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Friday, 29 January 2010

Juliette and Sameh's Wedding at Weybridge Registry Office

There is something particularly nice about small family weddings and when the Groom is from Egypt and his entire family seem to be experts at Belly Dancing, it gets exciting, believe me! Juliette and Sameh had their wedding at Weybridge Register Office and the Richmond Gate Hotel.

Weybridge Registry Office is one of the nicer ones I have come across, having quite a large sunny garden and the building itself is an old manor house, with lots of oak panelling and leather furniture.

The trip over to the Richmond Gate Hotel wasn't too bad, the one worry with getting around in this part of London is getting stuck in traffic, but we all arrived at pretty much the same time.

Fabulous cake:

Juliette and Sameh had arranged some great entertainment, with live music (including Juliette's son playing the guitar), DJ and a Mind Boggler called Chris Hare who amazed everyone with mind boggling tricks and of course lots of belly dancing!

The Richmond Gate Hotel is a very nice venue for a smaller wedding and you can find more details on their website. If you like the idea of having a Mind Boggler at your wedding, party or even corporate event, you can learn more about Chris Hare's astonishing mind boggliness on his website!

Friday, 15 January 2010

Snowy Landscape Photography on the South Downs

Hopefully I'll be doing Ben Nevis with some friends in a in a few weeks time, so to start getting the legs in order and shoot a few snowy landscapes I took a hike up over the downs the other day. The depth of snow across the top was quite surprising, well past my knees in places and I somehow crossed Beachy Head Road without realising until I noticed that I was heading downhill and shouldn't be - visibility was pretty poor. There was nobody around and going past the empty pub and Countryside Visitor Centre felt rather like featuring in a post-apocalyptic horror movie, I almost expected to hear the growls of starving feral dogs at any moment. The weather opened up quite a bit around Belle Toute and I managed to get a couple of good shots:


I finally saw people when I reached Birling Gap, a film crew - a spooky coincidence given my earlier thoughts! They were making a black comedy called 'The Edge', which is set in a hotel with all sorts of odd happenings - I will look out for it.


The weather really started to close in on the way back from East Dean and I had to resort to map and compass - can't remember the last time I did this on the Downs. Getting lost wasn't the issue (just head East), but I was keen to avoid taking a route that lost me a lot of height, just to go back up again. I managed to get a position fix before visibility dropped to about twenty metres and spent the next couple of hours in a world of white navigating off the compass about 30 feet at a go.

I came up onto Beachy Brow about 50 metres from where I'd planned, which was a pretty good shot under the circumstances and trudged the last mile home - downhill all the way! The depth of snow had made for quite tough going, but it was a great day and having the Downs all to yourself is a rare event these days.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Tamsin and Andrew's Wedding at the Ramada Ascot Hotel, Berkshire

You know that you are at an extremely well run wedding venue when the first thing the reception staff say to you is "Good morning Mr House, the Groom is currently relaxing in the spa pool, would you like me to take you down there for a photo opportunity?" Now that is seriously on the ball!

Tamsin and Andrew had their wedding at the Ramada Ascot Hotel, which is a beautiful 18th century manor house in Berkshire not far from Legoland (possible use as a creche?). The bridal suite that Tamsin used to get ready is lovely and overlooks the hotel grounds with it's ornamental pond.

Andrew and his party had a slightly smaller, but equally lovely suite at the other end of the hotel. All the men arrived within a couple of minutes of us and while I was busy getting covering the groom getting ready I noticed that Nina had been roped into pinning on button holes and straightening ties!

You can use a window in the bridal suite to do the group photographs from, although my favourite is this slightly surreal shot of the bride coming out through the restaurant doors directly below:

I love this photograph of Tamsin (who is incredibly natural in front of the camera). It was taken just after sunset and she is illuminated by a floodlight that lights up one of the trees in the grounds:

The Ramada Ascot is an excellent wedding venue, but what really sets it apart in my mind is Robert, the Event Manager. He seemed to be everywhere at once, but completely unobtrusive and unflappable, always in control of events without appearing controlling, he helped organise the group shots, kept me briefed well in advance of what was happening and most importantly made the day feel like it was very personal to Tamsin and Andrew. If you are interested in having your wedding at the Ramada Ascot (and you will be in very good hands) you can find more information on their Website.

Sandy and Andy's Wedding at the Windsor Hotel, Worthing

This a particularly painful wedding to photograph as I knew that as soon as it was over Andy and Sandy were jetting off for a three week honeymoon touring around New Zealand. I've always wanted to go there and instead I would be stuck in England, working my fingers to the bone over a hot keyboard. Still, you can't begrudge Andy and Sandy (OK, perhaps a bit) as they are such a lovely couple to work with. They had their wedding at the Windsor Hotel in Worthing, which is at the eastern end of the town near the seafront.

Sandy got ready at the hotel ably assisted by her bridesmaids, having stayed there the night before, with Andy and his party arriving at midday to get ready for the wedding.

Although it's quite a small wedding venue, the Windsor Hotel has some interesting gardens with lots of little corners for getting photographs in. It's also possible to get onto the flat roof of the restaurant which overlooks the gardens so that you can do the group photographs from above.

Fascinated by the streamers from the party poppers:

Andy and Sandy had a lovely relaxed wedding surrounded by family and friends and were very well looked after by the Windsor staff. Your can find out more about the Windsor Hotel on their website: