In which I find myself dancing to Barry Gibb, finding inspiration in Kerry and back in the swing of wedding season.
e and more things kept getting added to the list and it just grew and grew! We got engaged in March 2016 - so it was just over a year of planning and crafting! Max is a big Wes Anderson fan, so from early on I think we knew that we wanted to have some nods to Wes in there - also, my nickname for Max is Foxie - so it felt right that our top table should be called Fantastic Mr and Mrs Fox!
When Georgia and Louis dropped me a line looking for an engagement shoot I immediately knew that the red brick heritage site streets close to Derby train station could be the perfect spot for them. It's a real gem of a location, just outside the city centre and I've walked past countless times dreaming up shoots I could do there. After a a few shots the weather turned and we decided to take a look inside the CAMRA award-winning Brunswick Inn. Being a real ale lover it's been on my list of pubs to visit for years, so I must admit I had a pint in hand for most of the rest of the shoot! There were so many yummy pools of light and period features, I was right in my element.
These guys were just so lovely and easy to work with and I could definitely be persuaded to do another pub engagement shoot.
It's time for another wedding blog post! This time it's Louise and Rex, and I'm going to hand over to them to tell you about their day in their own words. Just as soon as you've had a look at their highlight video below... let's do this thing...
Want to listen to Rex & Louise's favourite music from their day? Click the image below to hear a Spotify playlist, featuring Belle & Sebastian, The Beatles, First Aid Kit and more!
OUR WEDDING PLANNING PROCESS
We started planning a few weeks after we got engaged, which was 7 months before we got married.
Our biggest challenges were finding a band - there are lots out there so we became really picky! Finding a venue as we both had slightly different ideas, but we found a compromise! Everything else was surprisingly easy, just took a lot of time researching.
We enjoyed choosing the music/songs together and decorating the venue together. It made it even more special walking into a room knowing you'd created it together and spent time over it.
the story of our wedding
The bride stayed at the venue with her bridesmaids in a cottage next to the hotel and the groom at home with his best men.
Bride and bridesmaids got up nice and early to have breakfast together and start work on the hair and makeup. Groom and best men could afford a nice lie-in!
Both felt pretty nervous until we the ceremony began then it was a non-stop amazing experience that we will both never forget!
All the uncertainty and nerves disappeared when we realise how much fun it is getting married and being surrounded by everyone you know and love.
The speeches were both our favourite bit. Everyone did and amazing job and we were super impressed. Even the best men who tight roped along that fine-line.
The band and best-man dj were brilliant. We barely left the dance floor from first-dance until 1am and received such praise from friends and families about them.
It was just such a fantastic feeling all those people being there for us and making the effort. Some even went the extra mile, like the bride's aunt Debbie who made a really wonderful cake with fantastic attention to detail.
As everyone has been warning us it went too fast but we are so happy to have such brilliant photos and a video to remind us of the day.
ADVICE FOR COUPLES PLANNING THEIR WEDDING
Not to be so apprehensive on the day - but nobody can really be told that.
We listened to people's advice about taking time out of the day to spend I together and glad that we did.
If you've been following my blog recently you'll know that I've come to absolutely love shooting family photography. It's been so exciting building up this side of my business. There is something just so special about capturing a slice of life and childhood memories in the making. This was the shoot that really made me feel like I was finally finding my voice with it and the way that I want to work.
In the seven years that I've been in business, I have only ever been a Canon shooter. With my usual cameras, I don't have to think about my way around the settings. I know my kit inside out... And then I decided it was time to mix it up a bit.
After having played with a Fuji X-Pro2 at Snap Photography Festival, I wanted to see if I could incorporate one into my work. For this shoot I paired the X Pro2 with the XF-23mm f1.4, giving me the equivalent of 35mm focal length.
The X-Pro2 is a very different camera to what I'm used to. For one thing it's mirrorless so it's small and light... (I can't emphasise enough how light it is). Adjusting to using an electronic viewfinder took a while. This isn't going to be an in-depth review about the technical aspects of shooting Fuji. I need to get to know it better first. What I will say is that all these differences made it just so darn fun to shoot with. It took me out of my comfort zone in the best way.
The wonderful Nellie came to model for me and we used the richly decorated surroundings of The Cosy Club in Derby. I've wanted to shoot in there since the first time I had brunch there and couldn't decide what was more perfect: the window light or the poached eggs. Anyway, that's quite enough waffling (brunch pun intended!) for now... time for some photos!
So that's it for now... I can't wait to get to know my new Fuji better and share more of my experience with trying a new system. I know that so many photographers right now are switching to mirrorless or tempted to, so please let me know if there's any topics you'd like me to cover in future blog posts!
The Broughton Hall estate, near Skipton in Yorkshire is absolutely beautiful. Rolling hills, new lambs skipping around and Kerrie and Errol's venues Eden and Utopia. Eden, a beautifully light renovated farmhouse, was their ceremony location. I absolutely loved that they chose to write their own vows and found myself welling up (I am basically a big bag of feelings after all!) as they made their promises.
When The West Mill opened in Derby, I knew I would absolutely love shooting there. I mean... a wedding in a beautifully converted mill building with killer natural light AND it's ten minutes from my house? Yes please.
What better way to shoot The West Mill for the first time than Charlotte and James' wonderful Christmassy wedding. I met them when I photographed Charlotte's sister's wedding back in the summertime and when they got in touch about their day I was so excited!
They booked my video only package, which includes a shorter highlight film (above) and a longer extended version. While I really love combining photos and video, I do really enjoy having the freedom to concentrate solely on the filming at weddings from time to time. To get to do this at my new favourite venue... well... I was most definitely in my element!
Here's their extended film!
Don't forget, if you're getting married locally to me I offer a discount on weddings nearby. So if you're getting hitched in Derbyshire get in touch soon!
2016... well it was a bit of a funny one hey? Just a quick disclaimer before I continue... I'm about to put myself out there. I think there's not a lot of point in blogging if it doesn't help you get to know me a bit better... so here goes. *Deep Breath*
It was a tough year for me... not just because of what was happening in the wider world but because my own personal 2016 was a year of upheaval and change. At times I felt like I'd been turned inside out, trying to put myself back together despite illness, stress and a lot of heartache. The reason why I'm sharing this is because despite all these things something amazing happened... and when you're grateful for something it's probably a good thing to put a great big Thank You out there:
I am so damn grateful for this job. Seriously, how can I thank my couples enough?
Even in the darkest bits when I felt totally lost and couldn't see an easy way forward... weddings were my refuge. Love and cake and tears and proper hugs and daft moments and wisdom shared and trembling hands and belly laughs and ridiculous dancing and the most beautiful quiet moments. They were a reason to get from one week to the next, work to be done that felt valuable... that made me feel valuable despite everything else happening. The times when I felt like myself.
Thankfully, things began to get so much better over time and I now feel happy and well again... I can let go of last year's troubles and keep hold of some truly awesome memories.
So that's quite enough waffle from me hey? Time for some visuals! First up... the video! This year more couples than ever opted for my photography with video highlights package. The closest call was a couple who phoned me up the day before the wedding telling me they suddenly realised they would really regret not having one and asking to add it on... it's now one of their favourite keepsakes of the day!
Narrowing down all my favourite footage from the year to the length of just one song (How We Met (Cherry Pie) by Teen Canteen) was so tricky but I really love the result.
So without further ado... 2016 in video...
And now onto the pictures! Last year I photographed more weddings than ever... and in total I delivered 34,016 (!!!) images to my wedding clients. It's taken weeks of chipping away but here's the collection of 250 (I know, it's still loads but my initial selection was over 500!) that I've narrowed down to share with you today.
Well, if you made it through this post... perhaps you deserve some kind of medal. I promise I will be better at narrowing down photos by this time next year.... Probably.
If you're engaged and like what you see get in touch to book me for your wedding photography!
2017... bring it on. More adventures, more fun, more moments like this.
To 2016 and the people who put me back together, even if they didn't realise it at the time: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
My trip started with an NSB sleeper train from Drammen to Bergen, which I spent most of sat up cross-legged on my cosy little bunk watching barely-moonlit, snow-kissed views whoosh by. After six hours or so and a couple of hours of sort-of sleep I arrived in Bergen and after a pit-stop for breakfast headed out on a Rødne fjord cruise to Mostraumen.
Another London wedding! Yay! It was my first time shooting at Stoke Newington Town Hall and the Council Chamber there is a dream to shoot. After we really, really tested the theory that you can never have *too* much confetti we hopped on a vintage bus to The Royal Inn On The Park which had been decked out like the 50s prom you never got to go to. Balloons! Garlands! Balloons! Balloons!
It was one heck of a party.... watch the video below and then take a sneaky peek at their photos! Balloons!
Self-confessed crazy cat people Rick and MJ got hitched in Knutsford at The Belle Epoque. The Art Nouveau styling of the venue was perfect for their wedding and their love for Paris. It was a beautiful and very emotional day with heaps of personal touches. Watch their video below and then have a little look at their preview photos!
Seriously... I could quite happily shoot a London town hall wedding and pub reception every week. Can I please have some more London weddings?
Eleanor and Simon's wedding was just so wonderfully relaxed and informal. We started off with their ceremony at Hackney Town Hall, heading off on-foot to Bistrotheque for an intimate family dinner and then on to The Northcote Arms for food, dancing and a surprise sing-a-long around the piano. It was awesome, here's a little look at the photos!
Paloma and Miche got hitched in London (oh I do love Islington Town Hall!) and it was bloody amazing. I was in my element all day and I knew from the moment I heard the Twin Peaks theme tune at the start of the ceremony that it was going to be brilliant. With super badass matching outfits, wonderful speeches, one slightly insane and rather noisy bus ride, crate brewery party and so much more, they had one hell of a wedding. Here's a sneaky look at their day!
I love shooting destination weddings so much! It was so good to head back to Italy and see Lake Garda for the first time. Amy and Gino had their ceremony on the gorgeous Isola Del Garda, which their very closest friends and family traveled to on a boat from Gardone Riviera.
If you're interested in booking me for a destination wedding, pricing is bespoke depending on your plans so contact me with as much detail as possible and I can figure out the cost for you.