Winter Wedding at Kings Hotel Stokenchurch

Winter Weddings are such a special time of year to get married.  Here is a sample of Rob and Jennifer’s wedding at the Kings Hotel, Stockenchurch, High Wycombe on New Years Eve 2013.  The weather was very went and dark all day so the entire wedding photo took place inside the hotel.  Space was a very limited but the hotel staff were very accommodating and moved furniture so we could create some lasting memories of the day.

The British weather is always a challenge but it has never stopped me from creating my trade make natural timeless wedding photos.  There are many trends out their for photo editing finishes which I can always accommodate if required but I like to keep adding photo editing to a minimum so they look good today, next year and in 50 years time when you are flicking through your wedding album with your grand children .

Kings-Hotel-Wedding-0 Kings Hotel High Wycombe
Wedding Kings Hotel Stokenchurch

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Rules on photographing wedding ceremony

Photographing wedding ceremony can be a challenge for photographer, some times we are not allow to move, many venues don’t let you use flash, and some dont let you photograph any thing.  When planning your wedding be sure to ask the minister or clerk what their house rules are on photography.

The house rules on photographing a wedding is becoming more and more restricting theses days.   Wedding official’s for Church services and even civil ceremonies have all become hardened by the constant clicking and flashing of the modern digital photographer.  And some churches will not allow any photos during the wedding ceremony any more due to distribution of taking photos.

My solution to minimise the disruption during a wedding ceremony is to keep to a maximum of 6 shots during the ceremony itself.    During the ceremony I wait for those cherished moments, a little look, a smile, and the exchanging of rings.  From my experience just 6 shots is enough for the wedding album as the scene is pretty static and generally the photographer is not allowed to move during the service.   Capturing the setting, guests and details should all be achieved before the ceremony starts.

When faced with officials that have strict house rules once I explain that I will only  just take 6 shots during the service they are pretty ok to let  me do as I wish.  If all else fails then I have the bride and groom pose at the alter the ceremony to stage some shots.  I think this is such a special moment when two people have just given their vows and standing at the alter it really dose need to be recorded.


Photography by Mark Dolman

Same Sex Marriage. Still a long way to go

same sex marriage photographer

This week I had the honour of photographing Lizzy and Elli’s wedding. It was a lovely intimate occasion and was blown away with the admiration and respect the guests showed to this happy couple. It was a truly moving experience to see such a loving couple joined together in marriage.

The Bride and Bride requested a natural reportage style coverage of their same sex wedding but I could not resist posing them for the intimate wedding photos you see below.  Being very aware that they were in a very public area I had them sit or stand and just to interact with each other.  They were real troopers and the first shot was actually the entrance to the cafe at Clisshold House and we were surrounded by people sitting in the sun enjoying their coffee.  We kept this session very brief and moved from one spot to another as on lookers took photos of us.  But I must say the images are beautiful as I tried to capture the true feelings this pair have for each other.

With this wedding fresh in my mind and the resent news of gay and lesbian marriage I have shared my viewing of Gay, Lesbian, Straight, Same Sex Marriage, Civil Partnerships or what ever the media are calling it this days.  To me a wedding is a marriage between two people to the exclusion of all others.  No out dated law by a judge in the 1800’s that never even had a family should decide otherwise.  According to the church sex is a sin no matter who or what your status is so why make marriage about sex.  If two soul-mates find each other then it is right and just that they should be able to live their lives they way they want to.

Sorry for the rant now please enjoy my photos.


At the time of righting this the government is deciding on the future of same sex marriage and the French are protesting against France’s first gay marriage between Vincent Autin and Bruno Boileau. Civil Partnerships are really just a gesture to this whole debate. Having attended many weddings as a wedding photographer and watching couples tie the knot every week, marriage is a union of two people.


Our out dated law called the Public Worship Regulation Act 1874 states. Marriage, according to the law of this country, is the union of one man with one woman voluntarily entered into for life, to the exclusion of all others. This is the legal definition of marriage set down by Lord Penzance in 1866.


In my view this is the grass routes of the failing of our society and the demise of marriages failing. A wise man once said never mix politics with religion and here we are. The government dictating our beliefs. Before the involvement of the courts in marriage the church would decide on the fait of a couple breaking up. I am not a regular church member but I do see the benefits of someone in your community that personally knows you and everyone else in your community and makes a stand for your marriage working. This should not be a decision of a court to decide who and who gets what.


But back to marriage itself, it really in the union of two people to the exclusion of all others. In this modern world I really don’t see what the problem is but plain old discrimination. The government and media are also guilty and keep referring to gay marriage and hardly ever mention lesbian marriage. Referring to same sex marriage is also contradictory in itself. Do we now mention Same sex and Opposite sex marriage ?


While the UK is some way ahead of other countries in the marriage reform. If you are a modern couple going on honeymoon think about where you are going. Gay and Lesbian couples could face life in prison or event the death penalty in some counties.

About Mark Dolman
Mark Dolman is a wedding photographer in Buckinghamshire for natural journalistic same sex marriage wedding photographing in London, Watford, High Wycombe, Slough, Windsor, Marlow, Iver, Rickmansworth, Amersham, Chesham, Aylesbury, Berkamstead, Hemal Hempsted,


Wedding Photographer Hertfordshire – The Gatehouse St Albans

Wedding Photographer in Hertfordshire

Wedding Photographer Hertfordshire

Mark Dolman wedding photographer Hertfordshire this week photographed the wedding of Kirsty and Oliver at The Gate House Registry office in St Albans, Hertfordshire.   My assignment was to capture just the ceremony and I was booked for 2 hours coverage on the day.  Being a mid week wedding the main wedding reception was being held on the Friday so more people could attend, which I think is a very neat idea.  Kirsty was ultra careful and booked me 45 mins prior to the ceremony so realistically only had a very short window of opportunity to get the groups done and then go into my normal creative mode of capturing some fun shots of the bridal party and the all important Bride and groom shots. Although it was a very short time I did upload just of 300 images to their viewing gallery.

Here is a little preview of the best shots of the day.


Mark Dolman is a wedding photographer Hertfordshire with a unique approach to weddings.  I use my experience and knowledge gained through press photography and bring a true photo journalist approach to your wedding photography.  I work fast and bring real life and animation to you day with an eye for the natural and spontaneous moments, looking for the little smile, or gesture.

Photographer Hertfordshire
Wedding Photographer Hertfordshire


Looking for a wedding photographer in Hertfordshire with excellent credentials and wedding photography packages to suite all budgets.  See our rate by clicking here




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

The Gatehouse Registry Office St Albans Hertfordshire

St Albans Registry Office Wedding

Big congratulations to Charlotte and Gary who got married at St Albans registry office.  Just loved the dramatic gatehouse doors of the former Victorian prison, which is now St Albans Registry Office.  The happy couple were very easy to work with and received my directions with ease.  As always I aim to make as image natural looking with a little fun.  Formal posed group shots are important to every wedding which I try and do as fast as possible and then break into some relaxed group shots to stage then in a way as if they just happened that way.

If you are planning to get married at St Albans registry office you will find the registrars here are very friendly and give an upbeat ceremony with a little humour.  The gardens and buildings do make a great back drop for your wedding photos which is limited at many other registry offices in the area.

Mark Dolman is a wedding photographer in Hertfordshire with a unique style and approach to wedding photography.  My experience as a press photographer has trained my eye to never miss the money moment.   I find people so fascinating and seek to find the joy and emotions at very wedding I photograph.

Get in touch today is you are planning your wedding and I will be happy to share my ideas with you and how best to capture your wedding day.

Engagement Photo shoot Competition

Engagement Photo shoot

Congratulations to Anna and Zak winners of our Engagement Photo shoot competition from the Ultimate Wedding Magazine readers offers.  Its been almost 12 months since Anna won the competition as Zak has been on tour with the Army but now back safe in the arms of his fiance.  And what better way to mark the occasion with a romantic winter photo shoot in Gerrards Cross this weekend before jetting off again on his next tour of duty.  It may have been just above freezing but we all had a lot of fun and I worked extremely quickly so the Anna and Zak did not turn blue.


Engagement Photoshoot Mark Dolman Photography Engagement Photoshoot Mark Dolman Photography Engagement Photoshoot Mark Dolman Photography Engagement Photoshoot Mark Dolman Photography 130223 Ridder 007 Engagement Photoshoot Mark Dolman Photography Engagement Photoshoot Mark Dolman Photography Engagement Photoshoot Mark Dolman Photography

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

Story Book Wedding Album

Story Book Wedding Album

Story Book Wedding Albums that last a life time

Quality is everything 

Story Book Wedding Album

When you have taken the trouble to hire a professional photographer to create stunning digital images why waste that asset by printing photos on the highstreet.  Or even worse just leaving that CD in a draw and never getting around to sorting out your images.  Nothing is more satisfy to me then receiving a new story book wedding album from the printers.  We take great care and attention to detail in the design of your wedding album which is hand made in the UK. Comes with a life time guarantee and a money back promise if you are not entirely happy with the results.

After your wedding day we post all your images to an online proofing gallery where you can select the images you want in your album.  We design your album layout and send it to you for proofing and can request changes to be made.  When you are 100% happy with your album layout we then send the artwork to our lab for printing.

See this video below to browse through one of my latest creations.

For more information on our products and price Click Here

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

Finding the right wedding photographer for you

During these tough financial times many couples looking to get married are working out was of keeping the cost of their wedding down and I have seen an increase in blogs and magazines suggesting using family or a friend who is handy with a camera to take photos of the wedding day.  Here I will provide some of the pros and cons of using a professional wedding photographer compared to an amateur or even a pro photographer but does not specialise in weddings.  Also if you are looking for a low cost option then searching for a photographer who is wanting to take on weddings and is offering free wedding photography to kick start their career.  To find these newbies I will list a couple of sites where you will find these new photographers.

Everyone has a budget in mind and depending how you value getting amazing images of your wedding day then you should use this as a guide depending on what you are looking for.  Like every other service there are varying scales.  Everyone is capable of taking a picture we all do it, so what are you paying for ?.  Its a bit like finding a restaurant, some people are happy to eat fast food, some like a nice country pub and then some eat in five start Michelin restaurants.   Wedding photography packages are very much the same, you get what you pay for.  If you are shopping on price you will find plenty of a cheap wedding photographers.  If you want a beautifully presented album with amazing images fit for a magazine cover then you will pay more.

Typical rates for wedding photographers
£200 to £500 amateur, / hobby photographer
£500 to £1000 Part time or new start-up wedding photographer
£1000 to £2000 Full time Pro wedding photographers
£2000 to £5000 High end Pro wedding photographers

Getting the shots
Pro wedding photographers are well versed at getting the shots you want for the album and will take command of the group shots and get them done as efficient as possible.  We also know the venues  and how they work so we can be in the right place at the right time.  Above all one of the hidden codes to being a Pro wedding photography is we try and keep the whole day on schedule so this run smoothly.

Non Pro wedding photographers will find the group shots very challenging and stressful so be patient with your friend who is trying to capture your wedding and be accommodating to give them some time to get all the shots.  An inexperienced wedding photographer will miss some shots as there is so much going on.  Until a photographer has completed a whole wedding from taking the pictures through post production to creating an album a couple of times then they will not be in tune with what is needed.

When paying a premium rate for a wedding photographer you know they have received the training and developed their skills over many years.  For myself I studied part-time HND photography for 3 years before taking on a project for financial gain and it took another 6 years before I shot my first wedding.  Even with my training and experience I am still attending training sessions and the last one was with Julie Boggio, the UKs leading wedding photographer plus every year attending the Society of Portrait and Wedding Photographers SWPP conference to keep up to date with current trends and techniques.

This goes without saying but all my equipment is professional grade yet I have seen wedding photographers using high end amateur cameras and lenses.  The trade off with non professional equipment is not being able to capture high quality bright colourful images in low light plus you need the speed to capture those defining moments that happened in a split second.  And as always I carry three of everything should a technical issue arise.

An area often overlooked is calibration of equipment, I calibrate my camera to my computer which is them setup to use the same profile for our printers to ensure exact colour matching.  A very important process especially when many wedding have a colour theme these days.

Post production
This is where skills really stand apart.  A Pro wedding photographer will capture all images in RAW format.  This is say they are unprocessed files.  Like with the old days of film it is the time between capturing the image on film and taking to the photo lab for processing.  Your instant cameras capture JPG files which means the camera has worked out all the light and colour levels for you, compressed the image and creates a JPG.  With RAW files a photographer does all the processing on a computer to maximise the image and set the correct level and tone.

How I work is I import images from my camera using Photo Mechanics to sort and rate images.  Using Capture One to set the light levels and colour correction plus any cropping.  Once this is done I process the images in Capture One and create jpeg files.  With the set of jpeg images this is where the real retouching starts in photoshop to remove any distracting items in the background, remove skin blemishes on the close-ups.  With all the images now looking clean and bright I use OnOne photo effects to add that special touch.  This whole process can take a day or more to complete.

If using a non pro wedding photographer but want to find one that will create great images ask them what their workflow is for processing images.  For me this is a work in progress area of my business and continually assess new products as they come to market and always research new trends and techniques.

Album Design
Album Design is an art in itself and if your photographer has had little experience this area then it will be major hurdle for them.  Firstly to find a supplier they like and are in tune with the printing process of the printers to ensure there is quality control all they way.  Fortunately my partner Heike has many years of experience in publishing and marketing for major brands that I leave it to her to lovingly create the layout for our albums.

Peace of mind
As a full time photographer public liability insurance is very important should something unfortunate happen and provide you with added coverage.  Also I keep 3 copies of the images. Once  images are imported from the camera I create a back of the RAW files on CD.  The processed jpg files are created on a separate hard drive and then once finished the files are hosted on our on-line image store.

From start to finish a full day wedding coverage can take up to 40 hours to complete with travel time, 8 hours coverage, uploading and backup of images, processing, retouching, album design and shipping.  So if you are paying £500 for your photographer with an album, they are either working for well below minimum wage or they will not put the time in for post production.

As mentioned above, places to search for those new photographers looking to offer low cost wedding coverage please visit these sites.

So my advise when looking for a wedding photographer is to shop around and always meet face to face and view some sample albums which should be a complete album of one past wedding and not just the best images of all the weddings to get a feel for the style and quality.  If you are shopping on price then try the links above and be up front with your budget as you will probably get a lot of replies but not be able to afford them and will save you time finding the photographers in your price range.

I hope you have found this article useful and always happy to give advice if you are struggling to find a photographer right for you.


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