In a previous blog post, I delved into my captivating journeys across India, Bali, and Brazil. Today, however, I'm eager to share insights about three other destinations close to my heart: Kenya, Australia, and Santorini. It's a challenge to pinpoint a single favourite destination, as each place I've had the honour of visiting has its own unique charm and character. Nevertheless, there's a common thread tying all these locales together - their warm climates. I can't recall a single destination wedding where I haven't returned with a hint of sunburn as a testament to my adventures under their sunny skies. Looking forward, I do harbour a desire to venture into chillier terrains, perhaps experiencing the magic of a snow-kissed setting like Canada or Switzerland.
Ever since I had the opportunity to capture my very first destination wedding, I've been captivated by the idea of immortalising wedding moments set against the backdrop of the various countries I've had the privilege to visit. This notion first took root during a trip to New York City. As I wandered the bustling streets, my imagination was consistently drawn to the enchanting possibility of documenting a couple's love story within one of the city's historical prohibition-era speakeasy venues, particularly in the iconic boroughs of Manhattan or Brooklyn. Interestingly, while there are undeniable atmospheric similarities between New York City and London, there was something distinctively exhilarating about NYC that ignited a new passion within me. Beyond New York, there are several other destinations that have secured spots on my photography wish list. These include the serene landscapes of Kyoto in Japan, the dynamic cityscapes of San Francisco in North America, and the breathtaking coastal views of the Amalfi Coast in Italy.
You might be wondering, "What exactly is included in your destination wedding package?" Let me break it down for you. For couples choosing to have me as part of their special destination wedding, I offer a singular, comprehensive package. As a token of my appreciation for inviting me to capture your beautiful moments in such an exquisite location, I provide unlimited coverage on your wedding day. This is available at the same rate as my standard 10-hour package, ensuring you get the best value. Additionally, to make the experience even more memorable, I include a complimentary engagement portrait session. This can be scheduled either a day before or after your wedding. While some couples have chosen to have this session back in the UK at a later date, I often recommend leveraging the beauty of your wedding destination. It provides a unique backdrop that complements the essence of your celebration.
The package guarantees a minimum of 400 wedding photographs. These images will be made available to you through an online, password-protected gallery. This secure platform allows you to effortlessly download all high-resolution photographs directly to any device or computer, ensuring you have lasting memories at your fingertips. Lastly, for those concerned about travel logistics within the UK, the package covers travel expenses within Hampshire and London. This is especially beneficial for trips to major airports like Southampton, Heathrow, Gatwick, and Stansted. I hope this detailed breakdown provides a clear understanding of what you can expect from my destination wedding package. I'm committed to making your special day unforgettable.
I had the wonderful opportunity to photograph Maddy and Robert's wedding in the scenic landscapes of Kenya. This assignment came my way after they faced challenges locating a local photographer who could offer services akin to those available in the United Kingdom. It was Ria, Robert's sister, whom I had worked with during her wedding the previous year, that put in a good word for me. Thanks to her recommendation, I received this exciting booking which enabled me to visit the spectacular East African country of Kenya. The wedding itself was a dream. Maddy and Robert chose a serene beach that overlooked the vast Indian Ocean as their venue. I made it a point to arrive in Kenya three days ahead of the wedding. By staying at the same resort as the couple's family and friends, I was able to familiarise myself with the guests. I always recommend such an approach to my clients, as it makes the attendees more comfortable with my presence during the actual event.
Throughout my stay, Maddy, Robert, and both their families were incredibly warm and welcoming. Those initial three days were bustling with activity. I captured various moments at the resort, such as the preparation decorations, guests enjoying leisurely strolls along the beach, and others swimming in the pool. The wedding day started with some uncertainty. Forecasts had predicted rain, leading to a debate about whether the ceremony should be held outdoors on the beach or relocated to a sheltered spot. However, the couple chose to take a chance on the beach, and luckily, the rain held off! The celebration was filled with joyous moments, including the couple and their friends indulging in Gin. As the evening progressed, and perhaps influenced by the merriment of the gin, some guests (myself included!) spontaneously jumped into the pool and played a spirited game of rugby. After the exhilarating week in Kenya, and despite the combined fatigue of travel and work, I participated in the Brighton Marathon upon my return. That week, with its mix of professional satisfaction and personal accomplishments, stands out as one of the most memorable periods of my life.
The enchanting wedding of Emma and Matt in Australia was an opportunity that came my way through a series of serendipitous events. One of the key figures who played a role in this story is Lewis, one of my closest friends from Australia, who decided to tie the knot in England. I had the honour of sharing the title of "best man" at Lewis's wedding held at the picturesque Oakley Hall in Basingstoke. While I represented the English side of his friendships, Craig stood in as the best man from Australia. Incidentally, I had the pleasure of capturing Craig's wedding in Bali a few years later, a memorable experience I've written about in a previous blog post. Following this chain of connections, when Emma and Matt were planning their wedding at the Vines Resort in Swan Valley, situated just on the outskirts of Perth, they reached out to me. They had seen my work before and inquired if I would be willing to make the journey to Australia to photograph their special day. To say I was thrilled would be a vast understatement. Immediately, I rang up Lewis to see if I could stay with him during my visit. We hadn't met in years, and he, along with his lovely wife Nicola, graciously offered me a place. This arrangement was not only a delightful reunion but also brought down the accommodation costs for Emma and Matt, making it a beneficial situation for all.
Emma and Matt's wedding was nothing short of magical. The venue was nestled amidst sprawling vineyards, with the occasional kangaroo hopping by. The quality of the natural light there was unparalleled; never before had I experienced such phenomenal conditions for photography. Since all the attendees were accommodated within the same resort, I could seamlessly photograph both the bride's and groom's preparations. One of the most touching moments was capturing the groom's emotional response as his bride gracefully walked down the aisle. The wedding day was a festive blend of golf-buggy rides, dancing, beer, and an abundance of heartfelt moments. I made it to Australia approximately a week before the wedding. In that time, I conducted a portrait session with Emma and Matt amidst a dense woodland, which was followed by a delightful meal together. The warmth and friendliness of everyone made the experience feel less like a job and more like a gathering among friends. Upon my return from Australia, a wave of nostalgia washed over me. The allure of the country was captivating. But the gloom was soon lifted when I received a thoughtful surprise from Emma and Matt: a box filled with Australian keepsakes, delightful sweets, and unique snacks. Australia had always been a dream destination for me, and I'm profoundly grateful to Emma and Matt for allowing me to check it off my bucket list while doing what I love.
Charlie and Mike's nuptials took place in the idyllic setting of Santorini, on the stunning Greek Island, at the renowned Dana Villas wedding venue. My journey with this lovely couple began when they first reached out to me regarding their UK wedding reception set to be held at the Southsea Beach Cafe in Portsmouth. However, as our conversations evolved over a few days, they put forth a proposal that left me thrilled — would I consider capturing their main wedding ceremony in Santorini? I was ecstatic! Not only was it another opportunity for a destination wedding, but it was also set in a location I had long wished to visit. The Dana Villas offered a Ceremony Terrace that seemed straight out of a fairy tale, with breathtaking views overlooking the caldera. The ambient light there stirred memories of the Australian landscapes I had photographed earlier. As the day of the wedding arrived, the intimate gathering comprised just 20 attendees, including Charlie and Mike. The simplicity of the event was intentional, ensuring that the magnificent natural beauty of Santorini remained the prime focus.
Perhaps it's my personal bias, but as I looked through my lens on that day, every moment felt like a masterpiece waiting to be captured. Charlie and Mike, both exceptionally photogenic, were illuminated in the golden, perfect light of Santorini, making every shot truly memorable. Following the ceremony, we took group photographs on the balcony, followed by couple portraits against the same enchanting backdrop. The decision to keep the photography session concise meant that Charlie and Mike could transition smoothly to their reception. In keeping with the tone of their wedding, the reception was elegantly minimalist. Guests were seated at a long table outdoors, adorned with mirrors, robust succulents, and delicate candle votives, creating a romantic atmosphere. They even had a place set for me, allowing me to savour delectable traditional Greek cuisine. As the sun dipped below the horizon, marking the onset of dusk, Charlie and Mike shared their first dance, with the scene accentuated by sparkling firework fountains. A few weeks after this mesmerising Santorini experience, I had the pleasure of reuniting with many of the same faces when I photographed their UK wedding reception at the Southsea Beach Cafe. This provided a delightful closure to their wedding journey and a wonderful opportunity to reminisce about the magic that unfolded in Santorini.