Relaxed Summer Parisian Wedding - Talya & Ben



I’m always delighted to hear from a potential bride who has clearly taken the time to look over my work and has a strong sense of what she is looking for. Talya’s initial email to me was both hugely flattering and told me that she was the type of bride that I definitely wanted to work with! “Having been to very many weddings over the past few years and with an amateur interest in photography, I always knew that I wanted to invest in my wedding photography. It is one of the most tangible things left over after a day that I've been told feels like a whirlwind. I want photos that are timeless and beautiful but also capture the fun that a wedding can be. I really love your aesthetic, the way you use light, and the warmth that comes through your photographs. I also like your intellectual approach to wedding photography - documentary wedding photography is the perfect way to describe what I am after from a wedding photographer. Your writing on wedding planning was quite helpful as well for someone just starting the planning process. “


This was an absolute favourite for me last year. A relaxed, destination across two venues and ceremonies in Paris on a beautiful summer’s day. I started with Talya and her bridesmaids at the gorgeous new hotel The Hoxton before heading over to the Marie du 11e arrondissement. After the ceremony I headed off with Talya and Ben in their roller to the stunning Place des Vosges, a favourite spot of theirs, for their couple shoot. After a break we reconvened back at their second venue - the Pavillion Puebla in the Parc des Buttes Chaumont for a very magical and intimate outdoor ceremony presided over by one of their friends as the sun set over the park.

See the end of the post for suppliers.

Working with Helen was a fantastic experience. We just got back from our honeymoon and it’s been an absolute joy reliving the whole day through her lovely photos. I knew that wedding photography was something that I wanted to invest in, in terms of both money and research. Helen was a breeze to work with, professional, really communicative and happy to answer any all and questions we had. Helen was also great and easy on the day. We had a long day scheduled, and she was able to keep us calm and laughing throughout. Moreover, the photos were ready so quickly, with a very easy to use page. My husband and I will be forever grateful for these beautiful shots of us, our friends and our family! I would 100% recommend Helen!

Prep hotel: The Hoxton Paris
Dress: first is from Reformation, second is Alexandra Grecco (purchased at Ceremony Bridal in Boston)

Shoes: YSL for first dress, Prada for second dress

Caterer: Le Garde Champetre

Flowers: Les Herbes Hautes

Jewellery: Tiffany & Co

Music: Benjamin Saksik via Pavillon Puebla

Planner: Nabie Dit Oui

Illustrations: i did the watercolors for the menus at the bar/buffet myself, but all other paper goods (invites, programmes, decals, etc) were done by Laura Kaesshaefer (

Transport: ClassicAutoLoc

Hair and Make up: Sanni Sorma

Hair Accessory: Twigs and Honey

Videography: Jake Lea-Wilson

Cake: Diana Bush at le Petit Grain

Photobooth: sharingbox

Nancy & Derek / The Asylum Wedding Photography & Brunswick House

Every now and again I’ll get an enquiry that captures my heart and imagination. I received a beautiful and heartfelt email from Nancy early last year enquiring about my availability. She told me of how she met her husband to be through a research trip to study Peter Collinson, the eighteenth century botanist. She pointed out that they were probably more unique amongst my couples given that she was 75 and he was 88, although ‘we are told we are both young for our years.’ Given Derek’s home and community in Peckham they had chosen The Asylum in Peckham as the ceremony venue. A quite extraordinary location set in Queen Caroline Gardens the chapel is a grade II listed building and a deconsecrated church. The light is quite magical streaming in through the stained glass windows and the faded blues and purples of the painted walls make quite the backdrop. Given that this was a winter wedding everyone was bundled up in coats but Nancy wowed in a floor length black gown with embroidered matching coat.

After a beautifully intimate ceremony and champagne reception everyone headed off on a London bus for Brunswick House for a cosy sit down supper.

Modern London Wedding in Stoke Newington and MC Motors - Emily & Jamie



2018 is drawing to a close and I’m finally having a chance to catch up on blogging what has been my favourite year yet. So many beautiful weddings, amazing couples and locations near and far. This wedding couldn’t have been closer, however, from my home in Hackney.

Emily is part of a book club and I have already photographed her friend Alice’s Smithfield’s wedding and am looking forward to their other friend Olivia’s wedding next year - it is such a pleasure to be photographing the weddings of such modern, feminist women who are taking control of their weddings and doing things in a way that reflects who they are and their ideas about modern families and relationships.


Emily and Jamie got ready together at their home surrounded by friends and family before walking together the short route to the progressive Stoken Newington Unity Church with lots of raucous singing and beautiful readings. The reception was just down the road at the very awesome MC Motors which was a dream to photograph in. The catering was by Tom Oldroyd - Londoners love their food so no limp chicken breasts here.

These photos are totally magical and just looking through them is making me smile. You really have captured all the emotion and happiness of the day in these photos. They’re so natural and gorgeous and personal and just HAPPY! Which is exactly what we wanted from the day and everything about it.

Thank you for being such a joy to have around on the day itself - you caught all the moments but you were so unobtrusive and relaxed, which really means a lot to us and set the tone for us. I think ultimately this comes through in the photos you were able to capture. Thank you for being so flexible and relaxed with the changing groups, and shot locations!

We really will truly treasure these photos forever and when we’re old and grey we’ll look at them and remember what a fun and happy day we had! Thank you again for giving that to us!

For the full supplier list check out the end of the blog.

Ceremony Dress: Andrea Hawkes

Evening Dress: Ellery

Shoes: Prada & Manolo Blahnik

Caterer:   Tom Oldroyd via Trestle

Flowers: Petalon

Earrings: Jennifer Behr

Music: Wedding Smashers

Hair: Neuton Salon

Videography: The London Wedding Film Company

Cake: Family and friends! The cheese cake was from La Fromagerie 

We rented the lanterns in the hallway from Classic Crockery

Jamie’s suit was from Suit Supply and tie from Ferragamo 

Rings were from Tomfoolery (mine was Polly Wales)

Source: modern_london_wedding_photography

Keble College Chapel Wedding, Oxford - Megan & Michael

Keble College Chapel Wedding, Oxford - Megan & Michael

You can't escape the sense of history and grandeur that envelopes you the moment you set foot in Oxford - the oldest university in England.  As a student at Keble Megan was able to marry in Keble College Chapel which was nothing short of spectacular.  The reception was held back at Michael's family home in Chipping Norton a short bus ride away.

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Henley Business School Wedding Photography - David & Thea

On a super hot August Saturday David and Thea married in the cute Hambledon Church before heading off to the picturesque setting of Henley Business School on the bank of the River Thames.  After a garden party style reception on the lawns and a meal the guests were treated to a cruise along the river Thames with live music.

Indian Winter Wedding Party at The Jumeirah Carlton, London for S & B - Part 2

Indian Winter Wedding Party at The Jumeirah Carlton, London for S & B - Part 2

It was a huge honour to be chosen by Bhavin and Shivani to document their wedding weekend in London.  Day one of the wedding was on a chilly but clear day at the Hilton Syon Park, Day three was the party night held after an intimate civil ceremony at The Jumeirah Carlton in central London.

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Traditional Indian Wedding Photography at Syon Park Hilton in London - S & B

Traditional Indian Wedding Photography at Syon Park Hilton in London - S & B

It was a huge honour to be chosen by Bhavin and Shivani to document their wedding weekend in London.  Day one of the wedding was on a chilly but clear day at the Hilton Syon Park.

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London engagement photography || Hyde Park || Amelia & Philip

Having met Amelia and Philip at a wedding last year I was delighted to hear from them when they were planning their own wedding and wanted to capture shots of them in London around the area where they met at university in South Kensington.   They were the loveliest, most relaxed couple to work with and we had a very enjoyable evening stroll through Hyde Park until the sun went down.

London wedding photographer

Wedding Photography Advice for Brides

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.  So I've put together a few considerations for you:

1.  Your Dress

Obviously one of the most important considerations!  But bear in mind that a dress that looks spectacular in the shop, or in a magazine does not always translate into actually wearing it for 12 hours in rain and shine.  Take time to consider how you can move in your dress, whether you are going to be constantly worrying about the train.  And from my perspective, the most important; what do you want from your bridal photographs.  If you are wearing a huge dress that you can't move in it will dramatically reduce our options for portraits.  We won't be able to go very far because it takes a while to move and each time the dress requires rearranging, or adventure into fields to find some really dramatic backdrops.  The images will be more arranged, formal and static.  A dress that you can move in without assistance allow for dynamic, natural shots.

And shoes.  Wear them in!  12 hours plus on your feet is a long time and you want to still be dancing at the end of the night.  Heel guards are a great offering for your female guests to stop them sinking into the ground.  And maybe think about some personalised wedding Converse or wellies if we are venturing out into fields.

huntsham court wedding photographer

2. Group photos

It's your day, and I will happily concede to any requests that you have on your day for formal photographs.  However, my real talent and passion lies in emotive documentary shots that capture the energy and excitement of your day.  The more time we allocate to group photographs the less time I have amongst your guests creating fun portraits.  And the less time you have to enjoy your party.  If you want to have a full group shot of the entire party this is easy if everyone is on a lawn and I can hang out of a window but if we have to move all of the guests to another location this can take up 20 minutes or so.

I'd recommend no more than about 8 combinations and no more than around 8 people per shot.  If I have someone who knows the family who can help me round people up and direct then this can take 20 minutes but allow 5 minutes or so for each shot.  The bigger the group combinations the more chance there is of someone wandering off to the loo or bar just as we need them and it holding the whole thing up.

wedding photography lismore castle

3.  Weather

The one thing you really can't control.  But you can be prepared for it.  Having done many mid summer English weddings that have been conducted in heavy rain I know not to assume anything about an English summer.  Having a throw and some wellies or other sensible shoes to enable us to go outside is great.  And umbrellas - not golf umbrellas with big logos but some pretty white ones are best.  Crazy weather can result in some amazing shots if you are prepared to be a little adventurous and get outside with me!

advice for brides

4. Feeding your photographer

I love food and there is nothing worse than watching your guests feast on delicious food and then being presented with some bread and salad by the overworked caterers.  To avoid any embarrassment, and a hungry photographer (not recommended), please add me to your guests numbers so that I can eat a full meal whilst your guests do.  No one wants photographs of people eating and then I'm done by the time speeches are about to get started.  

I'm often working non stop for a very physical 8-12 hour day plus travel and if I need to go and find food elsewhere (not really practical) then I will have to leave site for an hour.  

advice for brides

5. Lighting

As well as weddings I also shoot a great number of other events and other commercial activities so I'm pretty used to working in every possible kind of venue dealing with every possible kind of lighting situation and so will cope with whatever is presented to me.  That said, I will always be thrilled to be working in beautiful natural light filled spaces that are flattering for the guest and allow for beautiful timeless shots.

Think about the sort of photography you want - do you want party style flash lit images, or gentle natural light?  Consider the spaces you are booking for getting ready (is it a dark basement studio or is it a light filled penthouse?), and the ceremony - indoors or outdoors?  Dark church or light atrium?  Is the reception venue filled with light or does it have dark walls and small windows?  

Where possible I will avoid using flash as much as possible - partly because I prefer to work with natural light but also to keep my presence at your wedding as unobtrusive as possible.

I'm happy to chat to you about these things and help with any aspect of planning your day.

advice for brides

6.  Scheduling

I'd really recommend talking through your schedule with me before finalising if it's important to you to get the best light for your portraits.  Ideally your couple portraits will be shot about an hour to two hours before sunset for the most beautiful light (obviously if it's a grey, overcast day it could be anytime of the day).  There is nothing worse than trying to do portraits in the harsh midday sun which is both unflattering (heavy shadows) and hot if it's summer.  If your schedule doesn't allow accommodating this then I recommend doing a 20 minute portrait session early in the day and then pulling you both out towards the end of the meal for some sunset shots.  These really tend to be the loveliest shots of the day as you'll be more relaxed, fed and watered.

If you are having a winter wedding then you have limited light and if you are leaving the church after dark you will just need to be aware that looking at my portfolio shots of St Tropez in September will not be a good indicator of how your photos will look!  That said, winter weddings have a beauty of their own - atmospheric and christmassy.  But ideally try and allow for the portraits to be in the last light of the day.

advice for brides

7.  Trust me!

You have booked (or are hopefully considering booking) me because you love my work and you recognise my experience in photographing weddings.  I only want the best for you and for you to be super happy with your photographs.  So if I suggest doing something that maybe feels a bit silly, please trust me!   I had the following note from a bride the other day and it reminded me that I need to reiterate to brides that they need to trust me and I need to trust my instincts even if occasionally they push back.  When I asked Alice to hug Sinead, she squealed that she didn't like that sort of shot!

"And thank you for reminding me to trust you! The photo of Alice hugging me is, of course, one of my favourites (amongst many others!)"   Sinead

"And thank you for reminding me to trust you! The photo of Alice hugging me is, of course, one of my favourites (amongst many others!)"  Sinead

Trusting me also means not handing me with a detailed shot list but allowing me to naturally capture everything as it unfolds.  Of course if there are things that are especially important to you that have sentimental meaning such as a brooch or a guest or a pet  then please do make sure I'm aware to keep an eye out.  Allow me to be creative in the way I work and trust that I will capture every detail.

I respect that you have spent a lot of money on your dress but sometimes I will ask you to climb over a fence to get into a lovely field at sunset.  And you will be reluctant but then thank me afterwards when you receive your photos!  And you are likely to get your dress laundered at the end of the day so don't worry about it getting a little dirtied on the day.

8.  Venue restrictions

This is usually only an issue in churches.  There are no legal or official restrictions to shooting during a ceremony but every vicar is different in their approach to photographers.  Some have had bad experiences in the past and are therefore very strict about movement and placing during the ceremony.  It's hugely frustrating to hear on the morning of the wedding as I arrive at a church that no pictures are allowed during the ceremony.  Some of the most touching and beautiful shots can happen during the ceremony and it is a real shame not to have this record.

I suggest a couple of things.  Firstly find out if it's going to be an issue up front.  Find out what the vicars concerns are.  Reiterate to them that you have a very experienced photographer who does not use flash, has a camera with a silent mode and will be very very discrete and respectful.  This should calm their fears.

If it continues to be a problem I usually ask my brides if they trust me to use my own judgement to disregard any regulations and capture the ceremony in the way that I would usually do.  My priority is to you to capture your day as you want it.

advice for brides

9.  Preparation locations

When you have a number of girls, hair and make up teams and all their kit, space can get pretty crowded and messy.  Try to think about getting ready in a larger space with good natural light.  These pictures are some of the loveliest and most natural as you spend the morning with your closest girlfriends.  If you are all spread across different rooms of the house getting ready it's hard for me to capture real engagement between you.  There is nothing more lovely that the love and laughter of best friends preparing for a day like a wedding and I really want to capture that for you.

advice for brides

10.  Leave enough time!

Even if you have 5 hours to get ready, the last half an hour will always be pandemonium!  Plan for lots of extra time so that you have a chance to be ready in advance for a glass of champagne, last minute nerve calming and some photos.  Bear in mind the time it takes to lace up a bodice, especially with a team of inexperienced bridesmaids!  There is nothing worse that feeling rushed on your way to the aisle.  You want to turn up feeling calm and ready.  I will usually want to leave ahead of you so allow time so that I can photograph you getting into your dress before I leave - allow more time than you think you will need.  I'll usually spend about an hour and a half with you before I leave so there is plenty of time to capture all the details and preparation. 

advice for brides

I hope that's been of some help! 

Destination Wedding Photographer: A wedding at St Emilion & Chateau Giscours for Caroline & Anthony (Part 2)

Destination Wedding Photographer:  A wedding at St Emilion & Chateau Giscours for Caroline & Anthony (Part 2)

September was a busy month for me travelling to weddings in Lisbon, Bordeaux and Santorini and it was amazing to be thrust into new cultures and working with the different lights and backdrops in some of the most beautiful places in Europe.  

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Destination Wedding Photographer: A wedding at St Emilion and the vineyards of Bordeaux for Caroline & Anthony (Part 1)

Destination Wedding Photographer:  A wedding at St Emilion and the vineyards of Bordeaux for Caroline & Anthony (Part 1)

September was a busy month for me travelling to weddings in Lisbon, Bordeaux and Santorini and it was amazing to be thrust into new cultures and working with the different lights and backdrops in some of the most beautiful places in Europe.  

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A personal blog post. 10 years on.

I received an email this morning from Intelligence Squared.  I often go to their topical talks and debates but the headline for this one really jumped out at me.  '10 years on'.  It referred to the financial crisis and it made me quite reflective.  You see I was one of those left unemployed in the wake of the recession from my marketing job.  First we saw those scenes of the bankers carrying out their possessions in boxes from their gleaming towers.  Then it started happening to friends around me.

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Modern London Wedding at St Barts and St Johns Restaurant - Alice & Jack

Modern London Wedding at St Barts and St Johns Restaurant - Alice & Jack

This was a wedding I've been looking forward to for a while - ever since meeting the utterly charming Alice in Stoke Newington last year.  Not only is she the most natural beauty but she is relaxed, creative and had chosen the most wonderful venues for her wedding.  First up getting ready at The Zetter in Clerkenwell, as photogenic as a hotel can get, and then the short stroll through Smithfields to the oldest church in London, St Bartholemews.  A cavernous space founded in 1123 as an Augustinian monastery.  Having photographed there before I knew that the light and colours are like a painting.   Unusually I attended the rehearsal a few days before to meet the characterful Father Peter who provided the most entertaining and authentic service I've been to in a while.  He made the wedding about Jack and Alice entirely.  It felt incredibly personal and accessible.  Fortunately for October we had a lovely warm day and so walked straight from the church and on to St Johns.  I've never eaten there before so it was a real treat to be seated with the guests and have a chance to enjoy some of Fergus Henderson's renowned food. 

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London Wedding Photographer - Jago and Madeline's Hampstead Wedding

London Wedding Photographer - Jago and Madeline's Hampstead Wedding

An intimate and personal Hampstead Heath wedding at the beautiful Burgh House followed by a party at The Star in Hampstead.

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