Tag Archives: lisa devlin

Is Vintage Photography the Dance Music of the Wedding Industry?

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There are obvious fashions in weddings just like with clothing, interiors, food and just about everything we consume. However if you want to maintain any kind of longevity in the industry is it wrong to appear to be too much of a particular trend?

I actually get asked about this quite a lot as I guess it could be perceived that I am part of the fashion for vintage toning on wedding images. Ironically, this toning is something that I started doing when I switched from shooting weddings on film to digital a couple of years ago. I have always tweaked the colour on my images, whether it was toning black & white prints or cross processing print film in the chemicals for slide film and vice versa. I like to find out how things work and then mess with them. In the 90s I worked for the experimental Blah Blah Blah magazine and the art director, Chris Ashworth, used to always prefer the images that would normally get binned. He liked to to push the boundaries of everything. At the time, I was simultaneously working for a number of teenage pop magazines so it was utterly liberating to be able to do something creative and definitely my favourite magazine to work for.

So I guess it was inevitable that when I finally embraced digital technology for shooting weddings, I would start to seek ways of messing with the colours again. I have always been passionate about old photographs and all they represent in our social history, so if Photoshop was going to give me the ability to experiment, then I was going to! I looked for ways to recreate those faded tones that old colour images have. At the same time the kinds of wedding dresses and decor items that were gaining popularity we’re also very vintage, and so suddenly it was a ‘thing’.

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Idyllic Camber Sands Beach Wedding: Jo & Rob

Jo & Rob were married at The Gallivant Hotel, an eclectic, shabby chic coastal hideaway. Once a former retro motel on the edge of Camber, the hotel is located right opposite the sand dunes and beach of Camber Sands – what a perfect and idyllic spot to get married! In fact it was even more perfect for this romantic pair because Rob proposed to Jo whilst flying kites on this very beach! “With its beautiful British beach side charm we knew straight away it was the perfect place for us to get married”, began Jo.

“We were inspired by the things we love – the beach, the outdoors and bold and bright colours”, she continued, “but most importantly we wanted to make sure that the day totally represented us – from the venue, to the food, music and outfits. We even chose ‘Fosters Gold’ for everyone to drink on the beach to match our name (our surname is Gold!)”

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The Blogcademy New York: A Quick Recap

I’m currently lying in bed in my East Village apartment (well, I wish it was mine!) with Nubby the day after the first ever Blogcademy. It’s 7am and we’re both bolt upright excitedly gabbing about the events of the past 48 hours. It was a weekend of magical, unexpected, positivity and excitable exhilaration. Loving, learning and inspiring each other – all in our own imitable fashion. I feel mentally exhausted and my feet hurt like hell but it’s oh such a good feeling. Our 30 attendees were just what we hoped & prayed for and more, and I honestly feel we’ve all made some new BFFs for life.

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Elbie’s Ice Cream Dream

When Lisa & I sit down to plan the Photography Farm styled shoots our criteria is simple – will it be fun and will it fulfill a current obsession? Well I can safely say we hit both those things with this one! Ice Cream Dream was born from our unwavering obsession with rainbow colour palettes and the fact that Hannah, our props stylist, has her own vintage ice cream cart (that she hires out at weddings – don’t you just I love this idea!?) Plus the gorgeous Elbie, who we’d roped into modelling for us, is as cute as an actual button and has the most rampant sweet tooth, like, ever. Our plan was for her to look like a sugary sweet treat herself and I think we managed to achieve that pretty well actually! I also can’t get over how good she looks with lilac hair. Jealous much?!

I have a bit of an obsession with candy coloured wigs, and this lavender creation from Annabelle’s Wigs was perfect for the job. We then called upon our gal Jo at The Couture Company to see if she could whip up (see what I did there!?) a dress with an ice cream influence. Jo suggested her Polly gown, which is handmade from silk with embroidered detailing, alongside some fluffy multi-coloured petticoats. It turned out to be a more than perfect combination! She also handmade us a cute bird brooch which added some quirky detailing to the overall look.

With the gorgeous dress, fashion stylist Laura & I teamed some ombre pink tights (which were a gift to me from Roo) some mental Jeffrey Campbell shoes, my Sparklebeast necklace (worn as a belt) and some Crown and Glory head candy… and yes, I totally stole both the flower crown and the giant pink bow afterwards – how could I not?!

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A Sweet Sussex Barn Wedding: Fiona & Ben

“We didn’t want a run of the mill wedding”, explained newlywed Fiona. “Ben’s a bit of a control freak and likes things done his own way. We both love anything vintage so enjoyed lots of weekends trawling through flea markets and car boots collecting bits and bobs to decorate the barn. We really wanted a party atmosphere with all of our family and friends. We collected/ borrowed lots of hats, sunglasses and various other items of fancy dress for the evening and encouraged people to be a silly a possible – our guests fully embraced the dressing up and pretty much everyone was wearing some kind of fancy dress at the end of the night.”

“It was very much a DIY wedding,” she continued. “The barn was an empty shell when we arrived on the Friday to set up. I made all of the bunting, tea cup candles, and collected vintage bottles, table cloths and made hessian runners for tables. Ben is a graphic designer and made all the signs, artwork for the walls and all the paper goods (order of service, table plan etc). With the help of our wonderful family and friends we managed to turn the empty barn into a wedding venue.”

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A 3-day Wedding at a Rockstar’s Retreat: Holly & Karen

Ridge Farm, a working farm and ex-recording studio in Surrey, proved to be the perfect location for Holly & Karen’s May wedding. “What made our wedding Rock n Roll? Definitely the venue!” Holly told me. “Aside from being a beautiful farm that we fell in love with instantly, Ridge Farm is also a recording studio where so many of our musical heroes have recorded albums and stayed – so our wedding guests were partying in the very same place that Queen, Whitesnake, Muse, Roxy, Rush and many more have partied! We hired the farm for the entire long weekend – Karen is Irish and it’s Irish tradition to hold 3 day long weddings so we had a big meal on the Friday for family and friends then the wedding on the Saturday, followed by a pool party with live music and a hog roast for everyone on the Sunday. The farm sleeps 24 plus there is a camping field so all our hungover guests could just crawl out of bed on Sunday morning and stumble over to rejoin the party. By Sunday evening everyone was in the jacuzzi swigging prosecco from the bottle, even Karen’s mum!”

“We wanted to fit a lot into our 3 day wedding but we were also determined not to start married life with a ridiculous amount of debt so we decided to try and swap our skills as web designers with various wedding suppliers,” she continued. “I would definitely recommend doing this, Karen posted an ad on Gumtree and we had over 20 bands offer to play for free! We also had offers from florists, entertainers and videographers. We chose 4 of the bands and they played in a mini festival on the Sunday in return for either website help or just a few beers! The bands were all lovely and we’re planning to go and see some of them when they next play in London.”

“Our friends and family also helped out massively – our ceremony was conducted by a friend, she was even ordained especially for the occasion! My mum made over 90 metres of bunting, a friend made us origami cranes, my aunt made our cake, my dad, best woman and Karen’s sister made all of the cupcakes and canapes – which were all served on large slates provided by my brothers roofing firm.”

“Karen made a sweet table to keep the children happy, although it was the adults that ended up eating most of them! It was the adults that had the most fun with the space hoppers we had too! We also made a lemonade stand and our page boys, my little brother and Karen’s nephew, served homemade lemonade to guests on arrival. We made a huge batch of rum and elderflower punch for after the ceremony and the caterers topped up glasses using a watering can.”

“We didn’t really have a specific theme,” Holly responded when I asked about it, “we kind of just picked all things that we liked. We wanted our wedding to feel more like a big party or festival than a wedding so we kept everything relaxed and tried to avoid anything that we felt was too wedding-y. The most important thing to us was that everyone else had a good time, so big sharing platters of food, loads of rum and wine and lots of music were the main things we focussed on.”

As the venue played such a huge role in the look and feel of the wedding, the couple did have a slight musical theme with their table names being named after albums. “We named our tables after albums that had been recorded at the farm – and I made a table plan using old records with mini doilies covering the record label to show the table name/number. I also used some of the old records that had been recorded at the farm to make bowls for our sweet table – I put the records in the oven on a low heat and placed them on top of various bowls/containers with a tin of beans on top to weigh them down as they melted into the shape of the bowls.”

“For the table decorations, we scoured charity shops and car boot sales for old china cups and bowls, we then filled them all with wax and made them into candles for each table. We made vases from old glass bottles and jars that our friends saved for us, then decorated them with the fabric that was left from the bunting. We also used the leftover fabric to tie each persons cutlery together, to make table cloths and to attach name tags to the favours (personalised m&ms) and my Nan made aprons from it for the waiting staff to wear. Maybe our theme was leftover fabric! I also cut up strips of burlap fabric to make the table runners and scattered each table with butterflies punched from our invites, beads from broken necklaces and old badges. I loved styling our wedding so much that I’m considering starting up a wedding styling and catering company now!”

“We both dislike the term ‘civil partnership’ so we went with ‘Karen and Holly are becoming civilized…’ as the introduction on our invites,” Holly concluded. “Karen wrote our ceremony and it was conducted by our close friend in Ridge Farm’s beautiful orchard. Having a friend carry out the ceremony made it much less intimidating and really personal, Karen’s sister wrote an emotional poem that she read during the ceremony and another friend did a reading that included quotes on love/marriage from our flower girl and page boy.”

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