I started working for one of my favourite clothing brand’s in 2014 when I was studying at University. Naturally after graduating I didn’t really know what it was I wanted to do. At the time I was back and forth to London working as a photographer’s assistant for Alexi Lubomirksi when he visited London to work from America and part time work in a retail shop worked quite well as it fitted in with my photography work.
Little did I know, I found a job where I became friends with EVERY colleague. For this reason it did not feel like being at work when I was there and I became very happy (and comfortable!) At times (like Christmas as January sales) it was tough but the team were brilliant and everyone managed to have high spirits. When I started photographing weddings I became a store supervisor and worked 48 hours + plus some weeks. It was tough and tiring but worked well as my lovely manager was so understanding of my weekend photography work!
Unfortunately throughout 2016 people moved on and I realised that my photography needed to become my main priority, so in September this year I handed my notice in – a very bitter sweet feeling but you have to make the jump in order to get somewhere I guess (girls and Toby, if you are reading this I miss you all!)
Like many photographers who start out, if I was approached by a bride/ groom I instantly said yes regardless the type of wedding it was going to be. Any experience is good experience and I still stand by this. This year I photographed my first Woodland Wedding and I absolutely loved it! I have shot a few ‘outdoor weddings’ where the wedding breakfast was a picnic or a hog roast but not one day that was entirely outside!
The weather was perfect and incredibly hot which made the day absolutely perfect (however I still think the day would have been just as perfect if it was raining – there was nothing that was going to ruin Craig and Shani’s day!)
Being a ‘country girl’ from Norfolk being involved in an outdoor wedding has 100% made me love my job and if you are looking to get married outside amongst the Norfolk/ Suffolk countryside DO IT! (And have me as your photographer – pretty please!) There is nothing more beautiful! Take advantage of the wonderful county we live in!
If you have been looking at my site and have seen that I offer ‘couple photography-sessions’ I can 99% guess what you are thinking!
I am very much a natural photographer when it comes to people and the thought of photographing ‘in love’ couples felt so alien and un-natural as the love you show for each other is very much a private emotion.
For this reason I have tried to treat my couple sessions exactly the same as my weddings – a documentary approach with very little direction. I have become more and more confident as many of my 2017 brides and grooms have opted for a couple photo-session on order to get comfortable in front of the camera before their big day (and strangely enough it works!)
I absolutely love going out for a walk and treating the session as a day out rather than sitting in front of the camera the entire time! Natural approach = natural photos! It has been a fab way to get to know my future brides and grooms too which has lead to me feeling very excited for their big day(s)!
I have loved every single lifestyle shoot I have photographed this year. Lots of people say to me “Once your weddings kick off you may find you won’t have time or won’t want to bother with the family photo shoots.” I will ALWAYS say yes to a family shoot if I am free! I feel so lucky to be able to capture moments that you and generations to come will look at for the rest of your life (just like a wedding!)
My family have always photographed me and my siblings growing up and those moments captured mean so much to me as its a part of who I am! For me to have that role to play in your lives is a huge responsibility and an honour! I’ve loved going out for walks, being invited into peoples homes and just getting to know everyone!
I personally feel as though the lifestyle photography is the most rewarding area of my job – especially when children and animals are involved as when I do get a good shot (after lots of shyness, running around and simply just not playing ball) I know I have achieved something!
I am so, so fortunate to have such supportive friends and family!
Back in March (Easter time to be exact) I got my lovely little ivory car! I am not a car person and my car knowledge is appalling but I was set on a white/ off white little car so that I could one day have my logo on it so that when I turn up to your wedding I look vaguely professional! 😉 My very lovely Dad helped me along the way and I have been loving my little mode of transport and feel so good turning up on my clients doorsteps!
One of my very best friends and her family have been some of the most supportive people in my life regarding my business. Her father owns a car business in Beccles and very kindly helped me source a sign writing company to get my car branded – little did I know that he was going to sort everything out and have my car wrapped for me as a present!! (Such a lovely thing for him to do for me!)
I drove up on the forecourt in his little courtesy car to see my car looking all shiny and sleek with my logo and company details looking so professional – I nearly cried! We decided to go with a darker colour as the pink of my logo was not going to show up against the white of the car.
I am so, so chuffed and feel like the wheels are well and truly in motion – literally!
If you are looking for a Suffolk based card dealer please have a look at Binks of Beccles’ site! Fab, quality cars and such lovely customer service!
Whilst studying at Uni I had to organise and source creatives for styled shoots. After a year of not picking up my camera after graduating (simply because university had made photography feel very much a chore rather than an enjoyment) I have been involved in many styled shoots this year that I have absolutely loved every single one as they have been my style and well thought through!
Its lovely to get creative and catch up with fellow wedding suppliers such as hair stylists, make up artists and clothing stylists. I love the shoots as its very much a time where I and everyone else can just relax and enjoy what we do without pressure!
I have loved working with you all and consider everyone in the wedding industry who I have collaborated with and bounce ideas off, very valuable friends that I cannot wait to work with again in 2017.
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OF THE WEDDING/ NON-WEDDING GUYS I HAVE WORKED ALONGSIDE FOR STYLED SHOOTS!
There are so many wedding photographers out there and the industry can sometimes feel a little intimidating. So when I meet a fellow wedding photographer who is truly genuine and full of nothing but photography chat and hints and tips it is always so refreshing.
This year I have met and worked with Joshua Charnock (Joshua Patrick Photography) and Georgia Ainley (Georgia Rachael Ainley Photography) both are 1) absolutely fab photographers and 2) two of the most genuine and lovely people I have met!
I loved meeting and chatting with these guys as I am such a worrier and am terrible when it comes to having faith in myself and work so it is the best feeling when you realise you are not the only one with the same thoughts and worries! (Its also quite nice to have a compliment from time to time! ;))
Next year I am going to aim to stop worrying about ‘how good’ every photographer in the area is and actually join in with the photographers breakfast get togethers! Josh and Georgia have proved that there are genuine people out there who yes, are competitors in a way but do not have to be competitive. In fact we all bounce ideas off of one another and recommend each other when we get an enquiry for a date that we are already booked for!
At University I spent 3 years following my love for fashion and beauty photography which resulted in having to organise shoots consisting of a concept, location/ studio, model(s), hair stylist, make up artist, fashion designer and clothing stylist. Unfortunately, due to the high demand for constant work I felt as though every shoot I organised was rushed and not thought through enough in order for it to be a success. Shooting around 3 times a week resulted in huge amounts of stress and ‘rushed’ work. I absolutely loved a shoot that was well organised and the images reflected my vision however I have not organised a ‘styled’ shoot since… until now.
Due to the Wedding Season now starting to quieten down I am always looking for photography techniques and ideas to get me inspired – (this is where Pinterest comes in!) Since photographing weddings I have fallen in love with outdoor ceremonies. Whether this is a Woodland Wedding, Festival Wedding, Garden Wedding or even a Farm Wedding – you name an outdoor venue I will be 100% excited. I just love anything that is DIFFERENT anything where my Brides and Grooms can put their stamp on it and create a day that reflects THEM and not conform to your standard, stereotypical day. Yes, we live in England and yes it may rain but that is the thrill!
I am a country girl and love the fresh air and open outdoors. I have always wanted to shoot a ‘styled’ shoot where both the outdoors and weddings combine. I began searching under the category of ‘earthy weddings’ and ‘english rose’ and found so many absolutely beautiful images that just made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up!
After weeks of swooning over so many beautiful photos I finally felt totally and utterly inspired to organise a ‘styled’ shoot representing all things outdoors; beautiful, dainty and unique. I had seen some gorgeous and different wedding suppliers via ‘The Most Curious Wedding Fair.’ One supplier really caught my eye – a collection of gorgeous, hand drawn, linen animal masks designed by London based designer ‘Animalesque.’ I popped Sara (the designer) an email asking to borrow the masks for the shoot I was planning and she said yes (hooray!) and a shoot was in motion. Strangely enough (I think it was fate) a few days after planning the shoot I was approached by a lady called Katy Rayner (Bracken and Twine Floristry) enquiring if I organise styled shoots. I had a look at Katy’s Facebook page and just fell-in-love. If you are looking for a real unique, English, artistic bouquet you NEED to check this talented lady out. Her style is EVERYTHING! I informed her about the ‘Earthy styled’ shoot I was planning straight away as her and her designs fitted in with the theme so well – so she designed a gorgeous hair circlet and huge woodland bouquet. I then contacted the lovely Kate (By Kate Elizabeth) a fab stylist who I have worked with over the past couple of years and she recruited GORGEOUS models Alisha Whitworth and Kate Winser. I then saw that the very lovely Gemma Holiday (Gemma Holiday Hair Stylist) was home from America and she recruited seriously talented Missy (Melissa Abel Make Up Artist) AND A TEAM WAS BORN!
As always, when you have a brilliant plan nothing ever goes smoothly! We had issues with Mr. Postman resulting in masks not arriving on time, model sickness (and then Kate Winser stepped in), traffic jams, losing keys – you name it, it happened (bar the camera going wrong thank goodness!)
Due to not being able to shoot the masks the most of the team were able to meet again the following day so that we could re-shoot so that the masks were featured! Life savers!
Location wise we shot at the very beautiful Wensum Park, Norwich which was just perfect and incorporated everything from the mood board with over grown, woodland areas along with marble walls and gorgeous lakes and old stone steps. The dresses were sourced from the Big C Cancer Charity (Norwich) and were so beautiful and so fit for the purpose of this very English styled shoot – the detailing and the sleeves were just fantastic!
I was so pleased to be able to feature Sara’s (Animalesque) hand made, bespoke masks. The masks themselves are nothing like anything I have ever seen before and gave me such a nostalgic feeling when I saw them (they reminded me so much of Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit.) I was super eager to photograph the set of bespoke animal masks as I would so love for my Brides and Grooms to feature something similar (or the same!) for when it comes to photo opportunities and also simply having FUN at their weddings! The masks would suit many of my outdoor wedding bookings and would really aid in getting my Brides/ Grooms/ Guests in getting relaxed in front of the camera! Sara also designs special childrens masks that would be SO lovely on a little page boy or flower girl (hint hint 2017/ 2018 brides and grooms!) I was so excited to photograph Sara’s incredible designs and was more excited when I finally got my hands on them (a day late thank you to Mr. Postman!) and saw for myself the amount of detail and hard work that goes into every single one – it was incredible. the beaded work, the feathers and the sketch like print of the animals onto the material just worked so well together!
“My brief for Alisha was for her to look natural to complement the earthy tones of the shoot. I love Groundwork by MAC so this was my first choice for the eye base. On the lid I also used a selection of soft browns focusing the deeper shades closer to the lash line and graduating the colours upwards blending with my trusty #217 brush. I used Teddy also by MAC under the eye blending with a pencil brush to soften the line. Alisha’s beautiful skin was perfected with Cliniques beyond perfecting foundation which has become a real favourite of mine this season. I mixed some shades from my lip pallet to create a natural matt lip to compliment the skin and eyes.
I wanted Kate’s makeup to work with Alisha’s look however be individual to her and still compliment the shoot theme. I used a similar process on the skin and eyes omitting the deeper shadow tones and eyeliner giving a lighter feel. The focus for Kate was a strong berry lip mixed again from my lip pallet.
Day two I found myself setting up a make studio by the side of a road, we had great fun creating another soft look for Alisha this time my star product was rose pout matt lipstick by Illamasqua. Perfect for a natural yet madeup look.”
Looking for a fab MUA for your wedding? Visit Missy’s site!
A big and very welcoming surprise e-mail was in my inbox the other day from Alexi Lubomriski‘s first assistant inviting me to assist on two separate shoots that would take place over three days in London. Without a second thought I said a definite yes and I am so, so happy I did! What an amazing three days!
Now that the images are out I can reveal that I had an amazing time assisting an extremely important shoot for Harpers Bazaar US magazine shooting the man himself; Ralph Lauren! The shoot took 4 hours to set up (in a very prestigious building decorated with grand tapestry rugs and large oil paintings) but Alexi had a half an hour window to get the shot of Ralph Lauren. It was tense as we had to set up numerous lights outside the building as there was not enough natural light plus Alexi was shooting on the third floor of the building so the light stands were set high for the lamps to reach the windows, plus it was rather windy!
After shooting Ralp Lauren we proceeded to meet the rest of the Harpers Bazaar US team at St James’ Place where we were about to begin to shoot the fashion images to accompany the editorial shot of Ralph. The shoot was to take place inside the hotel and around the famous streets and monuments of London at night. The shoot was incredibly fast paced but also very exciting! It was an amazing feeling to be a part of it all and aiding Alexi and the rest of his team in the pouring rain at 11pm at night outside the Ritz!
For day two and three we were shooting look book images for an Italian Clothing Designer, ‘TWIN–SET Simona Barbieri.’ A slightly less intense shoot however it was exciting all the same. Day two took place at the Tate Modern where a room that overlooked was hired out for the shoot.
It was my (and two other second assistants) job to arrive an hour before the shoot, unload and set up the hired photography equipment in time for when Alexi and his first assistant and digital technician arrived. Unlike the two Harpers Bazaar shoots this shoot was governed by the designers and their own ideas and visions of what they wanted instead of Alexi’s. The shoot ran behind as the designers did not have a clear idea of what they wanted. Nether the less the shoot went on and Alexi kept his cool, upbeat and enthusiastic self which was great to see and really aided in keeping the atmosphere calm and spirited.
Day two ran slightly smoother. Another early start and amazing location. We shot at a private bar and club in the centre of London where there was a glass balcony that overlooked London’s grand buildings and skyline. At the end of the shoot the designers were extremely pleased and we finished in the afternoon and on time with every garment photographed successfully.
I am still in shock that I have met my most inspirational fashion photographer let alone worked alongside him for three separate shoots! Alexi and his team are so professional but equally do not get caught up in being too serious in the fashion industry. They are all care free, friendly and normal people which was such a comfort when being introduced to such an intimidating field of photography. I once again, hope that I can work alongside them all again in the future.
ALL IMAGES ON THIS POST ARE COPYRIGHTED TO ALEXI LUBOMIRSKI
After idolizing Alexi’s work for many years I decided to pluck up the courage to give him a phone call to ask him a few questions regarding his work and career. He took the time out of a shoot on a beach in Florida (amazing!) to talk to me and gave me some very detailed advice. Not expecting anything I ended the phone call with asking him if I could assist one of his shoots when he visits London. A month later I receive a e-mail from his first assistant inviting me to attend on set for a day in Richmond London for a Harpers Bazaar UK editorial shoot!
The shoot took place at a garden center in Richmond where there was an empty green house to shoot in and fill up with plants, flowers and props. Alexi and his team were incredibly friendly and patient (which isn’t something you usually come across in a high fashion environment). I was on set from 6 in the morning till 7 in the evening helping to set up the lighting and props. We shot Victoria Secret model Magdalena Frackowiak in designer gowns and jewelry. The shoot was set up using many exotic plants and flowers alongside regal furniture. The theme of the shoot was ‘Madame Butterfly’ so naturally dozens of (dried) butterflies were used to cover the props, model, backdrop and garments. Being able to watch a professional shoot and all of the professional creatives (hair stylist, make up artist, clothes stylist, production team and of course photographer) work together was an amazing experience in itself. The atmosphere was dynamic but incredibly fun and not anywhere near as tense and serious as I had expected it to be.
ALL IMAGES ON THIS POST ARE COPYRIGHTED TO ALEXI LUBOMIRSKI
It was an amazing experience and a huge confidence boost for myself as I was treated as an assistant whom had been working with the team for years. I shall hopefully have the chance to continue working with Alexi and his team when they next return to London.
If you are looking for photography experience be confident. So many of my fellow photography colleagues sent emails out to photographers. Try hard to find out contact information for their team and PHONE them. Photography has made me so much more hands on and has forced me to conquer my fears and nerves. Until recently I have hated the sound of my own voice and struggled with my self-esteem. You have nothing to lose and only you can make opportunities happen. They will not be given to you on a plate.