Thursday, 27 November 2008

The Coolest Office on the Planet ...

OK, maybe a slight exaggeration ... but that's what George, my friend's 4 year old ("nearly 5" LOL) son thought when he came round last week. We were chatting downstairs and suddenly noticed George had gone off to "look for the cats" ... it was pretty quiet after a while (I had been expecting to hear squeals of delight from George, or at the very least a disgruntled meaow from a cat !) ... I wandered upstairs to find George in my office, swinging in my office chair, watching Cbeebies and looking longingly at my computer ! I hooked him up to my laptop and grabbed a camera :) Boy, Cbeebies on telly and playing Cbeebies games on the computer at the same time ! Wow !

A few of George ... what a total cutie, huh??

Gotta love those little dangly feet :)

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Jenny & Ian - 25th October - Erasmus House, Lichfield

I was delighted to have the opportunity to shoot a very "different" wedding recently. Jenny and Ian fell in love with the Erasmus Museum as soon as they laid eyes on it. Set in historic Lichfield (home of the late, famous photographer, Patrick Lichfield), the museum was the home of Erasmus Darwin (yep, there is a family connection !), a famous botanist, among other talents. The venue has a truly intimate feel, especially once filled with happy wedding guests.

The day started for us at a hotel around the corner, where the girls were getting ready. Jenny's attention to detail and simplistic style really shone through, complete with beautiful gown, simple hair accessories and pink shoes / pashmina combo !

The ceremony was held in the museum, with Ian sitting waiting nervously for his bride to arrive with her Dad and sister. After very emotional vows (and some tears) Jenny and Ian were pronounced man and wife ... then for the real fun !

They had allocated a full hour of alone-time with me ! So we headed off out around Lichfield town, including a stop-off at the highly impressive cathedral, just out the back of the museum. Then a stroll through the streets (often without the pashmina, did I mention it was cold?) for a truly unique wedding coverage.

The day finished up with some fun speeches and a special event ... Ian's Dad, a singer in a former life, had pulled together a set to sing to the couple and their guests ... and yes, he was GOOD !

Jenny and Ian ... I can't wait to get together with you guys to look through the rest of your photos and to getting your album sorted ! In the meantime, I'd like to take this opportunity to wish you all the very best for a wonderful married life together. Thanks for having me !

A few favourites ...

The preps ...

Ian ... not quite nervous yet ...

The ceremony at Erasmus ...

Jenny and Sis ...

Out and about on the shoot around Lichfield ...

Fisheye fun ...

Speeches and singing ...

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Personal Post (Week 46)

BBC Press Office ... Week 46 (8th to 14th November)

Hi everyone ... well, as you can tell it has been fairly quiet, business-wise, this week. I decided to take a well-deserved break, driven by a visit from my mum for a couple of days. So, very little to blog about, I'm afraid !

2 wedding albums and assorted products went out to Amy & Boris, then Laurie & Jock this week ... all were thrilled to bits with everything ! I love it when happy clients leave with my wedding albums to go show their friends, or canvases and reprints to adorn their walls :)

I had a lovely couple of days catching up with mum, some shopping and lots of chilling out. Ah, we should all make time to do nothing on occasion :)

Come Friday I was a tad bored and so it was with some relief that I got a call to say I needed to do a little extra work on a voiceover project I am working on for a company who sell IT solutions. I do the voiceovers for their tutorial videos (sounds really odd hearing my own voice telling me how to do something haha), so for the last few days I have been sitting in my silent office, talking into a mic !

Oh, and today I was out shooting a beautiful little 10 week old baby (son of a former bride) and their 7 year old daughter who had been a bridesmaid at their wedding ... boy, is she getting to be a little "teenager" ... 7 going on 17 LOL !!

Tess is looking less like a puppy now (boooo) and more like a miniature version of a beagle (if that makes sense) ... she still puts a smile on every face she meets when out for walks or when clients come to call ... I swear they don't call to see me, the first thing they ask is "where's the puppy?" haha

Back to the grind tomorrow ... it had to end at some point !

Have a great week, everyone ... I'll be blogging a wedding and some portraits soon !

Tess ... in a rare quiet moment ...

I love you Daddy ... LICK !

BIG yawn ...

Ain't she still so cute, though?

Friday, 14 November 2008

Wedding Photography ... is it "real"?

I'll start this post with a back-story ... for very personal reasons I hung up my cameras for around 10 years, seriously, the only cameras I lifted during that time were point and shoots, capturing holiday snapshots and the odd family photo. My husband trailed me into a camera shop during the summer of 2003 and convinced me to buy a digital SLR, complete with kit lens and a camera bag, the investment of £1000 made me want to make sure I used it to the full. I also wanted to re-learn my skills and get to grips with the new digital age.

Having just moved to a new town, I also wanted to make some friends, with like-minded people, so I joined a college course and started on this new path.

I remember being asked, along with all the others, "do any of you want to do this (photography) for a living" ... I tentatively raised my hand, thinking, maybe, but I have such a great day job, so ... our tutor then asked "do any of you want to shoot weddings?" ... I loved the idea of this, having just shot my friend's wedding that summer, so my hand shot up ... mine was the only one. There were some sniggers and the tutor said "oh, well, I guess it IS photography of a sorts ... "

I kept in touch with some of the guys from my year there, but you know what? Not one of them is shooting professionally, just me, loving what I do week in and week out, working with amazing clients, joining them on the most important day of their lives and the happiest !

So, what are my thoughts on the validity of wedding photography? It's real. It's about as real as photography can get. Let's face it, brides (and sometimes grooms LOL) spend months, if not years, choosing every single detail, every flower ... the list is endless ... in order to make their day special. The only thing left after it is all over is ... yep, the photography ! That's why I make sure I capture every detail, every moment I observe; it's why I make sure my bride is left with photos of her looking absolutely gorgeous (and every single one is); it's why I love what I leave every client with ... a collection of memories they will treasure for generations.

To me, wedding photography is just as important as, say, fashion, product or news photography ... they all have their place, of course, but wedding photography actually encapsulates all of these elements ... we are telling a story of the day (news), we are making our brides look fantastic in their beautiful clothes (fashion), we are capturing their details - shoes, perfume, jewellery (product) so how can it be "just a necessity" (a phrase I have heard on more than one occasion :)

I'd love your thoughts on this so I am going to post a poll in the sidebar with a closing date of the end of November ... please feel free to vote and leave comments if you feel inclined :) I will post the results at the end of the month ... boy, is this going to make for interesting reading !

To whet your appetite, here are a few of my recent favourites ... I hope they demonstrate my point nicely :)

Beautiful details ... with a twist ...

Telling the story ...

Great looking brides ...

I can't wait to hear from you, so get voting :)

PS ... Please ignore "Answer 5" - I didn't do too well on formatting this poll ... sheesh !

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Personal Post (Week 45)

BBC Press Office - Week 45 (1 to 7 November)

Sorry for being a day late in posting ... busy weekend ... grab a cuppa and read on :)

What a busy week ! I was glued to the PC pretty much 24/7 getting client's albums designed and ordered, getting them ready for the Christmas rush. I did manage to tear myself away for a couple of things though ... Monday was the DWF Day in the Life project, where we had to shoot something that reflected what we were doing on that day ... here are my 3 submissions ...

Naturally, Tess is the star (isn't she always, these days? But, come on ! How cute !!) :)

The other thing I managed to do was tidy my office ... oh boy, was THAT long overdue. 5 carrier bags of rubbish, a mountain of cardboard recycling and numerous boxes of assorted crap up into the loft ... honestly, I had no idea there was actually a floor in this room !! It was great to get it all sorted, ready for my weekend meetings with clients who can now actually fit into the room with me.

I booked another cool wedding this week ... thanks to Ruth and Steve who are getting married next September at the Moat House in Acton Trussell, one of my favourite venues. I'm really looking forward to shooting their pre-wedding session in the spring too.

On Friday my friend and fellow photographer, Mike Sullivan, came over so that we could sort out his website ... we do this once a year as, like me, he likes to keep things fresh. Mike is based in Evesham, Worcestershire, so it's a bit of a trek, but worth it for the results. We got his site sorted and built him a blog so he can, well, do a bit of this ! LOL. Looking forward to reading your posts, Mike :)

Of course, no week would be complete for us without a good old stomp up on the Chase with Tess ... Saturday was our day of choice (well, Sunday was just awful weather, wasn't it !) and here are a few shots from the walk (for the photographers out there, all taken with the 1D IIN and 70-200 IS 2.8).

One final thought ... yesterday was, of course, Remembrance Sunday. I have a very personal story to share ... when I was very young I was in the Girls Brigade. Every year we would go to church in our dress uniforms, along with any surviving veterans, who would lay wreaths with the most senior girls (brigaders and upwards). Being a senior, I couldn't do this but it was always my dream to lay the wreath with my Grandfather. Long story short, the rules were broken and I was allowed to do this with him ... it was the last one he ever attended, making it even more poignant. There are no photos of the event, just my memories. However, I did manage to look out a very old photo of my Grandfather ... with me. Please excuse the poor quality, I didn't have time to repair it for posting, but if I'm honest, I actually prefer the authenticity :)

So I hope you all have a WONDERFUL week ahead, I'm going to take a few days off for a visit from my Mum and, well, I just need a break :)

Friday, 7 November 2008

Time to freshen up !

For those of you who follow me religiously (thanks, by the way, I love having you here !) you will know that I like to keep my online work fresh. So, finding myself with some well-needed time on my hands, I decided to update the images on the website and blog (look up) ... all the new stuff is from 2008 weddings and couldn't be fresher LOL.

Take a look through and feel free to let me know what you think ! There are new slideshows ... with a portrait section to follow soon :)

Have a great weekend everyone !


Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Freya & Lewis Portrait Session

I had the pleasure of spending some time with Freya and Lewis on Sunday, playing with cars in the conservatory, then off out to play in the garden. It was a tad nippy but we all had some fun and got some great shots at the same time !

A few favourites from the session :)

Freya ...

Lewis ...

With Mum, Toni ...