Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Pre-wedding shoot Bournemouth Pier - Sam and Rossi

I had the pleasure of photographing my first pre-wedding shoot of the year with the lovely Sam and Rossi.

I've known Sam's family all of my life (his Dad used to teach at the same school as my Mum before any of us "kids" were born!) - but I hadn't seen Sam since he was a little boy - it's funny how he looked exactly how I imagined him to look (but even taller!)

Sam and Rossi are getting married next month at the Elvetham Hotel, in Hook, Hampshire so it seemed a great idea, as they live in Bournemouth, to do their pre-wedding shoot on the seaside at Bournemouth. The weather was horrendous for the first two dates we picked, so we postponed and in the end we couldn't have asked for nicer weather on the day of the shoot. The sun was shining and it was really warm (until it went in then we were reminded it was definitely February!)

I'm starting to do more and more pre-wedding/engagement shoots and each one is so much fun. But more importantly it's a great opportunity to spend some time with the couple before the wedding day, getting them used to being photographed, building up a rapport and ultimately trust, that on the wedding day, the couple know that I can take good photos of them! All of the shoots I've done so far have enabled the couple to be so much more relaxed on the wedding day.

As the sun was so strong when we arrived, we chose to go to have a coffee and go through the normal pre-wedding meeting plans first - where I'm going to be when on the big day etc etc. By the time we came out the sun had softened slightly, but we still seeked shade for some shots.

Sam and Rossi brought their very cool sunglasses (Ray Bans no less!) for some of the shots - which was a fab idea!

We started off on the pier...

Then we went under the pier!

Just look at that sun! How lucky were we?

I love this one of Sam (Rossi does too!) he reminds me so much of his Dad! (sorry Sam!)

That wave came in a bit faster than they expected! What you can't see is I was doing the same thing (running from the wave)!

As the sun was dropping it was just beautiful.

Sam decided to "dip" Rossi here - they've since told me they love this photo and apparently didn't even realise I took a photo at this point!

What a beautiful couple!

I sincerely hope that they think I'm this funny on the wedding day - the photos will be so easy!

Thank you once again Sam and Rossi for such a great afternoon we had a blast! Reminding me that I have the best job in the world! Can't wait for the wedding!

If you'd like to see the whole shoot - please look here.

Please feel free to leave comments below.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Hotel Du Vin Winchester, Wedding Photography - Sarah and Danny

I'm so excited to share my last wedding of 2010 with you - it was for one of my best friends. You may remember their engagement shoot here. I've known Sarah since college - over 15 years! She'd only recently met Danny and I think they're such a perfect match - the love and happiness between them is contagious!

The wedding ceremony and reception was held at the Hotel Du Vin in Winchester a stunning boutique hotel in the centre of the City. It's actually one of Winchester's most important Georgian buildings and it dates back to 1715. It was the 23rd December 2010 and as you probably remember we had an awful lot of snow - even in the south of the country and it had affected a lot of people. So we had our fingers crossed for the big day, but luckily it was fine - a lot of the snow had melted by the day before so noone had too many travel worries. 

It was still going to be a challenging wedding for me photographically speaking as the ceremony was at 3.30pm which basically meant the whole wedding was going to be in the dark. I'm used to photographing in mostly natural light - so it was a great opportunity to master off camera flash!

I arrived at the hotel, with my friend Laura, the day before so we could spend Sarah's last night as a single lady with her. The rest of our girlfriends arrived early the next morning and we had the best morning, cooked breakfast, a stroll around Winchester, coffee, more food and a generally very relaxed few hours to be remembered for ever – we even skyped our friend Kate who couldn’t be there as she’s currently working in Abu Dhabi!

Winchester was all so Christmassy with decorations everywhere and the hotel was no exception. Lots of beautiful candles, wreaths, and no less than three Christmas trees! Everyone was so excited for what was going to be a very special day.

After I got dressed (into a dress and heels as I was a guest too – this was going to be interesting – I normally work in smart trousers and flats!) I headed into the bridal suite where Sarah was getting ready. Her hair and make up artist Nadia was also a friend – she was lovely and very talented too!

Sarah's dress was one of the most breathtaking dresses I've ever seen! It was absolutely perfect for both Sarah and the type of wedding this was.

Sarah's flowers were beautiful, complete with sparkles on the roses!

Love the VIP on the dressing gown!

I was told this was a makeup artists trick - I'd never seen this done before and I've seen a lot of makeup artists at work! Nadia must be good! It worked too - Sarah's make up was perfect all day.

The huge benefit of everyone getting ready at the same hotel, meant that Danny was only in the room next door - so I was able to pop in between them both to capture both their mornings! Here he is looking very dapper! (and excited!)

Danny is a pilot - hence the cool cufflinks!

He looked so cool! I especially liked his cummerband, which was a last miniute addition to his outfit. He popped into town that morning and bought it - much to the surprise of the shopkeeper when he asked,"Oh it's for your wedding - when's that?" Danny replied "this afternoon!"

Danny and his dad looking very proud!

Doesn't Sarah look stunning here? One word. Cheekbones.

To help things along a bit I gave Jenny and Tessa instructions on how to lace up the dress (normally done on the bride, but we were trying to save time!) and they did amazingly! It was perfect!

By the time Sarah was actually in it - all hands were on deck!

There was a lot of love in the room at this time!

Last minute hairspraying! 

Ta dah! Doesn't she look beautiful?

Sarah had to pop downstairs to see the registrar - to check all the details were correct on their official forms.

Then she nipped back upstairs as Danny and her wanted to do a "first look". This is done quite a lot in America - where the bride and groom see each other before the wedding - it's a very intimate moment between the couple and it's great to document this with photos. Now, Sarah and Danny had decided to walk down the ailse together, so it made sense that we did this! It was hard not to cry! Danny was so excited to see his beautiful bride!

This was just before they went in!

There were a couple of readings, which were very personal.

A few tears...

Sarah's dad came up to deliver the rings.


Then we went through to the drinks reception. It was such a cosy venue, with the oak panelled walls and the Christmas tree.

The Christmas spirit continued through the rest of the evening.

Danny and his sister - looking very proud of her brother!

Bit of a sexy shot of Sarah by the tree! 

We did some family portraits inside as it was all a bit cold outside! This is one of the happy couple with Sarah's grandma - one she'll cherish forever I hope.

Sarah looking all happy with her brother! 

This is all of us girlies! I got my tripod out for this one as I couldn't exactly not be in it! This was the silly one of us with jazz hands!

Then it was time before dinner to get some quick shots of the happy couple!

It was such a romantic, cosy wedding that a shot by the fireplace seemed perfect!

Then we all went into dinner - here's some of the speeches which were all very moving and funny too! Danny started.

Then Danny's best man, Maung had a few words.

Then Danny's dad.

During his speech he got out a big red book, yes you've guessed it - it was "This is Your Life!"

Danny's mum is so sweet!

Laura decided to get up and say a few words about Sarah - she did us proud!

It got a bit emotional - even I was tearing up at this point too!

Sarah's friend, Robin also had a few words - I love some of his expressions - priceless!

The cakes tasted as good as they looked!

Later in the evening Sarah, Danny and myself decided to go up the bridal suite to take some more photos. Sarah got in the bath! Sexy or what?!


This one reminided me of that flake advert - do you remember?

I love this one of them infront of the antique wardrobe.

Then last but not least we went out the front of the hotel for a couple more shots.

I then decided at that point to turn back from being wedding photographer and into a guest! (ie I might have had a couple of drinks to celebrate with my best friends!) It's not easy trying to work as a professional photographer and be a great guest too - I hope for Sarah and Danny's sake I did a good job as both. From what they've told me since, I think I did!

It was an amazing day and it's great to welcome Danny into our group of friends and I really wish both of them a very happy and long marriage. Thank you for asking me to capture your big day.