Summer School at CSVPA

Summer School at CSVPA is over, and we now look forward to meeting our new cohort and teaching them for the next nine months. It is a welcome return, as meeting a fresh batch of students weekin week out is hard work. You need to be able to keep up the enthusiasm, despite essentially showing them the same things.

One of the ways I do this is by setting myself a challenge. I like to practice what I preach, so I join my students in taking part in the activities I set them. This means using the entry level school cameras with their entry level lenses, and trying to put together a nice set of pictures. Each week I take them to the same spots, so the real challenge is looking for something new every time.

At the end of each week, the students edit all of their photos and compile their own book using the book making website Blurb. I have five weeks of summer school, so I collect my photos over a longer period then put them into a book as well. I can’t say I spent very long thinking about the layout and order, but it makes the lessons more fun for me and also makes it easier to demonstrate to students.

You can preview (and order!) the book here. You can also see last year’s efforts here. Failing that, you can just scroll down your screen and look at the photos below:

 

Silly Season Summer School at CSVPA

Summer School at CSVPA


Travel Photography Finland 2017

Travel Photography Finland 2017 – Seeing as the best time to visit Finland is during the summer months, it has been difficult to organise a lengthy trip in the middle of wedding season, not to mention trying to work around summer school teaching commitments. But this year, we had the opportunity to stay a couple of weeks, so we gladly took it.

This time around, there was a mix of the traditional and contemporary. There were a few days spent in the Finnish wilderness, foraging for mushrooms, fishing, and getting steamed up in the sauna. There were also the day trips to Helsinki, as well as pottering around the historic town of Porvoo.

More than anything else, there was spending time with the family. There was a big celebration this year – my parents have been married for 40 years, and to celebrate they wanted to come to Finland, where it all began. My parents got married in 1977 in the Temppeliaukio Church, which is basically a giant excavated piece of granite. My description doesn’t really do it justice, but if you are curious, there are some photos from my previous trip there in the people and places section of my website. In 1977, wedding photography wasn’t much of a thing, so to make up for it we recreated their confetti moment, this time with ripped up green napkins, which kind of made it look like we were sprinkling them with salad! DIY weddings are the best.

 

 

Travel Photography Finland 2017

 

Travel Photography Finland 2017


Bassmead Manor Barns Cambridge Wedding – Alex and Lil

Alex and Lil’s wedding at Bassmead Manor Barns in Cambridgeshire was a delight from start to finish. One of the perks of the venue is that everything is in one place, making it much easier to quickly manoeuvre from place to place as events progressed.

Alex and Lil thought of everything that showcased their numerous interests and used that to decorate and theme the wedding. There were guitars and vinyl reflecting their love of music. Lil is one half of the 40s themed duo The Blitz Sisters, and you can see this through hers and the bridesmaids beautiful hair and make up. They also decorated the entire venue with beautiful flowers from Florae Foray.

The ceremony was held in a rustic barn, and the couple were serenaded by The Voice 2014 finalist Sally Barker as they were about to walk back down the isle. The canapé and reception food looked excellent, and they made sure no one went hungry by providing a sweetie stand and comprehensive cheese selection from the Cambridge Cheese Company.

They were even lucky with the weather – as soon as the group shots were done and everyone had filed in for the the reception, the rain came down. Then, after everyone had finished eating, the rain stopped, allowing everyone a bit of fresh air.

The reception hall was cleared out for the evening’s events, where the DJ played an eclectic mix of retro and contemporary classics, undoubtedly at Alex and Lil’s request. Everyone had a song they could dance to, and in case any of the arriving guests needed a bite to eat, they also had fresh stone baked pizzas being distributed throughout the evening. Perfect!

Consequently, Alex and Lil really left no stone unturned, which made for a really fun day, filled with entertainment and lavish amounts of tasty food. Alex and Lil, thank you for asking us to photograph your wedding!

 

Bassmead Manor Barns Cambridge Wedding

 

Bassmead Manor Barns Cambridge Wedding

 


Mousehole Cornwall Travel Photography

Mousehole Cornwall Travel Photography – The last time I was in Cornwall was nearly 8 years ago, when I spent the summer as a nightclub photographer (shout out to Ger at Safelight Images!). The job was only a few nights a week, so we had a lot of time to enjoy the coastline. I remember some fun road trips to Lands End and Perranporth, and I used to love running on the beach in Newquay, where we were based.

It was great to revisit after so long, although we were a little further along from Newquay in Mousehole, near Penzance. We had rented a tiny cottage for a wedding anniversary, and had a day to stroll along the coastline. We ended up walking a good stretch of the beautiful Mounts Bay, from Mousehole to Marazion, where there is a spectacular castle on an island (St. Michaels Mount).

I can see why so many people come here for a staycation. I would prefer to choose not to drive 8 hours there and back in the space of three days next time though!

 

Mousehole Cornwall Travel Photography

Mousehole Cornwall Travel Photography


Layer Marney Essex Wedding – Guy and Collette

Layer Marney Essex Wedding – Guy and Collette got married in the picturesque Layer Marney Tudor Palace, which is in itself a fascinating piece of architecture. It is clear to see why they chose this venue, as it has the most beautiful grounds and dining hall, as well as having a lovely chapel in which to get married next door.

Before the guests arrived, both Guy and Collette were getting ready in the Five Lakes Crowne Plaza Resort near Colchester.  Colette had her team of bridesmaids and family dropping in and getting ready through the morning, and her nieces and nephews were having a whale of a time jumping on the beds and sliding around in the flower boxes!

Collette and the bridesmaids managed to get a sneak peak at the Guy and the boys waiting with the double decker bus from their hotel room. The timings were critical as I had to photograph Collette putting on her dress, then run to the bus before it left for the venue! Luckily it all worked out, and the bus even left ahead of schedule.

When I have photographed on double deckers in the past, they tend to be in central London and go at a sedate pace to match the generally slow weekend traffic. But cruising at 50mph on country lanes is quite a different experience, and it was difficult not to get thrown about as the bus took corners!

The bus drama continued when it broke down about 500 yards from Layer Marney Tower. The groomsmen manned-up, pulled up their shirt sleeves and pushed the bus the remainder of the journey, which from my point of view made for great photos.

Once at the venue, everything went according to plan, and Guy and Collette’s theme ‘It’s all about the wine‘ rang true. They had brought their own wine while on a tasting trip in France a few weeks before, and made sure everyone had enough on their table. The speeches went down a treat and the roast lamb was a nice touch, with one person on each table being the designated carver.

They rounded off the evening with sparklers and a surprise firework show, followed by dance floor bangers from DJ Rome. All in all, this was a very glamorous wedding, hosted by a very glamorous couple. Guy and Collette, thank you for asking us to photograph your wedding!

 

Layer Marney Essex Wedding

 

Layer Marney Essex Wedding – Guy and Collette