DIY Details

posted in: wedding planning | 0

DIY details at weddings are just adorable and hugely popular. Are you currently planning your big day and want loads of personalised quirky details that your guests will remember forever?

Here are my Top 5 Tips for doing DIY well:

  1. YOU HAVE TO WANT TO DO IT! Don’t do DIY if you’re looking to save a few pounds or ‘because it’s the popular thing to do’. Once you commit to making 50 metres of bunting, 100 pompoms or personalised hand written place settings you have to enjoy the experience and look back on it with happy memories. If it becomes a chore or stresses you out it’s just not worth it.
DIY map themed details
Topaze and Chris created a map themed seating plan and name tags.

 

2. Get friends to help you! Not got a creative bone in your body? Ask your friend who just loves all things crafty to help you. People LOVE to be involved in wedding preparations. If you know someone who sews for a hobby and you fancy your groom to have a personalised pocket square, speak to them!

Bouquet preparations

Mary and her bridesmaids creating her bouquet

 

3. Involve your guests. I photographed a gorgeous wedding on a farm last summer and all the guests were asked to take part in a ‘Bake Off’. The bride and groom asked them to bring either a sweet or savoury treat that was then judged by the bridal party and used as the evening buffet! Perhaps you could ask guests to create a drawing of themselves which then form their name places or the seating plan?

DIY signs

Melissa and Jon created hand-written signs (left), Claire and Tom’s Wedding Guest Bake-Off (right)

 

4. Do your research. Use Pinterest to get ideas and use Youtube for tutorials on how to produce your chosen DIY details. Practice with plenty of time ahead of the wedding to allow for a few mistakes.

5.  Get shopping! Visit places like Hobbycraft, The Range and craft shops for ideas but look online for cheaper deals. Places like Ebay and Etsy do some gorgeous materials. Also look in charity shops, especially for vintage pieces. My husband and I collected 120 teacups to give out as favours, all sourced from local charity shops.

I hope that these tips help you whilst planning you big day. Have fun! x

 

Lucy and Tony’s Autumnal Wedding

posted in: bride, film, groom, portraits, wedding | 0

On Halloween last Autumn I had the pleasure of photographing Lucy and Tony’s wedding at Stanton Manor Hotel near Chippenham. We were blessed with a sunny day and were able to make the most of the beautiful hotel gardens. Lucy and Tony chose a rustic/vintage theme for their wedding day, details included a vintage suitcase for cards, china teacups, hand carved wooden decorations and a restored vintage tandem.

We made the most of the light and had some fun with the tandem, I then captured some portraits of Lucy and Tony in the garden amongst the fallen leaves as the sun was beginning to set.
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The Illuminated Collective Workshop

I have wanted to take part in a workshop for a while; to develop both my photographic and styling skills but to also meet like-minded professionals in the wedding industry. When I saw the Illuminated Collective Workshop advertised I knew it was an opportunity not to be missed.

The workshop took place last May at the stunning Barnsley House in the Cotswolds. The aim of the day was to bring together beautiful styling with photographers who are interested in working with film.

As soon as we arrived at the venue we received a warm welcome from the organisers Jessie Thomson (styling), Ashlee Taylor-Barnes and Holly Rattray (both Fine Art Film Photographers). Every attendee was presented with a welcome pack, containing a range of goodies including discount vouchers for other wedding vendors, which was handmade in a lovely pastel fabric.

Illuminated Workshop

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We enjoyed fresh coffee and croissants as we read through our packs and introduced ourselves. Then the fun really began… the 16 attendees were divided into 2 smaller groups, enabling us to have plenty of time and space in the grounds of the hotel. The day was divided up into ‘details’, ‘engagement portraits’, ‘bride and groom’ and ‘bridal’ portraits. Jessie and her team made great use of the stunning grounds and as the sun shone down on us I realised just how lucky I was to be part of such a fab day.

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We had gentle guidance from Ashlee and Holly to help us with posing the couples, if we needed it. Working in smaller groups meant we were able to bounce ideas off each other and get to know the other attendees well. When I received my scans back from UK Film Lab I was delighted with the results. I used a mixture of Portra 400 and Fuji 400 (Full list of vendors at the bottom of the page)

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Illuminated Workshop

Vendor/ Suppliers:

Illuminated Collective: www.fineartwedding.com

Mentors:

(Photography) Ashlee Taylor Barnes: www.taylorbarnesphotography.co.uk 

Jessie Thomson (Stylist) – JessieThomson Wedding and Events: www.jessiethomson.co.uk 

Holly Rattary – Belle and Beau Photography: http://belleandbeaublog.com 

Assistant Stylist – Georgia Westwood: www.westwooddesign.co.uk 

Venue – Barnsley House: www.barnsleyhouse.com 

Florist – The Rose Shed: www.theroseshed.co.uk 

Linen – Table to Dine For: www.tabletodinefor.com

Stationery – Juliet Grace Design: www.julietgracedesign.com

Cake – The Natural Cake Company: http://thenaturalcakecompany.co.uk 

Bridal Boutique – The White Rose Bridal: www.thewhiterosebridal.co.uk 

Engagement Dresses –Maids to Measure (from The White Rose Bridal): http://www.maidstomeasure.com 

Wedding Gowns– Johanna Hehir (from The White Rose Bridal): http://www.johanna-hehir.com

Hair Accessories – Kelly Spence (from The White Rose Bridal): www.kellyspence.com

Jewellery – Astley Clarke:  www.astleyclarke.com 

Crockery, Cutlery, Glassware – Helene Millot: http://www.helenemillot.com

MUA – Nina Norman: www.ninanorman.co.uk

Hair – Nicholas White: http://www.nicholaswhite.co.uk 

Goody Bags – Lizzy May Design: www.lizzy-may.co.uk

 

 

Claire and Tom’s rustic farm wedding

posted in: bride, groom, wedding | 1

Looking for a relaxed setting for your special day? Look no further than Buckettsland farm in Hertfordshire, the scene for Claire and Tom’s wedding I was honoured to photograph last August. The farm consists of a series of converted Victorian stables, one of which hosts a swimming pool and hot tub where Claire and her bridesmaids spent the night before the big day. When I arrived at the farm the sun was shining and I captured bride-to-be Claire relaxing before the bridal preparations began.

Claire wore a long Grecian style dress from Coast, shoes by Kurt Keiger and carried a stunning bouquet full of roses, peonies and bunches of lavender. Tom’s blue suit complimented his vintage Ted Baker shoes perfectly and their beautiful little boy wore a cute little kilt in Tom’s family’s tartan. The ceremony was conducted outside in a nicely secluded part of the farm surrounded by trees and afterwards guests were treated to village fete games including hook-a-duck, a coconut shy and mini golf.

Claire and Tom asked their family and friends to take part in a ‘bake off’, bringing either a sweet or savoury treat to be judged by the bridal party. The details that Claire and Tom had planned from the games, bake-off and cute jars of sweets as favours were an absolute pleasure to photograph. If you missed their wedding on Rock My Wedding click here to see a full list of suppliers.

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In the studio with Beau Tie

Are you currently planning your wedding and want something a bit different for your groom? Or perhaps you are a guest at an upcoming wedding and looking for something dapper for your man to wear? Look no further…

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 A few months ago I was lucky enough to visit the studio of British designer Emma Phipps of Beau Tie, who specialises in making men’s accessories (bow ties, pocket squares and skinny ties) hair bows and women’s bow ties. Emma’s products are lovingly handmade from carefully sourced fabric including vintage and recycled material. The “English Gentleman” image is what inspired Emma to start her company. Many of Emma’s customers are grooms looking for something a bit different for their wedding day.

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 Nowadays grooms are taking more of an interest in what they want to wear on their special day, and as a wedding photographer I am seeing more and more grooms teaming their outfit with quirky accessories. Over the past year I have photographed cute bow ties, pocket squares with maps printed on them, brightly coloured bird cufflinks and vintage Ted Baker shoes. Men love to accessorise just as much as us girls! Hand made is HUGELY popular right now and the last few years have seen websites like Etsy grow in popularity as brides and grooms want something bespoke for their special day.

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 If you are a bride or groom looking for something a bit different then check out the cute bow ties, skinny ties and pocket squares. Emma also makes hair bows for women, perhaps ‘his n hers’ matching bow ties would make a quirky addition for your evening outfit?

I fell in love with Emma’s studio as soon as I walked in. I had a sudden urge to dig my sewing machine out as soon as I got home and start sewing! Hundreds of pieces of coloured fabric are organised in harmonising colour order on shelves, mannequins have skinny ties draped around them, a vintage sewing machine sits near the window and a map of the world, complete with pins in the countries Emma has sold to, adorns the wall.

Beau Tie

After seeing the fantastic quality of the bowties first hand I put a request in for two little matching bow ties for my twin boys! As Emma worked on her machine and I snapped away on my Canon 1V, we got chatting about her business:

1. When and why did you start up your own business?

I started making the initial plans and setting up in October 2012 so I’ve just gone into my third year (which is crazy!). I studied fashion with business at Portsmouth University and, after graduating, worked in a few retail jobs. But I knew my passion was to run my very own business so I started looking into ideas and making plans. I’d always been into men’s fashion, particularly the well-dressed gentleman, so it was a logical step for me to create products that could enhance that look. I began working hard on my days off and evenings after work to really build it up. It didn’t take long for me to realise that if I wanted to put my whole heart and soul into it, I would need to put more time in, so in July 2013 I took the plunge to become full-time self-employed, and I’ve never looked back!

Beau Tie

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2. Who is your target customer?

My main customer base is brides (and sometimes grooms) looking for their ideal groomsmen accessories to help them look super dapper! I often get custom requests and work with the customer to help create something original for that special day.

 

3. What are the benefits of running your own business?

There are many benefits to being your own boss! You can be flexible with your days/weeks, work to your own deadlines and run with your decisions without having to check with others. You are in control of your own time which sounds (and sometimes is) very daunting, but it’s a very powerful feeling too! You become a bit of a one man band so you have to be super motivated, organised, work incredibly hard and time management is key, but I’ve learnt so much and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

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4. What advice would you give to grooms when planning their wedding attire?

Good suit, good shoes and good hair, followed by attention to detail with your accessories- don’t be afraid of prints, and colour! I love the inspiring ideas my customers come up with, and it’s so rewarding when I get to see the final results being worn in their wedding photos!

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All images are shot on Kodak Portra 400

Beau Tie’s online shop: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/BeauBowTies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goodbye 2014

posted in: Personal | 0

I haven’t written a blog post in a while as I’ve been really busy relocating my family to Devon. In hindsight the decision to move the week before Christmas was a bit of a crazy one, however taking a walk along the beach earlier followed by a big family roast dinner and playing ‘shops’ with my little niece I know it was definitely the right decision.

2014 has been an amazing year during which SO much has happened.  At the start of the year I launched my photography business which has been a dream come true.  It has been hard work alongside teaching and being a mum to 16 month twins boys, however I have met some amazingly talented people, photographed beautiful brides, bumps and babies and I have loved every minute of it. A want to say a MASSIVE thank you to everyone who has helped me along the way.

I am really excited to see what 2015 has in store. I am honoured to be photographing weddings in venues including the Hare and Hounds Hotel in Westonbirt, the Cotswold Club in Chipping Norton, Mount Edgcumbe House in Cornwall and Luton House in Devon to name a few. Alongside running Renata Fry Photography I am about to start a new job teaching GSCE and A Level Photography to students in South Devon.

 So I thought I would end 2014 with a little round up of my year. Happy New Year everyone!!

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My beautiful twin boys back in February

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 May Bank holiday mini break with friends in Ludlow

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Attending the Illuminated Collective Fine Art workshop in late May (full post coming in the new year!)

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Our summer holiday in Shaldon, South Devon. 

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Claire and Tom’s beautiful farm wedding in Hertfordshire in late August

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Rachel’s maternity shoot

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Lucy and Tony’s rustic autumn wedding

 

 

Dakota

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

In early October I was lucky enough to photograph little 5 week old Dakota. Back in August I photographed Rachel in the final few weeks of her pregnancy before Dakota arrived. This week that shoot was featured on b.loved blog, if you missed it you can see it here. Now I want to share this newborn shoot with you all.

Any parents reading this I’m sure you will remember how precious those first few weeks are. That new baby smell. The super soft silky skin. The teeny tiny vests and baby grows. Newborn shoots are such an honour to photograph. I love them.

If you are pregnant and considering a new born shoot please do get in touch here. In the mean time enjoy little Dakota…..

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Photos shot on Canon 1V using Portra 400

Developed and Scanned by UK Film Lab.

Thanks for reading. See you soon

Renata x 

 

 

 

 

 

A Big Decision

posted in: Personal | 3

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I have lived in Wiltshire for nearly 10 years. I have fallen in love with the countryside, the nearby parks, the local cafes and the amazing tapas bar up the road from us. I have made a good group of friends, built a career in teaching, met my husband, given birth to my beautiful baby boys and this year it became the birth place of my very own photography business, something I have always dreamt of. As many of you may know I grew up in Devon, a place that holds many a happy memory and where my family live. We travel back and forth as frequently as work allows us to, and every time we leave we do so with a heavy heart. This summer my husband and I made a massive decision; we have decided to follow our hearts and move to Devon. My husband is leaving behind a career that he has built up for 8 years, I am saying goodbye to some of my best friends, but despite this we are so excited to be starting our new adventure as a family.

I am confident that moving to Devon will bring a whole heap of exciting opportunities to my photography business. Even though we will be living in Devon I am still very much a UK Photographer and will be taking bookings throughout the south west and further afield. 75% of my wedding bookings for next year are in Devon and I hope that through those I build up a list of contacts in the wedding industry as I have done in Wiltshire. I recently attended a Fine Art Film Workshop during which I made some invaluable contacts in the industry, and some good friends, all of whom I will remain in contact with. As well as an opportunity to develop my photography business I also have a job continuing my passion of teaching photography at a fantastic school which specialises in the Arts.

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Despite all these amazing opportunities, living nearer to our loved ones and giving our boys the opportunity to grow up by the sea there are days when I think “are we doing the right thing” or ” what if our dream doesn’t work out?”. Right now I don’t have the answer to those questions, but I hope in a few months time I will look back on this post and smile to myself.

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I’m sure the upcoming months will be ones of uncertainty, anxiety and excitement and even though there are times when I just want to fast forward 12 months to us being happy settled into our first family home by the sea, I will cherish every moment and take as many photos as possible along the way! Thank you to everyone who has supported us in making this decision and made the whole process a lot easier for us.

 

Renata x

My Adventure with Film

posted in: film, portraits | 1

People frequently ask me why I shoot film when shooting digital is ‘easier’. Granted digital is easier; it’s cheaper, well actually it’s free if you don’t count the cost of editing images, you can instantly see your images and delete any you aren’t happy with. On paper it does seem the better option and don’t get me wrong, there are situations when grabbing my digital camera rather than my film camera works best for me. However, I just love the look of an image shot on film ten times to that of a digital. The colours are richer, the slight grainy look gives it a nostalgic, romantic appearance, the light is just beautiful and has a lovely warm feeling that makes you go all fuzzy. Basically I think film is just stunning.

On a recent mini-break with friends I took some photos of my friend Hannah and her husband Jimmy wandering through a pretty garden in a country estate. Once back from the lab (which I will get to in a sec!) and published on Facebook, Hannah’s comment was “beautiful, it looks all hazy and summery; exactly how I remember it” and that is the main reason why film is just lush- it captures a moment in time perfectly.

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My adventure with film started in Art college, but it’s a very distant memory of dark rooms, chemicals, and very grainy black and white photos that did nothing to wow me. I experimented a bit more in the dark room at uni but again, wasn’t really impressed by the results I was getting. I do love being in the darkroom though, it’s like a little secret world where magic happens. Like Narnia! It’s ten years later and I am teaching Photography in Swindon and I still love the magic of the darkroom. I love teaching my students how to develop their own film, enlarge their photos and watch as they place the photographic paper in the tray of developer and their image appears after a few seconds.

But only this year have I discovered my love for colour film photography. After reading this book I was completely inspired and desperate to start shooting with film again. I borrowed a Canon AE-1 that was donated to college complete with vintage leather case, and bought a roll of Kodak Superior and off I went, and it was a lot harder than I expected. Firstly, in an age of iPhones and digital cameras it was really weird not being able to see the photos. I found myself looking eagerly at the back of the camera!! I had to rely on my knowledge of ISO, aperture and shutter speed to suss out the correct exposure and hope for the best. Secondly, the Canon AE-1 has manual focus which with my dodgy eye sight was interesting to say the least!! But nevertheless I just loved the experience and was so careful not to waste my 36 exposures, which is another thing I love about film- I don’t waste photos. How many of us are guilty of taking about 5 photos of the same thing ‘just in case’. I do it all the time on my iPhone. Not with film. You have to actually use your brain too which is refreshing! Here is the lovely Canon AE-1 and a couple of photos shot on it:

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After a bit of research I invested in my first film camera, a Canon 1V. I am still getting to know her (yes I’m one of those sad people who refer to their cameras as people!!) but so far I am impressed and I just adore the results. I am also enjoying experimenting with different film, so far Fuji 400h is my fave.

Nowadays it isn’t as straightforward as dropping your film into a high street store for developing. I use UK Film lab to develop my photos, but there are loads of others that I will get around to trying as each give different results. I send off the film and 10 days later I receive digital scans straight into my inbox with feedback from the lab on my photos. Lovely jubbly! Here are a few taken on my Canon 1V of the lovely Louise and Derek.

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As I send more and more film off for developing I am becoming more confident shooting with film and I love the photos I am creating. I hope you do too! Please leave a comment below and come back soon to see my adventure with film continue.

 

Renata x

 

 

 

A Very Pink Maternity Shoot!

posted in: maternity | 0

A few weeks ago on a sunny day in May I took a drive over to the village of Fairford in the Cotswolds to photograph Harriet and her beautiful baby bump. I was in love as soon as I walked into her home as both Harriet and I have a love for shabby-chic furniture and décor. Harriet and her husband Toby are expecting a little girl at the end of July and she is one lucky little lady- you should see the beautiful nursery that awaits her and she has a wardrobe FULL of clothes, in fact I think she has more clothes than me! I cannot wait to meet this little one. All photos are shot on Fuji 400h developed by UK Film Lab.

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