Photography

New Website!

Thanks to everyone who has been following my blog for the last few years - I really appreciate all of the support.  I wanted to announce that I have a brand new website and blog (currently featuring one of my weddings from my recent trip to New Zealand) up and running which I would love for you to check out.  It's been a long time coming and a real labour of love.  When you are so close to the work you have created it can be hard to stand back and objectively create something that represents you, your brand and your personality but it's often the first thing that people get to see as an introduction to me to I hope it is memorable and reflective of the passion I have for my work.  It's been amazing looking back over some of the beautiful weddings I have been to, the wonderful people I have met and the incredible destinations I have visited. It's part of an exciting new beginning and I look forward to great things happening this year!  I hope you enjoy it.

x

www.helenabrahamphotography.com

New Zealand London Destination Wedding Photographer

Helen Abraham Destination Wedding Photographer

 

An Intimate London Ceremony

A couple of summers ago I was both guest and photographer at the wonderful wedding of Nick and Pip in Somerset and had the pleasure of sitting on a table with both a friend Lisha and also newly engaged couple Charlie and Tetyana.  Now, Lisha is one of my biggest supporters, for which I am eternally grateful!  I've covered a number of weddings recently on the back of her glowing reference and she didn't hesitate in recommending me to Charlie and Tetyana there and then.  Following the wedding I picked out this sweet moment between them from the wedding: 2012-06-11_001

Disappointingly I was already booked for their full wedding in the Ukraine this month but I was able to join them for the more intimate ceremony at the absolutely stunning Temple Church in central London (which is featured in The Da Vinci Code); one of the most historic and beautiful churches in London.

The warden closed off the church to the visitors and there was an incredible sense of calm and quiet anticipation in this vast space as Charlie waited at the end of the intimidatingly long aisle.  There was pure joy in their faces and it was very emotional to have been a part of such a wonderful occasion.  And Charlie and Tetyana were the perfect couple to photograph after the ceremony; so happy, easy and relaxed with one another.

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Sophie & Tim's Engagement Shoot at Columbia Road Flower Market

I try to vary my locations for engagement shoots as much as possible.  Every couple is different and I want to ensure that each engagement shoot represents them as much as possible.  Columbia Road was particularly busy on this day but we snuck off down some side streets initially until Tim and Sophie were more relaxed in front of the camera then we braved the crowds and went shopping for some flowers, stopping for a few oysters on the way.  They were great in front of the camera - very relaxed and natural and fun to be with.  Wedding pictures now here. 2013-08-06_0009 2013-08-06_0010 2013-08-06_0011 2013-08-06_0012 2013-08-06_0013 2013-08-06_0014 2013-08-06_0015 2013-08-06_0016 2013-08-06_0017 2013-08-06_0018 2013-08-06_0019 2013-08-06_0020 2013-08-06_0021

Sunset at St Ouen's, Jersey

I was so happy to be able to sneak a few days to go and hang out with my family in Jersey last week.  It's my family home and I don't go back nearly enough.  The house is always full of people and there is constant noise and energy.  My parents had me up at 7am every morning for a long walk around the cliffs.  Here are a couple of pictures from one evening at St Ouen's.  I'm not so big on landscape photography as I prefer to just enjoy the grandeur of a sunset with my naked eye but I got quite excited at how the light changed every second during this sunset and towards the end the light picked up beautifully on the sand. 2013-08-06_0001

Chris & Judith's Wedding in Bordeaux

It is definitely one of the perks of my job to be able to travel for work.  It gives me such joy to know that I can pack up my camera bag and work anywhere in the world.  This year I have done a handful of destination weddings for UK based clients and am looking forward to doing more next year. Chris and Judith chose to marry in France, away from their family homes in Belfast and Glasgow.  They found the beautiful Chateau de la Ligne just outside Bordeaux and brought over 60 close friends and family (Chris is one of 9!).  From the outset they made me feel so welcome and comfortable and I honestly felt like one of the party - and I think this benefits the photography as by the time of the wedding I knew exactly who everyone was and they were all far more relaxed in front of the camera.  It was lovely to be able to capture both the boys and girls and all the family getting ready across the chateau before they went down to the village church for the ceremony which was conducted by their local priest who also came over from Belfast.  After the ceremony canapés and champagne were served on the lawn before a meal served in the cool orangerie.  They surprised their guests with fireworks over the vineyards as the sunset, and then they were surprised by a video link with Chris' brother who was unable to attend the wedding because he was on tour with his choir in Canada.  At this point I slipped off to bed but the laughter continued long into the night.

See the engagement photos here.

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An exciting new adventure in Kenya

I am very lucky to have a number of people in my life who act as mentors and guides.  When you work alone as a business sometimes you need a little push and encouragement, someone to tell you are doing the right thing - or the wrong thing.  Someone to bounce ideas off and offer inspiration and guidance. One of these people is Samir.  We met when he came to Electric House to give a small talk to a number of small business owners in the creative sector on Creative Business Mentoring.  They ranged from PR to dress makers.  It was a small and intimate gathering and gave us all the opportunity to ask a few questions.  At the end of the session he kindly offered further help should we want to follow up.

Samir has a fascinating career history, with a masters in mathematics, was CEO of an airline company at 29, worked for the Ministry of Defence, guest lectures at Oxford and King's LSE, founded several successful companies including Debut Contemporary, worked with Bosnian refugees and other charities such as Repossession.

Never one to miss an opportunity to engage with someone inspiring of course I followed up and at our first meeting one of the most provocative things he said was that I needed a manifesto for life (he pointed me in the direction of Vivienne Westwood).  I needed a purpose and to give something back.  I went away with this very much on my mind.  Maybe a week later Keith, the brother of one of my very dear friends from Kenya, contacted me to say that he had set up an volunteer organisation called Gap Creative to provide art, drama, music and photography programmes for a number of orphanages near his home town of Nakuru in Kenya (coincidentally the same small town that my father was brought up in!) and asked if I would be prepared to get involved in setting up the photography arm of this.

'No' is not generally a much used word in my vocabulary, particularly when it comes to travel, adventure or photography - and particularly those three in combination.  So, my flight to Nairobi is booked for a week Monday.  I am booked in for my jabs.  I have had pledges of over £300 from kind friends and family to purchase some cameras, printer and inks and will be setting off to spend a week with Keith in Nakuru meeting with the orphanages, talking to the kids, devising a workable programme for the volunteers who start coming out in January and making a short documentary about the work that will be happening out there.

I'm meeting Samir next week and can't wait to tell him all about it.  But as he sagely said; when we open our eyes and mind to opportunity it comes knocking.

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Chris & Judith's Engagement Shoot in Bordeaux

Every wedding is unique and beautiful but occasionally a wedding is truly spectacular for other reasons. Judith is a friend of Hannah whose wedding and engagement I photographed in Glasgow a couple of years ago. Having seen my work she contacted me when she got engaged. I was charmed by her immediately and as she told me more about her plans for her wedding in a beautiful chateau outside of Bordeaux. I jumped at the chance. As Judith and Chris live in Belfast we didn't have a chance to meet in advance of the wedding but they kindly invited me to stay for a couple of nights before the wedding so that we had a chance to get to know each other and do the engagement shoot. The Chateau De La Ligne was nothing short of spectacular with vast grounds surrounded by vineyards as far as the eye could see. My room was in the tower of the main building with a cool breeze and stunning views. I had the most wonderful few days and because the wedding was relatively small I had the chance to meet and get to know many of their lovely family members and was made to feel very much a part of the party throughout.

Wedding picture to follow!

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Julia and Pete's Engagement Shoot in Camden

Gorgeous Julia and Pete asked to do their engagement shoot in Camden where Julia used to live and where they used to 'court'. We met at 7pm but it was still muggy and hot and everyone was on the streets and in a great mood, not least Julia and Pete who are the most smiley, lovely couple. Julia is a pilates instructor which is why she looks so A-mazing! I love engagement shoots; I get to wander round new parts of town and get to know a couple in a much more relaxed environment. We started off at Camden Town tube and pottered along the canal up to Primrose Hill and near to where I live.

Their wedding in September is at Kensington Roof Gardens. I haven't been there for years but I'm sure it will be a fantastic venue not least because there are pink flamingos up there!!!

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Photographing People

When I look at why I love photography I can clearly see the subjects that I am drawn to; people.  Whether that is people captured unawares expressing joy in a crowded party, a corporate portrait to help a person find a way of clearly representing who they are in a business capacity in a way that builds trust with their clients; a young family capturing the early moments of their life together or a woman bravely embracing her natural and honest beauty in a boudoir shoot - either for herself or for her partner. For me there is nothing more satisfying than have a client look at a picture that I have taken and knowing that they have shown a little part of themselves to me for maybe just a fleeting moment and recognising themselves in that.

I have had the privilege of working with so many fascinating people.  For my final college assignment years ago I chose to photograph people I knew in the arts, in their home or working environment.  Here are some of the pictures I took.  Some are more obvious in their vocation, others more subtle.  I hope you enjoy them.

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Richard & Che's Wedding at The Jumeirah, Knightsbridge

For some reason I seem to end up getting a lot of event managers as my clients.  I am going to take it as a compliment as these are people who know what they want and how to make it happen!  Che was no different - she made her decision to book me as we sat around her kitchen table last year discussing the wedding.  They had the brilliant idea of doing the engagement shoot at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park at the end of last year - I had never been but it was great fun and an amazing location for a shoot. I don't do many weddings in central London so it's always a bit of a treat to have one on my doorstep that I can take the tube to!  Richard and Che were married in Knightsbridge at The Jumeirah Carlton Towers Hotel.  The whole event was managed so excellently by Jayne and Errols from Perry's which in turn made it a very stress free day.  Nothing was too much trouble for them and it makes a huge difference to have a planner on hand to manage events. The flowers by Ramels, dancefloor and backdrop by Everything Covered.  The cake was by Crumbs and Doilies and the lovely videographers were from The London Wedding Film Company.  The toastmaster was Howard Robbins. It was my first Turkish wedding and it was brilliant to see some new traditions.  The bride and groom were piped and drummed in, making two turns of the dance floor before doing their first dance - very quickly the entire wedding were on the dance floor.  Towards the end of the evening the money pinning ceremony took place - which is kind of as it sounds.  There is something wonderful about a community supporting newly-weds at the start of their lives together in that way. 2013-04-11_0017 2013-04-11_0018 2013-04-11_0078 2013-04-11_0019 2013-04-11_0020 2013-04-11_0021 2013-04-11_0022 2013-04-11_0023 2013-04-11_0024 2013-04-11_0025 2013-04-11_0026 2013-04-11_0027 2013-04-11_0028 2013-04-11_0029 2013-04-11_0030 2013-04-11_0031 2013-04-11_0032 2013-04-11_0035 2013-04-11_0033 2013-04-11_0034 2013-04-11_0036 2013-04-11_0037 2013-04-11_0038 2013-04-11_0039 2013-04-11_0040 2013-04-11_0041 2013-04-11_0042 2013-04-11_0043 2013-04-11_0044 2013-04-11_0045 2013-04-11_0046 2013-04-11_0047 2013-04-11_0048 2013-04-11_0049 2013-04-11_00502013-04-11_0052 2013-04-11_0053 2013-04-11_0054 2013-04-11_0055 2013-04-11_0056 2013-04-11_0057 2013-04-11_0058 2013-04-11_0059 2013-04-11_0060 2013-04-11_0061 2013-04-11_0062 2013-04-11_0063 2013-04-11_0064 2013-04-11_00652013-04-11_0067 2013-04-11_0068 2013-04-11_0069 2013-04-11_0070 2013-04-11_0071 2013-04-11_0072 2013-04-11_0074 2013-04-11_0075 2013-04-11_0077 2013-04-11_0076 2013-04-11_0073

Richard & Che's Engagement Shoot at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, London

I was just writing up a blog posting for Che and Richard's recent London wedding when I realised I hadn't written a post about their engagement shoot!  And this is one definitely worth mentioning because of the unusual and creative location they chose for their shoot; Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park.  It was the most glorious, blue-sky day and we got there early before the crowds.  I had never been before but Che and Richard are big fans and were joined by the rest of their family for a day out. They were a whole lot braver than me and impressively went on the biggest roller coaster in the park for the sake of my photographic demands!  It's not open again until November of this year.

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Stevie & Stuart's Engagement Shoot at the British Museum

Sometimes the terrible British weather can bring fortuitous results - such as a previously arranged engagement shoot at Virginia Water being moved to the British Museum as a wet weather alternative.  I am always very happy to try alternative locations for shoots and this was somewhere I have been wanting to shoot in for a while.  The light is beautiful, the backdrop stunning and on a Thursday morning not too busy - other than a few bus loads of tourists and school children.  After a while I think Stevie and Stuart even forgot they were in a public place and we just enjoyed the space and freedom of this incredible place. 2013-02-05_0001 2013-02-05_0002 2013-02-05_0003 2013-02-05_0004 2013-02-05_0005

Hayley's Pregnancy Shoot

It's such a personal stage in a woman's life and it was a real privilege to have the opportunity to shoot Hayley only one day before he was born.  She was absolutely glowing and beautiful and we did the shoot in the comfort of her home using mainly natural light and the lovely space of the house.  Congratulations to her and Wes on their new arrival. I had the pleasure of shooting a heavily pregnant bride, Amber, in the summer at a gorgeous central London wedding.  For how to maintain your glamour whilst in the second trimester see the blog post here!

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Emma & Mark's Wedding in St Andrews

Back when I was 18 I was offered a place to read English at St Andrews university but I ended up choosing English and History of Art at York, at the time I didn't know how heart-wrenchingly beautiful Scotland is.  But hindsight is a wonderful thing!  I never made it up to St Andrews for a visit so this September I was so happy to have the opportunity to finally visit Scotland's first university.  I arrived the evening before to attend the rehearsal and meet Mark and Emma for the first time.  I was overwhelmed with how lovely the area was and St Salvator's Chapel was just stunning. Emma was radiant and as you can see from the pictures didn't stop smiling all day.  She beamed her way down the aisle and the service was one filled with laughter and love.  After the ceremony the guests headed back to Carphin House where the bridal party were staying for canapes and champagne.  The weather stayed so fine that everyone was able to stand outside on terrace and enjoy the views over the hills of Cupar.

As the sun was setting and most of the guests had departed I took Emma and Mark off for a quick walk around the grounds for some final pictures.  They didn't stop chatting and laughing the whole way around.  I am sure they are destined for a very happy future together and I'm grateful to have been a part of a very special wedding.

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Lynn & Stephen's Engagement Shoot at the BBC Scotland Props Department

Lynn:  "Stephen and I have an idea that we thought we would run past you... My mum has a friend who works for the BBC and when I was younger she introduced me to the BBC prop store - you may have heard of it? It's the most amazing place, it's basically a warehouse with aisle after aisle of clutter, things from various tv programmes and films. It also has a costume department with everything from ball gowns and tuxedos to flapper dresses and flares. It reminds me a lot of the underground part in the ministry of magic from Harry Potter!  What do you think of shooting there?" Me:  "Well, yes - of course!  What's not to love about shooting in a prop department?!"

Here are the results of that shoot a couple of months ago.... a truly beautiful and very much in love young couple and I very much enjoyed shooting their wedding in October. A blog posting to follow of the wedding pictures.

The last wedding of the year! Nathalie + Demetris in Marylebone

Ok, so I have been very rubbish at writing my blog recently.  So much has been happening from starting a book project in Eastern Europe to many, many weddings, the launch of a new beer brand amongst other things, so... I am going to start from the last job of the year and work my way backwards trying to catch up on all the amazing things I have been shooting and lovely people I have been working with. Saturday was the last wedding of 2012 for me and it was just a taster of the full event in Cyprus in July.  Nathalie and Demetris tied the knot officially at Marylebone Town Hall in front of their gorgeous little boy Oscar, and a handful of family and friends.  I caught them as they came out of the ceremony and went with them for a few pictures at the rather grand Landmark Hotel just across the road.

I've known Nathalie for about 7 years now and photographed her pregnancy with Oscar and look forward to working with her on her gorgeous new online boutique Youchka.

Nathalie looked utterly ravishing in Dolce & Gabbana white lace, and was stylishly cool about not everything running exactly to plan.  I absolutely cannot wait for the big event in the summer.

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Robbie & Anna's Wedding at Ardkinglas House, Loch Fyne

Every now and again, a wedding comes along that the wedding gods have really smiled on, and everything falls into place most perfectly.  This seemed to happen for Anna and Robbie.  A beautiful, quirky couple with a charming little girl, they married on Loch Fyne at isolated historic Ardkinglas House that was so gorgeously styled it felt like a fashion shoot.  The sunshine unexpectedly came out at the right times and enabled them to marry outside under the open sky surrounded by only close family and friends.  The day really felt quite magical and it was a privilege to have been part of it. After supper everyone donned wellies and coats and headed down to the edge of the loch to pass The Quaich, a two-handled cup containing whisky that was passed round the guests allowing them to propose individual toasts to Anna and Robbie to wish them well.

You can view the full album here - the password is Robbie's surname.

Lorna & David's Engagement at the Botanic Gardens, Glasgow

I've really crammed a lot into my recent weekend in Glasgow, 1 pre-wedding consultation, 2 engagement shoots and a wedding.  I love visiting Glasgow and enjoy getting to use some of my favourite locations for engagement shoots.  I met Lorna and David for a coffee in Heart Buchanan on Byres Road before heading over to The Botanic Gardens for a little stroll around.  Their wedding is in just two weeks time in Loch Lomond which I'm very much looking forward to.

Paul + Teresa's Wedding in Greenwich

I had never been to Greenwich before so I was actually quite stunned by the grandeur of Old Royal Naval College, Wren's 'twinned-domed riverside masterpiece'. One of the aspects of wedding photography I love is the exploration of such fascinating buildings all around the country from castles in Scotland to Oast houses in Surrey. Paul and Teresa live in Greenwich so were keen to keep the wedding local, with Teresa's family coming in from Ireland.  The wedding took place 5 minutes walk away at Our Ladye of the Sea on Crooms Hill and after the ceremony all the guests were able to walk back through Greenwich Park to enjoy some champagne outside and within the colonnades.

The meal was served in The Queen Mary Undercroft with it's high vaulted ceilings.  It was a thoroughly lovely day and a charming couple who were so wonderfully relaxed throughout.

You can view the full album from this wedding and purchase prints here.  The password is Paul's surname.

Shoes:  Jimmy Choo

Dress:  Johanna Hehir London

Catering:  Leith's

Flowers: Manchesters

Music:  The Van Gogh's through Function Junction

Simon + Tanja's Wedding in Aviemore

Aviemore holds a very special place in my heart and I have been going up there for many years so I'm always happy to have a reason to make the 10 hour journey up there to stay with my good friends the Micklethwaits who own and run Inshriach House and Estate. Simon and Tanja made the move 18 months ago from London life to take over Simon's family business to become the third generation to run Pinebank Chalets, turning their life from the daily commute to daily snowboarding.

The wedding took place at the idyllic St John's the Baptist Church, Rothiemurchus. Tanja and the bridal party got ready at the Highlands Hotel and arrived in a 1964 Humber Sceptre MK 1 courtesy of Ross at The Dell of Abernethy and Morris Minor white Cabriolet from Bygone Drives.  As they arrived a handful of snow fell - it was all very pretty and romantic.

You can view the full gallery of images and purchase prints here.  The password is Pinebanks.

Credits:

Food by Good Highland Food.  We ate roasted red pepper, sweet potato, chilli and coconut soup with oak bury crusty organic bread followed by rare roast fillet of Caithness beef with red wine jus, fondant potatoes and parcels of fine beans and Morayshire carrots.  To finish we had panna cotta with a strawberry compote and homemade shortbread.

Flowers by Country Harvest, Kingussie

Dress by Dress 2 Impress, Inverness by San Patrick

Shoes by Irregular Choice

Tipis by Highland Tipis

Hair by The Retreat, Aviemore

Make-up by Kate Higham

Ale by Cairngorm Breweries

Djs were Owen and Gordie from The Old Bridge Inn, Aviemore