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Monday, 28 May 2012

The beginning of a love affair...

It's true.  I am totally blown away by the experience of shooting my first Hindu Ceremony.

The wedding of Hetal and Dzuy was on Friday so these are literally just a handful of images because I'm desperate to edit them all but can't due to the many other edits that I must complete first.

I was recommended to Hetal's cousin and I am very grateful that Hetal trusted me to photograph her wedding as she knew I hadn't experienced a Hindu Ceremony before.  The wedding began for me on Wednesday evening when I photographed some of the Mehndi ceremony.  Below you see the artist, Bhavna Patel of b-exquisite writing the groom's name in henna as part of the design.

Dzuy is Vietnamse so they began the day with a Civil Ceremony outside where they both wore the traditional ao dai wedding clothes and khăn đóng headdresses.   

 After this ceremony Hetal and Dzuy changed into traditional Indian costumes - Hetal's saree was beautiful and I was fascinated to watch her transformation for the Hindu Ceremony.  The ceremony is full of rituals - here are images that capture details of the Varmala and Saptapadi.

After the ceremony I asked Hetal if I could take some bridal portraits of her because she looked incredible.  

I love this picture of them both.

 Both Hetal and Dzuy changed outfits once more for the evening reception.  It was an incredibly hot day and the sun was relentless so I had avoided shooting any imagery of them outside during the afternoon and instead persuaded them to come outside just before sunset.


I am shooting another Hindu Ceremony on Saturday at Hampton Court Palace and I really can't wait.

Thank you Hetal and Dzuy for trusting me with this special day - I look forward to sharing the rest of the images with you soon.

 And thank you to all of the family and friends who were just incredibly friendly and welcoming.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

June 2012 Photography Monthly

So happy to see my image on the front cover of this month's Photography Monthly.  The article that I wrote for the magazine poses the question:

"Can children's lifestyle portraiture be seen as fine art?"

And I talk about the principles and techniques that I use to enable it to be seen in that light.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

The Intimate Wedding of Julian and Hayley at Stoke Park

 I loved shooting this wedding for so many reasons but the biggest one is that I know Julian's family and am very fond of them.

Julian and Hayley chose to have a really small wedding at the stunning Stoke Park Hotel.   I didn't know Stoke Park before this wedding and I was so impressed by every aspect - particularly the stunning grounds - but also the wonderful staff.

I've had some really wet weddings this month and the forecast was very 'variable'.  And the weather was variable but we were SO lucky with timings - look at these amazing blue skies for the golf in the morning.  I had a buggy of my own and was blamed for every bad shot...  It was great fun and gave me a chance to meet Julian's friends.

 On my way to find Hayley I bumped into Macarena, Mia and Rocio arriving. They happen to be my next door neighbours - so I was able to catch a few shots of the girls who had been looking forward to being bridesmaids for months.

 Up in Hayley's room all was calm and relaxed.  With Hayley out of earshot, Chris, her fab 'man of honour', had a practice run of the poem he had written for them.  They have a wonderful friendship.

 The atmosphere was lovely and relaxed as Julian waited for Hayley with his brother, Ali, and their parents Ken and Barbara looked on.

 This is the moment that Hayley reached Julian's side - he was very emotional.

 The vows and exchange of rings.

 And the first kiss that I never tire of.

 The blue skies of the morning had given way to torrential rain but shortly after the ceremony it cleared again and we had half an hour of the most incredible light right on schedule for me to have some time with them both.

Here are a selection of images that I captured in this weather window before it rained for the rest of the evening.  I really like these images but I'm looking at them more as a friend who was lucky enough to be trusted to capture a very real love.

Shortly afterwards I took the girls out to this fountain for some pics before the guests went through to have drinks and dinner.  

I'm really looking forward to sharing the rest of the images with Hayley and Julian who I think are just home from the Maldives.  I hope you've had an amazing time.  See you both soon. xxx

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Ulam and Monika's Wedding at Blenheim Palace

As I watched the weather forecast leading up to this wedding my heart sank - heavy and persistent rain was forecast at Blenheim Palace in Woodstock on this particular Wednesday in April.

Ulam and Monika live in Switzerland and chose Blenheim and the UK because their guests were travelling from various locations to be with them.  This is the smallest wedding I have had the pleasure of photographing - with just 11 guests including the bride and groom.

They all stayed together at the Bear Hotel and I arrived just as they were finishing breakfast.  My good friend Cat Fransham was looking after Monika's hair and make up and Joanna Carter supplied the beautiful flowers.

Right from the start Ulam and Monika were not prepared to let the rain spoil their day.  At any wedding the mood is set by the bride and groom and some would definitely let weather like this have an impact.  Having a shorter dress also helped - no bride wants a long dress out in the rain!

Monika chose to have one of her closest friends walk her down the 'aisle'.  

My favourite moment of the day - on the proclamation that they were man and wife they both yelled with joy and threw their arms around each other.  It was gorgeous. 

The bouquet was caught my Monika's daughter and luckily her boyfriend seemed delighted!

Ulam had organised 2 of the Blenheim golf buggies to show their guests the grounds.  Undeterred by the wind and rain we all jumped on board and set off.  Stopping at some of the best views for some photos.

 Back up at the Palace we headed towards the Water Gardens.  On the way a school trip spotted Monika and with whoops of delight from the crowd she twirled around Mary Poppins style.

I  love this shot for the range of expressions and behaviour!

 One of my fave spots at Blenheim - undeterred by the conditions they all had some fun as they walked towards me.

 We were all relieved to come inside again and I took the chance to take Ulam and Monika to a quiet spot that I love - where the tourists don't come and the light is lovely.

 Ulam clearly thinks that Monika is gorgeous and here he is letting her know that.

 After this they had dinner at the Wild Thyme Restaurant in Chipping Norton - a lovely, intimate restaurant that serves delicious food.  Despite most of the speeches not being in English I got the gist of what was being said by the range of emotions expressed - from tears to laughter - like all good wedding speeches.



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