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.
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.
A blog about something a little different today... I've just returned from an incredible trip covering America, Canada and Mexico with my father which saw us touring Vancouver, cycling the Golden Gate in San Francisco and visiting friends in Los Angeles to climb to above the Hollywood sign. The highlight of the trip was the opportunity to photograph at the world's first purpose-built commercial spaceport, Spaceport America near Las Cruces in the Jornada del Muerto desert basin in New Mexico. Last week saw the opening of the new terminal building, a collaboration between Virgin Galactic and the State of New Mexico.
The launch event was attended by the world press, celebrities from Kate Winslet to Buzz Aldrin to Princess Beatrice, along with 150 of the nearly 470 'future astronauts' who have already parted with $200k each to be the first space tourists.
It was a tremendous privilege to be able to see the site, watch a flight demonstration of Spaceship2 and Whiteknight2 and to hear speakers including the ex second in command from Nasa, the govenor of New Mexico and Richard Branson among others.
My new aims after such a spectacular trip are to start flying lessons and hopefully one day (when the price comes down) purchase my own trip into space. The whole experience moved me far more than I anticipated.