The idea for this self portrait came from discussing all the things I have glued to my face with a friend of mine. I’m not sure why I have done this so many times, but I have a back catalogue of images of myself with things glued to my face. One image in particular was taken back in March 2011, where I decided to stick rose petals to my face. I told my friend that I never really liked the photo all that much but still thought the concept was rad.
Looking back at 2011, I wasn’t happy at this time but kept putting on a happy face and didn’t really know how to talk about how I was feeling. However, I was able to capture the essence or mood for how I was feeling through photography. I used how I was feeling to inspire my photography. I took a lot of self portraits during this time (almost fitting in a self portrait session once every couple of weeks - or sometimes more!) and it truly fulfilled me, allowing me to feel relaxed, creative and happy. Like a wave of calm washed over me and my emotions. Taking self portraits allowed me to reconnect with myself on a spiritual level. Interestingly, this feeling still occurs when I take self portraits today.
After chatting with my friend, she suggested that I recreate the old self portrait with the rainbow flowers which she got me for my birthday. My exact response to this was, “Yeeeeeahhh! I just might do that! I’d be a freaking unicorn! Ha!”. So, I took the flowers and glued them to my face. The petals were in a variety of vivid colours including, turquoise, pink, purple and white. I decided to keep it simple and use just two colours; turquoise and white. The previous self portrait was dark, moody and brooding. I wanted the new self portrait to be a bit more vibrant, reflecting on how much happier and content I am with my life, as though the flower had grown and finally bloomed (woohoo!). Shooting outside in an open space represented the space where I needed to grow and learn how to care for myself (like a little plant!). I got incredibly muddy taking these photos, but I didn’t mind. In fact, I believe the mud serves as a reason to always get stuck in and persevere through the rough times. Strength, sassiness and a touch of whimsy; these are the three moods I wanted to capture in the new self portraits. Here are a selection of my favourites…
Happiness, for me, is holding my camera in my hands, expressing myself creatively through the images I take. This is something that has never changed. Eight years ago, photography was escapism. Now, photography has become my life and I adore every minute of it. What has this self portrait experience taught me? Never doubt the importance of self care and creativity :)
I love engagement sessions. Not only are they a great opportunity to take photos of awesome, loved-up couples, I also get to meet (if I haven’t met them before!) and get to know them better prior to their wedding day. I had previously met up with Megan and Jordan at a pub just outside of Norwich to discuss their wedding plans and to get to know one another. Megan brought along her wedding planner filled to the brim with all of the AMAZING things they have planned for their day (I am ridiculously excited!). It was a really lovely opportunity to meet the two of them, get to hear about their lives and what makes them tick. They are such a wonderful couple. A few months later, we met up for their engagement session.
We agreed to meet at Whitlingham Lake during the early hours of the evening in the hope of catching some golden light. We couldn’t have planned the shoot on a better day as it was gloriously hot and the low sun was illuminating the session in such an enchanting way. We took some photos amongst the ruins, before heading to the lake to take some photos with the swans (cute fun fact: Megan and Jordan were eager to take photos with the swans as Megan will become Mrs Swan <3 ) and finally heading into an overgrown picnic field full of dried wild flowers. When taking photos of them, they were utterly and completely besotted by one another - it was magical. They are a gorgeous pair of sweethearts, which is an absolute pleasure to photograph. Throughout the session we had a chance to catch up with one another, played games and had a laugh. I can tell that from these photos alone, I know that their wedding day will be an absolute blast! I CAN’T WAIT! Their wedding is coming up in May 2020, so expect to see more pictures from this gorgeous couple next year! <3
All of my wedding photography packages come with an optional engagement session, which I’d highly recommend going for as they are lots and lots of fun! Couples portrait sessions are also available if you’re simply looking for some nice photos of you and your beau.
When Ken first contacted me, he was eager to tell me about himself and Di as well as what they had planned for their wedding. The original plan was to get married in China, but that didn’t quite work out for them. Instead, they opted for a small intimate wedding in Ipswich with just six guests attending.
On the morning of the wedding, I met up with Ken and we walked to the Ipswich Registry Office - a venue, which I had not been to before, that made me fall in love with it’s colour scheme as it reminded me of a Wes Anderson movie (particularly The Grand Budapest Hotel). The witnesses (two good friends of Ken), Anne and Tim, greeted us there and told me lots of stories about good times they have had with Ken. The three of them waited in the ceremony room as Di arrived with Ken’s family.
Ken’s grandchildren, Amy and Hazel, helped Di to get ready that morning by doing her hair and make-up. After the ceremony, Di excitedly mentioned this to Ken as she explained she couldn’t have done it herself and felt truly grateful. Hazel and Amy, entered the ceremony room, whilst Paul (Ken’s son) and Sarah (Paul’s wife) kept Di company in the waiting room. Moments later, the registrar walked in the room and announced that the bride was ready. Ken’s face lit up and his two granddaughters were beaming just behind him. This was one of my favourite moments from the wedding. The excitement on their faces was magical. Di walked down the aisle with Paul, both beaming from ear to ear. Paul graciously pulled the chair out for Di to sit down, as the guests all sat down together.
The ceremony was lovely and moving, with a handful of emotional moments when tissues were needed! As the wedding party was so small, the registrar allowed the guests to gather round during the vows and giving of the rings so that they could all clearly witness these important moments. I think this was really special and unique because it allowed the wedding party to join in with the ceremony and become a part of it.
After the ceremony, we headed outside to take some formal photos and couple shots. We took some just outside of the ceremony room, where Tim wrestled a plant to stop it from getting in his face! Of course, I had to capture the moment where everyone watched him wrestle the plant! We wandered down from the Registry Office to the College grounds to take photos amongst the greenery. Although it was a small area, it looked really tranquil and beautiful. Whilst I whisked off Ken and Di to take their couples portraits, Tim and Anne sat patiently and attentively on a nearby bench, watching the newly weds. When we finished taking the photos, we strolled over to them when they enthusiastically rose from the bench and quickly made their way over to us to congratulate and hug Ken and Di. It was so special to see the joy and love they have for them.
It was such a huge challenge to capture their wedding in just 20 photos, especially as there were so many expressive moments between Ken and Di and their guests. If you would like to see more from this wedding, click here to see the full gallery.
If you are planning a small, intimate wedding and are looking for ideas on how to capture it, I hope this blog post helped to inspire you. I’m available for bespoke wedding packages, so feel free to contact me and let me know what you have planned! <3