Christmas & winter wedding photography – Jake & Blu – sneak preview

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Lordy – Christmas crept up on me and all the best intentions of blog posts galore are fading fast!

But I am determined to post at least one image before Christmas day of Blu and Jake’s glorious winter wedding the weekend before last. Despite the drizzly rain and low winter light for most of it, this was an amazing day:  adorable Suffolk church with intimate service, stunning bride, amazing flowers, character, emotion, drama… I could go on..

And such the loveliest of couples in the centre of it all attended by their gorgeous two dogs as the ring bearers….

Congratulations Mr and Mrs Nicholls and many more to come soon from this wonderful pre Christmas winter wedding.

My first wedding of 2016 will be a very special one –  shooting my own dear brother’s nuptials on January 3rd.

Meanwhile, I wish everyone – clients, colleagues, family and friends a very happy and restful Christmas!

Dress & veil: Jenny Packham ‘Noah’

Shoes bride and groom: Jimmy Choo

Groom’s suit: Dolce and Gabbana

Rings: Tiffany & Co

Necklace and earrings: Swarovski

Bridal bouquet: By Appointment Only Design

 

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Richmond upon Thames wedding photography TW11 – bridesmaids’ preparations

2015-11-11_0001Making final tweaks in postproduction and hand finishing Ian and Victoria’s wedding images today and just time for now to share one of two that I particularly love of the bridesmaids getting ready.

The rain came down in sheets pretty much all day for this late summer wedding back in August (seems like yesterday to me!) but that certainly wasn’t going to deter bride, groom or their family and friends from enjoying every precious moment of it.

And so, as so often happens,  the drama of the rain made for great character and drama in the pictures resulting in lots of lovely images throughout the day.

Inside of course it didn’t matter one bit with lots of lovely light to hand. More to come soon of a wet but happy day shooting Ian and Victoria’s wedding in Richmond upon Thames:

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Marquee wedding reception – part 3 Josie & Sam

2015-11-06_0002The final part of Josie & Sam’s perfect wedding day back in August (you can view the preparations here and their beautiful service here ). The reception took place at Stowupland Hall in Suffolk, the headquarter’s on any other day of Josie’s aunt’s bespoke design company Plain English. If you are looking for kitchen to end all kitchens look no further…

The weather stayed dry and warm for their drinks reception in the lovely meandering gardens of the hall before everyone entered the marquee for dinner, speeches and dancing.

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Summer wedding photography – part 2 Josie & Sam

2015-11-04_0031A backlog of shoots from this year to catch up on the blog with, but for today’s post I’m sharing Josie and Sam’s ceremony at the stunning little church tucked away off the beaten track in Gippping, Stowupland in Suffolk. You can see part 1 of their fantastic day here. I will post the wedding reception and celebrations pictures tomorrow.

 I absolutely love photographing churches on the morning of a wedding and if I’m near enough to do so, I like to start here in the stillness and quiet of the early morning. It’s like a kind of pre-wedding photography therapy that gets me into the right state of mind to shoot all day. I can also take some shots of the flowers arrangements which have often been arranged by a relative so a record of is welcome, and I can check out what the light is doing, best place to position myself  for the entrance of the bride, the ceremony and signing etc.

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Late summer rural wedding photography in Suffolk – Part 1 Josie & Sam

2015-10-25_0007It’s hard to know where to start with this wedding. First to say Josie and her family have been close friends with mine for many years and when I first started out with my photography, Josie – who was a show stopper from the get go – modelled for me as I learned the ropes as a photography student.  It is always an honour to be chosen to photograph a friend’s wedding so you can imagine how delighted I was when Josie got in touch to ask me.

And what a completely joyful wedding it was on every front and from start to finish. My abiding memories will be of the beautiful surroundings and a beautiful couple (inside and out),  the adorable church of St Nicholas in the tiny hamlet of Gipping just outside Stowupland (an absolute gem &  just about big enough to accommodate all the guests but all the more intimate for it), the chilled and unpretentious yet elegant reception at Stowupland Hall, the amazing flowers, Josie and Sam’s little girl Tess being scrumptious and hilarious in equal measure, the amazing and tearjerking speeches, the superb best man and his ushers, Charlie’s ‘Sultan’s of Swing’ dance to end all dances and in the middle of it all Josie and Sam exuding excitement, happiness and love.

I could go on –  but for now, as I prepare to dash off  for a week of much needed r & r (after many weeks of shoots, album making, postprodution plus building work starting at home and another temporary move in store again – grr!) there is just enough time to post my favourites from the start of this memorable day as Josie and her five bridesmaids prepared for the day ahead. More to come from this stunning late summer wedding soon…

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Oxforshire & Buckinghamshire Wedding photography

2015-08-27_0001It’s been quite a week so far kicking off on Monday for Victoria & Ian’s wedding in Hampton Wick & Richmond – in pretty much constant rain.  There was no chance that this couple were  going to let that bother them though and I found myself surrounded by very warm people and a couple who patently adore each other. Wedding photography highlights to come soon from Victoria and Ian’s West London wedding soon..

Meanwhile, before I head off this weekend to photograph Sam and Josie’s rural Suffolk wedding in the tiny chapel of St Nicholas in Gipping near Stowmarket (120 guests so hope they will all fit in!) and marquee reception at Stowupland,  just time for the last of 3 posts highlighting Freddie & Harriet’s Oxfordshire/Buckinghamshire wedding day last month . If you missed part 1 click here and for part 2 here.

Freddie & Harriet chose to split their reception into two phases starting with a champagne reception, speeches, cake cutting and afternoon tea followed by an hour or so break with guests leaving and returning in black tie for dinner and dancing.

This was such an elegant, quintessentially traditional English wedding in so many ways and as such would not be complete without an injection of English eccentricity and fun. This came at the end of the speeches when an unexpected (to Freddie anyway) guest appeared – introduced as Freddie’s first and only other love – Gunnersaurus – Arsenal’s mascot. I have always been a little bit scared of humans dressed in huge animal costumes but I have to say I agree with Freddie – he was very huggable and friendly.

Congratulations Freddie & Harriet and thank you for entrusting me with the photographs on your day – a wedding I’ll remember with smiles for a long while to come:

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Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire Wedding photography: Freddie & Harriet

Continuing today with Harriet & Freddie’s stunning summer wedding & some highlights of their beautiful Thames Valley church service at St Mary the Virgin, Hambleden, and elegant and sun-infused champagne reception.

I had strict instructions for this wedding to be as quiet as a church mouse & neither seen nor heard during the service (not a problem but harder when the light in the areas you are in is so low!) but was glad to capture these with some tiptoeing and careful timing. I never tire of wedding ceremonies and this one was just that extra bit special as Harriet & Freddie chose the same reading as I had on my wedding day. A genuinely warm and intelligent address from the vicar and heartfelt saying of vows as I think these pictures testify..

Afterwards Harriet & Freddie stepped out into the daylight for some super swift portraits, enthusiastic throwing of confetti and a particularly stunning 1930s vintage Rolls before everyone was off to the the reception. Champagne, exquisite canapes ensued in the bright sunshine accompanied by some classic romantic tunes from the brass section and a surprise flypast, before one of Freddie’s super responsible ushers sounded the gong for everyone to enter the marquee for speeches and cake cutting:

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Wedding photography Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire: Harriet & Freddie

2015-08-18_0001Freddie & Harriet’s wedding day was heralded by glorious sunshine that continued all day long – a perfect day with every ingredient – beauty, ritual, elegance, humour, tears, hilarity, surprise fun and warmth all round! I started off at the St Mary the Virgin church in the quintessentially English and picturesque village of Hambleden in Buckinghamshire before seeking out Harriet’s family as they went about their preparations at Phyllis Court  in Henley-on-Thames – nice to be back there again for a wedding. I left Harriet looking amazing,  just after she got into her dress and returned to Hambleden to find Freddie and his best men and ushers finishing up their lunch at the  Stag and Huntsman and helping Freddie into his togs.

A wonderful wedding and so many images to share. Here are some of my favourites up until Harriet and her father entered the packed church for the start of the ceremony.

Happy honeymoon Freddie and Harriet – more to come as soon as I can!

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Wedding photography Lechlade, Gloucestershire Charlotte & Jonny Part 2

2015-08-04_0002Back from my holiday walking in heavenly Swaldedale in the Yorkshire Dales and getting ready now for plenty more photography shoots this summer.  Three more weddings this month starting with Harriet and Freddie’s in Hambledon, Henley-on-Thames in Buckinghamshire this coming Saturday; Ian and Victoria’s closer to home in Hampton Wick and Petersham in the London Borough of Richmond the week after next; and Josie & Sam’s very rural wedding in the what looks like a little gem of a church at Gipping near Stowupland in Suffolk at the end of the month.

I’m looking forward also to some family photography sessions and business commissions coming up – headshots and requests for general imagery to accompany revamped or new launches of websites. I feel so lucky to have such a variety of commissions in my job as a photographer of people. One day I am working quietly and closely with perhaps just one individual, the next photographing a wedding with 150 plus guests and all the excitement and drama of a wedding day, the next having fun with kids and immersing myself in family life on a children’s photography session.

For today’s post part 2 of Jonny and Charlotte’s beautiful summer wedding earlier this month in Lechlade in Gloucestershire – you can see part one of their amazing day here

It’s lovely when all the locations are  so close by as it was with this wedding. I left Charlotte (and her girls dabbing away their tears as she came down the elegant staircase to be received by her father below) looking absolutely stunning and super calm, and hot-footed it to the church to capture Jonny and his best men at their duties at the church:

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Natural timeless black and white children’s photography: Bushy Park, Teddington TW11

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Just one image that pinged out at me from this lovely and action packed photography session with Theo in Bushy park in Teddington earlier this month.

Looking for carp in the lake and a moment of quiet reflection before we bounded off to search out more fun and adventure.

If you’re thinking about some family photography, I have some availability left this summer holidays for sessions so do be in touch. Or if you’d like to get a date in the diary for the autumn. I’d love to hear from you and to create some creative fine art family imagery for you.

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Wedding photography in Lechlade Gloucestershire GL7 Charlotte & Jonny Part 1

2015-07-24_0001It is always lovely to photograph a wedding day where the venues have special meaning for the bride & groom. Charlotte and Jonny’s  beautiful wedding at the beginning of this month was no exception. The service took place Charlotte’s family’s local church – St Lawrence –  where she was once a bellringer and member of the choir, right in the heart of the pretty north Cotswold town of Lechlade with a short stroll afterwards to their beautiful Georgian fronted house complete with white marquee in the garden.

So many highlights to share in what was a perfect English summer wedding with the addition of a few unusual surprises : owls (more about them later), a smattering of magic and some of the best wedding jokes I’ve yet heard in a long while.

More  to come from Charlotte & Jonny’s fabulous church and marquee wedding in Lechlade Gloucestershire soon. For now some of my favourites from the early part of the day – the preparations:

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North London wedding photography at the West Reservoir Centre N4

2015-06-17_0009Today on the blog the final chapter in Arpi & Joanna’s beautiful spring wedding last month. If you missed the first and last post of highlights, check them out:  part one & part two.  I visited 5 locations for this wedding which culminated in venue with a difference. After their drinks reception and group photographs and portraits of the newlyweds within the beautiful period 18th Century mansion Clissold House, it was very cool indeed to move on to this utterly contrasting but equally sylish venue: the 1930s redbrick tower The West Reservoir Centre.

Jo & Arpi led their guests on foot through the bright sunshine of the park filled with delighted weekend onlookers, to the this imposing and lightfilled reception venue where dinner, speeches and dancing awaited everyone.

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Teddington wedding & portrait photographer: beautiful bridal hair accessories TW11

2015-06-17_0024It was an absolute treat and a pleasure photographing these two beautiful models last weekend for Gillian Million on Teddington High Street, atelier of exquisite bridal accessories and who offers worn once designer wedding dresses to brides local and far afield. Her shop is a complete delight, treasure trove and a must visit for all brides to be. Beautiful exquisite things to tempt you for your wedding day attire!

More to come soon from this recent shoot but a few to share for today’s post.

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Wedding photography Kingston KT1 & Teddington TW11

A few photographs of the bridesmaids that popped out at me as I edit last Saturday’s wedding in Teddington TW11 and Kingston KT1

I had a lovely time capturing these during the reception as these two played by the entrance porch of the hotel. A lovely pool of late afternoon light and happy carefree children swinging their bouquets as they explored their surroundings and passed the time with spontaneous made-up games. Marriage made in heaven for a wedding photographer…

More to come soon from Sara and Ian Lee’s wedding at St Raphael’s church Kingston KT1  and afterwards Teddington TW11:

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Clissold House wedding photography London N16

2015-06-03_0081Some more pictures to share today from Joanna and Arpi’s wedding in Stoke Newington north London last month (see yesterday’s post for their preparations and ceremony).

I always spend time with my clients prior to their wedding day, often meeting a couple of times before the big day arrives. We talk everything through so they and I know what to expect. We discuss their schedule and logistics and we talk about the nature of the images and the balance of the variety of images I will be able to achieve for them.  In addition I always try to visit the wedding venues before the wedding too even if this is the day before if I’m travelling a long way from my base. I find this investment of time ahead of the precious hours on a wedding day invaluable as it means maximum freedom and flexibility for everyone on the day, something that is very important to most couples.

As well as this I am always keen to get that balance right between tailoring my work to my clients’ needs, desires and tastes and giving them the benefit of my experience at many weddings and artistry so all these conversations are a balance between what is logistically possible and what they feel comfortable and happy with.

With Joanna and Arpi, I knew before the day that it was important for them to have some lovely images of them both together and that they ideally wanted these scheduled in to the day and in a certain location, in this case in and around Clissold House and that for these they positively wanted me to direct and guide them to the best light, location and postion. So on the day, as they walked from the church to Clissold House for their hour or so drinks reception there with their guests (before they led the way again through the park to our final destination The West Reservoir Centre), we didn’t have any delay in working out what group and portrait shots we would do where and how and when. All this had been pre planned ahead of the day and I had done my homework too to identify the best locations and light within a very crowded public park on sunny Saturday afternoon.

A few favourites then of Joanna and Arpi’s family groups and portraits together (about 40 mins in total spent on all) at Clissold House Stoke Newington before they returned to their celebrations and I returned to document naturally and unobstrusively for them again:

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Wedding photography in Islington, Bansbury & Stoke Newington London N16

2015-06-03_0047Blue skies and a bright shine shiny day for Joanna and Arpi’s spring wedding last month that took me to no less than 5 north London locations!  So many images that I love from this wedding and that show well the mix of documentary style story telling and classic portraiture that I love to produce for clients.

On the blog today then are some of my favourite images up to the end of their church ceremony at St Mary’s Stoke Newington.  I started mid morning in Islington with Arpi and the boys where I found them struggling a little with their ties and hankies… I wasn’t sure if it was nerves or perfectionism but they got there in the end!  Then it was over to Joanna’s family home in Barnsbury to capture some preparations there with her very attentive maids of honor and sisters. I always like to capture the ‘getting into the dress’ moment and had just about enough time for this before I headed out again into the busy North London Saturday to find Arpi and the guests arriving at the church.

After the church ceremony where traditional hymns and prayers were mixed with readings from Oscar Wilde, TS Elliot and Beatles songs, Joanna and Arpi emerged into the sunlight amid their happy guests and a  flurry of confetti before leading everyone on foot the short distance through Clissold Park to Clissold House for their drink’s reception.

More soon on the blog from this lovely spring wedding in Islington and Stoke Newington North London N16 soon:

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Children’s photographer Teddington TW11: capturing beautiful imagery of children naturally and unaware

_AMC8513Taking genuinely natural photographs of children requires a range of skills in your photographic armoury and having the technical knowhow is only the start of your learning.  It is not enough (though vital of course as well) to have a mastery of your camera, a eye for composition, to see & use light, spot colour harmonies and at the same time capture children as they really are and how their parent’s see and feel about them.

You need to have all that, but if you want to capture something  different and not posed or directed as well as aesthetically pleasing, you have understand – and crucially put into action when you have your camera with you –  child psychology.

This image was captured in Teddington’s Bushy park at the children’s playgound on the Bank Holiday weekend. The car park was full and the playground was awash with children of all ages when we arrived. I usually suggest photographing children in playgrounds earlier in the morning or later on in the day but for this session we didn’t have that luxury so we were out with everyone else.

Of course, given the scene (think a modern day Lowry crowd painting!) I would much rather have gone into the heart of Bushy Park – where there were fewer people, lovely natural backdrops and much greater freedom and ease for photographs. But my little subjects were of course having none of that. They wanted to go where the vast majority of children were that afternoon –  to the playground – so that’s where we were going.

This is just one portrait from a range of images of Celia that I took over the session – my final edit includes some classic black and white portraits, action shots of her on swings and slides, shots with other family members, quieter moments etc

But I especially love this image.

Firstly  I like it because due to the crowded nature of the playground it was not easy to capture a portrait with this much space around it for it to breathe and I had to practically contort my body to get the best angle, work quickly and anticipate well. But I learnt that it is possible if you really focus and work hard enough with what you have.

Secondly because it proved to me yet again that you can find colour harmonies in the most unlikely places sometimes – in this case the natural wood of the climbing frame perfectly in harmony with Celia’s hair clothes and complexion (believe me this is nothing like as lovely or interesting in black and white).

Thirdly because I think the composition works – dead simple though it is.

And lastly because it was observed and captured as it happened, completely undirected by me and with her entirely unaware until after I shot it that I was there.

Next time I’m photographing children on a sunny bank holiday afternoon,  I think I’ll suggest even before they ask, that we head straight for the crowds in the playground!

If you are thinking about getting some professional natural and relaxed portraits of your children this summer, please get in touch. I’d love to hear from you

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Documentary wedding photography, Stoke Newington, London N16

_AMC7853Today on the blog an image that jumped out at me as I edit the photographs from Joanna & Arpi’s fabulous wedding last weekend.

I shot this image just after the signing of the register in the side chapel of the church. I had been photographing the signing (documentary style of course/ no posing) and as I stood back and observed, waiting for moments of connection (as well as looking for the light in what was a dimly lit part of the church),  Joanna and Arpi started to walk back into the antechapel towards their waiting fathers.

Spotting the gap in the side of the chapel and the light coming in from the windows behind them, I quickly maneouvered myself around to the other side just in time to capture both fathers raise their hands with gestures of love and delight.  I love the sheer joy between father and daughter, and the slightly bashful but patently moved body language of Arpi as his father blows him a kiss.

At any wedding I photograph I aim to get a whole range of images –  from reportage moments like this to relaxed natural portraits, swiftly shot family groups (if you want them), details, action shots etc. They all have their place in capturing the beauty and spirit of a wedding, but the emotional moments –  joy, laughter, delight, tears, humour, anticipation, calm, drama –  are always loved by my clients, are essential to the story-telling and certainly give me the greatest satisfaction in capturing.

I hope you like this moment of family joy from last weekend’s wedding in Islington and Stoke Newington, London.

If you planning a wedding,  please get in touch. I’d love to hear from you and help you decide what you might want from your wedding in terms of photography.

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Relaxed & natural wedding photography, Richmond TW9 & Teddington TW11

2015-05-14_0002Last week was the last chance to get married at the  lovely Georgian registry office 1 Spring Terrace in Richmond before registry office weddings in Richmond move to York House in Twickenham.

Shaun and Sam have been together for 16 years but had never quite been able to decide how to ‘do’ their wedding, hence the delay! In the end it was a simple and super relaxed occasion with their immediate family.

The weather was kind so en route back to Teddington to their lunch reception we stopped for some champagne and photographs in the meadow below Richmond Hill, among the cowslips: one of my favourite spots with Richmond weddings for a few quick photographs of the newly weds:

2015-05-14_0003Inspiring & lovely to witness a couple still so very connected and happy together after all those years. Here’s to the next 16 and beyond Shaun and Sam. Congratulations!

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Headshot photography in Chiswick W4 – Investing in you & the ‘face’ of your business

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“You are indeed a miracle maker as it’s been hard to select as I like so many of them. As we know, me ‘liking’ photos of myself is a miracle indeed… It’s such a great feeling to know I will have images that I feel good about and can share with the world, so a HUGE thanks!”

I recently received a call from Film producer Nicole Carmen-Davis needing some up to date headshots and for her soon to be launched film production company Mighty Atom Films.

Not only was Nicole in a super rush for these images so they could be ready for this week’s Cannes film festival, but she also warned me that she is nothing short of phobic about having her photograph taken.

I think probably most adults who come to me for a photo session say similar – it is rare to have someone who actually relishes being photographed –  but I sensed with Nicole that this was a serious & genuine aversion and that I would need to pull out every psychological stop & trick of the trade to get her relaxed and being herself, and especially as her brief was for me to produce a number of different expressions and moods to be used for the wide-ranging clients and markets she engages with in her work.

I’ve noticed in the last 5 or so years that people generally seem to be getting more and more camera- shy, and I’ve been pondering what the reasons for this might possibly be.

In part I think it is about a pressure that has been foisted upon us all for a long time now: to be flaw-free to the world both in our physical appearance and the how we behave. But I also think this fear has a lot to do with the ‘democratisation’  of photography itself  – where everyone, not matter if they have an eye or skill or not, can take photographs and circulate them at whim. Too many ill thought out amateur snaps of oneself flying around the web actually does very little for one’s confidence!

There isn’t much you can do about this, and of course the pros of everyone being able to take photographs now far outweigh the cons, but what you can positively make time for  – for  your own personal confidence and the face of your business – is a proper professional photographic portrait session and a set of images that describe you, flatter you and that you are happy to show to the world. A couple of hours of your time on the day and a little pampering and preparation beforehand can truly transform your confidence, outlook and the messages you send out to others.

Nicole and I had at least an hour’s consultation in advance of the session so that I could fully understand what she was looking for, understand her new brand concept, design and colours, and discuss location, any props, ideas for clothes, hair, make-up etc.

From my edit after the session, Nicole chose a number of images each for different purposes.  There is one for when she is being interviewed about something serious, a couple for her website, one for Linkedin, a super relaxed and fun one for Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and so on…

Once the final images have been chosen,  I then return to these for retouching and enhancements,  to produce both colour and black and white versions for you and present you with online and print ready versions on USB stick ready to roll.

If you are in need of some professional portraits of yourself for whatever purpose, please get in touch. I’d love to discuss the best way of approaching them with you.

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Childrens and family photography in Chiswick, West London W4

thomas and matt-119002balalbum-2While I was reviewing the first few pictures this morning of one of the twins at their breakfast table from this recent children’s photography session in Chiswick,  my memory was jogged to a very amusing moment and sequence of photographs I shot at my first family photography session with this family when the children were babies and where Matty spent a very happy half hour entertaining us all by aiming water from his beaker at every part of himself except his mouth! Cycle forward two and a half years and I am back again with the family shooting a few early morning pictures, again at their breakfast table.

Both these images illustrate well an important part of what I like to produce and achieve for my clients at a children’s photography session. It is never for me just about creating beautiful, aesthetically pleasing images in themselves in beautiful light with clever compositions – although in any session I will be aiming to get images that contain those elements too. But what is most important of all for me is to produce strong, visual reminders for the family that come about from real moments of play or interaction, which when you revisit will move and remind you instantly of how the children were at that particular stage in their childhood.

More to come soon on the blog from my energetic and brilliant fun family photography session with twins in Chiswick, West London.

 

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Childrens portrait photography in Highgate & Hampsted

116familypr-116 155familypr-155A couple of portraits from a recent childrens photography session in Highgate & on Hampstead Heath on the blog today.

In any children’s portraiture or family photography session, my aim is to produce a range of images for parents, from individual portraits to family groups and interactions between family members. But I also aim to create a mix of types of images too and within that different aspects of your child’s personality at this particular juncture in their childhood. The headshot or head-and-shoulder portrait is always part of this mix where sometimes your child will be engaging with me and sometimes not but where I aim to give very little if any direction at all.

Here are two portraits of Maddie taken in very different locations that demonstrate this hands-off approach. One was shot early in the morning on Hampstead Heath, the other back at home at the family’s house in Highgate.

When children are set free into wide open spaces, particularly beautiful natural ones like Hampstead’s wonderful Heath, the first thing they are pretty much guaranteed to do is to start running.  The energy and delight that is unleashed is a joy to witness and I love to capture lots of action shots and play for the family records.  Equally, over a morning’s session, there are quieter moments  I will capture, as in the first photograph here where Maddie has run out of steam and paused after a game of hide-and-seek to get her breath back.  She had been running around with her brother and spotted me quite a distance away and ran to me, stopping at the gate, flinging one arm down in front of it, and the other across her face. A completely natural, spontaneous and uninhibited moment.

The second image here was shot back at home with Maddie lying on her bed and is an example of how an ability to capture very relaxed portraits where a child is aware of you and the camera, is almost 99% dependent on your ability to engage them in something else completely unrelated – in this case a deep discussion about writing stories, one of Maddie’s favourite things to do.

On a purely aesthetic level I love the composition of these two images: the shapes and framing that Maddie’s hands have created, but I also love the way that in both pictures her physical stance and the expression in her eyes are working perfectly together to get across this little girl’s free-spirited, carefree and confident personality.

If you’d like some relaxed and natural professional photographs taken of your children or the family this Summer, please get in touch. I’d love to hear from you.

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Portrait photography in Hampshire

058tilburys spring-58More images to come shortly from my headshot and environmental portrait photography session near Liphook in Hampshire last week with Georgina. With the fabulous sunshine and early evening light we have been treated to lately, we decided to plan and hope for the Golden Hour for some of the photographs (with me shooting other images that were on the shot list inside in the afternoon).

I have never not been amply rewarded by waiting for the Golden Hour when it is possible with a photography session – be it a wedding children or family photography session, or portraits of adults/ headshots. The secret with family and adult portraits is timing –  not get shooting too early, to work fast as the sun sets and hope that cloud won’t come in!

Here’s just one for now of Georgina with one of her beloved donkeys in the early evening light from my lovely recent portrait photography session in Hampshire. Light that bathes the scene and subject and a calm relaxed atmospheric time of day to be out shooting on a warm spring or summer’s evening.

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Publicity & Event Photography in East Molesey, Surrey – The Hampton Court Flower Show for RHS Wisley

Hampton Court Flower show 2013

This week I’m looking forward to working with the Royal Horticultural Society again at their beautiful gardens at Wisley. Last time I was taking photographs there was for a portrait photography session with Wisley’s director Sue Biggs. This time I’m going to be producing some photographs for their new Campaign for Schools Gardening website and for general Campaign publicity and marketing purposes. It’s a brilliant nationwide campaign that seeks to inspire schools, teachers, children and parents to actively use a school garden and in broader terms promotes the benefits of learning outside in open spaces.

While I was brainstorming some visual ideas for this first series of images I’ll be producing for the Campaign, I realised I had never shared any of the images I was commissioned to take at the Hampton Court Flower Show in 2013 so for today’s post I thought I’d cycle through spring to early summer and share some of the pictures I took.  Boy did we get lucky with the weather for these preplanned photography days at the show which was well deserved by Wisley as the previous photography they’d commissioned was a year when it had rained continually every day of the show.

Bright sunshine has its challenges for us photographers but I had a lovely time, working partly to a shot list created by the marketing team which included shooting some pictures of the show gardens (every bit as inspiring and fun as anything I’ve seen at Chelsea), and partly to my own agenda with a brief to capture very naturally the spirit of the show. Here are some of my favourites from this publicity & event photography in East Molesey, Surrey at the Hampton Court Flower Show.

And if the this current run of good weather is anything to go by we are in for another long hot summer. Well that’s how I like to look at it anyway… Hampton Court Flower show 2013Hampton Court Flower show 2013

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“Day in the life” extended family photography in Sussex: portraits & bonds between siblings and cousins

2015-04-15_0003More on the blog today from last summer where two families from the same extended family came together with the grandparents for a shared family photography session in Sussex.

In my previous post I highlighted some of my favourite images of the children interacting with their parents and grandparents. Today some single portraits and images of siblings and cousins together: pictures which celebrate those strong bonds and connections whether demonstrated in play or in more quieter moments of togetherness.

It is always my aim to capture these kinds of images in any family session. Sometimes I will join in with the play, sometimes I will stand back and observe, but whatever approach I take the key to capturing images that are really genuinely natural of the children being themselves and successfully conveying something essential about their character, is to create an atmosphere of trust and complete ease with them so that they accept me a temporary addition to their family  and a part of their day together. It’s all about forming relationships quickly and knowing when to get involved and when to stand back. As I’ve said before, so much of this job is about psychology and if you get that bit right you’re over half way there!

All these images here made it to the beautiful bespoke family albums I created after the session for each family.

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Childrens & Family photographer in Teddingon: Capturing the bonds between parents & children

2015-04-12_0002Have been meaning to share some highlights from this ‘Day in the life’/extended family photography session last summer in Sussex and will post more on it soon as there were so many that I loved and that demonstrate the range of images that I aim to capture at any family photography session.

The approach I like to take photographing children and families is in a way not so different to how I approach a wedding or any family occasion – to mostly observe, anticipate and capture moments as they happen with no direction or interference.  Although I am obviously there with my camera and everyone knows I’m taking pictures, by allowing my subjects to carry on with their activities with no interference from me, they soon forget about me and and get absorbed in just being together, and I can stand back and observe and wait for those spontaneous and genuine moments of connection.

Capturing the relationships and bonds between family members is a very important element of what I aim to produce at any family photography session or event.   Although parents are sometimes reluctant to be in the pictures, I always encourage them to be involved and the resulting images of them with their children are more often than not hugely valued and loved and make it to their walls or albums.

What is especially lovely is that these pictures (all of which were chosen for their beautiful fine art albums) will provide a lasting reminder for the children throughout their lives of the bonds they shared with their parents and grandparents and are every bit as treasured as the more classic individual portraits of the children I take too at the session.

Here are some images of the parents and grandparents interacting with the children that I captured from this wonderful extended family photography session in Sussex. Meanwhile, if you are planning an extended family gathering this year – perhaps to mark a landmark birthday, to create a special gift for a grandparent’s birthday or anniversary, or would like to have a photographic record of a rare gathering of extended family/ cousins/ grandparents etc, please get in touch.

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Teenage & famly photographer Teddington

_AMC4216Looking through my results from last week’s family photography session with teenagers, this very simply classic portrait of one of the girls jumped out at me today.

I love the soft even pool of light on her face (simple window light and my reflector) and the strong triangle shape created by the fall of her hair which, by framing her face  and shoulders, gives the portrait solidity and stature. But what makes this particular portrait of those head and shoulders portraits I took of her at the photography session my favourite, is the spirit it conveys of her at this juncture in her childhood – in her expression of quiet but determined strength deep in thought.

More to come shortly on the blog from my recent spring family photography session with three teenagers.  Meanwhile if you are thinking about some family photography please get in touch. I’d love to hear from you!

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Teddington-based Children Family & Wedding photographer featured in The Richmond Magazine

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About 18 months ago I moved from the Barbican in the City of London and Woodbridge in Suffolk, to settling in Teddington in the London Borough of Richmond. It has been quite a change in lots of ways but I have really fallen in love with Teddington as a place not just to live in but as a perfect location to run my photography business from being within easy reach of Central London and also a gateway to the south and south west of England for all my  various photographic commissions from family and children’s portrait sessions, Weddings, more general portrait commissions and work within the business sector.

So in making an effort to connect more with the community here in Teddington, it was lovely to meet Fiona Adams, editor of The Richmond Magazine, at a Totally Locally Teddington  meeting and to be invited to contribute to the Spring issue of the magazine. The article gives some of my top tips for getting out this spring and taking better children and family photographs, and at family events like weddings and christenings. I’ve included some more text and images below to help you along your way but you can also read the article here: Rich SP feature April 2015.

Spring is upon us and as we head into Easter, hopefully shedding those layers and getting out into the sunshine, remember to take your own camera with you for those family times together.

If you are thinking about getting some professional natural family phtographs taken, please get in touch and we can chat about your ideas and my approach. All my sessions take place in your own environment or a location that is special and meaningful to you as a family, where I integrate into your family day to capture very naturally and spontaneously a variety of images: family groups, children individually with parents, siblings together, individual portraits, action shots etc

For now enjoy the article in the magazine which if you live locally will be coming through your letter box or which you will soon be able to read online

And meanwhile here are some more thoughts and images to illustrate them from me:

There are many fans of black and white photography and those who advocate sticking purely to black and white when making a record of the family through the years.It is certainly true that most compositions translate well into black and white, it being more graphic and paring down an image to its content, the shapes and emotion. However I strongly believe there is a place for both. My advice is this: when shooting, look for the moment/ light and composition first but try to train your eye to look out for colour harmonies too – for example between your child’s hair or eyes and what is around you in nature. There are some pictures where it would be a crime to take that colour away. Colours in photographs can spark vivid memories later on too.

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A case for black and white. Father and daughter, shot in the bedroom after he had got her changed. Lots of conflicting colours going on that are much better stripped out to hone in on the emotion in this image and draw the eye directly to the faces here:

point 7 a place for black and white

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Relaxed & rural wedding photography – Bella & Adam wed in a wood

2015-03-21_0034A return again to last summer for today’s post and some more wedding photography highlights from Bella and Adam’s fantastic rustic summer woodland wedding in Suffolk. You can see the first part of  their wedding day here.

After an intimate, relaxed, but no less emotional, ceremony in the beautiful setting of Kenton Hall Estate,  it was time to start the serious business of celebrating. And if music be the food of love (which patently it is for Bella and Adam with Van Morrison and the Jungle Book renditions from their best mates featuring in their ceremony), play on they did with their celebrations!

The party kicked off with drinks on the lawn and out-door games to suit every age group followed by dinner and a set of top speeches (including one from Bella herself – surprise surprise!).  Adam’s sharing of how he first properly got the jist of his future father-in-law over the subject of sharing showers will be one of those that keeps me smiling for a long while, while Ricky’s excellent lesson deconstructing what to include in a best man’s speech was pure brilliance.

More highly energic, highly  juvinille and highly hilarioius games ensued followed by ice-cream, hot dogs and a packed and frenetic dance floor.

All in all a wedding ceremony with a difference, in a wonderful rural setting and with one of the coolest couples you could hope to have as clients.

Congratulations again Bella and Adam!

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Family portrait photographer in Teddington TW11: Children & their beloved pets

_DSC0263As a Children’s and family portrait photographer my aim is always to capture a range of images on any family photography session – from single portraits of individual family members, group family photographs, action shots, moments of thoughtfulness, concentration, laughter, and a real sense of that family within their own environment or place that means something to them at that point in their lives.

Most of all I love to capture the relationships and bonds that exist between children and family members and that often includes a pet or a favourite animal as much as a sibling.  So dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, ponies, stick insects – any animal (barring pet tarantulas where I have to draw a line) is positively welcomed at the session. Here’s one that I captured recently – I love the way they have found to connect with each other and the mutual reverence that patently exists between them. I love the echoes of her whisps of hair and his whiskers, their ears, mouths and lips. At heart though this is really just a very simple warm image with a strong emotional heart to it.

If you are thinking about getting some family photographs or professional photographs of the children taken this Spring, I’d love to hear from you.  I am available any day of the week or weekends and there is still some availability for the Easter holidays too. If you would like more information. please get in touch or call us on 07811 242266.

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Headshot & portrait photography, Chiswick West London W4

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There’s no denying the feeling of  job satisfaction and delight when I receive this kind of feedback from a client:

“I’m really thrilled Anna, better than I could possibly have imagined! You actually made me look as if I have a brain in there –  quite how you did it I don’t know. Really amazing results, very very chuffed with your work.”

For Ed’s recent portrait photography session he required two very different portraits that would reflect the two very different careers he currently has: as a BBC investigative journalist working in closeknit teams often going underground to get to the heart of a scam or uncover criminal activity;  the other a more solitary and reflective world he inhabits as a novelist. This second image also needed in some way to connect him to the ancient/ classical world, allusions to which are a strong thread running through his novels.

The day we chose to take these portrait photographs was completely clear, bright and sunny so we decided to meet up later in the day to take advantage of the softer light when the sun would lower in the sky.  It was still quite bright when we met so we kicked off  the session in a dark, graffitied & weathered tunnel with its blackened, grimy brick walls – the sort of place that has likely born witness to many hidden incidents and as such had the perfect look, light and atmosphere for a more intense, grittier portrait.

With that accomplished, we then moved on to the gardens at Chiswick House where we had a relaxing and fun hour looking for interesting backgrounds and classical references for the Ed’s ‘novelist hat’ portrait.

For the third, fourth and fifth photograph below I used the fab water feature in the gardens – basically a sheet of cascading  water behind Ed.  For the images with classical references, we were able to take full advantage of that last half hour of light that bathes the skin tones in these pictures creating just the right atmosphere and feeling of warmth.

Watch out for the first of Ed’s three contemporary thrillers, Foretold by Thunder, published by Duckworth this July. If you’re a lover of Dan Brown’s novels, this could definitely be your next good read.

And if you’re thinking about some professional photographic headshots, or require a more specific and environmental portrait, please get in touch. I’d love to hear from you. Meanwhile here are some of  the images Ed and I captured recently at his portrait and headshot photography session in Chiwick, London W4.

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A week in India

Images from my brief tourist trip to India in February… random snapshots of transitory moments that caught my eye in no particular order:

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Environmental and headshot portrait photography – Chiswick W4

_MCC2536 BBC Investigative journalist and writer,  Ed Davey, recently got in touch needing an author portrait for his soon to be published first novel. Ed’s brief to me for our portrait photography session was twofold – to produce a strong portrait to relevantly represent him in his role as an investigative journalist – something simple but with an urban/edgy feel reflecting the nature of his work which is essentially shedding light in dark places.

In complete contrast Ed also wanted an image for his book jacket and book publicity purposes that would resonate with the novel’s historical themes and connections to the classical world.

I’ll post my favourites from this author portrait photography session soon which took place in the beautiful gardens at Chiswick House W4  and a more dark and gritty underpass tunnel outside the gardens!

Meanwhile, this is my favourite of the more environmental portraits that we shot. And it shows that sometimes you can have an idea for a photograph and only when you start to shoot it, do little pieces of magic materialise.

I love the shadow echoes of their profiles that both heads are making in this photograph both aesthetically and metaphorically – playing on the idea of portraits themselves/light and dark/past and present and connecting Ed to that history above and around him.

And because I knew we were in for beautiful light at the end of the day, we waited and shot this in the last half hour of the golden hour before the sun set.

More soon on the blog from a fascinating few hours with Ed for his portrait photography session in Chiswick and Chiswick House gardens.

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Portrait, wedding and children’s photographer Teddington

These arrived this morning from Photoflashdrive in the US  – at last a box for client’s high-resolution digital image files for their wedding, family, portrait or business photography shoots that is neat, nifty and great quality.

I handed my first one over today to my wedding client Pat who came to collect her box of wedding prints.

‘ Cute box!’ she said.

I can highly recommend Tracy and the team at Photoflashdrive – very professional service, care and attention to detail with the quality of the flash drive, the finish and perfect little boxes with my logo colours imprinted.

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Wedding photography: a summer woodland wedding

2015-03-06_0021A return to summer for the blog today and my first visit to Kenton Hall for Bella and Adam’s utterly relaxed woodland wedding in Suffolk.  I’ve covered open air weddings  a number of times over the years and I can highly recommend this venue if you’re thinking about getting married in a wood. Here you have it all: a beautiful wood to tie the knot in, the elegant backdrop of the old hall and country estate, boutique camping, rose gardens and water and the freedom to tailor it all exactly as you’d like to.

This wedding is most definitely up there in the wedding photography highlights stakes for me. I had a ball from beginning to end largely due to Bella and Adam themselves and their truly unpretentious and utterly brilliant attitude to the whole day which of course filtered down to all their family and friends and created a wonderfully warm and happy vibe that just got happier and happier as the day progressed. They seemed to have that perfect knack of being completely organised, attentive and thoughtful of what would give their guests a cracking day and party and relaxed and happy to go with the flow on the day. Perfect.

The order of play went something like this – pink lemonade, a sing along (Van Morrison and Jungle book) and just a touch of emotion in the wood, drinks and hellos in the rose gardens, food and speeches in the marquee, ice cream and what turned out to be full on energetic games on the lawn, and music, dancing and hot dogs til midnight.

Here’s the first part of the story of  Bella and Adam’s wonderful woodland wedding in Suffolk. I’ll post highlights of the rest of their fun-filled and memorable day soon. Meanwhile if you’re planning your day and looking for a wedding photographer, get in touch. I’d love to hear from you.

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The importance of humour in our lives – Wedding Photography

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These last couple of days I’ve been writing an article for the Spring edition of The Richmond Magazine  – imparting some of what I’ve learnt over the years as a wedding and family photographer. The article is designed to help the readers to take better photographs themselves of their children and at family events like weddings, christenings and parties.

There is of course so much to say on the subject but one of the things that has sprung to mind is the importance of capturing humour and the scope we have as wedding photographers to capture it at family events.

All life converges at a wedding so for a portrait or people photographer like myself, who loves to capture real moments as they happen, weddings are a fantastic visual feast and rich pickings to be had if you keep your eyes peeled and anticipate the moments.  I look forward to every wedding I shoot for this very reason – I know I will always have a whole range of ages, characters, relationships and incident in front of me,  and a narrative in which I can record all the key moments of the main story but also those wonderful moments happening on the sidelines too.

I’ve got to the point now with any wedding I undertake to challenge myself to come away with at least some images that will move my clients to laughter. Sometimes it is something that has gone slightly awry during the proceedings (for example the time the best man went to put on his hire trousers only to realise they were about half a dozen sizes too big –  think Stan stepping into Oliver’s trousers and you get the picture. Even more amusing was seeing the panicked party of men trying desperately to wrap the said trousers around his waist and secure them with a saftety pin.

Sometimes the humour is less obvious in a picture – more gentle, endearing, quirky. Often kids are involved in comic moments

Whether the bride and groom witnessed the moment or not, these kind of pictures are always loved and make it to the album –  an example of where content and narrative wins over style. If you get both elements together in one picture, well then you’re really laughing.

I have so many in my archives and also from my children’s and family photography sessions over the years,  but here’s just a few I have dug out of my archive for today’s post

I hope they make you smile!

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