Clearwell Castle Wedding Photographer. Samuel & Kayleigh

December 3rd, 2010

I'm getting quite comfortable shooting at Clearwell Castle now, as you might of noticed, two internationally award winning images and some of my favourite weddings to date held at this castle which is just a perfect little slice of English architecture and taste.

In case you're interested, the two winning images can be seen here.
If you were considering having your wedding here, don't hold back from booking. It's in such a great location and it's so convenient because there is often no driving from Bridal prep-house to church to reception venue. Everything under one roof!
Just make sure they light the fire for you. The smell is so relaxing!

Unfortunately, the first time I met up with Samuel & Kayleigh was on their wedding day. Due to some worrying family health, the date had been pushed forward and it seemed like everybody helped out to make everything run smooth. And it did!

I wish I had time to of met up with them before their bit day as they're a cracking couple.
Still, never mind. I always try my hardest to really get to know my couples before their wedding day so that they can feel comfortable around me.
It is always beneficial.

Kayleigh got her hair and make up ready in the keepers cottage before escaping to the Bridal suite to get into her dress without anyone spotting her. All good fun I thought!
Whilst everybody was in the cottage getting ready, I went out the backdoor to have a little explore.
Long story short: door closed behind me, locked shut, spent 10 minutes shouting for help. Of course, everybody found it hilarious! Good times.

On with the pictures then.
Just a little note about these fabric bouquets; Kayleigh made them herself and was very modest about them. Well done Kayleigh, we all think they're amazing!

  1. Bridget Francis December 7th, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    Ha! Snap with the venue and looks like you had a much warmer day than we did! Love the whole set and really good to see the same venue done by another photographer - where were the ducks - I went looking but they must have all been sheltering from the frost and snow!

  2. Shella December 7th, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    What cute kiddies!! And the bouquet is fab!! Great job :)

  3. Thomas Lester December 7th, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    These are top notch. Absolutely amazing. The shot of the bride being escorted down the aisle is ridiculously great. It's so simple, but really powerful.

  4. Sesja portretowa December 7th, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    Nice photos, and great details shoots

  5. Tina Bass December 7th, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    These are so timeless and gorgeous!!

  6. Heather December 7th, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    I love the depth of field on that shot taken down the table!! Wonderful work here.

  7. adam houseman December 7th, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    Beautiful wedding and its beautifully documented. Lovely set of memories here Joseph. Well done!

  8. Nessa K December 7th, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    You captured so many amazing moments. Beautiful work. =)

  9. chavvon smith December 7th, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    great, great set!! wonderful job on the whole wedding.

  10. Kellee December 7th, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    Stunning. The emotion in the images is just beautiful!

  11. Magan Blasig December 8th, 2010 at 12:01 am

    The last image of them walking is so, so beautiful! Love the whole set, but that one needs to be made an extra large canvas. :)

  12. Becca Dilley December 8th, 2010 at 12:22 am

    Love the second to last - very fun addition to the other portraits!

  13. Jessie Cadenas-A Story in Time December 8th, 2010 at 3:58 am

    Awesome!!!! The black and white of the bride getting dressed and the little girl wistfully thinking is award winning! I loved them all!

  14. Natalie December 8th, 2010 at 4:07 am

    I love the emotion and pure joy that you've captured in your images. You have such a gift and I am so inspired by your work! Love!

  15. Xanthe December 8th, 2010 at 9:58 am

    Love them all, but that veil shot is 1000% win. Love it!

  16. Rachael Muller December 8th, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    nice work, i like the layouts.

  17. Laura Thomas December 8th, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    Beautiful wedding and gorgeous location! Love the table with the bokeh, very creative:)

  18. Joshua Gull December 8th, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    Gorgeous shots of a gorgeous wedding Joseph. Great work.

  19. Robin Horton December 8th, 2010 at 11:34 pm

    I have been an admirer of your work for the last three months, with every wedding you pull something interesting out of the hat.
    I am not able to make a living from wedding photography due to bad health but do a handfull of witness weddings each year, I would be interested in what your fave lenses are.
    Keep up the good work.

  20. Tall December 9th, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    Joseph, great job! I love love love the shot of the bridesmaid doing up the dress with the girls behind looking into the mirror, great storytelling composition!

  21. Your Uncle December 10th, 2010 at 5:24 am

    Ahh, where to begin.

    At first I thought you were pretentious, then I realized that you were English. Then I realized that there really wasn't a whole lot of difference between the two, so I almost didn't mention it. But there it is.

    The English Way of Spelling is a little annoying, but understandable. With the overpowering might of the USA reaching around the world (where once the English Empire reached, "The sun never sets on the English Empire", etc.) it's understandable that you (the collective you, the pretentious, the English) feel you need to hang onto quaint customs such as spelling.

    A little wordy and rambling in the opening, you used up 1000 words where one picture would have sufficed. Well, that's what I thought before I started seeing the pictures.

    A little heavy on the praise - both on yourself (award-winning, indeed!) and on the bridal party. By the way, you misspelled "achievements" on your Award Winning Photographer page, and "infact" should in fact be two words. Just saying. That, by the way, is an Americanism, a colloquial expression in American English. Feel free to borrow it.

    I digress.

    The photo of the bouquet is quite lovely. The dirty window next to it looks like it is an exhibit from CSI (that's Crime Scene Investigation, a popular television (telly for you) show here in the US (and yes, I know these are nested parenthesis, you can keep up, can't you?)). One wonders what manner of germs and pestilence resides in the oily streaks of grubby fingers of yesteryear.

    The ladies on the bed seem to be sharing a secret. Next to the garden sign, I am reminded of "The Secret Garden", and the connotation is not positive. Not your fault, just pointing it out.

    Two pictures of trees, one with two small people down below. I think they're people. Are they ticks, lice, or some other un-named parasite? Are you friends with Ben Godkin? He has a habit of putting insect-like people in odd places.

    The girl laughing is adorable, but a few words of commentary on exactly what was so funny would have been appreciated. Or perhaps she's laughing at you, which would be understandable.

    I worry about the duck pooping on the shoes. That would be regrettable. And smelly. But perhaps the duck would then become a part of the meal. Mmmm, roasted duck.

    I fail to understand women's fascination with photos of getting their hair done. I do not take photos of myself grooming my hair. Since I am nearly bald, the only hair that is long enough to groom is in a private place, which is beside the point, but I would not take a photo of me buffing my head, either.

    The small blonde child looks up in surprise, as if you'd shouted, "Hey, bugger off!" (See, I know some English English.) I eagerly anticipate the next frame where the mother slaps you, but that seems to be missing.

    The woman seems surprised by the presentation of the bouquet. Perhaps she forgot she was supposed to have one?

    The two girls walking into the doorway are adorable. I worry, however, that a medium-sized print would result in them appearing tick-sized. That would be unfortunate. Perhaps you and Ben Godkin could collaborate on a coffee-table book titled "Tick-sized People From Weddings".

    Oh, look - a photo of someone taking a photo. That's almost recursive. Oh, and another, and another. I do believe you have solved the problem of wedding photography being so challenging. You no longer have to take photos of anything, just take photos of other people taking photos of things. That way if the photo is no good, you can blame the other person.

    Small waif-like children looking at the camera apprehensively disturb me.

    This is a very long blog post. I grow weary, but persevere.

    Is that a tattoo? "BM"? What's that, a reminder to visit the loo before anything important happens? (Heh, more English English.)

    The shot of the flowers seems to have a small green cricket peeking over the front blossom. Is that Jiminy? Will he burst into song with Pinocchio?

    Like the hair, shoes puzzle me. Men have three pairs of shoes - sneakers, brown, and black. Women have shoes for every imaginable purpose, and rarely wear the same pair twice.

    They enter the church - why are there so many empty seats? Are those people camera-shy, they saw you coming and ran to be behind you? Are they behind you taking a photo of the bride walking? Or are they taking a photo of you taking a photo? The mind boggles.

    Beautiful shots of the ceremony.

    The small child asleep reminds me that I missed my nap today.

    The reception appeared to be a happy evening. The photo of the bride and her maids looking at a photo in a camera is another recursive affair. Do multiple recursions multiply or are they exponential? Inquiring minds need to know.

    The bride and groom outside is a nice photo, but cropped rather loosely. I worry about it printed large. See comments above regarding ticks and lice.

    Whew. Finally done.

    I hope that my comments have helped you become a better photographer.

    I would be interested in having a copy of my favorite image.
    Thanks and best wishes from
    Your Favorite (wait, wait ... make that "Favourite!") Uncle


  22. Nicola December 20th, 2010 at 1:10 am

    Absolutely fantastic day and the pictures just show how much of a good day it was! Thanks Joseph for the amazing photos. So natural

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