2016 Year Review - Andy Rapkins - Documentary Wedding Photographer

Aaaaaand we're done. All of a sudden, it's December, and that's the year finished. Wowsers. What a year it's been. 2016 has been a memorable one for sure, not least for the wonderful couples who entrusted me to capture their wedding days. Not for the last time in the post, I thank you all.

I always find my yearly reviews to bring feelings of intense pride looking back at what I've been lucky enough to be part of and to photograph, balanced with the challenge of condensing so many wonderful and worthy moments into a single blog post. It's an impossible task really, so I use this as an opportunity to share some of the images that mean the most to me. Usually this is from a purely visual perspective, but with some fun and photojournalistic style captures as well.

The year started in spectacular fashion on the ski slopes of Zermatt under the imposing and iconic presence of the Matterhorn. There can't be many better ways to start a season; certainly it set the bar high for the rest of the year. That high standard was maintained throughout with lots of new venues, including some on my doorstep that I had never actually worked at before, as well as some old favourites that I know incredibly well but hadn't been to for a while. It has been varied yet consistently awesome.

Looking back through the images has been a buzz and given a definite reminder of what it felt like to be at them all. I can only hope that the part I played means that each and every couple feel that too.

Now really is a time to let the images do the talking, and pay homage to the creativity, vision, and most of all the love that was in all of my couples weddings this year. I humbly thank you all for giving me the opportunity to record your days. For all my future couples in 2017 and beyond, we're going to have fun. I can't wait.

Merry Christmas to you all, and a happy new year. Andy xx

Dorset wedding at Sopley Mill - Hannah & Mat

I've just been designing an album for this gorgeous couple, and thought it would be a good time to feature their wedding. This year has included more local weddings than at any time in my wedding photographer career. In Dorset, we have many fantastic locations for wedding photography, and Hannah & Mat's wedding took place across no less than THREE stunning venues.

Starting at the Captain's Club Hotel in Christchurch, Hannah and her bridesmaids were getting ready with hair and make-up expertise from the team at Parley Studio. Sam was the stylist at the very first wedding I ever photographed solo 6 years earlier, and it was a pleasure to work with her again!

From the Captain's Club, we moved on for the ceremony at Highcliffe Castle; another venue I know well! It has one of the most enviable locations on the south coast, combining classic architecture and the appeal that a castle brings, with a clifftop location and views across the Solent. As you'll see, after the ceremony we had a truly exceptional photo session on the beach. Incredibly diffuse light for the time of day. Perfecto.

For the reception, we moved to Sopley Mill. This was my first time photographing a wedding here. I'd visited as a guest here previously and know the venue and surroundings, but incredibly - given how close I am - this was my first time here to photograph a wedding (I've since been back again for another wedding a couple of weeks later). Great place, great team.

If conditions are favourable, I often suggest a second portrait session a little later in the day towards the special 'golden hour' light of early evening. As it was, we had beautiful light and a new backdrop to make the most of, so this is exactly what we did. Another stunning portrait session with these two (to be fair, they made it very easy).

Back into the reception for first dance and the Jaegerbombs started flowing. Always good to see the party getting into full throttle before I get too trampled!

Dress: Suzanne Neville from Brides of Winchester
Flowers: Arcade Flowers, Ringwood