Well we are now two weeks in and getting firmly settled into 2014, we’ll be six months in before we know it but until then I wanted to share some of my favourite images from 2013.

My best of posts usually contain over 150 (sometimes 200+) images, but in the lead up to choosing photos for my web site I asked my clients, fellow wedding suppliers and friends to send me their Top 5 photos. I got a lovely response and thought I would try the same for my Best of 2013, but with 20 images instead.

Out of the thousands of photos I have from 2013 the below images were shots I knew I loved from the moment I pressed the shutter. I have added a little bit of information for each image, a behind the scenes if you will. The Top 20 is in no particular order.

I hope you enjoy looking through my Top 20.

1) Taken at Claire and Martin’s wedding in January at the Hillbark Hotel, I love this image I really do. Claire felt uncomfortable doing it but I think the final results speak for themselves. Winter weddings can be difficult but with the right imagination, some skilful lighting and a huge mirror the world is your oyster.

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2) The next photo was taken at the Queen Hotel in Chester, the hotel is one of many that recommend me to their couples and so we organised a creative shoot with some great wedding suppliers and friends of mine. This photo was taken in the bridal suite with the use of a video light and again; a very large mirror.

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3) I don’t just photograph weddings, obviously the next progression is babies, so many couples I photographed their wedding have had or are about to have a baby. This particular shot though is of my baby sister and my gorgeous little nephew George (named well before the Prince). His squished eye just extenuates his wide eye looking at the camera. Love it!

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4) Engagement Sessions are vital and so important, not only do the couple get a set of photos but we get to play and chat for a bit after. This photo was taken after a bit of a climb up a muddy mountain (or hill it depends on how much extra weight you carry…I call it a mountain!). Andrew just hates kissing in public so a prolonged nearly kissing shot was just what he was after! 😛

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5) Keeping away from the norm and the expected is just what creative wedding photographers are after, flare isn’t for everyone but for me I love it and use it when ever I can. The sun was setting and I was ushering Richie and Ellie outside to make the most of it. This is my favourite from the set.

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6) Again Flare features in this image taken at Sedgebrook Hall; not from the sun but from a well placed flash on the floor; for an emotional first dance. It points right towards the couple and straight towards their faces, and who are they looking at? Well right into each others eyes…..a capture I’m very proud of.

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7) This is the first shot from Kirsty and Andy’s portrait shoot taken at their wedding at the Place Hotel. I love this venue and always find something different, this time it looks like a New York scene. These two have become great friends and have had a little baby of their own (you can’t tell Kirsty’s pregnant)….congratulations guys!

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8) I love my E-Sessions, they don’t always need to be in Chester and this time we were off to Delamere Forest, by pure chance as Heather was rocking the pose and facing the awesome light I had a horse rider turn up and just complete this shot….I was a happy bunny.

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9) This image is taken from the same E-Session as No.8 but with no luck involved, after ten minutes of shouting “Archie!” and a very patient couple we got the shot! It was exactly what I had in mind and I may very well have shouted out loud when I bagged the shot.

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10) The bridal party, I love getting time with the bridal party. This shot has, framing, lighting and emotion. We were laughing so much when taking the series of pictures. The multi coloured bridesmaids dresses just make the shot.

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11) This is quite possibly one of my all time favourite shots…ever. Taken in the glamorous surroundings of Chester Zoo car park. But with a little imagination, a gorgeous couple and an outstanding horse and cart you get this image. I love it, I anticipated the horses and pressed the shutter just as they both had a gander at the couple. Bang. A cracking shot.

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12) Ever fancied making your own wedding bands? Lisa & John made the choice to make theirs but often found themselves a little nervous so had Rob (from Powells the jewellers) do some of the tricky bits. The below shot was screaming to be made B&W most reportage shots do but the added clutter of tools and the highlight on Robs face it just needed to be Black and White.

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13) Now, what can I say? This is a shot of a little poser, placed in some amazing light and shadow at the Place Hotel I love it for all the reasons you can see but when Dave her dad saw it he told me it made him weep, that’s what images have the power to do. My job was done right there.

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14) I am a massive fan of lead in lines, a big fan! So when I saw this curved wall I just had to run all the way down it to use it in my image of Lisa & John at Nant Gwrtheryn in North Wales. Amazing in both colour and B&W I decided on B&W to control the chaos and focus attention on the couple.

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15) Doesn’t this look like a great reportage shot? I’m sure most photographers will spot straight away it was orchestrated. I wanted to get every one of Heathers bridesmaids in the shot, using the mirrors to frame each one, enter a bit of laughter and wallop one of my proudest images of 2013….and all time.

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16) We’re with Heather again this time accompanied with Gareth at Nunsmere Hall; along with two cheeky characters who made an appearance during their first dance. The emotion on Heathers face, you know full well Gareth is smiling too, the light (aided with my flash behind Heather) and smoke (thank you band) completed with the spot lights creating a star effect make this one of my all time favourite first dance shots.

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17) I think it’s pretty obvious why this is in my collection. Before entering into the room I spoke to Shelly’s dad explaining I’m after a little bit of emotion, so many weddings that year the reveals have been welcomed with dads looking to the floor, playing with their ties, giving presents from relatives and not paying attention to what was happening at that moment. This image for me is what it is all about. Dad knowing just what is about to happen, the pride in his daughter and letting his emotions go.

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18) Two years after their wedding Claire asked me to do a family shoot for her dad Malcolm’s 70th birthday. The hour I spent with these guys was such a joy for me, no stress, no worries just catching up with a lovely bunch of people. This particular image has no emotion involved (to see the emotion check here) but I love the flare, the lead in lines from the space between the trees and the light.

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19) One of the last shoots of the year for the first wedding of 2014, this was taken from Amy & James E-Session around Castlefields in Manchester. A great spot with sooooo many places for photos. I love wide shots with lots of lines, patterns and this shot has bags of them. With some great colours thrown into the mix.

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20) Finally, another Engagement Session picture. I love framing as much as I love my lead in lines. Below I wanted to use the space in the trees to frame Dave & Dawn in their Chester E-Session. Using what is around me and getting out there is what us wedding photographers relish on.

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Well I hope you like the above images and my ramblings on about them. Be sure to keep an eye out for 2014!

Cheshire Wedding Photographers Vickerstaff Photography
Vickerstaff Photography Cheshire and the North West wedding photographers. All copyrights reserved 2013.

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16/01/2014
Ohhh the photo through the mirror is just fantastic Jamie ! I had to look at it a couple of times to count how many "real" girlies there were there!!! Fab photography xxxxx
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Gillian Hall
16/01/2014
Mirror image of Claire and Martins wedding amazing .What a photographer!!
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Rich Dawson
16/01/2014
Great photos each and every one of them! We have one framed in our bedroom of us dancing at the Sedgebrook Hall wedding that is incredible and gets commented on all the time! Sami's mum said you "captured the essence of her"
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Dave
16/01/2014
Love it J, we got 2 pics in the top 20, That one of Charlie an the one you did of max in the same place are blown up on canvas in the living room, it still catches me out from time to time and I find myself just looking into the picture. Thank you so much, Dave.
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Outstanding Jamie you have an excellent eye looking forward to seeing this years fabulous pictures
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