Louise and Rich's testimonial from Lewes Registry Office

From Louise and Rich's wedding at Lewes Registry Office Lewes East Sussex

Wedding Photography at Crondon Park Stock Essex - Kelly and Darren:Essex Wedding Photographers

Good Morning Folks,

Yesterday the intrepid trio braved the cold for a pre-wedding shoot at Crondon Park, Stock, Essex and this is a very special wedding for me.

I lived in Essex for about 7 years and Darren's sister is one of my oldest friends so this wedding is like photographing family. Debs and I lived next door to each other in our City heydays and it was really like living in one house with two front doors. Ohhh the stories we have of those days and alas a couple slipped out over a lovely birthday lunch, which always makes Jacob and my Goddaughter Emily laugh. Debs is not quite so impressed but embarrassment is all part of a Godmother's job description!

It was so lovely wandering around the venue with Kelly and Darren and I really enjoyed chatting about their plans for the day; I have a couple of shots that I am planning and if all goes well weather wise on the day I hope to be able to make them into actual images. I also love it because in my official capacity I know things that everyone else doesn't; he, he, I love this job!

So moving on to the images I have chosen today; the first image was taken in front of the frozen fountain, it proves there are some good things about it being bitterly cold! I also love it because we were being just a bit silly as you can probably tell. The views at Crondon are wonderful and image two demonstrates this during a tender moment. I love image three because it is just a lovely picture of the two of them and is further enhanced by being in black and white. So here he is the main man himself, young Dazzler looking mighty fabulous in an edgy black and white. Last but not least his beautiful, beautiful bride to be and Mother of their gorgeous son Henry.

I cannot wait to photograph your wedding and it really is not long now, so see you soon you two :) xx


Selson Park Hotel Selsdon Surrey Wedding Photography - Image of the Week

Week Eight

This image was taken at a beautiful wedding near Selsdon Surrey. I loved the Narnia style lamp at this beautiful little church and the whole mood of the image is heightened by the dramatic clouds in the background.

Newborn Photography East Grinstead West Sussex - Amelia

Good Morning Folks,

Welcome to the world baby girl! Say hello to Amelia a gorgeous newborn who I photographed in East Grinstead recently.

I was Mummy and Daddy's wedding photographer; we had great fun at their Tunbridge Wells wedding and now I was thrilled to meet and photograph little Amelia. This is the most wonderful part of the job I do; to be a part of a new chapter in a couple's life but then to continue to see all their happiest moments. How lucky am I!

There is nothing quite like an e-mail or text with that first scan picture and I am always so, so touched to be a part of the big news, it never fails to make me a little teary to be honest. Ameila sent me an e-mail with her very first picture whilst she was still in hospital (she is a very clever little girly) and we arranged for her to have a debut in front of the cameras and what a little star she was too. She is beautiful and was no trouble at all during the shoot. As with all newborn shoots, once the nappy is off you can guarantee that we will receive some presents and it is nothing to worry about and quite normal but it did make Pete and I laugh when Lisa ran off in the opposite direction with the nappy!! We all sniggered quietly like children for a few minutes before getting back to the job of photographing our little star.

So today I have chosen three images; gorgeous is all warm and snug having a snooze on a cosy blanket, in image two Jemima Puddleduck joins the party and I have used a different sort of light for image three to create something just a little different.

I cannot wait to photograph Amelia again to see how she has grown and she is going to be a real stunner but Dad has already put her name down to be a Nun...dream on Dad! :)


Emma Tindley Couture Fashion Shoot - Commercial Fashion Photography West Sussex - Image of the Week

Week Seven

This image was taken on the 2012 Emma Tindley Couture collection shoot. Why do I love it? Well probably the blue skies and they have been a rarity lately! It's not just that; I love the dress, it makes a statement and photographs really well and I like it in this particular image because the hues of the sky, grass and hedges compliment the colours in the dress :)


Wedding Photography at Gate Street Barn Bramley Surrey - Kate and Jack: Surrey Wedding Photographers


Welcome to Sunday Morning Folks,

Recently I photographed a beautiful wedding at Gate Street Barn Bramley Surrey. Gate Street Barn is where the BT advert was filmed! Today's blog will be featuring fun, frolics aka Yan's pants, a little detail and finishing with the moon, definitely not Yan's pants!!

The day started at Keeper's cottage; it was a short walk from the barn and I must say it really was a home from home and perfect for the bridal preparations. Kate and Jack spent their first night as a married couple there too. We then wandered back to the barn and the guests were starting to arrive in readiness for the big event. I just loved the kilts and a very fitting homage to Burns night.

We were extremely lucky with the weather, it did not rain and the light was exceptional for this time of year; the only sadness was the snow had disappeared, but hey ho! Kate and Jack had organised hearty pies as part of their wedding breakfast and we had lots of fun when the piemasters performed their duties. At this juncture I must say a big thank you to Carole and Tandem Catering; her team produced the most wonderful meal; Kate and Jack had very kindly arranged for us to enjoy the food too and wow it was delicious. Carole, your chocolate brownies are to die for :)

So today's imagery is focusing on the fun and frolics! So the first image is dedicated to Yan's pants; it speaks for itself! Image two is a documentary shot captured as we were setting up for a formal and Kate looks so relaxed here in her warm boots. The third image is something I always love to capture and for me summed up the love and support they had for each other; but the image widens further in that the essences of the kilt, the dress and the flowers are all captured here. Lastly and by no means least the moon; just prior the the wedding breakfast the moon was out and shining brightly so we created our own little bit of snow, et voila. I loved this sequence of shots as they oozed romance and to choose an image was incredibly hard. I finally decided on this one because Jack is so proud to be holding his new wife in his arms.

So that's it for today and really looking forward to catching up with you all next week.

Claire :)

If you would like to see more of my work pop along to my website Woodland Hill Photography

Choosing the suppliers for your wedding; a mammoth task - part two


Welcome to part two of my article about choosing the suppliers for your wedding. Today I am going to chat about some of the amazing suppliers that I have the privilege of working alongside on a wedding day.
Venues - We are extremely lucky to have so many beautiful venues in our area and it must be incredibly difficult to make a decision. Having such a huge choice also means that there will be something for everyone too. Choosing your venue really depends on what you have in mind. So the best thing to do is have a chat about what you both like, is it a grand house, a rustic barn, an intimate manor house or perhaps a marquee. Once you have decided on a list then I would throw a couple of wildcards in the mix too!
The Dress - Oh the dress; where do we start! My biggest piece of advice here is not to over shop when looking for the dress; you will wear yourself out and get bored. Decide on your budget and then try and look for the boutiques in your price range. Perhaps go to a couple out of budget to see the difference too. When I was married the dress was one of the most important elements for me. My dress was made by a designer and my consultations were with the designer rather than buying though a stockist. To be honest the price I paid was in the region of some of the ready made designer dresses that were available at the time; the big difference being that my dress was made just for me to my exact measurements. For me it was a no brainer as I would never have been able to have that experience in a normal bridal boutique.
Videographer - A videographer is a wonderfully talented person who captures the moving story of your day. A professional videographer will not just point and shoot, the skills and talents although different as are as much in abundance as my profession.
Room dressers - I have seen some rooms that have made me almost breathless with their beauty. Again it will depend on your budget but try to choose experienced companies as again this not an easy job as some would lead you to believe.
The Toastmaster - A good toastmaster is an amazing person and 80% of his job is the stuff you will not see him doing; why? Because he is good at his job! If you allocate members of the wedding party some of the jobs a toastmaster will do then you are putting them under a lot of pressure on the day. By having a toastmaster you are allowing them to enjoy your day too. Get a good toastmaster and you will have so much fun; good toastmasters are happy, humorous and lovely people.
The Cake - I have tasted a lot of cake in my time and I know good cake when I taste it. Be bowled over by the outside and go to heaven when you taste the inside. Let your cake maker set up the cake at the venue; trying to save pennies and doing it yourself could result in tears if it all goes wrong!
This post is turning into something out of war and peace so I am going to leave you today with a link that will take you to my suppliers page on my website. I love working with these people and there is a little dialogue about each one. If you click here it will take you straight there!
Have a great day folks and I have a lovely little newborn to introduce to you next week.

Claire :)

The Ravenswood Sharpethorne West Sussex Wedding Photogaphers - Image of the Week

Week Six

This is a wedding at The Ravenswood Sharpthorne West Sussex and was part of our Bride and Groom portraiture session. This is pure drama and I love it because of the folly, the veil and Alyson's beautiful posing.


Choosing the suppliers for your wedding; a mammoth task!

Good Morning Folks,
I don't usually write posts of this nature but it is something that has been playing on my mind for quite some time now. The spring wedding fayres are in full swing and I am looking forward to my first of the season at Christ's Hospital on 17th February. The one thing that I have noticed since I was married 13 1/2 years ago is the huge rise in fayres that take place on a weekly basis and it is not unusual now to see up to 13 taking place on the same day within a short distance of each other!! This seems to have spiralled out of control over the last 6 years or so. So get to the point I hear you say...
Arranging your wedding is exciting, wonderful, daunting, stressful and requires you to be an expert in things that you never thought possible!So you are now faced with choosing the suppliers that between them will be the many parts of the whole.My first piece of advice would be to set your overall budget, so the total amount you want to spend on your wedding.Then I would decide what are the most important elements of your day; is it the dress, the photographer, venue, cake etc and I would list them in order of priority.Now here's the thing, once you have listed them in order of priority decide what you would like to spend on each one and once you decide that have a chat about the ones that feature further down the list.If you have set a low budget for these, perhaps lower than the norm really think that if the product or service was poor on the day how would you feel.Would you be extremely upset or would you say hey, ho I took a gamble it didn't pay off but it didn't ruin my day.If it is the former then reconsider the budget you have allocated.
So let's talk about photographers, I am one so it makes sense ;) Some are cheap, some are expensive. If you place importance on your photographer here are some questions to consider asking them: -
Do they have plenty of full weddings to show you?
If they are experienced there should be more than you want to see!

How much of their portfolio/website consists of real brides, and at how many were they the primary photographer?
Experienced photographers will not have models or pretend couples; don't be afraid to ask and request to see the full wedding to prove that bride and groom was real. Many photographers build a portfolio by 'second shooting' this is not an issue but being the primary photographer is completely different to shooting on the sidelines.
How much equipment do they take with them on the day?
Experienced photographers will have enough to stock a small camera shop! If they only have the one camera don't be afraid to ask what will happen if that camera fails. If they only have one camera a couple of lenses and a couple of memory cards; really folks don't be afraid to ask that question!
Are they professionally qualified?
I have a background in The City so accreditation and continuing professional development were paramount. When I started my photographic journey professional accreditations/distinctions were of the upmost importance to me and I have attained mine with the BIPP (British Institute of Professional Photography), the MPA (Master Photographers' Association) and the SWPP (Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers). I also have a continuing professional development path with my mentor Kevin Pengelly.
Are they insured?
Any professional photographer should have Public Liability and Professional Indemnity. I also have Employer's liability as an assistant joins me at my weddings. If they do not, don't be afraid to ask why not.
What's included in the cost of the photography?
Well there are the tangible items that will form a part of the cost; so in my case the DVD, reproduction rights images etc. The less tangible items are the equipment invested, the cost just to run their business, the extensive training undertaken and the sheer skill of that photographer to produce the imagery you see before you.
What happens if they are ill?
This is a contentious question for some photographers and often their response is what would happen if you were ill? The answer should be, I have wedding insurance. My answer to your question is I am extremely privileged and honoured to be friends with some amazing photographers who would step in to the breach to cover the wedding. I trust them to give you the day and images that I would provide. I then have further back up of the organisations and an extensive network of similarly qualified photographers would step in on my behalf.
To finish off today here is a radical statement; photography may not be the highest priority for you...sacre bleu! That's fine, if it's not, stick to your guns and book something that you would be happy with for the budget you have allocated to that service. If you take a gamble that's fine again; but be prepared for it to go wrong and if it does then that's just the way it is and it will be no great shakes.
I want to follow up this post with a chat about the other suppliers that may form part of your day. I know and work with some amazing people in this industry and I want to wax lyrical about them too. So if you are at that planning stage, check back in the next few days as it may help you to prioritise what is important for your day.


The Ravenswood Sharpethorne West Sussex Wedding Photography - Image of the Week

Week Five

This wedding photograph taken at The Ravenswood Sharpthorne West Sussex was part of our Bride and Groom portraiture session. I love it because we were creating drama but there was this lovely documentary moment that just unfolded. It shows how relaxed they were with each other and me.