Monday, 23 September 2019

September Reflection

I'm pretty sure I have no idea where the last year has gone and it's suddenly dawned on me that everyone in the world is now officially younger than me (I'm serious, I don't know "older" people anymore); but as September draws to a close & the start of a new academic year begins I decided to sit down & have a little time to reflect over the last twelve months of my professional development. 

On the 7th September, I had the honour of shooting the photographs and capturing the magic at the wedding of Scott & Sara, a fun-loving couple that I met back in twenty sixteen when they moved into the same building as me. 



The scene for the whole day was a venue quite local to me; Manor Barn in the Old Town Quarters of Bexhill in East Sussex. I'd only visited the site once previously; back in June to do a recce of the building and it's surrounds, but on a personal level I was really impressed with the venue on the whole & the level of service from the staff on site.

The day started out cloudy and the threat of rain during the main part of the day was high on the weather forecast, however, while driving to Sara's house that morning I could see the sun shining brightly behind the clouds and had a feeling we were going to be OK.




I was really lucky to work with Scott & Sara. The main reason being that they were so laid back and down to earth about the whole wedding day, even though it could have easily been planned & organised by a bridezilla when I considered how much care & attention to detail had gone in, from the hand made table centre-pieces to the hair & make up of the bride and her bridesmaids. It was in every sense of the word, a traditional wedding, but the couple's good sense of humour and relaxed attitudes made it possible for me to try out a range of new creative shots I hadn't had the skills or confidence to pull off before.






I used the Canon EOS 5D MK III for the duration of the day and alternated between a 24-55mm zoom, a 16-24mm wide angle & a 70-200mm telephoto lens. I had the added benefit of a Canon Speed-lite which came in very handy for some of the creative shots and particularly when the clouds came over. To achieve some of the shots shown above, I focused on shooting in aperture priority and played between a shallow or a wide depth of field. I ran all the final images through the edit suite in Adobe Light room and just made small adjustments to the contrast and vibrancy, ensuring the white balance was correct and cropping and straightening any photographs that needed it.

I also had the extreme luxury of a second shooter for this wedding which is not something I have ever done before. I think it was a huge success to have a second person with a camera for a multitude of reasons; the main one being that they can come in at all the angles that I myself as a single shooter can't get to. It's the secondary shots that I'd love to take as well as my priority shots and am usually completely unable to that made the album I presented to this couple that much more appealing. It is also always incredibly comforting to know there is a back up camera on site in case of any dramas with the one I'm shooting on.

As I wrap up, I'll point you all over to my professional website; sophiederoephotography.com where you can find more images from this special day under the wedding gallery, and also check out some more of my work over the last year, including some personal projects and my first studio maternity shoot. As I enter into the second year of my bachelors degree I will attempt to keep the blog more up to date with continuing work, and I look forward to embarking on new challenges over the next few months. Stay tuned!

xoxo
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Saturday, 1 September 2018

The Amalfi Bride


On the morning on Saturday 18th August, I woke up almost shaking with nerves and excitement as I prepared to go to work on the biggest wedding I have shot to date. As 10,30 rolled around, I was collected from Sorrento train station by the Best Man and driven up into the mountains of Massa Lubrense where I met my bride Ciara, who was eagerely preparing for her big day, along with her bridesmaids at the villa she was sharing with her family.

Ciara had asked me to shoot her big day back in September last year after her and Reg got engaged, and I couldn't have been more honoured or excited. I couldn't believe how quickly the couple had managed to pull together a wedding in a foreign setting, and with such apparent ease that I started to feel slightly inferior that it had taken me nearly a week just to pack my bag for the trip. But this was the kind of bride who could pull this off; typically on arrival at the villa she was staying at for the week, she was cool, calm and all over everything - and a glass of prosecco in hand. 

My nerves quickly settled and I relaxed into the swing of shooting, switching between a standard zoom and telephoto for most of the day, and finally having some fun at the end of the evening with the wide angle. I stayed with Ciara as the cars arrived to collect the bridesmaids and the rest of the family, and hopped into the car with Ciara and her Dad for the serene drive back down the mountain into Sorrento, where Reg & Ciara tied the knot at the stunning Chiostro Di San Francesco. 





This chapel, known to us Anglos as simply 'The Cloisters' is open for the public to wander around at leisure, including during wedding ceremonies, and yet I may not have even realised it was there had I not been employed to shoot a wedding there that day. From the outside, you could almost miss it and walk straight past in pursuit of the view of the marina just beyond it. But on entering from the busy, bustling and touristy noise from the streets outside, I was met with a peace and tranquility that stood in stark contrast. It was calm, and quiet, and above all, beautiful. The true beauty for me stood not in the architecture itself, but in the single tree leaning delicately over the walkway through the chapel, displaying the symbiosis between man and nature. It was under this tree the vows were exchanged, in front of an audience of thirty guests and a handful of public spectators. 




The guests later departed for Castore, a contemporary and yet rustic reception venue in the mountains overlooking the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius far off in the distance, and yet seeming so close in the pristine weather conditions. The guests enjoyed a delicious four course meal while the sun set and cast everyone in a warm honey coloured light before it finally set beyond the horizon turning the sky pink, and then finally gave way to starlight under which everyone danced out on the terrace until midnight when the cars arrived, and it was time to depart back into Sorrento. 



My heartfelt congratulations to this truly lovely couple.
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Friday, 3 November 2017

An Autumnal Affair

As September came to a close, anyone that may have been planning to tie the knot in the great outdoors probably quite rightfully got a bit concerned about what the weather was going to do. I can testify that no matter what time of year one might book their wedding day to occur, they simply will not be able to control what happens in this regard. However, one thing I can also testify to is that generally, it doesn't make one bit of difference, as it is essentially the happiest day of your life with or without the sunshine.

However, the day before this particular September wedding I spoke to Sarah, one of the brides on the phone to confirm our arrangements for the following afternoon and being the easy going, laid back and genuinely down-right likable person she is, the last thing she was particularly worried about was the weather. In fact, this turned out to be a very good thing, as despite having received a fair bit of rain the day before, the day itself brought a beautiful sunshine you can only expect to get in late September; one that brightens and refreshes where rain has fallen without casting too many harsh shadows, then sets low and slow over the sky from the mid afternoon before finally melting into the horizon just before seven in the evening.



Sarah & Sabine held their marriage ceremony in the picturesque garden of the Old Rectory in Hastings Old Town, and this particular sunshine on the late September afternoon paid complement to everything it touched growing, living and celebrating in that garden. Being the type of woman to take a more practical and less fussy approach to things, Sarah instructed me that the shots I took should be candid, unstaged, informal and generally just capture their guests "having a good time and enjoying themselves". This was an easy task, given how clear it was to see how much the thirty five-or-so guests actually were enjoying themselves. The afternoon was intimate and relaxed, people laughed and embraced each other after long periods of absence, but it was also emotional and raw, with very real tears of love as vows were exchanged and life long commitments were made. 



The ladies have requested that photos of their guests remain private, but to see a selection of shots from the location and ceremony please visit my full photography site here. I am genuinely grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this truly special occasion.
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Monday, 26 September 2016

My First Wedding Fair Exhibition

I sat down a year ago and made my "Five Year Plan" as to how I foresaw my photography career and portfolio developing. Loosely, I thought I'd like to think about how I would brand myself and get a webfolio set up after one year, exhibit at a wedding fair after three years, and perhaps be taking regular bookings after five. 

Thanks to the opportunities given to me by Hannah and Liam King, newlywed owners of Herons Park Venue in Kent, I have now already officially exhibited at my first Wedding Fair, at the end of year one. You may have noticed some changes to the blog here, and it has all been a slow but steady work in progress towards building my brand "Sophie De-Roe Photography" and you can now find all my professional work over on the wedding portfolio site here.

The fair was successful on many levels for me; I allowed my physical portfolio to brave the scrutiny of half a dozen brides-to-be who were yet to find a photographer for their special day, I got to meet and chat to local suppliers and continue to build relationships at Herons Park.



Above: Feeling proud of my very first stand


Above: Molly Dollys Bridal Gowns


Above: Blossom Bakers (afternoon tea caterer, vintage crockery and cakes)


Above/Below: Peaches and Pearls (Sashes, table runners, table centre pieces, step ladder, starlit backdrop, post box pictured below)







Above: Gift bags provided by Herons Park for all the lucky engaged couples










Above four photos: All me :)



Above: Page & Sons Wine Merchants
Just something to add about this one- This company will allow the couple to design their own custom labels for their wine, which will be printed, attached and delivered at no extra cost. And the minimum order? Six bottles. I'll definitely be remembering that...






Above five photos: Bethany-Grace Designs





Above four photos: The "Indoor" ceremony option





Above four photos: Debs Sweet Delights (sweet cart and ferris wheel)

Watch this space for up and coming news about Herons Park and all the local suppliers.

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