Half term fun in the Cotswolds

Thankfully this half term we were blessed with a handful of dry days, didn't mean that the mud had abated though.  One of the days was spent in our local woods, swinging from trees, hiding in the existing forest school dens and generally getting very muddy.  Here are a selection of my favourite shots from that particular day.

Peter and Lisa's wedding at Curradine Barns

The Cuarradine Barns where Peter and Lisa chose to marry is a wonderful wedding venue situated off the beaten track in Worcestershire. Originally constructed as a grain store, the red brick barns are a fine example of early 19th century rural architecture. Through restoration and continuous improvements a wonderful wedding venue has been created.  It is contemporary in style and provides a fitting romantic atmospheric setting to tie the knot.  The ceremony was late in the day at 4pm, so all photography was done inside - all in all a charming and intimate wedding.

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Christmas Family Portrait

Caz and her two brothers and their own families had not seen each other for about 4 years. This was going to be a good solid family get together.  On my arrival it was very clear that a there was a little jet lag in the air, some having arrived from Australia the day before, yet a cup of strong coffee and the distraction of me shooting hopefully curtailed it setting in during the morning.  It was a great session with lots of smiles and laughter.

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Black and White portraits in a Triptych layout

A photographic triptych is a common style used in modern commercial artwork. Here I used the idea to show a young girl composing her first piece of music.  One photograph for me would have been less powerful in telling the story of this budding musician.


Head Shots for Business

People tend to do business with people they know, like and trust. A professional head-shot helps people feel they know you before they’ve even met you. This is even more so with the instant changing world of social media: Twitter, Linked-In, Google+ and Facebook. A good head-shot conveys instant professionalism. The following two head-shots were used for a website refresh. The shoot itself was great fun, although we had to keep nipping in and out of the garden, due to persistent specks of rainfall.

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40th birthday celebrations

Whilst many of us are thinking about Christmas, there will be many who are marking a milestone landmark as well as getting ready for the 25th Dec.  For Vicki this was her 40th birthday. The first of many celebrations was for her many girlie pals and was held in the back of The Northleach Wine Company in Northleach.  The bubbles were free flowing and amongst the surprises were a couple of home-made birthday cakes and a signature board where all guests could write a special message for Vicki.  I won't say what happened to the lovely photograph of Vicki later that evening, but let's say too much wine and a pen was involved...  All in all a fun evening...

40th birthday celebrations

Stonehouse Court Hotel, Gloucestershire

The year is coming to a close, Christmas is fast approaching and the nights are drawing in. For photographers these shorter days mean finding alternative ways to use light either natural or artificial. Below are a selection of photographs that I took attending a workshop at the Stonehouse Hotel in Gloucestershire.  Both methods were applied and you might be possibly fooled into thinking that it was a bright sunny day, to the contrary is was dark and wet.  All in all it was a great day.

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National Star College to benefit from Healthy Life Expo

Every now and then I do a little charity work, on this occasion I was delighted when Kathryn Allison, IPR communications had contacted me to ask if I would take a handful of photographs to accompany a press release she had written on behalf of the 2016 Gloucestershire Healthy Life Expo.  The 2016 event is to focus on nutrition with a competition entitled ‘What’s Cooking’ to find the region’s top 25 nutritious recipes, which are then to be sold in an e-book.  The National Star College in Ullenwood has been picked as the chosen charity for the event.  It was such a heart-warming experience for me to meet someone of the pupils at the college, which is an independent specialist further education college for people with physical disabilities, acquired brain injuries and associated learning difficulties. 

Two weddings generously decorated with yellow blooms

The colour scheme for these two late summer weddings was a captivating yellow. Sunflowers in abundance at the first wedding and pretty roses at the second.  I was second shooting at both these weddings, helping fellow colleagues to ensure I was where they couldn't be.  The Gloucester Mariner church, where the first wedding took place, prides itself as being the focal point of the historic docks in Gloucester and has been at the heart of this great city for more than 160 years. The second wedding, in contrast took place at a quaint church tucked away in Selsley near Rodborough Common, Stroud and not far from The Bear of Roborough, which was were the reception was held.

Emma and Dan's, Wedding at Badgeworth Church and The Cheltenham Chase Hotel

I knew the moment that I met Emma and Dan that this was going to be a special wedding and it was. We had met to discuss final arrangements just a few days before, visiting both the church and The Cheltenhan Chase Hotel and by it was chilly.  The actual days was very different, it was simply perfect so much so that many comments were made about how hot it was.   The Sword party performed without a hitch as the happy couple walked through the sword arch.  Confetti soon followed and the atmosphere was full of smiles and laughter.  It was a great day.

Business Head-Shot for Cotswold Village Rooms

Margot invited me to her lovely home to take some much needed head shots to support her new and growing business, Cotswold Village Rooms.  Her home and garden was the perfect venue to compliment her business.  Cotswold Village Rooms leave the main tourist landmarks to offer visitors and travellers a memorable stay in village accommodation that’s been carefully selected for its distinct and individual character, charm, and comfort – and each one placed solely within a lovely village or hamlet setting.  I wish Margot every success with this worthwhile business.

Family Portrait by the river

We all know that family pets are as much loved as any other member of the family.  This family was no exception.  It was clear how much they all loved the beautiful Otto and what's more he really seemed to enjoy the shoot - not always looking where I wanted him, but that was no bother.  We met in a field frequented by dog walkers, but saw only one throughout the shoot.  There is a sweet river that runs through the bottom which provided a spot in which to play.  All in all a lovely morning.

Family Portraits at the Pump Rooms, Pitville Park in Cheltenham

From time to I am fortunate enough to have two shoots at the same venue on the same day.  And this is exactly what this day was - two in one day at Pitville Park in Cheltenham.

The first shoot was a completely crazy and fun family that had come together for a 70th birthday celebration.  They had come from America, New Zealand and just around the corner.  There was a lot of excitement in the air and I laughed and laughed with them.  It was great fun, just how photography should be... ;-)

Beth and Matt's December Wedding at Bishops Cleeve

Matt and Beth's special day was a truly magical Christmas wedding in so many ways.  It is impossible to list all things that made it so lovely.  Yet for me, in particular I was taken by the hand crafted wishing tree and the home made hearty looking quiches and pork pies.  Huge effort had been made not just by the bride and groom but also their families and friends.   The ceremony took place at a quaint little church found almost at the end of a no-through road.  On first entering the gateway, my eye caught a sign "Watch Out for Rabbit Holes", featuring two rabbits dancing up and down gleefully, with toothy grins on their faces!  It made me smile.  It was a chilly afternoon, so we only allowed ourselves a few minutes to take photographs in the church area.  Quickly we strolled back onto the lane and headed left to where the no-through road came to an end and where we were greeted by a magnificent  marquee that had been erected in Beth's parent's garden for the reception.  All in all perfect and beautiful!

Amy and Andrew's Wedding at The Slaughters, Gloucestershire

I am so lucky living in such a picturesque part of the country with some beautiful churches amongst.  The Church at Lower Slaughter in the Cotswolds is no exception where I captured these timeless images.  I began photographing the lovely bride at The Slaughters Inn, she was just about ready by the time I arrive and the perfect light shining through the window gave me a great opportunity to get some beautiful shots of her.  She didn't have bridemaids, but brideboys, one of whom was a long term friend from school.   We walked the short distance to the church then after the heartfelt ceremony and confetti throwing we headed back to the The Slaughters Inn for the reception.  Permitting us to use the gardens, the sunshine added a lovely hue to many of the photographs.

     

 

 

Reflexology in the Garden Retreat

Reflexology is something that I really enjoy yet seldom get the time to indulge in it.  I got close though this month photographing garden images for the 'Garden Retreat', a reflexology business in the heart of the Cotswolds.  I had a free rein of what to photograph as long as I kept to the garden and the retreat itself.  And what a pleasure it was as I hope the images in the website reflect.  Jo has offered me a free taster, which I have yet to take up,  Perhaps next year!

Hallane and Andrew's Wedding, Elmore Court, Gloucestershire

I had been to the stunning Elmore Court earlier in the year for a photography workshop and so was very excited to have been asked by Hallane and Andrew to photograph their wedding that was to take place later in the year.  Their day arrived and what a scorcher is was, but Elmore Court looked beautiful with the front porch surrounded by blue hydrangeas.  The wedding began with the ceremony at the nearby Elmore church, St John the Baptist but not before a breakfast of coffee and bacon butties, in the adjacent field for the groomsmen and guests.  After the ceremony, celebrations began on the grounds of Elmore Court with champagne flowing freely, the party soon moved inside to Elmore Court's Hall with a hearty meal waiting followed by singing and dancing...encouraged by a singing Crocodile...all in all a fantastic wedding.

Carla and Karl's Wedding at the Hatton Court Hotel, Gloucestershire

A beautiful wedding at the popular Hatton Court Hotel in Gloucestershire.  Despite the heavens opening with a vengeance throughout most of the day no ones spirits were dampened.  The Hatton Court Hotel  boasts one of the largest yet intimate marquees in the Gloucester area, which provides the perfect setting with a back drop against the Severn Vale.  The surprise at this wedding was the appearance of Les Dennis, not as a guest mind, but was staying at the hotel and attending another wedding.  I managed to grab a very quick shot of him with the bride and groom - he was there less than a minute, so I was lucky.

Wedding at Clearwell Castle in the Forest of Dean

Clearwell Castle provides a magnificent venue for a wedding on a grand scale.  Set in the Forest of Dean it is a little treasure and I for one, as a wedding photographer, enjoy all it has to offer.  For Kay and Mike it was perfect for them too with a gorgeous ceremony room, magical grounds and exceptionally helpful staff.

Oleen and Charlie's Wedding at The Daffodil in Cheltenham

Oleen and Charlie had chosen to get married at The Daffodil in Cheltenham, a truly unique wedding venue.  Historically it had been Cheltenham's first purpose build picture palace, opening its door in Oct 1922 continuously showing theHollywood silent movie Thunderclap starring Mary Carr.  The Daffodil also saw the country's first 'kissing seats' that were situated on the end of each isle, these seats were needless to say very popular with courting couples.  Today it is mainly a restaurant and bar yet with a quick bit of magic it can be transformed into a fairytale venue for weddings.  For Oleen and Charlie after the ceremony they grabbed a few quiet moments at the nearby Montpellier gardens, which gave me an opportunity to stand back and grab a couple of romantic shots without being noticed.  It was a lovely day.