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Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Boudoir Masterclass - Friday 13th January

What Women Want From Boudoir 1.00 - 2.30pm

The number of talks on Boudoir at SWPP in January demonstrates how it is becoming an increasingly popular and potentially lucrative part of a photography business.

Having shot a lot of boudoir sessions - both for private clients and as part of my training for Aspire Photography Training - I know it is one of the things I most love to shoot. But why? For various reasons but probably most significantly the positive impact the images have had on women's lives and well being. And on a creative front because I love the female form.

I have a very strong visual aesthetic about what I think boudoir is and how I want to shoot it. Yet I see a lot of boudoir imagery that is more glamour than art. The truth is that boudoir is a very difficult discipline to do well and very easy to get wrong.

I've been thinking a lot about this whilst putting together my Masterclass for SWPP.

I'll be sharing my experience of shooting the genre for the last 2 years - how my work has evolved, tips on posing, lighting, styling but most importantly what the women who come to me want from a session. And the importance of shooting outside client work to improve your imagery.

If you are thinking of attending then let me know what YOU want to get out of it - send me an email: kate@katehopewellsmith.com

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Kyle and Charlotte's Waddesdon Dairy Wedding

On November 26th Kyle and Charlotte got married at St Mary's in Wendover and then had their reception in the Dairy at Waddesdon Manor. I was a little bit worried the day before because I almost lost my voice and the thought of photographing a wedding without one was a little concerning - but it held out!

Considering the time of year they were very lucky with the weather - no rain at all and just enough wind to make the group photos a bit nippy but the shots with the bride and groom a little more dramatic.

Due to the ceremony being at midday I began my day with Kyle rather early. As you can see he was on good form - the nerves did set in as the morning wore on though.

When I arrived at Charlotte's parents' house her hair was done and make up was just about to begin. She took me up to the room where the dresses were hanging and all of the stunning accessories and details were laid out. Every detail was just beautiful. She found her dress at my good friend Anna McDonald's Bridal Gallery and her beautiful flowers were created by Joanna Carter who I also love working with.

There was some concern about just how long it was going to take to get Charlotte into her beautiful dress but there were lots of laughs during the process. Great swings of nerves and joy.

We were all telling her how amazing she looked when she quietly asked if her Dad could possibly get her a mirror so she could have a look - she had chosen to put her dress on downstairs and there was no mirror in the room.

I was really pleased that I was able to travel in the car to the church - sitting in the front I'm able to quietly record that last journey with a father and daughter. Below you will see how they both reacted when they first glimpsed the church and loved ones who were waiting for them.

Meanwhile nerves were really getting to Kyle inside.

But just look how they locked eyes with each other as she made her way down the aisle. I also love the moment between her father and his family captured here. St Mary's is a beautiful church and the lighting was incredibly dramatic and atmospheric. It was a really warm, happy ceremony.

After the ceremony we all drove to Waddesdon Dairy and I took Kyle and Charlotte up to the Manor for a few photos on their own. Charlotte was very brave considering the temperature but as usual the couple really enjoyed some time on their own to relish in their newly married status.

Back at the Dairy the guests were enjoying a drink in the warmth but everyone was very good about coming outside for some photos.

The speeches were brilliant - one of my favourite parts of a wedding and this was no exception with lots of laughter as well as tears. The most emotional speech being delivered by Charlotte's younger sister Francesca.

The first dance. Gorgeous!

And finally a special request from a good family friend who had brought some sparklers to the wedding. After a briefing I understood what was involved and we all created the tunnel for them to walk through. Kyle surprised us all with the passionate kiss at the end.

The Dairy - all lit up on a winter's evening.

Thank you Kyle and Charlotte for choosing me to be part of your day to tell your story in images. Hope you enjoy the highlights and look forward to sharing the rest when you return from honeymoon. xx

Monday, 28 November 2011

Engagement Shoot at Blenheim Palace with Joe & Melissa

On Friday I met up with Joe and Melissa in the grounds of Blenheim Palace for a shoot to celebrate their engagement. They are both from the States but have decided to have their wedding in Oxford next year because Melissa has been based here for the last 6 years.

I first met Joe and Melissa in the lovely Wine Cafe in Summertown. Melissa had contacted me on the recommendation of Elizabeth whose wedding I loved shooting this summer.

I loved this shoot for a number of reasons. Firstly the couple - Joe and Melissa are fabulous individuals who make a gorgeous couple. They are very much in love and Joe's job means they are apart far more than they are together at the moment - so time together is super precious. They made a real effort to look great for the shoot. I love that. And of course the grounds of Blenheim - with the last of the Autumn colour - and the prettiest light you could ask for in late November.

All of the ingredients I could ever wish for. Thank you Joe and Melissa - can't wait for the big day. xx

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Folio Albums - fabulous new cotton covers

I just wanted to let you all know about the new cotton photo covers that Folio Albums have added to their gorgeous range. I've been a big fan of these albums since I first laid eyes on a prototype. They just suit my work and I love the fine art feel, quality and style of them. And equally importantly Stewart and Julie are such a pleasure to work with.

I did a shoot this summer with the very lovely Cecelia. It was a very hot day and we had a lot of fun in her back garden.

I was really pleased that her mum chose to have one of the new photo covers for the album. This style cover would look just as gorgeous for a wedding album.


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