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Liz and Tom – A Borough Market Engagement photo shoot

creative and alternative engagement pictures

Borough Market

I didn’t come by
for a coffee and a pie
or the grumble of
overhead carriages.

To weave through the waft
of grilling beef, paella,
mulled wine and cheeses,
to take it all in

and still to keep moving
past the gawp of a
monk fish, through the
slow lunchtime crowd

and to meet you at one
by the usual place
in the cathedral garden.
A bench in the sun

while you sip coffee
and I tackle my pie
and you tell me what
the chemo was like

and then let slip,
a shiny, fumbled coin,
just that you’ve begun
to write poetry again.

- Michael Shan

Liz and Tom get married tomorrow, so I thought I’d share their Borough Market engagement photos.


Introducing Alice – associate photographer at Babb Photo

alternative wedding photography

I’m really excited to be able to introduce Alice today. Alice has joined me as an assistant initially and towards the end of the year she’ll start photographing weddings on her own, as part of Babb Photo.

I went through a pretty lengthy recruitment process at the end of last year and the start of this year. I wanted to take my time and find someone who would be a perfect fit in terms of style, approach and also personality. It’s a bit of a scary step bringing someone else into a business that has, for the last few years, been my baby.

I want to have a few associate photographers working with me, in the next few years, so they can shoot weddings as part of my business, but I want to make sure they’re the right people, with the right attitude and approach, the same passion for photographing weddings and the desire to approach wedding photography creatively.  The time is right to expand but I want to do it in the right way.

Alice is all of the things I was looking for and I am excited to be working with her.


Artist at work: Dale Lewis

Artist at Work Dale Lewis (c) Laura Babb small-14

This is the start of a personal project that was born out of an interest in the creative process.  As a photographer who works primarily in a documentary style, my work is predominantly reactive, rather than conceptual.  That is, for the most part, how I like it.  There are some exceptions and during the portrait session of a wedding day I will often take a couple of ideas along with me, about shots that I want to achieve.  There are also shots in my head that I want to execute at some point in the future. For the most part, though, I work reactively to the world around me.

Because creativity is something that is, in the scheme of things, fairly new to me, I want to explore it.  I want to know how other people approach it.


Bouquet toss

wedding photography gif

Laura and Martyn: Married – Wedding Photography at The Great Barn, Manor Farm, Ruislip

View More: http://babbphoto.pass.us/lauraandmartyn


Here’s a lovely, sunny wedding from last summer.  I thought I’d save one or two summer weddings to blog on a grey, winter’s day (like today).

Here’s what happened.

Middlesex.  Getting ready.  Bridesmaids rummage in their ‘emergency wedding kits’. Champagne is opened.  Laura’s bridesmaid does her hair.  Make up is applied.  The atmosphere is calm and relaxed. Ribbons are attached to the car.  Champagne is topped up.  They get ready to go.  Martyn waits at church.  He’s calm too.  The Church bells ring.  Guests take their seats.  Laura arrives and walks up the aisle with her dad. Vows are exchanged.  Rings are placed on fingers.  They kiss. And they’re married.  They exit the church to a hail of confetti and walk through the town, to Manor Farm.  They drink champagne in the sunshine, with their guests.  They sit down for dinner and speeches.  We head off into the golden evening light for their portraits. Laura and Martyn have their first dance.

A special mention to the ever talented Jay Archer who did the beautiful flowers for Laura and Martyn’s wedding.

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Babb Loves: Beggars Run

london wedding photographer_0286One for the boys today, as I share the super Stylish made to measure menswear company, Beggars Run.

Their suits range from contemporary to a little bit quirky and would make the perfect for a stylish groom.  They offer modern made-to-order two and three pieces in laid back linens, corduroy and dogtooths, and prices start from £450 for a made to measure suit.

Beggars Run are based in London and currently have a pop up store on Commercial Street.  You can check out details here.

I had the pleasure of working with Beggars Run on this EE Cummings inspired shoot and I still think that burgundy suit is just beautiful.  More grooms should wear velvet.

Or perhaps a Hawaiian shirt or a bomber.

You can read a little bit more about Beggars Run in this feature on them, over on BDA London.

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Life Lately

A new special photography handbag (meaning I can take a SLR with me everywhere I go) and a renewed energy for shooting more of my day to day and in between, means that I’ll hopefully be able to share something of a regular photography diary. Here’s what happened lately.

life lately smaller

I went to visit my friend, Kelly.  A few hours after this was taken she went into labour and is now the proud owner of her very own small person.


Ian and Martine: Married – Wedding photography at Redcoats Farmhouse Hotel, Hitchin, Hertfordshire

hertfordshire wedding photography alternative wedding photographer-14

A rainy day at Redcoats Farmhouse Hotel.  A simple and intimate affair, with just Ian and Martine’s closest friends and family members.  The whole party meet for pre-wedding drinks in the bar.  They head through to Ian and Martine’s ceremony. There is lots of laughter and a few happy tears.  They head through to the bar for Champagne and to toast their marriage.  We do family group shots in the conservatory. Friends and family chat and laugh over drinks. We head out to the garden, for portraits in the rain.  The whole party sits down for dinner.

I was only with Ian and Martine for a few hours but I’m so glad I was.  Small and simple weddings are often really moving. When you take away all of the window dressing, all you are left with is two people and love.

Ian and Martine planned a small intimate day that was all about them. , The following day they got all of their friends and family together for a big party.  They’ve headed off to Hong Kong now, to start a new life together.  Congratulations, Ian and Martine.

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Being a photographer: creativity and making yourself vulnerable

hertfordshire wedding photography alternative wedding photographer

I second shot a wedding for my friend Zoe recently.

It was an interesting experience for me as I haven’t really done any second shooting before.  I second shot one wedding when I was just starting out but haven’t since, as I’ve been busy with my own weddings.

I enjoyed it.  Instead of assuming the usual positions I would shoot from, I was forced to shoot from a different perspective. To find a new angle.

Zoe invited me along to the portrait session with her couple. I took some shots I love, that I might not have taken if it had been my wedding. As there was no expectation on me I felt free to experiment a bit rather than playing it safe.

Sometimes when I shoot a wedding I find myself taking risks and trying new things. Other times I find myself using tried and tested as a fall back.

There are a whole load of reasons why I might end up playing it safe. At a recent wedding it rained and rained and rained. It was also freezing and windy. I was exceptionally aware of the comfort of my couple. When there was a break in the clouds, I took them outside for some portraits. Time was limited. It was cold. As a result I played it safe. I was apologetic about the cold and the time I needed in it. Their comfort (and mine) won over my desire to push myself.

I got some beautiful portraits for them and I know they were thrilled with them but I could have pushed for something more.

There is always the balance, for me, between my clients having an enjoyable experience that doesn’t detract from the main purpose of the day and wanting to create something amazing.

In the rain I kind of want the couple out there, dancing in it, but there’s the expensive outfits and the fact that being soaking wet at your own wedding isn’t all that practical.


Los Angeles


I loved LA.  Bits of it felt very familiar. Bits of it felt seedy and run down and that kind of reminded me of parts of London.  Neon. Grittiness. People going about their lives in a big metropolis. Santa Monica Pier even reminded me of some English seaside resorts. I loved the neon signs everywhere. I loved the ocean surrounding the city.  I loved the fact that, for the first time in the whole trip, the sun was out for most of the time.  I liked my first ever corndog and brunch at Bottega Louie.

We didn’t have long in Los Angeles, which is a shame, as I would have liked to explore a little more.

If you missed my posts about San Francisco and The Pacific Coast Highway do check them out.

Here’s what happened. (more…)