We are Danielle and Martin, and we began Fineshade Studios' humble beginnings in 2017. We're a husband and wife team based in Northamptonshire, on the outskirts of Cambridgeshire. We have many children and besides filming your weddings, we had a wedding of our own back in 2017.
We both have a background in film and photography and between us we taught these subjects to GCSE and A Level students for over twenty years! Our fourth baby, Fineshade, is now six years old!
From the beginning: our purpose. Stick with me here; I promise to lighten it back up in a minute. The quote there is grounded in existentialism and psychology: To be human is to fear your own mortality. To combat the knowledge we have of our short existences, we all have a desire to live a meaningful existence. To leave our mark on the world. To leave something of ourselves behind. To be remembered. The fulfilment of this desire soothes our restless souls! This is why we adore what we do. This is why it is so important to us. Each of our stories matter. To be human is to share this same desire. What is more meaningful that to love and be loved in return? We know that when you choose us, we become intrinsically involved in your legacy. Your heirloom. The dog-eared, well-loved black-and-white-images-of-the-future are being moulded by our very hands. A precious honour. And with this process, we leave our legacy behind too <3
You might find us at your wedding covering either videography or photography – we both love both disciplines and we both edit photography and film, too. We often split weddings and you might have Martin, myself, or one of the lead photographers/videographers on our small team leading the day. We have a small team of first and second shooters of photography and videography who we trust implicitly - please believe us when we say there is no way we would leave our fourth child in anything other than the safest hands! We both lead in every aspect of the process. from consulting with clients to editing and shooting your day and we wouldn't want it any other way.. You can find out a little more about our team below; they are our perfect matches and mirror our values. Most of our team are our ex-film and photography students from our past life! We taught them during their school and college years; then each of them went off to study Film at degree level and have carved out their own careers in their own right. Danielle, Max and Erin have a similar aesthetic style and creative flair whilst and Martin, Emily and Ethan are meticulous, detail driven and technology led. This also means that we have well-established relationships, there is a mutual respect which has been drawn up over many years and we know our strengths really well.
Martin has a keen, methodical eye (and ear) for details and an impressive background in music technology. Danielle has a skill for story-telling and loves creating artistic, authentic stories of you, through audio-visual. She is also the one who just loves humans. Everything about them. Both of us love what we do and we hope that comes through our work. It is a privilege to think that we are creating your legacy, your indelible print on the world which captures a brief moment in time and will be here longer than we are. A little piece of history. This is not something we take lightly and we believe our work should reflect as closely as possible the honesty of the day and the authenticity of each connection we capture.
We are extremely lucky to have had the most wonderful clients who have, through their support and trust, helped us to grow our little business to where it is today.. We believe every wedding is different and you won't find us forcing our 'brand' upon you and yours. It is YOUR day. Your way. Every single wedding is different, like every single relationship is. We will listen, watch and quietly observe you and your relationship with each other as this is the key to us capturing your memories in a way that makes you feel like we captured you in the right way. We will find out as much as we can about you to ensure we are a good fit for each other. We will be with you through the emotional rollercoaster that is your wedding day and you need to make sure that the people by your side are cheering you on from the sidelines, make you feel comfortable and relaxed and contribute in the best way to the best day of your life!
We adore what we do. It is a genuine privilege seeing all that is wonderful about humanity summed up in the ten-hour-whirlwind that is your wedding day.
To feel meaningful is to feel immortal.
Meet Emily! Emily was a media student at the school Danielle taught at for seven years. After studying Film as a university student, she took her degree and has carved out her career. She is a photography and videography freelancer in her own right and has many, many qualities which meant we welcomed her onto our little team with open arms. She jus super professional but just the right amount of fun and friendly too! Film-making and photography have been a love of Emily's for many years but dancing was her first love. She's been dancing since she was 3 years old. She was part of the dance society at Liverpool John Moores Uni where she choreographed two 1st place contemporary competition dances against other universities in the North. Emily feels very much like this is where her creative bones were formed. She has have a 3 year old house rabbit named Prince and she's currently learning Spanish. Being fluent in another language is high on Emily's bucket list along with travelling to every Scandinavia country. She has just three left to go!
Ethan shoots videography and photography with us! He leads videography and is a dab hand with many cameras at once. Ethan is a free-lancer like Max and many moons ago he was Martin's star photography and film student! As ex-secondary school teachers, students like Ethan don't come around very often, believe us. He is destined for great things. We are very lucky to have him free-lancing with us for the time being! We get to make the most of his enormous talent before he runs off and leaves us to be a Director of Photography or Film in the not-so-distant future.
He is currently studying Film Practice at University of the Arts, London. He specialises as a cinematographer and has worked on a variety of different productions (documentaries, short film, music video) but also has a keen eye for photography, being quite the detail man.
You'll find him either at the cinema (specifically on the Southbank) where he enjoys arthouse film and some of the latest releases, or in front of the TV feeding his Formula 1 obsession.
You might meet Max if you’ve booked us for videography. He first and second shoots with us and I’m sure you’ll love him as much as we do! He filmed our very own wedding back in 2017 - we can't sing his praises more highly than that! He has shot many weddings now and is highly educated in film. Max was a film student at University of the Arts London following an apprenticeship in digital marketing.
He works as a freelancer creating visuals for musicians, artists
and performers for their online brand alongside managing social channels. He has also worked on large productions (e.g. Netflix projects, music videos, short form drama)
He’s weirdly fascinated by maps and geography, and as a documentarian this is something he’s been incorporating into his work. He’s a bit of bookworm, obsessed with travel and as much as he loves living in London, wildlife and nature is always on the mind.
Erin is another member of our little crew and we are very lucky to have her on board. She might just shoot your highlights film for you! Once upon a time, Danielle taught Erin media and film as a sixth form student (and a fabulous student she was!). We kept in touch and here we are today! She is currently studying film at the University of Northampton where she studies a Joint Honours course that focuses on both the practical and theoretical side of film-making. She's a big romance fan and enjoys periodic films, shows and books like Bridgerton and Atonement. She would love to work on a Netflix set.
She has been involved in the production an independent film called Sweetly It Turns which features Richard Wilson, after making connections with fellow film enthusiasts. Erin feels like she is a bit of an old soul. If you meet her at your wedding and event, you might find yourself realising she has a striking resemblance to a singer-songwriting-superstar - I'll leave you to figure out who! Last time we worked together, she was told she looked just like said-star by four different guests. Erin won't mind one jot if you make that comparison as she is a huge fan!
Questions, questions, questions...?
What is your style on the day?
We are very discreet and let the day unfold with as little interruption from us as possible. This is the same whether our couples book us for just videography or for photography too. We are unobtrusive and really love a documentary style; this is where the magic is! We do like to take our couple away for portraits at 1-2 points in the day and these are directed. We have a whole host of tricks up our sleeves to get those magic shots. Many of our clients really enjoy this part of the day because this is often a chance for a few moments of down-time. and we love these shots too. These shots are often where we create the high drama and epic romance. However, we will always work with you and your schedule and fit around that. If a couple want some traditional posed and formal shots, we recommend no more than 10-12 because nobody wants to spend all day in a line-up when you could be off having fun with your nearest and dearest!
What is your most popular package?
Our most popular package is definitely the full works. We most frequently get booked for photography and videography and we really love this! We definitely make our best products when we work together in this way. You can have as many consultations as you like in the lead up to your day so we have built up quite the relationship by the time the big event comes around. Makes sense right? We know each other well, we take time to get to know you before the day and that is the success formula. Familiar and comfortable with each other. WINNING!
I'm worried about overkill if I book a videographer too!
DO NOT FEAR! We shoot photography AND videography on the same, discreet, small (mirrorless) cameras. Our set-up for both disciplines is basically the same! We have chosen our cameras because of their excellent in-built stability so we can can move around quickly and remain unintrusive. Our audio equipment is just as discreet: we have a small handheld audio recorder (think-mobile-phone-off-of-the-nineties size!) which we surreptitiously hide in the table flowers, or on a lectern... and then we just leave it to do its thing! Super discreet which means we can be super nimble on our feet - just like a photographer!
What if I can't decide on a package right now?
That is no problem at all! We often leave our clients to mull over their decision and take as long as they want! Our clients often like to upgrade following their event (for example, the usually shy and retiring one blows everyone away with beautiful words about their new partner for life - and then our clients suddenly realise they would really treasure than on film). So in short, get your date secure by filling out our very quick booking form, dropping over a £250 reservation fee and we can handle the final details at a later date :)