I had never been to Somerleyton Hall in Suffolk before I was invited to photograph James and Georgina’s wedding earlier this year. To get prepared before the big day, I took a trip to this gorgeous venue the week before to explore and make a shoot plan.
Somerleyton Hall is a stunning venue and perfect for the kind of relaxed, creative wedding photography I like to produce. There were nooks and crannies, garden boarders bursting with colours, quirky doorways to perfectly frame the bride and groom and greenhouses bursting with the scent of freshly grown tomatoes in amongst lush green foliage.
Both Georgina and James got ready at Somerletyon Hall which meant I was able to move between them capturing that exciting preparation atmosphere in both camps. There was so much energy and laughter and I loved incorporating the unusual backdrops of Somerleyton Hall’s paintings, furniture and taxidermy!
James had told me about the maze in the gardens and how keen he and Georgina were to have some informal photographs of them exploring it. We had planned to have a shot of them at the centre of the maze with the bottle of bubbly they had strategically hidden earlier in the day as a reward for the first guest who made it to the centre. But when it came to making it through the maze, we couldn’t find the way! With time ticking and the Wedding Breakfast about to begin I really didn’t want to be that photographer who got the newly married couple lost in the maze! So our plans were thwarted and we headed back out after a some fun couple shots. Luckily we found the exit in time to join the guests for the celebrations!
It was such a glorious day. I’m so happy to have been invited as James and Georgina’s wedding photographer. I hope you enjoy some of my highlights from the day. Look out for Stilton the dog, who was a canine ring bearer. He looked very dapper in his specially designed waist coat!
Emma and James were so much fun to photograph! We’d met in London a few months before their big day for an engagement shoot, and we clicked straight away. I took them up and down the streets (and hills) of London asking them to pose in doorways, next to garage doors and on piles of logs! They were always game and didn’t stop smiling!
Both Emma and James are graphic designers and had carefully applied their talents to their wedding day, designing everything from the order of service to the seating plan. They even designed their own wedding logo – a fantastic amalgamation of their initials. Emma and her bridesmaids got ready at her parents’ house not far from the church.
A wedding day is so special and momentous for any couple, but it’s also a symbolic moment for the parents of the bride and groom, so I thought it would be fun to arrange for Emma to surprise her dad in her wedding dress. I asked her father to wait in the garden, and with her mum and bridesmaids looking on from the kitchen, Emma walked up and gave him a gentle tap on the shoulder. The smile on his face as he turned around was so heart warming. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house, or garden!
After marrying in a church local to Emma’s childhood home, Emma and James walked the short distance to their reception with guests and well wishers in cars tooting their horns to congratulate the pair as they passed. After the reception we were treated to the most stunning sunset which set the sky ablaze with reds and pinks. As soon as I spotted it I pulled Emma and James off the dance floor for a quick couple shot under the famous sweeping Norfolk sky!
One of the traditions of a wedding you don’t see so much is the throwing of the bride’s bouquet. I don’t know why people don’t do it more, it’s so funny to watch and even better to photograph. Scroll down and look out for James and Emma’s faces as the bouquet soared through the air and was fought for by their guests.
Here’s to a wonderful future Mr and Mrs Bell!
This summer I got to revisit a super special Norfolk wedding venue, The Keeper and the Dell, to snap Luke and Kirsty’s festival themed wedding. Tucked away in the Norfolk countryside, The Keeper and the Dell is a unique and magical venue, with a flexible ethos, meaning every wedding held there is different.
Kirsty and her bridesmaids got ready at her parent’s house. The weather forecast was threatening rain, but on the day we lucked-out and the sun shone so I couldn’t resist taking Kirsty and her bridesmaids into the garden for some fun and creative shots before we headed on to the wedding venue. Kirsty rocked an amazing flower crown made by the uber talented Libby Ferris Flowers .
Kirsty’s dad’s potting sheds and the green house all worked perfectly as a backdrop. Even the hens made a little appearance and photo bombed a few of the shots!
Fitting in with the festival theme, guests were greeted by ushers who handed them a lanyard detailing the schedule of the day to be hung around their necks. Down in the Dell friends and family waited for Kirsty to arrive. Luke and Kirsty were then married by one of their good friends and after exchanging vows, walked up the verge holding hands with their daughter whilst punching the air with happiness.
The rest of the day was relaxed, fun and full of laughter. Guests were adorned with temporary tattoos and glitter. Watch out for the guest who applied glittered to his whole face, transforming himself into a glitter ball!
In keeping with the relaxed festival theme, delicious burgers and hot dogs were served and guests were free to sit wherever they wished. When the evening band, The Lovin’ Handful, started playing in the vintage big-top tent the dance floor was soon packed.
The Dell is surrounded by festoon lighting which at night adds to its magical atmosphere. It also made for some super evening couple shots. Luke and Kirsty were so relaxed throughout the day. Every so often I would approach them with a photography idea and they would be very happy to sneak off for a few minutes to pose for me as I snapped away.
I’m exited to add that this wedding has been featured in Norfolk Brides 2016 wedding magazine. Click HERE to see my three page spread!
Every year my step-sister throws a fantastic Halloween party in Norwich for all the children in our family. It’s one of the highlights of my year because I get the chance to be a child again!
For the last three years I have taken my camera as we head out to ‘Trick or Treat’ the neighbourhood. It’s the perfect opportunity for creative photography and capture the funny, sweet and entertaining moments that characterise childhood. I love looking back over the Halloween photographs I have taken over the years and seeing how much the children have grown and changed. They have become so much bolder when scaring people and getting into character.
The unspoken rule in the neighbourhood is to only knock on the houses which have a glowing pumpkin outside. I like this rule because no-one is approached unless they want to take part and enjoy receiving a gaggle of miniature folk covered in blood curdling face-paint at their door.
This year’s Trick and Treating didn’t go without incident. Otto, our little skeleton, tripped en route to a haunted house and hurt his finger. Luckily his ghostly mum was nearby for a little hug before he got back on the road, treat bucket in hand.
Before we set out to spook the streets this year we had a quick game of doughnut bobbing! You dangle doughnuts, ideally iced for super stickiness, from a pole. The vampires, skeletons and cats tried to eat the tantalising treats without using their hands! It’s harder than it looks!
Previous halloween blog posts can be seen here:
I’m really excited that my good friend Tora and her husband are about to welcome their first child in to the world! I was looking out of my office window and noticed that the leaves have started to change colour to the most beautiful golden russet, against a gorgeous blue sky – the perfect back drop for a photo shoot. It inspired me to invite Tora to Mousehold Heath in Norwich to capture some autumnal shots of her baby bump to celebrate their pregnancy.
I’ve lived in Norfolk for a lot of my life and I’m slightly embarrassed to say I rarely make it over to Mousehold Heath. I really need to change that! The woodlands are stunning and constantly changing tones and form – a photographer’s dream.
When I shoot, I really like to incorporate light and shadows into my work and to embrace the autumn colours. I love wild and rambling natural settings. Tora stood surrounded by ferns and tall trees. We really lucked out when the sun started to beam down through the foliage and branches, and spot-lit Tora’s pregnant beauty. She brought a couple of changes of clothes, so we played around with her outfits, complimenting the natural setting, but also standing out and being bold.
I hope you enjoy the results. The baby is due in just a few days and I am looking forward to photographing their bundle of joy once it’s born – what a treat!