» Wedding and Documentary photography

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My goodness, Jess and Andy are just such a super couple. They got married at Jess’ family estate in Gloucestershire, last year. They are a large family made up of an English side (Jess) and American groupies (Andy), and they brought together quite the party! Their wedding had a back-yard festival vibe going on, they had hired a marquee to sit on the grounds and decorated it by hand, with home-grown sweet peas lining the tables (the smell was just wonderful). We started the day with an escaped cow on the grounds, but the local farmer soon turned up and directed it away from the wedding! Jess works at Penguin in London so as a gift they brought every single guest a book with a hand-written note inside, plus Andy is quite into his music so in addition everyone got a pass to the Livestock festival! Talk about spreading the love. And that was obvious, they looked so loved-up the whole day and every guest there was just on cloud nine for them. It was a total celebration of two families coming together. They got married at their local family church and it was pretty special to see Andy invite his family pastor to join in the whole day and give his own blessing at the church. It was then a short walk back round in the summer sun to the marquee for champagne and oysters in the garden provided by the Mother Shuckers, what an ace name! Their wedding reception was filled with glorious speeches including a rendition of the American anthem and home-made English roasts. We were basked by the sunshine late into the night and I think I was finally danced off by the kids that were still going at midnight! Absolutely brilliant.

I love my job.

Thanks so much to Jessica Milberg for being my second for the day.

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The most gorgeous couple that is Mel & Alex got married in September last year at their family farm, which they turned into a Bohemian Festival! It was such a fantastic day. Mel described the wedding perfectly on their recent Boho Feature;

“Our wedding was a joyous coming together of two families and their friends in beautiful surroundings, that we could also call our home. Full of smiles, tears, laughter, well wishes and so much love, it was the best celebration we’ve ever had.”

Mel is a Graphic Designer and used her creative outlet to the max, trying to be as savy as they could without compromising. This definitely extended to the decoration as well; making the table plan and signs out of broken pallets they had found on an industrial estate, plus decorations were made from coloured straws and the dream catchers where made from simple hose pipes! It all totally worked to create a bohemian festival look that mirrored their tastes. Mel’s absolutely stunning Yolan Cris dress paired with Bella Belle Sandals to complete her relaxed look and Alex looked totally dapper in a John Lewis suit.

Both sides of their family were so kind to me and treated me like part of their family, it was a dream to photograph, even through the down pour!!

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Now for 3 minutes of silliness, something a little different today! Dax learns to swing at Chapel Farm, Pensford. Most people that know me know that I am an avid animal lover and supporter of animal charities and centres. I make no apologies for giving those who can’t speak a voice. We rescued a sight-hound 3 years ago, who had been abandoned. She was about 4 months old, severely underweight, had bleeding sores on her feet and demodectic mange, leaving her bald in several places on her body. She was a mess, a little shut-down, yet she didn’t stop her wagging that tail! It took us a year to get her healthy. Once she was well enough, we tackled some other issues, one of those being her fear of water. She was never going to be a water-loving dog, she’s no labrador, but we walk near open water and she needed to be safe. Even getting her feet wet in a puddle was a challenge! I enlisted the help of Chapel Farm and had 5 swimming lessons. I took a little video of the first one to remind ourselves how far she had come to even get to that point. By the end of the lessons she was swimming and using her back legs, something which she had to learn!

Chapel Farm are a specialist canine rehabilitation centre about 30 minutes outside of Bath. Honestly you get a dog and you find out about all these cool things that exist! They were really understanding, oh and dogs coming for swimming lessons is more common than you realise. Dax is absolutely fine now, a healthy 3 year old lurcher-mix, who runs in the rain and paddles in the local stream. I thought I’d share this little video for a bit of Sunday fun!

(Disclaimer: I’m a photographer, not a videographer don’t judge my skills too harshly!!)

DAX LEARNS TO SWIM from heartfulloftea on Vimeo.

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In April 2016 I attend the Snap Photo Festival, held at the amazing fForest. AND I am SO glad I did! I was really apprehensive about pressing that “add to basket” button but I haven’t and won’t ever regret it. The reality is that it is a large chunk of money and for anyone self-employed that can really tip the balance with your cash-flow. However, the amount of exposure you get from creatives in workshops, talented speakers, wholesome activities and glorious food makes it a total bargain and well-worth every penny. Snap is run by the amazing Laura Babb, who also happens to be a kick-ass photographer too and I’m pretty sure half unicorn. Laura and her husband Pete, have created such an amazing hamlet of talented humans! Plus you don’t just go to the week-long festival and that’s it, you are then brought into this amazing community of like-minded people for forever more. They wrap around you like a big warm hug. I took my camera but I didn’t really feel like I wanted to put my face behind the lens, instead I put it down and listened and absorbed the buzzing creative and happy atmosphere around me. I took an old B&W camera, forgot about my exposure and just caught a few “SNAPS” on that instead. They are nothing of meaning to most, but for me they represent something I did for myself, my business and embraced a little bit of fear. If you do one thing for your business in 2017, then book SNAP and don’t look back. I came away feeling totally inspired by those around me and I have made some friends for life!Snap FestivalSNAP FestivalView full post »

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Happy New Year everyone! Well that’s another year gone, it’s time for my Documentary Indie Wedding Photographer Bath UK, 2016 Review. Another fun-filled year of shooting in and around Bath. I’ve had a lovely break away from my business to refresh and get ready for 2017. I’m dusting off my lens and shooting begins again in February, with my first Wedding in March through to October so far. It’s so difficult to limit yourself to showcase the year, so advanced warning you might need a fresh brew to look through the ones I have chosen, it is slightly lengthy! I had an excellent year with all my wedding couples who really chose to express their individuality on their wedding days, from DIY, to Festival, to literature themes to small low-key celebrations. I feel totally privileged to have been a part of them all. I also did a few family shoots, engagement shoots, a couple of commercial shoots and I’ve included a bit of travel photography in here too. A real mix and diversity of what I love to do! I have worked with some amazing suppliers and also fellow photographers. Just a few shout outs go to Kirsty Bowen, Jessica Milberg, Liz Armitage, the Mother Shuckers, Britten and Flossy & Willow Bridal Studios, Coco Wedding Venues, Quality Marquee Hire, Liguori’s PizzaThe Wonky Cake Company, The Big House Company, Berta BrideThe Peng Burger Company, and Bath: National Vintage Wedding Fair and I could add loads more!

I love this industry, it’s so full of creativity and such a great network to be part of. I also attended the most amazing photography festival for some business advice and good old socialising, as at times being a photographer can sometimes be quite isolating and for those that really know me, know I’m not that good at socialising; but sometimes it’s good for you to run towards the things we fear most in life. SNAP Photography Festival  is run by the amazing Babb Photo and she has totally nailed setting up a combination of workshops, practical shoots and a no-pressure week long get together of like minded people. I would recommend SNAP to ALL for it’s love of promoting within and celebrating everyones abilities. It was totally amazing and I have made some friends for life from it. Which to be honest, was one of the most satisfying elements.

In 2016 I have worked hard on the “behind-the scenes” elements of HEART FULL OF TEA. Giving the back end of my website a little overhaul and being guided by the clever Madeleine Jones, who in short is a magician! I’m really looking forward to being more accessible for my 2017 couples and beyond. Investing in my business with elements that make me unique and offering a tailored service is what I feel passionate about. Expanding on that will see a new exciting development for HEART FULL OF TEA, that is nearly up and ready to go, encouraged by all the lovely people who have emailed me and messaged me with their requests… sssh!! It’s nearly ready. Oh the mystery! I’m really looking forward to 2017, I’m so excited about the couples that have already booked me and the suppliers I am going to be working with. I’ve totally embraced Skype for the last 18 months now and the wonderful conversations I have, (and pets that are included in these) makes me realise how much love and goodness there is in the world, which we see so little of in the media at times. I am very happy to be a part of that and can’t wait to share those moments over the coming year.

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Alternative Wedding Photography at Widcombe Grange in Taunton.

The lovely Jess and Rob got married in June at the Widcombe Grange, Taunton. They had planned for a relaxed day which involved everyone coming for drinks and lawn games around the pool, before they went and got ready into their wedding gear. It was totally refreshing to see all the guests arrive and watch everyone be so relaxed without the rush of travelling to a venue and getting ready elsewhere. I know that isn’t for everyone but it suited Rob and Jess’ personalities perfectly! Rob and Jess then disappeared to get ready in the house in a couple of rooms away from each other! It had already rained most of the week so I was really hoping it would clear for their day as they were getting married outside, in the middle of the lake.  True to form, you can’t have everything with the English weather… it was beautifully sunny for their cocktails on the lawn but rained for their wedding ceremony! Which made for quite the scene with everyone gathered round umbrella’s whilst they got married. I think at one point a kind guest popped their brolly over my head as I was getting pretty soaked!!

Once married we had a lovely walk around Widcombe Grange beautiful grounds for some couple shots. I think it’s fair to say Jess and Rob weren’t that keen on doing group shots and couple shots and that is exactly why they had hired me, to be documentary. I did manage to grab a few of the important ones which they wanted of course! For dinner they had a BBQ with scrummy salads and roasted vegetables, all eaten by the open fires sat on hay bales wrapped in checked blankets. Minimal speeches also ensured that they could crack on with the dancing too. Jess is a dancer and certainly knew how to make some shapes on the dance floor. I always forget sometimes that I have a camera in hand as I end up dancing with people! Although I left fairly early into the evening I’m pretty sure they all stayed up partying until the late hours. What a great way to end a brilliant day.

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A little update on my Summer 2016 Weddings! Summer 2016 is turning out to be a great wedding season here in Bath and the South West. I’ve also shot quite a few weddings in Malvern as well this year, which I’m always happy to return too, having lived there for about 8 years. My couples have all been SO awesome, just filled with happiness, throwing weddings that completely reflect them and happily having family & friends contribute to the day. Either by making the cake, helping with decorations, making home-made wine for the tables, growing the flowers, or bringing their latest puppy to the wedding, which will always get the nod from me! I’ve even had a rendition of the American National Anthem sung at the speeches, which was pretty epic!! Plus I’ve had all the weather England can throw at me and it hasn’t really mattered. Seriously I love my job. Seeing as I haven’t had chance to blog I thought I’d just share a few snaps from my summer so far. Can’t wait for the rest of my weddings!!bridegettingready View full post »

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Good morning everyone! There is a lot of work going on behind the scenes at the moment to make sure my business is up to scratch following on from the amazing adventure I had recently at SNAP festival. I learnt so much and I’ll write a little post about it soon, but I thought I would revisit my first wedding I ever shot in 2011. Just to remind myself of the journey. So here are the ever so lovely Nick & Gemma at the beautiful Cripps Barn in Gloucestershire. Grab a cuppa and keep reading…

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The lovely Victoria and Gareth are getting married in Malvern in August at the Mount Pleasant Hotel. We spent a cold Sunday morning, strolling around the Winter Gardens getting to know each other a little better. I really can’t wait for their Wedding Day!

They were both pretty nervous about being in front go the camera but I used a few tricks to get them relaxed and they soon started smiling and laughing!

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My goodness how cute is Molly. I visited Jack and Lydia at their home in Birmingham to document a family shoot with them. We were hoping to go for a walk in their local park after but it was absolutely throwing it down with rain so we stayed home instead. Molly was an absolutely star, I introduced her to my camera’s as I’m afraid you can’t be too scared of sticky fingers and dribble when you want those shots! However, Molly didn’t seem to mind the camera in the slightest and we didn’t have any tears just pure smiles and laughter. I can’t wait to go back again and shoot some more photo’s when she’s a little older to document her early years. I love to shoot family sessions, I tend to hang around your home for a few hours and really get to know what you cherish. Home life, with tea, comforts and also your pets!! I can’t not mention Hugo in this. He also stole my heart!!!

hey photographer lady, check out my feet… pretty awesome eh!

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Basset Hound dog at home in family shoot in MalvernFamily Portrait at homeFamily Shoot with Mum and Dad on Bed

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Hello 2016. Brace yourself for 2015, weddings, bumps, dogs, love! 2016 you have come around very fast!

2015 was a strange year in many ways, there were quite a few changes in my personal life, which have reflected back into my business and reminded me of how lucky I am, how hard I work for my couples and the adventures being a photographer takes me on. There is nothing better than hitting the road sometimes, on your own, in the car with your music on prepping yourself for the day ahead. I get super nervous once I’ve arrived at my destination and I start saying hello to everyone, stating “hi I’m the wedding photographer” but once I take that first shot, everything just clicks into place. I have been the busiest I’ve been so far with my photography and met so many wonderful people through celebrating their days with them. I know this as when I have been selecting my photographs for this post, I have sat at my desk smiling to myself, what a weirdo! Remembering all the little details and moments as to what was happening in each photo. I think my husband thinks I’m a bit mad for being in this industry but I feel so honoured to have shared so many stories and laughed with complete strangers. Especially as I’m not exactly the most extrovert person around!

As much as I shoot documentary photography, I can’t help myself to ask about those in-jokes that have got a group of grown up guys giggling like school girls; it reminds me just how much people fight for the good times. With all our differences in the world, with all the hate and despair that we’ve seen this year, being part two people’s lives for 12 hours whilst they dance like no one is watching just sucks me in. It gives me all the feels! Especially when it comes to weddings, it’s like a frozen moment. For one day, pretty much everyone forgets how short of cash they are this month, or how that next deadline at work is coming round a bit too quick, that stress headache you’ve had for over a week disappears when you see friends you haven’t seen that you perhaps should more often. If I could bottle just that…

I am really hoping 2016 just welcomes in more adventures, I wish for simple things this year; my health, peacefulness (namaste) and some seriously good times with plenty of laughter! I’ve got to know more wonderful photographers this year and explored more parts of the UK. Honestly there is such a vast collection of talented people out there, I am in awe of their expressions and I hope to work with them all again. I also intend to work a little more on developing my own style and showcase more personal work. So be prepared for some experiments! For now, here’s a little look at what I got up to.

Thank you to Alex, Jo, KirstyLaura and Laura for letting me shoot with you.

Bath Wedding Photographer.

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A little review from Heart Full Of Tea of Joanna Brown’s Advanced Photography Workshop.

Setting off in my car on a Monday morning, I knew it was going to be a good day. I met the lovely Jo about 4 years ago now when I initially signed up for her mentoring 1-1 session. That in itself gave me a nod to self-promotion and believing in what you see and just shooting without hesitation. Something I have tried to continue to do since I started creating my business. However, everyone can loose their way from time to time right?

Plus that was 4 years ago… 4 years ago that I reminded my self once again not to apologise for my art. It is so easy to get caught up in expectation and what you think you should be producing to encourage those bookings and maximise your exposure. But to be honest, this was leaving me more and more disillusioned to what I was doing with my photography. Jo’s growth workshop couldn’t have come at a better time. Watching Jo’s own journey is just so inspiring and having the pleasure of calling this beautiful human a friend reflects back the creativity I want showcase. She is just adorable!

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It was lovely to go back and visit Chris and Stef at their home in Malvern, Worcestershire. I shot their wedding last year at Cripps Barn and returned to shoot a little family session with Sam, their bouncy 6 month old. He is adorable, full of energy and smiles. He loves his Dad and it was great to just shoot a relaxed session at their home where you can always get the best of people. I love shooting natural family sessions with messy beds and imperfections everywhere. It’s life as it should be. Get in touch if you’d like to enquire about these family sessions.

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Coming out of the haze that has been a busy busy season for HEART FULL OF TEA. I have loved every minute of it. I can’t wait to start again and with the couples that are booking for 2016 it makes me even more excited. Some of the emails I get are filled with so many smiles you can feel it.

They made a statue of us
And it put it on a mountain top
Now tourists come and stare at us
Blow bubbles with their gum
Take photographs have fun, have fun

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Time to sit and soak in Alice and Jo’s engagement shoot in Devon. It was cold and windy and perfect for hugging tightly. These lovely humans are getting married in October. I’ve already seen the venue, seen the dress and hugged the hell out of them. We also went for a quick walk on the windy beach at Appledore and took some snaps. Alice has the most infectious smile, love them! It’s going to be a good day. I can not wait!

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