Collaborative ‘Play Day’ Lake District Wedding Photographer

WARNING – you may lose the will to live reading this, sorry it turned into a bit of an epic, Fruit Pastille to anyone reading the lot and making a comment or hitting ‘Like’ ­čÖé

Being Cumbrian and operating my Lake District Wedding Photography business from Kendal, I love local, wherever I can I buy local, even if the produce is not local, or I have to pay slightly more I like to keep my money in my local economy.

A collaborative play day came about last Autumn when Beauty Simply Bridal and Occasion Make up, Katie Simpson, Rachel Heyworth and Ian Wood Photography came together, using the Rothay Manor hotel to work together, for no other reason than to have fun !

Well, it was fun and ever since I have been working on something bigger, again with the opportunity for local businesses to get involved. An initial plan was hatched, and meeting called for interested parties, sadly this time not all that wanted to be involved could be due the limitations of the location.

Involvement therefore had to be chosen somehow and it was simple – those that attended the initial meeting got first dibs!

In all honesty the idea is dead simple, we had 2 x Make Up Artists and they are Zoe Rumney of Frothimoon Beauty and Sarah Simpson of Beauty simply Bridal and Occasion Make Up.

Clothing for the Bridal images were sourced and supplied by Emma Butterworth of Frothimoon Bridal and we had frocks from True Bride and the Nicki Flynn Collection which will be available at Frothimoon soon.

For the vintage look Chic Boutique of Market Place in Kendal got involved and supplied some fantastic retro-vintage outfits the clothes in the photo shoot are in store now and ready to buy, it is the Spring/Summer range, be quick though as stock changes weekly! I thought it was quite interesting that Chic Boutique actually gets its clients to choose the stock, go to their Facebook page to get involved!

None of the looks would be complete without the hair, for the Bridal images this was completed beautifully by Rachel Heyworth who is a senior stylist at Daniel Gray, she matched perfectly the hair with the make up, face shape and dresses that the Bridal models would be wearing.

Katie Simpson, who is a senior stylist at Shelley Knowles Hairdressing in Kendal, designed the hair for the vintage looks and worked with her sister Sarah, lots of research went in to the hair for both sets of models to ensure it worked with all the outfits that would be worn.

An overheard conversation in Cafe Nerro completed the team for this ‘Play Day’ and that was Emma Race, Emma’s business One Lump or Two? is based in Kendal and offers an ecclectic collection of vintage crockery for hire, perfect for creating a very English country garden tea party, now all we needed was the weather – ummmmmmm !

Well, 7.30 am on the morning of the shoot was decision time, it had rained overnight but was fine so we went for it, all my kit was packed, as was Rachel’s and we set off for our rendevous at Frothimoon who had kindly offered their salon for the hair and make-up, Sarah had the outfits from Chic Boutique and the Frothimoon Bridal dresses were hung, freshly steamed and looking gorgeous.

While the models were being prepped Emma and I went to our location, on our arrival her face said it all – WOW !

Our location was a true English country garden, perfectly manicured and kindly leant to us by the wonderful Karen Barden, I know the garden is a labour of love and round every turn are more jaw dropping views, sadly I don’t know the names of all the flowers but, Foxgloves, Lillies, Orange Blosson, Reeds – you name it we had it at our disposal !

Left over from my days of motorcycle racing I still have my pop up gazebo, this was to possibly serve two purposes, first and foremost it was to be a dressing room, also somewhere to hang the outfits, secondly once on location it could provide us with another shooting option should the rain start – in reality it could have rescued our day !

I left Emma on location and went back to Kendal – as the models were being prepped I went and got the lunches, if I had thought ahead I would have called on MrsB at The Kitchen Witch, sadly I hadn’t so M&S it had to be, I feel bad though so only fair she gets a link!

Back at Frothimoon our models were complete, what an amazing job Zoe, Sarah, Katie and Rachel had done with them, having spent over 10 years in the hairdressing industry with Wella, it still fascinates me to see ‘occasion’ hair and how it is ‘constructed’ it really is designed and then constructed, designed to last the longest of days, with the minimum of grips holding it all in place, Rachel, Katie – amazing work !

At this point I have to say that none of this would be possible without the co-operation of our wonderful models, Ann Harrington, Helen Barber, Alice Webster and Charlotte Wrigley, they are not professional models and did really well, hopefully you will see that they enjoyed their day from the images!

So, first up was Frothimoon, we went through quite a few changes and locations around the garden, lots of titivation of hair and make up, lots of laughing and mickey taking – just how it should be, I got chance to play with some techniques all the while with the support and opinions of all involved, its great to work as a team with people that in reality are in competition with each other. I understand some work has already been passed – proof that collaborating works!

Next up was the ‘vintage’ set, just as the rain started, great !

We sat it out though and were rewarded with lovely diffused light, now then, this word ‘Vintage’………

Yes, my turn now, its my blog so I will talk a little about me, so, Vintage……

There is a hardcore of photographers that shoot ‘Vintage’ well and like anything there are some that think just running a Photoshop ‘action’ over the images will give them ‘that’ look, I won’t beat around the bush it often looks like the dogged cocked its leg on some of the images you see!

Vintage is not my first language and while originally I thought I would edit them in my normal way it was clear from the clothes, hair and make up I would have to change my style a little, after all it was a ‘Play Day’ so why not?

Once downloaded I went through my usual selection process and started to develop a process I could go through for the vintage style images, I didn’t use it on them all but I quite like what I have come up with, oldish looking, yet without the nasty Yellow/Orange hue often seen, I will leave it up to you the viewer to decide if I have nailed it though!

So thats it, thanks again to Karen Barden and Mark, Emma and Zoe from Frothimoon, Sarah Simpson, Rachel Heyworth, Katie Simpson, Emma Race of One Lump or Two? and our models Anne, Helen, Charlotte and Alice. We must all have a beer soon !

Please feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss the photography for your Wedding, tell me your story and I will tell the story of your day with images that will last a lifetime.

| personal | professional | passionate | perfect |









  • Josie - June 7, 2011 - 9:28 pm

    Hi Ian,
    Great write up and amazing photos!! Well done!
    Thanks, Josie

  • admin - June 7, 2011 - 10:01 pm

    Looks like I owe a few Fruit Pastilles! Thank you so far for the Facebook ‘Likes’.

  • ksbarden - June 8, 2011 - 9:00 am

    Wow – too small a word for such big talent!

  • Mike hubbard - June 10, 2011 - 2:01 pm

    ok honestly i didn’t read it all but looked at the pictures! bit like the sun really.. but you now still owe me a fruit pastle!

  • Catherine connor - July 13, 2011 - 1:15 pm

    Just touched base with the recent blogs! I love totally your passion for the photographic industry. You are such an inspiration. Love you being in my world!

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