Seems like this magical church St.Bartholomew The Great in London is a big favorite of Japanese couples for wedding photos.
I'll let the photos tell the story of this beautiful young people.
Smash the cake is one of the funniest experiences you can have as a photographer.
You'll need a pretty cake (professional look better), some subtle decoration and a gorgeous one year old eager to explore. Photographer with sense of humor is a must.
To be honest I didn't sleep well for a few days prior to my first Smash The Cake session. When you expect a carnage you are not quite sure how the situation is going to collaborate with your professional perfectionism to photograph same pose over and over till you get the perfect shot. In cake cases you'll need to be pretty quick.
From personal experience I've learned:
Shooting a wedding is stressful enough on its own. When I was asked to photograph a gay wedding for a first time I was initially very glad and truly excited. I've worked with gay people in the past (not as a photographer though) and had only good memories of funny, caring and gentle boys.
However I've also heard stories of such events going terribly wrong and after the initial excitement I got cold feet. Was I prepared enough, did I had experience working in such intimate private matter with gay people? Well honestly no.
I can now admit that I was nervous and had doubts but I shouldn't have.
Apologies Gabo & Carlitos. You are both great people and I wish I had no worries before your big day. It may have been hormonal due to my late pregnancy though. Anyway it only lasted till I got to the small garden behind the Mayfair Registry Office and met you two. Both dressed perfectly balanced with every little detail well considered.
I can now gladly confirm these boys were prepared and capable of organizing a fantastic day, sure better than many fashionista brides. The entire event was very well planed and all guests delighted with the little surprises throughout the day. From the get together the day before, the champagne outdoor reception in glass flutes, the old red double Decker to drive guests through city, white and purple bags of sweets, personalized water bottle labels all the way from Mexico and the chance to take a selfie in the photo corners all the way to the fabulous cake. All brilliant ideas and execution.
Have a fantastic life together Gabo and Carlitos and thank you.
Intro by Daniella Petkoff
A while ago I met a passionate young woman, very enthusiastic for her business and full of ideas. We've had an inspiring conversation and I thought why not use the fum of social media and web presents and share her spirit with everyone....
Out meeting kicked off the start of a new friendship. Gilly is here today sharing her knowledge and expertise on how to choose your wedding planner. Gilly is truly a "professional" and you'll understand more about her as she takes you through each step to creating the perfect wedding. Enjoy.
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You might be the kind of person who has been dreaming of this moment your entire life...you walked around with a pillow case on your head humming The Wedding March, borrowed your Mum’s jewelry, shoes and lipstick and had your pet cat reluctantly sitting still as your groom. No? Just me? Ok....maybe you haven’t ever given it much thought, but knew at some point you might entertain the idea of saying, “YES. I WILL MARRY YOU Prince Harry!” – Hey, a girl can dream right?!
So, you’ve said yes. You are officially getting married. You’re excited to be marrying your partner...BUT, there’s something worrying you.... All of a sudden all those people who are congratulating you also start asking you questions, and endless decisions have to be made. Best men, bridesmaids, venues, caterers, florists, dresses, photographer, suits, cakes, decorations. How do I plan a wedding?! Where on earth do I start?!
Worry not my friends, because I am here to help. Along with a little help from some wonderful industry peeps, this is a little helping hand so that you and your partner can make an informed decision when choosing your wedding planner, or it may even help you decipher whether a planner is right for you and your big day.
First off, did you know that there are different types of wedding planners? Nope, neither did I until I developed a love for the industry.
A wedding planner will typically work with you to create your vision and make it become a reality. They will manage all the details of your entire wedding from the initial consultation and design process, all the way through to the ‘I do’ and post wedding clear down. They will make sure you have a fabulous team of suppliers and professionals on board (including a fabulous photographer like my host today) and will be the main point of contact for all those involved, leaving you free to enjoy your day. In the long run, a full service can save the most amount of time and money for a couple. Most wedding planners will also offer ‘on the day’ coordination.
A wedding coordinator is usually picked out when the couple want to be more involved in their big day but just need that extra helping hand to schedule the events of the day and ensure everything runs to time.
A wedding stylist is predominantly brought in to ensure the styling of the wedding is taken to another level, one that is perhaps even more beautiful than the bride could imagine or create herself.
You may well be thinking....I don’t need ALL that. My Aunts, Cousins and Uncle Bob from Timbuktu all want to help with my big day. And that’s great! But as Laura Guerrie points out on Offbeat Bride “No matter how well things are planned and confirmed, something will go wonky on the wedding day. An experienced professional will handle any hiccups in such a way that you and your guests will never know anything unusual happened.” http://offbeatbride.com/2010/06/do-you-need-a-wedding-planner
If you are under no illusion that you absolutely want and need a type of wedding planner, then your first stop should be The UK Alliance of Wedding Planners (UKAWP) http://www.ukawp.com. Through membership, mentoring, training courses and specialised events, the UKAWP promote professionalism in wedding planning. All the members are wedding planners that have undergone training, and have been “vetted through their entrance requirements for their honesty, professionalism and experience”. They also abide by the UKAWP’s code of business practice which demonstrates just how seriously they take the industry. I underwent an intensive training course with the UKAWP and have been fortunate enough to work alongside some of their fabulous members.
Next step would be to check out some of these planners in your local area via search engines, social media, magazines, local press etc. This might throw up a few other alternatives who perhaps aren't members of the UKAWP. Regardless of how you find your planners, ensure that you read each of their websites first and check out any of their social media pages to fully understand how each planner works and their type of style. You should be able to see a portfolio of their previous work and experience and usually testimonials from their past clients too.
Once you have done a bit of research, and before you start interviewing planners, you and your partner should have a good idea of your budget, guest numbers, preferred date and your vision for your day.
As a planner myself I would love it if all the couples that came to see me, came knowing how much I adore the industry, how passionate I am about ensuring that each couple has their perfect wedding day that truly reflects their personality, and how hard I work to eradicate any stress and iron out any issues that arise on the day. It’s more than likely that my potential clients don’t know any of these facts about me, so it’s my job to deliver these messages to each and every person I meet in a way which resonates with them. I also need to really understand what it is that you’re looking for, how I can help you, and what your dream is to enable me to put together an amazing proposal that sets me apart from all the other wonderful planners out there competing for the same business.
After meeting your potential planners, ask yourself:
- Did my planner really understand what it is that I’m looking for, my dreams, my vision, my hopes for the big day and expand on those ideas?
- Will this planner help me stick to my budget?
- Did this planner make me feel relaxed, and safe in the knowledge that the biggest day of my life will go well under their control?
- Have I seen this planner’s contract, and do I agree with the terms and conditions?
- What exactly will my planner be dealing with, and what’s left for me to do?
- What is the payment policy? Are there any fees that I should be aware of?
- Was there a good rapport between us? Could we work well together?
- Does this planner have public liability insurance?
- Does this planner have some positive reviews or testimonials of previous work?
Once you have (hopefully) picked little old me, then the fun really starts. Depending on your needs and budget, you may just need me to help source a few suppliers (maybe a fabulous photographer like Daniella! Or perhaps organize or schedule and coordinate your day, or even take you step by step through your wedding day dream, designing and planning a day that you will remember for all the right reasons.
If you are the type of person that knows that no one can organize as well as you, you’re on a very tight budget, have an army of helpers willing to help but believe ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’ then perhaps you are your own wedding planner. We don’t suit everybody’s needs, and there happens to be a huge wide world out there jam packed with wedding help. Google the word ‘wedding’. Go on, I dare ya! There are hundreds, upon thousands of articles, images and websites dedicated to helping YOU!
Apart from calling me....obviously...do make sure that you take a step back and record exactly what it is that you and your partner want. One bit of advice that I offer to every single couple I know and work with that gets engaged, is that your wedding day is exactly that. YOUR day. Nobody else. I see too many people having a wedding day perfect for their family, too concerned of what others may think, too concerned with having a ‘Pinterest-Perfect’ wedding day. You know what you want, and I can help, so let’s make it happen.
Company Information – Gilly Keat and Amore Star Events
My name is Gilly Keat and Amore Star Events is my little passion that is growing steadily. My background is predominantly media based but with a slight obsession for the wedding and event industry. Partnered with an (some might say) unhealthy addiction to organizing and attention to detail, turning my event planning hobby into a reality was the perfect choice.
I get the best of both worlds, I still work during the week within advertising, but spend my spare time in wedding and event heaven. I've been assisting other wedding planners since 2011 and have worked on a variety of events over the years. I have undergone intensive training with the UKAWP and abide by their Codes of Business Practice.
I offer a friendly and highly personalized, meticulous, quality service to all of the wonderful people that I've been lucky enough to work with. I am based in London and focus on planning events in London and the surrounding areas, however I have also planned events further afield.
I'm passionate about challenging the stereotypical event traditions and love including quirky and unusual elements in each celebration that truly reflect the personality of my clients.
You have a dream, ideas and a vision of what you would like your event to look and feel like. I'll strive to make those become your reality.
Guest blogging today for Daniella Petkoff Photograpy
Children photo session - Dulwich College, London 2014
Photographing the kids is not exactly a job you can easily do. Often kids are a bit reluctant at first when they see a photographer with a big camera and a huge speed light on top. You try to tell them what to do and they will do the opposite right away. You have a plan, a great game or story in mind but they hate it and are grumpy as Grouchy Smurf. For kids it is actually quite a fun to run away or look on the opposite direction. At the end of the day they just want to run around and posing for you is not their idea of fun.
You could either give up this job or actually go with the flow and enjoy. It is rather amusing believe me, you just need a few tips and a great deal of patience.
If you try to pose a child as an adult they will hate you and it will be the most boring experience in the world. Lets make it enjoyable, something kids will look forward to. Is that possible? It sure is.
What are you trying to capture. Do you want a stiff looking child in a perfect pose or you want to see their personality, smiles or even naughty faces. This is what they are and this is what will make mum and dad love this images.
Not everything will work with every family or children. Move ahead quickly and see what will work for you this time.
1. KEEP EVERYONE CLOSE TO EACH OTHER - this will provoke some interactions and often result in surprisingly emotional images. Ask them to touch heads and snuggle close or squish cheeks together.
2. HOLDING HANDS - ask everyone to hold hands and swing them around. This is usually a sure smile and fun and kids don't get freaked out of being close together for too long. They can even jump for even fun. Be prepared for the jump though.
3. PLAY A COPYCAT - ask everyone to copy you even parents while you do a few funny poses. This will get all involved and kids love to see mum and dad with awkward faces. Praise the kids and ask them to make a pose you like to shoot.
4. RUN - ask kids to run away from mum and dad and ask parent to try to hold/snatch kids still. Or move kids at front and ask them to tur around and run to mum and dad. Opposite will do too. This is a tricky one but with practice you can master it and get a real treasure shots.
5. FUNNY FACES - tell everyone to make an angry face, wondering face, crazy face, sad face, funny face, smiley face
6. DANCE/WIGGLE - if you ask the group to wiggle bumps and dance you'll have a huge laugh and a few great shots
7. CHANGE POSITIONS - standing, sitting, laying down. Have chars or suitable for sitting props
8. TICKLE - tell them to tickle each other and watch the fun.
9. QUESTIONS - have a word with mum and dad beforehand what kids like, dislike like favorite funny characters, movies, games etc. Ask them questions what was the funniest thing happening in this movie or book and let them tell you.
10. JOKES - learn a few good old jokes. It is useful to check for appropriate k=jokes according to kids age as they tend to change with age.
11.GET YOURSELF CLOSE - do some close ups of faces, hands or details.
12. IMPROVISE - try variations, think out of the box, keep a whistle, balloons and small treats handy.
For me it is really a good mix of everything and sensing what the mood is and going with the flow. It is very important to have your exposure checked in advance and just move around shooting and have fun yourself. If you stop every few minutes to get your images checked or change camera settings everyone will get bored quickly and you will struggle.
See the images below. This family came all wet down from the pouring rain outside. Mum and dad din't mind carrying on with the session and here is what we ended up. Messy wet hair and the cutest little sister ever, quite determined to cuddle and kiss her brother. He was a bit older though and not in a mood of kissing but with a little encouragement and tricks we ended up with these. Love them
What are your special tips of posing children and families ? Comment below.
9 days old Arabella - newborn baby portraits and photography, London, UK, November 2014
We see lots of beautiful and pretty things in live but there is nothing as pure and magical as a newborn baby, is there? Probably only a parent can understand that statement :)
I love babies since my teenage years and thought I know what it is all about....how overbold. I only understood how deep that love and tenderness are after giving birth myself. It feels like it comes from the deepest deep of the Earth's womb, through my feet and up my body straight into my heart. Embedded there forever.
I believe I speak on behalf of all mothers. Dad's please, no offence. Tell me in the comments below how it is for you. I would love to hear. I am only a mum and can speak from mother's experience.
Well, are baby portraits so valuable?
They are not just valuable, they are priceless! One can style pretty much everything else but this first days of life. In few years you won't remember all this magnificent moments, the way your baby can fit in your palm, the sweetest pouts, the mini size of their living feet and hands, the way they curl up. Their faces and expressions change every day.
The only way to perpetuate this flashes of splendor in time is to capture them in images.
They will always evoke the emotions you felt when you first met your baby and will melt your heart. These images will be your treasure for ever.
What is your experience? Share at the bottom.
One of my favourite parts in each wedding is to take a few quiet minutes away from party and arrange the photos of the most representative attribute of you social status change - The Wedding Rings
These particular rings are very traditional and always classy, smooth and perfectly polished thin round shapes. Finished in white gold. Beautiful as the couple. Young progressive business people with bright future.
The rings below are rather different. The couple came up with the idea to imprint their own finger prints on each others rings. What a lovely personal touch.
Do you feel nostalgic as I do when I see this vintage classical rings in gold. Wider fit for the groom and slimmer for the bride. Such a sweet couple from eastern Europe with a gorgeous baby daughter
Engagement rings are always an important part of each girl story. They mark the begging of a new era in life when a girl becomes a wife, a mother and ultimately a woman.
This very private couple didn't want to go public, so be it....I respect all my clients feelings
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