Apart from my life as a Portrait and Wedding Photographer, I’m lucky enough to live in Marlow, Buckinghamshire with my husband Peter. I have four children with the youngest now eighteen, so I have a wealth of experience to draw from! I’ve been photographing children, families, weddings, events and people generally, for twenty years and I can’t think of a career I would rather have and I’m truly grateful for that.
As a qualified Master Photographer and Member of the Master Photographers Association(LRPS) and Associate Member of the Royal Photographic Society (ARPS) My style has been described by one of my wedding couples as “having a masterful eye, creative and sensitive capturing spontaneous moments with a perfect blend of reportage and classical photography” and I would say that’s a rather lovely way of describing it!
Through my work, I’ve met so many wonderful and interesting people which has enriched my life and I’m so grateful for that. As a ‘people person’ I’d say it’s the perfect career for me. I’m as inspired by the people I meet now as I was back in my early days.
No wedding or portrait shoot is the same and even after a long day shooting a wedding, I come home buzzing from the experience and enjoy seeing the resulting imagery. The process of creating my signature style through my processing is something I still love doing as well as creating the albums and artwork for display.
Much has changed over the past two decades. When I started out in film, even having my own darkroom, I had to adapt to the huge change to digital. The next big change has been the social media explosion, which still daunts me! The time spent on social media can distract from the most important aspect of work which is doing it! Creating albums, editing weddings and portraits, designing framing layouts and photography itself takes priority -oh my family too!
I’m a recommended photographer at wedding venues such as Notley Abbey, Botleys Mansion, Cain Manor, Stowe House and Chenies Manor. I’m also in an unusual position as we also have a family wedding venue, Monkton Barn in Marlow which my husband and his team runs. I regularly photograph weddings and events there too.
I offer a range of styles and finishes and it’s your choice how much or little you wish to invest in your album. Choose from traditional matted albums to contemporary edge to edge printed albums, often called storybook or magazine style. I design each album layout and always provide a PDF layout for approval so that it’s exactly as you would wish.
These are a few examples of my albums…..
Most couples book their wedding photographer as soon as they have secured a date with their wedding venue/church. This is generally a year or so in advance. I like to meet couples so that we can discuss plans and I can show them all the options and whole wedding albums showing the capture of a full day. Once a non-refundable booking confirmation fee of £500 is paid, the day is secured.
I will stay as long as you wish but generally a full wedding day is about 8 hours starting with bridal preparation and groom prep shots if they are at the same location or nearby. I dip in an out as it’s also personal time with brides and their entourage but being a female photographer it’s a nice girly time too and a favourite part of the day! This moves through to the ceremony, followed by group and more formal shots that the couple request. I always ask for a list at least a week before the day so that I can plan where best to photograph them. This is important and I fully recognise that these are often once in a lifetime photographs, so I do take great care. There is a fine balance between achieving this and being a pain for the couple and guests! Having my assistant and working beforehand with groomsmen or someone given the duty, helps it to flow and still allows plenty mingling time.
Couples shots are important too and I take the lead from what the bride and groom want to achieve. They have usually chosen me because they don’t want lots of posed unnatural shots but rather more natural/fun and just unforced. As I’m an experienced portrait photographer, photographing couples, especially ones that say they don’t normally like being photographed is something I’m used to and I’m sensitive to. I’m nearly always told afterwards that they found it fun and really natural and actually enjoyed it!
I’m the only photographer but I usually have a female assistant to help gently gather guests together for family and group shots. She also carries my gear so that I’m able to move about more freely.
I use two Nikon D810s with various lenses of varying focal lengths. Two Flash guns and a reflector. Each of the D810’s has two memory cards so that there’s a constant backup.
I’ve photographed weddings in just about all weather conditions, although not yet during a hurricane! It’s the one thing we have no control over. We usually have a good idea of the weather conditions a few days prior to the big day so if rain is forecast then brollies are useful and brolly shots are amongst some of my favourites! It’s important to have contingency plans in place and I always help couples to plan these ahead of the day so that it all runs smoothly. Thinking on my feet at the time and being able to make quick decisions also comes through many years of experience. There’s also something rather lovely about the camaraderie on a rainy wedding day!
I capture in RAW and process in Lightroom to create my signature style. I do love black and white photography which I prefer to be a warm black and white and for colour to be colourful! I don’t mute my colours which has been a bit of a trend over the past few years, but It’s not something I do. Colourful flowers for instance should be shown in all their glory as well as colourful outfits of guests, I wouldn’t want to diminish that in any way.
I know how eager couples are to see their wedding images , so within a few days I send a slideshow of highlights of the day. The rest of the images follow two weeks later. I send a link to a password protected online gallery to share with family and friends. The gallery is also used for choosing images for albums or prints. The whole collection of photographs, in the region of 500 edited and prepared high resolution images is sent on my branded USB with licence for personal use, sharing and printing. The digital collection is standard with all my weddings.