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Charlotte and Jon – their Oakwood House Hotel wedding sneak peek

That’s right, two sneak peeks in one day … the wedding season got off to a great start with back-to-back weddings this weekend. Sunday saw me with the absolutely lovely couple, Charlotte and Jon, their two little ones, Flick and Ollie (who, apparently, charges £10 per photo of him …) and their families and friends in a thoroughly enjoyable celebration at Oakwood House Hotel (www.oakwoodhousehotel.co.uk) on the outskirts of Maidstone. Their venue has a particular meaning as Charlotte’s father worked there and she and her sister spent many a night snuggled up on the couches. It’s also near to where Charlotte went to school and the family live very close by. It was my first wedding here and I very much enjoyed finding little places to take photographs of this fab couple …

They smiled, and smiled and then smiled some more! Oh, they were so easy to photograph … I could have photographed them FOREVER!

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For their group shot, I was hanging out of an upstairs window … sometimes group shots lack dynamism and, for some reason, the words “kiss the person next to you” came out of my mouth … I love the little flower girls’ reaction in the bottom left hand of this shot!

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And this is their family … and little “£10 per shot” Ollie and beautiful Flick …

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I couldn’t choose which images to show for Charlotte and Jon’s sneak peek … I am absolutely spoilt for choice …

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Suffice it to say, I enjoyed every moment. Such great feedback and big smiles from your guests and the joy which surrounded you both was absolutely tangible. I hope you have the most amazing adventure and I can’t wait to share your images with you as soon as I possibly can. Thank you both for making my day so enjoyable and for your ability to stand out in the freezing cold and for sharing my enthusiasm … xxx

Judy and Dave … a sneak peek of their wedding at Pines Calyx

I met Judy and Dave at a wedding open day at the gorgeous eco-friendly wedding venue of Pines Calyx (www.pinescalyx.co.uk) where I am delighted to be one of their recommended photographers. I was so pleased to receive an email early this year from Judy, checking to see if I was available on their wedding date which fell on the spring equinox, the day after a partial solar eclipse and the final day of the Six Nations Rugby tournament. All of these things were brought up during the speeches but best man Mike didn’t reveal the scores … Pines Calyx, being so close to France, has very limited internet or mobile reception …

The day was overcast, with forecast of rain. A really rather chilly. But luckily the forecast was wrong and we were able to take the formal shots outside and also have a quick stroll through the gardens. As Dave is a geoscientist, and with the fact that Pines Calyx is hewn from the chalky cliffs, it seemed right to ensure that we had at least one portrait with the cliffs in the background …

Judy and Dave wedding at Pines Calyx by Samantha Jones Photography 1

We are lucky at Pines in that there is an elevated area from which to take the group shot. The guests gathered together (using each other for warmth!) and I took the top image and my second shooter, Sarah, captured the one of Judy and Dave. I think it’s a beautiful image, and reflects their joy.

Judy and Dave wedding at Pines Calyx by Samantha Jones Photography 2

Thank you both so much for making us feel so welcome – to be thanked in the speeches at my first wedding of the year was a great way to kick off the season. I’m very much looking forward to editing and sharing your images with you and thank you again for inviting us to share your special celebrations.

“A Touch of Tuscany” – styled photoshoot at the Secret Garden in Mersham

During the six years that I’ve been a full time photographer, I’ve had the pleasure of working with some excellent wedding suppliers and over the course of that time, I’ve been involved in a variety of styled shoots.

When Amanda from Amanda Jane Wedding Design contacted me to see if I might be interested in working with her on a shoot, well, I was first in line! Using our contacts, we managed to secure the delightful Glass House at The Secret Garden and set about organising Amanda’s vision of a “Touch of Tuscany” photoshoot.

Amanda had this to say about the shoot:

“It is all very well collecting and shopping for second-hand things you love but the hard part is getting them all to work together.

As an interior designer, my aim was to incorporate this with venue styling and so decided to create collections on themes.

With this particular design we have captured “A Touch of Tuscany” using rustic plant pots with an array of Mediterranean style plants, antique silver pillar candle holders, vintage crockery and glassware, with fresh flowers placed on a hessian runner.

I incorporated within the design a tiered effect, creating interest at different heights whilst also injecting hints of a Tuscan lifestyle.”

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Touch of Tuscany photoshoot with Amanda Jane Wedding Design image by Samantha Jones Photography 01

Touch of Tuscany photoshoot with Amanda Jane Wedding Design image by Samantha Jones Photography 02

Touch of Tuscany photoshoot with Amanda Jane Wedding Design image by Samantha Jones Photography 03

Touch of Tuscany photoshoot with Amanda Jane Wedding Design image by Samantha Jones Photography 04

Touch of Tuscany photoshoot with Amanda Jane Wedding Design image by Samantha Jones Photography 05

Touch of Tuscany photoshoot with Amanda Jane Wedding Design image by Samantha Jones Photography 06

Touch of Tuscany photoshoot with Amanda Jane Wedding Design image by Samantha Jones Photography 07

Touch of Tuscany photoshoot with Amanda Jane Wedding Design image by Samantha Jones Photography 08

Touch of Tuscany photoshoot with Amanda Jane Wedding Design image by Samantha Jones Photography 09

Touch of Tuscany photoshoot with Amanda Jane Wedding Design image by Samantha Jones Photography 10

Touch of Tuscany photoshoot with Amanda Jane Wedding Design image by Samantha Jones Photography 11

And the scents of Tuscany were with us too … such a lovely idea and inspiration for brides-to-be. I’m looking forward to photographing Sarah Jane and Russ’s August wedding at this lovely venue and hope to return many times in the future!

Contact book:

Florist: Claire at Unique Floral Creations
Venue stylist: Amanda at Amanda Jane Wedding Design
Photographer: Sam at Samantha Jones Photography
Venue: The Secret Garden at Mersham The Secret Garden

Realising the value of the printed image …

Digital files are all the rage at the moment. For my wedding couples, a memory stick of digital files in high resolution and fully edited with a personal licence is part of the package. But not always with lifestyle or family photoshoots. I like my clients to end up with something tangible, something that they can display on their wall, put in a frame, look at when they come back home and enjoy. Not a disc that will, inevitably, get scratched, become corrupt, not be read by a computer. In fact, there was an interesting post recently by the boss of Google which you can read here in which he said that it is “time to start preserving the vast quantities of digital data which are produced before they are lost forever” and that “the 21st century could become a second “Dark Ages” because so much data is now kept in digital format, he said that future generations would struggle to understand our society because technology is advancing so quickly that old files will be inaccessible”.

I am happy to sell digital files to my customers but fear that the disc or memory stick may languish forgotten in a drawer or the back of a bookshelf. Some of my clients opt to have an album of their wedding and this fills me with joy, after all, how would I know what my parents looked like on their wedding day if their photographer hadn’t printed the results …

My mum, who is sadly no longer with us, looked amazing

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My dad, ever so handsome …

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And this is my granddad and my auntie …

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I can remember going on school trips and writing down, very carefully, against a numbered list where I had taken a photo. And then the exciting wait to get the prints back from Boots … there was no deleting, no overwriting of memory cards (there was, of course, the odd failure to put a film in properly … ) and I still have packets and packets of photos (probably in my dad’s loft). But they are there to serve as a memory. Of bad hair, questionable footwear and Deirdre Barlow glasses. Oh yes …

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Well, I’m obviously NOT going to post a pic of those glasses! So even though I can include digital files, the prints and products that I have on offer will create the most amazing memories for you and your families and the generations to come.

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(With apologies to my sister – I was in contact lenses by then but she still had those glasses)

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OK, yes, that’s me. Always had an unusual relationship with food … so get prints. Seriously, print out your images. You’ll thank me!

Lynsey and Neil – the full story of their seaside wedding at The Grand in Folkestone

Lynsey and Neil were recommended to me by gorgeous bride Charlotte … and I was absolutely delighted when they booked me to capture their celebrations right by the seaside. I so enjoyed their pre-wedding photoshoot and knew that this good looking couple would not struggle in front of the lens and indeed, would make my job an absolute pleasure. Their wedding was the first where I’ve experienced a “marryoke”, that is, the bride and groom choose a song (in this case Calvin Harris “Drinking from the Bottle”) which was videoed by the team from TDH Media throughout the day, with lines of the song being delivered by different people and individuals all the way through. The process certainly made for some great candid shots as people really let go and joined in!

My second shooter Sarah and I, joined the bride at her preparations … and managed to avoid being on the video – there was no way we could compete with the bridesmaids who were juggling oranges!!!

Lynsey and Neil wedding photography at The Grand in Folkestone by Samantha Jones Photography 01

Lynsey and Neil wedding photography at The Grand in Folkestone by Samantha Jones Photography 02

Leaving the girls to their singing, we managed to get some delicate shots of Lynsey’s jewellery and her beautifully detailed dress …

Lynsey and Neil wedding photography at The Grand in Folkestone by Samantha Jones Photography 03

Lynsey and Neil wedding photography at The Grand in Folkestone by Samantha Jones Photography 04

And there was an excited flower girl too!

Lynsey and Neil wedding photography at The Grand in Folkestone by Samantha Jones Photography 05

Lynsey and Neil wedding photography at The Grand in Folkestone by Samantha Jones Photography 06

Lynsey and Neil wedding photography at The Grand in Folkestone by Samantha Jones Photography 07

We left the ladies to their final preparations and made our way across to meet the boys, and arriving guests, at The Grand. The reception room at The Grand has floor to ceiling windows and the lovely light streaming in made it easy to get our shots.

Lynsey and Neil wedding photography at The Grand in Folkestone by Samantha Jones Photography 09

Lynsey and Neil wedding photography at The Grand in Folkestone by Samantha Jones Photography 08

Lynsey and Neil wedding photography at The Grand in Folkestone by Samantha Jones Photography 10

The grand staircase to the side of the hotel lends itself to some formal, and not so formal shots so we took time to capture the personalities of the boys before they were whisked off for more singing!

Lynsey and Neil wedding photography at The Grand in Folkestone by Samantha Jones Photography 11

Lynsey and Neil wedding photography at The Grand in Folkestone by Samantha Jones Photography 12

The super hero themed socks were great! Now the girls were arriving and it was time for those last few adjustments and deep breaths before becoming husband and wife. Although as you can see in these images, they were incredibly relaxed and laughing which makes for fabulous images!

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Lynsey and Neil wedding photography at The Grand in Folkestone by Samantha Jones Photography 14

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Lynsey and Neil wedding photography at The Grand in Folkestone by Samantha Jones Photography 17

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Lynsey and Neil wedding photography at The Grand in Folkestone by Samantha Jones Photography 20

Lynsey and Neil wedding photography at The Grand in Folkestone by Samantha Jones Photography 21

We managed to sneak away for a few minutes for some images of Lynsey and Neil – it’s a good opportunity for the bride and groom to be on their own … well, with me, of course!

Lynsey and Neil wedding photography at The Grand in Folkestone by Samantha Jones Photography 21b

Lynsey and Neil wedding photography at The Grand in Folkestone by Samantha Jones Photography 21a

Lynsey and Neil wedding photography at The Grand in Folkestone by Samantha Jones Photography 22

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Lynsey and Neil wedding photography at The Grand in Folkestone by Samantha Jones Photography 25

It seemed all too soon before we were called in for the wedding breakfast … the speeches were very lively and there was a sweepstake on the length of the best man’s speech too which had to be checked and verified before being paid out!

Lynsey and Neil wedding photography at The Grand in Folkestone by Samantha Jones Photography 26

Lynsey and Neil wedding photography at The Grand in Folkestone by Samantha Jones Photography 27

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Lynsey and Neil wedding photography at The Grand in Folkestone by Samantha Jones Photography 33

The weather stayed beautiful all day and it seemed almost a shame to call in the guests for Lynsey and Neil’s first dance but it was worth it – they also finished off the marryoke too!

Lynsey and Neil wedding photography at The Grand in Folkestone by Samantha Jones Photography 35

Lynsey and Neil wedding photography at The Grand in Folkestone by Samantha Jones Photography 36

Such a great day to be a part of … and Lynsey and Neil choose some fabulous images for their album. And now their journey continues with more adventures and maybe other news … thank you both so much for making Sarah and I feel so very welcome and I look forward to photographing your lives as your family grows xxx

Bright and breezy with a little bit of cheese – Nick and Decia at Whitstable

I’m delighted to be joining Nick and Decia for their spring wedding at gorgeous Winters Barns near Canterbury and we decided to meet up for a fast and furious pre-wedding photoshoot at Whitstable. The weather on Saturday was damp and dismal … but Sunday was bright … and incredibly windy!

Nick and Decia pre-wedding photoshoot at Whitstable by Samantha Jones Photography

Nick and Decia pre-wedding photoshoot at Whitstable by Samantha Jones Photography 07

Some of my brides need a tiny bit of encouragement to let go … Decia is NOT such a bride – her laughter and giggling is infectious and we are going to have no trouble at all getting beautiful and engaging images on their wedding day!

Nick and Decia pre-wedding photoshoot at Whitstable by Samantha Jones Photography 03

Nick and Decia pre-wedding photoshoot at Whitstable by Samantha Jones Photography 08

As we strolled through a busy Whitstable Harbour, we found an astronaut …

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Nick and Decia pre-wedding photoshoot at Whitstable by Samantha Jones Photography 05

Nick and Decia’s connection and love for each other was very obvious to see … we stopped traffic, drank coffee and traded stories.

Nick and Decia pre-wedding photoshoot at Whitstable by Samantha Jones Photography 06

I am so looking forward to their wedding day … oh, and the cheese reference is twofold – cheesy shots may be required on the day to get into the spirit of things … and Decia LOVES cheese! See you both very soon xx

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