London Event Photographer - Bah Mitzvah at Holland Park Synagogue (Part 1)

London Event Photographer - Bah Mitzvah at Holland Park Synagogue (Part 1)

Photographing in grand old architectural gems such as the Holland Park Synagogue, one of the oldest in London, is always a treat.  This was one of my first outings with my new XT2 Fuji cameras and the light was beautiful to work with.  I'd never witnessed a Bar Mitzvah before so it was a fascinating insight into another culture.

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Cotswolds Wedding Photographer - Stunning Oxfordshire wedding at Cornwell Manor

Cotswolds Wedding Photographer - Stunning Oxfordshire wedding at Cornwell Manor

Sarah and Simon chose to become Mrs and Mr at Cornwell Manor, a hidden gem of a venue which was formerly a hunting lodge set in the heart of the Cotswolds.  A late afternoon ceremony allowed for the rains to pass and the afternoon was spent outside in the sunshine.  A proper English country garden wedding.

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London Event Photographer - In House mixologist competition at Shoreditch House with Cointrea

London Event Photographer - In House mixologist competition at Shoreditch House with Cointrea

With Alfred Cointreau, the 30-year-old scion of the Cointreau empire in town, Soho House Group decided to have an in-house bar competition in the Library Bar at Shoreditch House for it's leading mixologists.   The challenge was to introduce Cointreau, the 160 year old family run brand into a new an exciting drink to be judged by Alfred himself.

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Advice for brides & grooms: 10 ideas for magical confetti moments

Advice for brides & grooms: 10 ideas for magical confetti moments

Everyone loves a beautiful confetti shot - If you follow my instagram account you'll know I am a HUGE fan of confetti shots. The colour, the smiles, having everyone in your wedding involved in the moment as they welcome you as husband and wife for the first time. It's a truly magical moment. However with several venues and churches now vetoing traditional confetti here are my top 10 alternative confetti ideas...

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Travels with my camera: A journey through time (the Jurassic Coast)

Setting off from Honiton station to Exmouth to the start of the route.  You an also start from Poole and do it the other way around.

Setting off from Honiton station to Exmouth to the start of the route.  You an also start from Poole and do it the other way around.

When things don’t go to plan and you leave space for the unexpected some wonderful things can appear.  I had two weeks roughly mapped out ahead of me to share with a friend when those plans fell through.  I was left feeling alone and flailing.  As someone who fills my time almost compulsively with work, friends and activities I felt bereft at the idea of this vacuum.  And so I decided to to continue on alone and with the help of friends embarked on a small journey to challenge myself.

I grew up with the privilege of plenty of travel abroad.  I continued that into early adulthood and have never refused the opportunity to get on a plane - sometimes to escape, sometimes to keep moving and sometimes because I didn’t know what else to do and have felt that moving through exotic spaces colours me in a way that gives me substance.

My own country has been neglected in these constant wanderings.  And yet I discovered a perfect solitude in walking a small part of the South West Coast Path this last week, along the 95 mile Jurassic Coast.  I discovered a sense of independence and freedom and clearness of mind.  I let go of needing things to be perfect or on time.

One rather painful discovery is that rushing leads to injury!  As I was trying to complete this alone my hardwired competitive side came out - I had to do it in as fast a time as possible.  And after two 16mile days over rough terrain I sustained a knee injury.  I hobbled along for a further day, desperate to be able to continue, but in the end had to accept that having reached half way I would need to stop, rest and return at a later date to finish the second half.

This is the view looking back towards at the end of the climb into Beer. 

This is the view looking back towards at the end of the climb into Beer. 

The other lesson learned, on the back of the above, is that waiting leads to adventures and discoveries.   As I hobbled down into the nearest village to figure out what to do, and waiting for the pub to open so I could tap into their wifi and make a new plan I called out to a passing man to see if there was a local campsite (loathed as I was to return to the awful caravan park I'd passed a mile back) to rest and stay the night.  He happened to be the local cider farmer and had a small campsite in his apple orchard.  By a river.  With an all day cider bar and live music that evening.  Perfect!  He bundled me into his landrover and I found myself in the most idyllic spot to while away the afternoon and evening (note:  the nicer campsites are set back off the trail if you have the energy to walk a mile or so inland).  And my neighbour even made me supper and we compared notes about the trail - he told me of his intention to do the full 660 miles next year over 4 months to raise awareness for mental health issues.

I’ve also learnt of the kindness of my friends and the possibility of asking for the things I need.   Despite having trekked in some quite extreme places including Patagonia and Nepal I'd never done anything longer than a 2 hour walk on my own.  Without my dear friends Rich and Marie to get me started I probably would have ended up staying in London but their support got me going and their tough love kept me walking so that I discovered the joys of walking and being alone.

Views towards Golden Cap - a hill and cliff between Bridport and Charmouth in Dorset. The cliffs are the highest point on the south coast of Great Britain at 191 metres.

Views towards Golden Cap - a hill and cliff between Bridport and Charmouth in Dorset. The cliffs are the highest point on the south coast of Great Britain at 191 metres.

The walk itself in the end started at Exmouth and I finished at the very quintessentially English village of Abbotsbury, taking in swims in Sidmouth and the bustling Lyme Regis.  Most of the route was amazingly quiet with few trekkers.  Highlights included the rainforest like undercliffs of the Axmouth to Lyme Regis route and the climb up to Golden Cap at sunset before dropping down into the tiny Seatown for a delicious fish ploughman at The Anchor.  Also the unexpected Bredy Farm visit in the apple orchard at Burton Bradstock.   When I resume it will be from Abbotsbury and on through Weymouth and finishing the route at Poole.

End of the road - pub lunch in Abbotsbury - taken by Rosie who joined me for the very slow, final walk along Chesil beach

End of the road - pub lunch in Abbotsbury - taken by Rosie who joined me for the very slow, final walk along Chesil beach

I travelled with the excellent lightweight MSR Hubba Hubba tent and initially a small trangier but decided to get rid of some weight on the way since there are so many cafes and pubs along the route to eat at I didn't feel it necessary to cook for myself, although this can get pricey.  Campsites were frequent and always had space but can be expensive when travelling alone as you are paying per pitch rather than per person usually (£14 - £26 a night).  I also took my thermarest, a warm sleeping bag and minimal clothing.  A 35l rucksack is fine - I had an Osprey Stratos 36.  Next time I might take walking sticks - you look like a pensioner but I think it really protects your body when doing long distances.  Carry plenty water.  I was lucky the weather was a bit cloudy so not super hot but I was drinking a good 2-3 litres per day.  There is a bus (The Jurassic Coaster) that travels along the full length of the coast path so it's really easy to drop your car and then get back to it.

Exmouth to Abbotsbury

Exmouth to Abbotsbury

London Wedding Photographer - Iconic Gherkin wedding for Vickie and Marc

I am often spoilt with my weddings, having had the chance to shoot in some fantastic venues, but this may be my most iconic! Luckily I have a head for heights as Vickie and Marc tied the knot in Searcy's, an elegant two storey glass dome at the top of Londons' Gherkin offering 360-degree views of the city.  The benefit of a venue like this is that weather isn't an issue!  When the grey clouds and rain rolled in later in the afternoon it just added to the sense of atmosphere of being up in the sky.   Thank you to David of Married to My Camera for his excellent second shooting.

Surrey Wedding Photographer - Kirsty and Iain's Wedding Photography at Cain Manor

Surrey Wedding Photographer - Kirsty and Iain's Wedding Photography at Cain Manor

I spent the May bank holiday nestled in the Surrey countryside, surrounded by green English forests capturing the beautifully bijou wedding of Kirsty and Iain. Their wedding was held at the Cain Manor, a stunning Elizabethan mansion.  The day was glorious so guests spent much of it outside in the beautiful gardens.

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London Wedding Photographer - Asylum Chapel and Brixton East 1871

London Wedding Photographer - Asylum Chapel and Brixton East 1871

A truly internationally inspired London wedding fusing English, Indian and German styles for Jenni and Wolf.  The ceremony took place against the captivating backdrop of the Asylum Chapel in Peckham's Caroline Gardens and a champagne fuelled vintage reception followed the I Do's at Brixton East 1871, a converted 19th century furniture warehouse, complete with live jazz and personalised cocktails.  

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Advice for new brides - from an experienced wedding photographer

Advice for new brides - from an experienced wedding photographer
So You're Getting Married....but you've never planned a wedding or large scale event before.  Where to start?  I know there are plenty of bridal planners, blogs, wedding advice websites out there so I'm not going to go into loads of detail but what I am going to offer is some advice from a photographer's point of view and the ways in which you can help me to take the best wedding photographs for you.  Having photographed well over 200 weddings over the last 7 years I have a good sense of what works and what doesn't and how the small details that will make the day flow better for both you and your guests.  
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Petersham Nurseries Wedding Photographer ~ Winter Wedding for Niamh & Bryan

Petersham Nurseries Wedding Photographer ~ Winter Wedding for Niamh & Bryan
Now living in New York having moved to be with Bryan, Niamh wanted to have her wedding in London.  The ceremony was an intimate family gathering in Mayfair with drinks reception at The Connaught before a short break and rejoining for a large sit down feast at the extraordinary Petersham Nurseries - one of my favourite wedding venues in London.  As darkness fell the candles lit the glasshouses and the most lavish floral displays.
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Ibiza Wedding Photographer ~ Destination Wedding Photographer

Ibiza Wedding Photographer ~ Destination Wedding Photographer
Josh and Sim were married at a poolside ceremony at Josh's mother's beautiful Ibiza villa at the end of the summer with an outdoor reception in the garden as the sun set over the hills.  Her portrait shots were taken at the breathtaking Hacienda Na Xamena at one of the highest points of the island.
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