Have you started 2017 in a beautifully romantic way ? I would LOVE to hear how the proposal was made ! Was it a surprise ? Did it all go according to plan or was the ‘new plan’ even more special ?
It’d be lovely to share some romance as we start the New Year and, with your permission, post your lovely stories to warm our hearts on these chilly days !
Also, from January through to March I am doing free engagement sessions for anyone wanting to mark the occasion and remember it as a beautiful step in their live’s journey !
As the sun is shining today I thought I’d pop some memories up which are suitably beautiful, bright, cheerful and good for the soul ! Laura and Gareth’s wedding was an absolute joy ! There were beautiful smiles everywhere I looked and every colour of the rainbow too ! The groom and their sons were über chic in their choice of suit. Pocket watch ? But of course ! Slick hair and strut that would make the cast of Mad Men look like were about to milk the cows ? Yes, and with staggering ease ! The bride and bridesmaids were enough to thank my lucky stars for the gift of vision ! The dresses, make-up and hair all came together to create the look a young girl perhaps dreamt of as a child, and speaking of children, their daughter looked every inch a mini-princess !
The day rolled along with ease, as weddings seem to have a habit of doing at Fanhams Hall ! The building and grounds seemed to stand even prouder than usual as the sun lit every corner of this amazing venue. The guests loved the fact that there was a seemingly endless supply of areas to discover and at no point did anyone go without on the food or drink front ! One of Fanhams’ great traits (in a list that stretches as far as the eye can see, and then some) is that the food and genuine smiley service leaves you feeling you’ve pushed the boat out and treated yourself to visiting that restaurant you always said you would some day, and STILL be blown away by it being better than you thought it would be!
I left at midnight having had an amazing morning, afternoon and night and I shall never forget the laughter and love I witnessed and had the pleasure of capturing that day.
I love photographing a people in a way that makes them relaxed ! Its these moments that make for REAL images of REAL people ! Obviously I’m happy to pose people who are more comfortable in front of the camera but I don’t believe in shoe-horning people into the same poses ! A portrait should say something about the person in the image rather than the person TAKING capturing the image !
There are clearly things I’ve learned throughout my 15 year career as a photographer that means people look their absolute best and most fabulous but I genuinely feel that if someone is made to feel relaxed then I’m 95% there ! Whether the session is in my studio or out and about, the approach is the same. I always make people feel relaxed. Being in a field or forest doesn’t automatically mean someone will feel relaxed in a camera is presented 2″ from their face with a photographer ordering a ‘SMILE!!!!!’ and its why I never ask people to smile. its far better to make someone smile naturally then capture a NATURAL smile !
I truly love what I do and photographing great great grandchildren through to great great grandparents, its all a journal in a family’s life and it’s genuinely a joy to be the one entrusted to capture memories that will be precious to people forever.
For more information please feel free to email me at email@example.com or give me a call ! Studio: 01992 536029 or 07903 088906
As a father of 2 beautiful babas (they are 10 and nearly 8 now so the ‘baba’ tag is becoming frowned upon now !!) it never ceases to amaze me how Hannah and Patrick (Jnr, although we never get mixed up because I am ‘dad’ and he is ‘monkey’ !) are growing up at a ridiculous rate ! I remember Hannah being so small that her head would be under my chin and her toes reach as far as my tummy ! She’s now shoulder height to me.
I love seeing them grow but its still lovely to hear e.g. Patrick making racing car noises. These are all memories but memories fade and either get forgotten or foggy at best. Its why I love what I do. I love to capture families as they are at a given time in their lives. I don’t expect (nor particularly WANT) families to come along, and pose ‘perfectly’ ! Its our ‘imperfections’ that make us perfect ! I love a child’s sometimes crooked little smile or cheeky look, totally oblivious to the fact they are looking GORGEOUS but all they’re more concerned with just being themselves !
Its lovely to regularly see families coming back year after year and I think that’s because the sessions are always fun, un-rushed (sometimes babas arrive and decide its time for ‘lunch’ or a nap, sometimes children like to come along and just settle in for a bit – its all fine by me and I allow 2 hours for what will actually take far less time when the camera starts to get going !) and there’s no pressure with regards ordering anything. I’m aware that having a family can be a costly but fabulous adventure so my prices are such that its not seen as an extravagance but an affordable ‘journal’ of a family’s life.
Oh my word ! I will ALWAYS want to photograph weddings and Helen and Bill’s wedding is a perfect example as to why ! I arrived to capture shots of Helen turning from a beautiful girl into an even more beautiful Princess, surrounded by her ‘subjects’ in the form of bridesmaids loving every minute of the morning !
The feeling of ‘love’ was there from the off. Not just between Helen and Bill but the family and friends who were all there. From Bill and his closest FIFTEEN or so best friends from when he was a boy, Helen and her aforementioned bridesmaids and friends to the family on both sides it was clearly a day that no one would have missed for the World !
I can honestly say that it was a joy from start to finish (late into the night, although it certainly didn’t feel that way !) and I left the wedding BUZZING !
I love capturing the essence of what makes each and every wedding brilliant and beautiful in its own way and simply not running through a check-list of shots to get. The magic is in the moments you couldn’t stage nor foresee coming. Obviously there are moments of beauty that I DO capture but I always like these moments to be fun and peaceful ‘them’ times for the couple and capture the family group shots in 10 minutes or less. This means that the wedding day can ‘breathe’, become a fun living day and I can capture shots that will be precious to the couple and future generations forever.
Helen and Bill, ‘thank you’ for entrusting me with your day and I’m genuinely thrilled you love your pix !
Sometimes a venue and a couple match perfectly to create a perfect wedding and stunning memories. Sarah and Matt’s wedding was one such day. From the minute I arrived until midnight when I left it was a complete joy. Sarah’s dress not only suited her elegant demeanour but it was a glove-like fit for Luton Hoo too. The Austin cars added another dimension to proceedings, making me feel like I stepped back in time to a time when everywhere you looked there were stunning buildings, tailoring and machines made with design first and foremost over functionality.
The wedding itself was a truly genuine and beautiful event to behold and capture. What I love most about what I do is that I’m privileged enough to be present at a day that will forever mean a great deal to a couple and generations to come will be able to ‘experience’ the day even if they were not there. By photographing a wedding unobtrusively I get to capture moments that maybe last 1/125th of a second and yet by capturing it they are frozen forever. I never take this for granted.
After the Church we made our way back to Luton Hoo and when you arrive at the top of the drive you really know you’ve arrived ! The place is breathtaking. Only word that does it justice. The grounds, the food , the ambience and the thing that really turns something from a cost into a value is the staff. I am lucky enough to travel far and wide to weddings (I’m regularly in Italy and France) and I always see how staff take care of the suppliers ‘working’ (its my passion so not ‘work’ as such !) on the day. The staff at Luton Hoo were exemplary. They treated myself and the Toastmaster as if we were guests and this, to me, says a lot about how they naturally care for all those in attendance.
The reception was a celebration to behold and the bar being in the same room as the music meant that all the guests were together for the entire night. I popped out to see how the building looked by night and as soon as I saw it was illuminated, my creative mind went into overdrive ! I asked if the couple would like some fresh air and took them outside for 5 minutes. The resulting pictures were placed at the end of the album (although they were taken earlier in the evening when the couple needed a break from showing their guests some moves !) and rounded the album off gorgeously – the feeling I was going for was that he couple’s night had ended and popped out together to just take in everything that had happened.
By capturing a day with care, passion and in a way that fits around the day itself I capture memories that will remind couples of their WEDDING and NOT a photoshoot.
I’ve never not loved what I do since becoming a photographer 15 years ago and will continue to love what I do because the memories I capture will always be something that means something to fabulous couples !
Thank you for taking the time to read this !
There are some people, some venues and some people who work AT those venues that set them apart, in the same way that there are millions of stars in the sky but some some that just twinkle that bit brighter which makes them stand out and those observing them stand in awe. Kaley and Dennis were one such couple. The love they have for each other and their little man was so tangible I could literally FEEL it. It was such a beautiful wedding. Dennis had tears in his eyes as Kaley came walking along the aisle, his dream moments from coming true. Kaley’s dad spoke with such pride about his fabulous daughter and it made me, as a dad to a little Prince and Princess, hope that one day they would both find someone who made their lives complete, content and happy. It must surely be the most reassuring thing to observe as a parent.
In the same way you would be choosy about who’d to want to spend the rest of your life with on a desert island, you might be choosy about the island itself ! Kaley and Dennis chose Essendon Country Club and its genuinely paradise ! Its a photographer’s dream come true too ! The food, grounds and staff are all staggering but perhaps the main reason for people booking there is Jo Newell. I’ve heard her name mentioned in such high esteem by so many people now that I’m beginning to think she might be famous and that she’s somehow slipped under my radar whilst I’ve been taking photographs at a wedding or in my studio ! Jo takes care of a couples wedding as if the couple were her brother or sister but she does so with ease, grace and humour. The day ‘just’ happens, couples float around on a cloud whilst Jo makes sure everything is just as perfect as the couple dreamt it would be. Its a joy to see.
Your wedding day will be a day like no other and when choosing a photographer there are a few top tips I would give to couples. Its a very personal role and your photographer should be someone you’d invite to your wedding anyway, someone you can feel at ease around and be yourself ! Its when we are at our most relaxed that we smile beautifully, we do not ‘see’ the camera and the memories after are as much of a surprise as anything else ! You, your friends and family will have been looking forward to your day enormously. Friends may have been hearing about you finding the perfect dress or the plans for the Stag do. Meanwhile, your parent’s generation and those before them will be remembering you as little Princes and Princesses, seeking a cuddle after coming off their bike or talking to their toy pony as they brush it’s mane to perfection and wondering why it only seems like a moment or 2 ago and yet here you are about to get married.
The emotions you will experience on the day will never be repeated and nor can they be planned for (although it IS a good idea to arm someone in the front row with tissues !). John Lennon once said that ‘life is what happens whilst you’re making other plans’ and its true. Obviously there are key moments throughout a wedding (getting ready, walking to the ceremony, down the aisle, exchange of rings, first kiss, signing register, confetti, family pix – which should take no more than 10 minutes and this CAN be done -, photographs of the beautiful couple, natural pix of people relaxing, the venue, speeches, first dance, evening mayhem etc !) but its the moments you CANNOT pre-empt that will bring the tears when reliving them – the laughter, knowing smile or intake of breath and this can only be achieved if your photographer respects your day, you and and your guests and let’s THEM breathe ! Its far easier to capture a beautiful image of someone smiling because they want to as opposed to them being told they NEED to ! At that point the smile becomes an ‘exam’ with all the pressures associated ! Feel relaxed and you’ll LOOK relaxed !
The main thing is wake up on your wedding, look forward to seeing your photographer again, know you are in safe hands, enjoy your Wedding Day and then afterwards RELIVE it over and over again. Its not a photo shoot, it doesn’t need ‘creating’, no one should need asking to smile or look like they are in love unless the ‘moment’ bubble has been burst !
Weddings are like the sea – beautiful, mesmerising and unpredictable ! Just like the sea, there’s endless fun and memories to be had if you ride those waves and live in the moment rather than try in vain to alter its course. Its perfect exactly as it is !
Being a dad it always struck me as strange that I went from being ‘Patrick’ to ‘Hannah’s dad’ overnight ! From the get-go this was absolutely FINE by me as being Hannah’s daddy is without a shadow of a doubt the most beautiful, fulfilling, exciting, challenging (but in a fabulous way) and life-changing experience ever ! Same is true of our little man TOO obviously, Patpat !
Life changes IMMEDIATELY and it becomes a rarity to even have a cup of tea without worrying if there’s little hands reaching up to something they could hurt themselves on, or hungry monkeys or tired ones wanting a cuddle (which NEVER ceases to be lush !) ! I felt very lucky to be able to work from my studio and see our dudes grow up and be around them every day. It also gave me an insight into how precious it was to have some time to relax and enjoy friends and just be me for a wee bit. It felt odd at first to feel like this but it soon became clear it was essential in order to keep a part of ‘me’ to show my children in later years and also to just be able to get out and feel good !
It is for this reason that I’m doing a special photo session for all the mum’s ! Its a chance to have a bit of pampering time for them, a photo session to make them feel fabulous and photographic proof that they truly are !
The session is £95 and includes an hour shoot along with a 12″x8″ print or 2 8″x6″prints ! There’s also the option to have their make-up done professionally by Laura from Headlines for £40 for the finishing touch !