Archive for June, 2008
No, not since the last blog post…that was only a week ago. This is a new phrase Evan is using at the moment. We stop at the level crossing to let a train go by. He’s very excited as usual but the train seems to be taking its time to get there. “Daddy, we’ve been here for ages and ages!” Great. Then yesterday he’s bartering to go to the park. We really don’t have time as E and I have to go to supermarket quickly before guests arrive for lunch. “Daddy, we go to the park?” “No Evan, we don’t have time” “Daddy, we can go to the park, I don’t mind” I bet you don’t…
I’ve been a bit slack on Evan photos lately. So to satisfy my sister etc (BTW family, have a look at the wedding images as one of them is actually for you).
A young David Hockney does his abstract paintings on the kitchen table
Looking for a bit of Euro 2008 violence!
Last Wednesday I finally made it to a Formula One testing session at Silverstone. I’ve been wanting to go for years but things kept getting in the way. My father-in-law (the crazy man in the photobooth at Vicky and Matt’s wedding), Duncan Kerridge and his son Blythe enjoyed a great day of screaming cars and excellent views. Having been to a few British Grand Prix in the past I was loving the easy movement of the crowd. You could sit just about anywhere you wanted (in the bits that were open) and move about without a hassle.
I have to give a big thanks to Duncan’s mum, Annie. She actually let us borrow some of her lenses (she’s into wildlife) and without them it wouldn’t have been the same. Even with a big 400mm lens we did bump into a chap from Fastlane Fotos with a 600mm lens. A bit of blabbing and some charm he actually let us try a few shots with our camera. Duncan was quite good, but I couldn’t even see a car in the damn thing. It was just too big. He used a 1.4extender with a 400d making it around a 1300mm lens. God help him.
To view a slideshow click the image below (whilst there are lots of shots of cars, there are some interesting documentary images as well):
Finally to this weekend’s wedding. It was great to see my old friends at Woodlands Park Hotel.
Lucy and Phil — Kingswood and Woodlands Park Hotel — Saturday 28 June 2008
Princess Leia…eat your heart out
Lucy’s lovely dress
The chief bridesmaid gets to work….I think this was attempt number 3
Friends don’t let friends ‘hoist’…its an in joke for those of us who were there
1..2..3..4..5..6 — taking the expression “give me a hand” just a bit too far
The veil was so heavy it took two of them to lift it
Rock me, Amadeus, Amadeus and Amadeus
Phil took great delight when seeing it was only the pizza man who had arrived early at the door
No..pepperoni on half (oopps, wrong caption)…I meant to say, Lucy and Mike take a few last minute instructions
A full belly and a Tic-Tac later he was ready to receive the bride
I wasn’t allowed to do much in the church…so I leave you with this parting shot
Just a wee natural moment in the car.
Meanwhile, back at Woodlands
My favourite window…
…Not my favourite wallpaper…but it is distinctive :)
Lucy and Phil discuss the possibility of sloping off to Glastonbury
Safe in the knowledge that Neil Diamond wasn’t on until Sunday they opted to stick around for the evening’s festivities
This was mega cute…11months and already doing Twinkle Twinkle with Daddy
Penelope Pitstop dawns her goggles for a closer look
I can confirm this guest was very keen on Jay-Z headlining Saturday night
The tables had to take a quiz…and it wasn’t even a school day
Great socks…but not very well strategically placed. When asked by the vicar
“who gives this woman to be married to this man”, Mike had to stop, lift
his trouser leg and double check before admitting it was him.
FAMILY (Mine) Stop here…nice shot of a smiling guest…but my gracious
Does she not look like cousin Melissa?
Lucy takes more than a few mental notes during the Best Men’s speech
“You are the Dancing Queen…”
EH…do you want a copy?
And now a few from Darren, the Boy Wonder
I’m on floor doing the shot you see above in my bit and he’s over here. Great stuff!
Lucy’s sister Katie (only a newlywed for about 5 weeks) sees the roles reversed
I’m up in the Kings Suite doing the ‘everybody’ shot…but Darren is on ground level
…getting some awesome views of the guests
Nice work Darren!
Last night I got this from James: “Just to prove that the world is indeed a small place we met Lisa and Tim at Heathrow. They were on the same flight as us….and staying at the same hotel for their honeymoon. Lisa spotted us from the photos on your blog.” So Disney were right…it IS a small world. 2 couples, both clients of mine, meet as a result of the blog. Go figure.
I’m still a bit skeptical…you know, the old saying, if its too good to be true and all that. Well, recently I stumbled upon a government scheme where you can have additional insulation installed in your house for relative peanuts. The bloke from the firm turned up earlier today, did a quick measurement and confirmed the price would be £199. I don’t imagine I could get the materials for less than that. Not only that, but they are also re-lagging the pipes and insulating the header tank. Stay tuned and I’ll let you know when its all done.
Evan’s hours at nursery are going to be increased from July. Its hard to believe that its only just over a year until he starts school. Where has the time gone?
This past weekend was a bit of a different experience for me — in fact, it was quite a few new experiences. The biggest was shooting the wedding of a family friend. ‘High pressure’ shooting isn’t anything new. I’ve shot 5 wedding photographers weddings over the past few years. So I know all about that. But shooting for a family member is a different story. On top of that I also had a gallery of well wishers (read pi** takers) in the in-laws as well as Nicola and Evan.
You may have noticed that I mixed the phrases family friend and family member in the same paragraph. Technically we aren’t related but as they’ve known each other for nearly 40 years its kind of a given. I even refer to the bride’s parents as Auntie Chris and Uncle Mike. Go figure.
As for Vicky…well, I’ve known her since she was 11. I’ve known her since she was into all those boy bands…err..umm…well, to be honest, she still is. Either that or Matt made a big mistake buying Boyzone tickets as a wedding day present.
Matt, on the other hand…well, I’ve known him for around 4 to 5 years. He’s often referred to as the worlds best son-in-law. I suppose now he gets to prove it. He’s the only guy on the planet who comes to your house, offers to make you a cup of tea and even cleans his cup (and yours) when he’s finished.
I suppose I should just get on with it…as I know there are loads of family out there checking the blog.
I did a few more images than normal for Vicky and Matt…I hope everyone else won’t take that personally…but I do get the chance to make a few more cheeky comments that way.
There are 2 weddings from this weekend. For the record, I reckon Martin ain’t such a bad son-in-law either :)
Victoria and Matthew (you’ve got to be joking — VICKY AND MATT)
Pyrford and Oatlands Park Hotel – Saturday, June 21st, 2008
Everyone tried to convince Mark (Vicky’s brother and Best Man) to shave
but as he pointed out…”I live in Dubai…everyone there has a beard”
Oh yeah…the obligatory shoe shot…no ovens or shower curtains this week sadly
Although not invited to the day, Ernie the wedding dog, does his bit to everyone festive
Just a little reminder…in case I forgot
“Shane….no Ronan….no Matt…I give up!”
Seconds later this whole touching scene of loyal family dog and a coming of age daughter was
shattered when Barney (or Buster, I can’t remember which is which) did what all boy dogs
like to do….yes, you can finish the thought all on your own.
Now…I feel like calling her Victoria
Its nice when family members listen “do it by the window with the lights off”…magic
One of my favourite shots…intimate yet sophisticated
Auntie Chris watches her baby put on the final touches
I could be SO misleading about what Vicky was saying to her dad…but in fact it was just “I broke the loo roll holder”
I do love a good veil
“Cup of tea?”
Yes…I think I recognise you…have you been at one of my weddings before?
Vicky arrives and catches a first glimpse of the church and her waiting bridesmaids
Sadly this about the only church shot I have. The verger is a nasty piece of work (and no, I ain’t worried about lightening strikes)
Both myself and Chris (video man) agreed that this the most confetti per size of group ever!
The dining room was second to none
If you look closely you can see the pink theme running throughout the entire day
All available light…no video lights…so shooters, don’t ask. Hard to believe she was 11 once.
Matt couldn’t help getting into the action
He looks like he just won the lottery :)
Damn hot (can I say that?)
2 best men, a combined speech and wee practice
Mike and Ash ignore the hubbub and play a friendly round of Connect 4…
…whilst Evan proves to me that ate all of the ice cream (not much of a challenge really)
“Welcome to Brides-R-Us drive thru .. can I take your order?”
Touching speech or just realised Matt forgot to set the series link on Eastenders…you make the call
Matt has just come to realisation his best men are going to do him proud (or he’s going to do them over — and make a cup of tea shortly after)
Matt’s mum just about holds it together even for the bit where one of the best men relives the
story of how Matt actually saved his life when he was 9
Uncle Mike (and some dodgy geezer on the left) rejoice in winning the speech timing sweepstakes
Not a perfect shot…but I love the emotion
Hey…wait a minute…the first dance is over so what’s going on here? Could it be I finally had someone
purchase the consummation package add-on? Nope, in fact, Matt (now adding perfect husband to his
list of achievements) had bought Vicky an amazing evening dress –can you guess what colour?
Pink baby…pink! Luckily Auntie Chris was nearby. Matt might be the perfect husband but he ain’t the perfect wardrobe assistant (thank goodness)
So…its like bridal prep all over again
Back to the party!
An amazing illusionist in my amazing new PhotoBooth.
Who is the haunting madman…leave me alone…you’re in the centre…what more do you want?
Friday’s wedding scared the bejessus out of me. The weather forecast was horrid and the venue is great but not so great for a photographer in the pouring rain. The rain never came but my preparations prompted me to try something new…something I had been thinking of doing for a while. The PhotoBooth — see below
Tessa and Martin — The Vyne — Friday, June 20, 2008
…yes, but where are the Lions? Life at the Wedding Zoo
I’m not so sure Martin’s dad is that keen on getting a needle to the chest
Some guests just have an infectious smile…here’s one
Martin plays groom and usher
Here comes the bride…apparently.
A special moment between bride and photographer…no its true…just after the blinkin car driver told me how do my job
…and he scared the wits out of Tessa and Martin’s daughter Melissa as well
The bridal party make their way to staging zone X
Martin gets that knowing look one last time as a single man
Finally Tessa breaks out of the crowd and I catch a glimpse
Everyone had a great view…some more than others
Giving Martin that “I’m your mother in law now” look
Gran just enjoys the experience
A swift signature and its a done deal
Just think about the next time Melissa heads down the aisle — some great material
for the Father of the Bride speech in couple of decades or so Martin
“Thanks for getting in the Pimms”
Shot just before I fell over
“Eeeeeeee”…they know what I mean
Look at Martin and convince me he doesn’t have one of those wallets that Samuel L Jackson had in Pulp Fiction
Dressing up The Vyne
Tessa does her Cosmo moves
And I had a few of my own
“Hands off my ice cream, Mister!”
The Top Table
Martin has time for a spot of revision
Clearly the extra work paid off
The best man dishes the dirt whilst Tessa drinks her vodka (neat) to help
deal with the revelations
After dinner we had a few minutes to use the lightbrella
And now the premiere of my very first PhotoBooth…(idea stolen from a few folks in the states)
Word up to all you fathers out there (Sorry, for a brief second I slipped back in time to the early 90s). Father’s Day here is always good fun. Evan never stops telling me how he made me a card at nursery AND at the fair AND with mummy. So I’m the only dad with 1 kid and 4 cards. Nicola was very kind and got me a subscription to National Geographic (I only read it for the pictures).
We spent the day in Milford at Secrett’s Farm Shop and Garden Centre’s Centenary Celebration. Basically it meant Evan climbing on every tractor built in the last century, having a tub of farm reared ice cream and a few fairground rides. As usual we had lunch before we left and the hated our decision as there were loads of great stalls selling anything from hog roast to dim sum.
Next weekend should be an interesting one. Firstly, on Saturday I’m shooting the wedding of a friend of the family. But wait…there’s more. Not only will I know a number of people at the wedding, I will also have a gallery of well wishers who will also be in attendance. Namely, Nicola and Evan, Diddy and Grandad, Karen, Malcolm and Josh. Talk about pressure. The only plus side to working with family is that you kind of feel obliged to have a canape or two (where normally I wouldn’t dare).
Got a few great images of Evan. The alarm clock stopped working…or so he thought. So Evan the Builder to the rescue.
Oh no…there’s a ‘can we fix it’ emergency upstairs…let’s send in our crack team!
Evan attempts to mend the alarm clock…BTW…its a fuse problem
Toolset at the ready
Protective goggles, split with no visor, are required for a job like this
..not to mention some intense concentration
Can I Fix It? Yes, I Can!
Clare and Stuart – Cain Manor – Saturday 14 June 2008
Keeping my streak of shoes in funky places alive
I’ve always loved the light in the bridal suite…provided you turn off the lights.
One of those ‘no caption required’ images
On of the coolest things about Cain Manor…the bride and bridesmaids can see everyone arrive, but no one can see them
Clare is quite friendly with a certain member of the Addams family
My plan to shoot and hope paid off
Charlotte, Stuart’s sister, is on the floor, about to lift up her dress and holds a camera. I looked away after this shot.
Clare and her mum discuss the impressive Dutch form in Euro 2008 and (thankfully) agree they might be peaking too early
“Yeah baby…you’re hot” — The hairdresser keeps her hands warm
Part 1 of the ’4 Unwritten Rules of Cain Manor’ (4URoCM) — The clock and the bride during the registrar meeting
Pt 2 of 4URoCM — Bride (with various accompaniment) going up or down the stairs
Part 3 of 4URoCM — You don’t need a flash for the processional (BTW, All brides take a leaf out of this wedding…
1 send the bridesmaids first, singly or on the arm of usher…allow them to make it the entire way do the aisle
…lather, rinse, repeat. Then you come, slowly and make as much eye contactas possible. The number of times I’ve had to
find a 5ft 3in bride behind a 6ft 4in vicar ain’t worth counting.)
A few months ago I mentioned Cain Manor along side Clandon Park as my two favourite ceremony rooms. Here’s the proof!
A glassy-eyed bridesmaid…sometimes they make it so easy for me :)
Part 4 of 4URoCM — never attempt the recessional from ground level
Clare’s mum in sticky motion blur
I’ve never put shots of champagne on a blog…but these did look quite tasty
Groom reviews formals list (hey, you wrote it) and photographer takes a photo. I’m a big guy…but not that big…
I’ve got two bags, one on each shoulder.Oh…about the hat. I don’t normally wear it, but my (near) bald head needed
a break for a few minutes. I need something arty…perhaps I’ll get a beret :)
I quickly learned that Stuart’s family were very much into their practical jokes.
Here, mum and dad decide to start off the confetti gauntlet to rapturous applause.
These two never stopped smiling
Technically a facet of Rule 2
Ohh…should I now add a 5th rule?
“Hey, why not pull back and shoot wider Rob?” — something like 6 people got ready in this room and
shortly after they left it neat and tidy it was ransacked by the last remaining tribe of nomadic people from the Hants/Surrey borders
Kids will be kids
Another game I like to play at weddings — “Who’s next?” — judging by the look her in eyes I reckon I might just be backing a winner
Bro (as he was referred to every piece of communication I possess) looks intently
(whilst secretly bricking it as his speech was next) as thebrides grandfather gives a smashing speech
Stuart turns on the charm
Yep…those 2 again…he was a very emotional chap (apparently)
Dirk Diggler eat your heart out!
Wideboys? No. Some sort of strange religious ritual? No. Practising Guitar Hero for Playstation? YES!
Its a strange lifelong family tradition…I didn’t ask too many questions.
New boy band, El Trio, practise for their upcoming album cover
Sing with me…”don’t let the sun, go down on me”
Stuart’s family pick an odd time to show off their rugby skills
If I didn’t know better I would say “Hi, Ho, Silver Lining”…thank God it wasn’t
Those damn Petrelli brothers are at it again
In your best Bowie impression “Let’s Dance!”
No, I’m not referring to the start of the European Championships but yet to the solution to England’s left sided ‘problem’. I have the answer in Evan. A natural left footer (and lefty golfer it would appear as well) he’s sure to earn me a mint in the years to come (hey, wishful thinking). All kidding aside he’s suddenly developed a real fascination with kicking the football (soccer ball) around. Of course, he loves to watch me kick as high into the air as I can. If anyone has Capello’s number do give me a ring.
Although I speak of things football I have no images for you today on the subject. However we did have a wonderful afternoon in the sunshine at West Wittering last Thursday. I grabbed a few shots. No doubt my sister will be a bit annoyed as they are more of a ‘essence’ of Evan than close ups of his cheeky grin.
This past Saturday I shot the wedding of K&A (names changed protect the innocent) at Avington Park. Whilst I don’t normally blurb about the weddings I did want to say thanks to all those folks who said such kind words about the engagement session (scroll down…its the one in the car park) I did a few months back. So…thank you very much…and to everyone who made me and my TWO second shooters welcome.
So that brings me to two stories regarding the wedding. The first would be the whole TWO second shooter thing. Let’s step back 4 years (perhaps 3) to a hotel near Gatwick (AKA, Berkshire, but don’t tell the SWPP about geography). I’m attending a seminar by a US photographer whose name suggests she eats berries in a meadow and her mum was shot by hunters. Anywho, at the end I approach a character I admire from an online forum (which now consists of mostly idiots) as I recognise his avatar. “Hi…um…Dan…my name is Rob…Shootinghip from the forum?” (arm outstretched and hoping to meet this mysterious gentleman I get) “And?”. That was the full account of our first meeting. Over time, somehow I gained their respect. I learned that my exchange with Dan wasn’t actually him being rude…but just him being Dan. So, a few years on I find myself with the tables completely turned. Dan (and Ann) requested to second shoot with me. So I suppose that means they like me now (to be fair, we’ve been friends for a while now…but I was amused at the whole course of events). To see a few images they got from the wedding go HERE.
One last story before the images of K&A. Being a hot day I was thirsty for some water. I asked politely at the drinks table the staff didn’t let me down. They even asked “would you like some ice?” (must have sensed my American fascination with ice) I declined and gulped the glass. I was thirsty for more but didn’t want to dirty another. The jug of ice water was there and not wanting to disturb the staff from taking care of guests I filled my glass again. Again I gulped but this time notice a slightly tart then bitter taste. Hmm…what is this…its cold, it tastes rather nice, its refreshing…but WAIT A MINUTE. I recognise that twang. And so it was…a half a glass of rum later it kicked in. Next time I’ll just ask.
K & A — Avington Park — Saturday 7 June 2008
K’s Gran made the journey over from Oz..(as did a lot of folks)…but I reckon she gets a special mention
K was sure her luck would turn on the back 9
K’s childhood obsession with Mary Poppins led her to install a rather ingenious addition to her wedding dress
Shot through the lodge window overlooking the putting green…bottle of Evian bottom left
It was like I was destined to shoot this wedding…shoes…a bride…a golf course. HEAVEN!
For those who can’t read 0.05pt font it says “To My Lovely Wife (to be)” — A is a real smoothie
No caption required
A takes his last chance to hug all the pretty girls arriving at the church…he had too many to choose from
K’s dad was tempted to shout out some ‘rowing’ terms to get her up the aisle faster
Now this is an interesting one. A’s sister does a reading. She has to look back to see the bride and groom. Did I actually get her winking at them? I’m good…I’m not that good.
For 2 serious people, it was a very lighthearted ceremony. I loved it.
With K’s family from Oz, all of her sisters looked like Kylie…no…its true.
Figuring I wouldn’t get so lucky as to have another wink I went with my trusted favourite
A different view of signing the register
“Sign here, initial here, fingerprint here and a blood sample there”
Awaiting the secret guest…shortly afterwards a piper enters to escort them out
Mr and Mrs
Hmm…I get the distinct feeling I’ve been here before
Yep…I sure have
Funny how I never have to ask them to do this
The glorious Avington Park
Google maps has this wonderful closeup of K&A’s croquembouche
You know you are at a certain type of wedding when the guests cast off their Jimmy Choos during the drinks reception
I just liked it…
She found my Google maps joke funny
Apparently the best man found a few bits of damning evidence on the groom…dress wearing and flowers in the hair…I’m delighted to say we can add one more to that list (see below — no, not directly below…one more)
Hatcheting off my portion of the pudding (please sir, can I have some more)
Cha-ching! Add Samba-esque dancing to your list Mr Best Man (if anyone sees A approaching my house with the knife please let me know)
I’ve never believed that an emotional image is one that has to be perfect. To prove my point here are 2…
…see my point?
This guy was brilliant. Check him out…Micky Fordola
As I mentioned in my post at the end of last week, I had 3 weddings this past weekend. I don’t try to do 3 in a weekend but it all conspired and I assumed fate had a reason. I’m glad I did as it was a great weekend…of course my computers aren’t ready to agree. One of my machines was working from 23:06 to 6:22 this morning and that was for 2 of the 3. Of course there are still many more ‘man’ hours to go, plus a whole other wedding to add to the mix but I was keen to get a blog entry for each out there today. So I’ll shut up and turn you loose:
Please leave a comment if you like what you see!
Lisa and Tim — Tithe Barn, Ditcham — Sunday 1 June 2008
I loved Tim’s bold choice of colour
I had never done Bridal prep at the barn…look MORE shoes. I keep finding places to put them!
The one light in the bride’s room had some unique shadows…here Lisa pauses before shouting ‘Hallelujah I’m dressed’
Tim and Sam wait for Lisa, her son Tom and Lisa’s Dad
The barn was in dramatic lighting mode which made for a more intimate setting
Signed, sealed and put in an envelope and given the bride (not as catchy as the original)
That first moment of alone time
The ceremony complete, its time to Samba
Ye Olde Tithe Barn Road
Damn…its the mad woman at Tiger Rose again. She really is the business.
Lisa could do anything with the camera – smile, laugh, smolder.
Tim wasn’t too bad at the game either
Jacaranda did the catering and Dave (the Tithe Barn master) insured the tables were spot lit perfectly
Amazing huh…spot lighting makes all the difference
Exactly why I let the Groom’s 13 year old son (fresh off 3 glasses of champagne) play with my camera I’ll never know
Celebrity Guest: Pierre Luigi Collina (ok, maybe not but the do have the same hair stylist)
Go on…say it in your best Little Britain — “I want that one”
Lisa and Tim await their entry into the Wedding Breakfast
Staying with Little Britain — “Cake, cake, LOOOVE the cake”
After a day of cloud and sprinkles of rain, the evening turned glorious and Lisa and Tim requested my presence
Big Tim and The Arches
Lisa just about holds it together for the speeches
A cleverly placed one liner keeps her calm and composed
Let’s face the music and dance
Just moments before Tim did his body pump routine
“Fa la la la la la, la la la la” — ooops…wrong post
The last shot of the day