Author: ellenaforster

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How I got into photography

As it’s the new year, with new beginnings and more new people to meet, I thought I’d tell you a little bit more about how I got into photography. Like most, I was in front of the camera as a child. On family days out, we would be grouped together by my Nan with her disposable camera. With our biggest grins and best poses we laughed as she covered the flash with her finger! Then we waited to hear her say “Oh that will be a lovely one!” after every photo.

One of my favourite photos with my Nan.

Years later we still rummage through those photos and laugh at all the fun times we had. Piles and piles of photos filled with silly poses to completely natural ones caught unaware. And every time we get them out, we are right back in that photo, reliving those precious moments. This is where I got my approach to photography from. And this is exactly what I want for my couples and families that I photograph to be able to do, to look at them and feel like they are right back in those moments. Fun and natural photography, capturing it as I see it.

Weddings? No way!

I’m going to let you in on a secret… If you had asked me while I was studying photography whether I would photograph weddings, my answer would have been ‘definitely not’. Originally, I just loved the idea of photographing and didn’t really have a specific idea of what I wanted to photograph. What I did know, was what I didn’t want to photograph and that was weddings. I thought it would be too much pressure because there are no do-overs!

Lisa and Jason at Hertford Castle in Hertford.

In 2015 my Auntie asked if I would help out photographing her wedding with her friend. As it was for family, I didn’t feel too much pressure (especially as I wouldn’t be the only photographer), and really enjoyed it. From here I was getting a few more friends and family asking me to photograph weddings and family portraits. Meanwhile in between I was starting to think of doing an apprenticeship to get into a photography job. But more and more people were asking me, so maybe I would be able to get started without it?

My first ‘proper’ wedding

Then came the moment that I had my first ‘proper’ wedding as I like to call it. By proper I mean, I didn’t know them, it wasn’t for a friend or family member, they were complete strangers that came to me through word of mouth.

Michelle and Chris with all their guests in the grounds of Letchworth Hall Hotel

Michelle and Chris’ wedding at Letchworth Hall Hotel in Hertfordshire was beautiful! I always love seeing how the wedding comes together after hearing the plans at our meetings together. Everything from the bridal prep to the evening reception really did come together perfectly, with their own personal touches. To be asked to be there to capture and witness it all was incredible. It was in the evening while the happy couple and their guests were checking into their rooms that I stood in the reception room having a little break. And in that moment, I thought ‘Wow, this is what I am meant to be doing’.

Laura’s beautiful heartfelt speech to her sister

Since that moment I have never looked back. I can’t tell you how amazing it is to be able to call this my job! In fact, I don’t feel I can even call something I love this much a job. For people to ask me to be a part of their weddings is such a privilege. They are trusting me to capture one of the most important days of their lives. To witness such an intimate moment and capture every ‘blink and you miss it’ moment from the day is a true dream. From every confetti shot, first kiss, hilarious speech to the emotional wipe of a happy tear during the ceremony. I fall in love with weddings, photography and my ‘job’ more and more with every wedding I photograph. Who wouldn’t love to capture love?!

Confetti for Amy and George at Aldwickbury Park Golf Club in Hertfordshire

So, the last part of this post is to every person I have had the privilege to photograph. I always receive words of thank you from my couples as well as their families and friends, for being part of their special day. But honestly, I have to thank YOU. Without you, I wouldn’t get to do something I am so passionate about for a living!

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Mr & Mrs Millanaise – Hertford Registry Office Wedding

Est. 22nd September 2018

Jason and Prasheela got married at Hertford Registry Office on 22nd September 2018.

We started the day at the charming The Salisbury Arms Hotel in the middle of Hertford town. The perfect warm and cosy feel for the setting of bridal and groom preparations on a wet day. Jason and Prasheela’s rooms were on opposite sides of the hotel and we made sure Jason had definitely left before Prasheela made her way downstairs. There would be no sneaky peeks here!

Prasheela looked simply stunning in her knee-length lace dress. And how gorgeous does the dress look with these sparkling pair of Jimmy Choo’s?! It was great working with Emma and Sukhi who did Prasheela’s hair and make-up. They were brilliant and really helped everyone to not only feel beautiful but have fun and relax whilst getting ready!

Best man Robert, really took on his role of making sure the day ran smoothly so Jason and Prasheela were able to just enjoy it. From ironing Jason’s shirt (although he made a point of telling me this was only because he was getting married!) while he carried on getting ready and even getting wet while bringing the car closer so Jason wouldn’t get caught in the rain. Now that’s a best man right there!

Jason and Prasheela’s friends and family packed out Hertford registry office to watch the two get married in such a beautiful ceremony. And the celebrations continued onto the Fox & Hound, a great little family-run country pub in Hunsdon, Hertfordshire. The venue may have been packed when all the guests were in, it is safe to say they were still able to throw some big shapes around on the dance floor in the evening. Everyone was having a great time. All joining in for a dance to Cameo’s “Candy”, teaching all the kids the moves. And even a couple of dance offs and points across the room to each other to show their moves! I do love when it gets to the evening with a good boogie and who doesn’t love a dance-off?!

The weather may not have been the best with the wind and heavy rain but it certainly didn’t put a dampener on this truly beautiful wedding!

Thank you for sharing your day with me Jason and Prasheela, I wish you and little Amelia a lifetime of happiness together!

Some of the incredible suppliers that also helped to bring the day together:
Venues – Hertford Registry Office and The Fox & Hounds Restaurant & Bar
Hair – Emma Kim
Make-up – Sukhi’s – Makeup & Brow Artist

For more photos from Mr and Mrs Millanaise’s special day visit here.

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Mrs & Mrs Lupo-Gunn – Cheshunt Registry Office

#lupogunntietheknot

Laura and Chloe got married at Cheshunt Registry Office on 21st July 2018.

I couldn’t wait to capture their special day! After having such a fun time with their engagement session, I knew the wedding day would be no different. Yet again we had beautiful weather for the occasion, albeit a little hot being in the middle of the UK’s heat wave!

Everyone looked absolutely stunning, with some guests travelling all the way from Canada for the special occasion! The ceremony was incredibly beautiful with their own personalised vows. And as you can see by the photos below there was not a dry eye in the house… including mine getting misty behind the camera lens! The love these gorgeous ladies have for each other and the love their friends and family have for them just filled the room!

Like absolute pros Laura and Chloe nailed their private shots later on after capturing some truly brilliant and funny shots with their bridal parties! Never needing to give them any prompting or ideas just capturing them exactly as they are – you rocked it ladies!

Thank you for letting me capture your special day.

Wishing you a beautiful and loving forever together!

       

Some of the incredible suppliers that also helped to bring the day together:
Venues – Cheshunt Registry Office and The Broadhall Suite at Stevenage Football Club
Dresses – Next and Ann Bridal
Hair – Perry’s Hairdressing
Laura and her bridal party’s make-up – Artistry by Sophia
Chloe and her bridal party’s make-up – Kate Malham MUA
Car – Herts Limos

For more photos from Mrs and Mrs Lupo-Gunn’s special day visit here.

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Stanborough Lakes – Engagement Session

Laura and Chloe

Today I’d like to kick the weekend off with a little post about last weekend’s engagement session with Laura and Chloe at Stanborough Lakes in Welwyn Garden City.  The days leading up to the session we weren’t sure if we’d have to think of some cute rain photo ideas with all the threats of storms, thunder and lightning! Boy, how we were wrong!

We had absolutely beautiful weather and a lot of fun! Engagement sessions are to help you feel more comfortable in front of the camera. You can even practice your first dance at our sessions before the big day! Laura and Chloe really had so much fun with it;
“Can we climb a tree?”
“Can we get in the water and splash each other?”
“Can I do some of my crossfit in the photos?” – my answer to these questions, HELL YES! I love it when clients really go for it and bring their own ideas for photos to the session. Do whatever you feel, I’m just there to capture your relationship!

Can’t wait to photograph these beautiful ladies next month!

See the gallery with more photos here.

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Leanne and Jean-Pascal

#ITWASMEANTTOBEECROFT

Now I’d like to start by saying that the clever title was not of my own creation but a creative play on words of the groom’s surname (Beecroft) by his gorgeous bride (Leanne). This really cool hashtag was for guests to use when posting any videos or photos on social media accounts. Friends and family travelled all the way from France as well as other places in the UK for Leanne and Jean-Pascal’s special day at The Cloisters in Hertfordshire.

When I meet with a bride ocassionally I will ask or am told a little about the dress but I love to keep it quiet so that I am as shocked as the guests when I see it for the first time on the big day. Leanne arrived at this historic venue in a classic white Rolls Royce with her Dad and when she stepped out of the car I instantly smiled. The dress was truly beautiful, a grecian chiffon dress that looked simply elegant on Leanne and suited her to a T.

It was amazing to see both families really mingling and dancing together like you should at a wedding. It truly was a union of two families and they both made me feel so welcome. Also I have to mention how brilliant the band were, they really got everyone on their feet! I can honestly say that if I wasn’t working as a photographer at this wedding then I would 100% have loved to have been a guest!

Dress – Wed2b
Bridesmaids Dresses – TFNC London
Suits – Moss Bros
Hairdresser – Hair by Ellen Stevenage
Makeup – Rosie Tredgett
Flowers – Carole Smith
Cake – Louise Cleaver
Car – Wedding Cars of Herts
Band – A Night Of Jersey Boys
Venue – The Cloisters

For more photos from Mr and Mrs Beecroft’s special day visit here.

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A Small Affair

29th October 2017

Michelle (my bride) worked with one of my previous couples and it was through them that we were introduced. We met back in April last year and when I heard their wedding ideas I couldn’t wait to get started!

After all the meetings, planning and preparations their special day finally arrived. Starting at the bride’s parents’ house for bridal preparation. Michelle looked absolutely stunning and I couldn’t believe how excited and calm she could be at the same time! Even Sophie (Michelle and Chris’ daughter) had a dress and floral crown for her teddy anxious.

For the ceremony I returned for my second wedding at St Mary’s Church in Shephall, Stevenage. This church holds a lot of meaning to Michelle as the place her parents married and her grandparents renewed their wedding vows. From here we travelled to the beautiful venue of Mercure Letchworth Hall Hotel. There were so many great backdrops for photos at this venue and Michelle and Chris’ attention to detail was amazing with table decorations, sweet and prop stalls and a wish tree.

It’s always wonderful when you meet a couple and get to know them during the whole process and build-up to the wedding but my favourite part is always the speeches. You get to hear what the couple are truly like through their family and friends. There was a mixture of beautiful, emotional and hilarious stories for Michelle and Chris’ day. See if you can guess from the photos what the best man had to say about where Chris’ place is now he’s married!

Make-up: Danielle Copeland
Hair: Kim Sanford and Kate Kneafsey
Dresses and veil: Rose’s Bridal Bedford
Venue: Letchworth Hall Hotel

For more photos from Mr and Mrs Small’s special day visit here.

Copyright Ellen Forster Photography