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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.

Featured on Magnolia Rouge , Bloved , Bajan Wed & Hochzeitsguide

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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

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When you think of holidays in Portugal, the obvious first thought is the Algarve region in the South, but I was lucky enough to spend several weeks last summer near the medieval hillside village of Obidos on the Silver Coast, about an hour west of Lisbon.  It’s the real Portugal, with orchards full of fruit laden apple and pear trees, cobbled streets, painted houses and bustling markets.  I stole away from the activity of the house to go exploring with my Contax camera and capture the soft, warm summer sunshine.  I love the colours of the southern European countries; bright cobalt blues, yellows, pinks – it makes me wonder why in England we don’t paint our towns not just red, but all the colours of the Mediterranean palette, as we could certainly do with a bit of Iberian cheer.

Featured on Belle Lumiere & Bloved.

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Another shoot, this time with cooler tones, from my day on the Illuminated Collective’s first ever fine art wedding photography workshop at the ridiculously beautiful Barnsley House in the Cotswolds.  It is a seriously wonderful wedding venue, as the gardens are stunning.  Literally everywhere you look is a perfect place for wedding portraits – lichen covered statues, a fountain, topiary, stone benches, a folly beside a gated water garden in which to say your vows and beautiful plants and trees throughout.

A simple bouquet of white buddleia with trailing ribbons and delicate hair accessories and jewellery really set off the unfussy styling for brides who prefer to not wear a veil.  As the day drew to a close, it was time to say goodbye to a fantastic group of photographers and head back to Cornwall with a bulging bag of film ready to send off to the lab in LA.

Featured on 100LayerCake

Illuminated Collective  |  Venue: Barnsley House  |  Cake Design: The Natural Cake Company  | Stationery: Juliet Grace Design  |  Tableware:  Helene Millot  |  Linens: Table to Dine For  | Bridal Boutique: The White Rose Bridal  |  Brides Gown: Johanna Hehir  |  Jewellery: Astely Clarke  | Hair Accessories: Kelly Spence  |  Hair:  Nicholas White  |  Make-Up:  Nina Norman  | Stylist: Jessie Thomson  |  Assistant Stylist: Georgia Westwood  |  Flowers: The Rose Shed  | Mentors: Ashlee Taylor & Holly Rattray

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Back in May I spent a wonderful day in the Cotswolds with a group of talented photographers as part of the Illuminated Collective’s first ever fine art wedding photography workshop, held at the stunning Barnsley House.  I shot entirely on film and the warm sunlight really brought Jessie Thomson’s feminine styling to life, with bouquets of peonies, cakes of white and pink chocolate bouffants adorned with flowers and tables with peaches, blush pears and garlands of eucalyptus.  Barnsley House has a beautiful gated ornamental pond garden where we photographed until the sun went down.  It’s probably a good thing I missed the outdoor spa or I think I may never have left.

Featured on 100LayerCake

Illuminated Collective  |  Venue: Barnsley House  |  Cake Design: The Natural Cake Company  | Stationery: Juliet Grace Design  |  Tableware:  Helene Millot  |  Linens: Table to Dine For  | Bridal Boutique: The White Rose Bridal  |  Brides Gown: Johanna Hehir  |  Jewellery: Astely Clarke  |  Hair Accessories: Kelly Spence  |  Hair:  Nicholas White  |  Make-Up:  Nina Norman  | Stylist: Jessie Thomson  |  Assistant Stylist: Georgia Westwood  |  Flowers: The Rose Shed  | Mentors: Ashlee Taylor & Holly Rattray