"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...
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...