In October 2013 my husband and I found ourselves hosting a second wedding within 14 months of our previous family occasion. The first, the wedding of our youngest daughter, was based in Harrogate near our home in Leeds and was on a beautiful August day. Everything was familiar to us and it was easy to organise. We used our local photographer who we’d used for family portraits over the years. The wedding was lovely and everything we could all have wished for. It is great to be able to look back at the photographs with fond memories. The photos were lovely but had a look and feel you would find in anyone’s wedding album.
Along comes wedding number two which was to be held at Shendish Manor in Hertfordshire. Where do I begin? Not living in London, this soon turned into a major challenge on who to pick for the food, venue, music, flowers and who would be our photographer. Luckily my daughter and her fiancé had contacted Blake through social media, and arranged to meet. They all got on so well that their minds were made up; it would be Blake that would take their wedding pictures. So with very little effort on our part (other than to pick up the bill) the photographer was sorted. Blake arranged a pre-wedding shoot, which was carried out by Steph, one of their great team of Associate Photographers, the results of which I hadn’t ever seen anything like – they were, in my daughter’s words ‘Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamzing’ on this occasion I had to agree with her. They were taken in the heart of City and the backdrops were as spectacular as the subjects themselves. If this was a taste of things to come I couldn’t wait to see what they could do with the wedding pictures.
We weren’t disappointed on any level. The day started for Blake and Steph at 10.00 in the morning where they took shots of us all getting ready at the hotel. Our suite filled up very quickly with the hairdresser, make-up artist, bride and bridesmaids all arriving in quick succession – Blake and Steph intermingled with us all to get those pre-wedding shots which captured the ‘organised’ chaos around us without us even realising they were in the room. Finally the bride donned on her dress and as quickly as the room had filled up it become eerily silent as the bride and her bridesmaids made their way through the hotel to the first of the posed wedding shoots.
There was still plenty of time before the ceremony for Blake and Steph to take some lovely family shots as well as photographs of our guests arriving. The ceremony went without a hitch and where Blake and Steph were hiding I’m not sure but the photographs tell their own story, it was great not to be staring down the lens of a camera.
After the ceremony I had asked Blake to take a very special photograph. I have a very large family, 27 of us, and they live all over the world… this was one day that they would finally all be in the same place at the same time. It was the first time my mother had all her Grandchildren in the same room. What a task, the oldest was 81 and the youngest was 1, to get us all in a position, looking at the camera at the same time and getting us all to smile was no mean feat but he did it and has given my mum the most wonderful picture which she will treasure for the rest of her life.
Throughout the whole evening we hardly saw Blake and Steph they are the most discrete photographers I have ever seen at work. They were amazing they did not miss a moment of the wedding and captured the atmosphere on through their lenses, a unique talent. They stayed until the last of our guests went to bed which was not until 1am and never asked for an extra penny I don’t know of any photographer who does that.
Within no time at all the newlyweds received an e-mail with a link to a set of over 40 edited preview pictures and a lovely blog describing the mad day and evening we had all had. The preview pictures were so beautiful and different to any other wedding photographs I had seen, whilst Blake’s words in the blog brought back the most amazing memories. Within weeks as promised we were all thrilled that the final pictures were ready, all 1660 of them. To begin with the sheer volume of pictures was overwhelming but after a couple of times of looking through, we soon could pick our favourites, which are now taking pride of place in our living room.
Our youngest daughter, the Bride’s sister, loved the pictures so much that she decided to have a ‘second wedding day shoot’ with Blake and Steph too. She and her husband got all dressed and made-up and off they went to Camden and Primrose Hill where they too had the most beautiful and unusual wedding photographs taken. I’m now going to have to make some more space on shelves!
Thanks again to Blake, Steph and the team!