Wedding Photography Yearly Highlights

Wedding Photography 2020 Highlights

It feels a bit odd to be posting a weddings highlights this year but it’s so important to reflect upon this rollercoaster of a year. As a storyteller, this years set of images is probably my favourite collection yet. It tells the story of UK weddings during a pandemic and those couples who choose to start their married life in the face of adversity.

There is no escaping the fact that weddings in 2020 were different but with a lot of the usual wedding ingredients stripped away, what you are left with is a couple, who desperately want to be married and there is something really pure and beautiful about that.
I’ve faced my own challenges this year too, from my health, to losing 70% of my work with very little government support. It’s not been an easy one. But I think we need to take the shit that life throughs at us and try our best to turn it around somehow. There have been some amazing things that have also happened this year. I was named as a top 100 UK wedding photographer by SLR lounge, Ranked in the top 20 for TIR Family, I also picked up a wedding award from TIR and WPJA. I took the time to brush up on my video skills and have been able to diversify into videography, making a commercial video for a school along with my first proper weddings video. I have also got myself an evening job teaching photography starting next year at North Herts College!!
I have no idea what 2021 will hold, I’m not going to think everything will be ok because the goal post keep changing but never the less, I’m still excited about it.
Stay safe and healthy
Erica x

2019 was a good one! I honestly feel so lucky that I get the honour of capturing weddings for such amazing couples. I’ve shot at some awesome venues, second shot for some fellow togs (for the very first time!), made a wedding video and I won 9 wedding photography awards, including two ‘This Is Reportage’ awards, which was a real highlight for me.

I shot at the following venues (some more than once!) – Offley Place, The Farmhouse Redcoats, Priory Barn, Hunters Hall, Ealing Abbey, Houchins, Three Lakes, Milling Barn, De Vere Latimer Estate, Lanswade Hall and Tewinbury Barn. I have worked with some wonderful suppliers, some that deserve an extra special mention would be Videography by – I will Video, Flowers by – Heaven Flowers, Makeup by – Louise Jackson – Music by – The Nameless Three,  Roadrunner, Ceilidh – Licence to Ceilidh, 

I can’t wait for 2020, as my little ones get bigger I’m looking forward to having more time to devote to my business so I’m really excited to see where the year takes me. I’ve also got some amazing weddings lined up with some great couples along with some new projects that I can’t wait to get stuck into.

So, thanks again to all who made 2019 so very special. I wish you all a wonderful new year.

x

Wedding Photography 2018 Highlights

Oh 2018, you have been so good to me!

Thank you to all my lovely brides and grooms who trusted me to capture their big day. It’s an honour that I will never take for granted, and I genuinely hold a little place in my heart for you all.

Micro Wedding at The Farmhouse, Redcoats

My Last wedding this year was this beautiful Micro Wedding at the Farmhouse, Redcoats in Hitchin.

It was a case of serendipity that I got the chance to photograph this wedding. Without the pandemic I would not have been shooting door step portraits on my neighbours during lockdown, this lead me to meet the newbies to the lane, Liz and Tom who had just cancelled their August Wedding. Secondly, I wouldn’t have had the confidence to say I could also film their day. During the first lockdown, I brushed up on my video skills with the awesome Mick Shah of Miki studios, So when Liz and Tom mentioned they wanted to film the service, I let them know that I had been dabbling in video work and it was agreed I would see what I could do, the photos would come first but anything I could film would be a bonus!

 

For couples who have tied the knot during the pandemic, the restrictions have changed a number of times, ranging from 15 guests to 30 guests then back to 15. Sometimes guest were only allowed to attend the service, then a sit down meal was allowed, then it wasn’t, then it was again. It has been so hard to keep up and the limbo of trying to keep on top your wedding plans during such a difficult year is no easy task. For Liz and Tom, this wedding was the third wedding they had planned. Once they had decided that the most important thing about getting married, was actually getting married, they decided to have a small wedding and it would follow with a big celebration next June (🤞) at their original venue. So the first weekend after the UK came out of it’s second lockdown, Liz and Tom got married!

The day of the wedding I was able to stroll a few steps down our little lane to grab some shots of Tom getting ready, what he lacked in grooms men, George the cat attempted to fill the void, I think he did a rather good job, although it did mean Tom had to remove a load of cat hair from his wedding jacket just before he left! At Redcoats the bridal room seemed almost normal, a tad emotional Liz along with Katy (Makeup by Katy) who was her MUA and Claire (Barberalla Bridal Hair) working wonders on her hair. There was the added protection of masks and plenty of hand sanitiser for all us trades people keeping us as covid safe as we could be. No matter if there are only 15 wedding guests or 150, the pre wedding buzz and anticipation is exactly the same and Liz gave me all of 5 seconds after I had arrived and got my camera out, before she started to cry.

The Farmhouse at Redcoats is a great blend of cool contemporary decor with a historic cosy rustic barn. The iconic Pencil portraits by Young and Battaglia never fail to raise a smile and I love watching couples try to balance a pencil between their nose and lips! Tom and Liz were surprising good at this. Redcoats is also one of those venues that can actually be quite tricky to shoot in, pockets of harsh light cut through scenes, and the barn has next to no natural light. It was really fun to get creative with the light and use the challenge to my advantage. The weather gods were also kind to us, and gave us the most beautiful winter sun, so this meant we were able to grab some perfect golden hour light just before they sat down for their wedding breakfast, it was a photographers dream!

Redcoats always do such a fantastic job of making weddings seem effortless, they use the space they have so well, I have seen the barn full, I have seen the barn marry a couple with only two other guests, and now I have seen it with just 15 in. Every time it looked amazing, and the effort the venue put in is the same, regardless of the number of people attending. Well done team Redcoats! Also a shout out to Hitchin florist Stephany Rose, who’s beautiful flowers help set the scene perfectly!

Liz and Tom’s day really was just perfect, it was so full of love and joy and I know that when the celebrations are back on, these guys will party hard with all those they love who missed out on this day.

And as for my video…….

 

If you are thinking about having a micro wedding and would like to talk through the different photography and videography options please get in touch. I am a massive fan of these smaller weddings and if you need any convincing that they are blooming lovely then check out some of my recent micro weddings here, Hannah and Pete, Rosie and Ben.

 

Here are a few photos from the day.

Bohemian Beach Wedding
If anyone is planning a 2021 wedding and is looking for some inspiration in how they can adapt their day, Hannah and Pete’s Bohemian Beach wedding may just give you some ideas. Hannah and Pete were one of the amazing couples who decided to take on the huge challenge of having their wedding during the pandemic. I think its really easy to view a gallery and forget about all the challenges and disappointment a couple must endure when they are forced to adapt their wedding celebrations. The restrictions imposed upon couples wanting to tie the knot were often so quick to change, that it meant planning their big day 2,3 and sometimes even 4 times! This is no easy thing to do and I have so much admiration for those couples who found a way to roll with the pandemic punches! And that is exactly what Hannah and Pete did.
From the moment I met Hannah and Pete I was really excited about their wedding plans, it had all the makings to be a corker of a day plus the service was at St Marys Hitchin, my fav church in my fav town! When it became clear that the pandemic wasn’t going to allow them to hold a large celebration, these guys came up with a rather unique plan. Hannah told me how she was thinking about getting married and then heading to a beach. When I saw these words flash up on my screen I got super excited.
This was an example of a wedding day that would normally never happen, but when you are forced to reduce the time you can spend with your guests, it opens up different options, and all of a sudden a trip to the beach after a service in Hitchin suddenly becomes totally do-able! So thats exactly what we did.
Hannah’s bridal prep may have had some covid safety tweaks applied to it, but it still had all the excitement of a typical wedding morning. The minute I arrived Hannah already looked like a rock star. The term bohemian bride was made for Hannah and it was such a pleasure to watch her get ready with such a breezy effortless grace about her. Her coolness is matched only by that of Pete’s, my first groom to bring his guitar along to his wedding and sing during the service.
I have so many special memories of this wedding but one of my favourites was watching Hannah walk to the church, from the market Square in Hitchin. The square was full of people having their lunch outside (another result of the pandemic) and as she walked the short distance everyone started to clap. It really was a pretty special moment. The service was simply beautiful. It’s funny how 30 socially distanced people can easily make the church feel full, even though I know it can hold so many more, its almost impossible to imagine it full now. After the service and snaps, Hannah made sure she had enough time to grab a smoothy at her favourite place in town Chia.
Then came the mad dash from Hitchin to West Wittering. Trying to get to the beach before the sun dipped felt like some crazy car racing challenge, but we made it and we had about 1 hour of perfect daylight left. West Wittering is a large sandy beach in an area of outstanding beauty, well worth the 2.30 hour drive!! We were joined by Lottie, Hannah and Petes gorgeous little pup and I brought along my glamorous assistant/dog walker/driver, my husband who kept Lottie happy while we grabbed the most stunning shots. They ended their day eating soup while the sun went down. You don’t get more Boho than that in my book!
I look back at this wedding with so much love. Life has thrown these guys a hell of a lot this year but what was so special about the day was seeing how they were able to make something beautiful out of such a tricky situation. Here are some very kind words from Hannah and Pete!
“Erica is the best! I thought I’d struck gold when I saw her webpage and then we met her in person and she is also one of the most amazing people you will ever meet! She is so warm, friendly, and shows so much enthusiasm for your day. We had to change our plans a couple of times because of COVID restrictions. Erica was flexible, understanding and I felt like she got excited about our ideas with us!

We LOVE the photos from our day – every single one beautifully captures a moment and I feel like I’m in the day again! Her photos have such an energy and vibrance whilst also being artistic. They are just stunning! Erica was also so lovely to have around on the day – we felt so relaxed and at ease whilst having our photos taken.

We would highly recommend Erica! She is fab ☺️

Lockdown Part Two – Photo Diary

Here we are again. UK Lockdown part 2.

I don’t know about you but part two feels very different to part one. In someways it’s going to be harder, we had the seasons on our side during the first one. The days are shorter, colder and darker, being outside will start to feel less appealing than staying inside. And winter feels more bleak without the promise of Christmas and all the joy that it often brings. No big switch on, no singing, no Christmas Markets. Most importantly December is the month to reconnect with family and friends and my gut says it will be a very different Christmas this year.
However depressing the situation is, this lockdown is different. The kids are at school. For us parents, this is a game changer. I am grateful for the routine and what being in school does for my children. It also gives me a few hours a day to myself (OK, 2.45 hrs if we are being precise) that I don’t want to waste. I want to use some of this time (OK, it’s closer to 1.45 hr once I have made and had lunch!) for me (well, it’s more like 1 hr if you take of time I spend tiding up so I can enjoy said lunch). So I have planned a new fitness regime, books to read, Christmas gifts to make, and an extension to plan. I’m going to stay creative, healthy and positive. I’ll say this again louder for that part of my brain that doesn’t believe I will. I’M GOING TO STAY CREATIVE, HEALTHY AND POSITIVE!!
I wasn’t sure if I would shoot through this lockdown. With the kids going to school for a large part of the day, there is less to shoot, plus I am lucky enough to actually have a little work which is keeping me busy. But this time is still historic, and for the same reason I picked up my camera during the first lockdown, it is the same reasons I am picking  it up again. I want my kids to remember how we, as a family, got through this pandemic. In isolation any of the photos I have taken could just be showing a typical family image. But it’s when they are looked at as a collection that you understand what 2020 has meant as our family, and that is a LOT of time just the four of us. I am just so bloody grateful that we all like each other. I also really love photography. Not only is it my job but it’s still my hobby. I know it can pull me away from my family at times, sometime capturing the moments, rather than being in the them. But I am ok with that, for every moment caught I know there are a thousand more where I play a central role in my kids life. I think I use my camera as a tool to sometimes take a bit of a back seat, observe and watch, rather than up front parenting. So in that respects its my ‘me’ time.
One of the things I also want to focus on during the pandemic is how it is affecting Hitchin. I want to use photography to capture some of the stories happening on my door step. Back in the summer I got really excited about this project and then I got unexpectedly busy with 3 weddings in a row, so it took a back seat. Now feels like a good time to come back to it. Having these little projects on the go is so good for my mental health, it balances out some of the anger, frustration, worry and anxiety this year has brought. My wedding work has been put on pause and I fall through the cracks in terms of financial support. This has been a real kick in the belly and watching an industry get left high and dry when they have been forced to shut is painful. But it has forced me to pivot my business in new directions, to have the confidence to say yes to projects that I may have said no to in the past. So I am adapting, looking to the future again and getting exciting. I’m heading into this lockdown with plans, good intentions and gratitude and 1 whole hour a day to put this all into action!
I will use this blog to share my work during lockdown part two, swing by regularly if you fancy seeing what I’ve been up to.
Week 3-4

 

Week 2-3

Week One

 

 

Wedding Photography at The White Horse Southill.

A small but oh so perfect wedding at the White Horse in Southill.

Here is a selection of the wedding photos from Rosie and Ben’s day, The wedding was held at St Marys church in Meppershalt, with the reception at The White Horse in Southill.

It’s hard to imagine what a wedding looks like in 2020, with all the rules and restrictions in place, it’s easy to see why most couples have decided to postpone their big day. I’ve been so lucky to have shot a few mini weddings, but Rosie and Ben’s wedding was the first full day celebrations that I have had this year. From the get go, Rosie & Ben were determined to find a way to enjoy their celebrations. Plans adapted and changed often, in the end they had to plan three different wedding days in total. Planning one wedding is hard enough, but doing it three times must have been so stressful. But there was no sign of stress on the actual day and it felt every bit like a wedding, all be it with a few Covid rules in place. And yes, there was sanitiser, extra space, less guests, no hugs and of course the masks, but there was still so much happiness and plenty of love to make up for it. I think to have held such an awesome day in spite of these tough times is a real special achievement and says so much about what an amazing couple Rosie and Ben are.

If you are planning a wedding during this crazy year and you would like to know more about my smaller packages for Micro weddings then please get in touch and tell me all about your day. Just because there are more rules, doesn’t mean you can’y have an amazing day!

South Farm Wedding.

What do you do when the Pandemic robs you of your perfect wedding day. How about getting some bubbles on ice, pack a wee picnic and spend the afternoon at the grounds of your amazing wedding venue, South Farm!

Kelsey and Tom made the decision to postpone their wedding until next spring and on the day of their cancelled wedding they headed down to South Farm. It was almost a little heartbreaking to see just how stunning the venue looked. The staff their have worked through the pandemic to make sure the venue is wedding ready as soon as it can be, and it really shows. Everything was just perfect!!

South Farm has been on my radar since I moved to Hitchin, it’s a wedding photographers dream venue! So many beautiful spots to capture great shots, lots of different vibrant colours and textures and little nooks for guests to explore. They have a mixture of different rooms available to get married in, from the drawing room (which can hold 35 people) to the Tudor Barn (with a capacity of 146). You can also get married outside on the lawn! They have an amazing collection of quirky roman caravans that your guests can stay in and they even have an area to camp in! I want to go back to 2012 and get married here myself!!

If you are planning a South Farm wedding then please get in touch, I’d love too hear how you plan on using the venue!

Proposal at Hitchin Lavender

A Proposal Photographed

Last week I got the pleasure of shooting my very first proposal at Hitchin Lavender. I’m not going to lie, I was a little nervous. I think not having shot a full blow wedding since last December may have added to the nerves a little!! But everything went as planned for the lovely Mustafa, who contacted me the previous week to tell me of his romantic proposal plans. It was such a wonderful moment to witness, with a perfect backdrop of stunning rows of purple lavender. And of course his beautiful Rakan said yes !

The Proposal

I am so lucky to have Hitchin Lavender on my doorstep so I was super exciting when Mustafa suggested it was held here. I wasted no time in booking a ticket to go and check out the best place to propose. I have been here a number of times and shot a wedding here but I’ve never been there with the mindset of how it would look capturing a real proposal. So I went there looking for all the stunning spots you could pop the question.  I thought about the logistics of Mustafa proposing in the tight rows of lavender and decided that this might be too difficult, as the rows are very narrow and to capture the moment properly, front on, they would need to be in different rows and Mustafa wouldn’t have much room to go down on one knee, plus the wasps!! It also seemed that most visitors flock to the first few rows, these are a more vivid purple so naturally draw people in! I knew he wanted it to be as quiet as possible so I decided the best spot was further along the field, there is a break in the lavender and an aisle of green drawing the eye to the top of the field. It made a great composition! It also gave me more room at the bottom to shoot from, I wanted it to feel private so I decided to use my beast of lens the 70-200m. Now, I know this isn’t the most discrete lens, but it would allow Mustafa to have some privacy whilst I could get some lovely shots from a far. I kept thinking about how odd it would look to be sitting alone with a huge camera, so last minute I dragged my wonderful sister along to help me look a little less conspicuous. This was such a great call, my sister is a drama teacher so she loved playing the part of a local author who wanted to have some headshots taken in the field. She was also able to kindly ask visitors to the fields if they wouldn’t mind holding back for a few minutes while Mustafa proposed. Without her I may have had extra people walking in front on them during the exact moment!

It really was beautiful (my sister was crying!)  and everything played out just as we had hoped it would. After Mustafa and Rukan had some time together to enjoy the moment, I came and said hello and captured some couple shots of them in the field. I love the photos, you can really see the excitement and love between these two, being part of their special moment was a true honour and I am so pleased with the outcome.

“Thank you so much, for your amazing work and your bubbly and friendly personality. You made me feel so comfortable while taking those shots. Will definitely recommend you to friends and family. Sending warmest wishes to you and your family. ❤️ ” – Rukan

Hitchin Lavender is one of my featured wedding venues. If you would like more info on holding a wedding here then click here, or go direct to their site here.

The Photos

Lavender Fields shoot

Hertfordshire Pre Wedding Shoot

Hitchin Pre Wedding Shoot.

One of the many reasons I love a Hitchin pre wedding shoot is it gives me the chance to break the ice with my couples before the wedding, whilst also taking in the time to enjoy Hitchin with out my kids (lockdown has been long for me!!).  I want you to feel comfortable with me on your wedding day and often spending an hour in the woods, talking weddings and general life chit chat, does just the trick! This month I had the pleasure of taking not one but two ‘almost weds’ into my new favourite Hitchin hang out, Wain Woods. We are kind of spoilt for choice for places to frame engagements shoots in Hitchin, but Wain Woods has an extra level of privacy that other busier woods can’t offer. So for my slightly shyer couples, this is perfect! It is also a great place to walk a dog and that is exactly what Rosie and Ben AND Claire and Matt did. I have waited 9 years to have dogs at a shoot and then I had two in one week! Confession time, I am a cat person, but these two dogs won me over!

Rosie and Ben are due to get married this September. They have completely changed their original plans but actually feel ok with this, with their new plans being a little more in line with what they had always wanted, a small intimate wedding! Libby their energetic dog strutted along next to them in the shoot. Apart from the occasional ‘howl’ that almost knocked me off my feet, she was very well behaved!

Claire and Matt were due to get married in May this year, they took the brave decision to postpone to this August and although they can’t have all their guests with them they are still looking forward to getting married at Redcoats. Their gorgeous dog Darcy joined us on the shoot, we only lost her a handful of times, but Matt’s impressive ‘dog call’ quickly brought her back to them.

If you want to hear more about my wedding packages which include a Hertfordshire pre wedding shoot, please click here.

To hear more about Wain woods click here.