For a photographer who is at his most stimulated when shooting people, the opportunity to float around the periphery of a bunch of people who totally ignore you is manna from heaven...Read More
"The hotel was prepared with fantastic wedding detail and prospective wedding clients were shown around, bubbly in-hand..."Read More
Ahh, Paris in the Springtime. Actually, scrub that. Make that 'Paris in the freezing cold, but let’s go with it’. But, thank the Lord, no rain.
Engagement shoots are great to do for so many reasons. They are a chance to get to know your clients better with time to wander. But far more important is come the big day the photographic style in which you work is familiar and you hit the ground running. The couple should have no worries about how things will be.
So, it was onto the Eurostar that Farnoosh, Andres and I jumped with a loose plan to shoot whatever occurred to us.
I don’t like to over plan any day of photography; an approximate outline with plenty of room to breathe is my preferred MO and it’s usually the same for those who employ me. But we had some basic location aims: Notre Dame, The Louvre and the Eiffel Tower were all on the 'to-do list', all the while being careful not to descend into an obvious travelogue. We even swerved past those cheeky chaps trying to get us to help 'free Tibet'(!)
It worked a treat. Sure, a temperature of 8c wasn’t ideal, and the brutal Metro barriers did their best to grab Farnoosh’s bag on occasion (cue obvious guillotine joke). But relaxing on the train home the feeling was that we had some fabulous shots of a lovely couple from a wonderfully romantic city.
A pretty good way to spend a Saturday. And Eurostar espresso ein’t at all bad, either.
There is something wonderfully romantic about winter weddings. Their cosiness and candlelight make a lovely change to the brightness and light of summer season shoots.
Preme and Phil will be married just before Christmas at the lovely Fetcham Park, and to underline the winter theme we set off to Surrey's famous Box Hill one morning to capture some simple and atmospheric shots.
It takes a brave couple to head out into the November cold for their engagement shoot - and this was a really awful day of weather. Mercifully, Preme and Phil's 'can-do' approach ensured a lovely set of shots, completely capturing them as a couple, in my opinion.
I'm a great believer that 'fortune favours the brave' with photography. It can be over-thought and excessive planning often hampers the moment. By all means, have a rough idea of what you'd like to do, but leave as much as possible to chance - it brings nicer results. In this case, the steady drizzle, low light and mist swirling around the last of the Autumn leaves merely added to the final pictures.
Below, as usual, are only a few from the overall commission. Click any thumbnail to enlarge...
Blame Star Wars. I was 7-years-old when I saw the movie. Try as I might, I couldn't get my own head around the fact that this fantastic sci-fi world came out of one guy's mind. And I don't mean George Lucas. I mean his conceptual artist, Ralph McQuarrie.
From then on I only ever wanted to do something creative for a living. Photography ran in the family and so it was decided. The problem is that professional photography - in whatever area you work - is wildly different to what you might expect. Nearly every job becomes an (enjoyable) battle against time and logistics. As anyone who works in the creative industries will tell you: there’s a lot of frustration along the way.
So when you get a day in a studio when there's latitude to get things just right, via the help of a great team of people, you grab it and try your very best to end the day with absolute creative satisfaction. This was the case when I shot the new Couture range for Mirror Mirror Bridal at the stunning Renaissance Hotel, St Pancras.
The brief was to produce a simple, clean, stylish set of images which were all about the dresses, but it's surprising just how much work and tweaks are involved to create an end result which looks like, well, as if there was not much work and not that many tweaks required.
The designers, make-up artists, hairdressers, my assistant and an organiser overseeing the running of the schedule, all listed below, made my life incredibly easy on the day and I think the results really hit the mark. Less is most definitely more. The dresses are sublime but their aesthetic appeal was absolutely heightened by terrific models Tabitha Hall, Tijana Tambric and Emily Steer - all of whom were a joy to shoot.
Designers: Maria Yiannikaris & Jane Freshwater at Mirror Mirror Bridal. Wardrobe: Natasha Yiannikaris at Mirror Mirror Bridal. Hair: Anna Acerbi & Michele Antiga at Hair Supreme. Make-up: Andrea Flynn, Pamela Skantzos at Pamela & Andrea + Andrea Elsby Jones at Mirror Mirror Bridal. Stylist: Penny Cullen at Love Scarlett. Studio assistant: Alexandra Nicolaides. Hotel coordination: Clare Legg at The Renaissance, St Pancras.
Click any image to enlarge, or enjoy the 'behind the scenes' video produced by the terrific Kissing Gate Films
Ahead of a recent, stunning wedding at the gorgeous Cliveden House, I really enjoyed a quick portrait session with the bride and groom, Sasha and Artiom - a lovely, young Russian couple based in London.
A few examples from the shoot, but more importantly the story behind the relationship, are now live on lovescarlett, one of the hippest wedding resources around...
When new acquaintances ask me what I do, I simply say I photograph people. I don't see myself as any one thing or another because I shoot so many varied commissions, but they nearly always involve people in some way.
Usually these sessions require a minimal lighting set-up and a quiet space. In Mel's case the amazing bar at The Rosewood, and in Z&L's case The Four Seasons, Mayfair. Hardly tough gigs to attend and always great to be involved.
In each case I've known the girls for a little while and the brief was simple; capture the person, make it look relaxed, go with it... I think in each case it's job done.
I'd never met Fiona Leahy before, but a quick visit to her home in London immediately propels you into creativity. Then via some form of osmosis you leave with far more energy than when you arrived.
No point going into detail here, you can read all about the lady via the lovescarlett.com feature for which I was shooting. Suffice it to say that Fiona is an event planner extraordinaire, with Royal clients and celebrity friends, and I had a ball playing around with detail and some fun portraits shot very quickly indeed, all with natural light, no flash at all.
Consider this a blog-let which just touches upon the final selection produced. As usual, I'm not one for scores and scores of shots on a blog, you get the picture (boom boom)...
An hour spent in Battersea Park in early summer, another nice memory of the year.
I'm beginning to shoot more and more engagement sessions. They are great for couples because in addition to having the shots they also act as the perfect ice-breaker, a practical feel for the way the photographic process works and then come the wedding day it's more relaxing - it means they've kind of done it all before.
No direction needed on this one, Suzie & Nick just went with it and relaxed. We walked, chatted and took pictures, easy as that. The closing light of a London weekday played perfectly into our hands and the angles came together organically.
A great evening with good people. You can't say fairer than that. Just a shame the ice cream place was shut. Still, can't have everything... Below are a handful of images from the shoot.