London Wedding Photographer: Suzannah & Ben’s Shad Thames Engagement Shoot

Summery couple kissing in cobbled sunlit street

This weekend, Suzannah and Ben are getting married at the stunning Lost Orangery in Chippenham. I honestly can’t wait for it –  it should be a brilliant, relaxed day. Back in May, I met them for their engagement shoot in the lovely Shad Thames/ Bermondsey. It was the start of the London heatwave and we had a relaxed stroll around the local area, using the interesting back streets and river side buildings of Butler’s Wharf. I love couples who choose a location close to their heart – this was Suzannah & Ben’s old neighbourhood, before they moved to Singapore.

My style is usually inspired by nature, featuring lots of foliage and trees, so this was something a bit different for me. Saying that, I have really loved mixing it up this year with more urban engagement shoots around London. This was a great part of town for a pre wedding shoot – plenty of quirky backdrops, as well as awesome views of Tower Bridge!

Engaged couple stood in fronton Butler's Wharf in summer

Shad Thames engagement shoot

During my initial consultation meetings with my couples, pretty much everyone asks why an engagement shoot is important. Most hate the camera and don’t really want to be in front of it more than necessary! This is exactly the reason I think they are a must. We get to know each other, you get comfortable around the camera, and I can figure out how to get the best from you ahead of your big day. I’ve written a whole blog post on this, and offer engagement shoots with all my packages.

Couple cuddling and blondeShad Thames engagement shoot

Well dressed couple

Couple walking down Butler's Wharf with Tower Bridge behind

I absolutely love Ben and Suzannah’s engagement story – on a road trip in Australia, Ben popped the question under the stars while the pair were camping.  They then spent the next day swimming with humpback whales.. any story which features swimming with, or even just seeing whales is a total winner in my eyes!

Shad Thames engagement shoot

Bermondsey pre wedding shoot

To book your 2019 wedding or an engagement shoot, drop me a message – I would love to hear from you! Keep an eye on my Instagram for previews of Suzannah & Ben’s wedding this weekend.

Caroline xx

London Life: Exploring the Harry Potter Warner Bros Studios

As part of my extended birthday celebrations, my other half got tickets for us to explore the Harry Potter Studios. I’d never been and I’ve personally always loved the books more than the films. I guess it’s because I grew up reading them – pretty much every birthday from around aged 8 to my teenage years, I got the newest book as it came out, and devoured it.

Monster Books at the Warner Bros Studios

For this reason I had never seen the films, but my other half got me the box set for Christmas (definitely a theme running through my gifts and I guess it was because of my moaning that I wanted to go to to the studios).

I crammed in the last 4 films of the series last week so I was all set before we went to the studios. I loved these later ones, way more dramatic and the acting was improved! They also made me pretty sad that Alan Rickman has left us – his portrayal of Snape was one of the best parts of the series.

We arrived at the studios a little early so excitedly went to check out the gift store, both saying that we wouldn’t spend much money (more on that later!). After gazing lovingly at all the memorabilia we headed into the tour. I won’t give much away about the entrance, but walking into the Great Hall was pretty exciting! It was a shame we got rushed through a bit quickly, I guess because of the next tour coming in, but it was great to see a set that has become so iconic in film.

After the Great Hall you can walk around the various other internal sets and props from the films. My favourites were the Gryffindor common room and Dumbledore’s office. They really made me feel like I was actually in one of the films.

Dumbledore's office set bathed in blue light with model of Dumbledore

You wouldn’t believe the amount of detail that had gone into creating this magical world. I was amazed at the sheer amount of props – a lot of them even designed to move in a magical way.

Gryffindor common room set with rustic armchairs and red wallpaper

The Weasley's Burrow from Harry Potter the movies

We got to explore the Forbidden Forest, Privet Drive, Diagon Alley and try Butterbeer (which actually is not that nice, but it had to be tried). The studios even had a full size fake Kings’ Cross, complete with a Hogwarts Express train!

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Bohemian girl posing next to the Privet Drive sign at

Of course, the crowning glory was the model of Hogwarts itself, which took up a huge room all to itself!

Hogwarts model at Warners Bros Studios

We ended up coming home with a few goodies from the gift shops – notepads for both of us (sucker for good stationery), and Harry Potter Trivial Pursuit. We played as soon as we got home and I can confirm its a worthy buy for any HP fan!

On a side, I took my Fuji XT2 with me for this day trip and was a bit disappointed by the low light performance. Most of the photos you’ll see here were actually taken on my phone! However, I did love it on my day trip to Whitstable – check out the blog here.

In other news, I have one more wedding to shoot and then my 2018 season is over! The summer has flown. If you’re getting married in 2019, drop me a message before your date gets booked up! x

 

 

 

Hampshire Wedding Photographer: Suzi + Jonny’s Wedding at the Master Builder’s

My 2018 wedding season opened with Suzi & Jonny’s gorgeous New Forest wedding. Their venue wasThe Master Builder’s at Buckler’s Hard, right by the Beaulieu River. I couldn’t wait for this wedding – having grown up in Hampshire, I love the New Forest! Suzi & Jonny were also both so relaxed and lovely on our engagement shoot I knew we would have a great day. The Master Builder’s itself is stunning, with a gorgeous ceremony area with large windows, overlooking the river and stunning grounds which go right down to the marina. One of my favourite areas was the gorgeous hallway, lined with ship memorabilia and grand wooden stairs.

The day was super rainy, but I was so thankful that we had a few clearings in the clouds. We still managed to get outside and make the most of the beautiful surroundings, if very quickly!  Sods law.. I went down there the next day with my family for a pub lunch, and the sun was glorious all day.

Congratulations again to Suzi & Jonny!

Dress – Sass and Grace

Venue – The Master Builder’s at Buckler’s Hard

Flower Girl dress hanging from mahogany four poster bed headboard

Bridesmaid in silk robe taking a selfie with her Mother

Bridesmaid painting her toe nails in pink silk robe

Group shot of a cheering bridal party sat on a four poster bed holding prosecco

Mother of the Bride in blue walking down the aisle with a cute flower girl

Bride laughing during her wedding ceremony

First kiss at wedding with family clapping around the couple

Mother in Law embracing her new daughter in law at her wedding

bridesmaids holding bouquets in air during group shotsGroomsmen posing for group shot at Master Builder'sFull wedding party cheering at camera on a lawn

Bride and groom kissing next to a marina at Bucklers Hard

Bride and groom smiling in front of Master Builder's venue

Portrait of a couple kissing on their wedding day on some grand wooden steps

Bride cuddling her family at wedding

Bride and groom laughing at Best Man's speechBest Men laughing while doing their joint speech

Master Builder's wedding in the New Forest

Just Married sign hanging from an iron walkwayMaster Builder's dog friendly wedding venue

Cutting the cake at Master Builder's wedding venue

First kiss backlit

The Master Builder's wedding venue in New Forest

Relaxed wedding photography in HampshireGroomsman and bride rapping at wedding reception

It was lovely to shoot a wedding back home, particularly with such a friendly and warm couple. The whole day was super chilled out and by the end I felt like one of the family. If you’re getting married in Hampshire, drop me a message! I would love to shoot your wedding 🙂

Check back soon for a new blog – next up is my birthday trip to the Harry potter studios! Caroline x

What I loved this month: August 2018

30th garden party with yellow and pink tropical theme

There was a lot to be loved this month! On the wedding front, I deliberately kept this month free so I could take a little break to catch up on wedditing and take some time off for my 30th birthday. It was a pretty good idea, and I’m now feeling pretty fresh and raring to go! So heres my monthly roundup:

  1. Cookbook Meal Prepping

I’m huge on my fitness and normally always have my meals planned out in advance, because I’m a big nerd like that. It also really helps when you’re vegan – although in London its super easy, sometimes its still difficult to find vegan options when out and about. I find it super relaxing to cook so have enjoyed planning out meals on a Sunday with my ‘River Cottage: More Veg’ cookbook then having everything ready to go for the rest of the week. I’ve tried a ton of new dishes and looking forward to doing more of the same next weekend 🙂 What are your fav cookbooks?

2. Zero Waste Products

Over the past few months, I’ve been gradually switching more and more towards zero waste. I started with a Chilly’s bottle and that changed my life so after that have continued. My biggest change has been in my bathroom. I used to hate having to throw away make up wipes everyday, and then empty shampoo and shower gel bottles. I bought reuse-able face wipes from Cheeky Wipes and they are so good – it feels great not to be filling up my bin everyday! I’ve also ditched the bottles and got myself a Lush Shampoo bar and some gorgeous lavender soap from The Little Soap Company . Both smell amazing and I think the shampoo bar will last for ages! Thank you to my lovely friends I also got some reuse-able birthday goodies – an extra large Chillys bottle for cycling with, and a portable set of stainless steel cutlery!

3. Tropical Themed Birthday Party

With the big 3-0 this month, I wanted to really push the boat and make it memorable. I always think you should celebrate a birthday – any excuse to change from the day to day, and gather all your friends in one place. Me and my twin set about planning our tropical themed birthday party, and I got so into it! Huge thank you to Jason for helping us and making the Twinny’s Tiki Bar. We also ordered a cake from Sonia’s Cakes in Southampton – it was unbelievably good! She had included all of our favourite things and kept in the tropical theme. Because I decided to have a birthday fortnight, I also had a great night clubbing at Underworld in Camden – I love reliving my 00s teenage years!

4. Alexia Clarke workouts

Having done LDN Muscle’s Bikini Guide a few times in a row, I figured it was time for a change as I had lost my funk in the gym slightly. A friend recommended me Alexia Clarke, who promises you will never do the same workout again on her plan. Her plan is a subscription based model, where you get 5 new workouts a week. I’ve been doing it for around a month now and I love it – every workout uses different equipment, mixes up regular exercises in a new way etc. I’ve definitely got my gym motivation back. Go check her out if you love weightlifting and fancy a challenge!

6. Shooting a top secret styled shoot

This month I shot my first styled wedding shoot since my destination one way back in March. The theme, by Kayleigh K Mua is incredible, and it all came together so well. I’m super proud and can’t wait for you to see the images once they are all edited and out in the world! Watch this space, but this is definitely not one you want to miss.

7. New vinyl

My beautiful friends got me some amazing vinyl goodies for my birthday, including Toto – IV and some Rough Trade vouchers which I immediately went out and spent. I treated myself to two Editors albums – a band that has been one of my favourites since their inception so many years ago now. I also bought myself Frank Turner’s ‘Be More Kind’.. before realising I already had. I clearly forgot how much I love Frank! I ended up swapping it for Haim – Days Are Gone, which is just as fab a listen 🙂 I have a little bit of credit left on the voucher, so comment below on what you think I should add to my collection next.

Wahoo, August was great, and I’m hoping September will just be great. It’s kicking off with a trip to the Harry Potter Studios, thanks to my other half who booked it as a birthday surprise 🙂 Going to totally get my nerd on … and drink butter beer for the first time! 🙂

Caroline x

London Life: Exploring Notting Hill & Kensington

Firstly, I must apologise for my very sparse blogging! This wedding season has been so full on, and trying to juggle it with a day job means blogging/social media uptake took a real hit! I can’t believe it took me so long to write this.. but here you go!

One of my new years resolutions was to explore London more, as its so easy to be lazy at the weekend, or just hang out around my local area. Back in May, on my last free weekend before wedding season madness started, I spent a beautiful sunny Sunday exploring Notting Hill & Kensington.

A purple house covered in ivy and greenery

I followed A Lady in London’s walking guide to Notting Hill which I can definitely recommend doing. It took around an hour and a half (with plenty of stops to take photos), and took me through Portabello Market, around pretty hidden Mews, and up into the residential streets of Ladbroke Grove.

As I did it on a Sunday, Portabello Market was lovely and quiet – for once I wasn’t desperate to leave the crowds behind. Blossom was still out and the colours of the buildings were so vibrant. I also came across so many gorgeous classic cars.. which seemed like they had been parked to co-ordinate with their surrounding buildings!

A classic car parked in front of a pastel house in Notting Hill

A worn white wall covered in ivy with a pastel blue door

Red front door with red rose blossom around it

After finishing the tour, I decided I would continue on to Holland Park, some where I have never been in my 10+ years of living in London! Around 15 minutes walk away, when I arrived I was surprised at how rural it felt, despite being right in the middle of time. I loved the Kyoto Garden, and can imagine on a week day it is lovely and peaceful (it was full of tourists so I didn’t stay long). Walking down through the Orangery, the flowers were in full bloom, with wisteria still hanging over the walkway.

Sunbathers lying on the lawn outside Holland Park cafe

From here, you can continue directly south to Kensington High Street, where I picked up a quick lunch and took it to Hyde Park to sunbathe. Wanting to enjoy the sun as much as possible, I walked through Kensington Gardens and up towards the Lido/Serpentine. One of these days I am going to have to try the lido – it looked like the perfect day for it as there was a pretty hefty queue! I eventually reached the other side of the park and made my way through Mayfair to get the tube home from Bond Street. I had walked for around 4 hours, covering 10km, and it was an absolutely gorgeous way to spend a Sunday. You get to see so much of London by walking, and I discovered parts of west London I have never seen before 🙂 This was also another outing for my new Fuji XT2 – its growing on me every time I take it out 🙂 The very shallow images were taken on my Canon 50mm and an adaptor.

What neighbourhoods should I explore next? Follow my board on Pinterest for ways to spend your weekend in London.

Caroline x

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What I loved this month: July 2018

I’m not quite sure where July went, its absolutely stormed by. Amazed that it is already time for me to right this blog, and to be honest struggling to remember what I did this month apart from masses of editing! I was shooting Rosie & Davide’s wedding last weekend and now have a 6 week break before the next – I’m not quite sure what I’ll do on my Saturdays now!

Here is what I loved in July:

  1. My bike

With the heatwave sweeping the UK, by the middle of June, and after 4 years of sweating it out, I decided enough was enough on the central line. I had been deliberating buying a bike to cycle into work for a few months but always put it straight out of mind thinking it was too far/dangerous. But I was fed up of dreading my commute home so went ahead and bit the bullet. I did a few test runs on an OFO bike and after the first run was in love with cycling. I bought myself a Dawes Duchess and it is my new baby! This was my first full week cycling everyday and its been so great – my commute now feels like a little adventure and I appreciate London so much more – being able to cycle through Victoria and the Olympic Park every day is a real joy. Admittedly.. my opinion may change when the colder, wet weather creeps in but I’m determined that my central line days are over.

My Duchess Dawes blue bike in Victoria Park

2. How Not To Die

In my last post I had just started reading this but raved about how interesting it was. The book is essentially a list of the worse diseases and how your diet can help to prevent/cure them – your diet being a plant based one. It’s really eye opening and I can recommend it to anyone.

How Not to Die review

3. Buddha bowls

Influenced by the book above I’ve been trying to eat more of the ‘Daily Dozen’, which are the 12 ideal foods to eat everyday to fight off disease. With the summer heat as well, my fav dinner has become a buddha bowl where I can just chuck in all sorts of veggies, protein and some grain. Topped with hummus, always.

4. The Staircase

Our show of the month on Netflix was definitely The Staircase. For any Making a Murderer fans.. this is for you! Following the story of a man who found his wife lying at the bottom of their stairs dead and the subsequent police investigation, this will be your next binge. I’m not going to give much away so just go watch.

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Reading wise this month, apart from How Not To Die, I’ve been limited – normally I would read for about an hour everyday on the tube but thats now gone! So the only other book I read this month:

The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks: This was part of Amazon’s 100 books to read in your Lifetime so I decided to tick that one off. It was a very dark read, and as a vegan, with the numerous cases of animal cruelty in it, I had to remember this was just a book. I really enjoyed it though and the ending was a huge twist! 3/5

Caroline x

What I loved this month: June 2018

Hello all! Hope you have been enjoyed the wondrous summer we seem to be having! This blog is a little bit late as June was the craziest month of the year for me. I had 3 weddings, and ended up doing a 10 day trip to Tokyo with my day job as a video producer! The month has flown by, and I can’t believe I am over the hump of my 2018 weddings season already. So here’s a round up of what I loved in June:

  1. Tokyo

I was in Tokyo directing a video shoot for 5 days and then took 5 days to myself to explore the city, as this was my first time in Japan – and my first time travelling alone.  I will be doing a separate blog on this, but will just round up by saying it is the best place. I felt so at home, and whilst everyone says Tokyo is this crazy, busy place, I actually found it very relaxing. My highlights were strolling the Imperial Palace Gardens on a Sunday, spending Saturday night playing old Sega video games in Akihabara, and vintage shopping in Shimo-Kitazawa

Akihabara skyscrapers at night in Tokyo

2. Japanese Wellness

Having visited Japan, I am so intrigued by their approach to food and wellness. I can tell you I didn’t see any overweight Japanese people while in Tokyo. On the weekend it felt like everyone was being active – so many cyclists and people out for strolls in the parks. I loved the way of eating as well – lots of smaller dishes with plenty of variety. I did struggle slightly finding vegan food places, but managed to battle on through and ate like an absolute queen while there. Below is one of my more beige meals.. but I loved the vegetable dishes I tried. I definitely want to read up more about the general Japanese approach to wellness, so if anyone can recommend any books or websites, drop me a comment below!

Vegan dining in Tokyo

3. The World Cup 

I wasn’t particularly excited about the World Cup before it started – I normally love the atmosphere but let’s face it, it’s also normally a bit depressing for England fans. I missed some of the first matches because I was in Tokyo, although did watch a Japanese game amongst the locals while I was there. Since getting back I’ve caught up a lot and the whole buzz around the England team at the moment is amazing. I haven’t enjoyed a World Cup this much since I was an early teen! It also feels like Gareth Southgate is going to be a national hero by the end of the tournament.

4. Yoga downtime 

In the peak of yoga season, it is very easy to 1) get super stressed and 2) be super achey from carrying heavy cameras around for 14 hours a day. I have been trying to do Yoga With Adriene religiously this month around my regular workouts, and it helps so much. Any photographers out there, I can suggest doing one the day after a wedding to loosen up your back and shoulders! I typically do a session right before bed and it helps send me right to sleep 🙂 After each of my long haul flights to Tokyo and back I also did this session, which I tell you – it was divine after being cramped up on a plane!

5. George Ezra 

‘Staying at Tamara’s’ really is the album of summer 2018, isn’t it? I listen to it most mornings – it’s the perfect uplift to get you in the mood for the day! I’ve also been enjoying the new Panic! at the Disco album, and Penguin Prison who I discovered the other day during a Spotify explore 🙂

Vinyl shopping in Brighton

My reading this month took a big hit – after spending most of my evenings editing, I do yoga then fall straight asleep. However, two 12 hour flights and several dinners alone in Tokyo meant I still ploughed my way through a few books:

  1. ‘Salems Lot – Stephen King. I did say in my last post how Stephen King has probably been my fav author since I was a teenager, and his books really got me through lots of travel this month! I could not put down ‘Salems Lot – the plot was definitely not what I expected but it was a terrific and chilling read. 5/5
  2. Bag of Bones – Stephen King. After finishing ‘Salem’s Lot, I chose this as the book to get my through my 12 hour flight to Tokyo. I read it on there until my eyes hurt! I’m not going to give anything away but it is another fab book and one you won’t be able to put down. 4/5

Having gone for two novels, I wanted to read a factual book next, and was researching Japanese wellness guides when I stumbled across ‘How Not To Die’. A few people have recommended this book to me, so I figured I would give it a try. I’m only about 30% of the way through but it is so fascinating! Written by a Doctor/Nutritionalist, the book goes through 15 of the major causes of premature death in humans, including the big ones like Heart Disease, and most types of cancer.  He goes on to explain the science behind each disease, and how nutrition and diet can hugely help to prevent or off set each. At so many times I have stopped and just been wow-ed by the facts he reels off. Don’t get me wrong, it is also a slightly scary book! The final section, which I haven’t got to yet, outlines how using scientific knowledge you can practically use your diet to stay healthy.  I get asked all the time why I went vegan – if anyone asks me again, I’m just going to direct them to read this book.

How Not To Die review

Hope you all enjoy July, and let me know what you’ve been enjoying! xx

Hertfordshire Wedding Photographer: Jonny & Jay’s spring engagement in Harpenden

I met these two on a drizzly Saturday night for their Harpenden engagement shoot. They had chosen the Nickey Line as the location – a fab disused railway line turned scenic walk.

Couple holding hands in woods with bluebells

Unbelievably, although it rained for my whole drive there, and my whole drive back, some how it stopped for the duration of our shoot, so thank you to the rain gods!

We ventured into the bluebell woods off the main track, and took some shots there. You wouldn’t really have believed it was nearly May – we were all wearing winter coats and the fallen leaves in the woods made it feel very autumnal. It was so muddy we did nearly take a tumble down a steep bank, so thank you Jonny & Jay for being happy to have a bit of an adventure!

Everyone should have someone in their life who makes them laugh as much as these two make each other laugh.

Couple stood in yellow rapeseed field smiling at each other

Engaged couple stood in middle of yellow rapeseed flowers

Our shoot was exactly 6 weeks before their big day, which I can’t wait for! Also super excited to find out what their honeymoon destination after is as it’s a surprise for Jay (romantic or what?)..

 

Get in touch now to book your 2019 wedding or an engagement shoot!

Caroline x

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Travel: Day Trip to Whitstable & First Outing for Fuji X-T2

Colourful row of houses and white picket fences on Whitstable seafront

A few weeks ago, I went to Whitstable for a day trip out of London with one of my best friends. We discussed doing some weekends away to get out the city this summer and see new places, but with busy schedules we ended up making our first attempt a day trip. For me, nothing beats a road trip, even if its a short one! I love the feeling of freedom – being able to jump in a car and go anywhere you want, at any time. 

We chose Whitstable because I know a lot of people living on the Kent coast who love it, and it was within easy driving distance (about an hour and fifteen from Wanstead in East London). Having just bought tickets to the ‘Silent Alarm’ anniversary tour that week, we pretty much listened/sang along to Bloc Party the whole way there.

Old architectural details on red brick building in Whitstable

Arriving at lunch time, we parked up in the centre of town and walked down the high street, towards the coast. The high street was just as you would want – beautifully quaint and with a true sense of being by the seaside, but not in a cheesy way. There were so many trendy boutiques and vintage stores – honestly, without restraint I could have spent a fortune.

Day trip postcard from East Quay Venue, Whitstable

We came out by the Harbour and wandered round the market – there were some really beautiful pieces of art, including some incredible landscape photography. We carried on down the seafront towards West Beach, stopping at the Old Neptune pub on the beach. Down this way, there were endless brightly coloured beach huts along the pebble shores.

Wide shot of Whitstable's west beach and the Old Neptune pub

After walking all the way down the beach, we backed up on ourselves down Island Wall. I loved walking past all the white washed buildings and choosing which home we would like to live in. They were all lovely and there was the real feeling of history. Whitstable is also home to a number of tiny alleyways leading off to who knows where!

Young woman walking past colourful beach huts

We stopped for a very traditional seaside lunch at Elliot’s, No 1 Harbour Street. Can definitely recommend it – we got chatting to our waitress, who also suggested we stop in at the New Inn pub, which we did after another coastal walk. We had headed towards the castle, which has really lovely gardens, and would be a gorgeous wedding venue! If you carry on up the seafront towards Tankerton, you pass loads more coloured beach huts, and can see for miles, out towards Clacton-On-Sea. Once we got back to the harbour, we came across the Oyster Shack. As we had already eaten, we didn’t stop in, but it would make an amazing date location or place for a beachside beer.

Over all, we had a great day on the Kent seaside, and I came home feeling like we’d had a proper break, despite only being there for the afternoon! This was also the first time I took out my new Fuji X-T2. I’ve bought it as a travel camera – it’s around half the size and weight of my Canon 5D, so definitely something more appropriate for just sticking in your handbag and carrying around all day. I can’t tell you how different I found it though – the EVF (electronic view finder) really threw me for the whole day! It’s a bizarre thing to get used to. Also just buttons being in different places, and actual dials for settings meant it took me forever to set up a photo (I always shoot in manual). It’s going to take some used to, and I can’t wait to properly test it out more after wedding season. Any images you see in this blog were taken on it, with a Fujinon XF 18-55mm. I want to gradually invest in some other lenses, but figured this was a good starting point. I’ve also bought an adaptor which means I can use my Canon lenses on it for now (only in manual focus). Photographers amongst you, keep an eye out as I will probably do a more lengthy review of the XT2 once I’ve had a good chance to play with it.

Caroline x

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