Alice and Ed

I was lucky enough to be asked to photograph the wedding reception of this adorable couple at the stunning Anne of Cleves House in Lewes. I had photographed weddings at Anne of Cleves before, so I felt very comfortable with the venue and I know quite well the lovely people that work there.

There is also a beautiful garden a short 3 minutes walk from the venue, so we went to the beautiful Southover Grange for some couple shots within the colourful flower gardens. It was a glorious sunny day and we were there early evening, so there was a beautiful soft light. Alice looked perfect, she was like a May queen with her flower crown on and surrounded by the stunning blooms of many colours. Alice was perfection in her amazing beaded dress. She looked naturally beautiful and ever so cool. Ed was my first groom in a patterned shirt and I thought he carried it off with aplomb, and looked fabulous.

It was such a lovely day, the couple and their friends didn't take themselves too seriously and had so much fun with their photos. There was many a fun pose and plenty of silliness. It’s brilliant for me as that makes for great photographs that are a representation of the couple and their personalities. I always try to make sure that my couples are relaxed and themselves in their wedding photographs, I don’t want them to pose for photographs in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable.

One of my favourite decorative touches Alice and Ed had was a photograph of their cat, Laszlo, so I decided I would embroider him on their usb keyring, as part of their gift package as well as their gingerbread people avatars.

Go over to our Facebook page for more photographs from Alice and Ed’s big day.

Maggie and Simon

It was such an honour to experience my first Quaker wedding of the lovely Maggie and Simon. They had already married in their home country of Hong Kong, but this was a service for the UK family and friends, even though people had travelled from all over the world to come. It was such a thoughtful and peaceful service, full of so much love. There is much time for contemplation and stillness.
The venue of Michelham Priory was a perfect choice, as it's a haven of calm and tranquility. This beautiful 800 year old manor house and gardens is a beautiful venue with so many wonderful spots for photograph opportunities, from the little bridge to the barn and all the surrounding green spaces.
The weather had been very changeable but we were lucky that it stayed dry for the outside ceremony, drinks and all the photographs. It was quite windy but Maggie took the rain and wind in her stride, It's a good job her hairdresser was so good at fixing in veils, but it did make for some fabulous veil photographs.

The evening consisted of Ceilidh dancing, (like a barn dance) which was great fun and enjoyed by everyone. It was fun to get in the middle of it all to take photos. Also Maggie and Simon had their own dance, which everyone enjoyed very much.

This was a really lovely, funny and happy day to have been a small part of. I met so many lovely people. Maggie and Simon were a lovely couple and I wish them all the best for the future.

See our Facebook page for our bigger album.

WedFest - Part 2

The second part of the wedding celebration for my lovely couple was to be held in a marquee on a family members property. The vibe was to be a less formal occasion than their wedding. It was to be a fun celebration that was titled ‘WedFest’. All the guest were given a wristband and encouraged to pitch their tents and dance until dawn, with the promise of a cooked breakfast on the Sunday morning.

in the run up to the wedding the weather had been drizzly and grey all week, but on the Saturday the sun had his hat on and it was stunning. There were spectacular views over the Sussex hills. The marquee was beautiful, it was festooned with coloured streamers and bunting. There were gift bags full of toys and treats for all the children. There was food to suit everyone, a hog roast, pizza van and cheese table, as well as an ice-cream van, several cakes and a sweet cart. in addition there was a cocktail bar.

As the weather was so beautiful, outside the marquee were other tables and chairs as well as sofas. There was a bouncy castle, giant jenga and other games, as well as space hoppers and hula hoops. It really had a festival feel about it.

The music accompaniment was several acts throughout the evening, like a music festival. The first on the line-up was a relaxed jazz band with smooth tunes, then if your bridesmaid is a singer, it would be rude to not have her perform, following them was an amazing band that performed and when they were on a break there was a Dj set. The evening then continued into the night with dance music and sparklers. It was such a fun wedding celebration to be a part of. I think the couple had thought of everything, the details were fantastic, even down to beautiful flower crowns for the ladies. It was a wonderful fun event to be a part of.

WedFest - Part 1

These two lovely people decided to tie the knot in a quiet ceremony, with only a few family and friends. They choose the stunning location of Ashdown Park Hotel in East Grinstead. It is a beautiful location, with stunning greenery and established trees. There is also a little pond with a fountain. It is a beautiful and peaceful place to get married.

I started the afternoon with the bride and her lovely bridesmaids (who were her cousins), they were getting their make up and hair done whilst drinking champagne and telling stories of when they were younger. It was such a lovely moment to be witness too, it was a real behind the scenes moment. There is such excitement and anticipation, all this on top of wedding day nerves. The bride told me that I helped her to feel calm and relaxed and she was happy I was there. It was such a lovely thing to hear, as the photographer you don’t want to be too much of a presence, you have to be at the front line to get the best shots but you don’t want to impede on the guests day. I like to be a photography ninja, get the best photographs but to not be in the way of anyone.

After the ceremony and photographs, they were having an intimate dinner. The table setting planner was brilliant. It was an illustration of each guest. It was made by Hey Draw Me. The table names were all penguins, because they are the couples favourite animal. They even had the poem ‘Personal Penguin’ read out by the grooms sister during the ceremony. This is why I hand embroidered their USB keyring with a couple of penguins.

This was a two part event, a couple of days later I photographed part two of WedFest…

Lisa & Richard

I had the chance to photograph another wedding at the beautiful medieval house of Anne of Cleves, in Lewes. I love to do jobs with them as everyone at weddings at Sussex Past are so lovely and friendly.

It is a very elegant venue with so much history, it feels very special to be at an event there. The house has been there since the 15th century, and was gifted to Anne as part of her divorce settlement from Henry VIII. I think she got a pretty good deal, a beautiful home and to keep her head.

This was a very intimate wedding with a very gentle atmosphere. Lisa and Richard love tea, so they had a cream tea for their buffet. The delicious cakes and goodies were supplies by Horam Home Kitchen.

It’s always a privilege to be chosen to be part of a couple’s wedding day, as you are part of their special celebration. A wedding is a very private and personal experience, the day is about love, friendship and family and people have their usual guards down and are more relaxed and joyful. It really is an honour to be chosen to record it, as the photographs will be a part of the couple and family story forever.

Our wedding photography parcels.

I love sending off my wedding photography parcels. I like to fill it full of gifts, from my handmade gingerbread people avatars, a handmade keyring to keep their usb safe and a little photo frame. I try to make my couples feel special from the beginning of our time together up to the end.

I like to add a personal touch that you can’t find anywhere else.

Viva Lewes - Photo of the Month

I was very excited as my photograph was picked as Viva Lewes ‘Photo of the Month’ for April’s edition. It’s always lovely to have people appreciate your work. They called it ‘Looking Back’. This refers to the fact that whenever I take my camera out when I walk, I always make sure that I look back because I could be missing a great photograph, but from a different angle. Which is exactly what happened with this photograph.

Something very special and happened after I won. I was contacted via Viva by someone who’s friend had had the bench put there in memorial for her husband, she was also very poorly and her friend wanted to give her the photograph, as a reminder, to help her feel better. I of course obliged and had one printed, I was so touched that I did it for no charge. It was my pleasure to do something special for someone who was having a difficult time.

It’s a very special feeling to think that something you have created will mean so much to someone else and give someone happiness.

Be my baby

I haven’t done a blog post in a while, I have been busy working on my social media and exhibiting at wedding fairs and of course, taking photographs.

I did this shoot in March at the beautiful Southover Grange Gardens. As a location photographer ( I don’t have a studio) I am wiling to travel around for my shoots, but my clients love to come to Lewes and have their shoots here. If the Grange Gardens is good enough for the singer Rag and Bone Man to get married in, then it’s good enough for the rest of us.

I had a great afternoon with this lovely couple, they were expecting their first child, and the baby was due on the same day as my daughters birthday, which was a nice coincidence. They were expecting a little boy and they were going to call him Jayden.

We were in luck as the weather was glorious, there was soft, hazy sunlight, the pampas grass was still looking nice, as was the cheerful Spring daffodils. It’s always fun when you do a maternity shoot to have some little props, a sonogram photograph, a baby grow, teddy bear, for this shoot the couple had brought along an adorable tiny pair of shoes. We had fun popping them on her baby belly or them just holding these miniature shoes in their hands. I always enjoy maternity shoots, it’s such an exciting time for anyone expecting and this always creates such a happy and natural vibe.

My maternity shoot price is the same as any of my family/portrait fees, it’s £75 for a one hour shoot with unlimited edited images on a usb flash drive.

Missing the colours of Autumn.

I am enjoying these beautiful sunny days, they come as a reminder of the Spring days to come. Winter is so dull and dark, it is sometimes, brightened by snow, or the occasional magical misty morning.

I took these photographs of beautiful Eleanor in November, we were lucky to have so many stunning and dry leaves, a few days later a very wet and windy storm came.

I love Autumn, so many deep and rich colours of reds, browns, yellows and greens and the light can be low and give a warm halo and hue.

I really do love doing location shoots, I much prefer being outside with natural light, rather than in a studio with artificial light, being out in nature is so refreshing and calming, it can give a photograph much more interest and depth.

Portrait of a family

I recently photographed a family of 16! They had won a £75 photo shoot, that we had donated to a charity raffle. It was such a lovely shoot, as half of the family were living in Australia and this was an opportunity to have a big family photograph taken with everyone in it. 
It was at one the the family members homes and they made me feel so very welcome, even if at times it was difficult to try to get everyone in the photo. I haven’t taken portraits at someones home before, as I usually prefer to be outside, you don’t have to worry about floor lamps and plug sockets getting in the way of your photograph.

It really did feel as if I was doing something very special (especially for the Grandparents), even one of the Grandma's thanked me for giving her such a precious gift, and said how kind we were to donate something so special. That's why I love photography, it's a way of preserving those magical moments that will be with loved ones forever.



Forever Autumn

I was very fortunate in November to photograph these lovely sisters and their families. I had photographed one of the families before and I always have the most fun with them. This shoot was to be the same jolly, happy, easy going and, as always, with fabulous outfit changes.

The photographs took place at the local Priory ruins in Lewes, (my favourite place). The seasons really change the place. There are so many colours the orange, red and yellow leaves contrasting against the gorgeous greys and whites of the flint and stones and so many textures in the ruined buildings. It is particularly beautiful in Autumn, there are so many different colour leaves, it is just stunning. We were fortunate to have had dry weather, so the children could sit on leaves without any fear of getting wet. A couple of days after the weather turned very windy so most of the leaves had blown off the branches.

I constantly wonder if I did the right thing by leaving my secure office job to follow this path, being self employed is difficult, especially if you’re like me a, ‘Cautious Carol’ that never that never leaves my comfort zone, but when I have experiences like this shoot and I create such beautiful photographs, that my clients love, it makes me very happy and pleased I made the scary move.

Santa's little helper

As I don’t have a studio I am unable to offer those kind of photographs, but I really wanted to take some Christmassy photographs of Hudson, my great-nephew. So thanks to a white bed sheet and some fairy lights on my bed we managed to take these. Hudson was an absolute star, He had an occasional moan but could be calmed with dummy breaks. My niece had bought his little outfits from local shops and I got some of my Christmas decorations out the loft. We hadn’t planned to put him in the Santa sack, we tried to put him in a Christmas stocking but he was too big, so we got him in the sack and filled it with Christmas toys. It was just magical, as he then fell asleep in there. It was a truly fun afternoon and I can’t help but laugh and smile at the photographs that we got. One of my favourites is him with my niece and he looks like he’s just about had enough of having his photo taken…enough Auntie Becky.

Mabel & Elijah

The part of my job that I enjoy the most is photographing children. I find them so much fun and you never quite know what kind of photographs you will get, as it all depends on what mood the children are in. I’ve been very lucky with all the children I have photographed, as they have reacted well to me and my camera. They have enjoyed it. It’s the reason I like location shooting more than a studio as it is more of a fun adventure day out than a pressurised environment of a studio. This time though as Mabel was only a couple of weeks old, location shooting does not work, so I have a temporary studio I put up in my home. As it is a home environment it is still a relaxed atmosphere for the children, so they still enjoy it. The last thing you want to do is make the children feel the pressure of your one hour to perform and you get unhappy, sad children.

Mabel and Elijah were fantastic, Mabel slept the whole time (I got to give her cuddles to settle her for her photographs) and Elijah was a very attentive big brother. We had lots of fun and plenty of beautiful photographs of them. I even discovered that Elijah is fond of saying “Norman Price” in a bad Welsh accent, the same as my husband, so the two of them got on very well, talking about Fireman Sam.

The Fantastic Foxes

We recently had a photo competition, where you could win an one hour portrait session. The family who won were, the Foxes.

We were going to have the photographs at Priory Ruins but the rain was torrential, luckily enough there is a tunnel in the same area, so we had some photographs in there, it was quite serendipitous, as the look of the graffiti in the tunnel really suited the family. The children of the family were adults so a more mature background was better.

They were great sports and happy to venture out in to the rain, I had my many different umbrellas with me, so no one was going to get wet, of course the rainbow umbrellas are always the favourite.

It was unusual to photograph such a mature family, I am so used to doing little children’s portraits. The family said that they felt awkward at first, because it’s not every day you have a professional photographer taking your picture, but they very quickly got used to me and my camera and they actually quite enjoyed it.

The most important part of being a photographer to me is to make your clients feel comfortable and happy. If the clients are relaxed then the photographs will turn out so much better, as everyone will act more like themselves and the end result will represent how the family and the individuals really are.

Lizzie and Tim

It was a rainy and cloudy day for Tim and Lizzie’s wedding but you couldn’t meet two more bright and sunny people. It was such a pleasure to be included in their wedding day with all their wonderful family and friends. It was also lovely that it took place in my home town of Lewes, so that meant I could walk there and I know the area so well.

They had their ceremony at the beautiful Southover Grange Gardens. It looked stunning, as all the flowers were out in bloom and in full colour. The ceremony moved on to the historical Anne of Cleves House, while the guests were having drinks and canapés we walked to the Lewes Priory Ruins for some photographs of just the two of them. We were lucky, as the rain held off for a short while but we came prepared with some glorious rainbow umbrellas. They really added some colour to the photographs, as well as Lizzie’s marvellous bouquet and the fabulous Lego mini figure button holes (I love Lego). The Priory Ruins are a favourite place of mine to go as the flint walls makes a lovely textured backdrop and the views over the South downs are glorious. There are so many little nooks and crannies to take photographs in, it even has a spiral staircase, that leads to nowhere. The site goes all the way back to the 11th century and was demolished under the reign of King Henry VIII, up until recent years it was fenced off to the public, that was until it received a lottery grant and they were able to open it up so it could be explored and appreciated once again. The party then moved a little further down the road to The Swan Inn. The sun came out and everyone was able to enjoy the rest of their day in the gardens with good food and drink.

This was such a special wedding to be part of, they were all so welcoming and kind, they were such a lovely family, I even got a little picture and note from one of the children there. An extra bonus for me was that my niece was helping me out that day and my daughter was supervising their wedding at Anne of Cleves, so I got to share it with them too. It really was a day about the importance of love and family.

Matt & Lia

What can I say but "yes, I do feel ashamed", It's been over three month since my last blog post. Is it any excuse if I say I've been very busy? I've been lucky enough to be a part of several wedding, maternity and portrait shoots. Also it's been busy personally with two 18th and 70th birthday parties. I was also lucky to visit (at last) Paris. In addition my daughter, Harriet will be off to university very soon, argh i'll loose one of my fabulous models (and best friends). 

One of the weddings I have been fortunate to be part of was for Matt and Lia. It would turn out to be one of the hottest days of the year, which also coincided with the England V Sweden quarter final, so it was a day with an excited and joyous atmosphere. 

The wedding would take place at Eastbourne Town hall. It was my first wedding there. It's a very beautiful old building with a grand staircase. Unfortunately you're not allowed to use a flash during any wedding ceremonies and all the shutters were closed because of the heat, so It did make it a very difficult ceremony to photograph. Light, especially natural light is pretty essential for my job. A Korean festival was also taking place there that day, so during the ceremony we could hear beautiful music being played in the room next door. 

The reception was taking place at the beautiful Grand Hotel, which is situated on the seafront. We had photographs in several places, including two churches on our walk to the Grand. A favourite was the steps of the town hall for the confetti pictures. I love a confetti cannon! They make amazing photographs, so much confetti. It was a lovely walk, so many people said "congratulations" and beeped their car/van horns. We also came across graffiti of a heart.  I did most of it walking backwards though as I was taking photographs of the newlyweds. We had planned to take photographs of everyone on the seafront and the western lawns but as with most best laid plans...there was a 999 fete and display day, so we couldn't use the lawns. I improvised and we took most on the seafront and some fun ones at the fete. They didn't fancy a go on the bouncy castle though. We all had lots of fun and thanks to the hotel for putting a television in the lounge room so we could also watch the football. 

 

Lovely Liv - who's legs were too long!

I always love doing location shoots around Lewes. The first reason is it's home and the second there are so many beautiful and interesting places to photograph in Lewes. I especially love the Priory ruins. I have photographed a few people and families there now and I feel it looks different in every shoot. I has a personality of it's own. I especially love the colour and textures of the flint walls. I'm a huge fan of soft whites and greys. 

I had a fun time photographing Liv. She did complain that she didn't know what to do with her long legs ( I wish I had that problem) We managed to fit them in the archway. I always enjoy the enthusiasm and energy of teenage shoots. They are always up for a bit of silliness and some good posing. Who doesn't want a great photograph for their Instagram of Facebook profile picture?

Shoots are £75 for and hour shoot and unlimited images on a USB. 

Anne of Cleves House

A couple of weeks ago we had the privilege of being asked to photograph Anne of Cleves House. It's a beautiful 15th century timber framed house in Lewes. It was gifted to Queen Anne as part of her settlement from her divorce to Henry Viii. 

Sussex Past Weddings asked us to photograph it how it would look dressed for a wedding. The other places Sussex past Weddings manage are Lewes Castle and Michelham Priory. I think getting married in any of those venues would be wonderful, especially if you love your medieval history. I always find it fascinating that you are walking in the footsteps of people that were there hundreds of years before us and I'm sure theses buildings will be there for hundreds of years more.
It is such a stunning house that I love since I was a child and I have visited there many times. It has quite low ceilings that used t be a problem for my very tall brother. 

It was a beautiful place to photograph with stunning displays of flowers everywhere, the only problem was the uneven floor, windows and the many timber beams, because it was hard to know which one was the straight line. 

There's something about Mary!

I first met Mary and Graham when they helped out with the wedding dress shoot we did in the September of last year. Mary wore her evening wedding dress for the shoot, the dress was made by Jennie West, who we were doing the shoot with. 

She contacted me in January to ask if I'd be happy to photograph her and Graham for their first anniversary in April. She wanted the chance to wear her wedding dress again ( who wouldn't want to wear their dress again). She'd be on Pinterest for ideas, picnic blankets and baskets, cute notes on chalk boards etc.  We had fun planning the day out. The problem was we needed a location where Mary could change into her dress, somewhere that was beautiful and quiet, you don't want everyone watching your photoshoot. I luckily enough have worked for a company called The Rolling Downs. They're beautiful shepherds huts that you can stay in, they are in the grounds of Bentley Wildfowl and Motor Museum near Lewes. The huts are a stunning back drop themselves, let a lone the gorgeous countryside around us. 

As we were approaching April we hoped that the snow and rain wouldn't blight their shoot day. We were so lucky as we had the most glorious day of sunshine on the shoot day. Jennie who made the dress came to help Mary get dressed into her stunning gown. Mary had bought balloons, a picnic basket and her chalk boards and her Mother-in-law had made a cake. We all had a lot of fun on a glorious Spring afternoon. 

I was very happy with the photographs and most importantly Mary and Graham we very happy too. They loved this very memorable way of spending their first anniversary. 

My daughter said to me that I was very lucky to share such happy events with people and then (with my photographs) be a part of their happy memories forever.