Eight years ago I was commissioned by Mike Bussey to photograph his family on location in Cornwall for his wife Connie’s 50th birthday. I’ve since photographed the family together at home and have formed a lovely client friendship that I value enormously. They are a very special family.When Kim Bussey announced she was marrying Prue at Windsor Guildhall this year, I was more than delighted that they invited me to be a part of the day to photograph the wedding.
Having been childhood friends, spending their early years at Primary School together, they lost touch during secondary school and on in to their careers. It was earlyJanuary 15 that Prue got back in touch with Kim and it transpired they were both living close to each other – Prue’s brilliant wedding speech also elaborated on their early dating days. Both girls’ mums gave heart warming and humorous speeches and the seismic feeling of love within the family and friends of these two was prevalaent through the day – it really was a day to be a part of.
Kim and Prue’s amazing suits (and Prue’s shirt) were the cut of ThomasThomas – do check them out for sharp adrogynous style. SJ Weston who heads up ThomasThomas also made alternations to Kim’s shirt.
After their emotional ceremony at Windsor Guidlhall, the girls hot footed to quite probably the most relaxed reception I’ve been to in 25 years of shooting weddings. I mean what more do you need than a gin bar, a landcover pizza oven, champagne and people you love..?
Portraits in London
So the early part of the month took me to London to take some special portraits in London of the grandchildren of one of my voucher recipients. For those of you lucky enough to be gifted or to win a one of my vouchers, you are welcome to use this not just for yourself but with your family and I travel throughout the country and Europe taking portraits of children, families. I consider this one of the biggest perks of my job – the opportunity to travel and also to meet the most unexpected and interesting of people. Not only that, I visit some beautiful locations.
The family gardens in London, were a spectacular communal garden where the children had space to run, climb and explore – as well as having that all important window light flooding through the house interior. Even in the dullest of days, I enjoy working in muted directional light as well as having the contrast of perhaps strong back light in the garden. Being an environmental portrait photographer, especially with our unpredictable weather means I adapt to whatever happens on the day and use the elements to my advantage. Well that’s the plan anyway…
So, my plan to complete two blog posts per month has monumentally failed. I’m thinking of inviting my clients to write a post for me at stages throughout the year – and no not because I am too lazy or busy! But it kind of opens up a different perspective, that of the other side of the fence. So if any of you would like to be a part of that and put some words together then let me know.
Mothers Day – well, what can be said? Alex and Gretchen Boon who head up 10 Castle Street kindly hosted my portrait day and invited families to spend time for lunch or afternoon tea followed by essential time relaxing and whiling away the afternoon. A complimentary glass of Prosecco to all the wonderful mums and for me, time spent photographing, in one case, four generations of one family. This is when we truly see the value of portrait photography. That sharpest of moments that is never repeated but will indeed, without sounding a cliche, last forever. Sensitivity in a photographer is way above the technical maze of what makes a great photograph. Alongside great light of course..
The scene set could not be more English. Nothing much beats a back lit glass of champagne, with space for children to run and explore and food that goes beyond the norm. My thanks to Alex and Gretchen for inviting me to this incredible venue. Most of the images are still under wraps, but this taster of the day gives an idea of the idyllic afternoon we had.
18th June – Fathers Day Portraits at 10 Castle Street follows my day at Hanford School who have invited me to hold a portait day in their whimsical grounds and building. Booking is a must for these dates – to find out more head here
Wedding Photography in Dorset
I’ve no idea where that year went! Facebook has just reminded me that it was a year ago that Matt and Georgina got hitched in my home town of Shaftesbury in Dorset. So this morning I revisited some of their wedding photographs to share on here. It was how every wedding should be… dominated by love and friendship. A traditional church wedding in St James, Shaftesbury followed by a marquee in the beautiful setting of the family home in Dorset. It was a day full of sunshine with some balmy evening light, my favourite time of the day when everyone is slightly well oiled, relaxed and all the formalities are done and I can work candidly with the available light..
My work is so varied – one day I’ll be in the city making corporate and business portraits, the next will be sat in a field of corn with a three year old debating the likelihood of fairies hiding in the undergrowth. My business was built on wedding photography and I still learn so much every time I go out and despite being a wedding photographer for almost 25 years (eek!), I could never become complacent or make template photographs. Every wedding I photograph is seen with fresh eyes, and new people that I meet bring new opportunities. There certainly isn’t one size fits all with my work – some of my wedding clients request the photography to be wholly fly on the wall, for me to be invisible, others may wnat a full traditional coverage. I like to have that variety and to mix the two is probably my ideal. Whatever the style and genre of wedding photography you love, I can adhere to, but even with my fly on the wall coverage, I remove any element of snapshot wedding photography through my use of light and composition. These two elements are my go to on every job.
Four seasons wedding photography
What I love about both the English climate and wedding photography is it’s unpredictability, and for me, the unexpected is the key to a successful wedding photography coverage. Having certain things in place – timings, family, locations is the foundation, but everything else should just happen and a wedding photographer should be there to grasp that. To work around the weather, to be unflappable, expect the unexpected and to see fun and opportunity in situations that arise. A good downpour never dampens spirits and when you add to this, sleet, hail & bright sunshine, it heightens the creative mind as to what can be done with it.
The 9th April took me to Martock in Somerset for the wedding of Lucy and Jamie – a beautiful, traditional church wedding with a marquee on the lawn of the family home for the reception. I always photograph a few family groups if my clients would like and our plan was to do some of these outside the church. When Lucy arrived with her brother we had sunshine and rain, when we left we had sunshine, as we made our way home to the reception, sleet, then hail as everyone hot footed it into the marquee. Then sharp sunshine, then rain again.
As with all weddings, the day is about the people and come rain or shine, spirits can’t be dampened. Jamie and Lucy’s wedding was a true English celebration, a wonderful village wedding. It was also a real pleasure to work with professionals who know their job and make help the day run smoothly. Thanks to videographer Will Warr who worked around me with professionalism and humour and was great company, I’m looking forward to seeing his results. Lucy’s beautifully simple dress was from Stephanie Allin, flowers from somerset based Helen Crang, Emma Hunt at Kingston Kitchens provide the spectacular food and Cheesecake filled the floor within seconds of kicking off their evening set.
Sometimes this group get together to work their magic. Thanks to all their artistry and the patient models who braved the cold. It was a wonderful day of creativity amongst some of the best wedding professionals in the industry. We used two very different locations. One being an old bungalow with some very bad taste decor, but amazing light so the contrast between Tara’s beautiful wedding dresses and the distressed wallpaper made for some interesting opportunities.
We then hot footed it over to a new wedding location in Wiltshire which offered some interesting large scale back drops to work with. Watch this space as I am going to be working closely with this Wiltshire wedding venue to help them build their portfolio.
Wedding photography London
Last month took me away from the green fields of Dorset to photograph the London wedding of Ben and Luise (and Oscar) at the elegant Burgh House, London. Luise came across me via her father Max, a London advertising photographer who had met me a few years ago on one of my workshops. It’s always lovely (and reassuring) to receive recommendations from fellow professional photographers.
Luise and Ben gave me free rein to work around them on the day with little touches of classical portraiture, followed by hot footing it in wellington boots to Hampstead Heath. Luise’s attention to detail created a wedding that was beautifully elegant and informal, not always an easy balance to achieve.
Her beautiful bouquet was created by North London wedding florist, The Kitchen Table Florist , whilst her wedding dress was sourced from MiaSposa Bridalwear and that incredible cake by Primrose Bakery.
Above all, as all weddings should be, the day was about the people – the coming together of family and friends to celebrate.
Here’s a taster of a very lovely London wedding…
Weddings on location
I’m just working through some images for Sloanes who I often work with on both weddings and with their brilliant director of styling, Lisa Standerwick on various editorial projects. Its a creative relationship that has been developing for some ten years or more between us. So just to update their portfolio, there’s a few weddings that spring to mind last year. Not least this one of Carly & Dom…
I’m currently in cahoots with the brilliant Lisa Standerwick of Sloanes. Every once in a while she gives me a little push in the direction of a new project. The beginning of a new year is a great time to reflect on my style and the possibilities of what I can do for my wedding clients. So having a project where I have creative carte blanche, reignites the creative flow, so watch out all my wedding photography clients this year, I am looking to push the few boundaries I have and also to pull back a little and simplify everything.
Working with creatives such as Hannah Tidbury, Lisa and Tara Jane Hull, invites us all to inspire each other, quietly developing. Always my inspiration has come not so much from the industry of wedding photography itself (though I’m surrounded by amazing photographers), more from what I see in front of me either in life or more so, actually on the day and what others have put together. Thats when pennys drop..
So watch this space for some new work from us in April from a very unconventional venue..