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french riviera family portraits cannes beachfrench riviera family portraits cannes beachfrench riviera family portraits cannes beachfrench riviera family portraits cannes beachfrench riviera family portraits cannes beachfrench riviera family portraits cannes beach yachtsfrench riviera family portraits cannes beachfrench riviera family portraits cannes beachfrench riviera family portraits cannes beachfrench riviera family portraits cannes beach picnicfrench riviera family portraits cannes beachfrench riviera family portraits cannes beachfrench riviera family portraits cannes beach

I was so excited to shoot some French riviera family portraits during my stay there in May. I met up with this beautiful Anglo-French family of four on a little beach in Cannes, taking advantage of the unseasonably hot weather. The sun was setting across the bay (full of superyachts!) and the warm light made it feel more like early September than the middle of May. Danni the mother is an event planner & stylist herself, so needed no prompting on co-ordinating the outfits for the shoot and she even brought a little picnic, which was very welcome after a day of walking around Cannes.

The french lifestyle is very attractive indeed, with its wonderful weather and the easy sense of living, it’s easy to see how the British are seduced into escaping our grey skies and moving there. After our portrait shoot we sat on the beach and drank wine with cheese and crackers whilst little Margot & Clementine played on the shore. Hooray for simple pleasures!

I was so glad when travel & lifestyle blogger Jo Llana got in touch wanting some Clifton Village portraits while she was in the area.  A true slave to fashion Jo didn’t complain when I asked her to wear a striking red dress on the freezing November morning when we met and wandered along Royal York Crescent and the park beside West Mall and Caledonia Place.  Such beautiful buildings and front doors!

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After we finished shooting we warmed up with some very welcome coffee and conversation in the newly opened Ivy Brasserie.

Shoes: Valentino  |  Dress:  ?  |  Jewellery:  ?

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Newly married Philadelphia-based Shannon & Jonathan took a short vacation with a small group of friends and asked for some Marrakech portraits during their stay.  They had rented the privately owned small, but wonderfully chic Riad Bayou in the heart of the medina on one of the tiniest passageways ever.

Marrakech is great winter get away destination with its near to year round sunshine and warm climate. It is also the ideal place for a portrait shoot with a divine morning light that reflects off the buildings and onto skin giving to die for luminescence. Proof of its captivating beauty are in the 38 rolls of film I shot there!

Unsurprisingly we had trouble finding each other for our early morning shoot (easily done in the labyrinthine Medina!)  We chose early morning as the light is more gentle and flattering plus you’re also able to get more efficient shooting done without dodging motorbikes and donkeys in the road. The souks at 7am are a quiet place and a little unsettling as it’s the complete opposite to how they are at 11am. GPS maps spin around uncontrollably as soon as you’re under the cover of the souk’s roof and you’re not even sure where you are, let alone where you’re supposed to be going!

However, we eventually found each other, almost by accident and had a great time exploring a little around the Ben Youssef Madrasa before going inside to shoot under its magnificent arches and intricate Moorish design.  Being there early in the morning is the best as wait just an hour and the great courtyard will be full of people.

If you’re interested in taking a trip to Marrakech, watch out for my new travel & food blog Silk Atlas, where there’s all kinds of information on where to stay and what to do.

Nepal is one of those countries that you don’t at first think of when planning a holiday, but I was so glad to be invited to visit friends to spend a week in Kathmandu last November.  It was great to have someone who knew where to visit as the noise, mainly from the multitude of cars, motorbikes, rickshaws and tuk tuks plus the general pace of the city was a real shock to the system!

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When walking through Kathmandu we came across this group of women replacing the roof on quite a large building – no thought to health & safety, the workers stood on the scaffolding and threw up the tiles to each other from the ground, sometimes missing and having to dodge a heavy clay tile plummeting to the ground!

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We escaped the city for a night and travelled into the countryside to stay at a retreat on the top of a hill from which we could see the snow covered peaks of the Himalayas in the distance.

sarah hannam adventure in nepal kathmandu

A fun and stylish group of family & friends gathered for a birthday weekend in Tuscany at the fabulous Borgo Finocchieto, a private estate near Siena in the middle of the sublime Tuscan countryside to enjoy intimate dinners and dancing until late.

As soon as I was booked by San Francisco based planner Laurie Arons, I knew that the weekend of events Laurie was planning for her clients would be very special.  Such attention to detail and imagination that Laurie is known for created three beautiful evenings, each with their own individual theme.

The first evening’s celebration started with champagne and caviar in the garden, followed by dinner in the Borgo’s courtyard.  The table had a beautifully subtle early Autumnal style with flowers and overflowing bowls of pomegranates and crab apples.

With a theme of La Dolce Vita and after cocktails on the lawn with a jazz band, the second evening was a relaxed dinner al fresco with the guests seated on benches under the Borgo’s pergola surrounded by the most enormous and fragrant rosemary bushes.  I had to lean over them in order to photograph the guests during dinner, so I returned to my room that night smelling heavenly!

The third and final evening brought a Venetian masquerade drama to Tuscany with bespoke masks made to complement each individual guest.  After drinks & traditional Italian antipasti in the courtyard, the guests dined inside the Borgo at candlelit tables filled with ornate candlesticks and sumptuous arrangements of blood red roses, ferns and blackberries.

Planner: Laurie Arons Special Events  |  Venue: Borgo Finocchieto  |  Table Design & Florals:  La Rosa Canina  |  Stationery:  Amber Moon Design  |  Calligraphy:  Anne Robin  |  Linens:  La Tavola  |  Candles: Creative Candles  |  Travel: Tuscan Dream