to talk you through the day!

“Elliott and I met at an engagement party of mutual friends – we were together for just under a year until we were throwing our own engagement party. When you know, you just know! Elliott proposed to me on the hottest day of 2012 on the top of a private boat on the River Thames at sunset – it was a magical day and evening and the start of our journey to marrying at Trinity College.

On the morning of the wedding my wonderful bridesmaids, my Mum, Dad and sisters did their best to help me relax but I was really struggling to control my nerves. My chief bridesmaid (Noush) decided we should start on the champagne early and – this had the desired effect and I finally calmed down! I recall vividly how I felt the moment I put my dress on – I was overwhelmed and overjoyed that the moment had come where I would walk into the chapel to my best friend and soul mate who was waiting to marry me.

Away from the frenzy of hair and make-up my Grandma was having a quiet read while my sisters checked their dresses. I love the photo of my sister Suzanne on the sofa and the one of my Grandma relaxing while my sister (Rosie’s) boyfriend (Tim) is taking the labels of her shoes!

Over at Elliott’s camp in true “leave everything to the last minute” style, he was finishing writing his speech and his best man (Dave) and his ushers, Craig, Ben and John, were watching videos on how to tie cravats!!

My bridesmaids (Louise and Jemma) delivered my wedding present to Elliott . They came back with a video of his reaction and also his present to me, a stunning pair of sapphire earrings complete in a box with a very sweet engraving. A beautiful wedding present, a future family heirloom and my something blue.

Cravats tied and ready to go the boys made it over to Trinity in time to greet the guests. He was thrilled to have a moment with his Nan before the ceremony and we are both thrilled that Alex captured the excitement in her face as Elliott hugs her.

Before the ceremony I had some time with my bridesmaids and my Dad and we enjoyed a brief moment of calm before the big event. The bridesmaids were telling jokes and the photo in Alex’s blog captures the moment us girls all lost it as Jemma showed us what a vicious circle looked like! We walked across to the chapel in high spirits – I love the photo that captures me, my Dad and Louise all sharing a joke on the way.

I made my entrance to the organ playing Sweet Caroline – many thanks to Jeremy Cole for humouring me and not only learning the piece but also executing it fabulously. When I met Elliott at the end of the aisle it was really hard to go against my natural instinct to greet him with a kiss. Elliott had an emotional moment when he saw his Nan watching on proudly – it dawned on him just how far she had travelled and what an effort she had made to witness her grandson’s wedding. I could hear someone on the bride’s side audibly sobbing, I turned around expecting it to be my Mum to see my bridesmaid Charlotte looking on with tears in her eyes –that was an emotional moment for me!

We followed the ceremony with a drinks reception and then the wedding breakfast in the Great Hall at the Trinity. During this time Elliott and I crept off occasionally for some solo shots with Alex – one of my favourites is the photo with the smoke behind us highlighting how beautiful the streaming light was. We had four speeches, from my Dad, Elliott, Noush and Dave – we loved every minute of them and spent many moments on our honeymoon smiling and laughing as we recalled our highlights.

The day turned into night and with it we travelled to the Doubletree by Hilton to carry on the celebration. We had wanted the evening to contrast with the formality of the day and to have a more party like atmosphere. We danced to a band playing covers of 80’s classic and our first dance to Take That – Rule the world. Towards the end of the night the boys had a macho moment outside with cigars – we love the photos of this. I adore the photos of me and my girlfriends wearing badger masks – it is a long story, and not one for this blog, but basically badgers need all the help they can get these days!

I had asked Alex for a photo that was typical of Cambridge, this was to include bicycles – as ever Alex delivered – take a look at the last photo in his blog.

We absolutely loved every minute of our day and we will treasure it forever. It was made so special by the efforts of our friends and family and we would like to thank each and every one of them for being there and sharing our special day.

Here is a selection of Alex’s photos from the day, we hope you like them as much as we do.”

Venue: Trinity College, Cambridge Reception: DoubleTree Hilton, Cambridge Dress: Brides by Losners Makeup: Elle Abbott Hair: Rita Ferraro Flowers: Perfume Zone Cake: Sue Pohill Second Photographer: Tom Archer

Hit the link to see more…

Wedding: Clearwell Castle, Forest of Dean – Charlotte & James

Oct 16

Hehe one of the silliest weddings (in a good way) I’ve been to in a while. Oh and the first one I’ve had where the lovely bride Charlie jumped into a hot tub at the end of the night. What a way to end it.

So Charlie and James got married at Clearwell Castle in the Forest of Dean. If you haven’t been there before it’s an amazing location. Nestled in a little village you suddenly come across this massive and very grand castle set in idyllic grounds. You may remember Clearwell from Tom and Dawn’s wedding there last year. Tom and Dawn are actually good friends of Charlie and James (James was Tom’s best man) so they decided they’d treat that one as a dress rehearsal and do it all again!

Great to be back and great to see Tom and (a very heavily pregnant) Dawn again. Clearwell seem to breed fun parties and sunny days. This was no different. I arrived the previous night straight from Heathrow (after take 1 of my Italy pre-wedding shoot – more on that later) and joined the family at a local pub for dinner. I love arriving early, it gives you a real chance to get to know everyone and share a laugh and a beer before the big day kicks off. The night was much later than I expected but it stood me in good stead ready for the wedding day…

And what a day it was. Filled with laughter, giggles and a choice between two rather fab dresses (yes after buying her first dress Charlie had somehow convinced James she *really* needed a Vera Wang as well). I’ll let the photos do the rest of the talking. Thanks for having me along guys, see you next year for another wedding at Clearwell?

Venue: Clearwell Castle Dress: Vera Wang Shoes: Vera Wang Hair: Becka Stone Flowers: Rosemary Killworth Second Photographer: Liz Cleverdon

028 AlexBeckett silly bridal party black and white

Hit the link for more…