A Beautiful Spring wedding At Holy Trinity Church and Gate Street Barn In Bramley, Surrey
On Saturday I kicked off my 2019 wedding season with Caroline and Tom’s gorgeous Spring wedding at Gate Street Barn in Bramley near Guildford.
I’ve been so looking forward to this wedding. I got to meet Caroline and Tom when they came to my house last year, and they just struck me as such a genuinely lovely couple. Very warm hearted and genuine. Caroline has been following me on social media, and I really feel a great connection. Although goodness knows what she makes of my personal instagram account with ducks and chickens and cats galore!
I started coverage at the venue in the farmhouse with some photos of Tom and his grooms party as they put the final touches to their outfits. I especially loved their floral liberty ties and herringbone blue suits. Perfect for a Spring wedding. After some photos of the finished look, I released the guys for their onward journey to the church (via the pub).
I then headed across the yard to where the Caroline and the ladies were finishing their hair and makeup and about to get dressed. Makeup artist Melissa was applying some final lipstick and powder, whilst Caroline’s hair was being done by her childhood hairdresser. Caroline chose a strapless lace dress with blush under skirt and a matching lace jacket, all from Miss Bush bridal wear. For the bridesmaids, Caroline chose eau de nil coloured soft blue frocks from the Dessy Group, in different designs to suit each of her four bridesmaids.
Caroline’s flowers, by Gill Pike, were in beautiful fresh shades of pink and white. I especially loved the ranunculus and anemone. Really so pretty.
Caroline was escorted to Holy Trinity church in Bramley by her dad in a little Fiat 500 called Giovanni, decorated in fronds of gypsofila. The wedding ceremony was made all the more special by the presence of a choir made up of their friends. Nothing fills a big church like a gathering of strong hearty voices, and their rendition of Neil Diamond’s ‘Sweet Caroline’, during Caroline and Tom’s recessional, was so good! 🙂
Following a good long confetti line, Tom and Caroline squeezed back into the little Fiat and headed back to Gate Street, while their guests boarded a Routemaster and sipped on Prosecco to ease the 8 minute journey! 🙂
Back at Gate Street Barn, we went off for some bride and groom portraits straight away while the sun was shining and the light beautiful. Then after a little shower, we all headed out for some informal formal shots, which turned out to be great fun. Later there were speeches and roast lamb (see the shot of the designated carvers). Then later still there was a live band and dancing, a mobile pizza oven, and photo booth fun with Buttercup Bus vintage campervan. Oh and plenty of Expresso Martinis.
I really could not have been made to feel more welcome by this lovely couple and their family and friends. I’m very fortunate that I seem to attract the loveliest couples, and I really do produce my best work when I’m happy and celebrating along with them. Yet again I am reminded why I love this job so much and how lucky I am to be able to share the best of days with my awesome couples.
A special thank you to Tom’s parents and brothers, Caroline’s parents, sister, cousin and bridesmaids. You were all fabulous!
Tom and Caroline, enjoy Italy. Here is your preview. J x
Venue – Gate Street Barn, Bramley.
Makeup artist – Melissa Oldridge.
Flowers – Gill Pike Florist.
Wedding dress – Miss Bush.
Bridesmaids dresses – The Dessy Group.
Fiat 500 via Instagram – Giovanni.
Wedding Cake – Bella Boo Cakes.
A Few Photographs From My Trip To Cannes for Way Up North 2019
Last week I headed down to Cannes for my third Way Up North wedding photography conference. I previously attended Way Up North’s inaugural conference in Stockholm back in 2015, and then the following year in Rome. I knew the format; workshops, presentations by some the best photographers in the business, networking and chatting with a bunch of European wedding photographers, and a mean closing party to round off the event. I was excited!
Wedding photographers are essentially creatives who love to express their art through photography. Most of us didn’t set out to be wedding photographers, wedding photography chose us, and I am no different. Running a photography business can at times feel terribly mainstream and commercial, and I’m pretty sure no photographer ever said that book keeping was the favourite aspect of their business. We need to be out their taking photographs, doing what we love, and we also need to recharge out creative batteries and be inspired. This is what Way Up North does. It recharges us, it inspires us, it sets us up beautifully for the wedding season ahead.
So on the first evening, I raced from the airport to my hotel, threw down my bag, grabbed my camera, and headed down to the beach to catch the last few minutes of the sunset beach shoot. Now ideally I would have liked to have been there earlier, but British Airways schedule had other ideas. Still it didn’t matter, as a wedding photographer I’m used to rushing around and creating something when timing is tight, and this was tight! I reckon I had 5 minutes to capture some images before the poor freezing and wet models headed off to get warm. Still, the light was beautiful, the sea a dreamy colour, and the models, organised by Swedish wedding blog Sisters In Law ,fabulous in tulle.
So now I am back home, and it’s raining of course. This little shoot seems a bit surreal, but my head is still partially on that beach, loving the soft light and pastel colours. I’m pumped up from all the great presentations I heard, and have yet again I’ve brought home plenty of ideas. These include ways I feel I can improve what I do, both from my client’s experience, and from fulfilling my own creative needs. Things I want to try, and self imposed limits I want to go beyond.
If you’ve never been to a Way Up North gathering, do try and go. It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out or if you’ve been in the business for a decade like me. I guarantee you will get plenty from it. Each time I have been there has been a really good curation of speakers, who’s knowledge and wisdom is shared so generously. I think what always strikes me the most is that no matter how successful a photographer is, we all still have the same worries and challenges, insecurities and scripts playing in our heads . So many of us have imposter syndrome right?
Later this year Way Up North returns to Stockholm, and there will be two more gatherings again next year. Here’s the link you need to find out everything you need to know.
Ok so here are a few images from the Sisters In Law sunset beach shoot. Short and sweet. Enjoy. J x
See my blog posts from previous Way Up North
More for photographers?
A bright and colourful home office workspace makeover.
For the last 5 years I’ve been holed up in our 4th bedroom and was more than happy with this cosy workspace. Now with the kids growing up fast, it became apparent that I’d need to hand my office over to one of them so they could have their own room. I guess like many families our dining room was really only being used occasionally for family get togethers, so it was the obvious choice of where to plant me and all my gear!
The existing grey walls provided the perfect base to add lots of colour and create a fresh and inspiring workspace. I actually started off by finding the bright yellow plant pot, and the rest followed!
A few hours pouring over other workspace inspiration on Pinterest gave me the Ikea hack of creating a sturdy and robust desk. Two draw units were topped with a solid kitchen work surface, and I have to say I absolutely love it. All it needed was a fine sanding and a couple of coats of linseed oil and it was good to go.
I was particularly pleased with the copper lamp with it’s heavy marble base reduced to clear from B & Q, the faux leather desk chair very reasonably priced from Argos, and the yellow blanket for long editing sessions of chilly days was a bank busting £3 from Primark. I do love a bargain!
I found the Frida canvas really quickly and used it as the feature artwork to inspire the rest. The oil painting of the Siamese cats was bought at Sunbury Antiques market several years ago and is a real favourite.
I’m super pleased with my new office space and now I’m all set for many hours editing my 2019 weddings (that’s if Kevin Mckee my Siamese doesn’t distract me too much!).
Feel free to leave a comment or ask any questions!
Desk top – https://www.ikea.com/gb/en/ikea/kitchens/
Draw Units – https://www.ikea.com/gb/en/products/storage-furniture/drawer-units-storage-cabinets/alex-drawer-unit-grey-art-00261295/
Copper Desk Lamp – https://www.diy.com/departments/lighting/indoor-lights/table-desk-lamps/DIY579451.cat
Yellow Plant pot and jade wire wall rack – http://www.sainsburyshome.co.uk/rooms/living/
Plants – https://www.next.co.uk/homepage
Frida Con Amigos’ graphic art print on canvas – https://www.wayfair.co.uk/home-decor/cat/wall-art-c476860.html
Every Child Is An Artist poster art print – https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/TANGRAMartworks?ref=simple-shop-header-name&listing_id=111754365
Alpine art print – https://www.iamfy.co/category/wall-art
Stripe rug – https://www.ikea.com/gb/en/products/textiles-rugs/rugs/
Faux leather grey chair – https://www.argos.co.uk/product/8371700
Blanket – Primark.
The Rise Of The New ‘New Romantics’ For An Editorial Luxe Bride Magazine Shoot
I’ve been shooting editorial bridal for a number of years now. It’s a great way to keep the creative juices flowing and I get to work with the best hair, makeup, florists and production team in the UK wedding scene. I guess what’s unique is that we all work with real brides as well, and not just on styled fashion projects.
Our shoots have never been about blatant selling. They’re about showing brides what we do, and hopefully inspiring them and giving them ideas along the way.
This shoot was all about creating a cover image and content for the February issue of the Luxe Bride magazine. It features model actress and musician Chloe Keenan, who also gives an interview about her journey from winning Britains Next Top Model, to developing all areas of her career.
Obviously this wouldn’t be a magazine for brides and bridal boutiques, without the fashion story alongside. The issue reintroduces the ruffle, the new NEW Romantics of bridal wear and asks ‘Can a ruffle save the world?’ 🙂
For this shoot we were lucky enough to be able to use beautiful Fetcham Park. Having photographed several weddings here over the years, I knew we would be able to use several locations to give different light, backdrops, and style to these photographs. Carolanne did Chloe’s makeup, and Sharon styled her hair, and for this shoot we were joined by florist Mad Lilies.
Chloe wears Jesus Peiro 982, Crisalida, and the statement ruffled Pisa cape in Rose d’or.
For the photography I wanted to bring the look together with a backlit ethereal feel adding a dreamlike processing that I wouldn’t usually apply to a real wedding collection. For the indoor shots I wanted to create a more dramatic, classical, ‘painted with light’ look. Chloe was positioned on the staircase, illuminated with just a shard of light from a window, against the backdrop of painted murals by 16th century artist Louis Laguarre. I wanted to maintain the warm ambient light but also keep gthe shadows to give a sense of richness and depth.
All the images were captured with Nikon D750’s, and mostly with a Sigma 35mm lens.
For links to all the suppliers mentioned see the end of the post.
Jesus Peiro dress and Eliza Jane Howell cape available at Miss Bush Bridal
Luxe Bride Eco Editorial Shoot with Model Jade Pearl At Fetcham Park
I’m absolutely chuffed to be able to share this project I’ve been working on with some talented ladies and home team at Luxe Bride. Luxe Bride is a website community for brides, luxury bridal retailers, and all things bridal inspiration. Since its conception, it’s been growing and building followers, and today marks the launch of the first Luxe Bride magazine issue, ‘The Eco Issue’.
The central themes of the vegan movement, responsible sourcing in garment production, and the impact of the fashion industry are discussed. All so current right now, and something all brides should be aware of.
For these images, shot on a freezing December day, we worked with model Jade Pearl. Luxe Bride creative director Emma Marshall explains a little more. ‘Jade is an artist, designer, model and vegan who valiantly soldiered on through the shoot with a broken foot. We have a sports-luxe and up-cycle theme for January, and knowing how multi-dimensional my personal relationships are with my brides, I wanted to cast someone who would understand the themes, and be fully present and on board with the project.’
If you’d like to see the whole issue, including more delicious shots of Jade Pearl and some seriously beautiful frocks, Click Here. I’m neither a boutique owner or bride, but I found it a great read.
I must also just give a shout out to my best creative team whom I’ve had the pleasure of working with for the past six years. Obviously the creative brain that is Emma Marshall, also director and owner of Miss Bush Bridal, Sharon Roberts hairdresser, Carolanne Armstrong makeup artist, and the talented and evidently bio diversified Gayle of Bloomingayles. Add to this Leonie Lawmon, CEO of Luxebride, Katie Ruocco, sales director, Helen Howells the blog editor, and the fabulous designer Leah Spicer.
The location for our shoot was the outstandingly beautiful Fetcham Park in Surrey. Thanks to Laura and Sandra for allowing us access to your beautiful venue.
Emma describes her brief for the shoot. ‘For Look, the mood board was off-the-scale weird- even for me. I included images of Arsenal women’s football team, glass paperweights representing the earth, and vegan logos.’ From this Gayle came up with this incredible botanical globe, a tiny floral microclimate that did its utmost to stabilise between the toasty interiors of Fetcham, and the frosty and frankly bloody freezing December day outside. Apparently it lasted weeks! This is one ‘bouquet’ that won’t wilt on your wedding day!
Many of my brides will recognise both Sharon and Carolanne, as I recommend them to all my brides. We have worked together on many collaborative shoots over the years and it’s really helped us develop our individual skills, as well as our seamless working relationship. We get to try out new looks and styles of what we do and ultimately this benefits our clients.
In the 1st issue of Luxe Bride magazine, hairdresser and friend Sharon talks about how collaborating on shoots has helped her. ‘Collaborating has benefited me enormously. Apart from having gorgeous images to use in all aspects of my business, I am now recommended to brides by the photographers, videographers, bridal boutiques, dress designers, makeup artists, florists and other suppliers, as genuine referrals, rather than just because we are mates!’
Carolanne talks about cruelty free makeup and beauty here. There was a sense of deja vu on this shoot as I shot Carolanne’s own wedding at Fetcham Park a few years ago!
Model – Jade Pearl
Creative Director – Emma Marshall
Makeup artist – Carolanne Armstrong
Hairdresser – Sharon Roberts
Florist and creator of that botanical globe – Gayle of Bloomingayles
Venue – Fetcham Park
Silk PJ bottoms – Lilly Ingen Hoven
Silk hoodie – available to order through Luxebride boutiques.
Moncler Jacket – ‘Borrowed’ from stylist’s mate.