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Friday, 25 February 2011

A day at the Designer Wedding Fayre, Battersea Park

I had an enjoyable day at the Designer Wedding Fair in London earlier this month with Anna MacDougall of Bride and Glory. We had a wander, watched the fashion show and then enjoyed a glass of pink bubbles at the bar. If I had my day again here are a few of the things that I would be thinking about…

The overall vibe of the fair was a heavenly mix of evening glamour and vintage (think 1920’s and 1930’s) with barely any 'big' dresses. Being the 'designer' wedding fayre many of the dresses would only look truly fabulous on teeny tiny ladies - but this is where the inspiration begins and cascades down.

My personal favourite of all the collections were the Temperley dresses that owned the runway in the Catwalk Designers show. Alice Temperley creates divinely elegant dresses which are sophisticated yet free-spirited…utterly gorgeous.

The other thing that really stood out at the fair was the number of bespoke stationers. This aspect of weddings seems to be moving on in a big way – away from more traditional (‘stiff’) invitations to relaxed yet beautifully crafted themes which can continue through your whole wedding:

Cutture really stood out for their stunning bespoke laser cut stationery whilst the work of Paul Antonio Scribe offers an elegance in their calligraphy which I so wish I had known about for place cards, menus and such.

For something unusual yet personal, try Hello!Lucky . They are design innovators and letterpress specialists who are regularly featured in bridal magazines both in the UK and the USA. And if that isn’t enough choice, look to sugalily whose luxury hand finished stationery crosses the spectrum from boho to bergdorff and caters to every wedding style and budget.

Then my thoughts move to finishing touches and I was particularly taken with two milliners: Judy Bentinck and Uma Turan who showed rather different but adorable, bespoke hats.

The icing on the cake (excuse the pun) would be a Linda Fripp cake. Each and every one of her cakes, and there are a lot, looks like an elaborate work of art and yet is edible and delicious…the only problem is that I’m not sure how you can choose just one.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Let her eat cake....

I was listening to an audio book whilst driving the length of the M6 (again...) when the truism was reiterated that we are only as good as the team around us. As those who read my blog know every few months a team of suppliers get together for a shoot day - on Friday we were let loose again and we had SUCH fun.

One of the star roles - Laura the VW van - was only included a couple of days before and the location, Goosey in Oxfordshire was only discovered because my sat nav took me a wanderin' (the evening before....). It was a grey and overcast day but Natalia the fabulous model was a true sport - on the condition that she got to eat cake...

So - the team:

Anna McDonald provided the dresses and her very own wellies.
Cat Fransham of Make Up for Brides amazed us all with crimping to die for... and the most perfect lip colour for that lonely little phone box.
Sarah of Euphoria Couture once again provided accessories from heaven.
Anna MacDougall - wedding planner behind Bride and Glory was the source of Laura the VW van.
Joanna Carter provided the gorgeous bouquets.
Vintage Days kindly let me borrow the cake stand and vintage accessories and I provided the cakes!

We all came together in Goosey because we are part of a bespoke event hosted by Florey Marquees. I never knew marquees could be so stylish and contemporary. If you want to have a look around this week contact Mark Florey - prepare to be wowed.


Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Experimental shoot at the new Hasselblad studios

My route into photography was very much through lifestyle - initiated by the basic desire to take better images of my children. As my passion and confidence grew so did my reading matter and hence the reputation of medium format Hasselblads was one I was familiar with.

A few weeks ago a photographer friend (Nigel of Studio Ferguson) proactively arranged a days shoot at the recently opened Hasselblad Studio in London. Nigel, as a Hasselblad owner, was responding to the brand's desire to let photographers investigate and test the cameras.

I was delighted to be invited to tag along - my interest was 2 fold - to use a medium format digital camera and to learn more about lighting. As a location photographer I work with and manipulate existing light but am always fascinated and keen to know more about lighting techniques.

So - shooting with the blad. In a nutshell, different and for me not necessarily good different. Aside from how different if felt to handle the big learn was the True Focus function (and the Absolute Position Lock). I didn't find it easy to use - although like anything I have no doubt that practice would solve this. Of course I was totally blown away by the quality of the images - it is entirely different and I'm sure a complete joy. However, with the basic ISO capacity (no doubt restricted due to maintaining quality) a Hasselblad wouldn't work for me in my wedding business.

I was more than happy to revert back to my Nikon D3 and concentrate more on the lighting set ups. It's a serious skill and just the slightest change can make or break an image. I had a fab day, learnt new things but was very happy to pick up a prime and get the hell outdoors again...

All of these images were taken on my D3 as we were shooting tethered and Nigel has the blad files!

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Little Rascals - Feb 10

On friday I was back in the lakes holding my first Little Rascals course - all about the challenges of photographing children. I spent over an hour in the morning talking about the huge difference a child's age makes - both in terms of the type of imagery but also the experience of the entire shoot.

This all played out nicely during the location shoot elements of the course. In the morning we met little Nancy - who warmed up instantly and just viewed the shoot as a fun thing to do aged 3. Delighting in the fact that her mum brought some divine cakes along which she makes as part of her business Ginger Bakers.

In the afternoon Ella and Luigi (Louis) were a different kettle of fish altogether - more self aware and wary of how the shoot might unfold. In other words it was real.

Despite a damp, grey day we managed to have fun and get some beautiful, natural imagery. I am really enjoying this new phase of my photographic career and look forward to sharing the ups and downs of lifestyle photography with delegates over the coming months.

Isn't the skirt to die for - Angel Face for those who are interested...

Monday, 7 February 2011

Working with Aspire Photography Training

Just before Christmas I got a call from the fabulous team at Aspire Photography Training (the people who trained me and helped me build my business) asking me to join their training team. I was delighted, if not a little daunted.

I haven't posted anything for a couple of weeks as I have been so busy writing and developing the 2 courses - Yummy Mummies and Little Rascals.

Yummy Mummies is all about how to create beautiful pregnancy and baby imagery. And Little Rascals is all about how to work with children.

Last Thursday I had my first session with 10 photographers, Gemma who was 38 weeks pregnant and babies Olivia May and Elise. Rachel from Aspire worked closely with me before and during the day on 'styling' the shoots to help produce imagery just that little bit more special and unique. Here are the results and bear in mind it's February and freezing - roll on the summer and having the babies naked in this incredible vintage bath....

If you would like information on the course dates and content please contact Mel.


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