Greenwoods new garden suite

I've been tracking Greenwood's garden suite project for a while now, so it was an exciting evening when Greenwood's finally finished building the new suite, and held their grand opening this week. Andrea McLean was their special guest for the evening, and she was joined by her partner Nick Feehey. Andrea opened the new suite by popping a huge balloon full of confetti/glitter (us Essex folk are never content with a standard cutting of the ribbon...). 

The new suite looks spectacular, it makes the perfect space for a wedding, and seats over 200 people. I'm looking forward to all the weddings I have lined up at this beautiful venue.

A beautiful day at Warwick House

Being a wedding photographer is like someone giving you a ticket, a front row seat to the best day of someone's life. Janine & Liad's wedding will be one I never forget, for many reasons.

This wedding was full of creative people, which made it all so personal & original. Janine's converses were designed & painted by Liad, the dress was made by Janine's mum, they had a full jazz band line up, lead by Liad's brother, who played lead guitar. They made messages in a bottle for the favours & their best friend was their best man & registrar, which made their ceremony all the more special.

They asked me if I could re-create an image which resembled a scene from Jurassic Park, not my usual style, but I accepted the challenge & it was so funny setting up an elegant birdal party & arranging everyone to run & scream... not your average day!

The night came to a close, after some brilliantly funny speeches (one of the guests actually cried with laughter - there was tears!), Janine & Liad had a planned dance routine & some of the bridal party jumped in & joined them (the guests were all pleasantly surprised & cheered them on). The Jazz band played through to the end & the dance floor was full to the brim, with smiles, laughter & everyone just having the greatest time.

A beautiful day, done in a beautiful way, and I got to capture every moment :)

A letter from Janine....

Instead of listing loads of reviews from happy clients, i'd like to share one letter with you, which sums me up nicely. I received this recently from one of my clients, and it's one of the most beautiful reviews I've ever received... like the lovely young lady who wrote this (Beautiful inside & out), here's Janine's letter;

 

Dear Hayley,

You were the photographer at our wedding only a month
ago. Liad and I weren't originally going to hire a photographer
as both of us usually freeze when a camera is put in our face
and we're told to smile. What a mistake that would have been!

Not only did you capture the atmosphere of the day and the joy
in everyone's faces (which you managed without forced
photographs and going unnoticed) but you managed to get a
huge amount of beautifully romantic photos of us - something
neither of us (or a number of the guests) would have thought
possible!

You got the obvious family shots but you also caught the
'moments' - the reactions to the speeches, the laughing at a
joke made, the unconventional first dance! This is what we
wanted to see and this is precisely what is shown in each and
every one of the photos you took. Not only did you do exactly
what you said you would but you were lovely in doing so and you
went along with our weird and whacky 'dinosaur' shot even to the
point of pulling the photograph together without that having been
part of the brief.

I am so glad we decided to have a photographer, I am so glad
it was you and we couldn't have asked for more to capture the
memories that were created on that day.

Thank you,

Janine X

Mersea Island Vineyard

I first came to Mersea Island Vineyard in May, just to check out the area & to find the most beautiful spots for Gill & Rowland’s wedding. There is something about this venue which draws me in, it’s a little understated, but equally charming, and the vines add that magical touch. It’s run by a lovely man called Roger, who made me feel very welcome.   
 
Gill made such a stunning bride, she had an effortless way about her – when she got in contact with me, her words were ‘I'm not doing cut the cake' ’We're not having a first dance' ‘We're not having a formal sit down meal’… she just wanted to have an amazing informal day, done in their own way. It was informal, but it totally worked.  
 
No one expected the English weather to be so lovely, it was one of those days where it all just came together. Their ceremony was full of surprises, with almost rom-com movie style humour... towards the end of the ceremony, guests were jumping up out of their seats, playing instruments, all singing along to the Beatles classic ‘All you need is love’. They went on to enjoy a tasty hog roast, with some hilarious speeches, followed by Rowland serenading Gill by singing to her, with a full band line up.
 
It was great that Gill & Rowland felt so comfortable in front of my camera, so much so that I already have some personal favourites from this shoot. We were a 5 minute drive from Mersea Island Beach, so we made the most of a quiet spot for their portrait shots, right by the classic looking pastel beach huts.
 
Here are some highlights from their day xX 

Bank Holiday Love at Crondon Park...

I had the great pleasure of capturing Lauren & Kyle's wedding at Crondon Park recently. Crondon Park is a beautiful barn based in Stock, Essex. I always love finding out how my clients met, to my surprise, Lauren & Kyle met at Fish n Chicken!... not the most romantic of settings, but that's where they fell in love... and years later, it's clear to see, they are still very much in love.

Lauren booked me two years before the big day, so I had a feeling that this wedding would be organised to a tee, and it really was... all timed to perfection, which always takes the pressure off the bridal party, as everyone was ready & calm before the day unfolded.

I've included some highlights below, and I also wanted to rave about some of the other suppliers that day... the elegant looking cake was made by Amy Brown at Cookie Delicious, the stunning vintage inspired flowers were made by Karen at The Flower Mill, Videographer - Hitched Wedding Films, Dress from Serena Bridal. Fabulous hair up by Tara Smith at the Secrets Salon. Not to mention Lauren's make up, which was flawless, thanks to Polly at Kiss & Makeup - highly recommend.

The whole day took place at Crondon Park. The ceremony ran smoothly, the breakfast was delicious, with some moving & funny speeches. They had a great magician (Nick Crown) keeping everyone entertained, followed by dancing the night away to a Frankie Vallie tribute. All in all, a great day to be had... Congratulations to the news Mr & Mrs Simmons xX 

 

 

An Easter Sunday Fairytale

It was Easter Sunday morning, pouring down with rain outside, branches being blown down the street. There was a news flash on the BBC saying ‘Storm Katie is on its way’. I had my fingers crossed that it would clear in time for Tom & Kate’s ceremony.
 
When I arrived at Pontland’s Park, unlike the storm, Kate was incredibly calm, fixing her hair, laughing with her dad, waiting to be called for the ceremony. Kate’s hair was braided in a roman style & she wore a vintage inspired dress, with a yellow/peach rose bouquet. As the ceremony began, luckily the rain had cleared & the sun was starting make an appearance. Kate & Tom wrote their own vowels & the room was filled with emotion.   
 
We walked around the grounds after the ceremony, making the most of the gardens, whilst trying not to be blown away! Kate & Tom previously told me how they didn't like camera's & dreaded having their photo taken, so I took a casual approach to their portrait shots, (I think they secretly liked it, as they were very natural in front of the lens!).

Here are some of my favourite shots from their day x 

My Fine Art Wedding Albums

We live in a digital world now, but I still think that you can’t beat seeing your images professionally printed. Albums become family heirlooms over time, this is what makes them special. My inspiration for this album comes from my parents wedding album, classic & traditional, displaying all of their images from their wedding day, which are irreplaceable to our family.

My fine art books are available in a wide range of colours, in leather or linen, with name embossing. They lay perfectly flat when open, with panoramic printing from edge to edge and across the central seam. These are a great eye-catching option to display your big day, with an amazing colour spectrum enhanced by the Giclée paper. 
 
This book has a superior feel to the paper with a smooth matt finish giving vivid colour to your images. Both ink and paper are archival, guaranteeing a lifetime of colour.

Size: 25cm by 25cm / 40 sides.

If you would like an album added to your wedding package, just let me know.

2015, a year to remember...

2015, what a year! On a personal level, I feel like this is the year that I really learnt my craft. I studied a City & Guilds level two course in Photography a few years ago, and despite receiving Distinctions for my portrait work, it’s only until I got out there that the real learning began. 

There’s a lot to be said about experience, wedding photography is a huge responsibility as you only get one chance to get it right. It involves long hours, working with different lighting conditions, technical camera skills, researching the venue grounds, working to strict timings on the day. When the cake has been eaten & the day is over, our work still continues, as we the go through processing/editing all of the images . 

This year I’ve covered weddings at Stock Brook Manor, Langton’s, Old Brook Barn, Lees Priory, Prested Hall, Fennes and many other beautiful venues. I feel lucky that I get to work at such beautiful locations, with great teams full of creative people & awesome bride/grooms, it’s a true joy. 2016 is already nearly fully booked & I have some new venues lined up, which is so exciting.
 
Here are some of my favourite shots from this year…