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On a very hot June day Linzi and Chris got married in the very traditional Spanish church of Sant Agusti des Vedra in front of fifty family and friends who’d travelled from the UK to celebrate the couple’s wedding on the island of Ibiza.  After the ceremony the party moved on to the reception designed by Isla & Smith at the very stylish resort of Atzaro in the centre of the island, surrounded by beautiful scenery and lush vegetation.

Drinks and plates of exquisite canapes whirled around the very chic garden reception party whilst guests drank, chatted and lounged on day beds, with Clare Wakeman bringing the afternoon to life with her beautiful voice.  Later the wedding party moved through to the wedding breakfast and speeches and then danced the night away.

L & C:  Thank you so much for making me part of your wonderful wedding in Ibiza. The friendship and love you both share was evident and huge congratulations on your marriage and my best wishes to you for the future. Sarah x

Design & Planning: Isla & Smith  |  Venue: Atzaro  |  Flowers:   El Ramo de Flores  | Stationery:  |  Bridal Gown:  Rosa Clara  |  Bridal Boutique:  You Are Precious  | Groom’s Suit:  Reiss  |  Bridesmaids Dresses:  Two Birds  |  Hair & Make Up:  Jessie May Young  |  Shoes:  Valentino  |  Cake:  Sharon Edwards  |  Band:  Claire Wakeman (Welcome Drinks)  Sunshine kicks with Joelle (Evening)

Here is a story of my trip to the French Riviera & Will Smith’s hand.  A strange topic you might think, but it all turned out beautifully and taught me to have more fun!

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In May I headed off to Cannes on the French Riviera for 10 days with a photography project in mind, that I had in my head for quite a long time.  However when I got there the security for the film festival was so intense with road closures and armed police, that it wasn’t the crazy, zany fun place I remember from my first visit to the festival (admittedly a long time ago) where bright yellow Lamborghinis roared up and down Promenade de la Croisette with a collection of pneumatically enhanced girls in bikinis inside.  Our pursuit of celebrity has changed and the festival felt different, more industry exclusive – there was no possibility of going for a drink in one of the huge old Belle Epoque hotels where I’d previously sat on a table next door to Susan Sarandon.  Throngs of suited men with walkie talkies guarded the entrances and no one not on the list was getting in.

The point of realisation came when on the first day I saw a great crowd of people hanging around the entrance of the Hotel Martinez, so I went over to see what the fuss was about.  I saw a car swing around and people started screaming “Will! Will! WILL SMITH!” and so took a photo just as the palm of Will Smith’s hand raised behind his tinted window.  Laughing, I instastoried the Hand, but the idea of spending a day hanging around a hotel waiting to glimpse a celebrity or their appendage brought huge clarity.

The really great thing in all of this was that I found that I genuinely just didn’t care.  That’s a great test of moving on in a great number of things.  I left the film industry nearly ten years ago and the excitement I once had for it and wanting to ‘play the game’ of politics and rise through the echelons of production had completely gone and of course I would love to shoot a serious portrait of Will Smith one day, but no thanks to idolising celebrities.  So I realigned my intention for being there and focused on my travel photography.

Something else great happened too.  I am guilty of always thinking about what I should be doing and hardly ever what I actually want to be doing.  I think that’s quite common as a self-employed person!  I was forced to find a new hotel as my hotel in Cannes wasn’t available to extend, so I decided to get out of Cannes and go to nearby Antibes.  Once there it was a different world – my hotel was an old sixties building out of town and beautifully quiet.  I explored the old town, sat in cafes people watching and gradually relaxed into what was turning into a little holiday.

I woke up one morning and prepared to go do some more travel photography, when I stopped and felt like I didn’t really have the energy, not that day anyway.  What did I want to do?  I really wanted to slip on a bikini and do nothing apart from lie on a sun lounger on the hotel’s little private beach.  So I did.  Then at the end of the afternoon I returned to my room and had a delicious bubble bath and pondered what I wanted to do next.  Put a dress on and go eat dinner in a Michelin star restaurant.  So I did and I LOVED it.  I would go so far as to say it’s become a new hobby!  When I got into bed that night I thought about the day and how relaxed and joyful I felt, because I’d spent it exactly how I’d really wanted to.

My unintended holiday turned into a valuable reminder that it’s so important to allow yourself to do what you want to, not always what you should do and follow your bliss.  I always knew my bliss involved sunshine, but now I know it also involves haute cuisine which is absolutely fine by me!

Antibes Hotel: Hotel du Levant  |  Amazing Restaurants: Les Pecheurs  La Villa Archange  Le Figuier de Saint Esprit  |  Sweet Family Session: Cannes Beach Family Portraits

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A family portrait session on a secluded beach with the azure waters lapping against the shore of white sand on the island of Ibiza.  Sounds like paradise?  It definitely would be, but when I met Jeni from == weddings and her family and we arrived to shoot their portraits we discovered the beach was particularly popular with nudists! There followed a hilarious British attitude of “pretend absolutely nothing is amiss and carry on as if perfectly normal”, so we continued with our shoot, occasionally having to re-compose due to an unwitting naked photobomber.

The late afternoon light was amazing and this little beach was the perfect spot for portraits, with its rocky crags and shallow blue pools.  The family were on the last day of their Ibizan getaway break and a portrait session is the perfect way to preserve holiday memories and also capture your family in a professional, yet informal way.  I absolutely love to photograph families having fun together, so get in touch if you’d like to book a session this summer.

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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:  ?