Full blog post on Adam and Faye’s awesome wedding at Crewe Hall in Cheshire is coming soon… but for now I’m going to leave with you with their awesome little wedding photo trailer. Click the link play above to watch!
So not so long ago I got to go back to Liverpool, my home time to see the lovely Edie and her legendary proud creators Lou and Andy. It was an extra special shoot for me as I went to Uni with Lou and we lived together in Manchester before she made her escape from Manchester back to Merseyside and found her awesome husband to be Andy. So it was lovely to catch up and have a natter and get some photos (of course!) of Lou, Andy and Edie together as a family.
Getting Rare Photographs of the Family Together
One of the major reasons a lot of people book family shoots is it can be hard to get a photo of the whole lot of you together. a lot of the time Mum or Dad is holding the camera or phone and one of you get missed out so it’s good opportunity to get some lovely photos of all of you together.
The Family Home
I like getting photographs of the house and street when I first start the day. Your home and where you live is an important part of your story. You might not live there forever, the house will change over the years, you may even forget what it looked like at this time in your lives. It doesn’t have to be perfect, in fact I’m a strong believer that a little bit of mess in photos here and there helps tell the story. Will help you remember in 20 years when all your little liver birds (or whatever species you have released into the wild) have flown the nest, you can remember what it was like to have all those tiny clothes piled up. However you feel about those little piles that happen now, there might be a day when you look on those little details fondly.
New Expressions, Downy Hair and Tiny Feet.
Of course the house is just a small part of the story, the tiny human or humans (and animals) you’ve filled it with are the main event! Photographing children at this age is always pretty awesome and kids tend to start finding their personalities and expressions which as you can see Edie has in buckets even though she still needs a cushion under her feet to sit in her walker!
Capturing all those little things that grow so quickly, the tiny hands and feet, the beautiful baby hair can be a great way to remember the moments of your little monkey being tiny, before they start running about and all that fun begins.
If you know anything about me you’ll know I love a good silhouette. Lou and Andy’s place in Liverpool was perfect for it. With all the the beautiful bright colours of there home decor sounding them. They were able to have a good old stand in front the window and pester Edie for a bit. Edie soon put a stop to it though as you can see in the last photo. Clever girl!
Photographing the Family Together
Although the style of the shoot is mainly documentary. I do take some photos were you and your tribe can look at the camera and give a big goofy grin. Like the one below in Lou and Andy’s very purple back yard.
I really feel like the magic happens when you guys are just doing your own thing, like Lou, Andy and Edie sitting down together to watch Formula One. Something that Edie no doubt will get into as she grows older, or even if she doesn’t it will certainly be one of the things that makes her think of family time and Mum and Dad.
As you can see she’s pretty engrossed in the race even at this age…
When I delivered the photos to Lou and Andy. Lou commented that one of the photos that stood out to her was the one of her breast feeding Edie. Lou said that she never gets to see herself and Edie together that way and it’s a beautiful moment to capture between mother and child.
Relics of that Time in the History of Your Family
I couldn’t help but snap a little photo of Lou’s Trump protest banner. Hopefully one day when politics in both of our countries has got a little less like a cartoon, they will be able to look at that photograph with the nostalgia of that brief time when UK and US politics turned into a bit of a Pantomime. Fingers, toes and eyes crossed.
I also love to grab little photos including the art..
Gemma and Ben contacted me after I shot a friend of the families wedding, they wanted a really chilled out affair with friends and family and they had chosen one of Lancashire’s hidden gems, family owned hotel Mytton Fold. Mytton Fold has been run by the Hargreaves family for over 30 years and boasts 43 bedrooms, making it perfect for a wedding party that might want to stay the full weekend. Set within the rolling hills just outside Whalley, Mytton Fold is situated in the Ribble Valley and surrounded by a massive golf course (100 acres if you are interested). There’s ample grounds for guests to roam and plenty of beautiful places for photographs with the sun setting just behind the fields at the back of the hotel. Perfect!
Around the hotel there are loads of interesting little roads, benches, Lilly ponds and gardens making it an interesting place for guests to explore and beautiful place just to sit back and relax in.
As if things couldn’t get any better the hotel is also dog friendly!!! So if you are thinking of bringing your pooch along on your wedding day, it might be one to put to the top of your list.
Gemma and her family and friends were getting married in a huge room with loads of lovely pockets of light (ask for 228!) and space for them to get ready together. There was hair going on in one corner, make up in the other and everyone seemed really excited for the day ahead. The girls were trying out a new method of taping their toes together so their high heels didn’t hurt, apparently this works?! See the photo in a bit. It was a lovely relaxed morning full of loads of smiles and laughter.
I first met Becky and Chris via a Skype call after shooting a family members wedding, Becky and Chris saw the photos and got in touch. The first thing that struck me about them both was how much they didn’t take things too seriously and were up for a good laugh. I knew I was on for a good one and I was.
Here’s Becky and Chris’s Story in their own words:
We met at main stage Avicii, Creamfields 2013 what a place to meet your husband! Chris took me to Jamie’s Italian in Liverpool where I chose spaghetti bolognese as a first date meal and tripped up the stairs! I had a code text with my mum incase he wasn’t nice as I couldn’t remember much from that night so my mum was on hand waiting for a text saying ‘the pasta is nice’ We had a ball and many more funny date stories in between. Chris proposed in panoramic 34 during afternoon tea but I wasn’t looking so the first I heard was “Come on is it a yeah or no Beck people are looking now”
Becky on Chris - “He makes me laugh all the time and behaves like a grumpy old man at the age of 34 .”
Chris about Becky - “I love how we laugh at everything and life is just one big joke when we’re together no need to take it too seriously.”
Becky and Chris chose Inglewood Manor as they loved the country estate feel, gorgeous gardens and incredible rooms where guests could stay. Being able to have their ceremony outside in November (although you wouldn’t have thought it the weather was glorious) was a major plus and really made the day all the more special too them as they love going on adventures together and being outside.
Inglewood manor is a beautiful Edwardian Manor house in the heart of Cheshire countryside. A grade two listed building, it had many original Edwardian features and loads of character, rich mahogany wooden panelled rooms, and beautiful gardens bursting with different species of flowers, trees and wild life surrounding the house. The result of this being tons of beautiful back drops for photographs both inside and outside.
The house was built in 1909, but is actually dated as dated 1915. The house was built for F. H. Fox, a Liverpudlian millionaire (Whoop! Go on son! I love it when people from Liverpool are millionaires!) who made his fortune in marine insurance. Fishy. The outside of the house is made of stone and wooden panelling and has a Tudor look to it.
Becky got ready with her mum and bridesmaids at Inglewood Manor while the Chris and his groomsmen mucked about down stairs, eagerly waiting for the chairs to arrive. Upstairs with the bridesmaids it was business as usual, Becky being her usual hilarious animated self. It was lovely to see Becky being so exctied to finally marry her Chris.
Becky wore an Essence of Australia dress from Bridal Haven in Tarporley (shop now closed, but the staff there were amazing!) and Valentino shoes, and looked bloody awesome. I’m sure you’ll will agree. The shoes didn’t last very long as they were ditched shortly after the ceremony when we had to go on adventures for portraits.
An Outdoor Ceremony at Inglewood Manor
Becky and Chris chose to have an outdoor ceremony at Inglewood Manor. On a gloriously sunny day in November, it can happen! They put some blankets out for guests that they thought might get a bit chilly and thoughtfully labelled the reserved seats at the front with little tags with peoples names on so that people knew where to sit (and which blanket was for them!)
Under current British Law when getting married outdoors at Inglewood Manor you do need to be facing towards the house so that the registrar can marry you from the shelter of the structure of Inglewood Manor.
When I first met Fran and Ben in a chic little bar in Manchester’s Northern Quarter I knew I was on for a good wedding, not only had they chosen one of my favourite (and one of the coolest) venues in Manchester to host their wedding, but Fran is also an event planner so I knew everything was going to be spot on, from having their own unforgettable hash tag in lights #TEAMCRUSE to having water and hang over packs ready for guests on the way out Fran had thought of everything in advance meaning Ben and Fran and all of their friends and family could just relax into the day, knowing that everything was sorted and it was spectacular perfect.
Thanks to my awesome second shooter Marni V Photography for being a general legend through the day and every day.
The Albert Hall
The Albert Hall was an old Methodist central hall built in 1908 and is now used mainly as a music venue and a pretty epic one at that. A grade 2 listed building with a lot of the buildings old period features, including beautiful old tiled walls, a horse shoe gallery, magnificent 19th Century Organ towering over the room in centre stage, it really is something to behold. The huge beautiful stained glass windows either side of the building let in oddles of natural light during the day time and then when the sun goes down and the party gets started you have The Albert Hall’s professional concert lighting to give your party that extra edge.
Fran and Ben both got ready with their bridesmaids, groomsmen family and friends at the Principal Hotel in Manchester. I love this hotel, the huge sash windows make way for loads of natural light and the rooms are nice and HUGE meaning there’s loads of space for you and your mates to have a nice chilled wedding morning together. The Principal hotel isn’t really very far from the Albert Hall so the boys walked while the girls jumped in a traditional Manchester black cab.
Fran and her bridal party made their way across the main hall floor while their friends and family looked on from the stalls and cheered, before making it up onto the stage to get married! The Albert Hall lighting techs even added a little bit of smoke, to give the huge room the hazy atmospheric effect you can see in the photos.
One great little perk they have at the Albert Hall Manchester is Albert Schloss, the huge, beautiful bar and restaurant down stairs, calling itself Manchester’s first bohemian bier it does have a strangely warm and cosy vibe for somewhere so huge! While the staff at the Albert Hall got stuck into getting the room ready for dinner and speeches, Fran and Ben’s Wedding guests were able to go and grab a drink at their own reserved part on the bar
One thing I have been really enjoying this year, but I’ve been a bit crap at blogging about is my family photography. It’s been really wonderful to go and see my past couples, see how their family has grown, even little changes they have made to the house and now and again spotting a wedding pic of mine or two up on the walls always puts a smile on my face!
Documentary Family Photography
Sometimes people look at me a bit strange when I start taking photographs of the house outside on shoots, but of course your home, no matter how long you have been there or however long you plan to stay is part of your families history and your families story. If it’s your forever home it’s nice to look back and see how the house has changed over time, little bits of furniture or decoration that you completely had forgotten existed or have long gone can conjure up old fond memories of that time and how it felt to be there. If it’s not your forever home photographs of that place and the objects in or around it can take you back to that time, it’s easy to forget the little things, but it can be lovely to take a moment every now and then to remember them and be grateful for all the little parts that have made up your families history so far.
So although at first when you get your photographs back and you have a few of the house and bits and bobs in there it might not mean that much. I’m shooting these photographs with the future in mind. ;)
Here at Caroline and Neil’s home in Liverpool is was particularly lovely to be greeted by some plant pots they used on their wedding day. I remember taking a photograph of these pots then and it was a lovely little call back to that time, before walking in to be greeted by Caroline, Neil, their now grown up boy (first child/now responsible older brother) who was just a little pup when I met him last and of course the lady of the moment, birthday girl Emilia.
Family photography and pets
I love including pets in the family photos. In fact I think it is a must. They are part of the family after all and have their own little characters that help make your house a home. Photographing them may not always be easy. There is that saying about never working with children or animals after all. But I do love a good challenge and the photos and memories your’ll have of your beloved fury family member will be worth it!
First Birthday Family Shoot
Of course Emilia was on super form it being the day of her first birthday party! Which is a great time to book a family shoot FYI if you have one coming up. With her series of hilarious and characterful expressions and her chirpy little attitude she had us all in the palm of her hand. Look at that little face! She looks so much like her Mum and Dad it’s actually spooky, I know it’s just genetics but she really got all of those genes.
the first bedroom
Photographing the bedroom is something I love doing on family shoots. The world is such a different place now from back when I was a nipper and the options to decorate a child’s room are vast. Emilia might not have remembered what her first bedroom looked like when she’s older. I know I don’t. Which would be a massive shame seeing all the effort Mum and Dad have put into making it such a exciting and also peaceful place. Is that possible? I feel like that’s what has happened here.
Being able to look back at these photos as an adult, or even as a stompy demanding, mood swingy teenager and see how much thought and attention was put into all these lovely little details in Emilia’s bedroom I’d imagine will give her great comfort when she is older, to see how much she was and still is loved and in a less soppy sense surely teenage Emilia isn’t gonna moan about having to do the dishes or give the stairs a bit of a hoover after having another look at this lot. ;)
What happens if my baby cries during The shoot?
To be fair to Emilia, the photo below is the nearest to a cry we got through the whole thing, but if your child cries or gets upset or tired at any point, don’t worry it’s completely normal! Theses photos have value too. Some of my favourite photographs are of children with grumpy faces or having a little bit of a tantrum. It’s all part of the story and a good representation of what real family life is all about. Love through the tears, vomit, tantrums, dirty nappies, giggles and sleepless nights. All of it is important. All of it is what it takes to be a family.
Thanks so much to Mr and Mrs F and the smaller member’s of the F house hold for having me and permission to post this blog. It was an absolute pleasure to come and visit you in your lovely home and meet Emilia.
If you would like to book a family shoot, get in touch!
Up on the blog today we’ve got Lucy and Nick’s gorgeous autumnal wedding at Goldstone Hall, Market Drayton where they had a intimate outdoor ceremony (despite a tiny bit of rain) amongst their closest family and friends and surrounded by the most beautiful wild flowers both inside Goldstone Hall and out! I’ll let Lucy and Nick take it from here. If you’d like to see the full day from start to finish click on the link below to watch Lucy and Nick’s nifty little Wedding Photo Trailer!
Lucy and nick’s Story
A mutual friend (James - Lucy's friend from uni and Nick's friend from school) invited us both to an outdoor film screening in Summer 2013. It wasn't intended to be a set up but we hit if off! As we met at a film screening we (unimaginatively!) arranged to go to the cinema for our first date. We saw Only God Forgives not quite realising it was full of gory violence, definitely not a first date film but at least it gave us something to talk about!
We got engaged in our flat in London, the first place we've ever lived together! It was super low key but perfect for us, Luce was wearing her pyjamas while I got down on one knee! She immediately burst into tears (and then said yes thankfully!)
Goldstone hall wedding venue
We got married at Goldstone Hall, Market Drayton, one of the most beautiful venues we've ever seen. Lucy wanted to get married in an old house and have the reception at the same venue, Nick wanted a marquee reception and so Goldstone was ideal! We visited on a rainy autumn day and even then the gardens and house looked so beautiful that we knew it was right for us! Goldstone couldn't have been better throughout our build up, they even managed to somehow give our guests a choice of food on the day!
The biggest superstar supplier of the day was our florist, Nicola (Brown Sugar Blooms). We wanted relaxed, colourful flowers that didn't look too neat or tidy and she absolutely blew us away! She turned something that was just inside our heads into the most perfect arrangement and made for a stunning marquee! And Lucy adored her bouquet!
Nick's suit supplier, Beggars Run, were also awesome, making the whole process super easy, enjoyable and producing a great looking suit!
Nick's Mum made our cake and decorated it with flowers to match Brown Sugar Blooms, it looked and tasted amazing! She then went one step beyond and made all our bunting too!
Of course Katie Dervin - who did the best job! Getting our photos through after the wedding was like reliving the whole day again!
Our band were The Vivas and they were brilliant! They played an amazing set that got everyone dancing, so much in fact that the speakers began to shake as everyone jumped up and down! They really made the evening a great party!