A Relaxed Family Wedding // Oundle Wedding Photography

Games, Sunshine, Family, Laughter …

common room wedding photography, Oundle, Cambridgeshire

Its hard to put in to words how I feel about this wedding as there was so much about it that I just want to gush about – how much DIY had gone in to it, the decor, oh and THAT wedding dress (one of my favourites!) but more importantly the story of the day. The connections there, the relationships, the family traditions, the real laid back laughs. There wasn’t tears or constant hugs but it was like you could feel the connections, like everybody knew everybody else inside out and a real comfortableness amongst people. As a result, the vibe of the day was incredibly laid back and I had such a great time being part of all that.

Darryl got ready in her family home surrounded by pictures as the children grew up, significant little corners of the house and of course their hand prints still on the bedroom door before heading to the amazing Oundle church. This church is striking. The reception was held in the Oundle school common room. It is the second time I have shot there and both times the weddings have had a perfect vibe, it has a lovely feel to it. The afternoon was filled with games in the garden that they used to play as they grew up and these headed on in to the evening.

Thank you so much for looking after us so well, we had such a fabulous time with you all. Here is the story of your day.

{Second Shooter: Shellie}

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Photographer Associate Wanted

Looking for an Associate Photographer to join the Summer Love Team

associate

 

I am so excited to announce that I’m looking to expand the Summer Love Photography Team to include having an associate photographer.

The role is dependant on skills and experience but ultimately the goal is for you to eventually be the primary shooter for weddings under my brand offering couples the Summer Love experience when I am booked and/or at a different price point. However for the right person, there is the opportunity to grow and develop as a paid second shooter with a view to shooting  weddings as the primary photographer from 2017 onwards.

You are likely to have your own photography business but are also open to working as part of a team on a freelance basis. My hope is that your experience and growth will grow alongside Summer Love Photography.

I would love to have somebody on board who has a love and respect for wedding photography and whilst technically able understands that a wedding day is about capturing story, emotion, relationships and people. Positivity and enthusiasm is essential. Its important that your style can blend with Summer Love Photography but of course your own creative and artistic flair is respected and encouraged.

For couples, I am so pleased to be able to offer you this addition as it gives you choice based on your budget, what you are looking for and alternative options should I not be available. I would only ever send along a photographer I trust implicitly and they will have spent some time with me so that the whole Summer Love experience remains in place and their images blend with mine whilst still maintaining their own creativity.

If you are interested in applying for this position, please do email Jo at summerlovephoto@live.co.uk for me to send you through my PDF of details, person specification and how to apply.

Closing date: 30th April 2016. Interviews May 2016.

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Stradsett Hall Wedding / Amy & Craig Got Married

An Elegant English Countryside Wedding

Stratford House Wedding, Norfolk Wedding Photography

What a day! Out in the open countryside is a picturesque chocolate box church set amongst tree’s and a pretty village and then a beautiful marquee in an English stately house and garden . The perfect setting for an elegant countryside wedding. After months and months of planning, Amy and Craig’s day was finally here and the anticipation and excitement showed itself in their smiles. No visible nerves just pure joy and enthusiasm to enjoy their day and be able to say ‘We are married!’.

The couple were even super lucky enough to get a splattering of rain as they came out of the church (its good luck you know) but it passed and the rest of the day was outside with drinks on the lawn, mingling, laughter and being together.

For me that was the story of the day – A social couple and a celebration with their friends and family, the importance of having those people around you, celebrating with you and genuinely being happy for you. Thats what I captured – friends and family, the moments with them, the joy of being with them and the love between them.

Many congratulations to you both. Jo xx

Second Shooter: Boo Marshall

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Field Trip – Summer Camp for Photographers

A Gathering, A Workshop, A Festival, A Summer Camp … All those things but mostly an experience.

beach photo's, santa barbara, california

After our road trip down the Pacific Coast Road we arrived just north of Santa Barbara in the El Capitan Canyon to descend on Photo Field Trip. I am not sure what my expectations were or how it would be but we arrived to people, people everywhere! The lines, the chatter, the introducing ourselves to whoever was around us and a full on invasion of friendliness. And that is pretty much how the week started, continued and finished from chatting to the people behind us in the line and then bumping in to them in our cabin, to being surrounded at the beach taking photographs of each other to jumping in a girls uber to go back to the airport. Having 500 people around you constantly is both over-whelming and also welcoming at the same time.

The only way I can think of how to describe Field Trip is like going to Glastonbury but instead of having different music tents there is different photography tents where workshops, inspirational talks and live shoots happening at each – like a pick n mix. If you aren’t feeling it in one you can wander to the next. Add in to the mix a 500 super beautiful and hipster crowd and there you have it.

It was fabulous to be in that vibe, soak it all in, learn from each other in addition to the instructors, take some time out away from day to day responsibilities in the bottom of a canyon with no internet access and just take pictures. You are always going to get something from that. I can’t sum up what – there is no fireworks all inclusive aha moment where you feel like you’ve found yourself. You are left feeling overwhelmed and totally not sure, however as the days and weeks creep on, I find myself thinking back to the week, creating and making a note of new challenges I want to set myself and also not being afraid to dream big. I think its going to be one of those events that grows on you gradually over time until in 6 months time I will look back and realise how far I have come and how much I gained.

I could share realms of pictures with you but here are a few of my favourites.

The awesomeness of Field Trip … People, Friends, Workshops, Shoots ….

The beach – where I found most of my inspiration. A few pictures but mostly just being …

And of course the hours of fun in the smile booth …

2 Responses to “Field Trip – Summer Camp for Photographers”

  1. Becky Male

    Oh take me back!!!! It was awesome in every sense and I want to be there now. I love the black and white shot of the little boy on the beach So many brilliant images Jo. Let’s do it again x

  2. boo

    Looks amazing! Very jealous. Love the pics a lot.

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A Countryside Wedding // Laura & Alistair got married

Falling in love with love …

vintage country wedding, bride and groom portraits, norfolk

Being at this wedding made me fall in love with love again. Two beautiful young souls smiling at each other throughout the entire ceremony as if no one else was in the room! You know when someone smiles and they crinkle their eyes, squeeze the others hand and put their whole body in to that smile – that! That was pretty much the theme of the day – Laura is infectious and as a result the entire day was filled with those smiles as everybody relaxed, let their hair down, played games and rocked it on the dance floor. We all lost track of time and immersed ourself in the day.

Laura & Alistair – many congratulations. Here is the story of your day in pictures ….

Second Shooter: Boo Marshall

One Response to “A Countryside Wedding // Laura & Alistair got married”

  1. Jenny Spriggs

    What a wonderful reminder of a fabulous day! So many fantastic photos recording the mood of everyone present.

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Road Trip in California // Personal Post

Big Skies, Open Space, Mountains, The Pacific – Highway 1

California Road Trip. Highway 1

Before I left for Photo Field Trip I wrote this post sharing some of the angst and worries at being the wrong side of 40 and general insecurities but I was ready – bring on the leaving my family behind for a week to have some new adventures.

Before we started Field Trip, we did a 3 day road trip starting in San Francisco and heading down Highway I through Half Moon Bay stopping at Santa Cruz over night, driving through Big Sur to stop at the infamous Madonna Inn before arriving at Field Trip in Santa Barbara. My only criticism is that it wasn’t long enough! There was something around every corner that made me smile.

California opened my heart right up. I fell in love. Driving down the Coast road listening to my favourite music and taking in the scenery was a full on assault of the senses.

It wasn’t just visually beautiful, it was like I was feeling it too! The pacific coast is wild, rugged and vast with a feeling of space and such beauty. It made me realise why I love living where I live – this too has big skies, windswept and so much space – not quite California but it still opens my heart.

California – I will be back ….

San Francisco – You captured my heart

Santa Cruz 

Road Trip through Monterey & Big Sur stopping at The Madonna Inn

One Response to “Road Trip in California // Personal Post”

  1. Becky Male

    I just read this and beamed. Did it really happen, those 8 days felt like we’d been fine a month but in the same breath was over in a blink of an eye. I would do it again in a heartbeat x

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Going on a Field Trip // A Personal Post

Photo Field Trip

Today I am packing my bag and heading on a Photo Field Trip out in California – yes California! I leave my family behind for 8 days to throw myself into a road trip, to explore, have an adventure, take photographs and listen to, feel inspired by and learn from some amazing speakers. We fly in to San Francisco, hire a car, drive the Pacific Coast Road and finish in Santa Barbara for the Field Trip. Having never seen that part of the world and then attending a 5 day photography hang out, I feel a mixture of nerves, excitement and anticipation all at the same time. Half of me has the questions – Am I too old for this? Am I too uncool for all this? Have I missed my time? Am I good enough? and the other half of me is saying bring it on!

The last year or so has been a roller coaster of emotions in terms of thinking about where my photography is going and how do I as I move in to my 40’s fit in to all this. This getting older stuff is really not much fun! We all have our insecurities and every so often mine rear their ugly head – ranging from creative envy to feelings of not being good enough to self analysing. Over the last 5 years of my business, I have worked so hard and without really being conscious of it – I questioned last year whether I would ever be successful. However, how do you measure success – front cover of a magazine? awards? travel? charging more? speaking and delivering workshops? Its hard to define success and having grown up in the Thatcher and Madonna era along with feeling judgement from my father – I have been known to define success as having achieved external accolade and praise. This is exacerbated in the current era of social media and chasing likes, shares and people recognising your work.

Something clicked inside of me towards the end of last season, I looked inside and through being super busy all summer, I didn’t have time to look outward externally for that praise and it dawned on me that success comes from within, comes from happy clients and from finding balance. Other photography peers are not my clients, if my clients are happy then I am happy. I felt settled and finally confident and happy to do my own journey. My journey may not be as quick as others or in the same direction as others but it is mine and therefore every step along the way is successful in its own way.

I have had a short break before Christmas from taking pictures – I went on mini breaks and I hardly took any pictures! Instead I felt the moment, looked around me and stored everything in my mind. I then LOVED the Christmas weddings I did and shot them from the heart doing the very best I could do and trying something new at each one. I have since had a further break and now I am ready to pick my camera up again and head to Field Trip to take photographs for me. No other purpose than for me. For me to play, experiment and try new things. I even signed up to video and editing video – not for the business but to make short films of family and life. It feels good to be learning and embracing new things and do you know what – I am NOT too old!!

If you want to follow my trip in pictures you can find me on Instagram here

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2016-02-16 18.29.35

2 Responses to “Going on a Field Trip // A Personal Post”

  1. Becky Male

    I can’t wait to have this adventure with you. Come on Thelma, grab your camera and some bourbon we’ve got some fun to have! Louise…..

  2. Sally

    Fab post, so true. Have a wonderful time lovely xxx

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Godwick Hall Wedding // Philippa & Nick Got Married

Godwick Hall Wedding

I do love a Godwick Hall wedding – I love the countryside, field views, big skies, old buildings and a location that has a laid back feel to it. I was right at home! There is something about Godwick that means guests are super relaxed too. For me that makes great images – laughter, engagement, happiness, fun, hugs and relationships – all the ingredients for a wedding story.

Philippa & Nick – it has been an absolute pleasure from start to finish. Here is the story of your day ….

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Falling in love with travel again // A personal post

Croatia

When I was a teenager and in my early 20’s, I so loved to travel and explore. Even having my daughter on my own never stopped me and we have had some fantastic trips taking her out of school and exploring far flung places often leaving family at home exasperated and worried. However we are still here to tell the story! Then life got in the way and I got married and had a another child. Suddenly travel seemed so much harder (and more expensive) with 4 of us. It was probably more due to the fact that I had grown out of hostels and cheap motels and being in my 30’s wanted a bit of luxury so it all kind of went on the back burner. We had holidays in the UK but there was always so much rain that it often never really felt like a break.

Something clicked in 2015 and I was ready to travel again, ready to explore, ready to get back out in the world. I can’t say what it was but i just knew that as I got older I wouldn’t be thankful for the new carpet or tv but I would always be thankful for adventures. As a result the renovations of our little cottage has been a slow burner and whilst we still did 2 rooms, an office and a patio the rest went on hold so we could have some adventures. I travelled to Norway with a group of friends and you can see my post here but as a family we did a road trip across the country and through all of Wales, as a couple we went to Berlin (this is now my new favourite city) and a mini break in Croatia. Bring on 2016!

Your own photographs are always the last to get edited but now its winter and its quieter I have finally done them ….

Wales

We called this our Premier Inn road trip! I know not the most amazing locations to stop but they served a purpose and it meant we could move around and explore parts of the country we hadn’t before. Up until this trip, the previous 12 months had been a big bag of stress with house sales and purchases falling through, difficulties with my son getting the right medication and as a result having a hard time at school, having to live in a rented property and then finally purchasing our little cottage. We came home feeling united, refreshed and far more positive about everything. I think the fact that we had sunshine and warm weather helped immensely!

Berlin

I didn’t take that many pictures during our weekend in Berlin. I think it was the middle of a busy wedding season and I was just so enthralled with the city that I walked around feeling the city instead of visually looking for great pictures. I was in the moment and forgot about the camera so often during the weekend. I really should go back 0 just for a pure photography trip …

Croatia

Again, I didn’t take as many pictures as normal other than popping a timer on to get an image of the 2 of us together from time to time. The views and the mountains from the little island we stayed on created a huge sense of peace, that I spent a lot of time walking, reading while curled up in a blanket and in honesty rediscovered how lovely alcohol is after years of being teetotal! We caught a ferry and headed in to Dubrovnik, explored the little streets, drank coffee and ate ice cream and then that was the end of our little 3 days break. I sometimes think we should have squeezed more in, took more pictures, visited more places but the rest was what was needed.

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Its all in the Detail // Wedding Details

Vintage Wedding Details

Planning your wedding details

Over on my Bridal Facebook Group. we got talking about wedding details – where to get them from, how much is too much, what do people do, hand made?, DIY?, buy them ready made and so the conversation went on. I hear many stories of the handmade details taking over a couples dining room table, the spare room and every single weekend so that when the wedding is over they are not sure what they will do!

I have always said and feel that for me – weddings are all about the people. I look for the story, the relationships, the emotion, the engagement but in the same token I understand couples have painstakingly made and planned all the details so I will always capture every single piece of them. You see I got married a little over 10 years ago and back then details didn’t really appear in weddings, there wasn’t the blogs like there is now and things were much more simple. I sometimes come home from a wedding and say to my husband – ‘Shall we do it all again? I would love to have all the pretty details!’ –  We literally had some bunches of geberas! he is NEVER up for it I should add, so no wedding renewal on the cards for us.

My right hand woman Louise is currently organising her own wedding and I sometimes think of her as a wedding guest veteran – she has such a large group of lovely friends, has been a bridesmaid a number of times and if anybody knows about details its her. Therefore I asked her to write a few notes on wedding details from a guests point of view – do guests notice them? are they important? is it worth taking so much time? any good tips?

Vintage Wedding Details

Louise ….. For me, all those little details at a wedding are very important. I’m one of those wedding guests who remembers that Charlotte and George had a cool LED sign above the bar that said ‘Cocktails and Dreams’ or Shell and Levi had a fun box of games and props on each guest’s table to keep them entertained – both real weddings I’ve been to I might add, and I bet they’d be thrilled that people remember all the hard work they’d put into organising the extra details. Because it is hard work – where do you start, and indeed stop?! Details are what make a wedding stand out, in my opinion. Of course the bride is absolutely the main attraction, but there’s nothing like hearing someone let out a gasp followed by ‘ooooh look at this, I haven’t seen this before, isn’t it lovely?!’ As a 2016 bride I am battling with this myself at the moment. There are so many different things on the market, especially for vintage style weddings, claiming to add a little extra to your wedding and it’s very easy to get caught up in buying a hundred pom poms and enough candles to rival Blackpool Illuminations.

I think there are definitely some things to consider before going all out on the extras. Firstly, work with the space you have. If you’re getting married in a barn for example, perhaps there are fairy lights which are left up all year round which you can utilise. Whilst a barn is a blank canvas, most of the time you have to decorate it yourself so bear in mind that all the extra decorations will need to be put in place by someone, and if you’re not the type of bride who wants to be working hard the day before then perhaps it’s better to keep the extras to a minimum. Ask your venue about using candles as they may not allow naked flames due to fire safety.

Secondly, I think it’s a great idea to go back to your venue and just have a good look around. Be realistic with the ideas you’ve had for decorations. Using my own wedding as an example, we’d really like candles to decorate our space – we’re going to go back to the venue and make notes of the areas where we could put candles, which will then give us a solid idea of how many to buy. Hiring is also a very good option for many brides. Hiring eliminates having to eBay or store your decorations after the event, when they may no longer be used again.

Think about your smaller guests, if you’ve spent time and money on sourcing decorations which are then inappropriately placed, the chances are they could get broken or one of the little people could get hurt.

Finally, I’d say this – not all guests are going to notice the extra details you’ve worked so hard on, but that’s ok. It’s more than ok. They’ve attended your wedding day to watch you and your husband marry and to celebrate with you. So if you’re feeling a bit downhearted when it comes to detail, just remember that, as that’s what is important.          Louise xx

Vintage Wedding Details

A few little tips along the way I have picked up ….

1. Usually your guests go in to your reception room before you and quite often couples haven’t seen the room all finished with flowers etc. As a result, they only then see the room full of people. If you want to have a breather and check out the whole room before it is full of people, let your wedding co-ordinator and myself know as then when we are finished your couple pictures, before you head back to your guests we can sneak in to the wedding breakfast room first.

2. If you are travelling from a church to a venue and there isn’t really anywhere directed for your guests to go – they will get there before you – they always go in to the wedding breakfast room. I see it so many times – they want to find their seat, hang their jackets up and put down their bags and sometimes even sit and wait. If you want a picture of the whole room finished before people get in there and actually you want to see the room first, suggest to the venue staff not to let them in the room or ask for your ushers to go ahead after their pictures to prevent people going in.

3. Couples rarely pick detail pictures for their Album – instead focusing on numerous groups because it is felt that they ‘should’ have those in the Album. When a couple struggle to pick their final images for their Album, Louise does offer to sit down with them and help them get the numbers down while also keeping the story of the day and including a few details pictures to scatter between the speeches and mingling of guests.

4. I promise I will capture all your details but I also want to capture the people, the atmosphere, the fun so it is finding a balance. Please don’t panic if I haven’t spent 20 minutes getting all of the little details – I will get the absolute necessary parts of the wedding breakfast room but then get all the little extras while you are eating – this gives me longer to capture people in the afternoon.

5. Sometimes when couples come and look at the Albums with me and they see details that might be a little bit similar to what they are having they will express a little down moment that it is not original. It is original! Please remember I have been to roughly 150 weddings now (only ever to work I might add!) your guests will have been to a handful at the most. They wont have seen navy with sunflowers or hand tied spring flowers or funfair colours or different pastels and it will be completely original to them. Guests don’t compare – they enjoy the day, the company, the opportunity to get dressed up and of course seeing you getting married!

 

 

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