23rd April 2014
I worked with the most amazing creative team to bring this latest inspiration shoot together all of which are listed below. The historic Courteenhall is of a small enough scale to ensure that the atmosphere remains relaxed and homely with a beautifully rustic feel. There are so many interesting and unique features at this special wedding venue, ranging from the classical, striking entrance hall with dramatic cream Doric columns through to a wild, whimsical garden where you can sit on a tree swing to escape and watch the natural beauty pass by – it is here that we set the scene for our secret wedding breakfast, using the magical Arboretum. It felt like no one knew about it – it was our adventure.
“The Courteenhall estate has been scarcely altered since it was built in 1791 and is a beautiful example of a neo-classical English country house. It has been home to the Wake family for all of its life. To many, it is unknown and members of the public rarely visit. It is set deep into a private Estate and is surrounded by over 100 acres of lush parkland. Immediately surrounding the house are pretty formal gardens and a relaxing water feature. Courteenhall is also home to an internationally renowned Arboretum with over 250 rare species of trees.”
“The wedding breakfast table made a fascinating portrait! You could stand and observe this special creation for an age and keep discovering little hidden extras; the peaches in the mismatched tea cups, the fox’s watchful eye, natural woodland moss and ivy strewn in key places, the stunning (and delicious!) naked cake made with lemon drizzle sponge, rhubarb and strawberry buttercream and adorned with rhubarb stems, peaches, woodland animals, freshly picked hellebores, rosemary and sage and finally the mushrooms topped with foxes hidden in the woodland. Magical!”
Venue - Courteenhall Wedding dress - Claire Pettibone via Serendipity BridesProduction Assistant – Hannah StockerDirector of Art & Hair / Makeup - Beauty AngelsHair / Make up Assistant – Jacqui BellWomen’s Stylist – Lucy HerrickMen’s Stylist - Barrington AyreVenue Stylist - Not Just For HireFlorist - Manic Botanic Cake maker - Goodys Cake CompanyVapour pipe - Jac VapourModels: Zoe Tinkler + Paul Barkshire
10th April 2014
From weddings in Italy: It was a dark and stormy February night in northern Italy when I received an email from Jo Lewis of Light and Lace Photography to tell me that within a couple of months she would be in Venice on vacation and that she would love to organize a styled shoot during this time and would I be interested in collaborating. I immediately replied with enthusiasm; this was a chance not to be missed, even more so considering that Jo is an extremely talented and passionate photographer who I have followed for some time and that I’ve been dreaming of such a shoot for ages but never found the right moment for it. I jumped on the idea with gusto and quickly gave bones to the project.
Although Venice is packed with a myriad of fantastic venues, I instantly knew that the Ca’ Sagredo, an 18th century palace and 5 star luxury hotel, was the ultimate place for the shoot, both for its majestic interiors and for the ideal location, on the Canal Grande very close to the Rialto bridge. The colour palette was quickly decided; the grand frescoes by Tiepolo that enrich the hotel, not to mention its opulent furniture, could only be gently accompanied, so we chose ivory, blush, accents of deep green and a hint of gold.
We were blessed with two fabulous gowns from the Zahavit Tshuba’s new collection and perfectly matching René Caovilla’s sandals, which our lovely Venetian student and model Flora Dalle Vacche wore with grace and attitude. She and her actual fiancé Carlo Pitter were the best possible candidates for our shoot, for they instilled their mutual love to it. Everything else, from the hand painted stationery to the glamorous and delicate dessert table to the elegant floral decorations and the glass artworks, topped off by a romantic gondola ride from the hotels very own gondola station were the perfect touches that helped make this timeless Venetian dream of Jo and I come to life.
30th February 2014
This bridal inspiration shoot featured wedding couture by Sparklewren, intricate layered lace embellishment to the bust and shoulders of the dress named ‘PURE’ with white silk tulle and georgette skirt pleated into a charmeuse waistband.
The design was created as an ethereal showpiece and is a little risqué however it can be combined with a silk slip or lining in order to create modest coverage for the contemporary bride. Jenni of Sparklewren is so artistic; her designs are completely unique and can be customised to each individual bride.
This shoot was so much fun, the dress, as its title suggests, is so pure and I wanted to shoot it against a romantic backdrop evoking feelings of yearning for a loved one. I was originally inspired after reading the poem ‘Annabel Lee’ by Edgar Allan Poe who is considered part of the American Romantic Movement. His short stories and poems are so profound and I wanted to explore the idea of being in love and that feeling of ‘nothing else matters’.
A homage to 16th Century war veterans who would send messages in bottles to their loved ones. A maiden waiting for her beloved to return. A fantasy concept but inspirational nonetheless.