Oh wow what a busy, busy day! I started at 10.30am arriving at The Chilston Manor in Aylesford and was pleased to see that the weather was holding out, with no rain. As soon as Claire glimpsed me opening the bridal suite door, she beamed, looking totally relaxed and very happy. I had 1 hour for the bridal preparation coverage, during this time I needed to photograph the dress, flowers, jewellery, hair, make-up, everything, I worked swiftly and then left to join the rest of the wedding party at the wonderful Allington Castle, which I have to admit I was very excited about. Allington Castle is quite simply Kent's best kept secret. The castle is nestled in 42 acres next to the Medway river it is surrounded by a moat and fronted by two lakes which are split by a causeway leading you the the castle gates. The extensive gardens are a photographic dream set out in a Medieval style with Italian gardens,Lavender walk, Parterre, Courtyard and formal ponds. The ceremony room was stunning, with its old stone walls and magnificent hanging tapestries, made for such a stunning back drop. After the ceremony there was a down pouring of rain, which meant we were confined to taking pictures under an archway, but this worked out fine and with the correct camera settings was able to highlight the group and incorporate the wonderful pond backdrop and trees. The sun then smiled down and we spent 20 minutes together taking the romantic shots, then we were back inside the majestic castle for the wedding breakfast and speeches. Fantastic Magician Chris Harding was there to mystify the guests and surprise them beyond belief with his fantastic array of magic tricks! The time now is 7pm and we all headed over to Chilston Manor Park Hotel for the Reception. The guests travelled in a pillar box red quirky styled wedding celebration bus, this of course was all captured on camera with great humour. 30 minute drive and we have returned to the Chilston for cake cutting and the first dance. There was a little twist to the reception arrival of the Bride, Groom and Bridesmaids .... this being that they had an entourage of Drummers, beating their drums, whilst the bridal party chanted and clapped their hands, it was fantastic and something which was new to me. The pathway was lit with garden border lamps and they danced their way along the path and onto the Dance Floor where they danced in a circle with the drummer in the centre, clapping and singing together with great energy and joy. I left Claire and Metin at 9pm dancing the night away with their family and friends, but just before leaving I took a picture of the Chilston Flood Lit with golden lights, it looked amazing and summed up the wonderful wonderful day. Pictures will be following soon.
Today I undertook a food photogaphy project for Nick Levantis at The Swan. The Swan, West Malling is located in Kent close to Sevenoaks, Maidstone and just 30 miles from London. Two bars, a restaurant, library and three private dining rooms feature over three floors serving cocktails, breakfast, lunch, a la carte meals and Sunday roasts. In warmer months the Secret Garden opens, a Mediterranean inspired outdoor lounge. The menus reflect our signature British style with seasonal produce grown and reared by local farmers.
I visited The Gambia for 7 days at the end of March and wow what an amazing place. I love to travel to see real culture, to gain a deeper understand of how people live. To be honest this was a 7 day relaxing holiday (was meant to be!) but how could I resist not spending one full day taking pictures of the Tanji Fishing Village where they smoke and dry the many different varieties of fish and the local village markets, which are open everyday for Gambians to purchase their daily produce, as without fridges their perishable foods do not last long. So daily market bartering is a way of life for them. I have added some pictures for you to view, and over the next week I will be adding a description of the each visual which are displayed in this Gallery. So keep checking back for the little notes being added. I was amazed by the country and can not wait to return in November to journey along The Gambian River to see the Hippos and Chimpanzees in their natural environment.