That time my old school pals got hitched avec Harry Potter decor and it was amazing.

Ross & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.uk

“Elly, we cannot thank you enough for your amazingly hard work photographing our wedding day. You were a delight to deal with from day-one, and completely got on board with our theme and the atmosphere that we wanted to create, and we’re so thankful for your enthusiasm! Yourself and Helen were a lovely, calming presence on the day but were never ‘in the way’ or overbearing, and you let us relax and enjoy our day which was so important to us. And the photos you’ve produced are insanely beautiful, you managed to make an awkward, not-very-photogenic couple look pretty decent! They capture the lovely moments perfectly, we cannot stop looking at them and reminiscing about the day. You worked so so hard, and we can’t tell you how grateful for the beautiful keepsakes that you’ve given us.”

#HEARTMELTED

There’s something particularly lovely about getting to snap the wedding of some of your old school pals. There’s something even lovelier about getting to snap the wedding of old school pals who love the Harry Potter books as much as you do and they include that love in the decor theme to the extent that it causes you to squeak and clap like the happiest seal at literally every detail. I’ve decided I’m not actually going to blabber on too much at the start of this blog because it might ruin the (GLORIOUS) surprises, but – seriously – if you’re a Potter fan, grab a butterbeer and keep reading / prepare to happy cry.

Mr & Mrs Hathaway, I salute you both, you spectacular humans.

Ross & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.ukRoss & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.ukRoss & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.ukRoss & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.ukRoss & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.ukRoss & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.uk

“…but Elly, there’s no sign of any Harry Potter wonderfulness yet!”

BOOM! Hogwarts house seating plan and co-ordinating house colour table decor, anyone?

Ross & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.uk

Ross & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.uk

Ross & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.uk

Ross & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.uk

Ross & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.uk

Ross & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.uk

❤❤❤ 

While you’re hyperventilating with joy, we’ll take a brief break from the Potter theme and dive straight back in to some more general gorgeousness. Ready?

Ross & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.uk

Personalised tea as favours = actual wizardry.

Ross & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.uk

Ross & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.uk

Ross & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.uk

Ross & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.uk

Ross & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.uk

Ross & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.uk

Ross & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.uk

Ross & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.uk

Ross & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.uk

Ross & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.uk

Ross & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.uk

In case you’re wondering, this venue is the Donnington Park Farmhouse in Castle Donnington, Derbyshire and it technically just qualifies for my 15% locals’ discount. Juuust so you know.

Ross & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.uk

Ross & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.uk

Ross & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.uk

Ross & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.uk

Ross & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.uk

Ross & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.uk

Ross & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.uk

Ross & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.uk

Ross & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.uk

Ross & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.uk

Ross & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.uk

Ross & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.uk

Ross & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.uk

One super adorable ceremony (avec delightful English popular literature-themed reading) later, I stole the new Mr & Mrs away for some nice couple portraits.

Ross & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.uk

Ross & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.uk

Ross & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.uk

Ross & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.uk

Ross & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.uk

Ross & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.uk

Ross & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.uk

Ross & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.uk

Ross & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.uk

Ross & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.uk

Ross & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.uk

Ross & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.uk

Ross & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.uk

Can we just take a moment to appreciate the dress and suit game here? Oh my ♥

Ross & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.ukRoss & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.ukRoss & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.ukRoss & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.ukRoss & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.ukRoss & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.uk

How beautiful is that barn setup?! If these details weren’t enough for you, WATCH OUT POTTER FANS, one of my all time favourite sweet cart setups was being put into action whilst dinner was happening. Take a deep breath, guys, and prepare to swoon slightly.

Ross & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.ukRoss & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.ukRoss & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.ukRoss & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.ukRoss & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.uk

YES, THAT’S A HARRY POTTER THEMED SWEET CART. BE STILL, MY BEATING HEART. I’ll not lie, I took far more photos of this than was strictly necessary. Massive shout out to the lovely Simply Sweet – Sweet Cart Hire for their work putting this together, it looked amazing!

Ross & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.ukRoss & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.ukRoss & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.ukRoss & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.uk

One veritable confetti explosion later and it was party time. I tell you now, these guys had some moves. How perfect is the Donnington Park Farmhouse barn for the Potter theme party too?!

Ross & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.ukRoss & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.ukRoss & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.ukRoss & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.ukRoss & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.ukRoss & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.ukRoss & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.ukRoss & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.ukRoss & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.ukRoss & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.ukRoss & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.ukRoss & Amy by www.el-hitched.co.uk

Whew, what a day!!! Big thanks to the brilliant Helen Smiddy for being my second shooter here and to the ace staff at Donnington Park Farmhouse for looking after us.

And finally, to finish: Huge congratulations again, lovely Amy and Ross, and thank you for asking me along to capture things for you! It really was, absolutely genuinely, magic.

E x


 

If you like what you see and would potentially like me to cover your big day, get in touch! See my website for an extended portfolio, pricing and contact details: www.el-hitched.co.uk

 

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The 2015 round-up: Adventures

2015 has certainly been an interesting one. It started off freezing and ended strangely toasty, I moved back to my hometown for far longer than I expected to, travelled to lots of exciting new places and met lots of incredible new people. It’s been difficult, but it’s also been amazing, and it all looked a little bit like this:

Winter

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Yep, 2015 started off much colder. I’ve always adored frost patterns, but frost and ice through a macro lens really is a whole different world. I actually did a little blog featuring lots more of these photos, if you fancy browsing further!

There was A LOT of snow up north. I dug my way back into my house a few squillion times and thanked goodness for the spare pair of wellies in the boot of my car. Also, it turns out I have back muscles now. Who knew?!

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I went exploring around beautiful Formby with Hannah James and Aubrey, the world’s leading expert in photobombing. Full blog right here!

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I waved goodbye to Sheffield (and Hudson the Super Dog) and moved back to Derbados. I also came to the conclusion that I may have magic powers when it comes to packing huge numbers of things into a room, but that the awesome Tetris spell breaks the moment I have to fit it into a smaller space. Like my car. Oh dear…

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As Winter drew to a close, my birthday happened and Dan took me to Twycross Zoo, where we established that I would probably quite happily live in a butterfly house if I could. Not even kidding.

 

Spring

Spring started with a trip up to North Wales with my Dad to visit my lovely Aunt and Uncle. There was a lot of rain, a bit of sunshine and a metric tonne of photos. You can check out the full blog here, but here’s a few of my favourites for starters:

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I got back from Wales and apparently there was a little eclipse or something? I may have taken some photos of its reflection in the garden pond (I only had an 85mm lens handy at the time and fancied trying to see it a bit differently) and things may have got a bit out of hand.

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Like, featured on BBC Earth and USA Today out of hand. Whaaaat?!

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Oh, and then there was that interview on BBC Radio Derby about it all that happened while I was sat on a hill in a tent helping to run a checkpoint for the Four Inns Walk. Again, whaaaat?!

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And then it rained. Oh how it rained.

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Minion biscuits were a (wonderful) thing.

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And then I went to The Photography Show with my favourite Camera Hannah and Cat Lane and nearly keeled over with happiness when I got accepted as a “Trade Visitor”. Ohhh yesss! I’d love to say I had my best professional face on, but that’s probably not the case.

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Shortly after falling in love with Sigma’s new 50mm f/1.4 Art lens at the Photography Show, Dan and I popped over to Hamburg for a cheeky few days holiday before we photographed the wedding of a very dear friend. There was sunshine and Miniatur Wunderland and a hotel room on the 12th floor and we may have discovered Hendricks Gin, much to the dismay of our wallets. Oh, and we somehow managed to find a fish and chip shop that was owned by a man originally from Cromer (of course), and I vowed I needed to improve my (spectacularly rusty) German language skills after we ate wurst and chips for the 4th time in a row.

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Sometime later, the sun deigned to show its face in the UK again and I officially cracked out the brogues and granny skirt combo. Hello, Springtime! Incidentally, should you fancy following me on Instagram, my username is @elly_lucas.

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We found some animatronic dinosaurs. And some meerkats. Dan was a little bit giddy about it.

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We even managed to cram in a mini holiday to Whitby! Fish and chips, ice-cream on the beach, many games of arrow-words and an evening spent watching the swallows dart around catching flies. Perfect.

 

Summer

Summer began with a trip up to Glasgow to see one of my absolute favourite people, AKA Louise Bichan, musician and photographer and all round lovely person. This time not only featured a sunny little meander around the Glasgow Botanical Gardens, but also dolling up to the nines and donning walking boots to trek out to an incredible location called “The Whangie”. It was so peaceful out there and the light so perfect that we pretty much stayed until it was dark, just enjoying the scenery and the quiet. This adventure really does need its own blog sometime soon (I took approximately three squillion photos and Lou looked AMAZING), but for now here’s a little taster:

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My Dad started keeping bees! These little guys have been buzzing busily around the garden, filling the air with a beautiful humming sound. It’s been fascinating watching them through a telephoto lens, all the different jobs they have and the different pollen types they return with.

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There was a little camping trip to Suffolk. It was all very twee and lovely and I fell in love with the colourful lines of beach huts. And the sloe gin we discovered there. Phwoargh.

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And then, as summer drew to an end, we popped over to my favourite festival in the universe: Shrewsbury Folk Festival. Festival trousers were worn, songs sung and nerdy Instax double exposures taken. Marvellous.

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Autumn

Autumn was a month of adventuring. Walks around Derbyshire were a thing, over moorlands and through falling leaves:

Longshaw Estate 2015 (8)

Longshaw Estate 2015 (7)

Longshaw Estate 2015 (3)

Longshaw Estate 2015 (10)

I fell in love with my macro lens all over again:

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And then my sister and I decided a trip up to beautiful Anglesey was called for. It would’ve been wrong not to call into Bodnant Garden again on the way…

And then there was the Menai Straight, which looked so magical under the overcast light that we had to stop the car and just stare at it for a while.

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Plas Newydd and Pili Palas (hurray for butterfly houses!) were rather beautiful too.

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And then there was the trip up to the Lake District with the wonderful SNAP Photography Festival crowd. I’d not met any of them before I joined them for a few days in Derwent Water Independent Hostel (which, by the way, is an awesome place to stay) but I can honestly say it was the most comfortable I’ve ever felt around a bunch of totally new people and I had a silly amount of fun. Thanks, loves! Many games of sardines happened (again, props to the Youth Hostel for being a spectacular venue for such antics), much crumble / gin was consumed and a few squillion photos were taken. Marvellous stuff.

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Should you fancy it, you can see a few more of my snaps alongside those of the other incredible photographers at the SNAP Reunion right here:

SNAP Reunion 2015 from Laura Babb on Vimeo.

Winter

The exploring theme continued as Winter came around again. Becky Ryan, Will Fuller, Louise Miller and I invaded the Peak District for the day:

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Dan and I popped up to York for some (rainy) Christmas market festive funsies. Pie and peas, mulled cider with spiced rum and more fudge stalls than you could shake a stick at.

And then it was Christmas! Where on earth did the year go?! I made lots of things, including a teddy bear called George, and had the best time catching up with family, obligatory Boxing Day hike and all. I do hope you all had a suitably lovely time too.

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And now it’s 2016! I can’t wait to see what adventures the next twelve months will bring.

Have a wonderful year,

E x

 

P.S. This year I’m attempting to write one or two blogs per week, so if you have any suggestions of things you’d be particularly interested in reading about (tutorials / behind the scenes / before and afters / other?) I’d love to hear from you!

The 2015 round-up: Spectacular Weddings

Where do I even start here?! 2015 has been pretty goshdarn lovely. It’s been a year of wonderful couples (thank you, guys!), amazing venues and everything from a My Neighbour Totoro wedding cake to a fire dancing display. My assistants have been brilliant, the dresses (and suits, for that matter) have been epic, I’ve travelled all over the place and blinked back more happy-tears than I thought possible. The music has been above and beyond, I can now say I’ve witnessed a bride vs groom game of conkers, glittery shoes have been a (glorious) thing and one of my couples JUMPED OVER A FIRE.

…yep, this year’s been a good’un. #bloomingloveweddings has never been more appropriate and I’ve had an absolute nightmare attempting to narrow down my favourites to a sensible number. It’s taken many, many cups of coffee, but here, finally and in no particular order, are a few of my favourite things from each of this year’s extravaganzas. Ready? Let’s go!

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Ian & Amy (23)Ian & Amy (130)
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Ian & Amy’s super beautiful, intimate Buxton Pavillion wedding. Strong bowtie game, right there.

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Bria & Matthew (186).jpg

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Bria and Matthew’s wonderful, eco-friendly Autumn wedding avec autumn leaf confetti, games of conkers, tree sapling wedding favours and all of the adorable.

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Jen and Dan’s mega lovely barn wedding came complete with a luminous yellow 2CV and a high-octane ceilidh by The Timorous Beasties. Magic stuff.

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M&H (17)M&H (19)

Y’know I mentioned that there’d been a fire dancer? There might’ve been a pyrobot too. Yep. Michelle and Hitesh’s wedding was pretty freaking epic.

Carrie & Neal (101)Carrie & Neal (63)Carrie & Neal (121)

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Carrie & Neal got hitched at the delightfully quirky Hundred House Hotel. It may have rained, but that just made the light more beautiful later! Also: Roller Derby teams make for excellent group photos. Just saying.

Gina & Russ by E.L - Hitched
Gina & Russ by E.L - Hitched

Gina & Russ by E.L - Hitched
Gina & Russ by E.L - Hitched

I’ve had the total pleasure and privilege of photographing a few friends’ weddings this year. Y’know, those ones where you’re even more emotionally involved than normal and then they go and have a reading about two dinosaurs which is, incidentally, read by two of your other favourite people and causes you to melt a little bit? Yep, that was Russ and Gina’s spectacularly colourful summer wedding at The Farmhouse. Oh man. (Also, did you spot the flying baby?!)

Will & Emily by E.L - Hitched
Will & Emily by E.L - Hitched

Will & Emily by E.L - Hitched
Will & Emily by E.L - Hitched
Will & Emily by E.L - Hitched

I was delighted to pop back to the wonderful Wood Lane Countryside Centre in Stannington for Will and Emily’s super sweet big day. How perfect is this colour scheme?!

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It may have sporadically hammered it down on the day of Helen and John’s Shrewsbury wedding but, my goodness, it was still crazy gorgeous! (Incidentally, Helen’s wedding hair was done by the rather clever Jenni McDonald at Francesco Group (Newport) who I’d previously been a hair model for in a shoot with Ella Ruth Photography. If you’re looking for someone to sort your barnet out round Shropshire way, go check her out!)

Michelle & Jon by E.L - Hitched
Michelle & Jon by E.L - Hitched

Being asked to photograph another photographer’s wedding party is always exciting / nerve-wracking / a massive compliment! The attention to detail at Michelle and Jon’s incredible wedding party did not disappoint; everything looked totally beautiful. As if that wasn’t enough, there was even an impromptu ukelele lesson! Wizard.

Alex & Clare (9)Alex & Clare (199)

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TOTORO WEDDING CAKE!!! In case this isn’t already all kinds of obvious, this pretty much made my life. Claire and Alex’s wedding was pretty gorgeous.

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Toby and Rachel went for a home-made beer festival vibe for their big day and, my goodness, it was perfect. Beermat bunting, stellar musicians and fairylights aplenty. Photographing friends’ weddings really is one of the loveliest things.

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Jemma & Nick (67)

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Jemma and Nick’s autumnal wedding at the Bradfield Village Hall featured lots and lots of lovely music and dancing; everything from bagpipes playing Jemma into the hall and a four-piece harmony song in the service, right the way through to Jemma joining in the one of the Morris dances in her wedding dress (mad skills!!) and a wonderfully raucous ceilidh. Oh, and the apple pies came out with sparklers on. Genius!

Rachel & Peter (66)Rachel & Peter (70)

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My first ever wedding in Germany! I was particularly excited about this one, it being the wedding of a lady I’ve been friends with pretty much since birth. The cake was wheeled out avec sparklers to the sound of Sandstorm, the first dance was spectacular and everyone was positively beaming all day. Nicely done, Rachel and Peter, you beauts!

E & J (453)E & J (288)E & J (194)

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People who are so cute it hurts a bit? Emily and Jason. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect for these two, who had a gorgeous summer garden party theme, and I’m so glad it was. There was so much love surrounding this whole day, from family and friends as well as between the bride and groom themselves, that I legit had to go cuddle a pillow as soon as I got home. #notevenkidding

Emily & Will (105)Emily & Will (1)Emily & Will (81)

Emily & Will (190)Emily & Will (191)

Continuing the impossibly lovely vibe was the wonderfully musical wedding of Emily and Will. Y’know I mentioned one of my couples this year jumped over a fire? That was these guys. Can’t even BEGIN to tell you the relief when they made it over unscathed. Whewww! Emily and Will had their reception at the absolutely beautiful Avalon Permaculture Gardens in Somerset and their gorgeous little girl, Lily, was on bridesmaid duty. (Did I mention that she and Emily had matching Mama and daughter flower garlands? Oh my heart.)

Natasha & Adam (105)Natasha & Adam (252)Natasha & Adam (134)

Have I ever told you how much I love a good village hall wedding? Natasha and Adam’s big day was marvellous. Huge volumes of home-made cake, a brass band and tonnes of confetti. Perfect. (I may have also been a bit in love with Natasha’s dress. Totally gorgeous!)

Sarah & Chris (228)

Sarah & Chris (291)Sarah & Chris (448)Sarah & Chris (430)

D’awwwh, these guys. As if Sarah and Chris’s autumnal wedding wasn’t lovely enough already, Sarah’s Brownie and Guide groups formed a guard of honour after the service! The colour scheme for the whole wedding was based around the team colours of the Nottingham Panthers, Sarah’s favourite ice hockey team. That’s dedication, right there. (It looked amazing and all!) Also, fun fact: these guys found my work after Sarah’s step-mum came on one of my creative portraiture courses! Super nice.

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N&C (20)N&C (12)

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Clients who are happy to don wellies and stand in a ford for the sake of photo funsies = the bee’s knees. Chris and Nichola’s big day in the north west, avec spectacular marquee and decorative tractors and tower of cheese, was absolutely magical.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, was 2015! I realise I’ve failed somewhat spectacularly at narrowing things down, but there really was too much loveliness. I hope you’ve enjoyed browsing through these as much as I’ve enjoyed working on them. Huge thanks again to all of my wonderful couples and a massive shout out to all of my super assistants (especially Cat Lane, Jamie Sia, Sam Houghton, Ocean Hampson and my ever patient fella, Dan) – I can’t wait to see what 2016 will bring!

Wishing you all the very best for the New Year,

E x

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#weloveweddings

If you like what you see and would potentially like me to cover your big day, get in touch! See my website for an extended portfolio, pricing and contact details: www.el-hitched.co.uk

Ella and the Blossom Tree

I consider myself extremely privileged to know lots of wonderful, creative (really rather photogenic) people. Y’know, the kind of people who can inspire you just by nattering over tea and cake in the garden, and then post things that just melt your brain? Them. The rather gorgeous Ella Ruth is very definitely one of these people.

I fell in love with Ella’s instantly recognisable ethereal portraits a few years back, and have been ridiculously lucky to have photographed (and been photographed by) her on several occasions since. Normally when we’ve met up for one of our little photo adventures we’ve ended up battling horizontal blizzards, galeforce winds, driving rain and temperatures perilously close to the minus range – usually in summer dresses – so imagine our surprise when our last meet up featured not only sunshine, but enough warmth to actually sit comfortably in our chosen shoot attire. I’ll not lie, the phrase “WHAT IS THIS WITCHCRAFT?!” came up several times, along with an overwhelming urge to check the horizon every few seconds, expecting it to start bucketing it down at any given moment. Raining cats and dogs / frogs seems like an entirely plausible scenario at a standard Elly and Ella shoot. I’m genuinely surprised that we don’t look too perplexed by our good fortune in the final photos.

Anyhow, our luck stayed! For the whole day! It all looked a bit like this:

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Yep, it was pretty lush. Here’s Ella expressing just how ecstatic we were with the weather:

Extra

And here’s the obligatory photo day Instagram snap:

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And here’s a lovely BTS snap Ella got of me swanning around taking photos in a fancy frock:

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Chuffing marvellous stuff. Incidentally, if you fancy seeing Ella’s photos of me, go check out her beautiful Facebook page!

Until next time,

E x

Folk music, Blackadder and a whole lot of creative genius.

What do you get if you combine eight incredible musicians, a bunting-filled house and a huge dose of historical inspiration? (And an amazing project team and a tour or two around Hatfield House?) I could be wrong – I was pretty delirious by the time I’d finished driving around photographing everything and absorbing all the gorgeous new music – but I’m pretty sure you’d get a little piece of magic entitled “The Elizabethan Session“, AKA these lovely folks:

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Rachel Newton, Hannah James, John Smith, Emily Askew, Jim Moray, Martin Simpson, Bella Hardy and Nancy Kerr were given seven days to create some new pieces of music based around the Elizabethan era, and OH BOY did they. In a beautiful house in Herefordshire, a place adorned with a few miles of (incredible) bunting and some of the best owl mugs I’ve ever seen, these guys lived and worked together for the space of a week, drawing inspiration from all over this period of history. And Blackadder.

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Hurrah for Instax!

I was commissioned to capture three stages of the project: the song development / rehearsal in the first phase, the gig at Hatfield (plus the promo shot), and finally the recording of the album. I drove a silly number of miles and more than likely didn’t sleep enough courtesy of being giddily excited, but MY GOODNESS it was worth it. Incidentally, I’m going to apologise in advance for the sporadic bouts of capital letter fever that may incur throughout this post. “Enthusiastic” doesn’t even begin to cover it.

My work started on the last day of the musicians being in their lovely house in Herefordshire. After a week of frenetic and ridiculously prolific writing, this was the day of fine tuning and running through the concert set. I’ll not lie, I was totally blown away. I mean, I knew it was going to be good – that line up was always going to be good – but holy moly. In the space of about six days, they’d put together FOURTEEN new pieces of music. Whaaat?!!

Because it’s normally around this time that I get distracted by photographic nostalgia and stop being able to articulate anything, I’m just going to go right ahead and show you the snaps. For maximum effect, I suggest you go grab yourself a copy of the album or, for now, whack it on on Spotify and then go get yourself a proper copy. I promise it’s ever so pretty. Ready?

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Jim Moray presents the group’s rider demands to Adam and Neil…

 

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Because EVERY good creative project requires Marmite. Right?

 

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…I will be the first to admit that I may have gone the teensiest bit snap-happy at this point. It really was a genuine pleasure to sit in on this part of the creative process. (Enjoying the album so far? Yep? Thought so.)

The next day, after a rather long early morning drive across the country to the incredible Hatfield House, we started setting up the stage for the evening’s concert in the Old Palace. The Palace is known to be the childhood home of Elizabeth I and later where she convened her first Council of State. It’s also thought that it was under an old oak tree in the grounds of Hatfield House that Elizabeth learned of her ascension to the throne. Pretty magic place for a gig, right?

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While soundman extraordinaire, Andy Bell, and his crew were setting up for soundcheck, I was charged with doing one of the fastest photoshoots ever. We’re talking the photographic equivalent of the amount of time a pint would last at a fresher’s fair. Unfortunately we had to wait to use the room we wanted, which meant that I had approximately 20 minutes to set up my lights and get everyone photographed as quickly as possible so they could dash back to the Old Palace and crack on with rehearsals for the evening’s performance… Whewww!

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Thankfully the room looked awesome, everyone was a total pro in front of the camera and we bossed through the cover shoot. Stellar. (Ordered your copy of the album yet? I do rather recommend the vinyl…)

With that done, I had a few moments to curl up and listen as the musicians leapt straight back into rehearsing. There’s been a few times during the time that I’ve been doing this job that I’ve had to pinch myself to check that everything was, in fact, real – and this was very definitely one of them. The evening concert was beautiful and all involved in the project have a huge amount to be proud of. Judging by the reaction of the audience that night, they all agreed with me. Several times over.

And that was that! At least, for a couple of days. I popped home for a day and a bit before winding my way back down to sunny Hatfield to capture a few snaps of the album being recorded in the Old Palace by Andy Bell. What a place to record music!

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