Updates from the life of a busy photographer

Sandhurst Royal Military Academy AND Warbrook House wedding photography, spoilt we are I tell ya!

“Clusterf**k… this is what we wish to avoid, what is known in the Army as a ‘Clusterf**k” said an organised Johnno.

“Major F**kup will not be in attendance” replied Such.

“I like you n’all, but shut the f**k up” chimed in Nat (this was later in the day, but whilst I’m quoting eh!)

So the profanity aside, and anyone who knows me, will already know that I’m not one to profane (I leave that for Sarah to cover) we were totally spoilt on a sunny day shooting a wedding at Sandhurst Royal Military Academy and Warbrook House. Two very different backdrops, both stunning venues to have the privilege of shooting at.

Our journey started a few months prior when a local couple chose us to shoot their day and I nabbed a grand tour of Sandhurst as I shot the pair of them for an engagement shoot and venue scout at the same time. Lovely couple Johnno & Nat are, so was looking forward to shooting their awesome day at awesome venues with awesome sunny weather.


Military precision itinerary in hands we rocked up early to Warbrook House to shoot the bridal preps. Sunny. Cake and coffee. Nice. Nat looking fantastic. Awesome.

I left Sarah to crack on as I buggered off and sped off to shoot the lads (no speed limits were harmed in the making of this shoot.. honest..) like f***ing miles away in the next county! Found them opposite Sandhurst. Got my pass into Sandhurst. Sorted. Shot them boozing it up and dressing Johnno into his finest military dress stuff, y’know all shiny polished swords, boots’n’sh*t. Handsome lad all sorted.

Back in the car to speed (within the speed limit) back to Warbrook to catch final bridal stuff as Sarah had jumped aboard the supplied Routemaster with the wedding guests en route to Sandhurst. Boom…nailed those and then back in the car to break the land speed record (on private ground obviously) en route back to Sandhurst AGAIN, to catch Johnno et al before guests arrive.

Parked up. Not even close. Run with heavy gear bags. Knackered already. Have I beaten the guests?  Where the f**k are they? tick-tock… Bride arrives. Where are the guests?? “Go horse and carriage a bit more, we have no guests. No I’m not joking!”

20mins later.

Ahh there are guests on the horizon. Wait, what? They are supposed to be dropped off at the chapel! Crack out the 200mm Such and shoot the guests walking. Bus driver got lost and dumped them where I’d parked my car… hahahaha no I shouldn’t laugh as we’re now running late.

*throws away military precision itinerary*

Stunning chapel. Padre kool as, totally way more laid back than most civvy priests/vicars. Excellent. Sarah is over there, I’m up the other end (no, not like that you filthy minded reader!) so we capture some kool stuff.

Get your swords out lads (stop it reader!) for the sword arch and we’re outside again in the bright sunshine. Naturals. Walk to the front of Sandhust for the grand frontage for the formals. Just stunning. Like totally stunning.

Gale force winds.

One guest actually blew away. Not sure if she’s been found yet, but she was only a last minute add-on so no one was too bothered; well, they didn’t seem to be at the time, everyone was trying to hold their dresses down and wigs to their heads so didn’t bother trying to catch her as she blew away. Cries for help were ignored.

So we somehow managed the formals, using sign language as wind was too strong to hear even the shoutiest of shouts, and then a quickie sesh with J&N down by the lake (not like that! Shut it!) before escaping the localised hurricane back to Warbrook. Sarah took the bus, J&N took their horse and carriage AND vintage car, and I had to steal a lift back to my car as it was an interstellar distance away so I stood a chance of getting back to Warbrook on the same day!

I even beat J&N to Warbrook where they had yet another sword arch. No wind. Excellent.

Shot more stuff.

Rest time whilst they scoffed.

We scoffed.

Shot more stuff.

Evening stuff.

Bloody awesome day, stunning venues, bloody lovely couple. Privileged. Knackered. Have a few image highlights to check out what we did… 🙂 x


SUCH at Old Thorns Manor Hotel

Hello you beautiful ones on a beautiful morning sat here in the Captain’s Chair taking a rather expeditious break from this stockpile of wedding edits and album designs to bring you a request for images we’ve shot recently at one of our favourite venues, the ever-awesome Old Thorns. We’ve had a few of these lately after a veritably hustling wedding show there last Sunday where Sarah and I chatted to many new couples (and bumped into current clients also, which is always kool!) and got a few on-board with us too already; Old Thorns will be getting visited by us even more in 2018/19!!

So anyway, onto this Such at Old Thorns Manor Hotel request, yeah, we’ve had a few couple’s request to see examples of what we shoot up there, so I figured (in my expeditious way) the quickest and easiest course, was to throw a few together into a blog and ping a link. So, yeah, have some of this… 🙂

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Another amazing wedding show at Old Thorns

Yesterday saw us rock another amazing wedding show at Old Thorns #secondhome with it being the biggest one yet- 80 exhibitors and 1000 brides through the door!!!!  Crazy times!!!!

We had current clients rock up and say hi also as they continued their journey of wedding planning, and a couple of friends surprise hi as they check out Old Thorns as their wedding venue; always lovely to see and say hi again.

Cuppa is calling and I have a stack of emails to ping out now… I’ll try harder next time to write something worth reading- this one is proper sh*t 🙂

Throw a wedding in your back garden

Finchdean in Hampshire is your typical quiet English country village, with not a lot happening usually, save for the occasional meat raffle at the local pub (full of the locals) and gangs of lycra-clad cyclists whizzing past dog walkers and tractors pulling out of fields- yup that’s about all that happens in Finchdean. 


Yesterday was a different story though… Olly grew up in Finchdean and returned a few years ago to live in the old family home. The entire village was in outcry, “What’s this? A young couple moving into the village, parking their modern cars everywhere, using our local pub? Outrageous, something must be done!” 


You see, Olly owns a Mercedes sales/servicing business and Pauline owns a chauffeur business so between the pair of them, the village has Mercedes parked everywhere. Their solution to keep the locals happy was to offer them all wicked deals on Mercs & servicing, so the Mercedes population grew but the locals were now happy with the ‘villagers rates’ Olly offered- double whammy boom all sorted now! 


So why was yesterday different? Well, the village pub has a rather large rear garden area so the plan was to throw an outdoor rustic wedding and invite the village, so they didn’t complain about the noise especially with a band playing all evening! Not that many of them dug a Madness tribute band I’d imagine, oh well, the thought was there, and it worked anyway so who cares haha… 


Full day for us so the usual morning preps of both of them but it was awesome as we parked up in the village and only had to walk a few steps between where Olly was getting ready, where Pauline was getting ready and the pub over the road. Fantastic! 


They had decorated the pub garden amazingly- like seriously amazing! We had a huge marquee, hay bales everywhere, oil drums painted up in wedding colours, lights, candles, banners, everywhere- it looked amazing. Thankfully we had glorious sunshine yesterday as it’s raining today and yesterday would have been a very different story indeed if it had rained. 


But we had glorious sunshine so the outdoor ceremony was awesome with everyone sitting on hay bales in a circles around them, and drinks flowed all afternoon as guests enjoyed the gorgeous weather and setting, the hog roast sit down meal with the marquee sides folded up gave a wonderful outdoor vibe, kids hurling themselves around on the bouncy castle, the south facing garden sunshine all day, entertainment in the evening, all contributed to an amazing day that is up there on our favourites list. Right on guys, right on…7

An Old Thorns wedding, again again again!

Holy s**t I clocked up some furious miles yesterday for Lee & Fiona’s wedding at Old Thorns! That was manic!! Fiona was at her parent’s home on Hayling Island and Lee was at Old Thorns… that’s 24miles in between and getting on/off Hayling and to the A3 to add in! Oh f*****g wonderful and it’s summer which means Hayling could be busy with it’s one single lane road on/off the island… aaarrrggghhh… oh well it’s what we do for or wonderful clientele, just keep smiling Such and thankfully you have a Sarah to shoot the Bridal stuff!!! 


Hayling is only a 10min drive in clear traffic so we headed out early anyway as the road can get congested in summer, especially on a weekend and arrived 10mins later… ahh this is a good sign. I hung about for a bit shooting the details whilst Sarah shot the hair and makeup and chatted to our supplier friends Annette (hair) and Della (makeup) who we’ve known for years. I left Sarah at the social gathering and headed off for my first trip to OT to go shoot Lee and his Groomsmen. Oh my it was a warm one already, ”today is going to be another sweatfest for me!” I thought to myself as I blasted myself with the air-con. 


Lee had Groomsmen details for me to shoot as well as the getting ready stuff which I always dig and it’s kool to catch both sides of the morning story for the couple to have as memories. Nailed it and then I checked my watch and, “oh **** I need to hustle it back to Hayling Island to pick Sarah up, fingers crossed the traffic is okay!!!” I had to get back to Hayling to grab Sarah and then race back up to OT before Fiona walked down the aisle!!!! And it was a seriously hot summers day and the logistics brain frazzling sweat inducing frenzy had me in its grip. Air-con FTW!!!!! 


Made it before the Bridal party had left home… phew!!! 


And back up to OT!!! 


Hampshire Suite. Windows. Nicely lit ceremony room. Loads of naturals after the ceremony outside in the sunshine. Formals outside, oh the difference to the last wedding we shot here in the rain. Drag the couple into a buggy to kick them around a golf course and shoot them in the trees. Nothing more dull than plonking (damn that’s a good word, not used that in years!) a couple in the middle of a fairway, course fountain spraying water in the background… urgh… so lazy, shoot them in the trees it is then and it’s shade for us so we minimise sweating as much as possible, oh and the harsh sunshine of course! 


Wedding Breakfast time. Sit down rest for us. Neeeeded. Hydrate loads. Neeeeded. 


We carried on shooting naturals into the evening, another session with them in the evening, the cake, the dancing, the cigars, nailed the lot, damn we shoot a full story. Memories man, that’s what we shoot, and boy did we shoot a lot today. Home time, the A3 was calling. Until the next wedding day story… peace… 



Hello again Old Thorns

Oh hello again Old Thorns, you are such the #secondhome to us, but it’s OK, we totally dig shooting you!

Phew.. back to #teamwork shooting with Sarah again for Saturday’s wedding of James and Emma up at our fave Old Thorns- another chilled one as they were both up there, so no crazy driving needed by me to cover 2x prep. locations… “relax Such, no logistics to sweat over!”

It did absolutely p*ss down with rain most of the day but they were a kool couple who worked with us and even bought wellies to tromp about outside and we always carry umbrellas so all was groovy. We nailed it… of course! That’s because we know what we’re doing and are #weddingexperts, so no panicking by us as we’re the absolute b*****ks and we damn well know what we’re doing.

Did I mention how f***ing awesome we are and how calm and collected we are when faced with photographic obstacles? No? Well, we are f***ing awesome… 🙂

P.S. I only profane here at CSiHQ and not at a wedding, I’ve already told ya we’re complete professionals at this shizzle…

P.P.S. Usual follow up ‘proper’ blog will appear soon with accompanying imagery.. 10-4


A rainy wedding day is okay, well it is at Old Thorns anyway

I always let out a slight groan when I see a rainy forecast for a wedding day, not because a wedding day is ruined by rain, it just limits what we can do outdoors and the size of formal groups if they’ve been requested. Luckily yesterdays wedding was held at Old Thorns (yup there again haha) so it’s never a deal breaker as OT has a multitude of spaces we can use, and we were lucky anyway as we managed to get out for a short while with the couple yesterday so all was groovy. 


James & Emma had a Hampshire Suite wedding so 60 guests is a relaxed number to work with which is always kool when most of the day is spent indoors, but let’s rewind back to the beginning… 


An all-day jobbie, so a standard early morning blast up the A3 to catch Emma doing all her Bridal prep stuff, and we rocked up to a very chilled room (again… nice!) so we had plenty of time to shoot details and hair/makeup stuff in a relaxed way. Emma has a wedding details business and (apart from the dresses/shoes/cake obviously) made everything herself, like everything!! I also had time to wander along to see James and his Groomsmen getting ready whilst Sarah continued chilling with the girls. 


A Hampshire Suite wedding also has the benefit of a bright ceremony room with a wall of windows letting in that much needed light to give us a (usually) easy time with exposures, so we nailed that and on to shooting naturals as all the guests descended upon James and Emma post-ceremony to hug and congratulate the freshly married pair. 


The showers were intermittent so we nailed a mixture of formal groups inside and outside, “quick outside you lot, it’s not raining, oh crap, back inside it’s started again” groups can be like herding cats sometimes. After the fun of the formals we released everyone to sit down and continue their drinking and chatting awaiting the Wedding Breakfast being served. We’d looked at the weather report and took a mad calculated ‘risk’ and decided to leave the couple portraits until after the meal, oh the joys of a July wedding with longer daylight hours. 


James and Emma took our advice and brought alternative footwear with them in case we managed to get outdoors (rainy week prior) but they surprised us with matching wellington boots which they kept on for the entire outdoor portrait shoot- they totally got the ‘it is the memories of whatever happens on your day’ ethos we totally rant about haha… groovy! 


We even scored a couple more formals in the early eve (thank you July and your daylight hours) along with those staple wedding things of cake and dancing and drunkenness. 


Well, what a day… a fun day and getting outside in wellies was an absolute bonus so well happy with that, scoooooore…. 

Back to Skylark again for another wedding

Back to Skylark again for another wedding and another solo shoot by me on Saturday, third time this year!!!!!  One has gotten v.much used to having Sarah shooting alongside me, we make a great team, so it’s odd when I solo shoot these days, but once I get stuck in I just power through and the before I know it, the day is over for me, 12hrs have past and I’m bloody knackered!

Saturday saw me shoot Simon & Anna’s wedding day at Skylark and it was such a chilled day! Bridal preps started later than usual, Groomsman preps were not required and formals required only a handful of shots- the rest was relaxed and easy going memories of the day… nice… I’ll obviously follow up with a proper blog with captured images, but the kettle is calling me and I have a stack of admin. to do so adios for now and catch ya later… 🙂

We’re back at Skylark for another wedding

Been a while since last shooting a wedding at Skylark, and the last time here was me shooting solo and yesterday saw me yet again shooting a wedding solo at Skylark. Luckily I only had Bridal preps to shoot as Simon the Groom was looking after their infant son in the morning so Grooms preps weren’t really happening, which left me shooting Anna the Bride in a relaxed’n’easy environment with zero logistics to fill my head. Excellent start to a day! 


Wickham was my destination to catch Anna doing her thing in one of the garden rooms at The Old House in Wickham Square. Shot here a few times and it never fails to disappoint. I walked into a wonderfully calm room with just Anna and her Bridesmaid, chilling with a couple of bottles of fizz. Time to shoot details in peace outside before they got stuck into hair and makeup. It was a welcome change to be able to shoot all the details in one go whilst they sat on the sofa chatting and drinking, rather than the usual frenetic back’n’forth trying not to miss anything with multiple things going on at once. This was bliss! 


So that was easy! Details sorted, hair and makeup sorted, and in the car for a cruise to Skylark to catch Simon and his Groomsmen prior to their blessing in the barn. The barn at Skylark is stunning inside and a full floor to ceiling glass panel/doors to one side bath the interior in wonderful natural light which makes for awesome natural ceremony shots. 


With that nailed also, time for a few naturals outside, a few formals and a quick session with Simon & Anna before they headed inside for a drinks reception and time to chill out whilst I sneaked off to shoot their room details ahead of them sitting down. 


After the speeches, I took them off for another quick portrait session on the golf course close by, which also gave them a break together away from the crowds and hecticness of wedding chatter, always worth doing as weddings can be full-on for a bride and groom so chill time has to be factored in! 


Cake and dancing and drinking was the order of the remaining hours with a quickie night shoot with the pair of them before I left for the drive home. Great day, relaxed pace, kool stuff shot, happy with that… 


Another fantastic wedding day at Old Thorns again

Another sweaty fantastic wedding day at Old Thorns again last weekend, full of sweat fun and laughs and most excellent images captured for Lewis & Becky among the myriad of sweaty awesome memories we captured whilst sweating smiling with them. I’ve tried a couple of new ideas lately and nailed them both, so looking forward to trying them out again at tomorrow’s wedding at Skylark

The transitions between church and Old Thorns at the weekend was air-con heaven as the rest of the day was a full-on sweat-fest… have I mentioned sweating all day? A two shirt sweat-fest? Well it was!

A fantastic day none-the-less and a proper blog will follow soon with some kool imagery. At least you won’t be able to see my ridiculous sweating!!

Right, I best go charge the batteries and sort the kit out ready for tomorrow’s wedding. And have another coffee. TTFN…  🙂