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My Favourites – 2020 Wedding Photography

2020 wedding photography – the year we least expected

Best of 2020 Surrey Wedding Photography Sophie Duckworth Photography

“I live one day at a time
I dream one dream at a time
Yesterday’s dead and tomorrow is blind
And I live one day at a time
I live one day at a time”  (Willie Nelson – One Day at a Time)

Those unfamiliar with the above singer, or the knowledge that I am pretty much his biggest fan, will hopefully still find those words resonating somewhat. I will admit that I, like many others, have found myself in frequent black holes these past 10 months. It has been a challenging time to say the least. Loved ones have been taken too soon; comforting hugs from others kept from us, and those little pleasures we take for granted in life, all but ground to a halt.  But still I sit here, under a blanket since our Victorian home takes 200 years to warm up past 18 degrees, and I feel incredibly lucky. I am alive.

I have never taken so little money in all my 9.5 years in this lovely job. I have never refunded any money before, so what I’ve thought was income, suddenly was not. I have lost countless weddings not to mention the numerous couples I’d been so looking forward to working with.

However, I managed, by some miracle, to shoot seven weddings in 2020. I started early on in January, an intimate wedding and a covid-free one. I must say looking back over these photos, I can tell the difference between this wedding and the ones that followed. That’s been a hard pill for me to swallow. Getting in close is what I do best. Being a smallish person I can easily flit in and out of groups, grabbing moments and not really thinking about where I am for too long. Restrictions by venues, staff, churches put a stop to all that natural behaviour. Suddenly I had to think about where my feet were, could I fix the veil, can I help with button holes? Masks were mandatory, and extremely good at steaming up viewfinders – annoying to a different level. I mustn’t touch anyone, I mustn’t get too close.

Don’t get me wrong I love my 85mm lens, but not utilising my 35mm to its full potential or even getting my 24mm out of the bag, felt like I was starting all over again, and not delivering results that have been promised.  Why am I writing all this? Because I feel that not only did my couples have SUCH a huge portion of their dream snatched from them, they couldn’t even rely on their suppliers lucky enough to attend, to make it as special as it should have been. And for that I want to apologise. I know it’s not my fault, but it’s something I have really struggled to deal with when delivering photos I wanted so badly to provide light during such dark times.

Back to my weddings – they were all very short, between 1-4 hours, so it was a case of getting the key moments – sadly one wedding I wasn’t even allowed in the ceremony room (don’t get me started on self made rules by registry offices, one day I shall write a post about this!!) and of course the usual hugs and kisses were few and far between. However, the days’ atmosphere felt the same. Happiness, relief, triumphant joy, love. All of these were felt at all occasions. I hope I’ve shown that having a ‘covid wedding’ can still be beautiful. There will still be pretty light, and moments of serenity. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, the seven wonderful couples who asked me to be there on their wedding days. I hope I did you proud, but remember, if you are having round two, I promise you I will be back shooting in my usual glory, and hopefully blow you away with all you’ve dreamed of :)

Thanks for reading if you did bother to! If not…I hope you enjoy my take on 2020 and the absolutely lovely moments it contained, here are my favourites… xxx

Ps if you want to listen whilst you view, this piece of magical music is what I listened to when compiling these images, feel free to press play…

Best of 2020 Surrey Wedding Photography Sophie Duckworth PhotographyBest of 2020 Surrey Wedding Photography Sophie Duckworth PhotographyBest of 2020 Surrey Wedding Photography Sophie Duckworth PhotographyBest of 2020 Surrey Wedding Photography Sophie Duckworth PhotographyBest of 2020 Surrey Wedding Photography Sophie Duckworth PhotographyBest of 2020 Surrey Wedding Photography Sophie Duckworth PhotographyBest of 2020 Surrey Wedding Photography Sophie Duckworth PhotographyBest of 2020 Surrey Wedding Photography Sophie Duckworth PhotographyBest of 2020 Surrey Wedding Photography Sophie Duckworth PhotographyBest of 2020 Surrey Wedding Photography Sophie Duckworth PhotographyBest of 2020 Surrey Wedding Photography Sophie Duckworth PhotographyBest of 2020 Surrey Wedding Photography Sophie Duckworth PhotographyBest of 2020 Surrey Wedding Photography Sophie Duckworth PhotographyBest of 2020 Surrey Wedding Photography Sophie Duckworth PhotographyBest of 2020 Surrey Wedding Photography Sophie 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If you’d like to know more about my style or have any further questions please just shout!

Millbridge Court Weddings

Millbridge Court Wedding Photography

For the last five years I’ve photographed many weddings at Millbridge Court in Frensham, and each one has given me a wonderful feeling and urge to head straight back again. Before Covid I was due to shoot 6 in one year, of course now these have been split across three years but I am still always a bit giddy when I see a Millbridge enquiry hit my inbox!

I thought it was worth collating some of my favourite images from the beautiful venue into a slideshow/blog post to showcase how I see things and my approach to make sure that despite photographing there often, I’m able to capture the essence of the couple, not just the venue itself. Below you’ll find images from my weddings there over the last couple of years, I hope you enjoy and it gets you more excited  about your own forthcoming wedding there! If you’d like to know more about my style or have any further questions please just shout!

 

If you’d prefer to skim through all the images rather than sit back and watch the above slideshow, then go for it!

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Rose & James – Bury Court Barn

“These are amazing!!! Thank you SO SO much!  We loved absolutely every minute ( rain or shine) and we’re sooo pleased to have you there to capture it! You were such an absolute superstar running around in the rain ( and getting wet!) we can’t thank you enough for making the effort to still get some great outdoor photos – they really paid off and we LOVE the umbrella photos!! You really have caught some beautiful moments and it’s been so nice reliving them! We were incredibly lucky to have the BEST photographer but also to get to know you as a friend which made it even more great having you there!”

Rose James Bury Court Barn Wedding Sophie Duckworth Photography

Bury Court Barn Wedding

So here we are, a new year, I want to say fresh start but we all know we’re still in the thick of the situation which seems like a never-ending doomsday. If you are reading this in the future then we’re in Jan ’21 and Covid is still raging free. I have decided I MUST get to sharing more from the lovely days I’ve been fortunate to capture over the last couple of years. I never find time to blog when I’m in full wedding season, then often shooting families in off-peak months. Also curating blogs isn’t easy for me, I really consider each image I choose. I want to tell the story, but I want to keep you engaged, I think my greatest compliment is hearing that strangers view my posts and tell me it made them want to cry, not even knowing the couple. That’s quite a feat for me, but I think this wedding may just bring a smile to your face instead!

Rose and James. I’ve probably bleated on about these two and their family on social media a little, lucky enough to photograph Rose’s sister Charlotte’s wedding to Russ a few years ago, I was thrilled when Rose and James asked me to be a part of their day at Bury Court Barn. It was a September Saturday in 2018 and clearly the weather gods decided that Rose’s beaming smile was enough to brighten the day, and typically blessed us with showers pretty much all day. I am always a little heartbroken for my couples when it rains. It’s never part of the design but I am always so impressed and in awe of how they handle it. In fact some of my favourite weddings ever have been amidst downpours.

Thankfully Rose’s aforementioned lovely sister lives close by to Bentley, where the whole wedding was centered. We started with preparations at her home with Russ, and a busy house of happy faces of lovely bridesmaids, and of course Rose’s niece, dear little Heidi. Having a sister myself it’s always lovely to witness another very tight knit bond between two ladies. Charlotte truly was a fabulous host, always calm, so organised and helpful. It’s clear to see how much these two care for eachother and I knew the day was going to be a wonderful one.

James was waiting at the very pretty St Mary’s Church in Bentley with his band of merry men. Any nerves he might have had soon disappeared as he saw his beautiful bride in THAT Suzanne Neville dress from favourite of mine, Miss Bush. It was a truly lovely ceremony and neither stopped smiling.  Upon their exit we were met with a bit of a downpour, but being troopers, they strode out amongst what seemed like a sea of umbrellas held high, for one of my all time confetti photos. I already knew that despite looking rather like a wet sock myself, that we were going to cope and make the best of the weather!

A short bus ride away we headed into the most stunningly decorated Bury Court Barn. Wow. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the barn dressed so beautifully. The warmth from all the lights and pretty flowers from The Colour Green just set the room off perfectly. We had fun as the guests greeted the couple, and after a short while headed off to the grounds to do the couple session. Because Bury Court is so diverse there was plenty of backdrops to choose from despite the rain, and we had a good giggle with umbrellas!

The speeches, always a firm favourite of the day, were as expected bloody brilliant. Rose’s Dad Nigel is such a lovely character and after hearing his speech at Charlotte’s wedding I knew it was going to be a cracker! Mid-speech selfies (a tradition in their family) and many laughs were had, especially by James’s best man Scott. We had hoped for a sparkler shot but since the rain was still pouring down we moved onto their brilliant first dance instead. Rose’s brother Scott just happens to be a wonderful musician and was there to sing and play their first dance. It was such a beautiful moment and really brought the whole day together. Shortly before I departed I wanted to give Rose & James a chance to use a couple of their sparklers just for fun, and I am so glad we did. Lit by barely any light at all, we grabbed a couple of my favourite photos from the year, and ended the day on a real high. What can I say about these two, they are simply put, brilliant together. Being in their presence is so comforting and welcoming, and I was delighted to have recently captured their beautiful new son, Barney, born in 2020. Thank you James and Rose, for being the sweetest couple, I always have a ball with you guys, and it’s been a pleasure to capture some of your life’s biggest moments. Here are my favourites from your incredible wedding day! xxx

Rose James Bury Court Barn Wedding Sophie Duckworth PhotographyRose James Bury Court Barn Wedding Sophie Duckworth PhotographyRose James Bury Court Barn Wedding Sophie Duckworth PhotographyRose James Bury Court Barn Wedding Sophie Duckworth PhotographyRose James Bury Court Barn Wedding Sophie Duckworth PhotographyRose James Bury Court Barn Wedding Sophie Duckworth PhotographyRose James Bury Court Barn Wedding Sophie Duckworth Photography