I had a lovely engagement session with Laura & Rhod just a few weeks ago in Cheltenham, who are getting married in June at Hyde Barn, a gorgeous venue in the Cotswolds.
We were so lucky with the weather, an evening oasis of warm golden light, in an otherwise typically British grey, rainy week. Making the most of the beautiful but rare sunshine, we had a lot of fun chatting about their plans for the wedding day and enjoying the lovely walk around Pittville Park. Of course we weren’t the only ones making the most of the warm summer evening, we did have a a couple of tricky moments dodging cyclists and what felt like hundreds of joggers!
I love doing engagement sessions, there is absolutely no pressure, so we have all the time in the world to relax, have some fun and explore the area and create some great images.
Click here to find out more about fun, relaxed and creative portraiture sessions in Gloucestershire and to book a session.
I’ve mentioned it many times in the past, that one of the most useful and versatile focal lengths available is a 50mm prime. Fast, small, and usually inexpensive, the 50mm is a lens I would recommend to any photographer.
Notice how I said usually inexpensive. There are a couple of exceptions to the rule; first the Leica Notctilux 50mm f0.95, a feat of engineering and an apocalypse on the wallet at a cool £10,000. The second, is the bargain-in-comparison-but-still-not-cheap Canon EF 50mm f1.2 L. And it this lens that you’re here to read about.
The Canon EF 50mm f1.2 L is one of my most used, if not the most used lens I own. It is without doubt the best autofocus 50mm prime lens you can buy today. There are aspects of it that are far from perfect, but they are easily overshadowed by this lens overall versatility and unique image quality characteristics.
For me, it always a genuinely difficult decision when I have to choose between the Canon 35mm f1.4 L and 50mm f1.2 L to put in my bag. Both very similar lenses, but also very different in use. The 35mm f1.4 is my favourite focal length by far, but still the 50mm probably gets used more. I’m not sure why.
There is plenty to love about the Canon 50mm f1.2L. It’s the biggest and toughest built 50mm prime you can buy, and as far as I’m aware it is the only weather sealed 50mm lens available right now. That on its own maybe worth the price to you. The autofocus is super-fast and super-accurate, as any Canon L lens should be. It has a good weight and size, and it handles really well on larger bodies like the Canon 5DMK III and the Canon 6D.
In fact, I absolutely love using the Canon 50mm f1.2 on the Canon 6D.…
Habits can be a good thing. This is a start of new habit.
At the end of every month from now on, I will be sharing my month, my life, on this blog for the world to see.
I’m always taking photographs, but hardly ever sharing them. I know I am a perfectionist and too ultra-critical of myself and my work. Sometimes you just need to put it out there, even if it’s not perfect. So here goes.
Here’s my April.
New Challenges | A vintage themed wedding album shoot in the forest.
New Friends | A meet up and chat about all things photography with Jen, who found me via Youtube.
New Sights | Actual Sunsets! Remember those?
New Things | Shiny new business cards. Yeah!
New Places | My first visit to Oxford. So many bicycles!
Plus the usual every day collection of interesting things, places, ideas and just random photographs I love to take, but never really share with anybody. Enjoy.
More Chris Scuffins On:
Choosing your wedding photographer can be an extremely personal and tricky choice to make.
Notice how I said your photographer, not a photographer. It’s as much a personal choice as the colour of the flowers, the flavour of cake or the size of the venue.
A wedding photographer isn’t just there to turn up, act bossy, take a couple of snaps and chuck them on a CD for you. (unless that’s what you really, really want…)
If you really think about it, the photographer is the only person, apart from the Bride & Groom themselves, who will be there for every single minute through the day. No one else who you hire or attends your wedding will be there as long and be as involved as much as your photographer. You are allowing a complete stranger, to be closely and regularly interacting with your closest friends and family, on possibly the biggest but most personal day of your life.
It’s a huge deal, so you really need to make sure that you have a photographer you can truly trust, feel comfortable around and would want to interact with your friends and family. Oh, it it helps if you really love their photography too.
In order to gain that trust, and to feel confident about the photographer, there are few key areas to look out for. The points below are all valid, regardless of the budget or where a photographer places themselves in the market.
This my opinion, but these are the core areas; the bare minimum any photographer who calls themselves professional should be able to clearly and confidently explain to the client. Wedding photography isn’t a black art, and your chosen photographer should be clear, concise and open about every aspect of what they do and what they offer.
Experience is everything in wedding photography.…
I figured it was about time I did a feature on the beautiful, luxury wedding albums I include with my wedding package. These gorgeous albums are really my most favourite way of displaying my images. I completely fell in love with them. And my clients so far, seem to love them too.
There really is nothing like a professionally designed and handmade fine art, leather bound album. You really have to hold one in your hand to appreciate the quality, but I hope my photos below give it justice.
My wedding albums are carefully designed by me, using a traditional and timeless style, with an emphasis on telling the story of the day, not just a few handpicked images cobbled together. I spend as much time, care and attention on the album design as I do on the actual photography.
I usually create a first draft of the whole album, before then giving this to the bride and groom to look over and make any changes they would like. Once the layout has been agreed, I then send the design of to the fantastic guys and girls at Folio Albums.
The great people at Folio Albums really do something special, offering attention to detail and a level of quality that meets my already high expectations for a great wedding album.
The unique thing about Folio Albums is that they are hand made in the UK, using sustainable sources of paper, ink, leather and other materials to make their albums both supremely high quality, but also kind to the environment and 100% planet friendly to produce.
The square cut albums come a range of sizes, 8”, 10” or 12” with a variety options for the cover material, such as Leather, Canvas, Silk and Cotton. The cute, cotton canvas Mini Albums also available, make great gifts for family.…
The Canon 6D is a particularly intriguing camera. Even on the day of its announcement, before anyone had even taken a single photo with it, it was already being disregarded by many, and downright written off others who compared it to its Nikon counterpart, the D600. On paper, the Canon 6D is not as compelling or feature rich as the similarly priced Nikon, and it also (based purely on specs) falls behind it’s bigger brother the Canon 5D MKIII (which I own)
I, like many, did not have high hopes for the Canon 6D, but I am pleased to say I have absolutely and irrevocably had my opinion changed on the amazing little camera. It has quickly become my favourite camera ever. Here’s why.
Way, way back on the 18th of August 2012, I had the fantastic opportunity to be involved with photographing the beautiful sunny wedding day of James and Arjia, in the small village of Emberton, just outside Milton Keynes.
James and Arjia had both spent so much time and attention on details, such as flowers and handmade decorations, both It was fantastic to be able to capture the uniqueness and beauty of their big day that they had put so much of themselves into. The beautiful venue, church, details and unique ornaments really set the scene for a wonderful summer wedding.
Even better, the warm sunshine stayed with us throughout the day, and was the perfect setting for ice creams and canapés, served straight from a 1950’s vintage ice cream van.
It was such a warm, vibrant day, both from the weather, and the amazing emotions of the friends and family of James and Arjia.
A huge thanks to Aaron Storry, the principle photographer who gave me the opportunity to second shoot with him.
It was such a wonderful great day!
I just cannot wait to get back out there and shoot some more weddings this summer! I am taking for bookings for 2014, so please contact me to book a date…
Over the last few months I’ve taken a pretty big step back from what I was doing with my photography. This meant not much blogging, no YouTube videos, no marketing and not enough actual shooting. From January 2011 to September 2012 I have pretty much spent all of my free time concentrating on photography, and I finally just felt as if I had hit a wall.
This wall wasn’t a hard stop, where everything became impossible. No, it was more like working everyday, through thick goopy sludge.
Things were still happening, I was still taking action and making progress, but things were taking longer to-do and just weren’t as fun or interesting as they used to be. I lost my focus and I lost my real passion for photography and setting up my business. I probably could have just pushed through it, in the hope that things should have gotten better, and that’s probably what logic would suggest you do. Don’t people say you should never give up on your dreams?
But sometimes you just need to take need a break. Sometimes giving up and stepping away is the absolute best way to find a new perspective on things and to get even better results going forward.
And my 3 month hiatus has been exactly what I needed. I now feel energised and inspired like I did at the very beginning of my journey.
It feels like this is the beginning of the next chapter of Scuffins Photography. I’m fully confident that 2013 will be the best year ever. I have some big things to look forward to, and I have more energy and drive than I’ve ever had before. My goals and aims for 2013 are pretty darn ambitious, but I feel that this is the year to do it in.…
ABOUT THIS BLOG
This is the blog of Chris Scuffins, a hardworking, creative photographer from Gloucestershire.
With years of experience in landscape and commercial still life photography, his focus now lies on capturing creative, natural and beautiful fashion and lifestyle portraiture, as well as a fun, relaxed approach to photojournalistic wedding photography.
- What To Look For In Your Wedding Photographer
Choosing your wedding photographer can be an extremely...
- Fine Art Wedding Albums By Folio Albums
I figured it was about time I did a feature on the...
- Wedding | James & Arjia | Milton Keynes
Way, way back on the 18th of August 2012, I had the...
- Wedding | Natalie And Andrew | Tewkesbury Park Hotel
A Gloucestershire Wedding | St Marks Church, Cheltenham...
- The 35mm And 85mm
Just a few short months after making the decision to...
- 30 Day Self Portrait Project Finished!
WooHoo! Today I have finished my 30 day self portrait...
- Wedding | Natalie And Andrew | Tewkesbury Park Hotel
A Gloucestershire Wedding | St Marks Church, Cheltenham...
- Why I Switched From Nikon to Canon
I’ll start of by being completely and utterly hypocritical....