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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.


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!


Cheltenham Wedding Photographer | Gloucestershire Wedding | Pittville Pump Room

October 4, 2013
04 Oct 2013

Cheltenham Wedding Photographer | Gloucestershire Wedding | Pittville Pump Room

An African wedding in Pittville Pump Room, Cheltenham, photographed by Bob Owen Photography. Anthony and Sandra’s wedding was always going to be a joyous and colourful affair, and this was the first African wedding I’d photographed. It would be an understatement to say that I found the warmth and friendliness shown to me that day totally heartwarming and uplifting. Of course weddings are always fun and people are always friendly, but this was on another level. I was made to feel very welcome indeed and I certainly hope there are more like this to come. We’d worried about rain in the morning and the skies stayed a little overcast, but this actually worked in our favour as it kept the park around the Pittville Pump Room clear of the usual crowds and helped us do all those necessary group shots and some quick relaxed portraits that are important features of most of my wedding coverage. I don’t blog too many of those shots as they’re often private and personal to the family, but it’s all included in my comprehensive coverage. I still use the terms ‘documentary wedding photography’ and ‘reportage’ to describe my way of working and looking at things, but lately I’ve become less and less convinced by these self defining labels that photographers use. They’re terms that are getting a bit tired and a little misused. I’ll stick with them for the time being, along with saying that I have a ‘photojournalist approach’, but I am looking for something a little bit fresher to describe the way I see things. Maybe “wedding photographer’ should be enough and just let the images speak for themselves? Here are a few images from this terrific day.

This post first appeared on the blog of Bob Owen Photography. If you like the way I see things, please don’t think twice, contact me here. Google Facebook Twitter

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.



London Documentary Wedding Photographer | Professional Photographer Magazine

May 24, 2013
24 May 2013

Hertfordshire and London based documentary wedding photographer Bob Owen featured in Professional Photography Magazine.

In the middle of last year I was contacted by a reporter from Professional Photographer Magazine and asked if I’d like to feature in their Turning Pro supplement. I’m always happy to talk about wedding photography with anyone who’ll listen, so it was my pleasure to take part. Apparently my work stood out to the reporter, which is always nice to hear in a fairly saturated market.

I’ve been a photographer or some years now, but it’s taken me quite a while to establish something that’s really just me. I’m not wholly keen on the word ‘style’ as that tends to pigeon-hole photographers. It’s not a style, it’s just what I do. That being said it’s a convenient way  for clients to describe their personal preferences when it come to choosing wedding photography, so, for that purpose, I work in the documentary or photojournalistic style.

In many ways, the article is a thank you to people that have helped me along the way. Not just the people that have mentored my photography and the significant jump into being a full time professional a couple of years back, but my accountant and business advisors.

Here’s the article if you like to know a bit more about me and if you like what you see and are planning your wedding, contact me today for an informal chat with obligation.

Professional Photographer Magazine Article Featuring Bob Owen

Hertfordshire & London Documentary Wedding Photography


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

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