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Chinese Wedding Photography | London

March 7, 2014
07 Mar 2014

Chinese Wedding Photography in London.

A Chinese wedding in London’s Mayfair was a new venture for me, but Sophie and Edward had thought long and hard about choosing reportage or documentary photography for their wedding photography.

I think it would be fair to say that Sophie had planned a long day, but I was so impressed with her attention to detail I knew that I wouldn’t have to add anything in terms of advice. Sophie had it covered in detail.

Sophie started her bridal preparation at 6am. Initially I had thought that a bit early, but keen to learn and understand as much of the tradition as possible, 6 it was.

One of the key features of  an where it significantly differed from a western style wedding, was the Edward the groom and his ushers, arriving at Sophie’s to be “tested” by the bridesmaids. I started to feel a bit sorry for the guys as they were made to dress up in ladies underwear, sing, perform press-ups and finally make monetary offerings in order to be completely vetted and found worthy by the bridesmaids. It does mean however that that Chinese wedding photography can differ greatly from the norm.

Next was the first of two teas ceremonies and it was a hugely moving and heartfelt time. Dads shed tears and the sentiments were palpable within the room.

The whole party, bride and groom then moved off to Edwards’s family home for the next tea ceremony. Gifts in lucky red envelopes where as plentiful and the love and emotion there also.

The civil wedding ceremony was held in the elegant Chesterfield Hotel, just off Berkley Square Hugely helpful staff who provided plenty of space and facilities for Sophie to change into her second dress of the day.

The evening reception for about 300 guests took place in the gentrified Millwall Dock on a floating restaurant. Family and friends went in and out all night making for a very vibrant atmosphere. Numerous traditions were explained to me as we all enjoyed the Lion Dance. I learned new meaning and respect for lettuce and oranges that day!

I’ve been asked on a number of occasions how can I possibly capture the significance of traditions and cultures I’m not familiar with. The answer’s simple and always the same. I photograph people, and I work really hard one every moment, so no matter it’s significance, I’ll always cover whatever the couple are involved in detail. So thats way, there may be something that hasn’t been explained to me but it’ll always be captured. I’ma people photographer, it just so happened that on this day I was engaged in Chinese wedding photography.

Speeches and drinks ensued.

I have to say bravo for the family for lasting so many brandy toasts as each table was visited and separate toasts received at each.

The night finished with traditional Chinese lanterns launched into the night sky over Canary Wharf. I’d been on the go for about 16 hours but its had felt like 16 minutes.

It was my first Chinese wedding in London and I sincerely hope there are more to come.

If you’re getting married in London and like my take on reportage and documentary photography, contact me today, I’d love to hear about your wedding plans.


Staffordshire Reportage Wedding Photographer | The Ashes

January 16, 2014
16 Jan 2014

Staffordshire Reportage Wedding Photographer | The Ashes

Peter and Vicky first met me at the National Wedding Show. This started an ongoing conversation about their wedding that was due to take place at The Ashes in Staffordshire.

They really didn’t want photography that made them feel self conscious or awkward, but placed a high value on making sure their day was captured exactly had it happened.

Both are academics and they were rightly analytical about the photography, which was great. It’s a cliché to say, but I love what I do, so to have clients who wanted to explore the fine detail of wedding photography was a total treat. I’ve a bit of a reputation for meticulous planning and preparation for a wedding day so we all got on well from the start.

My approach to reportage wedding photography was exactly what they wanted.

As a contemporary documentary wedding photographer predominantly work in London and the South-East of England, but it’s a privilege to get out the smoke and travel to such a lovely part of the world. I’ve strong family connections to Staffordshire, so I felt right at home.

In order to practice what it felt like to be photographed professionally; I took Peter and Vicky for some engagement pictures at their almer mater, Keele University. Walking around the grounds I was able to get them both to relax and realise that being photographed isn’t like having teeth pulled at all. There’s no doubt that this lead more natural and relaxed wedding photography on the day.

If you have any engagement photo ideas, do get in touch, I’d love to hear about them.

Reportage or documentary photography doesn’t mean a lack of portraits, despite what some photographers will erroneously tell you.  It does mean that they can be quick, relaxed and natural however.

At the Ashes on their wedding day, things went like clockwork, no doubt as a result of the great wedding coordinators there.

A great service with one of the liveliest registrars I’ve heard in a while and everyone made their way out onto the courtyard for a few drinks and lots of socialising.

Speeches followed the meal with a few of the inevitable lumps in throats and tears, and on with the dancing to some great rock n roll. Vicky’s a huge rock and roll fan, so spent the demonstrating exactly how happy she was.

After their wedding, and recieving their wedding album,Vicky sent me this lovely testimonial.

“….it (our album) arrived safe and sound at University of Leicester on Tuesday midday. I had to restrain myself from looking through it as Pete wasn’t with me to share it.

Our album is incredibly beautiful, a fantastic keepsake of our amazing day, and a credit to your work. Thankyou so much for recording it and all your hard work afterwards”

Incidentally, The Ashes has just won Venue of the Year at The Wedding Industry Awards, so congratulations to Ben and Sarah!

If you like my style of photography, contact me today, I’d love to hear about your plans.


This post first published on the blog of Bob Owen Photography.


Hackney & Shoreditch Pre-Wedding Shoot

November 5, 2013
05 Nov 2013


A Shoreditch pre-wedding photo shoot by bob Owen Photography.

Earlier in the year, (you remember, when it was warm and sunny), I met up with Gary and Kelly in Shoreditch for a pre-wedding shoot. I don’t always do these types of shoot as they don’t always sit comfortably with documentary photography, but for the right couple and in the right location, they can be a positive boost in getting better images on their wedding day.

Gary and Kelly had met as teenagers and had caught the bus many times from this stop while they were going out. It marked a point in their lives and was very important to them. It’s not a glamorous location, and Hackney’s not that pretty, but for a place that has such significance in a relationship, I say it’s the perfect place for a few photographs and a terrific reminder of an earlier part of their lives.

I always prefer to shoot in locations that are significant to people and I’m sure the residents of Hackney didn’t even notice me lying on the pavement!

Here are a few images from a great day out.


If you like my take on pre-wedding shoots and would like to book, contact me now for an informal chat, I’d love to hear about your plans!


Berkshire Wedding Photography – Wallis & Tim

September 16, 2013
16 Sep 2013


A Hungerford wedding by Berkshire wedding photographer Bob Owen.

Wallis and Tim came to me by way of recommendation, (from another photographer, so hugely flattering).

They were looking for a wedding photographer that would give professional coverage, work discreetly and without trying to organise the day and blend in well with their guests. They wanted a photojournalists approach but with a few natural portraits; I fitted the bill to the tee.

Wallis wasn’t one for lots of bridal preparation shots, but mainly wanted the boy’s brunch in their local pub documenting and then off to the church. When its all came together, vintage car, piper (a tribute to Wallis’ Scottish heritage) and the splendid church, things could only be topped by the arrival of an incredibly stylist pair.

Following the service, Tim drove the vintage car to a country barn for afternoon tea, barbecue and party. Following the stylish theme, all the guests were staying in teepees in the grounds that night, so I knew I wasn’t going to be leaving early. I really never do in fact.

Here are a few images from their day. If you like my approach to wedding photography and are getting married, don’t hesitate to drop me a line or call for an informal chat, I’d love to hear about your day.



Hampshire Wedding Photographer | A Testimonial
August 12, 2013
12 Aug 2013

 Hampshire Wedding Photographer | A Testimonial

Following my reportage wedding photography in Hampshire recently, I’ve just received this lovely testimonial email from Caroline and Scott, who’s wedding was blogged here .

You can also see their pre-wedding shoot in London’s Notting Hill here.

Anyway here are Caroline’s lovely words after receiving her photographs…


Bob, they are absolutely phenomenal, what an amazing job you did. 

I still have no idea where you were on the whole day but you have managed to capture every special moment with vigour and emotion. 

Such a happy day that you brought to life to relive again and again, thank you, thank you. 

Will be recommending you to everyone I know.

Caroline & Scott

Best London wedding photographers


If you’re planning your wedding and you like my approach to documentary wedding photography, please don’t hesitate, contact me here or here today for an informal chat and to check my availability.

This post first appeared on the blog of Bob Owen Photography

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