Let's face it, we all need to see a little sun at this time of year. So here is a really enjoyable shoot from last Autumn to cheer things up a little...
Anybody who has travelled to Cyprus during the summer months knows about the baking heat. It's relentless. So a little joke on my part was to open Maria and Paul’s set with a picture of a cloud - probably the only one I saw - as a reminder of London.
This was an absolutely cracking trip. I loved the whole set-up, feel and relaxed vibe around the family and venue.
The Anassa Hotel is THE place to stay on the island. Gorgeous views over the Med and staff for whom nothing is too much trouble.
All a far cry from a coffee shop in Barnet and the first time I met Maria and Paul. It's fair to say my first impression was to be Mr Clumsy - I knocked a cup of coffee over the guy next to us. This public assault not withstanding, we got on like a house on fire and a plan was quickly hatched.
Maria is a great lady: fun, stacks of energy and utterly on the ball. We're talking Olympic standard provision of detail. Whatever I needed to know, I found it had already been sent. This is both (good) scary and comforting. Scary because it makes me paranoid I'm overlooking something - but comforting in case I overlook something!
I travelled with a terrific videographer - Ben Marlow of Kissing Gate Films - and after the usual game of hide and seek with the hire car, off we toddled to Polis, where we'd be staying for the next three days.
I love Cyprus - it's got a very welcoming feel, but it's frustrating for the locals that their financial situation seems to have been blown out of all proportion by the media. I hadn't been to Paphos for several years and the town remains the ideal place to enjoy some great seafood under endless blue skies. My advice? Take the financial crisis stuff with a pinch of salt and support their local business.
This wedding was a real family affair. And to underline the feeling of the day, my shoot began with a short attendance at Maria's family breakfast, something of a tradition during big get-togethers. Not only did this offer some very personal, timeless shots, it also welcomed me into the fold; the key people got used to me being around. It was smart thinking by Maria and Paul and I greatly appreciated that trust.
Below you can see the way the day unfolded with just a few highlights from each element of what became a fantastic and people-centric occasion.
The traditional 'dressing of the bride', the always fascinating Greek Orthodox ceremony, and then the dusk reception - all wonderful and rich subject matter for a photographer.
And the highlight of the day? It had to be the money dance – if you ask me, all weddings should have one…
"... I cannot recommend Mark highly enough. We first met Mark in London where he talked us through his style of photography and how he would capture the day. Most importantly he helped to put my husband at ease, who is photo shy. Mark really resonated with both of us and went out of his way to meet us in locations convenient to us.
From before we even booked him, Mark ensured that he had an understanding of the Greek Orthodox wedding ceremony and was inquisitive about how the day would run. Mark never tried to impose a fixed plan on to us, he was very flexible before the wedding and on the day, and took on board all our requests. He was very happy to fly to Cyprus for our wedding and also photograph our pre wedding dinner and pre wedding breakfast instead of an engagement photo. It was that kind of flexibility that makes Mark unique..." Maria & Paul, 10th Oct, 2013