A top hat, and an awful lot of pink. Wedding at the Oxfordshire. Oxfordshire wedding photographer.
It has to be said; Miriam likes pink. Miriam has always liked pink, which is why it’s the overwhelming theme in her childhood bedroom, and why it was a big feature of her wedding day. That’s great. I like pink too.
See what I mean? We had a fun morning at the house in Thame as all the girls got ready, lubricated with a little Prosecco.
Miriam looked sensational as her dad, Paul, saw her in her dress for the first time. It’s always such an amazing moment, which I remember very clearly from my own daughter’s wedding day.
Matt was in traditional morning dress, complete with top hat, and he was very attached to the latter. I don’t think it was a lifelong affection, as Miriam’s is with pink; but a fleeting love.
The ceremony itself was really interesting. It started with a civil ceremony, much the same as many I photograph, but was followed with a Jewish ceremony. Paul walked Miriam down the aisle, and from speaking to him afterwards, this was one of the proudest moments of his life. I think you can see he is loving every second
After the ceremony, we got everybody together for a big group shot
The Oxfordshire boasts a lake, which can be a great location for couple’s shots.
I don’t think they put this chap off his swing!
Prior to the wedding breakfast, Matt and Miriam led a very energetic session of Israeli dancing. I have a theory that this is a tradition originally conceived by a committee of brides’ fathers, as the main purpose of it appears to be to so exhaust the groom that he will have no energy reserves by the end of the evening.
I get exhausted just looking at these photos!
So, to lunch, and cake cutting.
After the wedding breakfast, Miriam and Matt took some time out for themselves (and me, obvs.)
We witnessed some pretty awesome Dad (and Mums) dancing too!
Thanks to Miriam and Matt for asking me to photograph your day.
A couple of days before Christmas, it was Sophie and Tom’s turn to tie the knot, and they chose Oxford’s iconic Randolph Hotel as the venue for the reception. It’s always been close to my heart, and if you follow me on Facebook, you’ll know that my daughter Natalie and her husband Chris were due to marry here in 2015, but their plans were altered by the massive fire that took hold here just 2 weeks before their wedding. So. it’s great to see it back up and running, and back to its old self again.
Sophie’s bridal prep all happened at her parents’ beautiful home in Cumnor. It was a relaxed start to the day with some impressive breakfasts being produced in the kitchen by Sophie’s dad.
The ceremony took place in the village church in Cumnor, which features a spectacular 17th century wooden spiral staircase up to the bell tower. Becky perched halfway up it to offer some alternative angles during the ceremony.
Being a typical December day, it was a little blowy, and this is one of my favourite shots from the church.
As you’d expect, the Randolph was looking pretty Christmassy, added to by Sophie’s little touches. (I say Sophie’s, because Tom works in Formula One, and isn’t really around much of the year).
Once we’d all arrived, I gathered up the crowds for a big group photo on the Randolph’s famous staircase.
As you can see, the speeches were entertaining – and the entertainment continued into the evening with the cake cutting, a casino, and Sophie and Tom’s first dance; about which I shall say no more.
Thanks you both for being such great clients, and best wishes for the future.
Last month, it was my pleasure to photograph the wedding of Cara and Etienne. I only met the couple a few days prior to the wedding, as they live in Australia – so all my dealings with them had been through e-mail, and through Etienne’s mum, Annelize. Luckily, we all got along fine. A lovely couple.
What I did know, was that both the bride and groom have a passion for ecology and conservation, and that the wedding was to be a relatively simple, rural affair. So, I wanted to keep that in mind for the couples’ shots.
Cara got ready at Annelize’s house, which has a fantastic garden
The day was all due to take place at The Crown at Pishill. It’s a lovely country pub, steeped in history, and on the road between Watlington and Henley on Thames.
It’s always been a very tranquil spot in a quiet valley, and in the last year, has taken on a bit of a French feel, as the surrounding slopes have been planted out with vines. I’m looking forward to tasting the first production.
The ceremony and reception took place in the thatched barn alongside the pub, and was an ideal size for the quite intimate group attending. Cara is Canadian, so it was quite an international gathering.
Following the ceremony, I had a very short amount of time to whisk the couple away to take some photographs of just the two of them. I had scouted the area a couple of weeks beforehand, and found a setting a few minutes away which showed promise. A dusty track, a field full of wheat (I think. I’m not really a country lad), and an old iron barn.
Then it was back to the barn for lunch, speeches and cake cutting.
For the big group shot, I organised everybody around the beautifully restored barn that sits at the roadside, and advertises the name of the venue.
I think everybody’s having fun!
Thank you to Cara and Etienne for asking me to photograph your day, and also to Annelize who did such a great job of organising it on the UK side.
I hope you love your album when it catches up with you in Australia.
Once or twice in my career, I have been asked to photograph a wedding celebration whilst it’s still almost a twinkle in somebody’s eye. That moment when a person plucks up the courage to ask somebody else to share his life forever more. This is one of those stories.
Adam had planned the whole event pretty meticulously. He was to propose to Shymla in the morning room at Nether Winchendon House. It’s a wonderful venue on the Oxfordshire/Buckinghamshire border, where it’s been my privilege to shoot weddings on numerous occasions. I love the unique architecture of the house.
He had worked closely with the musician Manny Vass who was to provide the musical accompaniment to the proposal, but who had also co-ordinated all the players in the event. Great job Manny.
Clearly, Adam needed to keep the purpose of the visit a secret until the very last second, and this presented some challenges. First of these was to try to explain to Shymla why they were taking a helicopter trip out to rural Oxfordshire. He covered this by explaining that he had won a couple of tickets for a helicopter flight over London in a draw at work; although she must have wondered what was going on as the aircraft headed off out of the city. Maybe the lure of champagne at the end of the flight was sufficient diversion.
This subterfuge gave me a huge challenge too. I’d been told that on no account could I be seen until after the actual proposal – but I needed to record the helicopter’s arrival, and hopefully the walk up the lawn to the house.
I arrived at the house in good time and scoped out the likely landing area – trying to find a spot where I could get a shot of the helicopter, yet remain completely concealed. You can be the judge of whether I pulled it off. All I can tell you is that there is an awful lot more foliage than I remembered, lining the river bank that I was positioned on. Having no idea about the direction of approach, or the exact time of arrival were further challenges.
Once the helicopter had touched down, I had a new challenge, and it’s one that I pretty much failed. It had been my intention to hide behind a series of trees, ninja style, on the way up to the house, to conceal myself from Shymla. I’d dressed in drab clothing to keep myself inconspicuous, and rehearsed my route several times before the arrival.
Having never met Shymla before, I had no forewarning of her very inquisitive nature. There was no way this was going to work. The second she crossed the river, I knew I was in trouble. I could see that her radar was in full swing, and if I broke cover at any point, the game would be up.
Here’s my best shot. Not what I had in mind at all.
Photography of the event was a last minute addition, and had I more time beforehand, I would have spoken to Adam to try to engineer this moment for a better result. But hey, it’s all about the memories, isn’t it?
I guess there’s one question you’d like to know the answer to, and I can tell you that yes, it was all worth it! Excellent result.
Adam didn’t want the actual proposal photographed, which we can all understand. The only people in the room were himself and Shymla, and Manny, who played a rendition of Debussy’s Clair de Lune. What could be more romantic?
The beautiful bouquet was provided by the lovely Katie Rhodes at GladysDoris (named after her grandmothers)
Immediately after the proposal, the couple were joined by their parents, who had been hiding in an adjacent room. The room was filled with joy, laughter, champagne and canapes.
Before I left, I took a few portraits of Adam and Shymla. A lovely couple and I look forward to seeing them again.
Thanks to all involved, for a very memorable day.
I had a phone call a few months ago from Helen, who asked me if I was interested in a long lifestyle portrait shoot. She explained that they hadn’t had a professional photographer at their wedding, and she would like to organise a portrait shoot instead, but one which was a little out of the ordinary.
She wanted to be photographed with her husband Ed, but also her father Martin, and their three dogs; two Labradors and a Weimaraner. At this point, I have to admit, I wasn’t completely sold on the idea. I’m not known as the biggest dog lover in the world. Indeed, I barely measure on the dog toleration scale – but this was about to change.
As our conversation progressed, I was wavering as to whether to do the shoot or not – until Helen mentioned the magic words – E Type Jaguar.
It turns out Helen owns a 1967 model, in fantastic condition, and they wanted to use it in part of the shoot. I was sold!
We organised the day into 2 distinct parts. The morning was all about the dogs. I was looking for a rural theme, where we could find some appealing backdrops for Helen and Ed, but also let the dogs loose. I suggested the ruins of Minster Lovell Hall.
It’s a magical place, with plenty of scope for portrait photography. And action shots of dogs. I really enjoyed taking these. I surprised myself!
We had a very relaxed morning, and a lot of fun.
And so, to the afternoon. I’d asked Helen and Ed to put on posh frocks (well, Helen anyway – Ed wore a tux), and had a vision of photographing these beautiful people, and their equally beautiful car, against a decaying urban background. I had scouted out a couple of locations. The first was a local industrial estate, where the expanse of peeling corrugated iron, and towering derelict concrete columns appealed. Most of this estate has been modernised over recent years, with many shiny new units – so I was lucky to be able to record this.
Our final location was a real gem. Collett’s Garage in Wheatley is another derelict building. An old petrol filling station, and part of Plastow’s Coaches premises. Many thanks to Barbara Plastow for permission to shoot there. I was particularly pleased about it, not only for the fact that it’s a great backdrop – but also because it is due for demolition at some point, and I was pleased to be able to record it for posterity before it goes.
These shots have an air of the American Midwest about them. The one that heads the blog is one of my favourite shots ever.
Many thanks to Helen and Ed for asking me to photograph the day. We all had a great time, and I love the results. The album that I produced from the day’s photographs is something to treasure
If you would like me to record your story, do get in touch.
Before I begin – an apology is long overdue. It’s been a long time since I last posted a blog; and in the meantime, all my previous posts have simply disappeared into the ether. I know not where.
So here goes with a fresh slate.
Back in September, it was my pleasure to photograph Abby and Liam’s wonderful wedding adventure in Sorrento. They fell in love with the town (they’d already done the falling in love with each other bit) during a previous holiday, and determined to get married there.
Becky and I spent three days with the wedding party, at the fantastic Villa Sabrina, situated on the road out of the town, and with sensational views of Vesuvius on the horizon.
I usually shoot my pre wedding photos sometime before the event, but because we were going to Sorrento, we agreed to save the shoot until we got there – where we adopted a very Italian style.
The wedding itself was conducted in the Cloisters of San Francesco in the centre of town. It’s a very popular wedding location, and understandably so. Abby got ready at the villa, (so did Liam, but at the other end) and was driven to the cloister with her dad in probably the most outrageous wedding car I’ve ever photographed. It was huge!
The ceremony itself was wonderful. Despite being a popular tourist spot, the two elements seem to co-exist in harmony with each other, as tourists visiting the cloister were respectful and quiet. In fact the whole place felt like an oasis of calm, set aside from the hubbub of a busy town. The open layout of the cloister makes it easy to wander around unobtrusively, and get shots from many angles during the service.
After the ceremony, the wedding party headed off to the Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria. It’s the most exclusive hotel in the town, with fantastic ambience, food and views. Lovely! It’s not a great distance from the cloister, and it was fun processing through the town with locals and tourists congratulating the newly weds.
Time for a group shot on the way.
Then back to the Villa for a very relaxed afternoon, followed by a wonderful evening meal on the terrace. All the catering for the three days was provided by the wonderful Chef Carmen from La Cucina del Gusto.
I have to tell you- this woman’s cooking is incredible, and it was without doubt, the best Italian food it has ever been my privilege to eat. She runs cookery classes too, so if you’re ever in Sorrento – get in!
Thank you Abby and Liam for asking me to photograph your celebration. It was an honour and a delight to do so.