It was a run around the M25 to Woodford Green for me to photograph Liz and Nick's wedding - fortunately there were no accidents or hold-ups (though I always allow lots of extra time just in case when driving to a wedding).
So what's an engagement shoot all about then? Basically it's a short portrait photo session with a couple who are getting married. A pre-wedding shoot gives a couple a chance to relax in front of the camera. From the photographer's point of view it's a great opportunity for me to get to know them as well.
Regular readers of my blog will know that I am always fascinated by the history of the wedding venues that I shoot at. Harry and Noi came up with a classic one for their relaxed and stylish London wedding - the Museum of the Order of St. John in Clerkenwell, London.
Very often, the small-scale low-key weddings are some of the nicest - and that was certainly the case when these two grooms (both called Benjamin!) got married at Southwark Register Office. Both Benjamins are from France, and they decided to get married before moving back there. Two good friends stood by them as witnesses, and a simple but moving ceremony was conducted by the Southwark registrars. After the wedding itself, we did some simple photos in the garden, and then I left them to celebrate.
This wedding was a special pleasure to photograph, as my nephew Tom married the lovely Julie at Islington Town Hall. Family and friends gathered including a good contingent of Julie's relations from Winnipeg, Canada. The weather decided to be a bit "British", but apart from some occasional drizzle it stayed mostly dry, for which we were all thankful!
Brompton Oratory Christening photos When you're only a few months old, you don't really take much notice of where your christening ceremony happens. For Victoria's parents and friends however the ideal place was the spectacular surroundings of London's Brompton Oratory. Victoria's older brother Carlos was baptised here too.
Chelsea Registry office wedding Take a dash of London style, add a splash of Anglo-Indian heritage and then mix in some French joie de vivre, and you have the recipe for Stephanie and Raj's wedding! Their wedding was a relaxed and intimate affair with family and close friends in attendance. Stephanie's family and friends had travelled from France and Raj's from the UK and from India, so it was quite an eclectic gathering. Kudos to Stephanie's parents for making an excellent speech in English!
London pre-wedding shoot | Jason & John Last Sunday I travelled up to London (courtesy of South-West Trains) to meet these two fine gentlemen, for a meeting to go over the schedule for their wedding day and make sure I get all the photos they need. The guys are getting married at the very elegant Brympton House in Somerset at the end of June - I'm very much looking forward to shooting there again, it's one of my favourite places. And with a couple of very friendly and relaxed grooms like these two I'm sure it'll all go amazingly well!
Tour de France 2014 stage 3 LondonI happened to be in central London yesterday so decided to watch the end of stage 3 of this year's Tour de France professional cycle race. "Le Tour" has been a huge hit in the UK this year with literally millions of spectators turning out to watch, and as you might expect it was pretty crowded along the route towards the finish in central London! I didn't even attempt to fight my way through the crowds to the finish line on The Mall - instead I decided to head for the Embankment instead.
The Landmark Hotel London is a deservedly popular wedding venue in Marylebone - combining a central location, some old-world glamour and style, and a stunning modern glass-roofed atrium. Once upon a time it was the Great Central Hotel, serving nearby Marylebone station, terminus of the Great Central Railway, and the last of the major London railway hotels to be built (it opened in 1899), in the Gothic Revival style.
I was delighted to help my colleague Steve Shipman photograph Nina and Ryan's London wedding at the Institute of Directors in Pall Mall recently. I'm sometimes asked "what happens if you are unable to photograph our wedding for some reason?" The answer is that I belong to a network of photographers who all help each other out if any of us needs it. It's a good system, as in most cases there is someone available who can cover, even at short notice, which gives everybody peace of mind.
Well it would be silly not to... when the Olympic cycle race passes by less than 6 miles from your home, it's a must-watch - especially when Team GB had a good chance of medals! So on Saturday morning I put my Canon 1D and a couple of lenses in my backpack, jumped on the mountain bike, and headed through the leafy villages of Chilworth and Albury to the A25 just outside Gomshall...
There were double celebrations on Sunday June 3rd this year - not only was the Queen celebrating her Golden Jubilee with a river pageant on the Thames, but also Lucie and Andrea were married at The Landmark Hotel in Marylebone! We certainly had a much more comfortable time at the wedding, as some very unseasonal rain and wind made it a bit of an endurance test for those watching the pageant down by the river. Lucie and Andrea's wedding ceremony brought together both Jewish and Humanist elements, reflecting the traditions of both families - it was a great combination. After the ceremony, and giving the happy couple a chance to mingle with their guests for a while, we did family group photos and then some shots with the bride and groom on their own, all in the classical and elegant surroundings of the Landmark Hotel.
Here are just a few photos from Lucie and Andrea's wedding at The Landmark Hotel in London last Sunday - more soon!
Last Friday evening I headed up to the newly refurbished Four Seasons hotel in London's Park Lane, to photograph the annual Chairman's Ball & Aspiring Manager's Awards for the Institute of Hospitality, London branch, ably assisted by my brother Simon. Many of London's top hoteliers were represented at the awards evening, which took the form of a masked ball...
Million-year-old dinosaurs, a giant gorilla - Crystal Palace Park in South London is home to some strange creatures - in statue form at least! But it's also a beautifully landscaped location for an engagement shoot, which is why I arranged to meet Duncan and Suzy there last Thursday morning. They live just a few streets away, and often visit the park to walk their dog, so it seemed like the obvious choice for a photo-shoot location.
When you live in or near a big city like London, I think it's easy to take it for granted - you are familiar with all the famous locations and facilities like theatres, art galleries and museums, so you don't always appreciate them. But when you spend a day just waling around London with a visitor from out of town - like my friend and fellow photographer Randy Kepple, who is from Vancouver, Washington state in the USA - you see the city through their eyes - and it becomes new and amazing again.
Orangery Holland Park Wedding - Mark & LelanieOn Saturday 16th I took the train up to London to photograph the wedding of Mark and Lelanie, in conjunction with my colleague Lloyd Dobbie, at St. George's Campden Hill, Kensington, and afterwards at The Orangery in Holland Park. The run of fine weather that we've had recently continued and the sun was shining for most of the day - it felt like June not April!
Finally, it seems that Spring has sprung! Last Saturday the sun was shining and cherry blossom was starting to make an appearance, as I drove up to Hammersmith to shoot a wedding in conjunction with the estimable Mr. Lloyd Dobbie. Jo and Tristan's ceremony took place at Holy Trinity Church, Brook Green, and the reception was held in the elegant surroundings of Fulham Palace.
Whitney and Joe's wedding day saw some typical English weather for two Americans in London - overcast skies and the occasional heavy shower - but that didn't faze them at all, and the whole day went off without a hitch - apart from the groom and groomsmen having to sprint a little from the pub to the church to dodge the showers!