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Here is a very sweet blush engagement session, set in the grounds of the utterly marvellous Hacienda del Carmen in Jalisco, Mexico on a rainy and dull Monday afternoon, during the week I spent at Jose Villa’s Mexico workshop.  I only had 5 minutes to shoot this cute couple, so had to move fast, but I’m really pleased that using film meant the gloominess of the day was swept away, giving this light, bright luminous feel.  What a great combination too pairing a plain white crisp cotton shirt with a pale blush toned silk skirt and some fabulous heels, hair pulled back into a low bun and a statement bracelet and the look is complete.  Simple, elegant and very feminine.  I think for engagement and pre-wedding shoots, it’s really worth it to have a little fun and spoil yourself a little by getting hair & make up done professionally and dressing up a little, plus you can still do something that is fun and personal to you.  It can be anything from a summer picnic on Hampstead Heath to full on Paris in a couture gown glamour!

Workshop Concept: Jose Villa  |  Planner & Art Director: Laurie Arons  |  Design Direction: Amber Moon |  Wardrobe Stylist: Grey Likes  |  Bridal Stylist: Mar Romero at Team Hair & Make Up  |  Custom Skirt: Bel & Beau  |  Workshop Assistant: Nancy Villa  | Venue:  Hacienda del Carmen

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A few weeks before Christmas on a dark, dreary and definitely un-festive day, I travelled to North Somerset to meet India Hurst, the floral designer and founder of Vervain and photograph some winter wedding flowers.  As much as I love the festive colours and berries of the season, I absolutely adore simple whites, greys and greens because they bring a clean, fresh feel and give us tangible hope that spring and all its delights is just around the corner.  I love the intricate details and work that go into making boutonnieres and I wanted a really stylish, high end look to the florals, so I was really thrilled with these stunning boutonnieres of tulip buds, ranunculus and narcissus wrapped in velvet ribbon by the super-talented India, as she totally understood the brief and what I wanted to achieve.   We both are extremely influenced by American wedding styling and hope to collaborate again this year.  After the shoot India and I discussed our dreams for 2015 over a very English cup of tea, which was the perfect end to such a fun afternoon.

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Styling: Sarah Hannam  |  Floral Design: Vervain

boudoir jose villa workshop mexicoboudoir jose villa workshop mexicoboudoir jose villa workshop mexicoboudoir jose villa workshop mexicoboudoir jose villa workshop mexicoboudoir jose villa workshop mexicoboudoir jose villa workshop mexicoboudoir jose villa workshop mexicoboudoir jose villa workshop mexicoboudoir jose villa workshop mexicoboudoir jose villa workshop mexicoboudoir jose villa workshop mexicoboudoir jose villa workshop mexicoboudoir jose villa workshop mexicoboudoir jose villa workshop mexicoboudoir jose villa workshop mexicoboudoir jose villa workshop mexicoboudoir jose villa workshop mexicoboudoir jose villa workshop mexicoI was excited when presented with the opportunity to shoot a little hacienda boudoir session during Jose Villa’s wonderful workshop in Mexico in November, as it’s not something that I’d previously offered my clients.  Boudoir photography doesn’t have to mean legs up walls and lying back on ruffled sheet covered beds trying to look sultry, which obviously is hard if you’re not a model and are self-conscious in front of the camera, particularly in your underwear.  Styled and photographed the right way, it can be very beautiful and a fantastic way of capturing your bridal lingerie.  It doesn’t take much time, so is absolutely perfect to do after bridal hair and make up is complete and just before dressing for the ceremony.  The veil can be used as an effective cover up and the shoot can also look really amazing with a lace robe or a wonderful cape such as the one below.  Presented as a folio of mounted art prints in a bespoke silk covered box or simply in a small album is a perfect first anniversary gift and one which undoubtedly livens up anyone’s idea of paper gifts.

Workshop Concept: Jose Villa  |  Planner & Art Director: Laurie Arons  |  Design Direction: Amber Moon |  Wardrobe Stylist: Grey Likes  |  Bridal Stylist: Mar Romero at Team Hair & Make Up  |  Veil: Emily Rose Riggs  |  Bridal Cape: Lili Hod  |  Candles: Creative Candles  |  Workshop Assistant: Nancy Villa  | Venue:  Hacienda Labor de Rivera

jose villa workshop welcome dinner table

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The last few weeks whilst I have been waiting for my film scans have been excruciating, but now they’re here I’m really excited to publish the first of my posts on my amazing time in Mexico and have more features, all shot on film, to come in the next few weeks.  The Jose Villa workshop welcome dinner at the 17th century Hacienda El Carmen in Jalisco, Mexico was the first experience during that week in November that I was utterly in awe of in terms of the inspired design, beauty and immaculate presentation.  I feel so fortunate to have been able to spend an amazing week with such a renowned film photographer, where I and the seventeen other attendees from all over the world came together to learn and be inspired by Jose and his incredible, talented team who created such beauty at every turn.

The first of these breathtaking experiences was the welcome dinner held on the Sunday night, which opened with tamarind margaritas and canapes in the main courtyard, with a mariachi band playing by candlelight.  You simply cannot go to Mexico and not have a band!  The welcome dinner table was truly stunning, set on the hacienda’s main front terrace with a backdrop of hand cut papel picado.  The rich Autumnal colours combined delicate florals with tropical fruit, breathing life back into the traditional idea of Autumn, could really work well for European weddings.

Workshop Concept: Jose Villa  |  Planner & Art Director: Laurie Arons  |  Design Direction: Amber Moon |  Floral Design: Saipua  |  Local Florals Sourcing: La Musa de las Flores   |  Table Flatware: Casa de Perrin  |  Artist: Karina Puente  |  Calligraphy: Anne Robin  |  Candles: Creative Candles  |  Workshop Assistant: Nancy Villa  |  Venue: Hacienda el Carmen Hotel & Spa

  • Michelle

    You have such a talent for capturing the intricate details! The photography’s overall richness of color and aesthetic are beautiful. Well done!ReplyCancel

  • Oh Sarah! I’m so glad you got to go! And these photos are stunning you should be so proud! 🙂 xReplyCancel

    • admin

      Thanks Holly! It was really amazing and there’s tons yet I have to post, so check back! xxReplyCancel

Cornwall has the sea running through her veins and has long been famous for its windswept beaches and romantic tales of swashbuckling, smuggling and shipwrecks, which was the inspiration behind the Tidal shoot.  Pearls, precious jewels, shells and other treasures washing ashore with the tides.  We shot at first in a tiny secret cove near Mother Ivey’s Bay, which was so well hidden we never did find out its name.  The little beach, deserted with not a single footprint except for our own, sloped down to the waters’ edge, surrounded by huge dark rocky outcrops.  The rock pools were a perfect setting for the details shots such as the stunning mother of pearl adorned ‘Francesca’ shoes from Emmy and the ‘Gypsophila’ gold and seed pearl head dress by Hermione Harbutt, so delicate and organic, it looked like it truly belonged to the sea.tidal,

Then followed the grassy dunes of Constantine Bay, where we stayed until dusk.  There’s something incredibly special about being one of the last few people left on a wild and beautiful beach, sitting amongst the sand dunes by candlelight, listening to the roar of the sea in the distance on one of the last really warm evenings of summer.  As I write this, November is already upon us and the leaves are falling fast, which means that the biting cold winds and wild stormy days aren’t too far away, but even they hold their own kind of beauty.

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Stylist: Holly Phillips  |  Model: Deborah Sarah Baker  | Hair & Make Up: Amanda Jane | Florals:  The Garden Gate Flower Company  & Roswartha Farm  |  Cake Designer:  The Natural Cake Company  | Wedding Dress:  Laure de Sagazan  |  Bridalwear:  The Mews in Clifton  |  Hair Accessory: Hermione Harbutt  |  Shoes:  Emmy Shoes London  | Calligraphy:  Judy Broad  |  Linen:  The White Company  | Ribbon:  Lancaster & Cornish  |  Mercury Glass Tea Lights: Nordic House