Autumn is one of our favourite times of year and we love an October wedding. There’s something so special about crunchy leaves, golden light and those crisp, cold days. This October we’ve captured the season’s beauty with our couples, at both engagement and wedding shoots. We even snuck in product photography and a cute baby shoot too. Here’s a first look what we did in October…
Colourful Cuba! One of the most fabulously unique wedding trends we’ve seen for a while, and we absolutely love it. So much so, that in collaboration with the other winners of the 2016 Four Counties Wedding Awards we captured it for this styled wedding shoot. This was our first foray into a styled shoot, and we really enjoyed it, and it in particular gave Lina a chance to go back to her directing skills!
There’s never a time to stop learning, and having felt hugely inspired by award-winning Chicago photojournalist Candice Cusic on meeting her at the European Fearless Conference in March 2016, I signed up for her workshop in association with the Nine Dots conference last November. My day started stressfully, with missing two buses to the studio thanks to my Oyster card ‘hiding’ from me in my bag, and I hurried into the room just as things were starting. Thankfully seeing some photographer friends and Candice’s immediate warmth in her introduction settled me in! (Oh and coffee.)
Awesome news here – we have been awarded Best Wedding Photographer at the 2016 Four Counties Wedding Awards. Woop!
The Awards, which began in 2015, were started to “recognise and reward the hard work and dedication, the long hours and patience” of local wedding suppliers. “Those who go above and beyond to make every wedding day so very special. A real recognition of excellence in the wedding service sector.”
After a round of voting by wedding couples; a panel of industry judges, in our category lead by photographer Ian Bursill, decided that we were the best wedding photographers which were revealed at a Gala reception at Knebworth House and Barns on November 30th.
There are a various awards around now, but we thought it would be nice to enter these awards this year as they truly show couples in the region who are the suppliers in their area of quality. We were so happy that our names were read out as winners as we know there is a wealth of photography talent in the region – it’s so lovely to have this recognition and thank you so much to our lovely couples and the judges for their kind words, it really means a lot as we work extremely hard for our clients!
We were certainly on lucky table 9 as our friends and colleagues Lee Allison (Highly Commended Wedding Photographer), Tim Spatz (Best Videographer) and Kerry Curl – Cambridge Make Up Artist (Best Wedding Make-Up) were all also successful! The Gala evening also made a significant amount of money for the brilliant Charity The Wedding Wishing Well Foundation, an amazing cause.
We clicked with Laura and Lewis instantly when we met them, and after a fantastic Brighton pre wedding shoot with them we were so excited for their September wedding at the Tythe Barn at Tewin Bury Farm Hotel. Mother Nature played ball with a perfect sunny day to show off their gorgeously vibrant yellow and navy colour scheme, accented by beautiful sunflowers. Who doesn’t smile at a sunflower? Particularly lovely was fireman Lewis’ gift to Laura of seven heart-shaped padlocks to lock in each of the seven continents, starting on their South American honeymoon – swoon! This was a day full of fun and laughter, with an additional nod to travel during the day as this was how these two met. It was great to work with the brilliant Lovelight Entertainment again right through the night, until Laura and Lewis’ friends gathered around them to give them an arch send off. We have no doubt we’ll see plenty more of this super pair in the future! Credits for their fab suppliers at the end in Laura’s own words, enjoy!
We are very lucky when it comes to our couples, in the sense that we seem to attract super people who could have easily been our friends for years, and Claire and [disco] Stu are no exception. Our first meeting went for hours which saw them having to peg it to the train station to make the last train. When they told us their wedding venue, the beautiful High Rocks in Tunbridge Wells, well our cup runneth over. I’m not sure I can actually describe it properly, so to quote from their website, “Acres of breathtaking sandstone rocks interlinked with eleven bridges, provide a scenic walk in a tranquil woodland setting. Once a stone age camp, now a National Monument these impressive rocks, which belong to The High Rocks complex, have always been a constant source of wonder.” And yes it’s fab as you will see below!
Claire and Stuart’s wedding should be a lesson to couples everywhere, they stuck to having the things they love, reflected their personalities and just wanted to have a jolly good knees up, and boy was this what they had. The morning started for both sides at the Spa Hotel in Tunbridge Wells, before Claire made her way in Stuart’s dad’s cab (after being lovingly washed in the morning – adorable!) to High Rocks. Excitement built as the guests arrived in the beautiful reception room, including the cardboard cut out version of their friend who couldn’t make it looking deliriously happy for the couple as Claire made her way up the aisle!
One thing we particularly loved about their ceremony was that they split it in two, and we would highly recommend this to any couple who aren’t sure about the formality of a legal ceremony – after the registrar had done the legal bit they left, and one of their friends took over to give a much more personal conclusion to the ceremony. Another highlight was Stuart’s parents reading the lyrics to Noah and the Whale’s ‘In Five Year’s Time’ – “And it’ll be love love love all through our bodies… And love love love all through our minds… And it be Love love love all over her face… And Love love love all over mine…” Ha, brilliant stuff!
We love capturing reaction during speeches, and this set is the mother of all reaction sets. Stuart’s Best Man happens to be a producer at Sky Sports, and pulled in some special guests on screen to help give a sportsman-like analysis of Stuart – it was quite simply epic as were Stuart’s reactions!
Take a look through at this super day, and Claire’s credits on how it all came together are at the end…
One of the great things about being a wedding photographer today is the community we get to be part of, we encounter very little competitiveness these days but rather a desire to share, inspire and enjoy each other’s work. We particularly get this from being part of the Fearless Photographers‘ community and we had a fantastic time at their conference in March in beautiful Porto ( a blog post will come soon!) One of the elements of the Fearless Photographers directory, “a showcase of the best wedding photographers in the world,” is regular award submissions where our work is critiqued by highly regarded judges.
Tom was the first one to get us off the starting block with his awesome confetti shot, awarded in late 2014. This shot is just pure joy, you’re experiencing the moment with them thanks to Tom getting in close.
Then a year later, Lina got her first Fearless Award for this hilarious moment where Emma tumbled over with a gaggle of kids. The judges now give comment, and they said “How did they all end up in a pile? Who knows. The smiles say it all in the quick-acting photographer’s fun image of a relaxed bride and the kids at the wedding. It’s one of those, “You won’t believe what happened at OUR wedding” shots that the couple will be showing off for years to come.” This shot is up there as one of Lina’s favourite wedding moments ever – with particular love for the little boy lost in the veil at the back!
And now we’re delighted to announce Lina has received another award in the latest collection, this vibrant confetti moment. The judges said; “Amidst the swirling confetti, this bride and groom look as happy as can be. That alone would be a nice shot, but the photographer also saw what was happening around the couple and pulled back a little to let us see the great reactions. From sheer jubilation to mild trepidation and maybe even a few happy tears, it’s not just the couple wearing their emotions on their sleeves.”
This is exactly one of the things we love about it, all the happy faces around the couple are just as special!
So next time you are at a wedding and in a group shot, don’t just assume the photographer is only looking at the couple!
We’ll keep trying to be as ‘fearless’ as possible with our photography, but we also need you to be fearless too! Over here in the UK we can sometimes be a bit reserved compared to our friends on the continent or over the pond, so allow yourself to kick back and have fun on your wedding day, you won’t regret a thing!
Lina and Tom Fearless Photographers East of England
We are delighted and excited to tell you about a fab new book Thirteen Weddings being released on the 22nd May by the Sunday Times bestselling author Paige Toon – as its lead protagonist is a wedding photographer! But what is so special about that we hear you say? Well you know that Lina is especially excitable about all things wedding, but our love of our job isn’t just fuelling this excitement, as we can now reveal Lina was a research consultant to Paige for this book!
Here’s a little story for you. In Spring 2013 we were asked to donate to a Cambridgeshire charity auction of promises of which we were only too happy to oblige, so we donated a family photoshoot. We couldn’t attend the auction as we were shooting the fabulous wedding of Katie & Matt at Burwash Manor that day, but thought it would also be nice to look at the other lots and make a bid or two. Looking down the list, we spotted that Paige Toon was auctioning a named character in her next book, and having read a few of Paige’s books (they are PERFECT holiday reads don’t you know!) Lina thought this would be a hilarious vanity project, so we put in a secret bid.
When the organising team came round to give us the details on the winning bidder of our photoshoot, we were also shocked and highly amused to see we were also the highest bidder on Paige’s lot. Fast forward to a mutual friend seeing Paige in a coffee shop later that week and informing her that she knew us, Paige was gobsmacked to hear Lina was a wedding photographer, as her next book was about, yes you guessed it, a wedding photographer – talk about coincidence! After a great meet-up, Lina was honoured to be asked by Paige to assist with her research on the book, and loved telling Paige all about our jobs; the highs, lows and unglamorous details! The tag line for the book – ‘Always the Photographer, never the Bride…’ is a quote from Lina – of course you all probably now know that it is no longer the case!
Lina has really enjoyed helping Paige with the book and was thrilled to be the first person to read the first draft, which made for a very exciting accompaniment to a train journey one day. Even more exciting was seeing Paige’s decision to also keep Lina as named character in the most complimentary way! Tom also gets a mention too, naturally we do come as a pair! You’ll have to read the book of course to find out how – and keep an eye on the blog next week as we will be giving away some copies of the book thanks to Simon & Schuster – so you can find out for yourself!
Thirteen Weddings by Paige Toon
Released 22nd May 2104
Simon & Schuster UK
Paige Toon was born in 1975 and grew up between England, Australia and America. A philosophy graduate, she worked at teen, film and women’s magazines, before ending up at Heat magazine as Reviews Editor. Paige is married, has two small children and lives in Cambridge. Visit her website at paigetoon.com, or you can follow her on Twitter @PaigeToonAuthor