If you cast your mind back to winter 2017/18 you may remember the dreaded "Beast from the East", for those who do not live in the UK, this was the nickname of a weather system which brought blizzards, strong winds, drifting snow and bitter cold causing disruption which lasted for weeks if not months and as the world knows, Britain grinds to a halt if we get more than a few centimetres of snow!
The morning of the 27 February 2018 and you can guess what happened, yep, you've got it, the majority of the roads in Essex were absolutely gridlocked due to a sprinkling of snow. I had arranged to have a wedding-themed shoot with the amazing Hairstylist Tara Johnston and model Tate. To be honest, Tara was the one who did all the hard work preparing for the shoot, organising the venue, hiring a wedding dress, organising flowers and a makeup artist. My job was to rock up with Tate and capture the images. I'd also asked Anouska Watts, a media student I've worked with if she'd like to come along and film the shoot which she kindly agreed to.
Unfortunately, our Makeup Artist was stuck in snow on the gridlocked roads and eventually had to give in and head home, complete with the bouquet of flowers. I was pretty determined to get the Bride to the church on time, despite the snow, and fortunately, I had slightly better road conditions to deal with. Despite the initial worry and flood of WhatsApp messages, the rest of us made it, including Julie from Blush Bride who went above and beyond to get the wedding dress to us. Tate did an amazing job doing her own makeup, which fortunately she brought with her, and of course, Tara set about creating a stunning rustic boho plait for our "Bride." I've worked with Tara for many years and her work is always incredible, I would highly recommend you contact her if you're looking for an Essex based wedding hairstylist but don't take my word for it, see for yourself on our behind the scenes video.
For the keen photographers out there, I used my Canon 5D mkIV, 85mm f1.2 lens and a Profoto B2 location kit. As you can see in the video there was plenty of daylight coming through the windows at The Old Parish Rooms and mixed with the B2 flash it made a lovely natural-looking shot. I'm especially pleased with the shots of Tate standing on the stairs with the electric lights hanging down from the ceiling and the bokeh effect through the glass in the background.
For our final shot, we couldn't resist quickly popping outside in the cold, and boy, it was cold so hats off to Tate for battling through what the "Beast" had to throw at us! Despite all the earlier challenges, I feel like we took on the "Beast from the East" and won, let's see what happens this winter!
Above: You will not find a nicer and more talented Hairstylists than Tara Johnston. If you're planning a wedding, give her a call and tell her Phil sent you!
Above: No retouching on this image of Tate, this is how the shot came off the camera.
Above: Raw image in Adobe Lightroom. If you're like me then I'm sure you will be keen to see the Develop module settings. Remember, they change from shot to shot depending on the lighting conditions but you can see I don't overcook the Post Processing.
Above: Unedited image.
Below: If you compare the images below to the RAW image, you'll notice I've done very little retouching. One thing I always like to do on nearly all my images is sharpen the eyes just a little bit.
Above and below: I love the mix of natural light and the use of Profoto B2 flash. I also love the mix of old meets new at The Old Parish Rooms, Rayleigh.
Above: Studio portrait of the lovely and very Tara Johnston - Wedding Hair by Tara taken during our Geisha themed shoot. Check out our two-part Behind The Scenes video on YouTube.
I really can't finish this blog without mentioning my favourite part of the day, secretly marrying Tate but I've probably said too much about that already!
Many thanks to Julie at Blush Bridal Leigh-on-Sea for supplying the dress https://www.blushbride.co.uk
Venue: Thanks to The Old Parish Rooms Hockley Road, Rayleigh, Essex, SS6 8BA https://www.theoldparishrooms.com/
Wedding Hair by Tara https://weddinghairbytara.co.uk/
Filming by Anouska Watts and Phil Jones.
Film Edited by Jebby Media.
Photography and Retouching Phil Jones Photography