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Thursday, 2 July 2015

New Mobile Friendly Site Launched!

I know I have been somewhat absent from my blog in 2015.  Truth is that behind the scenes the business is crazy busy and we have been working on launching a new, mobile friendly site that also incorporates cinematography.

A new blog will be following shortly so for now go and have a browse of the main site and enjoy some short films for the first time.

See you again soon!  Kate x

Thursday, 19 February 2015

A very natural Maternity and Baby shoot

I used to have a gallery on my website that was specifically for babies and bumps but I felt like the work wasn't truly representative of the direction that the rest of my portfolio was developing in.  I think it was because I was falling into the trap of cosy blankets and cute hats - which can be beautiful - but wasn't really 'me' as a photographer.

I was still getting enquiries for maternity and baby sessions but generally from previous clients or other photographers and we would discuss the kind of imagery that they would ideally like to get.  This is exactly what happened with Agata - a fellow photographer.  She wanted some shots of herself pregnant and then for me to see her again after the birth to capture the new family and her experience at being a mother for the first time.

Friday, 13 February 2015

Ashmolean Museum Wedding Photography Testimonial

I have just received this from Sarah whose wedding I photographed in Oxford.  I have learnt over the years how much pleasure beautiful imagery gives to people and I get a huge amount back from the relationships I build.  But sometimes it's also amazing to read something like this and I am so grateful that Sarah felt compelled, of her own volition, to take the time to write about her experience:

“It’s all about light “; those are the words that appear in my mind whenever I think of Kate Hopewell-Smith. Words she often repeated when we met up and spoke about photography and the essential elements of a photograph capturing a moment in someone’s life. Remembering what kind of light there was when taking a picture in order to restore that light when working on the picture. Observing, remembering, restoring.

When my husband and I decided to get married, we didn’t know where to start, but what we did know was that we wanted every moment, every emotion, to be captured for us to remember. At the time we lived in Paris and we had chosen to get married in Oxford, my home town, in the Ashmolean Museum. Not knowing any photographers in the Oxfordshire area, we were recommended a few names by the Ashmolean.

Looking through websites and galleries was my task! As I browsed through the websites, I always came back to Kate’s galleries. Her pictures struck me as being so spontaneous and natural. The aesthetic of her pictures was extraordinary and well, her pictures were simply beautiful. What more was there to add? She was the one! So, I took the first step and wrote to her. I just wrote, sincerely and simply. I did not have to wait long for answer. I don’t know what made it, but after only a few e-mail exchanges, Kate agreed to be our photographer for the big day. We felt so lucky she chose to work with us, and privileged too. I was excited to meet her.

We exchanged a lot by e-mail, and then came the chance to meet up. Kate was everything I had imagined through our exchanges, but when seeing her she revealed such an aura, a charisma, that it was hard not to be impressed. And rightly so; it was quickly obvious how invested she was in her work, but also in the people. It wasn’t only about taking a pretty picture; it was about telling a story, unique to each couple, person... And that showed how much Kate was interested in knowing the people she was going to work with. All of this was reflected on the day of the wedding. Kate was always there but always discreet. At ease with everyone, she fitted in naturally and took her shots, whether from a discreet angle or having to stand on a chair! But most of all, she was with us, not only as a photographer but as a reassuring figure. She helped us hide away from the crowd when we had to scurry off and take our couple pictures...! She understood what we were going through between emotion and stress. She knew when to give us a moment to relax. She guided us through the picture session and was supportive at every moment. One thing I under estimated was how essential it was, for me the bride, that Kate was a woman. She helped me with my hair, my dress, helping me keep my cool when I had to go down the stairs for the first time. She was caring and did more than just photograph the big day.

Needless to say, when we saw the wedding pictures for the first time, we were taken aback by how beautiful they were. It was just magic, like reliving that day. Our family, our guests, everyone was impressed with the pictures. So much emotion and warmth came from the pictures. Just beautiful.
There is no question that I would trust Kate again with taking pictures of us. I would know; I later did a boudoir shoot with her...

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Andy & Mim's Stunning Blenheim Palace Wedding

Ok so I know I have been terrible at keeping my blog up to date - the business was super crazy last year and something had to give... BUT I am back and have so many lovely weddings to blog from 2014!

Where to start.  Well that would be with the fabulous Andy & Mim who I loved from the moment we met.  I got to know them both better on the engagement shoot and it felt like I was photographing friends on the big day in August.  Mim chose all of her suppliers with care and it was a pleasure to watch Sarah Brock work wonders with make up and The Hepburn Collection create the stunning hair style. The flowers were by Joanna Carter who I work with often and can't recommend enough.

They both got ready in Hope House - a beautiful boutique hotel in the heart of Woodstock and then the ceremony was at St Martin's Church in Bladon.  I have shot ceremonies here before and I can honestly say that the Revd Canon Adrian Daffern is just the most amazing person and you can see from the happiness of everyone how he sets the mood to perfection.

Following the confetti we had to try and get Mim, her STUNNING Peter Langner dress and her new husband into that beautiful old car.  It was a tight squeeze but we just about got the door shut.  On the way into the reception we took the 'big' Blenheim shots with the car.  After some drinkies and a few family photos we headed into the grounds again and had a great couple session in the Italian Gardens - Mim literally stopping the crowds with how incredible she looked.

The speeches were fantastic and very emotional - Mim delivered a brilliant speech - which I'm always in awe of a bride doing.  Not to take away from Andy and best man Steve though!  And then a gorgeous first dance that was very Audrey Hepburn and Hollywood in feel.  That mood was broken immediately afterwards as the music and the dancing came back up to present with a bang courtesy of the Big Bounce band - a very different side to the couple that was brilliant to see.

I've also put in some of the beautiful details that Mim had created for the guests to enjoy.   The evening ended with sparklers and I can honestly say I was nearly as sad as they were when it was time to go.  It was just a complete treat to photograph from start to finish.  And also a big thanks to Michelle Wiggett for assisting me on the day too!

You can click on the images to see them larger! x


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