Archives for posts with tag: photography

OK, I’ve been terrible at blogging this year – it’s all been Go,Go,Go which is Great, Great, Great but I do hate to leave it so long!

So, I’m breaking it down for you ladies, and I thought I’d give you a one-stop shop picture gallery-style tour of all the little things for now – sharing with you some of my favourite accessories, flowers, food & ideas that I’ve photographed recently and hope that it’ll give you inspiration for your big days!

First on my hit-list is shoes (obviously)….

Sparkles galore with these Belle Beaux shoes to die for

Sparkles galore with these Belle Beaux shoes to die for

Simply love these sweet yet glamorous lace and ribbon affairs - such a romantic take on the traditional option. Plus the bride assured me that they were super comfy too!

Simply love these sweet yet glamorous lace and ribbon affairs – such a romantic take on the traditional option. Plus the bride assured me that they were super comfy too!

Classic shoes and a corker of a ring to-boot.

Classic shoes and a corker of a ring to-boot.

Real Pearls is where it's at

Real Pearls is where it’s at

Classy and elegant everytime

Classy and elegant every time

This wedding oozed fresh vibrant colour and I just love the way everything POPS!

This wedding oozed fresh vibrant colour and I just love the way everything POPS!

Bright and breezy - I wouldn't have thought of this but love it's bold simplicity

Bright and breezy – I wouldn’t have thought of this but love it’s bold simplicity

A stunning simple and classy garter from MOB to her daughter - something blue & new!

A stunning, simple and classy garter from MOB to her daughter – something blue & new!

I love that this bride had personalised hangers - such a lovely memento for the day for the bridesmaids to keep

I love that this bride had personalised hangers – such a lovely memento for the day for the bridesmaids to keep

Following Kate & Wills, Jo Malone must be seeing a rise in sales - this is becoming a must have in wedding fragrances!

Following Kate & Wills, Jo Malone must be seeing a rise in sales – this is becoming a must-have in wedding fragrances!

For a rustic country wedding, these simple clean whites and ivories with a hint of navy are an English country dream

For a rustic country wedding, these simple clean whites and ivories with a hint of navy are an English country dream

blush pinks, ivory and subtle limes make for a super elegant and lady-like bouquet

blush pinks, ivory and subtle limes make for a super elegant and lady-like bouquet

Some couples love to embrace fun and I highly recommend it - encompassing their love of life into this cake really shows how much they love each other!

Some couples love to embrace fun and I highly recommend it – encompassing their love of life, the outdoors & cycling into this cake really shows how much they love each other!

Pinks, blues, yellows, reds - you'd think it wouldn't work but it SO does.

Pinks, blues, yellows, reds – you’d think it wouldn’t work but it SO does.

Have you thought about bespoke hand-made rings? This couple did - there's even interlock!

Have you thought about bespoke hand-made rings? This couple did – there’s even interlock!

How about flowers on your cake? These edible flowers have been iced to perfection and I love the subtle blue with the pinks and whites - it's just different to your standard ivory and gives a bit of character

How about flowers on your cake? These edible flowers have been iced to perfection and I love the subtle blue with the pinks and whites – it’s just different to your standard ivory and gives a bit of character

Picture Perfect: How will you do your guest book? What about framed picture with space on a bespoke shaped mount for all your guests to sign - courtesy of Tickled Pink https://www.facebook.com/TickledPinkCo

Picture Perfect: How will you do your guest book? What about framed picture with space on a bespoke shaped mount for all your guests to sign – courtesy of Tickled Pink Frames:  https://www.facebook.com/TickledPinkCo

Do me a Favour: A couple of my favourite favour ideas for your guests…

Everyone loves a yummy treat that can be taken away and enjoyed - I particularly love the time and love that's gone into making this rustic treat...

Everyone loves a yummy treat that can be taken away and enjoyed – I particularly love the time and love that’s gone into making this rustic treat…

Keep it simple with classic sugar coated almonds in a cute birdcage box

Keep it simple with classic sugar coated almonds in a cute birdcage box

Or why not go mad and offer chocolate cream liqueurs to your guests - darling!

Or why not go mad and offer chocolate cream liqueurs to your guests – darling!

For now, I’d like to finish with what makes us all tick – yes, it’s food, glorious food!

Whether it’s a hog roast, a DIY buffet of skewers & salads or A-La-Carte dining featuring pistachio rolled Foie Gras, everyone looks forward to a good feed at a wedding, so check out some dishes I papped this year, get some ideas for what you’d like your wedding breakfast to look like and don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for my next blog post about hair & make-up, venues & more….

Advertisements

A picture speaks a thousand words, but sometimes all you need is two.

I was thinking along the lines of “true” & “love”  – I certainly didn’t expect “chicken” and “bear” but everyone is different and that’s what makes me love this job!

Emily & James-12

I had a great jaunt in the countryside shooting Emily & James’s pre-wedding shoot last weekend and just had to share a few shots from this gorgeously cute couple.

We hoped across the Cotswolds to Mickleton Farm just outside Chipping Campden to recci their wedding venue for October this year and to have a bit of a play around and get this couple raring to go before the big day!

Why have an Engagement or Pre-wedding shoot?

Not all weddings take place at venues we’ve shot at before, as there are often tucked away and unique places that we haven’t had the pleasure of working at, so if it’s combined with a venue recci, an engagement or pre-wedding shoot can give us a great insight into good areas to shoot on the big day for formal and informal shots as well as those all important couple shots, and it can also help us to identify where there will be good light and possible sunset opportunities too.

Most importantly, a pre-wedding shoot can really calm your nerves so that you feel more comfortable in front of the camera on the big day itself and also helps to create a really great relationship with your chosen tog!

Why do you need a good relationship with your photographer?

If we have an opportunity to get to know you a little better and get to see how you are with the camera, we can therefore gauge your likes and dislikes and really get to know what you’re all about – this helps enormously for the big day itself as we can key in to those things you’ve highlighted to us on your pre-wedding shoot and really focus on what’s important to you.

(Of course, that’s not to say that this can’t be conveyed through conversation if a pre-wedding shoot is not an option, but as they say, preparation is key and this can only help to ensure you and your tog are on the same wavelength).

For this couple, that’s love, laughter and happiness which I think you’ll agree this gorgeous pair have in droves and I can’t wait for their big day now, as I know it’ll be a right giggle too!

A beautiful country-loving couple so in love

                                                       A beautiful country-loving couple so in love

Emily & James-23
Emily & James-20 Emily & James-18

Emily & James-11 Emily & James-8 Emily & James-7
Emily & James-4

Emily & James-15

Evil Eyes - using a mixture of double cream and red food colouring distributed through a large pipet - a stroke of luck (and skill of course) when it actually came out through the eyes!

Evil Eyes – using a mixture of double cream and red food colouring distributed through a large pipet – a stroke of luck (and skill of course) when it actually came out through the eyes!

I recently saw some amazing fine art photography of the effects of coloured droplets in water and was inspired to take this notion a step further and experiment using coloured water as a prop to create a scene. With Halloween round the corner, hubby Davey & I thought what better occasion to have a little fun and make a bit of a mess in the kitchen?!

So with a specially made glass tank in place, Davey got to work artfully cutting out the pumpkin face while I set the kit up with the help of our cat Gizmo who was desperate to get in on the action!

We had a few logistics to consider with our pumpkin head shot once we poured all the water in – like, how do you stop it from bobbing around and how will the liquid look when poured through?

After a few attempts at literally holding and releasing the pumpkin, anchoring it to the bottom of the tank and a couple of other failed ideas we decided that something more sturdy & more control was needed to hold it in place. Time for a coffee break.

We did a bit of research and trial and error and found that double cream mixed with food colouring acts as a great agent for creating the sinister yet beautiful swirling clouds!

Well, after some scratching of heads and calling in some reinforcements to help control the release of our many coloured liquids into the tank, Team CG got cracking and here are some of the results – we hope you like them!

Original shot - suspended upside down in a tank of water with a skewer looped over a pole

Original shot – suspended upside down in a tank of water with a BBQ skewer (of all things) looped over a pole – this shot shows early stages when we had WAY too much cream coming out!

Blue Haze - using a mixture of double cream and blue and purple food colourings distributed through large pipets

Blue Haze – using a mixture of double cream and blue and purple food colourings distributed through large pipets

Purple Mist - using a mixture of double cream and purple food colourings distributed through a large pipet

Purple Mist – using a mixture of double cream and purple food colourings distributed through a large pipet

Impressionist Pumpkin - a different approach using a white background and food colouring on its own to create vibrant colours

Impressionist Pumpkin – a different approach using a white background and food colouring on its own to create vibrant colours

Credits:

Photography & general direction: Stefanie Calleja-Gera

Photography assistant, pumpkin carver, problem solver & chief liquid distributor: Davey Terrific

Liquid distributor no.2, logistics assistance & water filtration expert: Joe Calleja-Gera

General nuisance & loud mouth: Gizmo-the-cat

Behind The Lens

People always imagine that the ‘creative’ industry is a glamorous world, filled with exciting work by day and wild parties by night. Now, I have to say that I love my job and am absolutely thrilled to be able to get up and do what I love everyday BUT, it’s not always as glamorous as you might think and often entails far longer working hours than the average day job for nearly everyone involved, which can be a lot of people!

I wrote this blog post as a very brief look behind the scenes of what goes on before and during a typical shoot, and a nod to all those unsung heroes whose talent and professionalism under pressure make a photoshoot happen.
More often than not those beautifully styled shots that you see online or in a magazine can take hours to set up and weeks or months to organise!

It all starts with a brief or a brainstorm.

I usually knock on my husband’s office door saying “I’ve got this shoot coming up – can you help me with it?”

We’re both quite creative bods and as the old saying goes, two heads are indeed (usually) better than one! We often sit scratching our heads working out a plan of action on how to attack a shoot; covering anything from logistics, sourcing specific models, contemplating themes and styling, right through to creating or resolving technical elements. For instance on the featured shoot, we weren’t at all sure how to approach fastening the flowers to the corset (should they be wired? Wouldn’t that require a mesh over the corset? Then you wouldn’t see the shape of the corset?). There was a whole debate over methods and it was a combination of the florist and the dress designer working together that led us to our answer of using a glue gun!

Once we’ve ironed out the basics elements we want to achieve from the shoot, it’s time to get cracking.

Very often a stylist will be drafted in to source clothing, props & accessories to suitably style the shoot with. On a smaller shoot we do it in-house, but it just depends how much there is to do as it can be rather time consuming making calls, e-mailing & generally running around!

We always used to use Mood Boards, but recent times have steered us towards the use of Pinterest to pick out colours, hair & make-up styles, and even shot styles for putting together a visual overview for all involved to keep track of what is liked and to ensure we’re bang on trend!

If there is a clothes/dress designer involved, it can be months prior to the shoot that they then get started on the bare bones of an outfit based on meetings and visuals created to illustrate the subject we’ll be shooting.
Many other suppliers will be on standby at this point, quietly popping things to one side or ordering things in such as accessories, decorations and general props – depends on the shoot: if it’s a wedding focused shoot we have lots of companies involved usually working on all the different elements but with the same styling in mind – from table runners to candelabras to centrepieces and cake makers! For fashion shoots, it’s more about the products. If it’s a glam dress or outfit, it demands a statement necklace and earrings from a high end jeweller and super stylish shoes (and maybe a super stylish man to go with it)!

Suffice to say, shoot day is always a LONG day – this is where our lovely assistants earn their worth by selflessly lugging, running, panting, sweating, ironing, moving, hitching, shifting & packing – the poor things, but we all paid our dues at one point in life! On our recent shoot we were lucky enough to have our amazing photography assistant Sam Connell, also shoot some fab Behind The Lens shots for us (featured above).
All contributors to the shoot usually either deliver their products for us to use accordingly or depending on what the product is, they may stay at the shoot to ensure all runs smoothly and their product is captured to their specification (no pressure then)! Sometimes, it’s better if a client stays – not only can they sign off on shots, but they can also take responsibility for their items (had a client leave us with £50K worth of jewellery the other day and my husband had to spend the day doubling as a security guard!), but then again there is also that saying”too many cooks….”

We can have anything from a skeleton crew of 3 people (me, hair & make-up artist & model) up to 10 or 20 depending on the complexity of the shoot; me, creative director, assistant(s), hair & make-up artist , model(s), stylist, dress designer/client, dresser, florist, the list goes on…..and if it wasn’t for all these people and all the wonderful things they contribute in their own fields, we would never see the amazing photography we see every day in the media and online. Its a massive group effort to get these shoots to look as amazing and flawless as they do, with people working tirelessly often for very little (if any) money, to try and create something that people will stop and look at.

Don’t get me wrong, you do need to know that the team you pull together can achieve the results you envisaged. I always feel so fired up when doing a shoot and when working on the results of one, I feel like I can take on the world and really make a difference with the images I leave behind.

I leave you with a rather heartwarming quote about the merits of working together with talented people “the strength of the team is each member and the strength of each member is the team.”
I truly believe that.