Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year Love from Me!!!


I just wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Thank you to all my amazing clients; wow what a year and I have loved every minute of it. Thank you for being you and allowing me to be a part of your day and to all my portrait clients it is an absolute pleasure to be able to photograph you all and what a lucky girl I am :)

I hope you all have time to spend with your families and loved ones; make sure you eat plenty, chat and be silly because that's what it's all about.

Now where did I put those mince pies....

Claire :)

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 :)


Merry Christmas!

Christmas-Tree-West-Sussex-PhotographyGood Afternoon Folks

I just wanted to wish all the readers of my blog a very merry Christmas and thank you so much for popping here to have a read of what I have been up to this year. I hope you are all planning some time off to spend with family and friends.

This is the time of year to eat, drink and be merry!

Have a wonderful time and

It's Christmaaaaaaaaasssssss... in the great words of Slade!!!
If anyone is reading from abroad they were a band in the 1970's that produced
amongst other things quite an iconic Christmas song, so love it or hate it, it is here to stay.
I am posting a lovely wintry scene to get you all in a festive mood and I think that is the only snow I will be seeing over the festive period.

Claire )

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

Suggestion Photography Tunbridge Wells Portrait Photographers - Clare: Tunbridge Wells Portrait Photographers

Portrai Boudoir Photographers Tunbridge Wells Kent3

Portrai Boudoir Photographers Tunbridge Wells Kent2

Portrai Boudoir Photographers Tunbridge Wells Kent
Good Morning Folks,

Ahead of Clare and Chris' wedding imagery I am posting some images from Clare's suggestion session that was a surprise for Chris on their wedding day. It has been hard to keep it a secret as Clare looked fabulous!

As you can see from the imagery that I am posting, the sessions are about what you don't see and I want to echo the glamour Hollywood days of black and white photography and timeless beauty.

I am posting three images today and I think they speak for themselves; all black and white and Clare looks gorgeous in every one, to be honest it was a hard job to decide what not to put in the album.

Later in the week I will be blogging about their beautiful wedding day.

Claire :)
If you would lke to see more of my work pop along to my website <a href="" target="_blank">Woodland Hill Photography </a>

Wakehurst Place Ardingly West Sussex Photographers - Kew at the Movies

Good Afternoon Folks,

I had a real treat recently when we went to Wakehurst Place to see The Kings Speech. I have never seen a film outside before and it was really good.

We arrived just before dusk and Wakehurst takes on another magical beauty at this hour; people were already here with their picnics and drinkies. There were plenty of places to buy yummy things too so everything had been thought about. Free popcorn and coffee was provided, which I thought was a lovely touch then as the skies darkened the anticipation rose and then we were off!

I was a very pleasant evening; the picture and sound quality was superb so if they are holding another one definitely pop along as it was great fun.

Hope your week is going well and I have another Salomons wedding to show you soon.
If you would lke to see more of my work pop along to my website <a href="" target="_blank">Woodland Hill Photography </a>Kew at the movies, Wakehurst Place, Ardingly, West Sussex6 Kew at the movies, Wakehurst Place, Ardingly, West Sussex5 Kew at the movies, Wakehurst Place, Ardingly, West Sussex4 Kew at the movies, Wakehurst Place, Ardingly, West Sussex3 Kew at the movies, Wakehurst Place, Ardingly, West Sussex2

A day off in Rye, East Sussex

Good Morning,

I hope you all had a lovely weekend; as promised I thought I would post something personal today. Last week I had a really lovely day off and we decided to pop over to the ancient town of Rye in East Sussex. This area is very familiar to me as I spent all my childhood holidays in and around the Rye area, and I have so many fond memories of some wonderful family times here.

We visited a spice warehouse just along the harbour road; when you arrive and park, the pungent aroma of the many herbs and spices just tickle your nose buds continually. They have a brilliant array on offer with very competitive pricing so a few purchases were made! They are a family company and so nice too, so if you are ever in the area pop in and have a smell!

We then had a lovely lunch and this stained glass window caught my eye. I also found another location for my secret project and visited a venue that is coming up for a wedding in May. All in all a very good time was had by all.

I had a very pleasant day in the studio on Saturday followed by two wedding fayres on Sunday. I attended The Spa Hotel in Tunbridge Wells and my fantastic assistant Lorraine attended Lansdowne Place Hotel in Hove. Both these venues are lovely so if you are getting married be sure to check them out.

The images today show one of the cobbled streets for which Rye is so famous, a stained glass window from the restaurant and a memento of our visit to the spice company.

Enjoy your week although not sure I am liking the cold but having read the latest newsletter from our 'rent a cherry tree' they say we need a few more chill hours. I think I am happy to suffer it if it means lots of cherries in July!


Happy New Year! - West Sussex Photography

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Good Morning,

Welcome to 2012 and Happy New Year to you all. January is often considered a rather depressing month; we have enjoyed the festive season and it seems ages until we can look forward to long warm days with blue skies. Looking out the window this morning January is certainly living up to its expectations.

With that in mind I thought I would post some imagery to cheer us all up a bit. I received a Christmas gift in 2008 of a cherry tree that is part of an orchard called Rent a Cherry; I absolutely loved it, as soon as I opened the envelope I was instantly taken back to summer and the promise it held, so it was a gift that had so much to offer from the moment I opened it until that first succulent cherry. I loved it so much I have renewed each year since.

Today's imagery will take us back to April, May and July. We visit our tree during blossom time (we were lucky enough to see some of the cherries setting last year) and again in July to pick the wonderful fruit. The first image shows the beautiful blossom, the second shows the fruit beginning to form and the third shows the delicious cherries ready for picking and eating.

I hope it cheers you up a bit on this dreary day and it will not be too long before I am back to Northiam to watch our lovely tree in blossom again.

Enjoy your week folks,


Mercedes' Birthday Shoot - East Sussex Portrait Photographer

Good Afternoon,

Recently my Goddaughter Mercedes had a birthday shoot with her friends to celebrate her 13th birthday....well what's the point in having an Aunt/Godmother as a photographer if you cannot have a shoot whenever you want one!

This is one of the few sessions that is not secret. We had a fairly varied session that went from high to mid to low key and all the girls looked absolutely stunning. After the session it was off to The New York Coffee Club in East Grinstead where Ashley was over the moon to spot Peter Andre's brother Danny; I think all the girls were hoping that Peter Andre would pop up but alas no! Never mind girls there is always next time.

I still have frame orders to complete and I am awaiting deliveries of wall art; I will be relieved when it is all done and with all my clients in time for Christmas. I had a great studio session this afternoon and I am looking forward to another 1/2 day in the studio tomorrow too.

Enjoy your Friday and ho, ho, ho,


Rememberance Sunday at Horse Guards Parade, London

Good Morning,

I was exhibiting with Emma Tindley at The Institute of Directors at 116 Pall Mall on Sunday; it was a stone's throw from Horse Guards Parade and Emma and I had the great privilege to be able to witness the gun salute with the two minute silence.

I was moving to see soldiers both young and old coming together to remember those that have fallen and to give thanks to the great sacrifice they made for future generations. Both my Grandfathers served in the First World War; luckily they survived but so, so many did not and have not since. My Uncle was a Paratrooper in the Second World War, again he was lucky enough to survive but when he used to recount the experience of jumping from the plane whilst being shot at by the enemy; one can only be amazed he made it through.

Today these experiences are usually in the form of games on the Wii and Xbox, but so many young men had to experience the reality and still do today, we must give thanks to those who fought and continue to fight for us.

I am attaching the video showing the two minute silence on Sunday; the guns were extremely loud, so much so they set car alarms off and that small scream you can hear is Emma as we both jumped out of our skins! The other image is of Horse Guards Parade with the London Eye in the background. I only had my trusty iphone with me on Sunday so images and video are from that today!

Molly: West Sussex Portrait Photographer

Good Morning,

My gorgeous Cousin Molly and I recently had a 'play' session in the studio. It was a fairly dreary Monday morning and we fancied taking some images and just seeing what I could come up with. As a result of the session some very interesting images were taken that I am now going to perfect. This has reinforced my belief in just experimenting and playing in a stress free environment; it is often the time when new ideas are born. I had a good old chat with my Mentor Kevin about it and I will be back in the studio to expand on the idea and play with the light.

So the image I am posting of Molly today is not one of the prototypes but a classical portrait, which I love to bits, showing Molly as the beautiful young woman that she is. It seems like only 5 minutes since I was carrying her around as a baby and she believed our car had a magic roof!