I was really excited when I heard that Joyce and Enoch were expecting, as I had shot their wedding last year. I was even more excited when they asked me to do some bump and baby shots for them. For one reason or another, though, we had struggled to arrange a date so on the morning of the shoot I was a little nervous as that was actually Joyce’s due date! Fortunately baby ended up being several days late, otherwise it could have got interesting…
Anyway, I knew from their engagement and wedding shoots that Joyce can nail some really dramatic expressions, so I wanted to approach the bump shoot with that in mind, and chose to use a black backdrop for many of the shots. To relax into the session I started with some shots of just Joyce’s bump, and under-exposed a little so that the image is reduced to just the outline. I included the hand here for some context so the shot wouldn’t be too abstract.
We then did a sequence with Joyce lying on the sofa, which worked really well, and have a nice informality.
In preparing for the shoot I had played around with some ideas and had invested in some lengths of chiffon fabric. I wasn’t quite sure how things would pan out, but I love the set of images that came next. We started with the chiffon wrapped round the bump and pulled taut behind Joyce to emphasise her shape. This was tricky to begin with – with me having to clamp the chiffon to one of my background stands. Fortunately Enoch arrived about then, and I was able to put him to work holding onto the fabric. That’s when I had the idea of asking Enoch to throw up the ends of the chiffon and see what happened. I think the resulting images were fab, as the chiffon billowed down behind/around Joyce creating an effect a bit like smoke or flame.
Having sorted the action shots we moved on to wrapping Joyce in different ways before finally letting Enoch get into some of the pictures too, in a more standard kind of setup.
This definitely one of my favourite recent posts, and I love so many of the shots that we did that day:-) As ever, I’d welcome any comments you may have…
Check back soon for some shots from my session with baby Theodore….
Click on an image below to enlarge it and step through the gallery:-
Today I’m pleased to be writing about the wedding of Joyce and Enoch, winners of my competition last year. I had already met Joyce and Enoch for an engagement shoot in Camden, which had been good fun, so I was really looking forward to their wedding day.
With their families originally from Nigeria and Ghana, this was a real mixture of wedding styles, and a very colourful affair! The bride and groom, bridesmaids and groomsen were dressed in traditional english fashion for the ceremony and wedding breakfast, but later changed into formal african dress, and then casual dress later – that’s a lot of changing! You’ll also see that many of the guests were wearing traditional african dress and looked spectacular.
Although there were a few different elements to their wedding the overall flow was pretty familiar to me, so I started with some getting ready shots, before moving on to the ceremony. For this part of they day, I am keeping back out of the way for the most part, and not trying to direct any posing.
When we moved on to the reception venue, they weren’t quite ready for the bride’s entry, so I took Joyce off to one side for some bridal portraits, and when Enoch joined us too, I climbed up a fire escape to get some shots looking down onto them, and then asked Joyce to twirl so I could capture some movement in her dress. As the venue still weren’t quite ready for us, I took a few minutes to take some group shots of the boy and the girls. Rather than posing groups I like to give them something to do and a bit of simple direction, and we always get some nice informal shots where everyone is having fun. The was a lot of competition between the boys and the girls to get the best jumping shot
I even managed to grab a few quite moments away from the hustle an bustle later and took Joyce and Enoch to their suite for some pictures – this is where I asked Joyce to climb into the bath for me…..
And that was most of the formal shots in the bag. There were just a few more of the bridesmaids and groomsmen before the light faded too much. Otherwise I was shooting more fly-on-the-wall style, and trying to capture some of the energy and vibrant colours.
My last shots were of the launch of some Chinese lanterns, before I had to pack up and leave. By that time it was after 10, and I still had a 2 hour journey home! Despite the length of the day, I really enjoyed myself, and felt privileged to be a part of Joyce and Enoch’s celebrations.
My competition winners for this year are Sadie and Gary, and I’m hoping to have just as much fun shooting their wedding in August.
I’ve been suffering with flu this week, so I’ve had the chance to organise myself to share some photos from a couple of summer weddings (remember when days were warm?).
First up is Jenny and Dave’s wedding, which took place at Queen’s Hall in Cuckfield. You may remember that Janny and Dave were runners-up in my competition earlier this year, so it was great for me to be able to shoot their wedding.
One unusual element of their plans that had stood out for me was the idea of asking each guest to bring a flower on the day, which would then be made into Jenny’s bridal bouquet just before the service. Florist Lynne from EricaLily Flowers was understandably a bit nervous, but she did a great job to incorporate all the different blooms that came her way!
I also have to point out how adorable Jenny and Dave’s twins were. Jake and Bella were a bit tired by the end of the day, but I think they had a lovely time at mummy and daddy’s wedding:-)
Please have a look through the gallery below – you can see bigger versions of each shot by clicking on the thumbnail.
Next time I think it will be some more lovely baby pictures, so chack back soon.
I was thrilled when I heard that Becky and Jason were expecting a baby, as I had photographed their wedding last summer. I was even more excited when they asked me if I would take some photographs when the baby was born.
I finally met Millie Grace when she was jkust 2 weeks old, and she was still at that lovely newborn stage where she was not doing much beyond feeding and sleeping:-) I shot most of these images with Millie on a bed, using just window light, which was lovely and soft. We tried a number of “poses” with and without props, but the ones of her sleeping are among my favourites.
I finished off the session with some shots with mum and dad, lit by a couple of flashes, and I think these worked really well, too.
One difficulty with this particular session was that Millie had quite a lot of milk spots (which of course had cleared up a week later!). We could have postponed the session until her skin had cleared, but then we might have missed that lovely newborn stage which lasts such a short time. I decided to go ahead with it and try to minimise the appearance of spots by using good lighting, and knowing that I could also do some work on her skin in post-production. I’m glad we did go ahead on the day, although there was quite a lot of work for me to do to clear up her skin! I love the lack & white conversions here, as I think that removing colour (apart from a subtle toning) adds a little atmosphere to the shots, and gives a sense of tranquility.
Anyway, Becky now has some lovey images from a very special time with her new baby, and she wonderfully emotional when she saw the images for the first time. That makes it all worthwhile for me, and it’s what I love about baby shoots:-)
Let me know what your favourites are…….
More baby pictures next time? Or perhaps a wedding?
Another of the summer weddings. This time it was Sarah and Ben’s, and we actually had some sunshine! They were married at Asdown Park Hotel , with the party in a marquee at their own Sussex home, and stretch jeeps to ferry the guests between.
Sarah had made her own dress, and was looking gorgeous, so check out the getting ready shots. Ben was looking a bit nervous beforehand, like many grooms, but was much happier when it was all over. I managed to grab some time back at the house to photograph the newlyweds after the food had been served, and I loved the late evening sunlight. Sarah and Ben were even up for the idea of climbing up onto a big tree stump for a few shots.
Incidentally, I regretted not grabbing some of the canapes while I had a chance – the little fish & chip cones were looking really tempting!
By the time I had to pack my bags the party was gathering pace, but I had time to grab a few relaxed minutes with Ben to take a few more shots before I left.
My favourite shot has to be this one of Sarah, though, as the light was just beautiful, lit by a small skylight at the top of the stairs.
Anyway, that’s all for now. Take a look at the gallery below and click on a thumbnail to see the full image.
It seems like ages since Jo and Tony got married in July, but the rainy days we have had recently have reminded me of their wedding day. I loved working with Jo and Tony – it was grey and wet from the start, but they didn’t let it get them down, and you will see from the photos here that they were just smiling all day long.
They even stayed calm when the groom’s car keys were accidently taken to the reception after the service, leaving bride and groom stranded at the church! Fortunately I was still on hand and was able to drive Tony back to his house to pick up the spare car keys.
As their photographer, there were definitely some challenges for me throughout the day. Mostly it was just the lack of light in the church (St Mary’s at Sompting, which is beatiful), and at the reception (Findon Manor) which made life difficult, but I was able to to shoot some great images with a high ISO and steady hand. But then the persistent rain made it difficult to arrange any group shots outside. Fortunately we did get about 10 minutes after the ceremony, and then about half an hour later in the evening just before the light started to fade. So I had to grab my opportunities quickly and get all my subjects organised while still keeping them entertained and smiley.
Strangely, this helps me to remember some reasons why I love shooting weddings:
- I get to work with people who are good fun to be with, and I feel so lucky to have had the clients that I have
- even when things don’t turn out to be perfect, everyone still wants to have a good time, and I can harness that positive energy to help get some of the spirit of the day into my images
- I have to work really hard sometimes to get good images, which keeps me challenged and helps me to stay creative
So, I’m feeling a lot of love for my clients right now and will celebrate them some more in coming posts.
Thanks for your visit.
Well, it has been a busy summer and I have a lot of catching up to do here – several weddings, some engagement shoots and a couple of babies…
First up is Sarah & Ben’s pre wedding shoot. This was a low-key affair that we did in the back garden of their house in deepest Sussex. To begin with they were both a bit uncomfortable having their picture taken, so I started with some individual portraits to build a bit of confidence. Once I had shown them some of the results on the back of the camera they started to relax a little. For the shots of Ben, I added a slightly gritty masculine treatment in post-processing, which I think works really well for him.
Now we were into the swing of it, we began doing shots of them both, and I asked them to concentrate on just being together and having a bit of fun, rather than thinking too much about the camera. We were able to get some nice natural images and I think their personalities are coming through nicely here.
Their wedding day has already been and gone (I did say I had some catching up to do with my blog!) so look out for some fab images from the wedding coming soon:)
Thanks for looking,
Catching up on some posts after (during) a busy period. A while back I met up with my competition winners, Joyce and Enoch for their pre-wedding shoot. This was in and around Camden Market, which was a great area for interesting locations and backdrops, and for trying on some hats.
Joyce and Enoch were such a pleasure to work with, and I always try to have a relaxed, fun time with my clients - which is something that I hope comes across in these images. We even finished the shoot with some jumping shots, which had them both checking the back of my camera after each take, keen to see how they had done and how to improve their jumps to get the shots right.
At the end of the shoot, Enoch said to me that he hadn’t though that having his photo taken could be such fun. Job done:)
I’m really excited about their wedding in September, as I think it is going to be a really vibrant and colourful event, with lots of traditional African dress.
Check back to see how it goes.
This is just a quick update on my “What’s your story?” competition, where the winning couple will win their photo package from me……….
So far, Joyce and Enoch have opened up quite a lead, with a whopping 90 votes!! Jenny and Dave a trailing a little with 40 votes, but with plenty of time to turn it around…
Check out their stories by looking at the posts under the **COMPETITION** category:)
For any other couples out there, there is still time to enter the competition, but you’ll need to be quick…….
Wishing them all good luck..
I can’t believe I didn’t share this at the time, but I’ve recently put together their album, so now seems like a good time. Charlotte and James were married last September at Dulwich College. Despite a forecast of heavy rain, we were very lucky with the weather, which was largely sunny through til mid afternoon. The luck even held out when the rain did eventually come, as that coincided with when the wedding breakfast was being served:-)
Dulwich college was a great location for photographs, with some nice little locations for me to use. The reception was held at The Distillers, in Smithfield where everyone had a fine time:-) It was a little more difficult for me to find good locations, but I did find some good ones in and around – including a couple of shots on the stairs down to the loos!
Charlotte and James were delightful to work with, as were their families, and I wish them much happiness together:-)
So, here are the photos – you can see a large version by clicking on an image……………….