Wedding Photography at Hayne Barn House Hythe Kent - Pru and Simon

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Good Afternoon Folks,

Welcome to the wedding photography at Hayne Barn House, Hythe, Kent of Pru and Simon and if you have been reading my pre-wedding photography shoot blogs you will know this is a very special wedding indeed. In contrast to the rather grey and cold day in March, this day was gloriously sunny and when I arrived the guests were already enjoying a drinkie or two with convivial chat. The whole wedding took place at Hayne Barn House and Simon was able to get the know the venue prior to the wedding so that his surroundings were more familiar. As you know from my previous blog Simon had a terrible car accident, which among other things has left him totally blind. Does this get Simon down, nooooo, he met his beautiful bride Pru at the blind college he attended and it was love at first touch and sight :) Pru and Simon are a truly lovely couple and I always come away from my visits with a light heart and aching muscles from laughing so much, and beware that Simon is a minx, but we love it; don't ever change :)

So here are today's images and the descriptives are for Simon so he can match them with my dialogue on the day. Simon you should remember this very well; there was chat as to how you were going to walk up the aisle together and you didn't want to do the shoulder guidance but walk hand in hand. In the end the decision was made for the shoulder hold, well this had to be the funniest walk up the aisle I have ever seen. 'Foxy' managed to tread on the dress, the train and the veil and this picture is just after you trod on the veil and Pru's head was yanked back. Pru has the most brilliant laugh, you are grinning like a Cheshire cat and then Pru says "Foxy your feet are too big" in the background you can see your guests laughing. Pru then says "well it wouldn't be us if something like this didn't happen"...fabulous! This image is black and white and suits the mood perfectly.

The next image is of Pru under the shade of the trees adjacent to the marquee, she is standing up and holding her bridal bouquet of cream roses and lilies; at the centre of each rose is a little purple crystal that brings together the colours of your wedding. This image was taken before the wedding, so that would be before you trod on the train, dress and veil Simon...and this is my cue to duck ;) The image has been presented in a muted colour tone that echoes back to another time.

So we now move on to you Simon, this image was taken by the door to the house, if you walked through the door you would be in the hall. You are doing a fantastic pose with great leg and arm positioning and I have to say that you were one the easiest Grooms for posing and as for that Liam; well least said soonest mended eh Simon! Umber is with you and you are facing towards the gardens where you could probably hear all your lovely guests having a chat in the sun. The image is in black and white for extra fabulousness; not sure that's a proper word but I like it.

After your meal we went for a stroll in the grounds to bask in the warm glow of the evening sun, the house is to your right and behind you is the tree lined path that we wandered along earlier in the day. There is a beautiful tree behind you, a maple of sorts I think, with leaves of the deepest, glossiest and richest burgundy. This light here really echoes how relaxed and happy you both felt at this time, and you were able to have a quiet chat and a sneaky kiss too.

Well this makes me giggle, it is a collage of four images and features Fraya your little bridesmaid. This was taken in the formal garden behind the yew trees that are placed either side of the crazy paved path with the curvy steps. I like it because the gardens are long and thin with a white picket fence surrounding them, straight down the middle is a thin path and we had a wander along there at the pre-wedding shoot. Fraya is on her way down the path with the purple pom, poms that you gave her, in the next image she has 'clocked' me photographing her. I then tell her to put her pom poms in front of her face and quickly pull them apart and smile. She did it beautifully and looked so adorably cute. These images have a different sort of muted colour tone applied and I like it because it gives more of a feel for the story being told, it evokes more of an emotion for some reason.

I had loads of fun on your day, you are a wonderful couple and a pleasure to photograph buts let's finish off with a bit of humour. I was doing a shoulder walk with Simon to the sunny spot in the evening, well there was only so much Pru's dress and neck could take; Simon says "what's that on your shoulder Claire, it feels like rubber" "Oh does it it Simon" peals of laughter ensue "Well it's my camera strap" says Claire "Are you sure" says Simon "Well me dressed in rubber and it would probably be the one time you would be thankful you couldn't see" says Claire...peals and and peals of laughter!

Have a great weekend folks,




Weddings in a guest!!!!

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Good Morning Folks,

Yup you read it correctly I was a guest at the most beautiful wedding in France with the reception nestled in the Ardeche hills of the Bride's family chateau; tres chic indeed! I wore a dress, enjoyed the church service, drank champagne, ate canapes and did everything normal people do and loved it!!! Yes I did take a small camera and no I didn't take that many photos, just a few snaps to remember the day; I was a guest and wanted to enjoy the day by seeing it without continually looking through a viewfinder. Victoire and Nicolas had employed the services of a photographer, so I firmly believe that she should be able to do her job without hindrance from any of us!

French weddings are a little different than the British ones we are used to; firstly the legal part of the wedding service is always conducted first in the 'Marie', which is the town hall. Traditionally this used to be done in the morning but modern French couples often do this some weeks before the wedding day so as not to make the day too long; in the main the French wedding service usually starts about 4.30 pm. The tradition of not seeing each other still stands in France but the groom does not stand at the end of the aisle to wait for his bride, instead he will see her outside the church doors before walking up the aisle with his Mother, then the Bride's Mother will walk up accompanied in this case with her son and lastly the Bride then enters with her Father. The service then runs pretty much the same, and in this case, as a Catholic Service would here. I was able to follow most of it but got thoroughly lost during the Priest's address, I nodded like I really understood everything ;) The final part of the service is the signing of the Church register, this is not the legal document but the Church's document and most of the guests will wander outside to await the Bride and Groom, so something a little different to the 'Brits'. The Bride and Groom will make their entrance at the Church door with a quick few photos and then they leave immediately to the reception. In both French weddings I have attended the time spent at the church after the service is very minimal.

Ah to the reception; the first French wedding I attended was in the most gorgeous venue in the centre of Paris and this in contrast was in the Ardeche region of France in the most beautiful Chateau that belongs to the Baron et Baronne the Bride's parents and I think that all the family weddings are held there; how lovely is that. It really was beautiful with turrets and everything and as it was set into the mountainside with the gardens being set on many tiers, no good if you are not used to wearing any sort of heel!!!! In France the cocktail party is quite a big thing and we had three hours of champagne, cocktails, canapes and chat. About 350 guests attended this and it was so nice to chat with everyone, admire the view and wander through the grounds and not feel in a rush. During this time, as is normal with British weddings the photography is completed; what I did find though was the guests were not too bothered about following the Bride and Groom during this time as they preferred to leave the photographer to do her work. I think this may have something to do with the fact that the cocktail party is an event in itself and lasts much longer than the drinks reception after a British wedding, so there is plenty of time to chat with the Bride and Groom. We did not enter to dinner until 9.00 pm and about 200 guests were invited to this; it is quite normal for guests to be invited to the church and cocktail party but not the meal and lots of happy days to those that are invited to all!! Senior members of the family do not sit at the top table, instead one member is placed on each table at the back of the room with other members of the family. The meal usually finishes about 12.30 with the speeches being made in between each course and it is then that the dancing begins. I heard that Victoire and Nicolas may have been dancing until dawn...yikes! We left about 1.30 am after the most wonderful day.

I am going to post a few images here today and these are personal images from a family wedding, but hey it is nice for it not be all work, work, work! The first three images show Victoire and Nicolas' exit from the church and this really is a free for all and a very transient moment before they head off to the reception. I love this; when the Bride and Groom make their entrance it is not just a matter of walking to the top table, oh no they dance around each table and the circuit is done about three times to music and the wonderfully manic waving of napkins :) I have put this image of me in, not because of me but for the wonderful dress made just for me by Emma Tindley; I called Emma sometime ago with an idea for a dress and as if by magic she made it. I loved wearing it and cannot wait for the next event where that little baby will be making another entrance, and I think we both know when that will be! I think you have to agree that Emma's talents are unrivalled, firstly because she had a dodgy old canvas, ie me to work with; so if she can make me look half decent just imagine what she can do for all you gorgeous brides out there, and secondly this dress was designed purely from a verbal description; now that's amazing. My last image is a quick snap showing how the chateau is built into the moutain and those amazing views...oh and it was 31c that day so I would have loved to have jumped in that swimming pool; it would have been on pain of death from Emma though, whilst wearing that dress!

I hope you have enjoyed today's very personal post and it will be business as usual next week.

Claire :)


Emma Tindley Bridal Boutique at South Lodge - Image of the Week


Week Twenty Four

This wedding photography detail shot was taken at South Lodge Hotel, Lower Beeding, West Sussex and showcases our very own Emma Tindley, Designer extraordinaire. I have chosen a detail shot this week because it is so lovely to take images of all those special things before they get worn or opened. There is nothing quite so perfect as the dress and shoes hanging beautifully waiting for their bride to enjoy them. Emma looked fantastic in her dress and she just loved wearing it and I think she felt extra special because her dress was made just for her by Emma her designer and yes we had Emma the Bride and Emma the Designer, so no confusion there then! Your wedding dress is probably going to be the most special dress you will ever wear, so for the experience to be unique and special just adds to the joy of wearing it. When you go to see Emma it is all about the dress and your couture experience from the very first visit, watching your gown evolve with every visit to the ultimate moment....wearing it and walking up the aisle to meet the man you will spend the rest of your life with.

Glorious Goodwood West Sussex - Sarah and Mark




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Good Afternoon Folks,

The wedding photography at Glorious Goodwood West Sussex was an extremely fun and romantic day for Sarah and Mark. The day started at Goodwood Hotel where the girls were getting ready and the champagne was flowing; the atmosphere was just lovely and Sarah was so happy to be getting married to her man. The boys were also getting ready at the hotel but they left in plenty of time to get to the church and have a "walk" (note the quotes here, walk = pub) so it meant I could do some interesting detail shots in and around the hotel risk free! We then headed off to St Andrew's Church, Oving, West Sussex where the boys were greeting the arriving guests and we were able to capture a few images before heading back down the path to wait for Sarah, Alan and the girls. Sarah arrived and made her way up the path with her Father and this was such a wonderful moment for reasons known to them. I did feel sorry for poor Mark, we were all primed to go and then I heard, psst, Claire, Claire; I popped over only to find that Sarah's veil was on the wrong way round, so I managed to sort it out and so that the right bit was over Sarah's face but poor Mark must have been wondering what an earth was going on. Usually the organ stopping with a momentary silence is the cue that the Bride has arrived and her walk up the aisle is imminent, that must have been a very long five minutes for Mark!

After the church service is was back to Goodwood for fun and relaxation, the whole day was smashing with Sarah and Mark being so happy and kissing lots and lots, it was a joy to see, you two are just fab!

Here we go with today's image choices; image one is just a nice vista of Goodwood House and shows some of the beautiful grounds that Goodwood has to offer. I do love a good sunset and we thought it was looking a bit hit and miss for a while but suddenly it was go, go, go so we managed to get these shots and immortalise Sarah's Granny's words of "natures paintbox". Ahhh the avenue of trees symmetry, symmetry just love it and here is another of those magical kisses. I loved taking a few shots of this quiet time and this has to be one of my favorites and sums up Sarah and Mark perfectly, I just love it! Ah now, there was lots of fun during the whole meal and this was the end of a particularly funny drinking game of 'I am Spartacus', we thought Kate had won the game but Alan nipped in at the last minute with a one liner that just could not be beaten "I am Spartacus because I AM the Father of the Bride" and those that were present know what Kate's preceding words were....hilarious!

Have a wonderful week folks,

Claire :)

Weddings at Slaugham Place Slaugham West Sussex - Tracey and Mark

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Good Afternoon Folks,

I was recently with Tracey and Mark for their pre wedding photography shoot at Slaugham Place near Lower Beeding West Sussex and what a glorious evening we had for the shoot. It was lovely and warm, the skies were azure blue and it was hard to believe that earlier in the week the rain had just lashed down incessantly!

It was lovely to be back at Slaugham again to reacquaint myself with the many wonderful features the venue has and I also am keen to try out a different angle for the big day too. We chatted about Tracey and Mark's big day and they have some brilliant things planned that I cannot wait to see so I think a fun time will be had by all.

So here are today's images and we start with the bridge and those magnificent weeping willows, so rich in depth and colour, which is a beautiful frame for Tracey and Mark. The weeping willows make an appearance once again but utilising a completely different light that really suits this shot; there is a quality and mood to the light that really evokes a dreamy mood with a couple of smashing leading lines thrown in for good measure! I just love this image of Tracey, she looks absolutely amazing and I cannot wait to photograph her on the big day; I just hope that she now sees what I see! I know that we have had the most awful winter that seemed never to end but I think the blossom and tree colours have been spectacular this year and this image shows this tree off to perfection; just look at its shape and how it frames Tracey and Mark, so although the smallest part of the image, with the use of light, they are still the most dominant as one's eye is constantly drawn to them both. This image should be called magnificent Mark, it is a strong black and white image with very definite leading lines and I love it!

It really has been a busy few weeks for me, I had a great seaside wedding yesterday and one more this weekend in total contrast to yesterday's scenery. I am hoping to blog some of the wonderful protrait shoots I have done recently too, so keep checking back.

Claire :)