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Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Hillary and Mark's Wedding at Frensham Heights

Hillary and Mark's Wedding at Frensham Heights School was an interesting one, as I had not heard of this venue before. Frensham Heights is an old country mansion near Farnham in Surrey, that is now a day and boarding school and has the most fantastic view towards the south coast.

This was another wedding where Nina was in her wedding planner role and Hillary and Mark chose me as their wedding photographer.

Hillary works at the Tate Modern, which I always love to pop into when I have the chance as you get to see the strangest things. My all time favourite exhibit was a row of someone's toenail clippings on a block of lard - seriously, I almost collapsed laughing, much to the interest of other visitors who probably felt that the display was a damning indictment of the battery farmed christmas tree industry or something.

I digress, so back to the wedding. Hillary and her family are all from Canada, so Nina had planned a mix of Canadian and English touches to the wedding so that everyone felt included. Not knowing much about shoes, I don't know whether these came from England or Canada, but I could see where they had to go:

I loved the hand positions in this one:

An interesting view...

All the flowers were provided by Euphoric Flowers were stunning as always

The ceremony and reception take place in the main hall, which has a very convenient gallery to shoot from.

I was banned from writing anything on the message tree as my sense of humour makes Nina a little nervous at times, everyone else had a go though.

Frensham Heights School is one of the nicest and best organised venues I have come across, if you are getting married in the Farnham area, I strongly recommend that you have a look at their website.

And obviously when it comes to flowers you would be hard pushed to do better than speak to Victoria and Simon at Euphoric Flowers, they are awesome!

Finally, if you haven't been to the Tate Modern you really should. I can't promise toenail clippings on a block of lard, but there will definitely be something there to brighten your day.

Sunday, 23 November 2008


I had a request for stock photographs of Barcelona a few days ago and thought I would share some from at trip there last year.

We met a very nice German chap on the plane who gave us a few recommendations, including one to a fantastic restaurant near the Olympic Stadium with a view over the whole of Barcelona. It really was awesome and the food was amazing.

His other recommendation was to a little local place in the city centre. Cutting our way through the cigar smoke to find a table was interesting, as was the collection of chicken bones scattered liberally across the floor.

Not to be put off, we both ordered paella. This arrived after about ten minutes and the waiter proudly announced "It's real frozen paella you know!". The aluminium trays it arrived in and the fact that you had to use a knife as a chisel to break it into bite sized chunks testified to this. It was more like hard seafood biscuit than paella.

In fairness we probably went to the wrong establishment as every other meal we had was great and we can't wait for a chance to go back.

Mick House Photography

Monday, 27 October 2008

Islam Expo 2008

While on the subject of things Islamic, I ought to mention Islam Expo 2008 at Olympia, which I covered a little while back.

This was a very friendly, colourful and well supported event, with a variety of stands in one hall and conferences during the day with rock concerts in the evening in the other hall. Yusuf Islam was even there for the opening.

The conference part was painfully dull, although if you are interested in speakers such as Tony Benn, George Galloway, Ken Livingstone and Norman Kimber, perhaps it would have you trembling with excitement - each to their own. The rest of it and the evening entertainment were actually very good and informative though.

Some of the music in the evenings was fantastic (although there were also a couple of rap acts as well - sorry, but I really don't get it) and it was great fun shooting from the stage.


I would certainly recommend that people go and see the next one, it is well worth a few hours of your time to see something a bit different and not once did anyone try to convert me.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Amira and Adam's Wedding at The Regent, London

I had a strange experience last night. I was quite happily watching a programme about the origins of the solar system and nodded off some time before the end. I awoke at 3 in the morning with the television still on and was confronted by Conway Twitty gazing into my eyes and singing about how much he loved me. It really was quite surreal for a few seconds.

More interestingly it did remind me to finish off the Christmas season, with Amira and Adam's Wedding at The Regent, London.

Amira and Adam are friends of Asmaa, Yusuf Islam's (formerly Cat Stevens) daughter. My wife Nina planned Asmaa and Francesco's wedding last year and I did the photography , so a very nice referral, thank you. Hopefully you now understand why Conway Twitty reminded me to mention Adam and Amira's wedding - a sort of bizarre musical connection!


Although the Regent Banqueting Suite is incredibly ornate, the storage room that Amira was given to get ready in was pretty difficult to work with, still, it forces you to get creative. I have this photo up in the hall at home:


This was the first time that I'd seen henna tatoo's up close, they are incredibly intricate and must take hours to do.


Adam does the funniest impersonations of Tony Blair and George Bush you could imagine. He was persuaded to take the stage for a while and had me laughing so much that it was almost impossible to shoot properly. 

I hope that one day I wake at 3am and there will be Adam with his own comedy show. Far preferable to Conway Twitty promising me undying love!

Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against Mr Twitty, you can learn more about him and his music here.
I have always been a fan of Yusuf Islam and his excellent website is well worth a visit.
Finally don't forget to visit Nina's website to learn about her celebrity wedding planning services.
01323 639404

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Simons Birthday Party

Last month saw Simon Bell's 40th birthday party at Westbeach Restaurant, Bournemouth.

I covered Simon and Neal's civil partnership a couple of years ago, so it was great to be invited back to do the party as well. It was even nicer to be remembered by so many people!

As always, the food and service at Westbeach were outstanding.

Musical entertainment for the first half of the evening was provided by the Stromenti String Quartet.

The high-point was Simon joining them on the piano for Shubert's Trout Quintet. If I'd known about this beforehand I'd have brought my didgeridoo along.

Just when we thought that the evening had reached the peak of elegance, events were taken over (pretty much literally) by Cassidy Kane, who has the most amazing voice and is one of the funniest acts I've seen.

Eventually Simon grabbed the microphone and and said it was 12.30 and time to move on to a club. I thought it was about 9.30, so I haven't a clue where the time went.

You can find out more about Westbeach Restaurant on their website and for further information on the Stromenti String Quartet please visit their website.