Photography for Ballet Dancers - Melissa


Good Afternoon Folks,

Wow what a whirlwind August has been and I have been a little remiss in my blogging so here is something to have a gander at!

I had the great honour of photographing an amazing ballet dancer from the National Ballet Lisbon and we had the most fabulous shoot on location at Wakehurst Place. I wanted to get something a little different as a series of shots for her portfolio and Wakehurst was the perfect backdrop to capture Melissa's elegant and graceful moves.

I loved the shoot because it was so different and because everything had to be perfect and captured as the move was unfolding, so it tested so many skills and keep me on my toes; get it…groan :)

Anyway I think I want the images to speak for themselves so here is a slideshow and one of her headshots.

I can't wait to photograph Melissa again, she is amazing.

Claire :)

Wakehurst Place Wedding photography in Ardingly West Sussex - Rosemary and James

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Good Afternoon Folks,

This week we are back with wedding photography at the most beautiful wedding venue, the one and only Wakehurst Place in West Sussex to celebrate the marriage of Rosemary and James.

What an utterly sublime day for the both the weather and the seeing Rosemary and James' happiness as they were married and ready to start a brand new chapter in their lives. I was so happy to see a wonderful Janeymac cake resplendent in the library and as usual it was another masterpiece from lovely Elaine. Rosemary was so relaxed and she had every reason not to be as the hotel where she was getting ready had a power cut so all preparations had to be done without any electricity; yup folks that can be quite tricky in the hair department but Rosemary was unfazed and looked radiant.

As usual it was wonderful working with Katie and the team who are so professional in everything they do. I have included a couple of detailed shots in today's images as these are so important in any wedding day, I just love this first one as James picks up the ring just before he says his vows to make Rosemary his wife, then the next image is the wonderful moment that never fails to disappoint, the ring actually going on Rosemary's finger. No matter how many times I see and photograph this moment I always find it exciting and emotional. Rosemary and James' friend sang beautifully for their guests and I have included this image as I love the little moment they are having together as they are being serenaded. Now we all have to have the 'signing' of the register shots and these are in abundance at their wedding, but hey it is good to have a bit of fun once in a while and I love this, shall I, shan't I look from Rosemary and James is oblivious…we girlies are being a bit minxish! Why do I love Wakehurst so much, well just look at the formal gardens; whatever time of year the gardens continue to delight and this is no mean feat from the team at Kew who maintain this beautiful but mahoosive property. Boys will be boys, but don't ever change! For me weddings are all about fun, romance and happiness and I just love it when the lads muck about (I actually encourage it). It is great to laugh and we had so much fun doing these shots, so thank you lads you are brilliant. We now have a little bit of romance, a moment from a couple so very much in love and last but not least today a carefree moment as they wander back towards their guests…love it!

There is all sorts of exciting things going on at WHP Headquarters at the moment and I think combined they might just keep me out of trouble…..or will they!!!! ;)

Claire :)

Weddings at Wakehurst Place Ardingly West Sussex - Isabel and Neil

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Good Morning Folks,

Welcome to the beautiful wedding venue Wakehurst Place, Ardingly, West Sussex for the wedding photography of Isabel and Neil.

The whole emphasis for Isabel and Neil's day was to be able to relax and really enjoy the ambience of Wakehurst Place with their two gorgeous boys.

We had a lovely stroll around the grounds before heading in to the dining room for a sumptuous feast lovingly created by one of Wakehurst's approved caterers...yummy!

The day was very bright and this is always a challenge for photographers as the light is very harsh and directional. Experienced photographers are not at all fazed by this and will know how to handle this so that the images are flattering with beautiful shadows. With this type of light it is all to easy to have nasty shadows and panda eyes, not nice for your day that has been so long in the planning.

Enough of my pontificating and on to today's images. I love this one with Isabel, Neil and their two boys. It is so atmospheric and an example of beautiful shadows as one of their boys looks out at a tree he might be itching to climb later :) Just in front of the magnificent manor house the outside games are laid out for some fun in the sun; image two shows the moment that the giant jenga toppled; the team at Wakehurst headed by the brilliant Katie Ratcliffe really do think of everything. Isabel and Neil were having a sneaky kiss by the lake and this image really does show the vibrant blue skies and stunning scenery that is presents itself at every turn. I just love the formal gardens as they have some wonderful leading lines and architectural features; here is Isabel and Neil having a quiet stroll before heading into the mansion to join their guests.

I had a lovely day off yesterday after Saturday's hilarious wedding, which had me laughing so much my sides hurt; more of that in their blog post though!

I hope you are all enjoying a very British summer with an ice cream or two...

Claire :)

Wakehurst Place, Ardingly, West Sussex - Jamie and Rachel: West Sussex Wedding Photographers

Good Morning Folks,

I recently photographed the wedding of Rachel and Jamie; after the torrential rain the night before we weren't sure that we would be able to venture outside at all!

The day started at Alexander House Hotel, East Grinstead, West Sussex where Rachel was getting ready and this would also be the place where they would spend their first night as a married couple. The rain had managed to wash most of their beautiful gravel drive into the road!! There was lots of excitement and I never tire of seeing the happiness of a longed for day finally here.

It was then off to the glorious Wakehurst Place, Ardingly, West Sussex and I just love this venue; Katie was on hand ensuring that everything was running smoothly and in the morning she had deployed a team to restore their beautiful lawns as the rain had washed most of the bark surrounding the trees on to the lawns!! I would not have known anything had Katie not told me, the team had done a wonderful job.

The rain abated just enough when Rachel arrived so she was able to walk through the door on the opposite side of the house, thank you rain! We were able to do the group shots outside and then had two lovely Bride and Groom Portrait sessions both inside and out. Wakehurst Place is such a beautiful venue, I really wanted to make the most of it.

Today's imagery sees on of Rachel in the Manor House; she looks so serene and beautiful, followed by Rachel and Jamie having a stroll within the copious grounds. Rachel and Jamie both love the lake at Wakehurst Place so we popped back a couple of times during the day and I loved the richness of colour in this shot along with the delicate reflections of the Manor House twinkling in the water. I won't tell you what the ducks did whilst we were down there. To give you a clue they decided to give us a practical lesson to demonstrate the birds and the bees whether we wanted it or not!!!! The last shot I have chosen was taken in the formal gardens, and again the richness of colour and texture was wonderful.

With Wakehusrt you really can have it all; I love it!

Have a great day folks and enjoy the weekend....squelch, squelch!


Wakehurst Place, Ardingly, West Sussex

Good Morning,

I hope your week has gone well and here we are again at Friday!

Last night I attended a function at Wakehurst Place to celebrate the opening of a new venue for weddings. Going forward as well as being able to have your reception in the magnificent mansion house you now have the choice of the seed bank.

For those of you that have been to Wakehurst you will know that they are doing magnificent work in building an archive of the world's seeds to ensure that the world's amazing flora and fauna does not become extinct.

The seed bank building is in contrast with the mansion house with its contemporary lines and would make for some very interesting photography and I for one am very excited at the prospect of photographing a wedding there.

It goes without saying that any wedding that takes place at Wakehurst comes with the most beautiful grounds that just takes your breath away.

It was nice to know that Wakehurst Place uses the profits from its weddings and events to plough back into the seed bank and grounds to keep this venue looking gorgeous and to ensure the seed project continues to grow; how brilliant is that.

It doesn't matter whether you are getting married or not go an have a visit to this tranquil paradise and try the scones, they are just yummy!

Enjoy the weekend, I am in the studio on Saturday and I am also seeing lots of lovely wedding clients new and old.


Wakehurst Place Wedding Venue Ardingly West Sussex


Wakehurst is the beautiful wedding venue nestled in the West Sussex Countryside. Choose from the magnificent manor house, millennium seed bank or marquee to entertain your guests safe in the knowledge that you will have exclusivity for your big day. Katie and the team are on hand to ensure that your wedding day is planned to perfection and there is nothing like having acres and acres of beautifully tended grounds to wander around for truly stunning wedding photography.

Choose from on of their approved caterers for a wonderful meal to celebrate with your guests and dance the night away in one of West Sussex's best kept secrets.