Kate Brown Photography: Blog http://www.katebrownphotography.co.uk/blog en-us (C) Kate Brown Photography info@katebrownphotography.co.uk (Kate Brown Photography) Thu, 12 Mar 2015 13:41:00 GMT Thu, 12 Mar 2015 13:41:00 GMT http://www.katebrownphotography.co.uk/img/s/v-5/u235487394-o155673152-50.jpg Kate Brown Photography: Blog http://www.katebrownphotography.co.uk/blog 90 120 Bibury Court Wedding http://www.katebrownphotography.co.uk/blog/2015/3/bibury-court-wedding If a picture paints a thousand words, I hope my images give you a taste for what a magical, impressive and very Cotswold venue Bibury Court is.  Nestled beside the village's Saxon church, you get the feeling time stands still in this glorious part of the world.  It's not however until you approach the hotel along its driveway to the rear that you appreciate the sense of tranquility and grandeur combining in awesome proportions.  With its own section of the River Coln running alongside the perfectly manicured Great Lawn and Secret Garden, the icing on the cake has to be the beautiful old stone bridge beyond the end of the garden.

You'd be hard pushed to find two lovelier, more thoughtful people than Nicolette and Eamonn.  The word 'privileged' is a rather over-used word in the world of wedding photography, but I was genuinely privileged they chose me to capture their once in a lifetime day.  Breaking from tradition their 'afternoon tea' wedding breakfast was a resounding success with guests.  Just photographing the platters piled high with quiches, sandwiches of every variety, tarts and cakes left me outrageously hungry.  As luck would have it though I was given a very generous doggy bag to take home!  With a shared love of travel, Nicolette and Eamonn made this their theme for the wedding, summed up perfectly by the cake, which drew many admirers.

Here are some of my favourites...

If you are getting married at Bibury Court Hotel, let me capture your once in a lifetime day with beautiful, spontaneous photography.

 info@katebrownphotography.co.uk

 

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info@katebrownphotography.co.uk (Kate Brown Photography) Bibury Court Hotel wedding http://www.katebrownphotography.co.uk/blog/2015/3/bibury-court-wedding Wed, 11 Mar 2015 14:05:38 GMT
A wonderful Christmas Thyme http://www.katebrownphotography.co.uk/blog/2015/1/A-wonderful-Christmas-Thyme London-based Lillingston, a team of well established specialist party planners, held their Christmas party at Thyme at Southrop and I was fortunate to be asked to tag along with my camera.

Lillingston staff were treated to a ‘festive canapes and mince pies’ masterclass from Head Chef Daryll Taylor before enjoying champagne and cocktails across the drive at Thyme House, the eight bed luxury house located on site. Then followed a superb three course dinner prepared and cooked by Daryll.  A particularly nice touch was that the cooking and food preparation all took place in the Thyme House kitchen so guests were free to ask their foody questions as they supped on champagne – oh to have my own personal chef!

Robyn and her colleagues from Lillingston - what a truly lovely group of people and skilled hands at planning parties with a wow factor!  Cookery classes held at Thyme range from ‘the foundations of flavour’ to break making to ‘curry and spice’ to ‘regional French bistro dishes’ and many, many more.

Here is some more of my photography at Southrop Manor.  If you are planning an event and would like someone to capture the atmosphere and the detail then do get in touch, I would love to hear from you.

Some of my favourite pictures from the day…

Kate x

 

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info@katebrownphotography.co.uk (Kate Brown Photography) Southrop Manor Venues http://www.katebrownphotography.co.uk/blog/2015/1/A-wonderful-Christmas-Thyme Thu, 08 Jan 2015 15:58:51 GMT
Hare and Hounds Hotel Wedding http://www.katebrownphotography.co.uk/blog/2014/11/Hare-and-Hounds-Hotel-Wedding You know when you’ve had a very special summer day when you return home feeling sun-kissed, relaxed and happy-tired.  Lauren and Jack’s wedding at the Hare and Hounds Hotel was the most special of summer days this year.  The weather could not have been better.  My overriding memory of the reception was of seeing guests dotted about the stunning gardens at the Hare & Hounds Hotel eating, drinking, chatting, laughing and joking.

I first met Lauren and Jack at the wedding of their friends Jessi and Chris in 2012, which I was photographing.  Having seen first hand the way I work (I assume they also liked the pictures!) I was delighted to receive an enquiry once Jack had popped the question.   From the word go Lauren and Jack introduced themselves as a family of three.  I first met their ‘baby’ Ringo (four legs) when I visited them at home a year before their wedding.  Ringo was gorgeous (I’m a dog lover) and was destined to be an important presence on their big day.  The picture of the three of them on the lawn is probably my favourite of the day.

Lauren and Jack’s wedding was glorious.  Lauren looked truly beautiful in her strapless, floor-length gown while Jack’s stylish look was perfectly complimented by their red, vintage sports car parked at the front of the  hotel.  The Hare & Hounds Hotel is found in Westonbirt, next to the Arboretum and occupies the most stunning countryside setting.  Inside, the hotel is stylish, full of character and with some fabulous art on the walls.   Outside the gardens are  beautiful and extensive, with a main lawned area which is ideal for wedding parties.

The photo booth was a big highlight of the evening reception, with guests queuing up to don all sorts of crazy fancy dress.  I think they’re a brilliant idea if you’re looking to offer your guests a fun alternative to hitting the dance floor.  Let’s face it who couldn’t be tempted by a spot of fancy dress silliness behind the safety of a curtain?

Here are some of my favourite images from the day.  Would you like to see more examples of my wedding photography?  If you are considering booking your wedding at the Hare and Hounds Hotel I would love to hear from you.  If you are getting married and would like to discuss your wedding photography requirements please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Happy viewing! Kate x

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info@katebrownphotography.co.uk (Kate Brown Photography) Hare and Hounds Hotel Weddings http://www.katebrownphotography.co.uk/blog/2014/11/Hare-and-Hounds-Hotel-Wedding Tue, 11 Nov 2014 07:46:01 GMT
St Paul’s Cathedral wedding http://www.katebrownphotography.co.uk/blog/2014/9/St-Paul-s-Cathedral-wedding When Rachel and Ed approached me to photograph their wedding at St Paul’s Cathedral it didn’t take long to consider my options before saying “Yes!”  Having photographed Rachel’s sister Nikki and her family several times over the years, it was lovely to be recommended by her.

The Portrait and Wedding photography business has taken me all over the Cotswolds and to all corners of the UK and abroad.  I am incredibly fortunate to have found myself in scenery more beautiful than I could ever imagine.  The prospect of taking pictures at St Paul’s Cathedral, steeped in 1400 years of history, with its multitude of elegant columns, tourist-strewn steps and iconic Dome (2nd largest in the world after St Peter’s in Rome) would be difficult to beat.

Rachel and Ed are the most warm-hearted, down to earth couple you could meet. Rachel looked simply beautiful in her elegant wedding dress while Ed played the role of the handsome, smart groom to perfection.  From the outset Rachel wasn’t convinced about being centre of attention for so many guests, tourists, bus passengers and taxi drivers who would be watching the celebrations outside the Cathedral. However both she and Ed were keen for the hubbub of London to be included in some of their pictures, which I welcomed.  Already familiar with the City from a previous life in London, I visited the Cathedral twice the following year to get to know its layout inside and out, to see how the light played out across the building and on those surrounding it.  I wanted there to be as few surprises on the day as possible.

The morning of the big day itself started off dry with plenty of cloud about - the forecast promised some rain, some sunshine – that was good enough for me.  Understandably Rachel and Ed wanted a fighting chance of remaining dry while they enjoyed their time at St Paul’s – this gave them one. The wedding ceremony took place in the OBE Chapel (Order of the British Empire) at the east end of the Crypt, also known as St Faith’s Chapel. For anyone considering holding their wedding here, this right is reserved for award-holders of the OBE and members of their family. Time to check your family history!

Photographing Rachel and Ed’s wedding felt a bit like being a child in the greatest sweet shop ever. The building’s history, architecture, curves, columns, Portland stone and city location provided me with a fabulous, iconic backdrop for my pictures. I loved every minute of it of it!  It was lovely to hear from Rachel and Ed not long after their wedding: “I just wanted to say​ an absolutely massive thank you – we haven’t even managed to get through half of the photos yet to view them all properly but we love them, they are amazing!”

Historical Note: The present St Paul’s Cathedral is at least the fourth to occupy its site on Ludgate Hill. After the 1666 Great Fire of London the remains of the third Cathedral were demolished and Sir Christopher Wren was appointed to design the new Cathedral as we know it today. St Faith’s Chapel (Chapel of the Order of the British Empire) is found at the east end of the Crypt and in 1960 became the spiritual home to the Order of the British Empire. Today, award-holders of the OBE and members of their family may be married and baptised in the chapel.

If you are planning to be married then do take the time to view some of my other posts.  Whether your venue is St Paul’s Cathedral in London, a Tythe Barn in the Cotswolds,  the field next to your house or a venue abroad I would love to hear from you on 07818 074312 or via email at info@katebrownphotography.co.uk

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info@katebrownphotography.co.uk (Kate Brown Photography) London weddings St Paul's Cathedral Weddings http://www.katebrownphotography.co.uk/blog/2014/9/St-Paul-s-Cathedral-wedding Tue, 16 Sep 2014 04:53:00 GMT
Barnsley House wedding http://www.katebrownphotography.co.uk/blog/2014/6/Barnsley-House-wedding Never before have I been struck by two such brilliant best friends getting married (and who have a complete giggle together!)  At times I was left crying with laughter, at times wiping the tears from my cheeks brought on by the emotion of the day.  Let’s face it, neither is a great look if you’re trying to maintain a professional demeanour but am hoping I got away with it.  Penny and Mark decided on an outdoor ceremony for their Barnsley House wedding and, unusually, chose to walk down the aisle together.  I had to smile when, after meeting with the registrar, Penny walked out onto the lawn to meet Mark and within 5 seconds both were bent over double crying laughing about something one had whispered to the other.  Five minutes later they were still stood in the same spot giggling, at which point Natalie the Event Manager was forced to gently remind them that their family and friends awaited their presence.  Love that!

The gardens at Barnsley House looked splendid, so natural, the kind of natural that takes hours and hours of hard work to create,  They provide a host of intriguing corners and hidden spaces in which to steal a quiet moment (and one or two pictures of course).  Here are some of my favourites from the day…

 

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info@katebrownphotography.co.uk (Kate Brown Photography) Barnsley House Venues Weddings http://www.katebrownphotography.co.uk/blog/2014/6/Barnsley-House-wedding Mon, 16 Jun 2014 16:04:49 GMT
Local business portraiture http://www.katebrownphotography.co.uk/blog/2014/5/Local-business-portraiture The best thing about offering business photography is that I get to meet lots of interesting local people with expert knowledge in their chosen field.  As you would expect the conversation tends to flow during a photo-shoot and this can often provide an opportunity for insight into people’s business ventures.

When we first moved to Gloucestershire 8 years ago photography provided a really effective way to get to know our new Cotswold community.  Each week was and continues to be completely different, from photographing friends with their babies for the NCT magazine (National Childbirth Trust) to shooting rural business portraits for a group of farm management advisors in the middle of a field in Yanworth, to photographing TV vet Joe Inglis with former Olympic and Commonwealth Games champion swimmer David Wilkie MBE and an enormous Newfoundland dog all swimming in a hydrotherapy pool in Witney!  Yes really…..  My new understanding of crop production technologies and the positive benefits of glucosamine for joint care in dogs now surely means I would be an asset to any team in the local pub quiz?

I received a booking recently to take some business portraiture with an outdoors, natural setting for Wiltshire based Sam Lister.  Sam is warm, intelligent and knows her stuff.  With a background in business and coaching, Sam set up her own business Complete Coaching offering life and career coaching, which she clearly feels very passionate about.  I gleaned the latter when our discussion about the shoot took a fork as Sam volunteered a very sensible suggestion on how my 8yr old son might overcome his fear of roller-coasters!  If you are considering life coaching or career coaching then why not speak to Sam…  

For more examples of my business portraiture please click on the link.  If you would like to book a session please call Kate on 07818 074312.

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info@katebrownphotography.co.uk (Kate Brown Photography) business services portraiture http://www.katebrownphotography.co.uk/blog/2014/5/Local-business-portraiture Fri, 23 May 2014 04:28:27 GMT
Knickers at Southrop Manor http://www.katebrownphotography.co.uk/blog/2014/3/Knickers-at-Southrop-Manor I had no idea what to expect when asked to photograph Louisa’s hen weekend at Southrop Manor.  All I was told by best friend Cicely was that there would be about thirteen girl friends all staying for the weekend in Southrop Manor’s beautiful Thyme House and somewhere in amongst all the mayhem would be a knicker treasure hunt.  Sorry, a what….?  Hmmm I thought, this sounds a bit bonkers…..smiling I immediately took the booking.

Yes the intrepid explorers set off through Southrop Manor’s private estate on the hunt for thirteen hidden pairs of knickers (all lovingly supplied by said friends).  Rules of engagement required that the hunt was actually a race to find each pair.  Those found by the hen were gleefully passed to one of the friends for immediate adorning.  Those found by the hen’s friends were proudly presented to her to be put on amid shrieks of laughter!  You can guess how the game went and who ended up looking like a fully clothed walking advert for ‘figleaves’ in muddy wellies.

Thyme House is an 18th century luxury 8 bedroom holiday residence found in the Cotswold village of Southrop, just 2 miles from Fairford and Lechlade.  It forms part of an amazing hub of food excellence (see food school ‘Thyme at Southrop’), a Tithe Barn wedding venue full of elegance and rustic character, plus several Cotswold stone holiday cottages.   As you walk around the stylish space inside and out at Thyme House, you get a real feel for how country house blends with London boutique hotel.  The decor would be pretty much exactly what I would choose for my own home if I had a £squillion sitting in my bank account.  Until such point however I shall choose to enjoy my opportunities photographing at Thyme House and put in a ‘not so subtle birthday weekend away’ request to my husband….

If you’re looking for a unique and elegant country retreat for a special occasion Thyme House is hard to beat.   If you love this you’ll also love what the Landmark Trust has to offer, why not check out my recent blog post on the subject!  I’m always looking for new, quirky venues to visit (and write about), so please share them with me, I’d love to hear your story!  For enquiries please call Kate on 07818 074312 or email info@katebrownphotography.co.uk.  Thanks for visiting!

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info@katebrownphotography.co.uk (Kate Brown Photography) Southrop Manor Venues http://www.katebrownphotography.co.uk/blog/2014/3/Knickers-at-Southrop-Manor Tue, 11 Mar 2014 16:39:19 GMT
Wedding at Gants Mill http://www.katebrownphotography.co.uk/blog/2014/2/Wedding-at-Gants-Mill Hidden in East Somerset, Gants Mill sits in a beautiful country garden setting and offers couples the chance to have their wedding ceremony in its oak gazebo and reception in the gardens.  Owners Elaine and Greg held their very own wedding reception in the gardens, next to a rustic water mill dating back to the Domesday survey of 1068.

Having met Nicola and Colin in the early stages of their wedding planning and with the prospect of photographing my first wedding at Gants Mill, I jumped at the chance to be their photographer when they asked.  It’s fairly rare that, as the photographer, I find myself with tears rolling down my cheeks at a wedding (really – its not a good look when you’re trying to focus on ‘the big’ moment).  Life is full  of firsts though and within about 30 seconds of Colin starting his speech everybody in the marquee had all but dissolved into a pool of tears, myself included.  Yes Colin that was some speech.

True to from for our patchy British weather, the heavens opened and delivered an enormous downpour.  One of the first lessons I ever learned in photography was that light can be amazing when the rain stops.  I wandered outside the marquee and was met with the most rich, colourful sight you could imagine.  The late afternoon sun had made the garden even more beautiful than before, as if made from jewels.

Congratulations to Nicky and Colin, what an amazing start to your married life together!!  Thank you to Greg and Elaine for making me so welcome and for the personal tour of the gardens.  Here are some of my favourite pictures from the day…

If you’re getting married and would like to have a chat about your wedding photography, why not take a look at my Weddings page or get in touch.  Enjoy!

07818 074312

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info@katebrownphotography.co.uk (Kate Brown Photography) Gants Mill Weddings http://www.katebrownphotography.co.uk/blog/2014/2/Wedding-at-Gants-Mill Tue, 11 Feb 2014 16:22:06 GMT
A Landmark weekend http://www.katebrownphotography.co.uk/blog/2014/2/A-Landmark-weekend Have just spent a terrific weekend at Warden Abbey, a Landmark Trust property in Bedfordshire. The property is an absolute find, statuesque on its own in the middle of a meadow on the outskirts of an old farming village. I had no idea what to expect beyond a vaguely ecclesiastical building.

This curious looking property is all that remains of a Cistercian Abbey founded in 1135. Today it is the most wonderful and original holiday property with bags of character and features. On our all girls weekend we managed to spend pretty much the whole afternoon and evening lazing on the sofas by the wood burner, eating crispy duck, drinking wine, catching up, devouring chocolate, drinking more wine and playing a decidedly un-pc card game.

Upstairs the rooms are huge and have a distinctly medieval feel to them. Whether the place is haunted remains open to debate, but if indeed there are one or two monks from centuries past inhabiting the abbey, I’m certain they’re friendly!

Expecting the February downpour to continue, to our delight we were treated to glorious sunshine, so I leapt at the chance to grab the camera and make the most of some great light….

Discover for yourself Landmark Trust properties…

 

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info@katebrownphotography.co.uk (Kate Brown Photography) Venues http://www.katebrownphotography.co.uk/blog/2014/2/A-Landmark-weekend Tue, 04 Feb 2014 15:58:00 GMT
Charlton Spa Hotel http://www.katebrownphotography.co.uk/blog/2013/3/Charlton-Spa-Hotel Whilst I appreciate the familiarity that comes with regularly photographing at certain wedding venues, it is always great to discover a new gem. Charlton Spa Hotel in Shepton Mallet is a case point. Located near Glastonbury, this country house hotel boasts individually designed bedrooms, spa and beautiful grounds. It’s easy to see why Rachel and Richard chose to hold their wedding reception there.

Rachel first approached me back in June 2012, on a recommendation from a good friend of hers whose wedding I had photographed in 2010. Incidentally her friend Charlotte booked me on recommendation from one of her friends (whose wedding I photographed in 2008), who was recommended to me by another friend! Rachel and I clicked pretty much instantly and this was reinforced all the more when I went to meet her with hubbie-to-be Richard one sunny weekend in Kingham. Neither one of them being fans of staged or posed pictures, I hoped they would like my natural, spontaneous style of photography, which they did.

Fast forward six months and the big day itself!  Following some rather grey skies on the morning, the sun came out during the ceremony and I remember a dazzling shaft of light beaming through the stained glass windows of Wedmore church – a timely blessing from above? It was a beautiful ceremony, the hymns were some of my favourites so found myself singing, can’t help it, despite childhood memories of being very embarrassed about my Mum’s singing in church – and she can actually sing!  Following the ceremony guests moved outside into glorious sunshine to congratulate the newly married couple. One of my favourite shots of the day is of Rachel and Richard being waved off from the church in their Rolls Royce.

It was obvious that Rachel and Richard had put serious thought into all aspects of their wedding day.  Their selection of stunning wedding cakes provided a real centrepiece to the elegant conservatory for the wedding breakfast and were supplied by good friend Cynthia of Cakes by Cynthia.  Here are one or two more pictures from what was the perfect day.  If you’d like to see more examples of my wedding photography please visit weddings.

Happy viewing!
Kate x

 

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info@katebrownphotography.co.uk (Kate Brown Photography) Charlton Spa Hotel http://www.katebrownphotography.co.uk/blog/2013/3/Charlton-Spa-Hotel Tue, 19 Mar 2013 10:40:42 GMT
Business portraits http://www.katebrownphotography.co.uk/blog/2013/3/Business-portraits From time to time I am asked to take business portraits of individuals, board members, even entire companies.  For many, even the thought of having a business portrait taken is daunting and unlikely to be top of your ‘things to do’ list.  Indeed it may be something you persistently relegate to the bottom of your list!

Here’s the thing, I believe business portraits are an essential tool for connecting with your potential and existing customers.  With several years (I don’t wish to count!) experience in marketing and the past seven years running my own successful photography business, I’ve been able to observe how business individuals present themselves to the outside world – with varying degrees of success!  Ask yourself this, when browsing the web for a product or service, how does your gut feeling behave when you come across ‘the face’ behind a business.  For me, there is automatically a personal connection, could be positive, could be negative!  Thoughts like ‘do they look professional?’, ‘do they look trustworthy?’, ‘do they look like they could do the job I want them to do?’ all run through your mind.  Assuming the product or service integrity is there, I will nearly always go with the company that seems to have REAL people working there, people that I feel I can trust.  With the current economic situation trust has never been a more significant factor in choosing how to spend our money.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re working in a large multi-national, a medium sized company, a small business or starting out as a sole trader, having a decent business portrait of yourself can make a big difference when it comes to giving your business a personality and point of difference.  Your business portrait might appear on the website, in company literature, in the press, on a business card or other promotional material, it might even find its way on to a 6ft event banner! (yes really – not for the faint hearted).

The tradition for senior level individuals has been to have fairly formal head and shoulder shots.  This is not necessarily the case these days.  From board level through to business start ups, customers increasingly expect to see a more personable image.  Relaxing a little doesn’t mean you’re going to look unprofessional, it may actually give your customers the confidence they’re looking for to put business your way.  Don’t feel you need to look directly at the camera all the time, looking at another colleague, newspaper or piece of work can still looks professional.  Generally speaking, for those with a specific skill such as private tutor, handbag designer, carpenter, caterer etc. a fairly close crop of you doing your job can be particularly effective.

So let’s assume you’ve decided to move ‘have my business portrait done’ to the top of the list – great decision!

HOW DO I PREPARE FOR MY BUSINESS PORTRAIT?

  • Agree a shoot location with your photographer, one that you know you’ll feel comfortable with.  If it’s in a public place eg. a hotel, cafe or similar, then choose one where you can feel anonymous.  If it’s in your workshop, design studio, office etc. then make sure it looks tidy.  Having things in the background of a portrait shot is fine if you’ve chosen them to be there to add context to the shot.  General clutter in the background doesn’t look good and is distracting to the eye.
  • Give careful thought to what you will wear – what image do you want to present to your customers?  Remember it’s important to feel comfortable on the day so avoid anything that will have you itching, stretching, constantly pulling down/up or generally annoying you!
  • Check the calendar – ideally you want to arrive feeling as relaxed as possible, so try to avoid squeezing a million things in before or after the shoot on the same day.  If you mind is whirring, thinking about things you haven’t done, need to do urgently or wish you hadn’t done, it’s possible you’ll look distracted in your pictures.

AT THE SHOOT
TRY TO RELAX – TRUST THAT YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER KNOWS WHAT THEY ARE DOING AND WILL GUIDE YOU

  • Experiment with different poses, some looking at the camera, some not – this will give you a good selection of shots to choose from
  • ENJOY YOURSELF!  The shoot doesn’t need to be serious all the time, plus laughter is great for relaxing those facial muscles!

Here are just a few of the business portraits I have taken over the years.  If you have a story about a business portrait you’ve had taken, I’d love to hear from you!  As always, thanks for visiting the blog, come back anytime!

Kate

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info@katebrownphotography.co.uk (Kate Brown Photography) business services http://www.katebrownphotography.co.uk/blog/2013/3/Business-portraits Tue, 12 Mar 2013 03:54:00 GMT