Smallest of the Balkans, Montenegro sits on the east of the adriatic sea neighbouring Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia and Albania boasting a mediteranian climate on the coast and alpine conditions in the mountains - which, by the way look spectacular! With mountainous ranges and rivers flowing through to the coast there’s vast geological scope and plenty to visit between the coast, country and small idyllic old towns. Not surprisingly, Montenegro is full of Italian charm as at various times, it’s been part of the Venetian republic, the napoleonic empire and both the ottomans and Austro-Hungarians held these lands. Budva’s Old Town was ruled by the Venetians for nearly 400 years and also built the walls which lend it the feel of a mini Dubrovnik. However, the jewel in Montenegro’s crown and a town I was super excited to visit is Kotor; a stunning walled old town with history stretching back to the Roman times. Our home for the week was a 10 minute drive from the airport in the village of Djurasivici; a tranquil spot up in the hills that looks over the rooftops and up into the mountains, between the bay and the ocean.
Once familiarised with our surroundings we headed straight to our little launch harbour to complete our advanced SUP session where your ability or experience makes no difference because we’re there to practice and refine our skills together at a group pace. Throughout the week Sean and WeSUP’s professional instructors were there to help guide, educate and hone our skills through interval training, fitness and a super fun footwork clinic. This will be my third year paddling now and taking part in these activities always helps improve my confidence on the water. One member of the group had never paddled before and to see his confidence throughout the week tackling 15k paddles proves how you really can be any level to participate.
So, what can you expect from a week paddle-boarding with WeSUP? Well, with all abilities considered and previous experience completely un-necessary, our itinerary included a spectacular 15k paddle from our launch site (just 5 minutes from the house!), along the bay, across to the chapel island that houses ‘Monte’ ‘n ‘Egro’ - the resident dogs (I named them), where you can take in 360 degree views of the water before hugging the coast all the way around Tivat to finish up in Porto Montenegro. A shorter river tour to the infamous horse shoe bend on Rijeka Crnojevica where the lily pads take over the water in places as you wind your way around. Another 15k paddle along the whole stretch of the bay passed submarine bunkers, old naval bases, war ships and fields of jellies before finishing in the most adorable town with Croatia just ahead of us! We paddled on our last day from the beaches passed Budva back in to the town around the Island and we also spent a (slightly hungover) day cycling over and around the hills down the BEST road that curved and fell with the land to a quite little fishing village before cycling back up. A day didn’t go by were we weren’t exploring, paddling, or sharing stories and holding group chats where ever we went and I can’t thank everyone enough for what they all gave to that trip.
As well as paddling and cycling we visited Kotor, went for dinner together in Porto Montenegro, alfresco dinned on the beach front of Budva, petted plenty of dogs, stopped to coo over cats, found a litter of puppies, reminisced and planned over dinner, danced to street musicians, stroked more cats, took part in morning rooftop yoga and generally thoroughly enjoyed the constant company of one another. We ate hearty meals each day by our top Chef to keep us fuelled correctly, our guts happy and our energy up with healthy breakfasts, picnic lunches and wholesome evening meals so that during the whole retreat we really were looked after from top to bottom. Expect to take away a full heart, a happy soul, friends for life, a positive mindset and a whole host of unforgettable memories. <3
So HOW can you get yourselves on this incredible trip..?! Head straight to WeSUP Montenegro’s specific site where you can find our trip video, extra information place a deposit and start packing your bags!
I hope you all found this helpful and has inspired you to book a trip as I promise you won’t regret it. It honestly stands as one of my all time favourite holidays, so thank you to everyone who made it the week it was.
The amount of times in my head I think, “If you’d have told me I’d be shooting X, Y and Z in blah blah blah I wouldn’t believe you” increases by the year, and this was another of those moments. Lucy and I went to school together and spent 5 years in the same tutor group and a fair few lessons. We also went horse riding when we were 11-13 ish so spent many a Saturday in the sand school too; and there’s no way I could have ever imagined that over a decade down the line I’d be shooting her wedding day alongside her family and now son and daughter of her own!
Lucy & Matt, embraced the autumnal month of October styling their wedding with falling leaves, pumpkins, rustic tones, wooden plinths and floral patterns which looked beautiful around the houses and barns of Trevenna and complimented the time of year perfectly!
We had a misty start to the day but it all cleared off and stayed relatively dry considering which meant although the grass was dewy, we could still all head outside post ceremony to enjoy all the beautiful space around us….until we wanted to shoot on the muddy track. The solution…..? A Duvet. Yup, this Bride was not only up for the shot but was willing to sacrifice a spare duvet from her car so she could stand in her dress MUD-FREE. Just. Yes. I love a couple who are up for problem solving to get the shot! ha I’m probably not the first, nor last wedding photographer to have done similar and I’d love to hear what else others have done to divert from a potential issue mid shoot?!
As in my last Wedding blog, this day was also another day where the whole wedding was ‘on site’ - this meant from Bridal prep to ceremony and evening reception the whole family could remain in one place! With a fair few children attending the wedding and with the space that Trevenna has on offer, Lucy & Matt arranged for a childminding/entertainment company to set up a base for the younger members of the party in one of the houses so that they were constantly amused for the afternoon which I thought was brilliant! Food, games, drinks, films and plenty of laughter was on hand for everyone and so with the speeches done and evening drawing in, I took a few last photos with the festoon bulbs and interior lights illuminated and left them all to it!
Thanks again to Lucy & Matt for having me on your day, Its been great to catch up with you since and I’ll be sure to arrange for another coffee soon!
So for my first wedding blog of 2018, I give you one of my last weddings of 2017 - I know, I’m behind on blogging but I promise to keep up from now on!
And WHAT a wedding to share. This was my second American/English wedding but the first time I had most of (if not all) traditional Amercian elements; I’m talking masses of bridesmaids and groomsmen, Mum revealing daughter for first-look to the bridesmaids, groomsmen walking everyone down the aisle before the bride enters, individual portraits, garter removal and finally garter toss! All before I saw them all hit the dance floor and ooohhhh MY they know how to party! I had an absolutely amazing day with these guys and I only wish I was able to see them all more often as we got on so well! I was promised a ‘horseback’ riding tour across 100’s of acres from one of the ushers farms in America as part of the ultimate cowboy experience (hat and all) so maybe I’ll have to take a trip! Aha
Cornwall did it’s typical October thing and drizzled for most of the day but we persevered, running inside and out all day grabbing moments and use of the grounds when we could - one of those tasks we Wedding Photographers in Cornwall know all too well! With the whole day spent at Falmouth Hotel it was a shame Falmouth didn’t put on it’s best show of weather and clear skies for everyone who flew over from America but hopefully they could appreciate this beautiful town, even with it’s muted tones and grey skies.
Having everyone on one site that day meant not only did I get to spend the morning with the bridal party but I caught up with the groom and his team too! It was great to meet everyone properly and catch up with the family as being a local wedding you tend to know a fair few of the guests - especially as on this day in particular I had been recommended by a friend who was also attending!
Watching on throughout the day it became incredibly clear how close Veryan and Will’s family had become over the years she’d spent working in America and living so far away from her own home here in Cornwall I can only imagine how grateful she is for the relationships they all formed and how they are all now family of her own too! The same goes for Will and his family over here in the UK - they’re going to have so much fun traveling back and forth between two super sunny countries making memories and creating storied that hopefully I can keep up to date with!
I also HAVE to mention their incredible wedding hashtag of the day. #willisveryanlove has to be the best and most clever name combination to date; the bar has been set…it’s been raised…and is now set. Props to who came up with it.
I could have shared So so many highlights from this day but contained myself and my image sharing to these below.
I wish you the best on your English/American chapter and hope to catch up when you’re back in Kenrow. Veryan & Will, THANK YOU!
Make-up: Charlotte Albert
I can’t believe I haven’t shared with you all this beautiful jewellery shoot yet but as my first proper post of the year, here we go!
Having met Sadie a few times, and shot with her jewellery for my Lost Girls Bridal shoot I’d not yet shot specifically for her own sea-glass jewellery collection so was super excited and 100% on-board when she asked if I could capture her latest handmade pieces!
With our oceans depositing pieces of sea-glass all over the Cornish coast, Sadie’s brief was built around the sea (naturally) and so she came up with a whimsical, mermaid inspired mood-board that included sequins, glitter, loose wavy hair, beads and generally metallic, soft and dreamy tones all to be captured in my photographic style.
Being fortunate enough to have quite a following on Instagram and with a keen eye for new faces to work with, Sadie got in contact with the beautiful Ali Russel and Ellie Hill (Ali & Ellie - a business venture needs to happen here? Chat show?) who were automatically on board also, and so with Charlotte Albert back on make-up we were all set to go!
As for the location, Sadie had already spied out and planned for the most PERFECT spot; we both love a good variety of tones and textures as well as a beautiful tidal pool and cave, which for this shoot leant itself beautifully to compliment the life of the ‘mermaid’ and the symbolic elements which inevitably create each piece of sea-glass.
We were up against it with the weather that day which you could say was typical for Cornwall but I think it only emphasised the power of the sea and weather that makes the jewellery as unique as it is. Working through the cold and wind, we moved around the beach using multiple ‘sets’ adding variety and more of a story to the campaign. The rocks were a great contrast again the styling and colours, the sand and sea spray became a beautiful soft backdrop and the caves and pools formed shadows, reflected light and provided the perfect platforms.
The resulting images were exactly what we were after, if not better than we imagined. You may notice, some look like multiple exposures, or that parts have been duplicated and that is because I took with me my prism! Again, it was something we discussed before-hand as I could use it to mirror parts of the frame, creating something unique for Sadie, almost exaggerating the ‘myth’ and fairytale of the mermaid.
Thank you so much again to Sadie Jewellery, Ali, Ellie and of course Charlotte for their hard work, smiles and constant entertainment that day.
Bit of a late start to my year of blogging and super late to round up my 2017 BUT fear not, it’s here and I’m very proud of it. It’s been another amazing year collaborating and working with old friends and new, traveling across Cornwall, and further pushing my work and style. From repeat content creating for brands and bloggers to commercial work, shooting campaigns and celebrating new businesses I’m so proud of everyone I’ve had the pleasure of sharing this journey with!
I started the year of with my regular client Azura Bay shooting their pre-spring range with non other than their English muse and model Corinne Evans! It was on this shoot that I met the wonderfully talented Charlotte Albert too which I’m super pleased about. It set such great tone for the rest of the year as we then continued to shoot their Spring collection across two locations as well as their Autumn/Winter pieces that again we decided to cover indoors and out!
Another regular and favourite friend to shoot and catch up with is Abi from A Country Lady. With lots of content, products, news and lifestyle elements to talk about on her equestrian blog we capture as much as we can between each shoot so that she has plenty to share over a few months. Plus, I get to spend time with her between the yard and Marazion which is never a bad thing!
As I previously touched on earlier, January saw me working with Charlotte Albert for the first time and so with her being super brand new and fresh to the freelance Make Up world, we collaborated on a number of Bridal shoots with Ro Abell, who I also met for the first time through Charlotte to create some beautiful Bridal imagery to promote us all throughout the Cornish wedding industry. These two have become vital contacts to me and between us we’ve shot most of this year’s fashion work together which has been super fun. Having a reputable relationship with those you work with is what makes this job for me and I’ve built some of the best friendships this year because of it.
Charlotte, Ro & Bridal
Despite Corinne Evans certainly not being a new contact, her latest sponsor Ann’s Cottage is, and so this year was spent shooting their Spring/Summer, Born by the Sea, and Autumn/Winter collections which has proved to be a great success for them as a brand to have cohesive images of their own to promote across their stores as well as feature in various publications including Cornwall Living (we got two covers!).
Having these connections and regular work has been great for me this last two years but I always try to shoot a few times a year pulling in new models and creatives to shoot work for myself. A chance to just try something new and develop my skill set further. This, as well as my first Fashion editorial turned out to be two of my most favourite shoots to date as they were both so different and had such great teams working together on them. As mentioned in my previous blog, working with Surf Girl this year was a great achievement and one of those days that I’ll never forget.
Much later in the year and although we’d met before, it was great to finally get the opportunity to work with Sadie to shoot her latest collection of beautiful hand-combed cornish jewellery! I haven’t yet shared with you all the images so will make sure to do that with you all in a new post very soon! Again though, this is another favourite of the year as despite the freezing conditions and awareness of incoming tide everything went perfectly!
As well as working with local fashion brands it was also a privilege to get an email asking to shoot a piece for Tatler!
The wonderful Lady Martha Sitwell had recently produced the most beautiful equestrian collection that would make anyone feel as glamorous off their horse as it would sat side-saddle galloping across the countryside with the Beaufort Hunt. I spent the day shooting with make-up artist and writer Neita Walker as well as her friend and Eventer Beanie Sturgis adapting the looks which would then feature online alongside the press release and editorial!
And last but by absolutely no means least, all my beautiful couples, brides & grooms I’ve met this year! As a wedding photographer in Cornwall I get to see a whole host of beautiful locations from converted barns and fields to beaches, boats and sea front properties, so as you can imagine it’s a super fun and beautiful part of my year! It was great to re-visit Nancarrow Farm this year as well as a first time visit to Trevenna Barns and the infamous Bisofksy-Pope crossing from St Mawes to Falmouth. I also had three engagement shoots, all of which were beach side (naturally) that saw us on empty stretches of sand, adorable cobbled streets and navigating IMMENSE crowds on Kynanance Cove mid August.
I’d like to thank every single couple, business, model, creative and family that I’ve had the pleasure of working with this year; you’ve all made me the happiest person and I’m forever grateful I get to spend so much of my time with such talented, friendly, positive and beautiful people.
Engagements & Weddings