Talk about a rustic farm wedding…. This hit every note out there!!! Bridal prep in a farmhouse, wedding in a beautiful village church, wedding reception in a sheep shed with marquee attached and glorious views over the Ribble valley. Not too mention the unbelievable decor and fantastic bride and groom.
So we look forward to every wedding as a photographer, so many different special memories there to be captured means each and every wedding is special and unique in it’s own way. There is always the one wedding that stands out for you though, the one you really, really can’t wait for and that you’ve been excited about ever since you took the booking. And it doesnt come much better than Tuscany, an absolute gem of a place. Beautiful open countryside, amazing food, even better wine and villas aplenty. Let me tell you this wedding had it all!!!
Well what a bloody wedding this was. A beautiful Jenny Packham dress awesome bride and groom and an amazing venue. I’d never shot at Knipe hall but when I went for a reckie a few days before I knew it was going to be great and I wasn’t wrong. Rustic and in the middle of nowhere you couldn’t ask for a better venue to have a big party and thats exactly what this was. We weren’t too far from Kendal Calling but Im pretty sure we were having just as much fun. The Seals as they always do, absolutely rocked it. This truly was a wedding to remember.
This really was a dream to photograph, a fair themed wedding with an awesome fun loving couple in Dunham Massey. The idea of making everything yourself and really going to town on DIY for weddings can really scare people but these two embraced it and absolutely nailed it. From coconut shires to the table decorations and everything in between this really had everything. I was fortunate enough to have kelly from kelly annes photography second shooting with me for the day and with the ever so talented jb shooting the video we were onto a winner.
Well it might be a while since they got wed and my blogging has not exactly been kept upto date but that doesn’t mean its too late. I’ve gone and made 10 new blogs from the last couple of years and I’m going to share them all over the coming weeks, they are all amazing weddings with heaps of individuality from some of my favourite local venues and a couple from a little further afield. To say Im a little excited to share these is an understatement. Kicking things off though is this one. Park House Barn is a firm favourite of mine, the 16h century barn is incredible and was as good as I’ve seen it look for Leon and Lois’s big day, the bunting and lighting made for some great dramatic shots. Having known Leon from years ago playing football it was great to meet Lois who was equally as cool and laid back… What a cracking wedding!
There are two types of trips to Africa; one consists of a couple of beaches and a safari thrown in on a no expenses barred holiday. And then there’s the other, the charity led trip where it’s all about giving back something to people a lot less advantaged ourselves. Now don’t get me wrong there’s nothing wrong with either and I for one love the beaches Africa has to offer but this trip definitely sided on the cultural one. I spent two and a half weeks in Uganda, one of the poorest African countries and perhaps known most too many as the unfortunate home to the film ‘The Last King Of Scotland’ which looked at Idi Aman’s brutal dictatorship of the 70’s. For the most part of our stay we were based in the capital, Kampala and it was as though construction had ground to a halt in the 70’s with a noticeable lack of development since then. On the hilltop lived the wealthy and down at the bottom we had the shanti towns, townships that stretched for miles and at night became nothing more than a black hole.
I travelled with a team of 19 volunteers from the UK supporting a Ugandan based charity called CRMI – Children of Hope. The charity aims to break the cycle of poverty by empowering children through education, healthcare and vocational training. It centres around a child sponsorship program that has been running for nearly 10 years. Every sponsored child receives an education, a hot meal everyday, and regular healthchecks and healthcare. The charity also provides free medical clinics to the rural communities, that would otherwise not be able to access healthcare services. This year the team comprised of 5 doctors, 2 nurses, a physiotherapist and an optician as well as 10 other volunteers. We ran 10 clinics and treated approximately 2500 people providing free medication, mosquito nets, dental kits and washable sanitary kits for girls.
I along with 9 others had no medical skills and it was our job to put a smile on the kids faces. People turned up at 6am hoping to see one of the doctors and often travelled miles with their children. For many of them, they had never seen a whiteman before and so making them smile wasn’t too difficult, it was as if we were angels. One thing I did notice about Uganda and something I have noticed in other poverty stricken countries is their ability to maintain happiness and hopefulness despite their impoverished positions. Without the materialistic greed we all possess, they are forever grateful for a sweet or anything you are willing to do to help them. All too often they would drop to their knees in thanks, something that was very much uncalled for and a tad embarrassing.
Despite all the smiles and laughter, there was no one we met that could envisage living as we do today. There were obvious differences between the wealthy and poorest families. There were those living in no more than a one roomed mud hut the size of some peoples ensuites with upto 6 people living in it but then there were many houses made of stone, some of which had electric. But this is by no means an easy life for any of them… Water is fetched from the wells, a good job for the youngest child and cooking often takes place outside over a fire resulting in poor health among many of the women breathing in the smoke. Aids and other STD’s are a constant problem that will not go away until education is improved. The same can be said for witch doctors who still practise and can all too often do as much harm as good. Children have too few clothes, no toys and many have swollen bellies from worms.
Of course a trip to Africa wouldn’t be complete without a little trip on a safari and so it was that we had a two day trip to Queen Elizabeth national park to see the natives. To get there we had a 6 hour bus journey across the country and I couldn’t believe quite how green and rich the country was in parts with tea and coffee plantations stretching for miles amongst the highlands.
After a lovely little break it was back to work with the opening of a new primary school in Bombo, just North of Kampala. The CRMI charity had helped raise money for the project through major contributors and whilst out there the team pitched in with painting and other little jobs to help make sure the school opened on time. Finally on 2nd February the first 50 children from the local area made there way to school. This year the school will teach 4 classes of upto 20 pupils per class with the plan to increase the school by adding a new class each year. A special thanks must go to Amanda Bradwell for her contributions to the project, to Juliet Burd for making the whole trip possible and heading up the charity in the UK and also to John Bunjo (below) the founder and dreamer that began this wonderful journey.
For anyone wanting any more information on the charity or wanting to donate any money to the charity please go to the website www.crmi-childrenofhope.org.uk
If ever a wedding was a party this was it. Adam and Sophie got married late last September in the back garden of her childhood home in Witherslack. Well actually they got married the day before and then had some sort of ceremony that was as comical as it was touching, comical for all the right reasons of course. The drinks flowed and it wasn’t till dark that the very entertaining speeches were done with and the feast came out. As uncle was falling asleep the band came on and instantly the marquee erupted into action. Absolutely brilliant wedding!!!
a list of suppliers is at the bottom of this post.
A little note from Sophie.
“The thing I realised when you’re handing out loads of money to people for a wedding is how important it is to have nice suppliers! And we had some great ones
Ale barrels – Hawkshead Brewery. This seemed to involved the boys spending half a day at the Brewery when they went to pick it up.
Wine – Majestic
Marquee/chairs/tables/carpet – PSR Marquee Hire. The owner’s Paul Richardson and what a great guy. Dead down to earth.
Band – My Eleventh Toe. Chester based but obviously willing to travel
Food – Maz. The photographs and the beef seem to have been our greatest investments! They’re what gets mentioned the most. Maz couldn’t have done a better job; she really did get it perfect.
Flowers – Anthony Cox at Flourish Outlet. Brilliant chap from Manc who completely got what I wanted. We had so many flowers we had to find something to do with a 3rd of them. I arranged the flowers myself coz I like doing stuff like that but he would’ve only charged £100 more to do them himself.
Vintage suitcase and fancy dress chest – auctions
Photo frames/vases/candle holders/tiny wedding signs that I ordered thinking they were big – Homesense, auctions, car boot sales, Not On The Highstreet and my house!
Dress – Fiona Cooper, The Wedding Boutique
My shoes – Oasis
Suits – Ads and Charlie had little matching ones from good old M&S
Dried flower headdresses for the bridesmaids and confetti – Artisan Dried Flower Company (apart from the amazing purple confetti that my step-granny did)
Lights (marquee ceiling, hedgerow, and uplighters for the trees) – a chap called Tony Blair (!) who my dad’s known for years.
All cutlery/plates/glasses/coat racks etc – Corkscrew Hire. You just pack it away dirty at no extra cost.
Invitation design – I designed them with Faye Williams at Studio Thirty Two.”
Another wonderful wedding last year in the very pretty Kirkby Lonsdale, a quaint little market town full of photographic opportunity with lovely little side streets and the famous Ruskins view. It was a great privilege to be asked to photograph Anthony and Sally’s wedding and they didn’t disappoint me being the ultimate in chilled out bride and groom. They both looked amazing and from start to finish everyone was laughing and smiling which is what weddings are all about. The reception was at Platos and they did a wonderful job of providing some top notch food and a lovely setting for this wonderful little wedding.
So it’s a fair while since I lasted posted a few wedding blogs on here, now with a new website to update I think it’s about time I put a few of last years weddings on the blog. The first featured wedding was an awesome wedding at The Swan at Newby Bridge and it was my absolute pleasure to do the wedding photography for this lovely couple from Leeds. Indea looked stunning in her Jenny Packham dress and Steve looked equally as impressive in his tweed threads. Steve originates from South Africa as The Swan was seemingly over run by all the family and friends that had made the long flight North. Good job there was plenty of biltong.
Think Sri Lanka and most of you think white sandy beaches, 4 star hotels and cricket but with a 2000 year old culture, countless national parks and a seriously tropical climate it has so much more to offer.
We began our trip with the breath-taking train ride to Kandy; the cultural hub of Sri Lanka. This is the city in which many of the countrys leading figures choose to reside. It’s also home to the golden-roofed Temple of the Sacred Tooth and houses Sri Lanka’s most important Buddhist relic – a tooth of the Buddha. On a daily basis thousands of Buddhists and tourists alike visit the temple to pay their homage. At 500 m above sea level Kandy has its own micro climate, noticeably cooler and wetter than other urban areas the ever changing weather creates a rich green landscape.
Delving deeper inland we encountered the varied array of wildlife, home to elephants, water buffalo, a range of monkeys and even leopards, Sri Lankas national parks are simply worth a visit. But it’s the landscape that truly takes your breath away, from Stunning waterfalls to a multitude of ever green tea plantations the scenery really is spectacular. Houses and even farming plots have been carved into the dramatic steep sided mountains and mud slides are a continual problem . For the farming community it is a hard life and makes up the vast majority of Sri Lankas impoverished workforce. 70% of the country still live in third world conditions and a little inland away from the tourist hub it’s never too far away.
And if your not farming inland your living off the sea using traditional methods. Though these villages are very slowly beginning to be taken over by the tourist train – still in its infancy – with civil unrest now out of the way it’s only a matter of time before more of these sleepy villages are replaced by hotel fronts.
Of course the main reason people visit Sri Lanka is for its towering palm trees and white sand beaches… and there’s no shortage of these on this charming little island. Though the South now has a couple of established resorts it’s not too hard to find yourself lazing the days away on an empty desert of white sand and turquoise sea.
Last month I had the pleasure of photographing Kat and Brads ace wedding at Morland Hall. When I first met the pair of them and they were telling me about the wedding and what they had planned I was getting a little excited. It was quite literally one big house party for a couple of days… albeit I was only going to be there for one of them but… It was going to be a good!!! And it was better than good, a fab venue, awesome decorations that Kat had put together and wonderful people not to mention the immense Danonsax and the brilliant Howard Wing who knows just how to get a party started with his show. What an amazing day!
Wow… what a way to kick off the new year with this unbelievable wedding in London. They don’t do things by halves down South do they? I first met Gareth and Ray at a wedding I was a guest at about 6 years ago but when they contacted me and asked if I’d like to photograph their wedding I was quite excited. Not only are these guys uber trendy but they’re hilarious and make the perfect couple. After literally dancing down the aisle we headed to MC Motors, typically used for fashion shoots and music videos. To say this was anything but awesome is an understatement, every room was a photographers dream with cool stuff everywhere. I was like a kid in a candy shop… a great way to start the New Year, I just hope Rays cooking is as good as her wedding planning! Apparently Im dropping in next time Im down