Tag Archives: lisa devlin

Love is Blindness: A Dracula Bridal Shoot

Dracula's Bride // Love is Blindness

Like any good teenage goth, I grew up with a slight fascination with vampires. From Blade to The Lost, BoysFrom Dusk till Dawn to Interview with the Vampire… I even not-so-secretly loved the universally panned Queen of the Damned (well, the soundtrack was good!) So when photographer Lisa Devlin showed me the Dracula inspired bridal shoot that she created at the last Photography Farm workshop, I was super excited to share it!

Dracula's Bride // Love is Blindness

“The inspiration, just like all of the shoots at Photography Farm, was our models”, she told me. “When I met our couple, Shannon and Jack, we started thinking about creating a shoot that was a fresh take on the bride of Dracula. I have a copy of Bram Stoker’s Dracula from the 1920s but as I’m not really into doing ‘themes shoots’, we really just wanted this to be the starting point. We also looked at the Twilight series of movies and the track Love is Blindness by Jack White.”

Dracula's Bride // Love is Blindness

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A Perfectly Imperfect Sailor Jerry Inspired Wedding: Sadie & Marie

Calke Abbey Alternative Wedding

Sadie and Marie were married at Calke Abbey Riding School, a National Trust venue in Derbyshire. They were the first same sex couple to marry here and they fell in love with it’s less than perfect appearance. It was the ideal setting for their alternative wedding.

Calke Abbey Alternative Wedding

“Our wedding day was perfectly imperfect”, explained the brides. “We were adamant we did not want a prefabricated, immaculate wedding and opted for a laid back, rough round the edges kind of day. We chose the amazing venue, not for the grand unstately home (yes it’s really called that!), but for the rustic, flaking paint and quirky riding school, owned by the National Trust. We also made history by being the first same sex couple to have a ceremony there! We visited the venue on several occasions and it was transformed every time. We wanted a blank canvas where we could truly make our mark.”

Calke Abbey Alternative Wedding

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What If You Fall Out Of Love With Your Brand?

Devlin-Photos-Site-Launch

It’s not you it’s me”, I thought. “I’ve changed, I’ve moved on. It’s nothing you did, we are just not in the same place anymore. I still love you but I’m just not in love with you anymore. You will always be a part of me but I need to try something new”.

It all started when I was trying to redesign my PDF that I send to clients when they enquire. I just couldn’t pull together something that I was truly excited about. I didn’t think it was the images but laying them out with my current logo and fonts just seemed to lose their impact. I stressed about it for two days and then it hit me… I had quite simply fallen out of love with my brand.

I started to flirt with different fonts and suddenly I felt excited again… It was definitely time for a change. But where to start and where to draw the line? For me, this would be no easy decision. I have three companies all under the same brand and each one is now pretty established in their own fields. This wasn’t going to be a case of bodging together a different header and calling Moo for new business cards. My new found freedom suddenly felt quite overwhelming.

I had a stab at a new logo myself and sent it over to Kat, thinking I had done a fairly good job. Being the good friend that she is, she immediately came back and told me it was a bit crap, and that while I could cobble something half decent together myself, that doesn’t always mean that I should… oh! She said it was time to get a professional in and she was so right. If this kind of thing isn’t your forte then more help than ever is at hand. Unlike last time I rebranded, there are now specialist photographers’ brand experts and so I got straight onto Skype with the amazing Melissa Love who frequently joins us on our workshops at Photography Farm. She gets pretty booked up so I know I was lucky that she could fit me in.

Now my major problem was that I didn’t really know what I wanted. Luckily as far as Melissa is concerned I didn’t need to. As a photographer my heart does sink if anyone ever comes to me with a huge list of set shots that they want… ‘Bride looking in mirror putting in earrings’, ‘best man pinning on grooms buttonhole’, ‘giant fake dinosaur chasing wedding guests’ (you get the idea) I much prefer to photograph the narrative as I see it on the day and if any of those things happen when I’m around then I will record them ~ although I might be a little surprised at the last one! I don’t want to force a moment and it’s the same with your designer. You need to trust them and the process they will guide you through to divine and define your brand.

devin photos rebrand

With Melissa, the first step is to start a Pinterest board. “Approach it with your mind open'”, she said “look for images, fonts and designs that you like because of their style, texture or colour”. Sounded easy enough so I got to pinning… The more I pinned the more inconsistent it looked to me but Melissa is fantastic at seeing the story. It’s like she can read the tea leaves of my brand cup.

We then had a merry journey around the wonderful world of fonts. It’s a bit mad for a while, everywhere you look all you see is fonts and I was constantly trying to surmise what a company’s fonts expressed about them. However my advice with all of this is don’t overthink it. A good designer will breathe energy into fonts and bring out things that you would never see… Same as a good photographer is drawn to composition and light.

Then we came to colour… My Pinterest was mostly black/grey/white and again I was finding it hard to commit to any one colour beyond those tones. I felt like I was looking at all of Tinder at once and trying to find my ideal man. So instead of being over analytical, I just looked at what I was wearing that day. My favourite neon peach belt… Melissa has an amazing app on her phone called Kuler from Adobe that scans items and comes up with the digital version of the colour. So now we were rocking.

A lot of my pins also featured halftones, where an image is made up of dots. I guess that overall, I wanted an editorial feel but not in the high end fashion magazine sense. I’m way more grungy than that. I started to see my brand more like a lookbook for my work with an influence from the magazines that I read. I loved The Face when it was still around plus Love magazine, I-D, Dazed & Confused so it made sense to channel some of those elements into the new brand.

devin photos rebrand1

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Mid-Winter Goth Shoot

Gothic Bride Shoot Devlin Photos

January can be a slower month for those of us that work in the wedding industry. Less people get married in winter and so for many industry professionals this is the time when they can stretch their legs and do some experimenting. This is exactly what my friend Lisa Devlin wanted to do when she started to plan this gothic wedding shoot.

Gothic Bride Shoot Devlin Photos

“I feel that as a photographer it is important to step back from your busy working photography life and just shoot for fun every now and then”, she wrote. “It did take me the best part of a year to make time for this but in the meantime, I had started a Pinterest board called ‘Shits and Giggles’ of images that I found inspiration but not necessarily wedding related.”

“I have collaborated with Laura Kate O’Rourke before in her role as a stylist but she is also a musician and I find her look fascinating. So we agreed to just pull together a few outfits, head to a location and see what we came up with.”

Gothic Bride Shoot Devlin Photos

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So, We Got Married… (Again!)

Rock n Roll Bride Wedding | Lisa Devlin

One of the questions I get asked over and over again is what would Gareth and I do differently if we were getting married today. Of course my answer is always “so much!”. Both of us have changed considerably over the last five and a half years and our styles and tastes couldn’t be more different to how they were back in 2008.

As many of you will have read last week, Lisa asked if we would model at the two year anniversary of her Photography Farm. During every workshop she organises a styled shoot for her students to practice what they’ve learnt, but more than just that, she always pushes herself and her team to come up with something creative that reflects the real-life couple who are modelling.

Rock n Roll Bride Wedding | Lisa DevlinRock n Roll Bride Wedding | Lisa Devlin

When we started chatting about the kind of shoot Gareth and I might have, we began by discussing the whole “how would you do your wedding differently?” question. And then Lisa had a brainwave. Photography workshops are supposed to be all about teaching aspiring wedding photographers how to book, shoot and process weddings, but they only ever give the students the chance to practice these things in an unnatural situation – i.e. a styled shoot. Sure, the couple might be real and the styling authentic, but getting the shot when you have two hours to work with the couple is a totally different beast to needing to nail it first time and getting creative within your ten minute allocated time-slot for couple portraits.

Rock n Roll Bride Wedding | Lisa Devlin

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Why I’m NOT Giving Up…..

crown and glory Kat Alexa Loy-47

Sheesh, I have recently seen sooooo many rants on the internet from photographers giving up because they find it too tough to cut it as a wedding photographer or they are sick of competing with the newbies who “under cut their prices/ don’t know what they’re doing/ use vintage processing/ are ruining the industry”. So here is my two pennies worth… first up a little history.

I started working as a photographer in the early 1990s first in music and then from 2000, the majority of my work has been in weddings. I am still as thrilled to earn my living in this way as I ever was, still as excited about each and every job, from the simple engagement shoot I did in the sunshine on Brighton Beach last night, to the look book that I shot for a collaboration between Rock n Roll Bride and Crown & Glory. I will NEVER tire of taking photographs or being in such a privileged position that people trust me to record their memories on one of the most important days of their lives. I will always be on a quest to take THE perfect photograph that sums up a wedding day.

crown and glory Kat Alexa Loy-99

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