Are you looking for some wedding design inspiration

Are you looking for inspiration for your wedding day then checkout Mark Dolman Wedding photographer in Chesham captures natural and candid moments through a journalistic approach to wedding photography.
In the wedding photo gallery below I have taken the best bits of all the recent weddings I have photographed and created a gallery for wedding venues and Wedding themes containing wedding cakes, flowers, cars, entertainment and tableware.  The wedding collections will grow over time so bookmark this page and come back again.

To see all the Wedding Venue galleries Click Here

Venues Featured include:

  • Heatherden Hall Pinewood
  • Harpenden House
  • Phylis Court
  • Sopwell House
  • The Sun Hotel Hitchin

For Wedding Theme’s, cakes, flowers, tableware, entertainment and more Click Here

Mark Dolman is a wedding photographer base in Chesham, Buckinghamshire serving all surrounding counties,  in Hertfordshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey and London.

With a natural and reportage style and journalistic approach to weddings that is gentle with your guests and simple wedding photography packages for digital image only or digital story book albums including digital files.  Contact us today for a no obligation meeting to view our sample wedding albums  in your home or at your venue and discuss your wedding photography package.

West Lodge Park Hotel

Vicki and Richard married at Enfield Registry Office in May on gorgeous bright warm day. They made me very nervous when I arrived as they were both outside the registry office and panic set in my mind. Was I late for the wedding; did I get the time wrong ?
After racing over to them I found out I was my normal early self and all ways well. Vicki and Richard were just being unconventional and decided to wait together. They are just a sweet couple I guess they just could not be parted. After a small ceremony we took of images on the bridge outside Enfield Registry Office a favorite of mine. After the formal group shots we move on to West Lodge Park Hotel, Cockfosters Road, Hadley Wood for canopies on the lawn and later into the wedding breakfast. Unusually this was a Monday wedding but still West Lodge Park was host 2 weddings this day. It is a very grand wedding venue and beautiful gardens with very kind and helpful staff.



Vicki & Richard 28th May 2012 – Images by Mark Dolman

How to take a photo – Part One

Here are my tips on how to constantly capture the image you want by focusing on just 3 elements of your camera. This article focuses on how to capture the image by understanding light sensitivity, shutter speed and aperture. In future articles I will write about how to get more creative and working with different situations.

First thing to know is your camera is stupid. No matter who much money you have spent on your camera it is still stupid. If you use the P (Program) function on your camera with everything in automatic mode then your camera will try to guess what light is available and set the appropriate settings and invariably get it wrong. Have you ever been frustrated to take a picture and then look on the back of the camera and the image is too dark or fuzzy. In this article you will learn some of the basics to help you along and start using your camera and enjoy your photography.

Set your ISO

If you remember the old days of film then you would have heard about ISO. Basically the ISO is the film sensitivity to light. When you went on holiday to sunny Spain you would buy ISO 100 film and for cloudy days in England then ISO 400 or if going to a party then maybe ISO 800 would be needed. Your digital camera will have an ISO setting which works in the same way. So the first thing you need to do after you switched on your camera is set the ISO to the light conditions. Today’s Digital cameras way exceed what film could ever do and now we can set ISO’s of 2000 to 6000 and some way beyond. Beware the higher you go then the grainier the image will be. Setting a high ISO means your camera’s digital sensor is more sensitive to light and so you can shoot almost any situation while maintaining a high shutter speed keeping the image sharp and well lit.

Control your speed

Setting the shutter speed is probably the most important setting. Get it wrong and your images will turn out blurry though camera shake or moving subjects. As a rule for hand holding your camera use a minimum shutter speed of 100 (1/100 of a second exposure). For capturing people I like to use 250 and higher is possible to ensure images will be sharp.

So how do you know what is the ideal shutter speed you can get away with. Most people will use the built in camera meter or take a test shot to see what the light levels look like. If you want to measure light then try and get close to your subject to measure the light. The reason for this is your camera will measure the light available for the entire image and will compensate for the brightest part. Usually the sky or a lamp in the background which could leave you subject dark and under exposed. This is why setting you camera to manual mode helps you take control of the situation.

How much light ?

Setting Aperture is probably where most people start to get confused. The Aperture setting limits the amount of light entering the camera. Think of a set of curtains hanging in a window and when they are fully open this is what we photographers call f1 and when your curtains are half closed then this would represent f 5.6 and so on. The lower the Aperture (f) number the more light will hit the sensor in your camera and so the higher the number the less light will enter the camera. There are many reasons and combinations for speed vs aperture that I will explain in another article but for now I want you to focus on being able to capture the image before getting creative. For general purpose shooting try and fix your aperture to f5.6 which almost any lens is capable of. If light allows for higher settings then I love to use f8 as it offers a great depth of field which is the amount of area in front of you that is in focus. If you have ever seen an image with just a small part of the subject in focus and the rest is out of focus. Then what the photographer has done here is use a large aperture, something way below f5.6 to create the effect. The principle here is the smaller the f number (largest aperture) the short distance of the image is in focus which is called the focal length. So to capture a large group of people or landscape where you want everything in focus then use your highest f setting your camera allows.






Wedding at Heatherden Hall, Pinewood Studios

Heatherden Hall, Pinewood studios is such an exciting place for a wedding venue.  Not only is the place steeped in history but Heatherden Hall is a magnificent building in itself with a very grand wood paneled ball room makes a stunning back drop for any occasion.  In addition to this the beautifully managed gardens provide endless possibilities for great photos.  We even used Heatherden Hall as a venue for Kayleigh and Colin’s pre wedding photoshoot .

After your Wedding Day what do you do with your photo CD

So imagine this, the wedding day is now a distant memory, the dress is back from cleaners and you have tried out all your wedding gifts and you still have that CD of wedding photos you paid a lot of money for sitting in a draw. Many couples are opting for a CD only wedding photography package these days.  But even if you have your album printed but still have hundreds of photo not used why not bring your wedding day back to life and print some images !

The best tip I can give you is print your photos as soon as you can with a good printing lab.

Do Not go to Boots or some other high street Kiosk as these prints will fade over the years and you are very limited on the size you can print. If you have bought a wedding album they are usually sqaure format so have a look at someone like Photobox or where I print most of my images is This is slightly more expensive than the high street because you are paying for postage and packaging but if you are printing a lot of images it will work out cost effective. Also SimLab guarantee their prints not to fade for 50 years in daylight and 100 years in the dark.

The other point about keeping your images on disk you need to know is a CD is a very fragile thing and can easily get damage and will in time expire. CD manufactures will never state how long they will last but the standard length of time is 10 years. It sounds a long time now but time does fly and when you most want your images back they could be lost forever.

Do keep copies of your images on a hard drive or online but again this is never guaranteed. How I store images for my wedding clients is I copy images for the camera to my computer and create a second copy on an external drive as a master copy. Once I have reworked all the images they are saved again as the final cut and hosted to my online storage system provided by another company. Once the project is finished I burn every thing to a DVD so there are always multiple versions of the same files in 3 locations at anyone time. It sounds over the top but I hate loosing images and before becoming a photographer I worked in IT for what is now called Symantec one of the largest backup software companies and have seen large businesses disappear over night after loosing their company data.

Storing files of a USB stick is much more secure than a CD but be aware as technology changes so your USB may not work in years to come.  If you are old like me then floppy disks don’t seam so long ago.  I had an experience with a USB stick that I used on my old PC for many years and when plug into another machine it wiped the whole thing clear without asking me.  Thankfully there was nothing on the stick I needed but it has worried me every since. So I never delete images on my camera memory card until I have created at least two copies of the files.

For my last tip is be sure to rename your image files so you can find them again. Everyone is a photographer these days and we have 100s or 1000s of images on PCs, phones, CD etc. Nothing drives me more crazy than when I can not find a file, so a full proof way if you take a lot of photos is rename them with the date and place/event or peoples name with a sequential number. For example I use the format 120930 Smith Wedding 001. The date is reversed so when looking lists of images by file name they will follow the date order. Also put your images into folders and in this example I would create a folder called 120930 Smith Wedding. To make life easier I create and new folder for every month and year so searching is a simple matter of know the year and month to quickly narrow down the list of images you are looking for. If like me you are more advanced then look at purchasing an image management. I use PhotoMechanics to sort my images, rename them and add keywords / phrases to images on mass so I can find all sorts of thing if needed.

So hope this helps you keep you wedding memories alive forever and if you would like any advise then I am always happy to answer your questions.

How to protect yourself on your wedding day

It goes without saying a professional photographer should have public liability insurance and should be of the type specific for photography as it covers you should your photographer not be able to attend your wedding.

For further protection post wedding should things go wrong I would advise anyone to pay their wedding deposit with a credit card.  This way you are covered under section 75 of the consumers credit act 1974 where should the photographer not deliver what you wanted for any reason or lost your images for example you are covered.  Paying just the deposit actually will cover you for the whole amount of the agreement so even if you pay the balance with cash or cheque the entire amount is protected and the credit card company will fight your case to refund your money.  Businesses need to have a direct merchant account with a provider, paying via PayPal of Google for example does not apply to the same regulations as credit cards.

So 2 things to ask for when considering a wedding photographer is ask to see a copy of the Public Liability insurance as your wedding venue may want to see a copy plus check what forms of payment your photographer will take.  If they do not have a card payment terminal at your per-wedding consultation and can not show you an insurance certificate then my advise is buyer beware.

Boxmoor Lodge Wedding

Boxmoor Lodge, Hemel Hempstead is a great venue for weddings with a very personal service.  With a large marque and private gardens your guests can enjoy a great experience and kids can run around safely.  Mel and Paul hired this stylish retro VW camper van that fitted in well with Mel’s all pink wedding theme.


Getting Group Shots at your wedding

Photographing formal groups at a wedding can be challenging and takes up precious time with your guests.  If your do not plan this time then the different combinations of group shots is endless and will quickly eat up all your time and before you know it you will be sitting at your table without having any time to speak to your guests.  And for you wedding album there will be a few detail shots and just pages upon pages of people standing in a line. While my approach is always to capture natural candid shots of your wedding many people still want some formal group shots especially the parents.

Below I have created a list of my ideal photo shoot flow for a wedding day listing the shots I would recommend having if groups are important to you.  This is assuming at least an hour and thirty minutes is allocated to get these shots done between the ceremony and wedding breakfast.


Wedding Photographer shot list
Bride Getting Ready
Groom, Best Men & Ushers
Groom & Ring Carrier
Detail shot of Rings
Guest Arriving
Bride with Father and Bridesmaids
Groom waiting at alter
Walking up the Aisle with father
Exchanging vows
Giving of rings
Formal signing of Register
Receiving wedding certificate
Walking out of ceremony
Throwing confetti
Canopies & Drinks
Natural Shots of Guests at wedding
Formal Groups Shots
Group shot with everyone
Bride & Groom with Brides Parents
Bride & Groom with Grooms Parents
Bride & Groom with Brides uncles, aunties and cousins
Bride & Groom with Grooms uncles, aunties and cousins
Bride & Groom with Best Men & Ushers
Bride, Groom, Bridesmaids, Best Men, Ushers & Page Boys
Bride & Bridesmaids
Wedding breakfast room details
Wedding Breakfast
Images of top table and guests at table
Post Dinner
Hen Party
Stag Party
Rings on finger
Intimate Portrait of Bride & Groom together
Natural Shots of Guests at wedding
Cake Cutting
Entertainment – Throwing Bouquet
First Dance

About Mark Dolman
Mark Dolman is a wedding photographer in Buckinghamshire for natural journalistic wedding photographing in London, Watford, High Wycombe, Slough, Windsor, Marlow, St Albans, Iver, Rickmansworth, Amersham, Chesham, Aylesbury, Berkamstead, Hemal Hempsted, Herfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire

What is the meaning of a Wedding posy

Since Queen Victoria’s day posy’s became a fashion accessory for women but go back further and you will learn that every flower has a meaning and men gave a small posy to the one he loves as a gesture to show her his interest with a hidden message in the flowers he gave. So be careful chaps black rose look cool on Ozzy Osbourne but not appropriate for your wedding day. In todays wedding flowers are normally chosen by the bride a who often choose their favourite flower or have the same as their mother. At last year’s Royal Wedding the Duchess of Cambridge chose flowers that reflected her relationship with Prince William. She chose lily of the valley (return of happiness), ivy (fidelity) and Sweet William (gallantry).”

I would love to see a return of the groom sending a bouquet of flowers to his bride on the wedding morning with its hidden message in the flowers and a little note of love.

Grooms if you want to try and wow your bride then check out Wikipedia for the language of flowers.