A few days before Christmas 2018 I travelled up to Buckinghamshire and the lovely little town of Amersham for Sarah & Neil's wedding at the quaint Kings Chapel, set in the grounds of the larger Kings Arms on the High St. Despite the drizzle and cloud, the couple and their guests were in fine spirits! The main room was decked out with fairy lights and a nice big Christmas tree in the corner, and after the ceremony and confetti throw the staff quickly changed it all around for the speeches and cake cut. Sarah & Neil's first dance was one of the most creative I've seen this year - they had a whole routine worked out and put on quite the show for their guests! Before I left I took the couple back outside for some creative photos in front of the chapel and amongst the fairy lights in the trees. What a fab way to end 2018!
My friend Kim recently bought herself a new camera and and in an effort to get better photos out of it and get to grips with some of the controls, she suggested we go and visit a mutual friend and take some photos of her horses. We arrived on a cold December day and got stuck right in at the paddock while Max went about putting coats on a few of her horses, feeding them, grooming them and generally showering them with some love. Kim and I were happily chatting away and snapping Max and the horses for a few hours before we all decided it was pretty cold outside and ran back indoors for a cup of tea. Even though I was concentrating on teaching Kim how to use her camera, I still had mine and couldn't resist taking some photos of Max and her horses.
I travelled a few hours away to Stevenage in late October for a chat with Kelly the evening before her wedding, and it was obvious that she and Laurence had a pretty amazing day planned. I wasn't disappointed, and we had some autumn sunshine for their big day at the Cromwell Hotel in the old Stevenage town centre. Friends and family all came together to celebrate, and the newlyweds were great fun and happy to have a giggle during their lovely couples photos in the hotel gardens, bathed in some beautiful sunset light - and a big shoutout goes to two of the bridesmaids for helping me with some extra lighting! The speeches brought more laughs and there were even a few tears during the first dance, with some dramatic photos outside rounding off this great day.
I returned to the Folkestone seafront (granted, it's only a 5 minute drive!) for Mandy and Mark's big day late in September. The girls were calm and collected as they got ready at The Clifton Hotel across the road from the venue, and Mandy looked stunning in her dress before joining Mark at the Channel Suite in the Leas Cliff Hall. We were blessed with sunshine and amazing late summer light for the ceremony and group/couples photos back up top, before heading down for the meal and to party! They had a huge long list of guests attending in the evening, and they all wanted to jump in for a photo as the drinks flowed. Their first dance was a lovely slow number, and their smiles really lit up the dance floor as their friends and family came to join them.
After the huge success of the last styled wedding shoot at Nurstead Court, a few of the other key suppliers started organising a St Clements styled bridal shoot at another lovely venue in Kent. This newly renovated barn style venue will soon be hosting weddings and events, and we wanted to capitalise on the space before it inevitably became booked up! Bringing in splashes of colour to this September day, along with Lea, our lovely model and a visit from a gorgeous retro VW campervan too, we were set for another great styled shoot. It was a pretty full on day, and everyone worked their socks off to make the most of the indoor and outdoor spaces, with two different dresses and looks - including a relaxed boho style and a more traditional dress with lace detailing and veil.
After the success of my photoshoot with Rusty the golden retriever puppy, I formally launched my pet pawtrait mini sessions. It wasn't long before Christie got in touch with me to arrange one for her adorable liver-spotted dalmatian, Nora. I suggested Hothfield Common, near Ashford, as it was both local to Christie and a great open space often used by dog walkers. With the summer now coming to a close, we had some great colours on display, including the pinks and purples of the heather coming out. This was the perfect backdrop for some lovely photos of Nora, both on her own, and with Christie and her partner Paul in some almost Christmas card worthy poses! Once we got Nora to sit still, of course.
I headed up to Thanet in mid August for Stephanie and James' wedding. A part of Kent I haven't been to for a few years now but it has some really lovely tucked away places. Even the registry office for the ceremony had a lovely overgrown Victorian charm to it! It was great to see so many of Stephanie's French family over for the wedding, even the language barrier didn't pose too much of a problem! We then headed to a nearby park for the group and couples photos before heading to The Yarrow hotel in Broadstairs for the reception dinner. After a while mingling, the wedding coordinator took us outside to the small gazebo for some last minute photos before I left the happy couple and their guests to enjoy the rest of their evening.
I first met Mandy and Mark at a wedding fair earlier in the year, and they were lucky enough to win 50% off their full day wedding photography too! I'm always keen to encourage pre-wedding sessions before the wedding, especially if people are a little uneasy or not used to being in front of the camera. It's always an added bonus if this happens during golden hour too! We were blessed with some lovely light along the Leas in Folkestone, before we headed down the famed zigzag path to the coastal park and finally the beach for some really dramatic shots as the sun set. Mandy and Mark were great fun to photograph and soon got into the swing of things. It's great to know they'll be more relaxed on their wedding day now!
It's been some time since I was involved in a big styled shoot, as they can be difficult to organise and find suitable suppliers for, so I was particularly excited when everyone came together for this epic full day at the gorgeous Nurstead Court near Meopham in Kent. This was a real collaborative effort and the other suppliers played a key role in making this all come together. We had the lovely Petra Ashby as our bride for the day, modelling three different dresses to create distinct looks, all with their own details and flowers. Later in the afternoon her partner arrived for those perfect couples photos just as the sun was setting. This was a great day and the chance to work with some very talented people. The English Wedding Blog has also featured this shoot as inspiration for an English country house wedding!
I headed up to Judds Folly on the outskirts of Faversham on another very warm summer's day for Kelly & Stuart's wedding back in July. They were definitely embracing the sunshine with the plethora of sunflowers in their decor and details! This is my first time at Judd's Folly and I was really impressed by the staff, food and the venue as a whole - a real hidden gem! Kelly and Stuart were stars too, of course, totally chilled and I had a great time getting some gorgeous photos of the two of them, as well as all the super fun shots getting involved with their friends and family during the day. This was the last of my July 2018 weddings and a great way to round off a busy month! What a fantastic day, and I'm sure the party continued well into the evening after I had left.
Kim is one of my oldest friends and I've known her since secondary school. In fact she was part of the inspiration for me pursuing a photography career. She also has a special place in her heart for dogs, and when the reality of getting a puppy turned into bringing home Rusty, she was quick to suggest a photo session with the playful golden retriever! Animals (especially quick ones) was a new genre for me at the time but I have since launched my pet pawtrait mini sessions after the success of our time down the Folkestone Warren at sunset, together with Kim and her partner Jamie. I don't have a dog myself but I can see why so many people are just head over heels in love with them!
After the fun I had photographing Jenny and Ben's pre-wedding session earlier in the year, I was really excited to be getting together with them again for their Essex wedding in July! I was instantly made to feel welcome and captured some lovely photos of Jenny getting ready while my second photographer covered the groom in the morning. We then all headed to Warley Park Golf Club, where Ben works, for the wedding. Thankfully it was a bit cooler than it had been and everyone was in high spirits! Jenny and Ben both looked fantastic on the day and we made the most of the grounds during TWO couples sessions, before heading back inside to party with a country dancing style Cèilidh band to boogie the night away. What a fantastic wedding these two had! I was assisted through the day by Rebecca Watts.
In early July I headed up to North Kent and the small village of Hoo for the gorgeously sunny wedding of Anna and Sam. They got married in the lovely church of St Werburgh before I stole them both away for some romantic photos of the two of them in the neighbouring fields with the sun beating down. We then headed down into Medway to Lordswood Leisure Centre for the reception, which had been given a touch of sparkle for the newlyweds. A few cheeky shots and a hogroast later, everyone was pulling shapes on the dancefloor - but the kids were the real stars of the show! Putting on their own performance for Anna and Sam. A great day in the sunshine and such fun to be a part of.
I've known Maria for a few years now and she has been over in the UK working on her teaching qualifications in Kent. After she finished and before she headed back to Spain to start a more permanent job, she got in touch with me organising a portrait session for herself. I think it's a lovely idea, and she felt in such a good position mentally and physically, she wanted something to remember her good times in the UK and a time when she was in a good place in her life, ready to start a new chapter. We had a great time catching up while capturing some lovely images that really show off her bubbly, fun personality. Aided by some flowers and a folding fan as some quirky props!
I met up with Hannah and Craig on a gloriously sunny day at Scotney Castle for their pre-wedding session ahead of their big day next spring. This place holds particular importance for me as it was where my journey into becoming a professional photographer began. We had a great time exploring the grounds and the old moated castle getting some lovely photos of the happy couple. It's amazing to think how many people we had to dodge to get these pristine backgrounds - you'd think we had it all to ourselves! I'm really looking forward to their wedding next March at the Southdowns Manor in Sussex. If the weather is as good as it was here then we'll all be very happy bunnies!
I had been in touch with Holly from Locate to Create before about collaborating on some product and branding photography but it wasn't until a few months ago did we actually get together the rest of her team to make it all happen! I went back to Mt Ephraim Gardens near Faversham for the day and there was loads going on! Holly and her mum had their makeup done by the lovely Sharon Owens who, when she isn't flying with BA, does some amazing work! After that the team set about creating scenes with their lovely vintage props in the gardens and a gorgeous table set up outside before rounding off with some great portraits of the four of them on the Japanese bridge and in the grounds. This was great fun and I hope to work with Holly and Sharon again in the future at a wedding!
Every now and then I come across a photo of the arched bridge in Aylesford near Maidstone and it always reminds me that I would love to go there, first to have a look, but most of all to include it in a photo shoot somehow. I made an effort to have a look around the nearby Priory too and when we had a clear evening, Ellis and I headed down there for a summery sunset photo session! We had a great time playing with the lovely warm light, and Ellis has the perfect prop with her straw hat too. It was great playing with some new lighting techniques to really bring out the backdrops around the priory and the lovely little village of Aylesford - what a fab evening!
After Sylvia and George's traditional wedding back in April, I headed back up to London in May for their official pre-wedding session. They had the great idea to have it in a small park literally next to the church they planned to get married in - so I could take a look at the inside of the church and the surrounding area to scout out some great spots to take them both for their couple photos on the wedding day too. A great idea I have to admit! We had a lovely warm day for their pre-wedding session but found some shady spots in the small park - you wouldn't even know it was slap bang in the middle of London! These two were great fun to photograph and really got into the swing of things by the end too which made for some lovely and really natural photos of the two of them.
I've been meaning to do a poppy field photo session for months now and back in June on my way to a weekend away I investigated an area just outside of the village of Boxley in Kent which is a known hotspot for poppies in season, and it was glorious! A real carpet of red, so I knew I had to come back here. I got in touch with Katie and wanted to shoot sometime around sunset to get a mix of daylight and golden hour photos. It was only a week later and amazingly most of the poppies had died down. Despite this we still had a great time (and we did find a few poppies still lurking) and it was a chance to play with new lighting techniques too! I love the dramatic photos of Katie as the sun was going down.
I met up with Jenny and Ben ahead of their wedding in July one warm evening at Shorne Woods Country Park. I had been meaning to come here for some time to do a pre-wedding session as I knew there was huge variety of scenery to use as a backdrop and have fun with. They brought along their adorable daughter for this session too, who took some time to get used to me I think! However with some encouragement from mummy and daddy she soon started smiling and giggling. The three of them make a great little family unit and I can't wait to photograph their wedding in Essex next month!
Kelly and Stuart are due to get married late in July so they wanted their pre-wedding session to be as warm and summery as possible to reflect their wedding. I suggested we head to a favourite spot of mine at Kingswood near Canterbury late one afternoon to catch the best of the late in the day light as it started to soften and go that lovely golden hue! I had a good little route in mind that both captured the drama of the woods and the obvious love between these two. It didn't take long before they really got into the swing of things and they were pretty comfortable being silly and cuddly by the end - definitely naturals! I'm really looking forward to their wedding, not long to go!
Shortly after their engagement, Isobel's lovely mother got in touch with me with the great idea to gift her daughter and her fiance an engagement session with me around London. It took some time to organise as I had up to 3 hours with these two to get some gorgeous photos around the city, and we had to plan our route carefully. We decided on a mix of modern and traditional aspects of London as we wound our way from around Canary Wharf and the financial district down to Greenwich and the majestic Naval College and the royal park to end as the sun set on a gorgeously warm sunny day. These two were great fun getting to know and by the end were such naturals in front of the camera!
A friend of mine who I used to work with had recently started up a balloon and party prop company and got in touch with me as she wanted to get some new product photographs for her website showcasing some of her balloons. We had the idea of asking her son and his girlfriend to model for us and have the balloons as props. We decided to head to the countryside and a country park close to Maidstone on a bright sunny Saturday in May. For this occasion we had some huge vibrant yellow balloons and some rainbow tassels dangling below them, and I think they look incredible! Jacob and Danielle made good models for the day too.
After some time away in late April and Early May walking the North Downs Way, I was keen to take some gorgeous photos amongst the abundance of bluebells around the Kent countryside. I asked if Emily wanted to be involved off the back of our great first session over the winter months in Mote Park and we headed to the Hucking Estate near Maidstone (I was last here a few years ago for Chris and Charlotte's pre-wedding session, and the bluebells were out then too!) We had a great time chasing the gorgeous light amongst the trees, and the spring flowers didn't disappoint. What really sets the photos off though is Emily's lovely red dress - the perfect striking contrast to the surroundings.
Peter and Debbie were incredibly fortunate to get married on such a gorgeously sunny day during the early May bank holiday this year. Their venue, the historic Plough at Leigh was the perfect setting for such a happy occasion and it's adjacent barn was decorated beautifully for both their ceremony and the reception afterwards. At every opportunity their guests were outside in the beer garden enjoying the warm spring sunshine, and I even took advantage of this too by inviting the newlyweds to a field behind the pub for some stunningly romantic photos of the two of them. Soon after the party really began and everything from the first dance to the photo booth was just amazing - what a day!