30 March 2008

Jenny's Portfolio Session Part 2

The weather couldn't be more different than last week - the sun shone almost too brightly!  At least we were able to complete Jenny's modeling portfolio for her.  I think our only problem now will be selecting which photographs to use - there are so many brilliant shots.

Here is a tiny sample of what we were able to photograph today.

26 March 2008

Teen Shoot - End of an Era

Today I photographed a group of teenagers who are coming to the end of an era - they leave school next term, after doing their GCSEs, and although they will still be there for each other through college they wanted to mark the end of school in style, so we took some photographs of each of them individually and of the girls as a group - it was bit chilly, but I think the girls were happy to get a bit cold to get the right images!

25 March 2008

Rugby with the Boys

Even though it was really cold this morning, I was out on the rugby pitch today with the Ball boys to get some secret photographs for their dad.  And whilst we were there, we got some photographs of mum too.

I love photographs like this one - you don't have to have a person's face in the photograph to know it's them - and the action in this photograph makes a lot of the activity that these two love so much, so it really tells their story.

21 March 2008

Tips for Brides 3 - Traditions

There are so many times that people tell me their wedding is different from everyone elses, and then you find that actually it's much the same, largely because of their own, or their mother's, desire for tradition to be followed.  So let's look at some of those traditions.

Did you know that white wedding dresses only became fashionable with Queen Victoria?  Before then brides would wear brightly coloured dresses to celebrate their joy at getting married.  When Queen Victoria wore a white dress, it was linked to what the christian church had taken on as a symbol of purity.  Poorer women would simply wear their best dress, whatever colour it was.  So go on, be brave, and add colour back into weddings, move on from the Victorian imposed 'traditions'!

Veils were originally used in the days when marriages were arranged for the joining of two families (often associated with land).  Quite often a painting (maybe a miniature) would be sent to the groom to show him what his bride would look like, but the painting would not necessarily be an accurate record of her looks (Oliver Cromwell is famously painted as he really looked because he insisted on being painted 'warts and all' at a time when paintings glorified people).  When the bride walked down the aisle she wore the veil to hide her real looks, and it wasn't until they were married that the groom would see exactly who he had married.

The saying 'something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue' comes from Victorian times (those Victorians have a lot to answer for!).  The 'something old' signified the move from the old life for the bride, and the 'something new' relates to the new life that is about to begin.  Having 'something borrowed' is about borrowing something from a happily married woman to encourage some of the same happiness to rub of onto the bride's marriage.  And the 'something blue' is representative of fidelity, as blue represents purity.  The lesser known part of the same at the end is '... and a sixpence in her shoe.' and signifies wishing the bride financial wealth - it's said it should be in the left shoe, by the way. 

Throwing confetti originates from the throwing of rice, and rice is seen as being life giving, and so symbolises the bestowing of fertility on the couple.

The groom wearing a button hole flower comes from the days when he would wear his lady's colours to demonstrate his love for her.

The bride stands on the left of the groom at the altar to allow the groom to keep his sword hand free.

S you're not going to see the groom the night before the wedding?  Well that also links back to arranged marriages where the bride and groom couldn't see each other in case they realised they were not marrying who they thought they were.

I love traditions, but I also feel that you should do what you want for your wedding, which might be to follow tradition, and also could be about you setting tradition aside and doing your own thing, being truly different.

20 March 2008

Jenny's Portfolio Session Part 1

The weather beat us today, so instead of a full day shoot as we'd expected, Jenny only had a morning session, but we'll do part 2 next week when the wind isn't blowing a gale, and the rain isn't falling horizontally!  It also felt like it was one of the coldest days of the year, but I guess that was the wind chill factor.

So, here is a small selection of Jenny's photographs from today, taken at her home, the effects in the first one being helped along by Hannah, my assistant for the day, holding a light outside and shining it through the door. I was nice and warm inside, but I think poor Hannah felt the chill in the air!

15 March 2008

Fashion Shoot

I was working on a fashion shoot today, and photographed Jade and Jess who came along to help.  More on the fashion shoot when the images are released in a week or so.

Kathy's Birthday Present to Mike

Kathy was my first shoot of the day today, and we had a lovely time creating some gorgeous photographs for her to give to her husband, Mike for his birthday.  I am sure he will love them.  I met Kathy through her daughter, Becky, who owns hair salon Shush on Liverpool Road in Birkdale, Southport.  Becky and I are working together on a number of fashion and bridal fashion projects

I look forward to showing you the rest of your photographs next weekend Kathy.

10 March 2008

Kathy and Aidan at Cloghan Castle, Galway

I was over in Ireland at the weekend for Kathy and Aidan's wedding at Cloghan Castle,between Galway and Shannon, supporting my photographer friend, Mike Patterson.    The castle was originally built in the 13th century, although it has now been rebuilt, and is a stunning wedding venue.  All the rooms are full of character, and you can see how fantastic it looks at night, with Kathy and Aidan 

Kathy's colour scheme was beautiful, with a combination of creams, rust, peach, greens and golds that all complemented the feel of the castle with it's stone walls and dark woods.

Experiencing Ireland's Charms!

I have just had a fantastic weekend over in Galway in Ireland, where I was working with Mike Patterson on a wedding at Cloghan Castle, part way between Galway and Shannon - more of that later.  I wanted to share with you the photograph I took yesterday when we went into the countryside - I never take landscape photographs, but I got very excited about the scenery and managed to snap this beautiful landscape.  This is going to have to be framed to go on our wall!

And I was also really pleased to be able to take a photograph of Galway wedding and portrait photographer, Mike Patterson, when we snatched a moment's break during the wedding at Cloghan Castle.


Big thanks to Mike and Maire for making me feel so welcome - and ensuring I tasted the full range of Irish hospitality, including (of course) plenty of Guinness!  Yummmmmm.

05 March 2008

Especially for Gerry

Gerry had never before been to see the red squirrels at the pine woods in Freshfields so we went off in hunt of them whilst we were out for today's portrait session.  And here is one of the little fella's.  Lawrence made me laugh when he commented on the squirrel's comb over!

Gerry and Lawrence

Gerry and Lawrence are getting married at Croxteth Hall next month, so today we went off for a pre-wedding shoot at the pine woods and squirrel run in Freshfield.  We had a really good time - although it was a bit on the breezy side when we got down to the beach!  I think we all had ideas of a wander along the beach until we were blown about, so it was a quick about turn and back to the shelter of the woods!

This is a little selection of the photographs that we took - and if these are anything to go by we are going to have some amazing photographs from the wedding day!  I can't wait!

03 March 2008

Photographing children: Hints and Tips for Photography Mums

Until now I have been writing my Hints and Tips for Photography Mums on this blog - but now that I have my exciting new blog for the Mulberry Workshops that I run it seems to make sense to put these onto that blog - so click on the title above and that should take you straight to www.mulberryworkshops.blogspot.com

10 Tips for Brides - Getting the Most out of your Wedding Photographs: Part 2

So, as a follow up to the 10 Tips for Brides, I have a few more tips to add which I hope you find helpful.

  1. Do your research - buy magazines and tear out photographs you like - with a good photographer you can discuss with them what it is about these tear sheets that you like, and they will be able to help you achieve the look you like.
  2. When it comes to your wedding day, think about where you are going to get ready - a tiny room will have very little space for the photographer, your mum, your bridesmaids, the dress, all the essential extras  and, oh yes, you to actually get into.  You may end up needing to move furniture out, or use the living room to get changed if you are wanting photographs to be taken as you get ready.
  3. When it comes to getting your makeup done, it is likely that your makeup artist will suggest that you are the last to be done as the bride - no-o-o-o-o-o!  Have your hair and makeup done first - if there are any delays then let them affect a bridesmaid who is not too worried, or who can do her own makeup if necessary.  Allow yourself time to relax - and allow yourself time to have photographs taken.  You will be surprised at how many brides are late getting ready because the makeup artist took longer than they anticipated.
  4. Show your photographer the little detail things - even if you like candid photographs, if you are giving your bridesmaids or groomsmen a present, let the photographer know so that they can take the photograph of the gift giving.
  5. Before you put your dress on go to the toilet!  It may be a bit more difficult once you are in your dress.
  6. If you have gorgeous shoes you may not want to walk across the grass in them to get that perfect photograph.  Rather than spoiling the photo opportunity, take some nice flip flops along with  - the photographer may be able to put them in their car for you.  That way you can take your beautiful shoes off for the time you are walking across the grass.
  7. And what if it's been raining?  Buy some great wellies and leave them at the venue so that you can walk across damp grass - the wellies can look great in the photographs too!
  8. Check with your photographer to see if they have umbrellas for the inevitable shower we get in the UK summer!  Most will have more than one to keep you dry.
  9. Accept now that weather in the UK is temperamental and don't let it affect your day - a good photographer will make the most of whatever the weather is, and will make the most of you on your wedding day regardless of the weather.
  10. Use your groomsmen and bridesmaids - make sure they know the people who will need to be in photographs, give them jobs to make sure that the right people are available to be photographed (including getting people out of the bar!) and give them things to carry for you such as your shoes and flowers.
I'm sure there will be more tips to follow in the next week or two - the more I think about this the more I find that things pop into my head!

10 Tips for Brides - Getting the Most out of your Wedding Photographs

02 March 2008

40s Themed Fashion Shoot

This is a very tiny sample of some of the photographs I took at the recent 1940s themed fashion shoot. These photographs are not going to be used in the book, so I have permission to upload them now as samples. These showcase the gorgeous and talented Fleur, who makes me think of Freda Kahlo here. My mother loves Kahlo's self portraits, so I think I must have been influenced just a little.

I can't wait to share some of the photographs from the shoot that are being featured in the book - but as the press releases don't go out until the start of April, I can't do that yet!  You'll just have to wait ... sorry for the tease!

Alex at 3 Months

I recently photographed Alex at 3 months old - I am photographing him every 3 months until his first birthday, having taken his mum and dad's wedding photographs 2 years ago.  It's interesting seeing how much a baby changes over such a short time.  And it's always fun photographing with Jenny and Nick because they are always laughing so much!