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  • Hello!

    Welcome to my blog about all things in my photography bubble, plus the odd bit about who this 'girl behind the camera is'...

    I'm an international fine art wedding & lifestyle photographer, based in the Midlands.
    I have a massive passion for photographing you & your memories in the most sensitive way possible. I capture true moments on location, by creating a fun experience & keeping 'natural memories' in mind... I love to hear your thoughts so feel free to drop me a line :)

{Wedding} Rachel & Dean – Florence Elopement

Last year I had mega ‘pinch me’ moments, and this booking was certainly one of them…

When I originally met with Rachel, I was prepared with my quote and details for her wedding that was going to be in Worcestershire. But she quickly announced that everything had changed, from the location to the date…!  After checking in my diary and letting her know I was still available, her next question was ‘Will you fly out to Italy?!’

So in June 2014, I was flown out to Florence on my very first destination wedding commission! The pressure was pretty immense, but once the day started I could tell it was going to be one that I would never forget (in an amazing way!). Rachel, who is Canadian, and Dean who is British, decided that eloping to the sunshine with their best friends would be the perfect wedding day for them, and I was so honoured to be there to capture it all for them.

Scroll down for more info…

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The ceremony was arranged by the very lovely Italian wedding planner, Alice from Italian Style Weddings (you will see photos of this wedding featured on their website!). It took place in the stunningly elaborate Sala Rossa nel Quarter del Governatore in the centre of Florence.

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Rachel looked incredible in her Ian Stuart wedding dress and was quite the tourist attraction for the day in it! What helped was that her groom was looking very dashing beside her – and not forgetting their good looking bridesmaids and groomsmen! I really did feel out of place – surely there should have been a full on film crew with me for scenes like this?!

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The party then had a little champagne break before I went off with the bride and groom to take some photos around the beautiful city. There were just so many photo opportunities!

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During a huge thunderstorm, we took the opportunity to hop into taxis and head up to Piazzale Michelangelo’s gorgeous restaurant La Loggia Caffe & Ristorante for lunch. The breathtaking views from up there looked right over the city of Florence.

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After lunch, we found yet more fantastic photo opportunities…!

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The couple were staying at Hotel Kraft so this is were we ended up for a bit of relaxation and to enjoy some of the day’s last rays of sunshine.

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Rachel’s bridesmaids were great fun, therefore I was only a ‘little bit’ surprised when they ended up in the pool fully clothed!! And when the boys came up after finding some ‘appropriate Italian’ pants, the pool was too much temptation for them too…!

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After the sun had set and the party were dried off, we went back into the city centre for pizza and late night rides on the carrousel!

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It was such an incredible day and I still have to pinch myself when I look back at it all! Many congratulations once again to Rachel & Dean, thank you so much for having me along to capture these moments for you!

13/01/2015 - 8:31 pm

Rachel Arrowsmith - Oh Rach they’re so fab.
People book her, book her, book her you won’t regret it! Xx

16/01/2015 - 9:43 pm

jess - I love pics antie Rachel and uncle dean 🙂

{Wedding} Kirsty & John, Shobdon

I was really excited to be booked for Kirsty & John’s wedding after meeting with them, especially when they told me their wedding would be at St John the Evangelist church in Shobdon, Herefordshire – I had heard a lot about the newly updated interior from my Dad who is a frequent visitor to the airfield there, and it really didn’t disappoint!

Kirsty & John only wanted photos during the ceremony with a few afterwards in the surrounding area. Although I wasn’t with them for long, I was really made welcome and we had a good ol’ giggle! The whole job was a joy to shoot and I hope marriage is continuing to treat Kirsty & John with heaps of fun!

Thank you so much for having me there on the day you two xx

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{Wedding} Vikki & Ben – Hereford

Here’s the day that the very lovely Vikki married her equally lovely husband Ben, back in June 2014!

The ceremony took place at St Francis Xaviers in the centre of Hereford, it was absolutely beautiful inside! Their reception took place in the bride’s beautiful family home garden.

It was such a lovely and relaxed summer’s day with a bouncy castle and garden games that included Horseshoe Throw (which I had never seen before!), even their pet guinea pigs came out to say hello! A rather special moment was when the couple planted a tree together that will now flourish in the garden as a constant reminder of their wedding day.

Vikki & Ben booked me to cover their wedding from just before the ceremony, until their food was served inside the marquee in the garden. I felt very honoured to be there photographing their special moments…

I wish you both a lifetime of happiness, thank you once again for having me!

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12/01/2015 - 8:19 pm

Ben and Vikki - Excellent shots by an excellent photographer! Thanks very much Rachel you really captured the day perfectly,

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Relaxation & Quotes for Photographers

Today’s challenge asked us bloggers to be helpful to our audience in some way. But as I’ve had a very hectic couple of days with shoots & meetings galore, my head is a little fuzzy for this one & I’m seriously lacking time to get thinking! So I thought I would try to keep this as simple as possible whilst as helpful & inspirational as I can!

After reading through the comments and messages I get through my blog, I know my audience consists of a lot of fellow photographers. So this one’s for you guys!

I love quotes! I find them really inspirational, they make me think more deeply and they often help me in all areas of my life. So I think it makes sense for me to share one of my favourites, and why I’ve found it helpful in my job as a photographer…

“True creativity is more likely if you are more relaxed”
Harry Borden

If you’re a wedding photographer, you’ll know all about that massive tonne of pressure that hits you before you shoot a wedding for all the obvious reasons. As you know or can imagine, this is not a stress free job! But there are things to consider to make it easier on ourselves… one of the biggest and most influential, is the art of relaxation!

To help me be as chilled as possible on the day of a wedding, I spend the whole morning of the day before reading through all the notes & correspondence between me and the couple, their formal group lists, questionnaires, and memorising the day’s schedule to the best of my ability. I make sure all of my batteries are charged and my memory cards are formatted. I match each camera’s timers to help with consistency for the editing afterwards, and pack my bags with everything I need and triple check it all! I also print out mini back up lists of certain things for quick reference on the day. The last thing I do is make sure the outfit I will be wearing is ready, and lay it down with all my gear in one very tidy & organised pile where nothing & nobody else can interfere with it. Knowing everything I could possibly do, know and need for the shoot is ready, I relax…

I take the whole afternoon off. I’ll go for a walk, clear my head, read a book or magazine or have a friend over (or a mixture of it all!). Then most importantly, I have an early night’s sleep. I find that knowing that everything is packed and ready to go, I fall asleep quickly then wake up feeling fresh and ready to roll!! I then have a hearty breakfast, pack the car and go! At this point I’m excited, I’ve got my favourite music on, I’m enjoying the drive, and I cannot wait to arrive and start capturing everything! Don’t get me wrong, I still get a few nerves before each wedding – it’s vital after all that we’re on top form and remember everything for this once in a lifetime day! But I’ve now found that with each wedding I do, my nerves are significantly lower than the previous one. I feel more relaxed, and my on-the-spot creativity is improving because my head is clearer for the job in question.

Relaxation really is key; too much stress and angst is so unhealthy and undoubtedly influences the potential for your creativity to blossom. Relax, chill out and take it easy before a big shoot. You’ll be so thankful you did afterwards!

And just for fun, here’s a page from my Bullet Journal with a bunch of photography related quotes! Enjoy…

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If you’ve missed any of my other blogs in this 7 day challenge – check them out here:

Day 1 – Who am I?

Day 2 – What am I passionate about?

Day 3 – My first online tutorial: Bokeh

Day 4 – 10 facts about me

Day 5 – You’ve just read it  😉

06/04/2015 - 12:52 am

Ayesa - Great post! I read a lot of business books, but often I find I get the best itniprasion from fiction. I think it stimulates the brain in ways that non-fiction never can. One of my recent favorites was Sophie’s Choice: definitely not wedding/event related, but OH! the stunning word choices, OH! the imagery! I love to read and it’s inspiring to hear that others feel the same way!

10 facts about me…

Next up in this Blogging Challenge, is another personal blog post where I have to write about 10 facts that you may not know about me… 

No. 1: Music

I’m always on the search for new music – I can’t get enough of the stuff! When I came across Jeremy Loops – an up and coming South African loop artist, earlier this week, my ears were the happiest they’ve been for a very long time! I can’t help but smile when this song of his in particular “Down South” is playing… what do you reckon?!

 

No. 2: My biggest addiction

My friends & family all mock me, but I just can’t resist a new notebook!! Well, that was until just recently because I think I’ve now found a ‘cure’ with thanks to the wonderful Midori Travellers Notebook! Mine arrived from Japan a couple of weeks ago, and it alone is my new addiction. No other notebook measures up to this thing of beauty in my eyes now – it’s sitting beside me as I type, it’s in my handbag whenever I’m out, I even take it in the car with me when I go out to work on a shoot ‘just in case’ I feel the urge to use it! So what’s the fuss about?!

It’s chunky (I love chunky!) and very robust, yet it fits in all my bags. The cover is made of thick leather which will just keep getting better over time. It holds multiple notebooks that you can buy cheaply from all kinds of places with lots of variety. The fact it can hold multiple notebooks means I can now keep my sketchbook, notebook, visual diary, and study book with me all together in one!

Here are some mobile snaps I took of mine the day it arrived. Love love love…

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No. 3: My fave hobby to do outdoors

Geocaching – Yup, I’m a bit of nerd. I love maps, I love treasure hunts. Add them together and you get GeoCaching! The thing I love most about this is that it takes you to places you probably might never consider exploring – I can guarantee there is a geocache just up the road from you. If not, tell the world and there will be one there soon! Geocaches are EVERYWHERE. They come in all kinds of different shapes and sizes – some are so hidden that you can walk past them everyday as they are completely out of sight. Or some very sneaky ones are right under your nose and so well camouflaged that you need a clue to discover it! If you like the sound of this (or even if you’re curious) and you have a smart phone – you’re literally minutes away from finding your first! I love that I’ve got a lot of my friends on board too – it’s getting a little competitive now!! Here’s a video that tells you more…

 

No. 4: My favourite drink

This one always eludes people! Whenever I visit new friends or clients for the first time and they offer me a drink, they never believe my answer – they think I’m being polite, they try to give me something ‘more exciting’! But in truth, my all time favourite drink to slurp down is water – good old fashioned-fresh-with-nothing-in-it-water. I find it refreshing, revitalising, thirst quenching… everything a drink needs to be. I love it and will always choose it over any other drinks 😛

 

No. 5: Favourite country visited so far

Ooof this is hard! I love them all for so many different reasons. But I think at the moment it has to be Canada in 2008. I loved the lifestyle, the countryside, the lakes, canoeing whenever we wanted, the people, the wildlife… the freedom. It was absolutely beautiful. We were based in Ontario, visited the lakes, and stayed in Niagara for 3 nights during our visit, and this is where one of the best experiences I’ve ever done happened – a helicopter flight over the Falls… if you get the chance to do it, doooo it!!

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No. 6: PC or Mac

Mac – but that’s not to say I don’t like PC’s – we just don’t share the same understandings 😉 It’s down to each individual what they prefer, and for me I’ve personally had a lot less bother with Macs than PC’s…

 

No. 7: Canon or Nikon

Uh oh, another dodgy topic!! Again it’s down to personal preference and a bias view, I work with Canon. My granddad’s first camera was a Canon, my Mum’s first camera was a Canon, and my first camera was a Canon. If Grandad’s first camera was a Nikon, then I might very well be shooting with a Nikon… but I’m not. Canon and Nikon are so closely matched, I really don’t consider one to be better than the other! I’ve grown up with Canons in my life, I speak their language and they do the job perfectly of what I ask of them.

 

No. 8: Fave TV series

This has to be Friends or The Gilmour Girls… I can’t actually decide between the two! I love snuggling up to watch an episode or three in the dark, cold winter evenings, tucked up with a hot chocolate and often another friend or two will pop round to join in and have a natter whilst it’s playing! Both series are easy watching, silly and oddly comforting. Sometimes I have an episode playing in the background when I’m editing too 😉

 

No. 9: Best Souvenir

For the last 2 months, I’ve been wearing a little Pandora turtle charm on my necklace – he is my first charm and I got him in Crete after shooting a wedding out there earlier this year. I took my husband along with me for this one, and we spent a few extra days out there for our holiday. On one of those days, we saw something that immediately went straight to our list of ‘Most Amazing Sights’! We went in a submarine boat, and out at sea a couple of sea turtles came along & swam alongside us. The boat stopped for a while so we could watch them play, feed, bob about etc – it was amazing to see these beautiful creatures in the wild, I know this will sound stupid, but we felt they looked happy – with little grins! Either way, it was incredible to witness and when we saw the turtle charm in the window of Pandora, my husband insisted that I have it as a memento of the trip.

 

No. 10: Travel Must-Haves

For my 21st birthday, Chris (my husband, then boyfriend!) took me to London for the day to watch the Phantom of the Opera (amazing!), but before that, we went to Hamleys! After a very silly half an hour in there we came out with two little bears, a panda & a brown bear… I can’t remember why we did this, but those two bears have now been on all of our adventures with us! Big kids I know, but we literally can’t go travelling without them now, and of course we have to take an obligatory photo of them… meet Oko & Bertie!

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If you’ve missed any of my other blogs in this 7 day challenge – check them out here:

Day 1 – Who am I?

Day 2 – What am I passionate about?

Day 3 – My first online tutorial: Bokeh

Day 4 – You’ve just read it 😉

Day 5 – Something I find helpful 

 

 

18/10/2014 - 2:49 pm

Naomi Bills - How fun! I loved reading your blog and am thinking seriously about learning more about geocaching! I’m a Canon girl too! I feel the same about Nikon as well, both are great I just know canon! 🙂 Also I think your travel bears are such a cute idea! 🙂 thanks again for sharing! 🙂

18/10/2014 - 4:04 pm

Chris Demott - Great post, interesting insights and fun.

18/10/2014 - 4:14 pm

Brittaney K. Johnson - That notebook is to absolutely live for! I’ve already been on the website I need it in my life! I’ll also have to check out geocashing, I saw it in a TV show once and peeked my interest. Great post !

18/10/2014 - 4:17 pm

Sara - Beautiful blog! I agree, that song is pretty amazing!

18/10/2014 - 4:47 pm

Brittany - Friends and Gilmore Girls are my 2 favorite tv shows of all time! Thanks for sharing your 10 facts!

18/10/2014 - 5:26 pm

Bilma - You have a beautiful blog! I really enjoyed reading your post. 🙂

18/10/2014 - 7:48 pm

Vicky - Love your list! I’m loving reading everyone’s 10 random things list…I started the challenge a few days late, so I haven’t gotten to this prompt yet. Gilmore Girls is one of my faves too! I could just watch it all day long and feel absolutely zero guilt! Ummm….I have never heard of the Midori Travel Notebook, but like you, I’m a lover of notebooks, so I MUST HAVE that! LOL. I’ve already got a few tabs open googling it and watching some youtube videos, so thanks a lot! 😉 Looking forward to reading more of your blog!

18/10/2014 - 9:36 pm

Stacia - Your site is beautiful!

I am seriously addicted to new notebooks, too. It’s the worst when all the school supplies for back to school go on sale and I get get a bunch of notebooks for $0.25. It’s so hard to resist!

19/10/2014 - 10:50 am

Glady - I love the style you took to responding to day 4!
Geocaching is pretty fun and my favorite drink is also water!! By the way, that notebook??? AH-Mazing. I have some serious notebook envy right now.

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