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"... Nestled in the hills north of Seville it's the most amazing place to spend some time. It is owned by the wonderful Charlotte Scott, a Brit who arrived in Andalucía in the 1970s and spent several decades turning a crumbling old Manse into a very special boutique hotel..."

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A wedding photographer in London...

If you ask me, London is the greatest city in the world. It has the lot. The streets are filled with a million fashions encased by every kind of architecture and there are places of interest to suit every taste and need.

Much of my time is now spent working in this city and my enthusiasm just grows and grows for our wonderful capital.

My personal relationship with the city began as a very small boy being shown around by my parents. Every weekend is was another sight or sound.

Then, many years later when I started my A levels, it was with tremendous pride that I hopped on to the train every day to attend college near Euston station.

My photographic relationship with the city started a few years later with some PR shoots via motorsport industry sponsors – an area in which I worked for over 15 years.

Leaving that world behind, it came as a big shock to have my very first London wedding commission at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, just off The Mall. Gulp. Nerves = huge motivation.

Since those initial inspiring days I have been so lucky to forge relationships with many truly amazing venues and shoot in some of town's greatest spaces, from the most famous hotels like Claridges, and The Savoy to vast churches such as Temple Church and cathedrals like Westminster Abbey.

I’ve also shot weddings in more than a few of the city’s quirky spots. Variation is key. I believe that being able to shoot well regardless of the location is something a client should demand of a good photographer.

I love the feeling, energy, excitement, drama and heritage of every nook and cranny of our sprawling gem of a city.

So here is a little pictorial celebration of some of my favourite places to shoot... I hope you enjoy them (click to enlarge)

 

From the archive... #6

This shot could easily be a caption competition. For now I'll leave it as a little preview to a post I'll upload soon after a really enjoyable shoot with Team SKY Pro Cycling.

The rather uncomfortable looking gent in question is Aussie rider, CJ Sutton. The various lumps and bumps around his person are actually water bottles, about 25 if I recall correctly. 

In between TV and stills set-ups they were practising swapping bottles from support car to rider and then back again. On event stages where the support team can't be near the rider (usually they are in a chasing pack), fluids needs to be carried and readily available. This was an extreme test to see just how much the poor guy could manage. Rather him than me! 

A proper overview of the day to follow very soon... 

Nicola & Antony, Wedding photography at Andaz, London

Andaz is one of those hotels which gives a photographer more and more, depending on how much you search. Prior to this shoot, I'd eaten there once, met Nicola and Antony there once, but never really had a chance to recce because it's such a busy, public location.

Located right next to London's Liverpool Street Station, the hotel is what I'd call an 'inside/outside space'. The drinks reception was in a very spacious area, lit by natural light, but all inside - therefore weather-proof. This alone makes it a very popular venue with couples and I really enjoyed the commission as I could also use significant elevation and record the feeling of space in several shots. 

Nicola and Antony were fabulously laid-back and just rolled with the day. I was given my usual 'do your own thing' brief and a nice set emerged as a result. I won't overplay the fact that the location was literally 2 mins walk from my train home, but...

So, a stylish couple and a venue at which you don't care about the weather. But what did the weather actually do on the day?  It was warm and sunny. Oh, the irony...

As usual here is a small selection from the day. Click on any thumbnail to enlarge... 

From the archive... #4

This is a nice little shot that's always been one of my favourites. But while it's simple, the picture also says a lot about the day in question. That 'photo is worth a thousand words' thing.

Without knowing the couple or anything about their wedding you can instantly tell it was a relaxed affair with a rustic feel - hence the chairs. We also know they have a sense of humour and thought it would be mischievous to coordinate shoes and socks - the focal point of the shot. The brogues tell you the groom is his own man and not swayed by the need to conform totally to the occasion. And you sense the bride loves the idea of being little daring with scarlett shoes. 

The wedding was in Shoreditch Town Hall, with the emphasis on fun, and the couple are as laid-back as they come. It was a tiny, personality-rich affair - which is always brilliant to shoot.

This shot has also directly led to more than one subsequent commission. The image sticks in people's minds and has even led to one couple copying them (see second shot). It just goes to show that you can chuck all the marketing and strategy you wish at your business, but it's the smallest things to which people respond...

Persian wedding, Pegah & Sam...

This recent shoot will always stick in my mind as something fun, stylish and wealthy in character.

Pegah and Sam are Iranian and shooting a Persian wedding was a first for me. The location was a private residence and  although it doesn't look like it, the day was blighted with frequent showers. 

The detail of the wedding ceremony feast, the guys in black tie and a lovely, happy bride made the day constantly interesting and its laid-back nature made for simple, personal photography and pretty close to ideal from my perspective. We've met up since to shoot some portraits, such was the extent of their enthusiasm for the final results.  A great day and a great couple.

As usual I haven't included the whole shoot, but here are my favourites from the set. Click any thumbnail to enlarge...

Mirror Mirror...

You've got to love a business that's only beaten in a search engine by a Hollywood movie... Punch Mirror Mirror into Google and the first thing you'll see is a Julia Roberts film. But right next to it is Mirror Mirror London, the UK capital's best-known bridal atelier. 

With shops in Angel, Islington and Crouch End, Mirror Mirror have their own couture dress line as well as stocking leading ready-to-wear designers such as La Sposa, Cymbeline, Paris and Yolan Cris. Their dresses have been worn by celebrities such as Amanda Holden, Zoe Ball and Tamsin Outhwaite. 

So it's really great news that I've just become a photographic partner and somebody, quite literally, that Mirror Mirror 'loves'. The business was formed in 1989 and since then has established tself as THE go-to outlet for brides. Numerous awards from the wedding industry press has cemented a reputation for excellence and ensured a bursting order book.

We'll be working together on numerous shoots in the coming weeks/months and it's terrific for me to develop new commissions and relationships via Mirror Mirror clients. Partners, Maria Yiannikaris and Jane Freshwater, are market leaders at what they do. I believe that when you are striving to be the best, you need to work alongside the best, so this makes me incredibly proud and excited.

It has also totally taken my mind away from having eaten too much Easter chocolate...

Love Scarlett...

couple of weeks ago I blogged the behind the scenes video to a portrait shoot in preparation for the launch of Love Scarlett. Well, yesterday the site went live and it looks the business.

A bold, sharp and stylish resource for couples who want to read about the very best in British wedding style, the blog feels like a high spec magazine with something for everyone ; wedding meets fashion meets lifestyle - updated daily.

I've been working with Penny Cullen on numerous shoots ready for today's launch, and while there is lots more great stuff in the pipeline, it's fair to say I'm super impressed with the way she has pulled it all together. Never one to rest and stand still, Penny has gathered together a bunch of leading individuals in the wedding industry to inform and excite, and such input will make Love Scarlett rich in depth. But the key is that everybody works together, a collective, so the sum of the parts leads to something fresh and different.

An initial feature getting some social media play centres around a wedding I shot alongside photographer, Anna Hardy. We were commissioned totally independently, a first for us both. Click here to read the piece..

A photographer's diary...

Back in June I thoroughly enjoyed working with Melanie Helen of Cranberry Blue Weddings & Events. Mel has a fresh take on planning and over the last year or so we've had some great chats about collaborating on projects. (These conversations usually take place over a long lunch a One Aldwych!)

On Mel's blog is a basic overview of a wedding day from a photographer's perspective. It was fun to write and (I hope) interesting to read...