Phew! Life has been fun, but crazy of late. Just back from a fantastic trip to the gorgeous isle of Madeira, where I was researching for a story for a certain magazine, photographing landscapes for the tourist office and swimming with these little guys! Well, big guys. They weigh about 180 pounds. And they are so HAPPY. More on that later.
It’s also booking season in the wedding department, and I’m loving hearing all the wonderful stories of this year’s brides and their plans. Feeling very privileged.
Here are some dolphins from a series that I am working on at the moment. The two on the right kissed just moments before, and did seem to be a couple. (Maybe they need a wedding photographer? The wedding of Flipper and Fallula?)
If you are booking your wedding photographer, I only have a few slots left so don’t dally. I photograph up to around 12 weddings a year, and the rest of my time is spent as a travel writer and photographer. It means I can keep my eye fresh and inspired. Working in the wedding industry and working in the media are two very different experiences, and I find that they balance each other out nicely.
Loved photographing the brilliant Holly and Tom at the Barbican. Holly works in the NHS, and Tom is a doctor specialising in anaesthesia and trauma injuries. So, both courageous people then! They met at Oxford, and have been together ever since. Now they live in Islington, just down the road from me.
It poured with rain but they were not deterred, and we had a fantastic time creating these pictures. There was a short interlude where the umbrella went for a swim in one of the fountains, but luckily the Barbican has lots of shelter so we were able to create all the photos we needed without getting overly wet.
I love these photos. The Barbican gives them a wonderful sculptural structure, and the Autumn colours work well with Holly and Tom’s outfits. Holly has the most amazing hair! A beautiful couple and tremendous fun, and we are neighbours, so hopefully they are keepers. I love it when my subjects become my friends.
Holly and Tom are getting married at the Connaught at the end of March, and I’m greatly looking forward to photographing their wedding. The Connaught is an interesting place to photograph, because it is very stylish but has fairly dull light so I will create the light, using my box of tricks. Can’t wait!
Today I want to share with you this beautiful book of Ross and Kika’s stunning Italian wedding set in Rome. It is a bijoux, 7 x 10 inch Queensberry album and it is exquisite. The cover is shimmering blue silk and the pages are wonderfully thick matted ivory, edged with carved silver. The images are pagemounted without a border to give a sense of impact and simplicity.
A good wedding album has a sense of gravitas to it, and expresses the story of the day as a many faceted work of art. That is to me the advantage of a book – it is both a tale and a visual, tactile artwork. I love to hang pictures on my walls and I love to look at digital images but I love books even more because you can interact with them in a sensuous way and they can surprise you each time. Really they need to be seen and held to understand their beauty, but these photographs will give you a little idea of the magic of a wedding book. This one is made by the album makers Queensberry, widely held to be the best album makers in the world. http://www.queensberry.com/?refid=ODE3MzEtQTQ1MzQ1
I also offer Booked coffee table books, and these too are stunning. Albums cost from £700. For further details please get in touch. With many thanks to Ross and Kika for allowing me to be part of their spectacular wedding.
Wedding photography is my best love, but it’s not my only love. Too many weddings would make a girl’s work cheesy… So I am very proud of the fact that as well as being a wedding photographer I am also an occasional travel writer and photographer for Harper’s Bazaar. It’s all in line with the core mission; to discover and reflect beauty in its many different guises in beautiful books. Or in this case the most beautiful magazines.
Another piece from my epic South East Asia trip, this time celebrating the Mandarin Oriental’s Krug Room. I was very ill in Hong Kong, and the Landmark Mandarin Oriental were wonderful, looking after me with great kindness. It is one of the best hotels in the world. For those of you planning a wedding, this is maybe one for your honeymoon…
Thanks to Jason Y Ng, Hong Kong blogger extraordinaire, for meeting me for dessert. He is now an integral part of the umbrella campaign for democracy, and it has been very poignant following him in his new role as a political campaigner. Hong Kong struck me as a place lacking in soul, and I think the umbrella campaign have given the city back its soul. I’d love to go again now. Come on China, what are you afraid of? Give them their democracy!
Good morning! It is ‘something borrowed’ day here on the blog and I just had to share with you the Style Me Pretty spring 2015 lookbook. Lots of beautiful wispy dresses from Vera Wang this year. So wearable and fabulous. I can’t wait to see what my brides will be wearing in 2015.
I fell in love with wedding dresses at an early age, when a family friend glided down the aisle with a vast train in a Medieval church. Suddenly I realised the drama of a wedding. As a wedding photographer I have worked with many dress designers in London and beyond – carrying dresses even as far as Cambodia – and I’ve come to have a high respect for their talent. Wedding dresses have a magic to them – something almost otherworldly. Jacqueline Byrne‘s work is another that awe-inspires me for the sumptuous detail of it.
For me photographing women is about celebrating their beauty and their uniqueness. I love fashion but I hate it when the industry seems to mainly exist to put some women on a pedestal and make others feel inferior. I believe that nature is so beautiful, so as long as we are natural we almost cannot fail to be beautiful.
Choosing a wedding dress is, I think, all about choosing the right one for your wedding. It would be a bit odd to have a huge flouncy dress and get married in the garden, but there’s no point (in my mind) getting married in a Disney castle in an understated dress. And of course you’ve got to choose one that suits your figure. Those strapless numbers are hard to pull off, though of course a good photographer will be able to make it look good in the pictures.
How has your experience of buying a wedding dress been? Is there a boutique that gave you a magical dress? I’d really love it if you commented below, let’s celebrate those wedding dress shops that really make the brides that come through their door feel good.
Wet weather is always a worry for your wedding. No bride wants it to tip it down on their wedding day, and it’s a good idea to have a wet weather scenario planned. So how do you plan for the weather in England?
The first thing to say is, don’t worry about it! Easier said than done, but your wedding is going to be wonderful whatever the weather.
Be well informed. How often have you cancelled an arrangement because the weather forecast said it would pour, then the sun comes out? Basing your life on a weather report is a risky policy here in England. If the BBC say it will pour, the chances are there will be light intermittent showers. When I’m planning shoots I look at yr.no, which gives a fairly accurate idea of what the weather will be. Looking far into the distance on the morning in question is the best way to forecast the weather. If it is raining but there is mist on the ground in the far distance then I can be pretty sure that the rain will probably lift later in the day. If it is raining and there is no mist, I can expect it to rain all day. Also, the weather usually goes in phases. So if it poured yesterday and it looks the same today it will probably pour today.
above: a preview from yesterday’s rainy engagement shoot, where a great deal of fun was had and we got very wet!
Sometimes it is worth waiting for the weather, but mostly here in the UK you have to work with what you’ve got. A certain zen-like, the universe is on my side, please God, wait for the weather attitude has to be applied. And a bit of carefully used flash! If it’s going to pour I’ll need my umbrella and my rug (to protect the subject’s clothes if need be). A shower cap for the camera and one for the flash! An assistant to hold umbrellas, And can we do some atmospheric rain shots? Could I use flash to give a sparkly effect of sunshine in rain? Will the clients be up for ‘doing rain’ – getting a bit wet in a gloriously romantic, Notting Hill style moment? Or are there windows, doors and archways that I could shoot through so that clients look as if they are outside but are actually sheltered?
Some of the best photographs are taken in unusual light. I try to see the weather as part of the creative mix. I have only ever once cancelled a shoot because of the rain and generally I find that with a bit of creative alertness one can shoot between showers and get some amazing shots. If the worst does happen and we have to cancel your photoshoot, we arrange for it to be rescheduled.
One magical thing is that I find that the sun often comes out just as the couple say, ‘I do’ on their wedding day. It is quite uncanny! And when the sun does come out after the rain, it is all the more brilliant for the rain that has gone before. The important thing is to embrace whatever weather you get and not allow it to mar your wedding. And remember that the nice soft light you get on overcast days is very kind and flattering!
Tips for couples on preparing for a photoshoot where rain is forecast:
Above: make up artist Siwan Hill
dress designer: Jacqueline Byrne
Balancing the needs of bridal preparations, ceremony, speeches and wedding breakfast into a timeline is not always easy. But without it you won’t get the most out of your day. A good timeline will help you get the most out of your day and allow your photographer to really flourish. Here are some tips.
If a couple are interested, I will always recommend having a First Look. It’s a really fun new tradition from the States which allows the couple to meet privately before the ceremony in their wedding clothes. It takes the pressure off the ceremony and shortens the time that you spend on photos during the day so that you can spend more time partying with your guests. Awesomity.
A good time to do family group portraits is during the bridal preparation in the morning. You are all looking fresh and it means you can have more time with your friends later on. I would normally hope to photograph the venue and details first, then the groom, then the bride. This means I can then be in good time for the ceremony and focus on capturing events as they unfold.
Spectacular light makes for spectacular photos. The best light for photography is of course before 11 and after 3, so aim to have your most important photography moments before or after that. Of course, the light will be good in different places at different times, so check with your photographer.
Make up artists are best given plenty of time. A well experienced one will work to a timetable but they do often run late so to be on the safe side arrange for the bride to be made up first. That way you can relax with a little nerve steadier while they rush through the last bridesmaid. It also gives your photographer time to get to the ceremony before you and capture those special moments as everyone arrives.
Finally as many people will tell you, let go. You can find yourself with such a dose of nerves that you rush through everything. Try and stick to the schedule, but accept that weddings are unpredictable. If you relax and go with the flow you will find that you have a more wonderful day than you could have imagined.
I hope you’ll forgive me for only a tenuous link to brides and weddings today, in that both the Shard and St Paul‘s are pretty fabulous wedding venues (why not both?). Recently I visited the Shard with my son and had a little play with my camera. As you might expect, it’s a pretty fabulous view from up there. One of the best views in London, and amazing clean air too! You can shortly view more of these shots on Alamy, under my profile. This is best viewed large so do click on it.
It reminds me of the Renaissance belief in a heavenly city, a more real, perfect version of what happens here below. I like to imagine St Paul’s transmitting to this heavenly city from down below! Two paradigms existing together and yet invisibly. “For we know in part, and we prophecy in part, and we see through a glass darkly…”
St Paul’s would be a fun place to get married – just like Princess Diana. In terms of wedding photography St Paul’s presents a few issues as cruelly you are not allowed to take photographs inside almost at all. Personally I think it’s time vicars learnt that God speaks through photography too! The Shard would be a fabulous place to have your wedding reception.
To book me as your wedding photographer get in touch on email@example.com
Many of my clients prefer me to keep their wedding pictures private, which is completely understandable though I would love to share this beautiful engagement shoot with you in its entirety! I think however that they would not mind me sharing this shot, which makes me smile. K is Scottish and J is thoroughly English. The beautiful K grew up in the Highlands, and her adorable J (you’ll just have to take my word for the fact that he looks like a cross between Hugh Grant and Colin Firth!) in Hong Kong and Buckinghamshire. We created their engagement shoot in places that they love; around the RAC in Pall Mall, Westminster and Polesden Lacey. At one point I snapped this. Given the referendum on Thursday I thought it was rather poignant and couldn’t resist posting it. This lovely couple are very much hoping for a ‘No’ vote. Fingers crossed the Kingdom will still be united next year when they are married.
ps many of my clients prefer me not to blog their images, so it’s always worth coming for a viewing so that you can get a clearer idea of the breadth of my work.