A little while ago I was invited to a real treat; a wedding at the Savoy Hotel. Olympus have created a new camera, the OM-D EM-1, to rival Nikon and Canon, and they wanted me to give it a whirl, along with 10 or so other leading photographers. It was such fun to hang out with my peers, and we were invited to photograph a sumptuous, creative wedding at this stunning venue, the Savoy Hotel in London. The wedding was planned by the fabulous Alex from Boho Bride.
I was very impressed with the Olympus camera and its large selection of lenses, and had a great deal of fun on the day. I probably would need a bit more time to get used to it, and I’ll be sticking with my Nikons, because I just have a lot of fun with them and I think they do a beautiful job that suits my style, but if you handed me an Olympus kit tomorrow and told me I had to use it, I would not lose too much sleep over it. I know a few of my esteemed colleagues vowed to switch. Thanks so much to Olympus’ lovely team for all their hospitality, and to the glorious Savoy hotel.
Flowers by Blue Sky Flowers @BlueSkyFlowers http://blueskyflowers.co.uk/
Wedding Stationery by Ananya Cards @AnanyaCards http://ananyacards.com/
Wedding Cake by SK Cakes @SKCakery http://www.s-k-cakes.co.uk/
Wedding dress worn by model from Ellie Sanderson @EllieSanderson1 http://www.elliesanderson.co.uk/
Suit attire worn by model from Stephen Bishop Suiting @SBSSuiting http://www.stephenbishopsuiting.com/
Shoes from Cindy’s Choos @CindysChoos http://www.cindyschoos.com/
Jewellery worn by model from Olivier Laudus @OlivierLaudus http://www.olivierlaudus.com/
Hair & Make-up by Tori Harris Make-Up @ToriHarrisMUA http://toriharrismakeup.co.uk/
Event styling & co-ordination by Bijou Bride @BijouBride http://thebijoubride.com/
I happy am!
Powerful, curving, arching
Peerless predators flanking our boat.
Back on my tail, come with me, come with us,
we had some fish. Wheee!
Curving through the water, swish,
Come with meee. Let’s have fun!
Hello, you, I love you, kiss!
Bubbles, wash, swish,
It’s easy! Hey! Hoooo! Rakatakataka! Preeep!
Work hard, play hard, play and work at the same time, why stress?
you come with me… we are playing…
Aren’t these two just adorable? What I love about this is that this is actually several months after their real wedding. And they are still so in love! Aw. I have been trying to get this post out today but I’m not quite going to manage to finish it in all its glory so here is a preview… This is a wedding ceremony at the Queen’s Chapel of the Savoy, next to the Savoy Hotel, as part of my Olympus OM-D trial. Great camera, gorgeous day!
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: