Just a casual 7 months since my last blog. Oops!! Where does the time go. Seeing as my wedding season has slowed down now, I thought I’d start with the first wedding of the year I shot back in March. Wai and Mark’s colourful Chinese Wedding at Rhinefield House. Man what an awesome day!
These guys landed the best email in my inbox as a referral from the gorgeous Mel & Alex’s Wedding I shot last year. Mark & Wai have been together for just over 7 years, Mark originally from Cumbria and Wai is Hong Kong Chinese, but born and raised in London. They both absolutely love to travel, which has included spending 3 years in Shanghai, China. Wai told me all about Mark’s interesting Mandarin right from the start, ha, sorry Mark! They live in Portland and we communicated at random times, whilst they both organised a Wedding virtually. Hats off to you guys, hats off.
They are both creatives, Mark freelancing with his art, illustration, videos, comic books and Wai working for an advertising agency in Portland. They both describe each other as a chalk and cheese kind of couple, completely different, but they absolutely work together. Wai is super organised, and Mark likes to go where the wind takes him, describing each other as his and hers Ying and Yang. Therefore their wedding naturally reflected this, Chinese influence from Wai’s side, captured in the woods to reflect Mark’s nature and heart.
I haven’t laughed as hard as I did that day at the traditional morning games. Oh goodness, these guys know how to bring the house down! Mark sent me the nicest of emails after I had delivered their wedding including this little line, “On a serious note though (prepare for more tears from me)… Right from start to finish you were the one person involved in the preparations that got us excited and that itself helped enormously. We’d have paid you just for that service!”. Just so lovely. And Wai… well Wai is one of those beauties that stops you in your tracks. I literally couldn’t stop staring at her in her amazing Chinese Wedding dress. Congratulations to you both, you rocked my world.
Thank you so much to my second shooter, the awesome Kirsty Bowen. Mic Drop.
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.
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. I absolutely LOVED this wedding. 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!!
Now for 3 minutes of silliness, something a little different today! Dax learns to swim 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!!)
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!
Happy New Year everyone! Well that’s another year gone, it’s time for my Quirky Bath 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 Pizza, The Wonky Cake Company, The Big House Company, Berta Bride, The 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 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! 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.
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.
This is Mel. I couldn’t help but just put this gorgeous bohemium bridal portrait up on my journal. She has the most beautiful smile, she was just about ready here at her family farm for her awesome DIY bohemian wedding. With the most sparkly sandals I’ve ever seen and the cutest braids. I love this time I get with you. Its THE best, so much fizz and excitement in the air. I get to see everything you’ve planned come together in one room. This is my chance to grab those stylised shots I love setting up of your shoes, wellies, hair accessories and anything in-between. Its absolutely essential that you only have people in the room that have their positive pants on and are there for you. Don’t go overboard with it either, more people, more chaos! Less interruptions are the key. Mel just had her bridesmaids with her at this point. We really thought about the room at this point too. It’s so important to think about where you are getting ready, the space in-particular. No one wants to put their gear on in a tiny cupboard! Equally important is light, you’ll hear most photographers get over excited about light, we can’t help it, its our thing! So think about natural light. I’m known to kind of come in and move things around if I need to, I might face you a different way for example, but trust me I’m always doing this for you. That’s exactly what I did here for Mel, I cleared the room and used that natural light from the window. Mel was ready at this point to go get married, relaxed with just the right amount of nerves, which generally means ALL the smiles. Definitely be more like Mel.
A little update on a few favourite shots from Summer 2016 Weddings so far! 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!!
If you want your wedding day to be an adventure, full of genuine moments of belly laughs with a photographer that you are willing to throw your arms around and throw some shapes together on the dance floor, then keep scrolling and head over to my contact page to send me an excitable email.
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. Grab a cuppa and keep reading…
I spent a cold Sunday morning, strolling around the Winter Gardens at Malvern, shooting a lovely engagement shoot getting to know Victoria and Gareth a little better. I really can’t wait for their Wedding Day! They are getting married in my once home town of Malvern in August at the Mount Pleasant pub. The views from there are so stunning across Malvern, I can’t wait! These guys chose to have an engagement as they felt a bit uneasy in front of the camera. Don’t worry, unless you are a full-time model most people are! I also don’t like being in front of the camera. Therefore, as much as possible I work a few steps away from you and do as little posing as possible to get the best out of you both naturally. I have plenty of techniques to make you both feel comfortable! I generally suggest a pre-wedding shoot if it is a great concern, as we can all get to know each other and prepare you for your wedding day.
Oh my goodness, I had the best time with Lydia, Jack and Molly at their home for a relaxed family session. I visited them over in Birmingham on THE wettest day. The weather was absolutely awful. We had planned to go for a walk to the local park, but with the rain that wasn’t really an option. Instead they rocked the entire shoot at their gorgeous renovated victorian house. I met Lydia and Jack a few years ago on their wedding, where I second shot for the amazing Chris Barber. They are just the loveliest couple, so kind and giving and that totally reflects in Molly. Molly was on top form, smiling and happy throughout the whole time I was there. Not one tear!! I mean it’s pretty gutting as a photographer if you make babies cry, ha! She is THE CUTEST I mean… “hey photographer lady, check out my feet… pretty awesome eh!”. I absolutely loved this laid back and playful shoot. If you fancy having me capture some of these family moments of your little ones in your own house, then please get in touch on my contact page. Check out my family gallery as well for more cuties!
Hello 2016. Brace yourself for HEART FULL OF TEA’s 2015 Wedding round-up, with bumps, dogs, loads of 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.
Bath Wedding Photographer.
Happy New Year. I hope the heads aren’t too sore today. I’ll whisper! BOOM! Are you getting married in 2016 near or around Bath? What are you waiting for, get in touch with me! Honesty is the best word I will always try to abide by. I totally fell into weddings. How? Well I got married 8 years ago and when I received my wedding photographs I was so disappointed. There were just soulless. I paid a lot for these photographs, much more than I charge and we felt they didn’t represent us as a couple. I’m a creative at heart, previously being a graphic designer and as much as possible I feel those moments. Thank goodness the industry has now changed to be much more free spirited! That is why I slipped into this amazing world. I love to shoot couples that ooze passion, that dance like no-ones watching and prefer vendors that express their relationship outwardly. As you have seen, I am up-front and honest on my pricing, carefully calculating my packages to suit how I work and what I deliver to you.
I will always go that extra mile to make sure I achieve that for you, as I know what it is like to not feel content. On your day you should be relaxed and your cheeks ache from constant smiling and laughing. I am committed to this and the start of your beautiful journey. I love my job and I work hard to ensure that on your day you can just let go, breathe and have fun! If you would like to see more from HEART FULL OF TEA then please check out my Wedding gallery for more fun times! I love receiving excitable emails too, the more details the better!
A little review from HEART FULL OF TEA of Joanna Brown’s 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!
I visited Chris and Steph and shot a laid-back session for them with 8 month old Sam at their home in Malvern last week. I photographed their wedding nearly two years ago now at the gorgeous Cripps Barn. I was really excited to be travelling up to meet their new arrival. I love seeing my couples relaxed in their own homes and it was so nice to see Steph and Chris in the next stage of their relationship. Check out Master Sam having a great time at this lovely home family shoot, those cheeks are just amazing. He was teething so there was plenty of dribble to capture but not one unhappy face to see! We had a lovely morning, giggling and drinking a ridiculous amount of tea! My family photography is always designed around you, your pets, your homes, your space. It’s really important you feel relaxed and at ease, as your little ones will too. Family shoots involve you doing what you do every day together, you’ll just have me there documenting it all. I’m happy to turn up at a time which suits your routine, before they wake up or a session around bedtime. It’s up to you! Family shoots start from £350 for 3 hours, just drop me an email if you’d like to know more! You can always seem more family sessions in this gallery too.
I met Laura a few years ago now through shooting wedding’s, she’s an amazing photographer and we have stayed firm friends. In 2015 she was expecting her first child. Laura is just such a lovely human being. A spade is a spade with Laura and that is exactly what I love about her! When she asked me to do a quick maternity session I knew we’d have fun! We ventured off to the Bath Botanical Gardens to capture her last few days before Archer appeared! Laura wrote this little piece herself…
“2015 was the most life altering year of my life. After 3 years of Marriage, two dogs and two awesome business’, we decided that no time would ever feel like the ‘the right time’.. but we really wanted to start a family. One morning in March we saw that eagerly awaited plus sign, on what felt like the 100th pee stick! The following months were an intense, excitable and often emotional roller coaster – practically living in MotherCare, obsessing over “One Born Every Minute”, attending birth classes and house hunting at the height of Wedding Season. During pregnancy my couples & colleagues were absolutely incredible and I cannot thank them enough for their support & love. From carrying bags, talking me & bump down from heights when I just HAD to get that shot, welcoming my little helpers with open arms and being genuinely happy for us, helpful and understanding. You guys are lush! These beautiful pics were shot by my very good friend Emma of HEART FULL OF TEA, She kindly did us a little bump shoot just 2 days before I gave birth! I remember feeling little twinges that day but feeling a million dollars, approaching the end of that journey and on the edge of starting a new one”
Alice and Jo tied the knot on the 3rd October 2015 in a gorgeous outdoor ceremony at Yeoldon House in Devon. The weather was absolutely amazing; an outdoor wedding in October with blue skies and bright sunshine…the best! I traveled down from Bath to spend the day with these laid-back pair! Alice looked utterly gorgeous in her vintage 1930s gown and later changed into a stunning blue opera coat for the evening, that her mum made! Joseph’s next suit was accessorised perfectly with a trilby hat plus their sweet dog Tia, was in attendance too. Most people who know me will be aware I’m always happy when their are animals at weddings! My face was shining with happiness all day long! Dogs at weddings for the win! They are both quite the romantic pair really, with Alice telling me about their proposal… “Jo runs his own Bell Tent company and this particular time we were on holiday camping right by the sea and he proposed at sunset overlooking the sea in cornwall. It was just very us, nothing fancy but just surrounded by beautiful landscape”. Sounds perfect to me! Plus Alice’s sound advice to other brides is spot on! “Do what you want don’t get taken in by the wedding must haves and definitely save some money to have live music. It really does add to the evening celebrations, we are so glad we hired a local band too. They were a four-piece fiddle-fronted, high-energy, celtic rock band and were just amazing!” I loved this wedding, Alice and Jo made sure they celebrated exactly how they wanted, a good knees up and an outdoor ceremony!
I love to hear about all the details that you may be planning for your day, but mostly I want to hear about you. That’s the important part. Your journey, your passions and retelling how you got to this part of your life. First date stories are the best! Oh and tell me how the proposal went down! Don’t be shy with sharing your stories, why don’t you drop me an email and tell me some!