When we bought Kermit, our old VW 4 years ago I really didn’t realise just how much he would change our lives. I know, sounds a bit dramatic right?? But seriously, he’s been the best investment we ever made. Yes, he’s old & a bit rusty in places. Yes, his spark plugs blew off driving over a hill in the Lake District and we thought the engine was going to explode (it didn’t, phew!). Yes, he’s a bit temperamental staring up in cold weather unless you know how. And yes, it’s probably cost us more to keep him running over the last 4 years than it did to actually buy him. But, do you know what. Totally worth it. You can’t help but smile driving around in him, and he makes everyone we meet along the way smile too.
With 2 kids & a dog in tow, and working most weekends through the summer, a camper van seemed like the perfect way to escape whenever we have a few spare days. Just throw our clothes in after school and were off, wherever we fancy. Camping in woods, or by the coast. Away from all the distractions of life, no wi-fi, no iPads or computers pinging with notifications & emails every 5 seconds. And more ofter than not, no mobile phone signal either. I couldn’t think of a better way to unwind, than sitting round a campfire and sleeping under the stars. And the kids thrive on it. Being surrounded by nature, waking up amongst the forest with birds chirping good morning, the kettle whistling and bacon sizzling in the pan. Nothing to worry about except finding the best tree to climb.
We spent a total of 30 nights sleeping in the camper in 2015. Everywhere from deep in the Sussex woods, to the edge of Lake Windermere. Hundreds of miles travelled and memories made, all with the help of our trusty green bus.
Camp life has made us more appreciative of the little things, bought us closer as a family, and opened our eyes wide to the beauty of simple living. We really don’t need much at all, as long as we have each other. Moments over things…always.
Our year of adventure
2015 saw me shoot 22 weddings, edit 12,590 images, travel up and down the country from Dover to Penrith & the Lake District, and share so many amazing moments & memories. I am always touched by how my couples open their hearts to me, and trust me to document the most important day of their lives. Photographing weddings every weekend never gets old, everyones story is so unique and being able to tell those stories and preserve them forever through my pictures is the best feeling ever!
Sometimes this job can feel like a non stop cycle of shooting & editing, especially from May – October. So last year I made a real effort to carve out as much time as possible to create my own memories. So we packed up our trusty Kermit the Campervan and headed off whenever we could to spend time as a family, getting back to nature and camping in the woods. In total, we spent a whopping 30 nights in the camper, telling stories round the campfire, reading by torchlight & sleeping under the stars. It was a special, magical time, and we plan to get back on the road to make more memories as soon as the weather is warm enough. I will be sharing some personal photos from our camping trips in another post, as this is already way too long as it is!!
I just want to say a HUGE thank you to all my couples past & present, who have jumped on board this crazy adventure with me, it means more than you will ever know. Here’s to many more adventures in 2016!!
This was so hard to whittle down, so I didn’t!! Grab a cuppa and have a browse through some of my favourite moments from the last year…
Looking back at 2015
Oh man, I cannot believe I shot this wedding over a year ago, but it’s too good not to share!!
Natalie & Alex had a gorgeous winter wedding in a tipi at her parents Surrey home, with their ceremony at the local village church St. Peters, Limpsfield. It was truly magical, the tipi was warm & cosy with a huge open fire, candles, furs, rugs and toasted marshmallows…like stepping into Narnia!
We we lucky that it was a beautiful crisp day, with a gorgeous winter sunset – the perfect backdrop for their family photos and some relaxed portraits as dusk fell and our breath turned to wispy clouds in the cold air. Their day was filled with so much love & laughter, again it made me realise how lucky I am that I am that I get to do this job and spend time with such wonderful people. I am so thankful for every couple who let me into their lives, open their hearts to me and trust me to capture their most important days. The icing on the cake was the text I received from Natalie the next morning. Natalie & Alex bought her parents a beautiful puppy as a thank you for hosting their wedding. They wanted to name her something that would always remind them of such a special day, and they chose to call her “Lola”. I may have blubbed a little when I read that.
Cosy winter Teepee Wedding, Surrey
Get the look :
Flowers : Distinctly Floral | Cars : Vauxhall Victor | Caterers : Kalm Kitchen | Videographers : Skinny Boy Films
It was a grey day, but that didn’t dampen anyones spirits, and the canary yellow colour scheme Jacquie had chosen certainly brightened things up, as did her infectious smile!!! I spent a wonderful day with them at the gorgeous Caswell House, a lovely barn wedding venue nestled in the heart of the Oxforshire countryside. Jacquie arrived with her dad in a horse & carriage, and the bridesmaids arrived in a lovely VW Camper – my favourite form of transportation, obviously!!!
The day started at the Oxford Four Pillars Hotel, and the room decor even matched Jacquies’ yellow colour scheme!! I’m not sure of that was planned or a happy accident, but it worked out well for the photos!! They incorporated lots of handmade touches around their venue, and it was all styled so beautifully by some of Jacquies’ friends who helped set everything up that morning. And the weather improved once the sun started to set and we were treated to a lovely warm evening, a beautiful end to a beautiful day!
Get the look :
Brides Dress – Blue by Enzoani dress from The Bridal House, Aston Clinton
Brides Shoes – Nina (dyed yellow)
Bridesmaid Dresses – Jasmine from The Bridal House
Florist : Joanna Carter
Stationery – Kate at Astbury Smith
Cake Maker – Natasha Cohen
Videographer – Heartfelt Productions
Campervan – Silk and Satin
Carriage – Haydn Webb Carriages
Caterers – Indulgence Boutique Catering
Sarah + Glenn’s wedding was EPIC!! I can’t tell you how much fun I had with these guys and if I could photograph it all over again, I would in a heartbeat!! They were married in their home town of Leigh-on-Sea, Essex in the church where Sarah’s parents were married & Sarah was Christened, and then had an amazing tipi reception in Glenn’s mums back garden. Perfection.
I love it when my couples really invest into their wedding photos, it makes such a huge difference!! Sarah + Glenn set aside some time to drive down to the seafront for photos with me before heading to the reception to begin partying. So I hopped, (well, more kind of squeezed myself) into the tiny back seat of their sporty little Merc and we zoomed off to the beach! We only needed 10 minutes there, but boy, just look at that soft misty seaside backdrop – GORGEOUSNESS!!!
The tipi looked stunning, and Sarah had put so much effort into all the little touches, there was a rustic woodland feel with hay bales, berries, vines & cute little Bunnies dotted around. After dark the tipi really came to life and these guys partied well into the night…the generator was finally switched off at 4am!! Just one of the many upsides to having a wedding at home!
I hope you enjoy this peek into their day, it is one of my all time faves and was also featured on the top UK wedding blog Love MY Dress, where you can read more about how they planned their day here.
Get the look :
Brides Dress – Cymbeline
Bride’s Veil – Bespoke from The Bespoke Wardrobe
Bride’s Shoes – Cinderella shoes via Emmy London
Headpiece – Emmy London
Perfume – Chloe
Groom – pre-owned suit + TM Lewin tie
Bridesmaid’s Dresses – Bespoke, vi Kim Cannon + Primark Shoes + Belts via Emmy London
Flower girl Dresses – Primark
Florist – via a friend
Cake – via a friend
Cars/Transport – Vintage Mercedes
Entertainment – Urban Central via Function Junction
Catering Company – Valentine Cuisine
Stationery Designer – Paul McDermid
Makeup Artist – The Bride, Sarah Nice
Hair — Rachel Martin