Venice Wedding Photography : Nicola & Jaime

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I may risk sounding trite when I say that I wouldn’t have enjoyed my time in the Venetian lagoon a tenth as much had it not been in the company of Nicola & Jaime and the small band of their nearest and dearest that joined with them to observe and celebrate their marriage on the island of Mazzorbo. It is though simply the truth of the matter that I am certain that that would have been the case. Absolutely, it was an enchanting place to find oneself but being in such company magnified the experience ten-fold and environment aside, I would have cherished spending time amongst such company in any number of places that might not have quite the same charm.

Having grown up in an Italian town on the mainland just a little way from Venice, Nicola ventured out into the world and found himself working in Australia where, in time, he met Jaime, a highly thoughtful, poetic soul, clearly resonantly loved by those that got to know her so well and in Nicola she found her soulmate. It was very much my luck, as things transpired, that they found a friend in a former student of mine, Danielle, whom had herself left British shores to work in Australia. Danielle showed my work to Nicola & Jaime and thus the seeds of a lovely adventure were sown. View full post »

2017

Some facts and figures, though I am as ever very much about the spirit of things but it is inescapable that I do like myself a few facts and figures. Figures first, followed by facts. 2017.

7: The number of weddings I photographed in 2017 that included a former student of mine in the star line up of the day; that is to say, as the groom or as the bride. Nichola as she married Marcus, Jay as he married Chloe, Catherine as she married Jesus, Jessica as she married Michael, Lizzie as she married Dane, Daniel as he married Daniella and David as he married Emma. 2017 seemed to be the year for it when it came to former students getting married! Graduation dates spanning over a decade and a half left me reeling somewhat in a whirl of chronological reminiscing but in all cases it remained a solid rock to me just how much of a honour and a privilege it was to be asked to take the photographs, to be there for the whole thing and to weave together the story. It always is something special but there was an additional layer of history in place for me in these cases. It always means a lot to me and this meant a lot, again.

6: There is no six but I shan’t let that perturb me unduly. It would have been more elegant had there been; the reason why will quickly become apparent but… it’s all good.

5: The number of weddings I photographed in 2017 where one or both of the couple marrying had been guests at previous weddings that I photographed. Two of those five couples had been sat at the same tables as I had for dinner, at two of those previous weddings, so they knew not just the nature of my work but also that my table manners were impeccable or at least acceptable enough in light of the qualities of my photography :~)

4: The number of weddings I photographed in 2017 where a connection via friends was in place; friends of previous couples whose weddings I had photographed or friends of those friends.

3: The number of weddings I photographed in 2017 where the bride had been a bridesmaid at a wedding I had photographed previously (one of those marrying someone that had been an usher at the same wedding).

2: The number of weddings I photographed in 2017 where the groom was the brother of a bride from a previous wedding.

1: The number of weddings I photographed in 2017 where the couple had stumbled across my Web site. There would be a certain coincidental romance to things if this one were in time to translate into one or more of five, four, three or a derivative of two above.

I do like myself a few facts and figures, particularly when they provide such warmth. With a year of weddings in such large part connected to previous weddings and indeed in additional large part to a previous world of work, I take heart in what I’ll allow myself to see as something of a signal of approval, of a job well done. It’s always good to be back. In equal measure I take heart in being trusted by the newcomers, so to speak, who I very much hope to meet again in this world that I find myself travelling through. Thus was 2017; in figures, in facts; hence in photographs (and I dare say a few more words!) View full post »

Cublington Wedding Photography : Stuart & Siân

Stuart & Siân grew up in a Buckinghamshire village with a remarkably pleasant social dynamic to it, that continues to this day. Next to the gates of the village church sits a rota – populated with dozens of different names – for mowing the grass in the church grounds; no sign of a very small few holding on to tradition but one of a community still living up to the spirit of that term (Stuart, as it happens, mowed the grass in the days leading up to his and Siân’s wedding). Across the road and a few paces down, then just a couple more, the village pub serves as a hub for that same spirit of community, equally as welcoming to strangers as it is to those that cross its threshold on a regular basis. Down the road a little further and around a corner, the village cricket ground serves not only for the playing of cricket but also for all manner of community celebrations.

I found the village (and its denizens) so pleasant that I’ll not make specific mention of where it is just in case certain elements of the outside world stumble across this blog post, recall its existence and decide afresh to plonk a third airport for London on top of the place.

Along a friendly side street off the diminutive main road running through the village, Siân lived a little closer to one end, Stuart at the other, their two homes but a couple of literal stone throws apart. I feel quite certain that the distance could be spanned by just a couple of stone throws but I didn’t test my hypothesis out. It wouldn’t have looked good. Back to the story at hand, one might say that Stuart & Siân were childhood sweethearts but to be more precise, they were into their later teens when they became that much more aware of each other and together they’ve been ever since. They now live and work in London but they carry that spirit of village life in their hearts and manifest it in their demeanour, day to day.

I was happy to have the opportunity to meet with them at their London home some months before their wedding, to enjoy the wide slice of sky that they’d managed to find as a view from their window, the uplifting sense of openness along the nearby walk that they frequently enjoy and that I shared with them on that occasion, and the particularly warm, cosy and welcoming pub at the end of that walk, one that might as much have been in a village as in a city so large. I really enjoyed my time spent with them then and all the more again come the day of their wedding. This is the story of that day, of Stuart & Siân’s wedding… View full post »

Iceland Wedding Photography : Nichola & Marcus

I imagine an artist’s palette daubed with splashes and whirls of paint, spreads of white and spreads of black, an expanse of blue; green, greens, multifarious hues of green, dotted and striated and folded one into another and through and into colours other. Ochre, yellows, browns, oranges and reds; colours of the sky, colours of the sea, colours of the land and that which lays beneath. Then I picture Iceland and I see an artist’s palette; an artist’s palette on a grand, grand scale. Further, I picture Nichola & Marcus, she wearing a gown of snow and he wearing a suit of black volcanic ash and I see them smile like the sky and roar with laughter like the sea breaking on the shore, in their element, part of the elements.

We went somewhere really quite magical, they to make married and I, with my daughter, to see and tell as best we possibly might, all.

I’d known Nichola for a good number of years. Once upon a time she had been a student of mine and in her final year of studies, she asked if she might assist me on a wedding shoot. We worked together on two weddings, ultimately, and her work was fantastic, her way with people equally so. After graduating she worked as an animator in the realm of children’s television for several months, her own business as a wedding photographer quickly sky-rocketing so she moved full time into that realm. Something of a human dynamo, effervescent in nature with a capacity for deep reflection, Nichola has always been great to work with, now to work for, to share an adventure with. I didn’t meet Marcus himself until we were all in Iceland at the same time, though I recognised him well from all the photographs that Nichola had taken of him, or had taken with the two of them featured side by side. He had proposed to Nichola in Iceland a year before their return to the country to marry. I saw photographs and video of the proposal and their surrounding travels which had triggered in me a compulsion to visit the place myself. I found Marcus unshakeably likeable from the off, someone of discernible inner substance with a markedly healthy appreciation of others, someone that I sensed strongly wanted to do good. I enjoyed every moment of observing and photographing the path he and Nichola shared on this particular leg of their journey together.

Surrounding, underscoring, indeed permeating the wedding itself, Iceland left a profound mark on me. I’ve reflected in more depth on my reactions to the place in a separate blog post. I’ll be back to absorb its environment yet more. I photographed the wedding with my daughter, Amelia, and was so impressed with the work that she produced, I gave her a blog post of her own. This is my take on the story of Nichola & Marcus’s Icelandic wedding… View full post »

Iceland

“Turn left in 198km,” the SatNav spoke to us, on a road that was straight, so straight except for when it curved a little. And it rained, and rained, and rained, and rained. And then it didn’t rain. Then it rained again.

But despite the bar-briefly relentless rain there was so much that emerged from the clouds that filled us with awe.

The variety, the sheer variety of landscape in Iceland, the variety and vigour with which it changes, often-times in an instant between one blink of the eye and the next; the sheer variety overwhelms, marvellously. It commandeers your perceptions; your perception of place and perception of self within that place. One moment a flock of incongruously rounded green hillocks that you would as much expect to see Dipsy or Po emerge from as you would an elf. Then suddenly a sea of staccato fractal ridges that look like pain ensconced in green velvet gloves. A little further on, equally as suddenly, what appears very much to have the same type of structure as the last but somehow softened, more rounded, reduced, an echo of the visual passage that had passed shortly beforehand, pain worn down to lingering acceptance. Then, an unrelenting flatness of black, stretching on for miles. In the distance clouds that on closer approach emerge as mountains and mountains that on closer approach emerge as clouds.

As we summited the brow of another headland and the next view was unfurled in front of us, a magnificent banner draped from sky down to sea, a voice softly underscored with awe issued forth from the passenger seat to my right. “I feel so small,” said Amelia.

I’d had it in mind for quite some time to take her on a memorable journey of some form or another before she reached an age where she’d no longer be interested in hanging out with her dad. “I’ll never get bored of hanging out with you, Daddy!” she declared when I’d first raised this notion with her. We’ll see, I thought to myself :~) A specific plan manifested itself when Nichola and Marcus got engaged. Over a number of years I’d seen images made by a variety of wedding photographers that had travelled to Iceland, sometimes images relating to weddings, sometimes images from personal travels. I’d always found myself thinking what a beautiful place it looked but there are many beautiful places in the world, many on our own doorsteps even. Then in February of 2016, Nichola and Marcus travelled to Iceland with a small group of wedding photographers and videographers. During the trip, one day, the two took a turn adopting the role of models for a staged couple’s shoot, the backdrop a flotilla of icebergs, the stage an expanse of snow and blue water. Un-staged, Marcus dropped down onto one knee in the middle of the shoot and proposed to Nichola. The video and photographs were a joy to see. I sent Nichola a message to congratulate her and related to her this notion that I’d been formulating of a journey with Amelia, telling her that her images from Iceland had tipped me towards choosing that country as the destination. She asked when I planned to go. I told her that most likely it would be during the half-term school break in the February of the following year, shortly after Amelia’s eleventh birthday and to mark that occasion. It transpired that she and Marcus would be returning to the country during the same week, to get married. Nichola asked if I would photograph the wedding.

And here Amelia and I found ourselves, a year later, in Iceland. Over the space of the twelve months between choosing the destination and first setting foot in the country, she’d evolved from child to nascent teenager. I did wonder more and more how she’d take to hanging out with Daddy 24/7 for, well, the 7 part of the equation as well as the 24. Turns out it would be brilliantly; an excellent travelling partner for a grand adventure, which we agreed to refer to it all in place of ‘holiday’ as there wasn’t enough in the way of lay-ins and general rest for the latter term to legitimately apply. So brilliantly in fact, we’re now planning our return visit to the country to celebrate a landmark birthday of my own later this year.

I wished that there was a lay-by hemming the road for the entire length of our journey because there were so many sights that I wished I could be static for the contemplation of. Such incalculable variety, all dependent, I imagine, on which volcano had erupted when, from what depth, to what magnitude and in which direction; how broadly the lava had flowed, how deep and what it had met on its way towards the sea. It’s almost as though Iceland were the palette upon which Slartibartfast had mixed his paints for his rendition of the broader world. View full post »