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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...

1 comment:

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