A Collaborative Lifestyle Shoot | The Wedding Stylist

 
 

That's the beautiful Sundari above; AKA The Wedding Stylist. Sundari is a talented wedding stylist and you can see more of her work on her brand new website HERE. She is so passionate about what she does; it's wonderful to hear her talk about all of the ideas she has for both her couples and her business. I am very excited to be photographing her wedding this May. It promises to be a wonderful two day celebration and I'm so excited to be there; capturing those memories for her and Andy. 

Sundari asked if I would capture some behind the scenes images for her new website; images which showed the process of collaboration and creating. She brought on board the ever talented Sarah of Floribunda Rose, who will also be doing the flowers for Sundari's wedding. Sarah was going to be teaching Sundari about floristry and flower arranging, so they were also looking for some images to capture this aspect of what Sarah does. Sarah loves to create arrangements with seasonal and locally grown flowers, and her love and passion was so evident as I watched her on the day.

From a visual perspective, this collaboration was a celebration of organic beauty and pared back, simple elegance; of subtle detail that is appreciated when you take the time to really look and admire the creations in front of you. But more importantly, this collaboration was about coming together to share our passions for doing the best for our clients, for creating work that inspires us and pushes us to live the life we love. This wasn't a typical styled shoot, it wasn't organised solely to create perfect, put together pieces; it was about the act of creating together, and learning from each other; pure and simple.

It's so easy to only see the surface of the beauty present on a wedding day; to never really appreciate how much care, love and passion is put into the details and decorations which adorn the wedding celebration. This collaboration was about celebrating that passion, love and attention to detail that we creatives put into our work, and into our clients; those little details, the subtle tweaks here and there, the hours of planning and preparation that are poured into each project, the way work together as a team, with the sole purpose of making our couples happy, and above all the care we have for those who entrust there wedding day to us. 

I love collaborating with Sundari and Sarah because we share the same important ethos; our work is not just about creating beauty, although that is of course important, it's about bringing happiness to the individuals who love and appreciate what we do, and entrust us with the most important day of their lives. That is why we do what we do and that is what inspires us to seek out elegance and beauty, not just in what we create, but how we live our lives and run our businesses. 

I can't wait to collaborate more with these talented ladies! I really encourage you to find people who inspire you, who you love to work with, who spur you on to be the best you can be. One of the biggest rewards from working in the wedding and photography industry has been the friends I've made. We encourage, we champion and we support each other, and it's a pretty special community to be a part of. 

You can see Sundari's blog post about this collaboration HERE

Sundari is also currently writing for Rock My Wedding; you can read all about her wedding plans as well as advice and ideas from her perspective as a Wedding Stylist HERE.

That stunning ring box is courtesy of The Mrs Box and the beautiful ribbon was created by Lancaster & Cornish.

 

The Photography Bucket List

 
 
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Outside of my beautiful family, photography is my greatest achievement. Not just building this little business of mine from the ground up, but the fact that I have been able to turn my true passion and inspiration into a profession. So many people strive for or yearn for this in their life and I feel lucky that the stars aligned for me and I am able to live the life I do. I definitely don’t take this for granted. Yes, running a photography business with multiple facets and roles is extremely challenging, but there is never a moment when I wish I was doing any other job, not ever. That is something pretty special and I thank my lucky stars every day.

Photography inspires and excites me; I am always thinking about photographs, light, moments. I reflect on my work, think of ways I can push myself more and get better. Writing this down now really makes me realise, as silly as it sounds, that I need to, have to, take my camera out with me more and explore my personal photography further. But it seems that with running a business and raising my forever energetic three year old, it gets pushed by the wayside. I mean I have my camera out a lot. I am fortunate that I shoot a lot. But I don’t shoot enough outside of my wedding and portrait work. Storytelling is my biggest inspiration. Professionally speaking I live for telling stories; it drives me all of the time. I am forever looking for that one image that tells us so much, or how I can tell a story in multiple frames, which, when put together, paint us a beautiful picture, both literally and metaphorically. This all got me thinking about my Photography Bucket List, not the most original name I know, but fitting nonetheless. Which brings me to today’s post.

I thought that if I put these out into the universe, perhaps the individuals and stories would find their way to me. It’s an ever-growing list, one that I hope to add to and check off as time passes.

I chose the above image for this post for several reasons. The first being that I didn’t actually take it. It speaks to me as the owner of that memory, of that moment. It reminds me of the value of photographs and everything I love about what I do. Samuel took this photo during my c-section. It was the first time I touched my baby girl. I felt too fragile to hold her in that moment; I’d had an adverse reaction to the spinal block ,and at that point was as high as a kite, so to speak! Which only goes to show how important this image is. We brought my camera to the hospital with me and I almost decided against taking it into the operating theatre with us, thinking perhaps it was too much and that it would be distracting for us. I’m so glad I changed my mind. The photos we have from Ava’s birth are among my most treasured possessions and I can’t wait to show them to her when she’s old enough to understand. Samuel even captured a pretty gory photo of her being pulled out from my tummy but I thought it best to avoid sharing that on my blog! He captured those first moments, the first time I breastfed her, the first time she lay on my chest. Once the pain relief wore off, I even managed to capture some images myself. So this brings me on to the first item of my bucket list…

* I would love to photograph a birth story. In fact I would love to photograph these regularly if it were feasible. I have always been fascinated by childbirth; back when I was in university at UCL (I did a degree in Anthropology, a true testament to my fascination with people), I wrote my dissertation on the medicalisation of childbirth. When you combine my interest in childbirth with my own experience, albeit very unpleasant one, my love for documentary photography, telling stories, and most of all people, you have a match made in heaven, photographically speaking!

* I would like to embark on an ongoing documentary photography project. I haven’t yet finalised my ideas but it will centre around people and relationships; as this both inspires and interest me. I am keen to explore documentary photography outside of weddings (I have no intention of giving up weddings, I love it dearly and it’s my first true love!), but I would love for my photography passion and inspiration to take me on another journey alongside that of my weddings.

* I want to push the family side of my business a lot more. I actually intend on developing a separate website and home for my family work. I absolutely love it. I love that I get to continue my couples’ stories, I love that so much of the inspiration in my wedding photography and values I hold so dearly transfer beautifully to my family photography. It’s the perfect outlet for my love of documentary and beautiful portraiture. I love to combine the two to create something really meaningful for the families I photograph. I can’t wait to explore this a lot more. It’s all about time, precious time; finding it, having it. Time is a really elusive thing that I struggle with on a daily basis. I really do hope to photograph a lot more families this year. You can see some of my family blog posts under this LINK. All these sessions were so special to me and are some of my favourite images of 2015! Do take a look and feel free to get in touch if you would like a relaxed, real, natural and beautiful family session. I love this mother & daughter portrait below from a shoot I did last summer. Lots more of my family work if you follow this link!

* I have photographed quite a few London elopements over the years and it’s something I really love to do. I would love for an elopement to take me to some beautiful location either in the UK or abroad. Somewhere I may never have gone to otherwise, or simply somewhere truly special and unique. The Maldives would be pretty darned nice!

* I would love to combine my passion for photography and food in the form of more lifestyle photography. Perhaps a cook book or other publication. I love beautiful still life photography and would love to explore this a lot more. Keep a look out for a collaborative shoot I did coming soon.

* I would absolutely love to photograph weddings at some unique London venues I haven't yet worked at. These include MC Motors, The Asylum & Aynhoe Park (just outside of London). I find them so inspiring and would love to document weddings at these wonderful locations!

I thought I’d end this post with another photo which my wonderful husband Samuel captured. Here's my girl, my gorgeous Ava. Gosh how she fills me with utter pride and joy. I love this photo because to me it’s truly timeless; it will look beautiful in a 100 years and will forever remind me of the joy I feel when I see Ava discovering something new in this world. That look on her face, she looks so beautiful; so unsure, nervous but happy and content. I’ve always thought that having a child and watching them grow is like discovering and experiencing the world all over again; like seeing all those small things with fresh and new eyes. You live through your child, you experience everything, feel everything with them. This was her first time riding a pony, and it was taken during a family holiday in Cornwall.

Here’s hoping that some of these photographic adventures will find there way to me or perhaps me to them. I love this journey I’m on and I am so grateful to the couples, families and individuals who bring me into their lives and allow me to live it everyday. If you know of any opportunities feel free to get in touch. xx