Julie & Mark’s UK Celebration

Looking back a couple of posts you will have seen my blog about Julie & Mark’s secret wedding in Zanzibar earlier in the year.  And it was a secret…..but on St Andrew’s Day the UK celebration of their special day had come!  It started at St Giles Hotel in Norwich and continued into the night at The Gull in Framingham Pigot.  And what a celebration it was!  A small intimate gathering for a beautiful blessing followed by a fantastic evening of music, dance and frivolity.  I always like to post a sneak peek from the wonderful weddings and celebrations I am privileged to photograph and this is no exception.  Comment, share and enjoy and a massive congratulations to Julie and Mark xxx

 

 

Android or Human? – Studio Sessions

I often have studio sessions for photographers throughout the year.  It’s a great way to try your first studio session with a model or hone your skills with lighting and posing.  They are open to all photographers at whatever level, as help and advice is always on hand.

Last month saw the wonderful Hayley Bird back at the studio for a studio session with 6 extremely keen photographers looking forward to shooting our theme of “Android”.  The sessions last around 3 hours and photographers work in pairs for their time helping each other with lighting, ideas, etc.  I always try and book an extra bit of time with Hayley to shoot my own slant and images on the theme.  This time was no exception.  Hayley always goes the extra mile when creating a look and I’m never disappointed.  Here are a selection of images from the session for you to enjoy.

 

 

 

Our next studio session which is already sold out is on the theme of “Marionette”.  I can’t wait to see what wonderful creation Hayley will come up with this month.

If you would like to try your hand working in a studio or would like more details about upcoming studio sessions, please get in touch here

We would love to see you!

Secrets and Subterfuge – Julie & Mark

I’ve been waiting what seems like ages to post this blog but when secrets and subterfuge are required, I have to bide my time……let me explain.

I first met Julie a few years ago when she wanted us to make a gift for her partner by having a Boudoir Session. We had great fun doing the shots.  Julie and Mark then came to me earlier this year as they were getting married and would like me to be their photographer.  There were some unique and subtle differences to this particular wedding.  Nobody else knew they were getting married yet!!

Julie and Mark had arranged to go to Zanzibar for a “holiday” and while they were away, the plan was to get married there.  On their return, they would let their family and friends know they were now husband and wife and invite them all to help them celebrate in November with a blessing and celebration in the UK.

As always, I was excited about the whole thing and we met up in September for a pre-shoot at Whitlingham Broad.  The weather had been awful that day, but it dried up and the sun came out as well when we arrived.  Mark had had to leave the house with Julie in his work clothes to keep up the pretense that he was going to work, then changed when he arrived at Whitlingham Broad.  It was good fun!

Julie had been planning all the invitations, booking the venue, etc. for weeks and weeks but trying to keep it all secret and make it a surprise for everyone!  We have fun on the pre-shoot, here’s a few images for you to enjoy and I wished them luck with their adventure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So off the Zanzibar Julie & Mark went for a fabulous holiday / wedding / honeymoon and had a fantastic time!  Here’s a shot from their wedding day.

Now everything is in full swing, the invitations have gone out, all systems go for their wedding celebration on St Andrew’s Day 30th November 2018 (Julie is from Scotland) and what a celebration it is going to be!  So sometimes secrets and subterfuge can have great consequences……comment, share & enjoy!

Success at the MPA Awards

My image sat alongside over 2000 images from professional photographers across the globe.  The Awards evening was an absolute blast and I’m over the moon that I walked away with a Merit Award for this image. The standards were phenomenally high, with images scoring over 80 achieving the Merit standard.

mono portrait guitar

I was also incredibly proud to be given an Award for my Monthly Competition win, along with a medal!  Everyone loves a medal!! 

 

Just before I left to travel to the Awards in Hinckley, I was also honoured to receive a Highly Commended award in last month’s Monthly Competition.  Wow!  What a week!

baby and family photo

So, all in all, a great weekend for celebrating, meeting old and new friends and seeing the incredible craftmanship produced by professional photographers from around the world.  I am already planning for next year’s entries and looking forward to another great weekend in 2019.  Comment, share & enjoy xx

Change is as Good as a Rest – Studio Revamp

As I travel towards my 6th anniversary of having my studio in Wymondham, I have changed and added lots of equipment, props and stuff you realise you don’t really need in those 6 years, I thought it was time to have a good old clear out and redesign of my studio and meeting / viewing room.  It definitely took longer than I expected and there was definitely more things I didn’t know I had which needed to be rehomed or recycled.

I started by moving everything out of the meeting / viewing room – oh boy!  It’s amazing what you can get in a small room!  Here’s a pictures of everything sitting in the studio before the de-clutter started, along with a before-picture of my meeting / viewing room.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My desk was too big as was my sofa (although I loved that sofa!) in my meeting / viewing room, plus my TV was in the studio, so a little disjointed.  I needed a plan so I got to work!  The big desk was recycled, along with the bookcase, new storage was purchased for the meeting / viewing room, along with some chairs for the studio.  I decided to use the small sofa from the studio in the meeting / viewing room to free up a little space but needed somewhere for clients to sit if needed in the studio.  The TV was taken out of the studio and moved into the meeting / viewing room.

There were a few choice words while trying to assemble flat pack storage but I’m sure you all know what that’s like!  I could see light at the end of the tunnel.  A lovely space to meet and greet, as well as carry out viewings for clients, with all my samples at my fingertips and on display for everyone to see – all in one place!  The finished images are below.  Well I say finished, just a few little bits and pieces to sort (a new acrylic sample will be coming soon, and some minor housekeeping bits and bobs, but its made a huge difference to me and my clients’ experience when coming to see me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I feel I’m ready for anything now…….if you’re looking to update your family portrait, need a business headshot, want to have a boudoir or dudoir session, or perhaps you have a new edition to the family, please get in touch here.

I look forward to hearing from you soon xxx

Hannah & Andrew – An Intimate Affair

I had the privilege of photographing Hannah & Andrew’s intimate wedding on Saturday.  They arrived together, which I thought was lovely, Hannah’s dress was a dream with a 50’s feel – so nice to see a shorter bridal dress for a change too.  Andrew looked incredibly dapper too!

Guests began to arrive and the weather literally shone down on everyone.  The ceremony was beautiful followed by a little photo session just for the happy couple, then off to a cosy reception at their home.  All in all, a wonderful time for all.  Here’a a few images from the day as always.  I’m looking forward to presenting the finished set of memories to the happy couple soon.

 

 

 

 

Choosing the Right Wedding Photographer for You – What to Ask…

I’m passionate about offering the best possible service to my clients and although this blog featured earlier in the year, I think it’s important to give you the best advice and help before choosing your wedding photographer.  So I’ve decided to show this blog again, along with a very helpful “must-have” list for you to download.

So how do you choose the right wedding photographer? After all there are a lot of us around, and we seem to offer similar, yet not identical, things. And prices? Prices are hugely variable. So what should you ask to find the right wedding photographer for you?

Are they a Professional Photographer?

It sounds like a weird question to ask but because there are a lot of us around, and you’re hard-earned money will be paying for their services, you want to be assured they are a professional wedding photographer and not someone who does this as a hobby?  Do some research – are they listed on any photographic associations or bodies?  Two of the best ones to check are The Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers and The Master Photographers Association.  If they are registered with either of these bodies, they will carry the necessary insurances and be classed as a professional photographer.

Have they actually covered a full wedding day before?

You would hope they had but to make sure, ask the question.  If they have, they should have sample albums or a portfolio to show you of a WHOLE wedding, not just snippets from several different weddings.  Also ask if the images you are being shown were actually taken at a wedding.  Again, seems an unusual question to ask, but even photographers needs to have training / workshops and education to move forward and become better photographers and it may be that some of the images you are seeing were taken on educational training days or workshops which, although they’ll be great images, were not taken under the same conditions and timescales as the real deal.

Wedding Photography Price

OK, you will have a budget, but be prepared to break your budget on your photography. It’s the only thing you will have in 10 years time. Not the meal or hotel, but the photographs – consider where this sits in your budget.

Then add in what you want from your photographer, for example:-

– A wedding album
– Additional Prints
– A Wall Art Product or Canvas Prints
– A USB of the digital images


 

Wedding Photography Timing

When do you want the photographer to start and finish? It used to be your photographer turned up just before the service, took a few pictures before you went in, then another set of group shots outside the church afterwards. 

Well it’s not like that now, my typical wedding coverage will start with the bride getting ready in the morning all the way through to the dancing in the evening, so work out which parts you want covered. Remember though, you really want to tell the Story of the DAY – the whole day, not just the service in the middle:

– Bride getting ready
– Groom getting ready
– Guests arriving at service
– The service itself
– Guests after the service
– Speeches
– Cake Cutting
– First Dance
– Evening Fun and Dancing
– Wedding couple portraits
– Family portraits

Wedding Photography Style

No doubt the style now is much more towards the “reportage” or “natural” photography of your wedding day. My aim is to make sure we get happy, smiling (or emotional) people being natural throughout the day.

But, your family will never forgive you if you do not have the formal group shots – and indeed you will want them in the years to come.

Also, I strongly favour the couple portraits, to feature the two of you beaming, grinning and full of love on that special day.

Also, the bridal dress needs some special work to really make it.

So, there has to be an element of formal posing.

You can add into this mix some “Fashion” style posing, or “Art” posing – this may be posed to look casual or look very stylized – but the aim is to create a very “WOW” image, above and beyond your average capture the moment type image.

I hope these few things may help you in choosing the right wedding photographer for you.  I’ve produced a “must-have” list of questions to ask your potential wedding photographer which you can download here which I hope will be helpful to you.  If you would like anymore help or advice, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Our Pets – Loved, Loyal and Photogenic!

Our pets are a delight!  We fuss them, dote on them, spoil them occasionally and thoroughly enjoy their company.  Their loyalty is something you can always rely on and they bring us and our family so much pleasure and love.  But do you have a beautiful pictorial reminder of them?  Of course you do – on your phone, snaps from your last walk, a recent holiday when they came with you, but what about a beautifully posed and lit portrait of them?  In most cases the answer is probably not, which is why I organised a Pet Week recently.

I wanted to give pet owners the chance to have a professional portrait of their beloved pet to cherish forever.  It was a busy and interesting week with lots of visitors in different sizes and shapes and breeds!  Every single one of them were a wonderful example of how much they are loved and all of them were on their best behaviour, which made my job incredibly easy.  Here are a few images from the Pet Portrait sessions for you to enjoy.

 

 

I had so much fun, not only taking the pictures but meeting all the different personalities (and that also includes the owners!).  A little video follows but if you didn’t manage to make it to my Pet Week, contact me now to book your Pet Portraiture Session for only £49 including complimentary gift and immortalise your pet in a gift you’ll want to cherish….

 

 

Pre-Session Warm Up for Child Photo Sessions

I just wanted to take a minute to talk about the importance of the pre-session warm up for child photo sessions.  What is this, you might ask? This is the photographer-child interaction time that occurs before we begin the session. I always suggest that you show up a little bit early, maybe 15 minutes, to your session so we have this time to get to know each other. Especially with young children, it’s going to be a little bit scary interacting with someone they’ve never met before and perhaps they’re first time in a photography studio.  I want to ensure we can really show off your child’s personality, so I always want him or her to be comfortable with me and the environment.

 

 

If I were to just throw them into the middle of the session and there’s this stranger with a camera jumping around trying to get them to look and smile, your child is going to tense up and there may even be confusion. I really want everything to run smoothly and be fun!

 

If you can arrive early, this will give me time to introduce myself to your child, and to try to get a vibe on how the session will go. Some children warm up right away, while others need the entire warm up time to start to feel comfortable and come out of their shells. And that’s OK.

 

After I introduce myself, I will try to get to know your child. I’ll perhaps ask them questions about what they like, what they don’t like, sing songs, maybe play a game, etc. Just to break the ice a little, so by the time the session starts, they are feeling happier and more familiar with me. Making sure you’re there early enough to have this time is probably one of the most important tips I can give you for your child’s session.

Once we’ve done a session and your child realises that I’m not scary and we have fun together, if you book another session in the future, it shouldn’t need much warm up time at all, if any. But for the very first session together, it is a must.

If you’re looking at booking your very first photo session for your child or perhaps would like to give one as a gift, please get in touch here or even go to my Online Shop and purchase a voucher or session for a friend or family member.

Five Reasons to Choose a Professional for your Business Imagery

OK, sometimes you need to explain to the boss why you’ve spent the money on a professional photographer, rather than not spending the money and taking the shots on you mobile phone, because “everyone’s a photographer” nowadays!  This seems to particularly apply when it comes to the Corporate Headshots – seemingly such an straightforward and innocent task, yet so easy for it to go wrong too.  So here are five reasons for choosing a professional…

1) Your photos will appear professional

Some what indefinable, until you see an amateur image, then it becomes immediately obvious. You will look at least as excellent as your competitors, and with the right photographer, a whole lot superior.  These images are advertising you and your business.  If you have bad imagery, it may give the wrong impression.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2) They won’t look cheesy

A professional photographer knows how to pose people, how to position them and crucially how to interact with them to not get that “cheesy grin” look, but instead something unaffected, poised and friendly.

3) The camera solely captures what it sees

And your professional photographer will make sure that what is seen is properly lit, properly positioned and properly composed. As well as using a variety of equipment for lighting and lighting control, just their experience in handling the lighting of your images will produce a huge difference.

Depending on what you need your professional photographer can bring a portable studio, maximising the quality and your time. A plain portable studio can be used to capture images of all staff very quickly and efficiently or, alternatively they can use areas around your business premises to capture a unique set of images for you.

4) Herding Cats!

Part of the job is making sure that all the photographs are captured within the time available and with minimum interruption to the working day.  A professional photographer knows how to sequence and manage the workflow – to make the most of their own time and yours.

 

5) It will pay for itself

Your professional photographer will discuss in advance what kind of photographs you need and what styles. Lawyers, bankers and financial folk need to appear confident – but definitely not smug!  Doctors, customer reps, sales staff need to look approachable, friendly and experienced. Company directors need to be assured, but not distant.  Your potential customers needs to be able to relate to the people in the photographs.

Remember you get what you pay for and what you ask for, so be clear with your photographer about how the photographs will be used – for web, for press, for magazines, for publications, for PowerPoint. The photographer will capture and prepare the photographs in various different ways depending on how they will be used.

If you need a professional photographer , I can come to you at your business and bring the studio with me or you can come to me at my fully equipped studio.  All photographs are retouched for those blemishes or wrinkles that you don’t really want.  I recommend booking a session for a number of people to keep your costs down, rather than just a few at a time.

Please feel free to click here to go to the Commercial section of my website or alternatively get in touch for more details.

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