Sunday, 21 September 2008

Jackie & Chris - Moat House - 19th September

As proof that this really is a very small world, let me tell you the story of how I came to shoot Jackie & Chris's wedding ... I received a phone call earlier in the year, from Jackie's mum, asking if they could come and see me to discuss the possibility of shooting the wedding ... Jackie and Chris live in Sydney, so it was up to her parents to vet some photographers :) The small world bit? Jackie's parents live across the street from me !!! LOL

So I actually only got to meet Jackie and Chris a couple of weeks ago, along with their little 1 year old son, Benjamin, what a total cutie !

By the time I arrived at the Moat House on Friday I already felt like family, with hugs and cheek-kisses galore from Mums and Dads, although Benjamin was a little overwhelmed with it all and didn't feel like giving out cuddles :(

The weather was absolutely glorious which, considering the summer we had, was a minor miracle ... clearly Jackie & Chris had brought some of the sun over from Oz!

Thanks so much for having me and for making me feel so at home with you all ... looking forward to seeing you this week to get that album sorted for taking back with you. Wishing you every happiness as you take your first steps as man and wife and big hugs to Benjamin from me :)

Here are some faves ...

Beautiful details ...

Gorgeous bridesmaid ...

Equally gorgeous bride ... quick makeup check ...

Gotta smell good ...

Benjamin in on the action ...

Finally (after 18 years together) ... Mr and Mrs ...

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Temporary Chaos ...

Hot on the heels of my rather excited post about bringing Tess home ... well, to say stressful would be an understatement LOL. My biggest challenges currently are, keeping 2 cats pacified and trying to get the whole bunch to get along, not helped by Tess wanting to play and chasing Tom all over the house this morning (Tom was having none of it and scarpered), trying to get some work done during puppy naps and keeping a constant vigil for toilet training and gnawing on household objects ! So I am run ragged, but we are getting there, slowly.

A huge thanks to my friend (and rather competent dog trainer) Mark Lutz for all his advice on skype today ... something tells me that will NOT be the last conversation we have haha.

I am picking up e-mails and phone calls as and when I can ... if you need to contact me with something urgent, please e-mail as that is easier for me to respond to ...

For anyone waiting to hear from me, thanks for your patience ... I'll get there very soon !

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Introducing Tess ...

Well, we finally got her home - yayyyy :) After a rather jumpy start (far too much going on to sleep LOL) Tess is settling in nicely. I say Tess is, well, the cats just aren't so sure !! On arrival, Tom decided to puff his fur out so he looked twice the size he usually is before heading off upstairs to hide under a bed ! Tig decided that throwing me murderous looks would clearly do the trick and make me get rid of this new pest ! Oh well, I'm sure they'll all get along in time ... keep your collective fingers crossed ... puhlease!!!

Day 1 photos ... after we finally decided to nap :)

Crate chum ... all alone !

Because Tess would far rather sleep on the fleece !

Too cute !

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Real life ... Real love ...

I just got back from a wedding ... nothing new there for me, I realise ... but I started reflecting on what it means to be with one person for a long time, what it means to be married, what it means to live in real life, every day ... tired and emotional? Sure, it was a long day, full of emotion, my day starting with my beautiful bride getting a little stressed and my having to spend some time with her, in private, to help calm her ... but the love that I witnessed between these two people had me musing about the whole marriage thing ... so I wanted to blog a poem "The Art of Marriage" by Wilferd A. Peterson by way of expressing how I feel about marriage ...

A good marriage must be created

In the marriage the little things are the big things

It is never being too old to hold hands

It is remembering to say 'I love you' at least once a day

It is never going to sleep angry

It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives

It is standing together and facing the world...

It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family

It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways

It is having the capacity to forgive and forget

It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow

It is a common search for the good and the beautiful

It is not only marrying the right person

It is being the right partner.

The following photo from today's wedding prompted me to add ...
a good marriage ... is built on the ability to laugh out loud, together...

I feel so totally priviliged to be allowed into the "inner sanctum" of so many marriages ... as wedding photographers we have access-all-areas passes and witness so much more than the mere mortal guest or family member. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all my couples for having me, for trusting me to capture their most important day, for allowing me to be such a huge part of it ... I feel truly privileged ... thank you.

Friday, 12 September 2008

Stalk Me !!

I love my blog ! Not only is it a great way of getting fresh, up to the minute weddings and photography to you, but it is a fab tool for communicating any personal news, especially to my family and friends who live in different countries !

I also love my readers and followers ! I get so many private messages from people (clients, other photographers, friends) telling me how much they love keeping up with what's happening with me, and I get comments on posts too :) Running a business completely solo is tough at times, lonely, too, so it is a wonderful feeling to know that my blog is being read, regularly by some - thank you all !

Now, the stalker bit ... there is a great little gadget which I have added to the sidebar (on the right) which allows you to follow me ! I already have 3 blog stalkers (love that term LOL), which is brilliant ! But if you are a regular follower, let me know :)

Thanks again for sticking with me, for reading my ramblings and for enjoying my photography ... I truly appreciate having you drop by :)

ETA: I have had a couple of requests asking if it is ok to follow me ... seriously, I didn't realise I knew so many polite people LOL :) - crack on, stalk me, follow my ramblings, come aboard - look forward to having you here !

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Creativity, Passion and Chocolate !

I posted a while back about my love of creativity in advertising - the occasional advert will either have me running out the door to the nearest outlet to purchase something (advertiser's dream, me LOL) or just gives me goosebumps at the whole creative aspect of it ... this particular ad is the latter, added to the power of the music and the apparent passion from the drum-playing gorilla (well, there's a sentence I never thought I'd say !! haha)

For those of you in the UK, watch out for it on a bigger screen than this ! For my US buddies, enjoy - not sure you guys would see this normally :) Crank up the volume !!

A year in the life ...

I shot my second session with gorgeous Isobel on Sunday ... Mum and Dad are keen to record her first year of life with multiple sessions over the course of the year, culminating in an album they will all treasure forever.

Isobel is now 4 months old and is getting strong and growing at an alarming rate ! She is a cuddle-monster and shed no tears while "modelling" for her photo shoot LOL

A few favourites from the session ...

Her name in BIG letters !

I found it hilarious that she had her very own holiday checklist :)

Starting to get strong enough to hold her head up ...

But actually preferring to inspect the carpet LOL

What ! This is my monkey and my Dad !

What do you mean I look like Yoda !

Time for mobile fun !

Tiny little fingers ... awwwww

Yummy Mummy ...

Look forward to seeing you guys at Christmas !

Monday, 8 September 2008

Adorable Amy

I had a first for a long time this Summer, no wedding ! Instead I had the opportunity to shoot something very different - BABIES !

The first, Amy, is a beautiful little 10-month-old and I braved the floods and country lanes to get across to the farm where she lives :) It was well worth it as we all had a lot of fun, Amy is such a lively, adorable baby, no tears the whole time and she also had a lot of fun with my iPhone !

Here are a few favourites from the shoot, including one of lovely Mum, Rachael ...

The iPhone takes a hit !

Friday, 5 September 2008

Improving Images

With the advent of so many digital cameras around these days, I constantly strive to set myself apart from others ... not only by trying to achieve a different "look" from other professionals, but from the casual guest who happened to have a really great camera at my wedding :) Don't get me wrong, these cameras can help achieve some great photos, but how can we, as professionals, set ourselves apart? Simple, by using the tools we have available to the limit !

A good example of this is the following "scene-setting" image, taken outside the church right after the ceremony. I spotted a whole pile of cameras coming out of coat pockets and handbags, rather paparazzi-style ! and thought it made a fun shot. The bride and groom (Natasha and Allan) were a littel shell-shocked by all the attention and so I wanted to step back for a moment and give them some space to settle in to the fact they were now married, before whisking them off for some formal shots with me on my own. The sky was dramatic with lots of fluffy clouds, so I went wide to capture that ...

Here is the original, out of camera, pretty much as the eye would have seen it ... (I make sure my camera is set to Neutral when I shoot as I want control afterwards ...) - the image is "ok" ,"acceptable" even, but a little flat for my liking ...

With a little wave of my magic wand, however, this is what the client will receive ... note the clouds and sky clarity ... subtle, but very effective !

And, for this one, I actually think it works really well in BW, for a more moody feel !

I think you will agree that a bit of work can really make a difference to an image such as this ! Comments welcome :)

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Just James ...

I got a call a few weeks ago from my friend, James, who has recently started up his own SAP consultancy business, asking if I could call on some of my old skills and help him with a current project. James and I go back a long way, so how could I refuse. We spent day 1 going through the project, bringing back old memories from my SAP days (ergh) so today when James asked "could you take a photo of me for the upcoming conference (he is the keynote speaker) I ran upstairs and grabbed my camera !! Relief, shooting instead of corporate-ing (LOL)

The first, a headshot, is more suited to the corporate feel (although the conference shot was a little too boring for here haha)

... but after a shower and shave, I managed to talk James into a more relaxed pose (did I mention he doesn't really like having his photo taken?)

Just shooting these has made me realise I want to do more personal work, shooting my friends and their families, and of course my family too ... honestly, it's not as if I don't have a camera !

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Ellie's Intimates Session

For once, I am pretty much going to let the images do the talking ... the session was a lot of fun and I can't wait to do more !! :)

Contact me to arrange your session soon !

Monday, 1 September 2008

Wedding Day for Caroline & Simon

I had the privilege of shooting the wedding of Caroline and Simon this weekend ... I started the day by heading over to the venue to get some shots before anyone arrived and parked out front. It is by far one of my favourite venues, Sandon Hall, nestled in the beautiful Staffordshire countryside and not far from my home.

Caroline and her friends and family were very excited about the day ahead, with Caroline smiling the whole time ! The weather was kind to us, yet again, which made for happy guests and happy photographer LOL

Here are a few of my favourites from the day ...

Best wishes to Caroline and Simon for a happy and healthy future together ... thanks for having me !

Sandon Hall ...

Benjy and his funky collar ...

Beautiful accessories ...

My beautiful, smily bride ...

Simon and his best man in full Scottish garb ...

Caroline making her grand entrance with Dad ... all smiles !

An impromptu photo opportunity in the Church ...

Mr and Mrs Ceresa ...

Talk about cute pageboys !

Caroline working that veil !

Her handsome hubby ...

It sure is tough being part of a wedding LOL

Making their entrance to the wedding breakfast to many cheers from friends and family ...