What I loved this month: October 2018

I swear it rolls around to the end of every month, and for every single one I sit here like ‘it can’t be that time again already’! Well, here goes. In October I took a much needed post-wedding season holiday, did a few shoots that weren’t wedding related (!), and started to embrace cosy autumn nights in.

  1. Dominican Republic

This month I took a trip to the Dominican Republic for some rest and relaxation with my other half 🙂 We were after some autumn sun and mainly wanted to relax on a beach and do not much else. I’m generally rubbish at these sorts of holidays and get bored, but I must say, it was a real delight. I read four books.. FOUR! I swam, we drank lots of cocktails, and generally ate our body weight everyday.

2. Brand Photography

This month I shot some stuff that wasn’t wedding related :O As part of a rebrand at my day job I’ve been shooting brand photography and portraits in our London office. It’s been great to get some of my London colleagues on camera! I also did my first sports shoot, with Marc from Pure Fitness in Shoreditch. As someone who loves fitness, I was pretty excited about this one, and it was great to do something a bit different. Shooting in a dark studio was challenging but really fun!

Trendy looking female writer sat outside in Shoreditch

3. Back to 2005 with Bloc Party

Last week, I went to Ally Pally with my best friend to see Bloc Party play Silent Alarm in full. When Silent Alarm originally came out, I was fully obsessed and immersed in the indie scene of that time, but never managed to see Bloc Party until about their third album. The show was absolutely incredible – it truly took me back to that era. Even though half the band have now moved on, the performance was exceptional and I am so impressed by their new drummer – she was a machine! Fingers crossed for ‘A Weekend in The City’ tour as that is actually my fav BP album.

4. Getting the chop

I’ve been growing my hair for what feels like forever, and hadn’t had it cut since January (don’t tell my hairdresser). In that time I’ve experimented with pink and some changes in colour and after coming back from holiday decided it was in an appalling state. On a whim I decided to get it all chopped off. I used to have an A line bob about 5 years ago and it was my absolute fav hair cut… so its back! It’s so refreshing.. although not used to having a cold neck!

5. Redemption 

On Friday night I welcomed in the weekend with a relaxing dinner with a friend at Redemption. It’s an all vegan and alcohol free restaurant in Shoreditch, specialising in the healthiest food in London. We had been before but had the summer menu, so it was great to try their more hearty options. We both had the mushroom and walnut bolognese.. not even kidding, it was the richest and most comforting bolognese I’ve had in forever! We were going all out, so ordered a dessert each as well – if you’re going, I can’t recommend the banoffee pie enough. It was INSANELY GOOD. Sadly, we couldn’t even finish our desserts as we were so full – next time we know to share them!

6. The Vietnam War – Ken Burns

This month, I’m off to Vietnam with my best friend for 3 weeks. I absolutely can’t wait! Through all our planning, I realised I actually didn’t know much about the history of the country. I knew there had been a huge war with America, but had never really learnt about it or knew the full story. I’m about half way through Ken Burns’ documentary series on the subject, which you can find on Netflix. It’s a heavy watch, but is thoroughly interesting. It touches not just on the Vietnam war, but pretty much the last 100 years of Vietnam’s history. It’s definitely opened my eyes, not just about Vietnam’s geography and history, but also American history.

Ok, here comes my reading list review for October, which thanks to holiday is probably the longest list in a few months. I also got a deal which means I have Amazon Unlimited until Christmas, so these books are all available on there. So far I’m a bit disappointed with their selections, so if any one has recommendations or tips, drop me a comment!

The Note –  Zoë Folbigg: This book is a bit of a love story, about a woman who gives a man on her train a love note. Ensue a long game of ‘will they, won’t they’, but an enjoyable read, particularly as it was set in London and very relatable. 4/5

Things We Never Said – Nick Alexander: Another bit of a romantic story – I guess I go for easier books when I’m on holiday! The story of a widower who is left a box of photographs by his just passed wife. I really enjoyed this book – It affirmed the importance of photography in life, and was a refreshing take on love. It showed that across a life time theres up and downs, but also leaves you with the feeling that you shouldn’t take any of that for granted or leave things unsaid. 4.5/5

Silent Victim – Caroline Mitchell:  This was meant to be a thriller, but while it kept me turning the page, it wasn’t as dramatic as I was hoping. The end felt quite rushed and over quickly. Still, a good holiday read. 3/5 

What have you been loving in October? Hope you are enjoying the seasonal period – Happy Halloween (and bonfire night!)

 

x

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!

LRM_EXPORT_164374822391509_20180902_190222312

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

 

 

 

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

SaveSave

SaveSave