some favourite images of 2016




Its been busy.

Amazing folks, new skills, new friends, new ideas, lots to think about for 2017 and new directions to take and new stories to tell, brought some new cameras that make films, linked together with some bros, got married to my best friend and constant favorite person, had some more ideas, met people with the similar ideas, opened a new company, worked hard on this project and can't wait to change shit up for next year. - summary :)

I know no one reads these best of blogs so not going to write more .

Here is 60 ish of my fav images of this year and some of last ?!?!?! im not sure anymore , i like these pics cause of colors and moments, the days they were taken and the peeps involved and a whole load of other reasons that im not going to write as i can guarantee no one is going to be reading this stuff but probably look at the pics :) see you on the other side :) X



Opening conversation to 2016

One thing that I struggled with last year was sharing what I was doing. My blog was almost non existent, my FB page dropped to the point where the only message was reminders that i hadn't posted in while but to be honest it was really good and I needed to have a break. I shot plenty of weddings went to some amazing places but somewhere along the way lost the will to share. I think in part it was to do with me being bored with what i was seeing and didn't see what I was doing as anything different.

Let me elaborate - my background is press. I shot national, regional and international press stories for well over a decade and working in that industry there was never the culture of self promotion. All you tried to do was not get a bollocking. I have always struggled with self promotion.

One of the other things i want to do (and realise without the blog and facebook, twitter etc i cant so well)  is to engage with people more. Engage with other photographers , couples , artists, people that make and do. Open conversation to the ambitious and the interested. To open connections to the alternative and and the inspiring. To have my mind opened , to share ideas and to hear new ones.

I really want to embrace this idea though this year and am keen to tackle this in two ways.

Do different stuff. This is, I know, super simple to say but having taken a year off to think about the direction i am going in. This year I want to produce more tactile work. Analogue film, polaroid, plates, prints, lots of prints. I will try to show a more ambitious selection of pictures. I want to show single images and sets that tell stories. Pictures set to music and sounds and scans and hand made books. Things that there is one of. If i can make work that I think is different I hope that i will be more energised to show it. I want to show it, it makes me feel responsible for the people that used to follow me on my blog. For the people and for future couples , the brides and grooms that read and become more ambitious for their day. I want to feel responsible for them. I should put my ideas down on paper and on screen and bear witness and make a record of my intentions. I want to do more and this year i hope this blog is going to be helping hand i need to push the ideas i have.

Be honest. Be honest on what I am feeling, things I am proud of, days that went well and I am sure some of the days that don't go so well. To document more of the paths I am taking and hopefully open the door of conversation and inspiration to the new people I want to meet and share with.

I am really hopeful this year. The last year I have unfollowed a lot of folks, found some new people to follow, been inspired by all sorts of different ideas and people and hope this year to join in more. It has been amazing though to slowly realise the reasons why I am not inspired to share and be re-inspired to question the reasons and hopefully start afresh with some different ideas.

It has been easy this last year to go to my weddings, shoot for my couples but everything has been private. Over the next few weeks I will be sharing parts of last year and introducing new ideas for this year.

I want to be the change I want to see

Happy new year all :) 2015 has come and gone and i am very much looking forward to 2016. For me 2015 was a year of taking a step back really and looking at what I was doing, what our industry was doing and establishing what i really wanted to do with my work and life. Well, actually , partly - i can half answer that ...... “ a work life balance ?!?!?!” I still have no idea what that is but i think i am getting closer. Does anyone know? has anyone mastered it ? I personally think the popular phrase is perhaps distracting and now realise a little more that work has always been life and life is work. Not work that pays money, i don't mean that,  but minute by minute, every idea i have turning over in my head new ways to do the thing that pays my bills. The evolving art I am trying to master. New ways of using the mediums i have chosen to create things for the people I work for.

2015 has been a good year for thinking and observing and trying to work out what I want to do.

The interesting thing at the moment that i am seeing more and more is how good everyone is. There is so many wedding photographers out there that have really arrived with great cameras, ideas, attitudes and work ethics and they are producing some amazing results. Everyone is on FB and twitter showing off their weekly weddings and everyone out there is really good ! Really good. So ......... how do you stand out ?? How do you avoid merging into everyone? Its very hard for couples to find something genuinely different now because perhaps everyone is different but now the same - because everyone is being different. Different now has a look , and it looks the same ?!?!?

The other part of what i want to do is with what i produce. This year I have tried to step back, stop looking so much at other wedding pictures and started to look at other mediums, other platforms other skills, other books, had different conversations with different people. Started thinking beyond single frames on FB and been thinking about the tactile, the stories, the presentation , the real , the tangible and the different.

What I am proposing - (changes I am making)

  • Create work that people can touch. I want to print, shoot with film, polaroid, iphones.  I want to print and make, write, draw and sign, create more work for walls and tables
  • To work closer to home - I live in Devon and want to work more here and in Cornwall and really want to stay closer to home. Tel the stories of people around me as opposed to being so far away. I live in an amazing place and hope that people find me that want to come here too
  • Shoot more work that is not weddings.
  • Make films, cool films that tell stories.
  • Use different cameras.
  • I want find couples that want to experiment more with pictures. To be involved in ideas that are genuinely concocted as a team between me and them. To push ideas and to make something different
  • To realise my potential more.
  • Do more.

2015 has been amazing. I met a wonderful girl who helps me grow and understand myself everyday. I am so lucky to have my favourite person in the whole world next to me all the time. 2016 is going to be.... I hope a year of change. A year when I get to project a difference into the job I do. I have tried to surround my self with a group of people that is going to help me and I’ll help them if I can. I want to make Harrera Images more of collective, to be involved with different people, alternative ideas, alternative weddings and people. To cross paths with those of wild mind and build something different everyday I get to spend.

I think there is so much more potential in wedding photography, people are ambitious , they have huge aspirations for something different, something genuine and something that is unique to them.

In summary “ I want to be the change I want to see. “

Introducing 'Our Further Project' wedding videos in Cornwall and Devon

It's so good to get into the routine of blogging again.  I think one of the things that keeps me growing and being entertained in wedding photography (especially over the last year) is by using different ideas and mediums of the work i do that isn't wedding photography to help me grow with enthusiasm and style with the stills work. Over the last year i have been working on making wedding films as well as doing the stills. I used to make ski films and lifestyle films in the french alps and really enjoyed working with video.

Over this last year i have been planning and launching a wedding video business that you will see has a little link in the info section of my main website. I love it, its called “our further project”

It's been so great to switch out of auto pilot a bit and give myself a whole new set of challenges at weddings. I drive a lot and think that my mind is most active when I drive and its been an amazing gift this last year to be blessed with an idea that genuinely excites me. I love opening the doors of possiblity, to slowly mull over ideas that i think have legs, to go forwards and backwards over whats right and wrong for me and to explore possibility. Endless hours thinking and looking opening my mind to a new world in which i am not familiar. Being inspired by all sorts of unfamiliar places, people and ideas. Being inspired by new levels of story telling , sounds, dialogue, music, images, order, presentation and pace. This journey of discovery has indeed generously given back in a feed back loop style and i feel added to the potential of my stills photography as well. I have oped my eyes more to this.

It's amazingly refreshing to be working on several different ways of recording weddings. Over the last year some weeks have been stills work and some weeks has been films, sometimes it's been both. To spread my time and though between the two medias has enhanced each other for sure. My stills have been more thoughtful and my film has been more art based and different from the traditional, the stills work helps the film work and vice versa for which i am very grateful.

Having done this and identified I then as well started looking at other work and seeing how that could help me be influenced by fresh ideas and taking that back to the wedding work. Mainly its been working with analogue films in still work and video. Producing something that can be touched as a one off has inspired all sorts of new ideas that i am and will be working on later this year.

One aspect of opening the film company has been the collaboration with other folks, building a little team, bouncing ideas, chatting and idealising “what ifs”.

I am looking forward to talking more about collaborating in another blog later this week.

If you are interested in seeing our video project take a look here

Thanks for reading :) -AG x

Getting married at River Cottage, devon

Getting married at River Cottage is certainly one of my most favorite venues in Devon to photograph couples. It is perfect for me , relaxed, rural , cool couples, amazing food, beautiful surrounding, not much phone reception and an amazing place for a party afterwards. Every couple I have photographed there has had the most amazing time and the location and the light is some of the best at the end of the day.

I often have a little session of pictures for about 10 mins after the meal with my couples . Its a great opportunity to take them away after a full day of them socializing with their guest, grab a bottle of champagne and go for a wander. The wedding part is done and they can escape for 10 mins by them selves ( and me ! :) and hold hands, have a walk and a cuddle and we can shoot some pictures. The trick is picking the right moment for the best light. At river cottage the sun sets right down the valley and covers the wild meadow fields in beautiful orange light in the last minutes of the day. There is a gap straight down the valley to the west which lets light flood down as the sun sets, its amazing , almost too good to be true ! The combination of the wild meadows, sun and space is definatly one of the most exciting places in devon to catch some moments of couples at the end of their day.

I love River cottage , its always fun to see and to relate it to the popular TV programme and to be in the same place as you are familiar with. Its certainly special and very relaxed , the chefs and staff are great and they know how to do weddings there really well. Great food and an amazing space for a party afterwards its def in my favorite venues in the south west :) I hope you like this breif selection of pictures from Zoe and Daves day. There is over 900 final images i gave to them but here is 50 or so that hopefully give an insight into a really fun day at their wedding, hope you like gang :) xx AG

Wedding Photographers at Chateau Rigaud

Being asked to go to Chateau Rigaud to be a wedding photographer is such a pleasure. This weekends wedding was a beautiful time with some amazing people at a lovely wedding. Wedding photography in France and especially in the Bordeaux Region suits my style of wedding photography down to a tee. Wide open rural spaces, loads of symmetry and strong light. I love the space particular to the area combined with the great bunch of people that Kat and Andy have as friends this wedding was extra special and i had a busy and hot but lovely weekend of capturing their day for them :)

As with all weddings I am trying to push the way I photographic them with a more abstract eye of documentary , trying to go beyond the recording of the event in a straightforward way but to record the events in a way of oddity, incidental way using the light and space to create a more art based look at the day than a simple document.

In any wedding there is a pressure to be ambitious, be unique and individual to the story to that day and not be formulaic but to open minded, feel the flow and energy and represent these moments in pictures. Sometimes the quietness of the morning, the chaos of the party can be represented much more than the recording of the moment in the straight forward approach but to use the light, space, shadows and perspective to achieve much more than the obvious. 

Everybody at a wedding now has a camera and I love the fact that recent years has liberated everyone closer to being an artist so they choose to record their lives in the format of digital images- architects of their own memories. Along with this , the world of photography has been opened up to a more ambitious and interesting breed of people who are paid ( and not paid ) to make these permanent memories more ambitious and niche than they ever were. The world of wedding photography is an exciting one at the moment with aspirations of both couples and photographers having no boundaries :)

As always I have added a very brief selection of pictures from the 800+ they received but like this little selection :) 

I was very lucky to be involved with this wedding and hope you all like the pictures :) thanks for reading and if you are thinking of getting married at the chateau Rigaud, I would say you are going to have an amazing time :)

English Wedding Photographers in Spain

After last years 42 flights and 12 countries I had been slightly apprehensive of taking my bags full of heavy cameras through the gates of another airport for a while but I wouldnt have missed the wedding of Andres and Laura for anything :) I knew from the moment they had asked me I was fully in !! The wedding was in a Parador which was a castle south of Madrid. All of their friends and family came and had the most amazing time. The ceremony did not start until 7pm and carried on till 830 the next morning with the last guests going to bed. I loved the energy and love that the late evening weddings bring and in true Spanish style, lots of drinking, shouting and dancing ensued with everyone having the best time :)

Laura and Andres are an amazing pair and i care for them a a lot and it was so nice to have them put complete faith in me and let me do what i wanted with the pics. We chose to meet up again the next day for some pictures of them together in the evening on the sunday so we could take advantage of the amazing light and location near to the castle and be there when the light was at its best :) I thank everyone there for being so lovely , i had the best time and i know that the Laura and Andres did as well :)

As always I have shown a few of my favorite images from the day and hope that these few images tell the story a little of a day I am sure anyone who was there will remember for a long time :)

Black and white wedding photography

Black and white is a wonderful medium for weddings. This is not my unique thought but a well discussed idea. The idea that if someone looks at a colour photograph the first thing they notice is the colours and then whats happening in the picture. Black and white provides the ability for the viewer to see image and whats happening before being distracted by the colour.

I think as well black and white adds a layer of timelessness. It takes away the element of dating the pictures through distraction and fashion of colours so without the colour it provides an image in a simplified way. Often colour does play a major factor in the image but sometimes to isolate the light and dark and whats happening is an amazing way to produce memories of the day. I love to work thinking in black and white and actively seeking out images that will only work in black and white. 

Black and white is a great way of adding a more abstract look at weddings, its an excuse to push the artistic boundaries. It opens up loads of doors from ghost like blurs to the most simple but the most detail in a single image. A process that has never dropped out of aspiration for most couples. I love working in black and white, below of a few frames that i hope illustrate some of the ideas above :) Black and white can be used in digital format and also a 35mm black and white negative, medium and large format. Feel free to chat about ideas if you would like, contact me here :)