My last wedding of 2013 (unless of course a last-minute booking comes in!) took place on Monday this week - the day of the ‘great storm’. I love Woburn Sculpture Gallery weddings, a beautiful and breathtaking venue set in the Bedfordshire countryside. The house itself can be traced back to 1145 and is home to Andrew, the 15th Duke of Bedford and his family.
Well the ‘storm’ had all but blown itself out by the time I arrived at The Inn at Woburn to shoot the bride’s getting ready shots and it improved dramatically during the rest of the day, allowing us to get some killer portraits in and around the couples’ chosen reception venue. Autumn weddings are absolutely stunning if the weather is as good as it ended up being on Monday - and I’d been so worried by the forecasts up until the day before! I love to use low golden sunlight in my photography when it’s available and when I’m offered stunning grounds with deer roaming free and a venue brimming with beauty and history, I’m in my creative element!
For me, one of the many interesting parts of photographing a wedding is finding what the Bride and Groom have decided to go with as a wedding cake design - and usually how they’ve created something very personal to them. As with most things wedding related, there are so many choices out there today it’s incredible - and mouthwatering! I’ve decided on this wet and cold Wednesday to share with you some of my all-time favourite cakes, ranging from Skye and Liam’s personalised Halloween cake at South Farm and Gemma and Dylan’s afternoon tea-themed cakes at The Savill Garden to Robyn and Jamie’s tower of cupcakes at Fanhams Hall Hotel and Beth and Tom’s homemade cakes brought to their wedding reception at Caswell House by their guests and family members. All are without doubt beautiful to look at and I’m sure tasted as good as they looked…but all are sweet works of art!
So, lick those lips, grab a steaming hot cup of tea and enjoy a flavour of my favourite wedding cakes from 2008 to 2013!
First up, here’s Alex and Karl‘s beautifully beaded classic wedding cake with real flowers to serve as their topper…
Beth and Tom enjoyed a reception laced with pretty retro details (including a giant tea cup) and requested that their guests bring some cakes of their own to their reception and they were overwhelmed with the response (and choice) from their friends and families…
…and here’s the main wedding cake - beautiful, isn’t it?
Lovely couple Kate and Rob commissioned me to be their Saffron Walden wedding photographer and tied the knot at the beautiful St. Mary’s church, the spire of which dominates the picturesque town of Saffron Walden in Essex. Kate and her girls got ready at her future Father-in-Law’s house which is only a short walk from the church, where Rob and his guys were patiently waiting. The service was beautiful and the town itself then became the backdrop to the couple’s wedding photographs before walking down the hill to the Eight Bells - a gorgeous period public house and restaurant with feature oak beams, where the evening reception took place with Kate, Rob and their families and friends.
I absolutely had a blast shooting this fantastic wedding (along with Charlotte - my second shooter) and I’m so delighted to say that Kate and Rob have just celebrated not only their first wedding anniversary but also the birth of their beautiful little boy, Jack!
I have recently spent a lot of time shooting personal work as I believe it’s the best way to stay fresh and focused with photography. What I find in doing this is that I tend to shoot static objects and landscapes much more than I do as a wedding and portrait photographer, where the emphasis is obviously on people images. There are rarely people in any of my personal work! Having attended a FIND workshop where the emphasis is on more traditional non-digital photography, I’ve also decided that all my personal work going forward will be shot on film cameras and I currently have two - a Pentax 645N medium format (120 roll film) camera and a Canon EOS 3 35mm camera.
I have a relationship with the newly-opened UK Film Lab run by two excellent photographers and a processing company called Snaps in Bournemouth, who between them are giving me stunning results with their film processing and scanning - my images have that ‘film’ look - more mellow and easy on the eye, with greater dynamic range and colour. The images of the classic car show here were shot in bright, harsh midday sun and with all the chrome on display, a digital camera sensor would have really struggled to render the detail but as you see, film nails it!
The first set of images were captured at Scotney Castle, a National Trust property in Kent where we visited and enjoyed a picnic (with lashings of Crabbie’s ginger beer on a glorious day recently. The car shots are from our local classic car show and vintage fair in town, held every July. The weather’s usually pretty dire for the show but this year it was fantastic and drew almost the whole town out! Enjoy…
On this long hot day, I thought I’d share a Fanhams Hall Hotel wedding from last October to try and cool things down a bit! I had the pleasure of photographing Sam and Alan’s big day late last year at the hotel, which is nestled in its own grounds just outside the pretty Hertfordshire town of Ware. Having worked at Fanhams Hall Hotel many times previously, I knew some great places to take the couple for stunning colourful and romantic photographs and we wandered around the grounds after the wedding service, enjoying the peace and quiet.
After a long wet summer in 2012, we were treated to a fairly mild and dry autumn, which made the light on the day very soft and golden - just what was ordered! We made use of the iconic red bridge in the grounds, which is always a must-have shot for couples getting married at Fanhams. As usual, I shot with Canon digital cameras and lenses but also brought along a Mamiya medium format camera loaded with film and shot a couple of the portraits with that - can you tell which images are on film?
It’s always great for brides and grooms (and me to see their weddings featured in a magazine and I was delighted to be approached by Your Herts & Beds Wedding magazine to ask if they could feature Jade and Simon’s beautiful outdoor wedding at South Farm in Hertfordshire from last year
I must say, they did a marvellous job of showcasing the couple’s big day, with a mixture of portraits and details - and the cover girl Jade looks fantastic, don’t you think?
I was delighted to shoot Kaeti and Stuart’s wedding at the beautiful venue that is Hengrave Hall in Suffolk and although I tend to work a lot in Suffolk, it was the first time I’d shot a wedding at that particular venue and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it!
Kaeti and Stuart actually live in the surroundings of Butlers Wharf in London (where they had their urban engagement shoot - some of their fab images can be seen here) but being much more rural, the wedding had a great country feel to it as well as it being warm, friendly, informal and intimate. Hengrave Hall is the most wonderful venue for weddings and I was absolutely spoilt for choice as to where to take the couple for their portrait pictures - inside and out!
Thanks to Jim for second shooting with me on the day and to the staff at Hengrave Hall, who could not have been more welcoming and efficient.
If you’re getting married soon and are looking for a Suffolk wedding photographer, please give me a call - I’d love to create wonderful photographic memories for you too!
I was absolutely delighted to be commissioned recently by a lady called Rebecca Kane to photograph the wonderful food she produces as part of a movement which features nothing but raw food - and by raw, I mean totally uncooked. Although I undertake a huge variety of commercial work outside of my portrait and wedding photography, this was a bit of a departure from usual and I thoroughly enjoyed it, shooting with a macro lens and studio lighting to achieve the look Rebecca wanted - the food had to look as tasty as possible (which was very easy thanks to Rebecca’s beautiful food and immaculate presentation, to be honest!)
I drove up to Rebecca’s house in Stoke on Trent and over two days photographed a huge variety of flavoured waters, salads, smoothies, vegetables, pastas, chocolates and soups - it was mouth-watering! It also astounded me as to how the dishes were created and presented with absolutely no cooking whatsover. The book has since been published and you can order it and see more of Rebecca’s work at her website, Shine On Raw, by clicking here
I dare you to view these images and not begin to feel a bit peckish To begin with, here’s Rebecca herself, in her wonderful kitchen…
I had the pleasure of photographing the lovely wedding between Mary and James last year at Sopwell House in St. Albans. The couple had completed their official wedding ceremony a few days earlier with a few friends and family in attendance so this day was all about being coming together, relaxed and celebrating! James’ father officiated at the beautifully laid out outside ceremony in the walled garden at Sopwell House, with emotional readings and songs special to Mary and James.
As a Sopwell House wedding photographer, I suggested to the couple that we could maybe incorporate St. Albans Cathedral and maybe some of the Roman Ruins on the outskirts of the ancient city in their bride and groom portraits and I was delighted when they were very excited by the idea. So, after the formal group shots (and a short rain shower) were finished, we headed off for some quiet time to get some beautiful romantic portraits. This is the time during the wedding day that many of my couples tell me they almost enjoy the most because it gives them time away on their own for a little while in the middle of what is often a very hectic and nerve-wracking day!
The ruins were fantastic and made a very spectacular an unusual backdrop to Mary and James’ images, with the couple in their finery providing a real elegant contrast with the colours and textures of the ruins.
Mary and James had theirs and friends’ own recipes on the tables for people to take away with them, which was a really nice personal touch. The fantastic covers band for the evening, iPop were excellent. They really threw a lot of energy into the room and had everyone boogying all night!
Assisting and shooting the guys for me was David Owen - thanks Dave! Please enjoy these images from Mary and James’ special day…