You may remember these two gorgeous faces from their engagement in Basingstoke, and that I mentioned their sweet proposal story and how I was looking forward to share it with you. Well, here it is!

Hellen and Dave first met through mutual friends when they were at college, when Dave asked her to be his model for a photography project called ‘How to pick up a girl in the college café’. Which I think is brilliant.

I also really like that it was photography that got them together the first time, even though it would be another year or so before the two of them saw each other again.

It was when they started working together in a shop that Dave started leaving clues around for Hellen, such as that one rose by her locker that got ignored as she thought it must have been for someone else.
Seeing each other every day however did the trick, and on a summer they decided to go travelling around Europe in his Dad’s 1970 Volkswagen Bay campervan. She calls it the longest summer fling in history, as many years later here they are.

Dave decided to propose in Venice, one of the places they had promised to go back to once they had more money and time to give it a proper visit (they had only stayed an hour during their summer travels!). He took Hellen there as a surprise Valentine’s Day trip.

They walked quite a bit before finally finding the restaurant where they had been 10 years earlier, but Dave couldn’t propose there as (as Hellen says) he got cold feet because there were too many people around.

Second attempt didn’t go very well either, because even though a ride in a gondola seemed like the perfect setting, Dave had accidentally left the ring in the hotel room that night. At that stage Hellen had started doubting if he was going to pop the question at all! But it did happen, as they were crossing a beautiful bridge, as they walked into town on their last evening there.

Their wedding day was beautiful, Vicarage farm is absolutely huge and this kind of open spaces really inspire me. The light was very pretty and even though they preferred not to leave their guests for too long for their pictures, they really didn’t have to. The beautiful setting made for some really gorgeous pictures. After which they all got back from their Brazilian barbeque in the massive marquee.

Max was obviously there, and he looked very very happy!

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  • December 2, 2014 - 8:44 am

    Laura Babb - Fab work, Martina. I love the little stop motion gif!ReplyCancel

  • December 2, 2014 - 12:06 pm

    Matt Willis - Great stuff Martina. Pretty wedding and I love the black and white down the aisle. xReplyCancel

  • December 2, 2014 - 2:28 pm

    Lindsay - Beautiful work- so full of light! You didn’t miss a thing- it felt like I was there!ReplyCancel

  • December 2, 2014 - 5:45 pm

    Catalina Dow - The details of this wedding are so fun! That VW bus was amazing. Absolutely beautiful work!ReplyCancel

  • December 3, 2014 - 3:45 pm

    Clare Tam-Im - Gorgeous work. Love that gif in the middle. So much gorgeous detail in there.ReplyCancel

  • December 4, 2014 - 1:54 pm

    Sharon Cooper - They look so happy coming out of the church, all beautiful. Great stuff.ReplyCancel

Jess & Ken came all the way from Australia.
They had been travelling for 3 months before hitting London, and that afternoon we met on the Southbank and started chatting and walking through all the tiny alleys. They had never been to London before, nor had they had time to visit it at all, so as we were taking their engagement pictures they were literally discovering one of the prettiest areas of London.

We walked from the London Bridge via alleys all the way to the Southbank, crossed the Tower Bridge and moved to St. Katharine Dock. We chatted about food, favourite restaurants and taste in cuisines to the point of making ourselves quite hungry. We had a very very lovely time and I can’t wait to share the photos of their French intimate and small wedding too ♥

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I haven’t been around for that long but one amazing thing that any wedding photographer will know is that you never cease to learn.
This year’s wedding season -which is far from being over- has already thought me so much for any new wedding is a chance to improve myself. I’ve attended one mentoring session with Laura Babb, that taught me how to have fun with my couples whilst shooting their couple portraits and keep the awkwardness at bay (I can get very awkward), I’ve attended a one-day workshop with Adam Bronkhorst that taught me that my flash isn’t an annoying and scary little piece of gear that I must only use if there are no other options whatsoever, but instead to play with it and master it to compliment environment and natural light. I’ve lost count of the amount of things I’ve learnt from the Welcome Home facebook group peeps as well.

But I have to admit, one of the biggest learning curves this year was learning to love my couples.
Now, don’t get me wrong; I have always given my very best and I have always adored to bits every single couple I had the honour to photograph, but this year something has shifted in the way I work with them.

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I still can’t exactly put my finger on what exactly has triggered this change, but if I had to take a wild guess I would probably put it down to:

  1. Meeting with my brides and grooms quite a few times before their wedding day; thanks to adding a complementary engagement shoot as standard to my most requested coverage option and meeting them for a cup before the booking is even made, on the morning of their wedding day I basically feel like I’m going to just meet up with a friend!
  2. Finally being able to answer the question ‘what do you do?’ with ‘I’m a photographer’ without letting the tiny evil voice on the back of my had whisper ‘now that makes you sound like a total ass, Martina’.

Yes, I would say it’s these two things.

Gaining a bit more confidence has helped loads, but meeting my couples beforehand and spending time photographing them before their wedding day has had a massive impact. By the time their wedding day is near, they already know my face, know how awkward I can get, how I hate posing people but still do if they freeze and don’t know what to do with their arms. They have had me around for a few hours before, so entering their house in the morning is a lot easier and sweeter. I can go to them and hug them and it’s not weird. I can ask them to sit on the grass or run or pick their other half up because we’ve done it already and I know they don’t mind, and I know better than to ask again if I know it makes them uncomfortable.

It has taken away the ‘must not annoy them by taking too much time’ feeling away from me, and they no longer feel like they need to perform. Because we’re just messing around and having fun together.

I feel like I would go all the extra miles for them, I often feel like I should go to them and hug them, just because.

Because I love them.

  • September 26, 2014 - 7:54 am

    Ruth - It’s so good when you are able to have fun with couples… They will love you for it too :) ReplyCancel

  • September 26, 2014 - 11:36 am

    Sharon Cooper - Building relationships before a wedding is something I enjoy immensely. On the day you have to understand everthing and keep your eyes open for magic happening, a happy photographer who loves her job makes a wedding day flow. That is it.ReplyCancel

  • September 26, 2014 - 8:25 pm

    Clare Tam-Im - I love your honesty in this post. But I totally agree, it makes the whole experience better for everyone when you’re on a good level with your couples and they feel comfortable around you and you can just have fun.ReplyCancel

  • September 26, 2014 - 9:15 pm

    Kelly - Very honest post. I really enjoyed reading this xxxReplyCancel