Becky and Enzo get married- June 2013

When I first met Becky and Enzo earlier this year, I knew their wedding was going to be something special. Having been together since they were at school, it was clear to me that this couple were incredibly in love and Becky was so super excited about the wedding it was just fabulous.

The moment the phrase “50 shades of pink” was uttered, I knew that I was going to enjoy photographing this wedding and when Becky bounced into the room with her neon pink wedding shoes I couldn’t help but be excited with her.

When their original wedding venue closed down, they had to find a new venue and fast. Thankfully they found the gorgeous Georgian House Hotel in Haslemere and they could still get married outdoors which both of hem had their hearts set on. Add on top of this the fact that they had issues with their cake (Enzo’s sister stepped in at the last-minute and made amazing cupcakes) and that the hair and make-up person cancelled the week before the wedding, they really did have their fair share of wedding related drama in the lead up to the day.

On the day of the wedding it was touch and go as to whether they could get married outside due to the rain. I have to say though, I think that Becky would have got married outside even if it was torrential rain!

Becky and Enzo, you both looked amazing on your wedding day and it was an honour to be part of it with you. Thank you for making my first solo wedding so special.

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Thank you to Rob Grimes of Rob Grimes Photography for joining me in the evening and helping me to capture the first dance.

Congratulations guys.

Lel xxx

Wednesday Warble- Feeling Sad

It’s not like me to start with a sad feeling, but I need to voice my opinion on something, especially as my business is starting to build.

It makes me incredibly sad when I hear about couples in love who haven’t budgeted for a photographer, relying instead on family and friends who are a bit handy with a camera.

I understand that on the face of it, when looking at bare numbers, wedding photography does look expensive. When faced with the decision to spend over £1500 (plus food)in some cases and getting someone to do it for free, I totally understand why couples would choose the later.

However, lets break it down. That £1500 will probably pay for 2 photographers on the day meaning you get those all important view points covered all day. Photographers are also the only wedding suppliers that are with you all day, in some cases working 14-15 hours on your wedding day alone. Not only are they taking pictures but they are also adjusting button holes, fixing veils and on hand for emergencies such as fixing broken straps on wedding dresses in the middle of the receiving line.

It may sound cheeky of photographers to ask to be fed on top of being paid, but really who can function for that long and stay calm and happy without food?

Your photographer should also spend time to get to know you and your wedding before hand, potentially meeting 2-3 times for an initial consultation, venue scout around, engagement shoot and final meeting or chat before the day. Your photographer will probably be available via text/phone/email whenever you need. From this they will plan the shots that are important to you and plan those crucial shots around your day to make it as unobtrusive as possible.

Following your wedding day, most photographers will ensure you have a sneak peek of your photos within a coupe of days. I know some that do it as soon as they get home so you can see something when you wake up in the morning.

There is then the mammoth task of selecting the best images out of many hundreds and editing these, album design and then meeting up with you again to show you your final images and help you select your prints/frames/album choices etc.

Professional photographers also spend money and time on ensuring they have the right equipment to cover your day, continual training and professional development and insurance.

I know you’ve read all this before on many a wedding blog and you’ve maybe skimmed to this point and are still wondering why it makes me sad- surely it’s a couples choice? Yes, in some respects I agree but stay with me on this for a minute.

If you are getting married and you really can’t afford that top notch photographer you do have other options available. Speak to the photographer and be honest about your budget, and when I say honest I don’t mean haggle, I mean be honest. Most photographers will know someone that they can recommend and in some cases they may even come down to your budget if your wedding will look amazing on their website.

I know you are still thinking about your brother/cousin/sister/uncle/mate who has a “big” camera and takes good pictures of flowers, why wouldn’t you want them to do it, in fact they’ve offered to do it as a wedding present so it would be rude to refuse right? I’m sorry to say it but no, it’s not right.

You are firstly inviting this person to share in your day because you love them and it means something that they are there. The last thing you want to do in that case is put them in an incredibly stressful position instead of enjoying your day. Secondly, they may genuinely struggle taking pictures of moving objects!

This post was not meant to be a rant, just pause for thought. Think about the important things to spend your money on. Will people remember the bespoke table plan, will people know that you had sparkling wine instead of champagne? Will people ask to see your photos and do you want to be able to look at them in 5, 10, 25 years from now and be taken right back to the feeling and emotion you had on the day?

Lel xxx

Brilliance In Blogging- I Made The Shortlist!!

Whoop whoop, shout it from the rooftops folks, I made the BIB Awards shortlist again this year in the PHOTO category :)

I have to admit I found out I made the short list from the fabulous Fashion Detective, who is also shortlisted in the style category, and quite rightly too. Jo blogs every single day, and having done that last year I know exactly how hard it is to do that and fit it around work, family, friends and just the general stuff life throws at you.

So what happens now? The shortlist in each category is made up of 16 people, this is then cut down to 6 finalists. 4 finalists are based on votes and 2 are chosen by the Britmum’s team.

Yes- I am asking for audience participation again and would be really grateful for a vote or 2! The form is super easy and super quick, and you can vote in all the categories or just the ones you want to. Whilst you are there voting for me, may I suggest Fashion Detective for the Style category, Mummy Travels for the travel category and The Kraken Wakes in the Lolz category.

To vote, just click on this:

NOMINATE ME BiB 2013 PHOTO
 

Thank you, thank you, thank you, I know I wouldn’t be writing this post now if it wasn’t for all of your support and good old blog love :)

Lel xxx

The Fashion Detective Came To Play

Following our fabulous engagement news last Saturday, I of course did what every discerning photographer/blogger would do and took pictures of my ring and put it all over Facebook, Twitter and Instagram :)

One of our oldest friends (in terms of how long we have known her, not age) is Jo Payton, aka The Fashion Detective, and within minutes she had mentioned coming down to Brighton to drink champagne to celebrate. A little over 24 hours later and Jo was in Brighton, along with the Fashion Detective family.

We went for Sunday lunch at The Gorge Payne pub. It was ok, and I mean just ok. The champagne was great and the new addition of beach huts in the pub garden was great. The hour-long wait for food, not so great :( Following lunch we hit the beach as Jo needed to complete her shoot for the day’s blog.

Jo writes her blog every single day and has done for 2-3 years. Throw into this that she is also a full-time freelance journalist, features on London radio, super mum and PTA participant, I’m sure she is in a Wonderwoman outfit under all those fabulous outfits!

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By sheer coincidence, Jo and her hubby Matt have a Canon camera, and so after a quick 10 minute crash course, Matt was out of auto settings and Jo was investing in new lenses. I have a feeling I have unleashed a new obsession in The Fashion Detective house, sorry!

Obviously for Jo it was all about the fashion. The dress in these pictures is a summer prom dress from glamorous.com. We all decided it was a great pick for a wedding outfit, although we may have been slightly bias :)

I have to say for me, the shoot was all about getting to grips with the new camera, and O..M..G, THE SHOES!!! The boots are a serious electric blue, with a huge heel. If Jo was the same size feet as me I would have been stealing those babies, unfortunately, I have huge feet and these shoes are no longer on sale.

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2013-04-13_0008Following the very short shoot, we coaxed the youngest member of the Fashion Detective family off of the beach (retrieving his shoes from the top of a beach hut) and we went to Marroccos for pudding as none of us wanted to wait another hour in the pub!

You may remember my image for 99 Problems from the 366 project last year. The ice cream used in that was from Marroccos. The queue for ice cream at Marroccos when there is just a hint of sun is always huge but thus was the first time we decided to sit in for desert. I have to say, we all agreed that we would want to go back for a full meal as the food we saw being served up looked amazing, and everyone likes the retro feel of the restaurant.

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Lel xxx

A Sunrise And A Surprise

Over the last weekend, Jess spent some time with my parents, which gave me and the Mr a lovely weekend together. We went out for an amazing meal on Friday night at The House in Brighton, which I would highly recommend. The food was amazing and the service was fantastic.

Whilst having dinner, Mr SF suggested that we get up early in the morning and watch the sunrise on the beach. Please bare in mind that sunrise was at 6.25am the following morning and I had consumed numerous cosmopolitans with dinner. However, having missed some of the beautiful sunset, I begrudgingly agreed to get up at 5.30am the next day.

I have to say I am glad I did. There was not a soul around and we were the only ones on the seafront. By the time we left the house it had already started to get light but the colours in the sky were still beautiful when we got to the bandstand.

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However, Whilst I was taking pictures, Mr SF had found a stone and gave it to me once I put my camera away. It was only when I turned it over that I realised what was happening. On the stone he had written “will yon be my wife?” and as I was reading, he had bent down on one knee and produced the most beautiful ring I have seen.

Of course I said yes, and I have been incredibly happy ever since. This is not to say I wasn’t happy beforehand! Jess is ecstatic and keeps telling anyone that will listen that “my Mummy and Daddy are getting married” and when I say anyone I mean anyone, the waitress in the cafe, the barista in the coffee shop, other Mum’s…

What this does mean though is that I will be paying even more attention at the weddings I am fortunate to photograph in the next couple of years, and I think we are going to have a tough time trying to pick a wedding photographer ourselves :)

On Sunday some very good friends of ours came to celebrate, and we had an impromptu Fashion Detective shoot which I will blog about tomorrow, but for now I will leave you with a nice warm and smiley feeling.

Lel xxx

A Spring Day In The Woods (even if it does still look like winter…)

I have finally upgraded my camera equipment and have a new camera body and lenses. I wont bore you with the geeky spec, if you want to know that then message me and I will quite happily bore you with camera geek conversation for hours.

However, having new equipment means having to learn to use the camera all over again. I even have to make myself read the manual, shock horror, to find out what all the new buttons do. I have made a big leap from my old camera and so this new one comes everywhere at the moment.

We decided to go for a day out in the woods, a nice spring walk, or so we thought. The weather has been awful and so we were yet again bundled up in hats, coats, scarves and gloves but it didn’t stop us adventuring, we even managed to find some snowdrops and the odd daffodil that had braved the cold.

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Jess is getting quite used to the camera being around, although now she is a little older we tend to have a few more crazy poses, which can lead to her being told to behave:

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2013-04-10_0008 2013-04-10_0007Here are the rest from our day, please let the sunshine come back soon :)

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A Photographers Day Out- Brighton

When Sasha Holloway of Bleulips said she wanted to come to Brighton before she goes back to the USA later this year I have to admit that I did do a little happy dance. Add on top of that the fabulous Tracey Barrow and Rob Grimes and I knew we were going to have a good day, come rain or shine.

Dade Freeman of Krysalis Photography and Laura Brennan of Cherry Red Photography also came along for the day and we met up in the brilliant Rock-Ola cafe in Tidy Street in the North Laine area of Brighton. After a lot of gossip and laughter, we started to wind our way through the streets of Brighton, taking pictures as we went, with a vague plan to end up at the pier.

2013-02-20_0006 2013-02-20_0001 2013-02-20_0002 2013-02-20_0003 2013-02-20_0004 2013-02-20_0005Having only watched Quadrophenia properly a couple of weeks ago (shocking I know), we went for a little trip into the infamous alleyway from that scene. It was remakably busy in that small little alley way and so we didn’t stay there long.

2013-02-20_0007 2013-02-20_0018When we finally made it to the pier, Rob literally jumped for joy and punched the air before going on the rides! We had planned on a trip on the rollercoaster but as this is not tourist season the rollercoaster had been taken down for repair :(

After the rides, there was a spot of silliness, some line dancing from our resident American, and some vague attempts at some “serious” photography :)

2013-02-20_0009 2013-02-20_0010 2013-02-20_0011 2013-02-20_0014 2013-02-20_0015 2013-02-20_0016 2013-02-20_0008With tummy’s rumbling and most of us in need of a cup of tea, we carried on past the wheel and into Kemp Town where we descended on a new cafe/bar called Betty La La’s. I would apologise for the content of our conversation, but I think the staff were just as interested in our conversation about vajazzles and the male version (don’t ask) that they even came over to listen in :)

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Lel xxx

Something to make you feel snug

Here in the UK today it is mainly cold and snowy, so what better day to post some lovely snuggly baby pictures to help you feel warm. Now boys, I know some of you will be thinking this post is not for you, but I know you all secretly like to look at baby pictures :)

These images were taken in May last year and due to the 366 Project, I haven’t managed to edit them until now. These have definitely kept me cosy today:

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Stay cosy folks!

Lel xxx

Teddy Bear’s Picnic

As we are now in the gloomy month of January, with the short days, long nights, cold and we are all a little cash strapped; why don’t we take a look back to spring last year and some gorgeous March sunshine :)

In March, I organised a Teddy Bear’s picnic with a handful of local photographers, I say handful as there isn’t that many of us with children and really they were integral to be models on this shoot.

After weeks of trawling eBay for props, think bunting, bears and baskets, we were ready to go and shoot at the beautiful Highdown Gardens.

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I had also been given some butterfly mirrors from friends last Christmas and really wanted to incorporate these in the shoot as well.

2013-01-04_0004 2013-01-04_0003The daffodils were in full bloom and we found a sun dappled area in which to set up our picnic.

2013-01-04_0009 2013-01-04_0008 2013-01-04_0007Once we were all set up it was time to introduce cakes and teddies.

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I feel like there is something missing… ah yes, the children!! :)

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All of the props used were sourced from eBay or owned by one of the photographers, the cakes are from The Co-operative (mmmm cake!).

Lel xxx