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00Zoe-and-Mark-Wedding-595
Weddings don’t get much more fun than this… Zoe and Mark know how to have a good time and they wanted their wedding day to be no different. It’s taken me a little while to get around to blogging this beauty of a wedding and words still fail me as to how to describe how much love I have for these two.

Initially, Zoe told me that she was a little bit anxious about having an ‘official photographer’ at her wedding as it was going to be so intimate and laid back. I told her that my favourite approach to photographing weddings is to try to blend in as a guest and make everyone feel at ease by not being intrusive or bossy. I’m so glad she trusted me because I had so much fun joining in and capturing all of the fun elements they put into their day. Barn Drift in Cley, Norfolk was the perfect spot to host their day, so many wonderful spots for photos and so picturesque… I could go on and on about the beautiful hand made decorations including some wonderful signs which were hand painted by Mark’s Dad. Or the amazing flowers or the tipi, or the ice cream van or the fantastic weather – But really, what made this wedding truly special was just how obviously happy and in love Zoe and Mark are.

I remember them both saying that one of their highlights of the day was going off for a few photos of just the two of them in front of a beautiful sunset – then returning to their party to discover all of their guests in full on funny as hell fancy dress! I am such a fan of wedding parties when everyone lets their hair down and properly celebrates how happy they are for the newly wed couple. Zoe and Mark had a party that will go down in history.

Credits:
Amazing wedding venue: Barn Drift
Flowers to die for: Constance Rose
Best wedding DJ ever: Disco Wed

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2015 has been such a fantastic year for me… from a personal perspective as well as professionally. I have moved house into my dream home in the country with my love and our small family of fur and feathers. Work wise, I have been blessed to meet and get to know 21 beautiful couples and I have loved being part of their wedding days. Looking through all of the wedding photos over the last few days has allowed me to relive some of the wonderful memories I’ve shared with them and it’s been so hard to narrow them down to just my favourites. I nearly gave up putting this post together as there are so many to choose from, but here goes… From pubs to mountain tops, from tipis to old churches – every venue has been so varied and so suited to each couple. Days filled with confetti, friends, family, laughter, booze, kisses, sunsets, rain, romance and most of all love.

2016… if you are as half as good I’ll be a very happy person :)

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Kerry-and-Alan-Wedding-01

It’s not every day that I photograph a destination wedding so I was very excited when Kerry and Alan decided to book me to photograph their celebrations in Mayrhofen, Austria. As you can imagine, my expectations were pretty high and I’m very pleased to say they were exceeded in every way possible. I spent a few days before their wedding in the resort, getting to know the area and spending time with them and a few of their guests. (One or two Jägermeisters were had in the local nightclub-come-sauna, the Bruck ‘n Stadl!) Each day the excitement built, we watched the clouds come and go and had our fingers crossed that the day would bring some blue skies.

The morning of the wedding came and I looked out of the window to see a bit of haziness but generally a sunny beautiful day… and it just got better and better. I don’t think Kerry and Al could have wished for a more perfect day for their wedding – the temperature was balmy, with still plenty of snow on the mountains for a little bit of snowboarding and a truly spectacular backdrop.

So why did Kerry and Alan choose to hold their wedding up a mountain? Kerry says  “We wanted to get married in Mayrhofen as it’s such a special place to us and we wanted our friends and family to feel and see that too. We’re not dancers – we usually sway or jump around at gigs and festivals, or bust out the occasional lunge/running man on a dance floor. So we opted out of a wedding reception and disco and went for more time celebrating our surroundings, up the mountain, taking our guests on a horse-draw loop of the town and having plenty of traditional Austrian food and drink. We also had a first ride on our snowboards instead of a first dance! (…Beautifully ironic now actually, as when we’re riding together, we often shout to each other in broad Northernness – “Are you dancing?”, and the other will reply “Are you asking??” and we’ll proceed to do some intertwined riding for a while and pretend it’s something artistic like figure skating!) Oh and for what it’s worth – it wasn’t as easy as it looked riding whilst holding a heavy dress in one hand! Plus, with the amount of onlookers – the pressure not to stack it definitely rose and my heart was pounding when we set off on that run!!!!”

The day was so beautifully styled, with outfits and decorations that the couple had put so much thought into. Their wedding planner, Susi Dangl (otherwise known as the most helpful, god send of a person) really helped them organise a day that was so personal and reflective of their loves and personalities. With lots of lovely DIY touches and so many wonderful activities planned to entertain their guests, it was a feast for me to photograph. Highlights for me include the stunning heartfelt ceremony held at The Freiraum overlooking the valley, the magical balloon release and drinks in an Igloo called the White Lounge and of course, Kerry and Alan’s ‘first ride’ snowboarding in full wedding attire! As a snowboarder myself, I’m not sure if I would have been able to pull that off without falling over!

Kerry and Alan are two lovely lovely people and they so deserved to have the best day of their lives. I’m so glad it all came together so well for them and I will be eternally grateful for how welcoming and fun they were to work with. Kerry sums it all up by saying “Perfect day, perfect weather, perfect setting, perfect guests, perfect photographer! :) Couldn’t have asked for more!”

Without further ado, here are a selection of my favourite shots from the day…

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And finally, in between taking many photos – I took a few shot video clips and made a mini wedding movie out of them… I’m certainly not a film maker and this was all done hand held so please forgive the shakiness! But I think it helps to sum up the beauty and atmosphere of the day. Please make sure you select the ‘HD’ option when watching this otherwise it will look rubbish!

Special thanks to all of the wonderful organisers, venues, suppliers and of course Kerry and Alan for making the day one I will never forget. Can we do it again please? :)

Wedding Planner: Susi Dangl, Kitzbuhel (www.susannedangl.com)

Venues:
Ceremony – Freiraum (Ceremony) (www.freiraum-mayrhofen.com)
Drinks and Balloon release – White Lounge (Igloo Bar) (www.mayrhofner-bergbahnen.com/en/highlights/white-lounge)
Dinner – Wirtshaus Zum Griena (www.wirtshaus-griena.at)
Registrar: Burgi Huber, Standesamt, Mayrhofen (www.mayrhofen.tirol.gv.at)

Florist: Susanne at Gartengestaltung Kroll, Mayrhofen (office@gartengestaltung-kroell.com)
Cake: Cafe Kostner, Mayrhofen (www.kostner.at)
Bride and Bridesmaid’s Hair: Salon Maria, Ried im Zillertal (www.friseur-maria.at)

Bride’s Outfit:
Bride’s Dress: custom ‘Mai’ by Augusta Jones, from White Mischief, Henfield (www.whitemischiefbridal.co.uk)
Veil: ‘Zara’ by Minna – Brixton (www.minna.co.uk)
Belt: Marianne Jessica, Bromley (www.mariannejessica.co.uk)
Heels: Jimmy Choo
Boots: Adidas Snowboarding
Snowboard: Salomon Gypsy
Faux fur wrap and Gold jacket: Monsoon and John Lewis
Jewellery: Necklace – Alex Monroe, Bracelet and Rings – Bride’s own/Bride’s mother’s own

Groom’s Outfit:
Suit: Ted Baker, from Slaters, Canterbury (www.slaters.co.uk)
Shoes: Dune
Boots: Northwave
Snowboard: Amplid Dopamine
Shirt, Tie, Pocket Square, Cufflinks and Watch: Pink, TM Lewin, Paul Smith, Groom’s own, Omega

Bridesmaids Dresses, Snoods and faux fur Jackets: Ted Baker, Dorothy Perkins, Primark
Groomsmen Suits and Ties: Ted Baker, TM Lewin
Rings: Chisholm Hunter (www.chisholmhunter.co.uk)
Stationary: Riata Brown, Oklahoma City – via Etsy.com (www.bisforbrown.com)
Decorations: Handmade, Bride and Groom’s own, Notonthehighstreet.com, Snowbombing Festival www.snowbombing.com
Bouquet Preservation: The Flower Preservation House, Kent www.theflowerpreservationhouse.co.uk

 

Mexico-2014-1

As this is currently my quiet part of the year, I finally found the time to look through a few photos that I took on my travels around the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. Followers of my blog may have seen the post I did just after I got back of the underwater portraits, I decided that I also wanted to do a post about the little adventure we had around the area and the people we met along the way.

We hired a little car and set off on our adventure. The first set of these photos were taken in a little place called Ek Balam, a very sweet little village in the middle of the jungle. I can honestly say that this place was one of my favourite travel experiences of my life. Mainly because it was very real, there were no other tourists around – it felt like a true insight into Mexican life. The people there welcomed us into their homes, showed us how they live, where their children go to school and what they do for work. They asked for nothing in return, it was refreshing and inspiring. We learnt about their worries in life, and saw how the community were working to raise funds for the school. The children played in the streets and found joy in flying handmade plastic bag kites. They are Mayan people so my poor attempt at learning Spanish before we went was no good anyway! We communicated as best as we could through the odd spanish word and hand gestures. We fell so in love with Ek Balam that we are already planning a trip back this year. We discovered a wonderful little place to stay for our next visit called Genesis Retreat, run by lovely people. Can’t wait!

After Ek Balam we spent the Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) weekend in Merida. I had heard that it would be a good place to see the festival because the locals celebrated on the streets as well as in their houses. It was so interesting to see how different cultures view death. We saw how the locals create their own private altars called ofrendas, honouring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favourite foods and beverages of the departed. We also visited the cemetery where a lot of people gathered to honour the dead. It was just as awesome as I was expecting.

It was an interesting contrast, seeing how city life is different from the small village of Ek Balam. Mexico is a huge country and we only saw a tiny fraction of it in the two weeks that we were there. As well as these two places, we also visited Chichen Itza, Celestun, Cancun and Tulum – I didn’t take many ‘travel’ photos in these areas – mainly we sat around, reading, drinking, eating, and generally relaxing. I’ll leave those photos off this blog!

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Julieta-Underwater-Photography-Portraits-1

I’m just back from an amazing trip to Mexico. As always on my travels, I took my camera with me to photograph the sights, people and to help remember the experience. Hopefully I will do another blog with some of my street photography I did whilst we travelled around the Yucatan Peninsula… For now, here is a little blog about a shoot I did on the last day before we headed home.

Julieta is from Argentina and I met her in Tulum, a beautiful little town on the Maya Riviera. She was working at Azulik where we were staying – an incredible little collection of wooden eco villas overlooking the Caribbean sea. I had been looking around for someone I might have the courage to ask to model for me for some underwater portraits. Julieta introduced herself as the resident physiotherapist and I thought she would be perfect to photograph.

I always imagined that I would do a shoot in the sea in Mexico but whilst we travelled around the peninsula, we discovered so many beautifully clear, fresh water cenotes. A cenote is a natural sinkhole resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath. I did a spot of scuba diving whilst in the area and I was blown away by how the light hits the water and creates magical beams of light. I spent a fair amount of time with my camera in these cenotes, playing around and getting better at predicting exposures at various depths. When trying to decide on a cenote to do the shoot in, I had been looking for one that was quiet (a lot of the ones in the guidebooks are always full of other tourists) and with plenty of light (most are hidden quite far underground and whilst these are spectacular – they don’t allow in enough of that magic light I’m always on the hunt for!) I came across Cenote Encantado which means the enchanting cenote. It seemed a very apt name. I loved how the roots of the mangrove trees grew down into the water, drawing life from the mysterious deep pools. And on the day of the shoot there was no one else there. I felt very lucky.

Julieta was incredibly natural and comfortable in the water. I could have spent all day taking photos of her as she allowed herself to sink down then swim up for air. The first dress she is wearing is her own – she told me it was her favourite. I love how the yellow pops against the eerie darkness of the water beneath. And the second skirt I had bought from a vintage fair in Brighton – I took it along on holiday with me in the hope to find someone to wear it (it’s way too small for me!) It didn’t float quite like how I had hoped but I like the look nonetheless.

One of the things I love most about diving and being in the water is the fact that I feel like I’m experiencing a whole other world –  a world where strange and beautiful creatures swim around me. A weightless world where I feel like I can fly. A quiet world away from any distractions. I love that my newly revived passion for underwater photography allows me to play and be creative in my dream world. I will stop here before I burst into songs from the little mermaid ;) Here are a few of my favourites from the shoot…

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Justine-and-Phil-Wedding-000

It is the greatest compliment when a fellow photographer gets in touch to ask you to photograph their wedding – Phil is an awesome photographer and a lot of their guests kept telling me how I must be a really good photographer if he had chosen me to do the job on their big day! No pressure there then! Eeek! I was more than nervous when I delivered the photos to them but as you can see from my testimonials section… They seemed happy. :)

So where to begin telling you about this wedding… Justine and Phil know how to throw an awesome party! Their wedding was relaxed, beautifully stylish and SO much fun. I know from experience that as a photographer, you get to see a lot of weddings which gives you an idea of how you might want your own wedding to be like. I’m sure this influenced Justine and Phil to organise their wedding in a way that ensured everyone had a brilliant time. It was super laid back, they had a lovely simple ceremony at Shaw House in Newbury and their reception venue was a  gorgeous barn in the middle of the Berkshire countryside. Justine went to so so much effort to hand craft lots of wonderful details around the venue – with a literary theme on the tables, hot air balloons hanging from the ceiling, lots of quirky paper decorations all over the place, and her very clever sister made a beautiful pastel coloured cake. The bridesmaids also all wore pastel shades which looked amazing! And Justine had not one beautiful dress but two – both elegant, stylish and with a retro twist.

Highlights for me include the amazing speeches which they held outdoors – all of their guests sat around on hay bales to listen to the hilarious and poignant anecdotes. Another of my favourite things about this wedding was the music – two incredible bands (The Bevin Boys and The Jukebox Jets) which insured that dancing was a key part of the day. I love taking photos of people letting their hair down on the dance floor! And finally… One of their groomsmen recited the words to Elvis Presley’s Burning Love during their ceremony – which I think is the best thing I have ever heard a wedding. EVER.

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