"The hotel was prepared with fantastic wedding detail and prospective wedding clients were shown around, bubbly in-hand..."Read More
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
Walk into this room - wow - you're rocked back on your heels by the opulence.
I had been asked to shoot a catwalk show in the ballroom of The Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Knightsbridge, organised by the market-leading magazine Brides. The client was Mirror Mirror Bridal, with whom I'm developing a terrific working relationship. The London Atelier would be showing some of their stunning couture designs.
On display were the best couture dresses from the country's leading designers - the cream of the cream. It was a terrific opportunity to really nail some atmosphere and record the wider scene.
I've picked this example from the set because it not only shows a gorgeous gown, but also the style of the room. And, I feel, you can really sense the anticipation of the audience as some truly beautiful dresses were unveiled.
A brilliant night. Perk of the job...
It took a nanosecond to email back after Maria Yiannikaris at Mirror Mirror Bridal asked if I was available to come and shoot some catwalk couture material. Alongside some the biggest names in bridal fashion, Mirror Mirror was showing its latest collection and needed to document the evening for press and PR use.
The event was a lavish affair in conjunction with Brides magazine. Combine a runway full of models and freedom to shoot whatever against the spectacular backdrop of the ballroom at The Mandarin Oriental in London's Knightsbridge - it was a pretty good gig for a weeknight!
It also shows that wedding photography isn't all about actually being at weddings. There are so many areas within the industry to explore photographically. From specialist supplier shoots through to portraiture of company bosses, it's a varied world offering rich detail and flamboyant personalities.
I have always loved working in an environment with strong lighting. There are endless opportunities to use the light in front and behind your subject to create something with great contrast and visual punch. Add to this the buzz of excitement in the room as the girls strutted their stuff and you have a dramatic canvass on which to paint with the camera.
Here are just a few from the event. Click any thumbnail to enlarge or navigate with the arrows...