Relaxed & intimate family photography.

Shoots like this make me a very very happy photographer. This enquiry came in the middle of a very busy wedding season. The enquiry came all the way from Seattle where part of this family live, but who informed me they were coming to Warwickshire to celebrate a very special birthday with the rest of the family who live here. I knew this would be something lovely & intimate, & I was very excited to be able to photograph them as a family at this special time.

I turned up to the shoot practically like one of the family as I happened to be wearing the same colours & patterns, & we also discovered I went to the same school as most of them (just different times) - so it was definitely meant to be, but was down to good old Google how they found me - again, all the way from Seattle! 

Rob came along as my glamorous assistant & second shooter as you may have heard the saying, “never work with children & animals”, I knew there would be both, so thought I might need an extra pair of hands / entertainment! However you could say this backfired as the tiny dog hated Rob. Bringing Rob to most of my shoots is something we are seriously considering for the future. When we arrived at this gorgeous holiday home they were renting, we had a scope around the grounds & I knew I wanted to use the outdoor house 'porch' for some of the group photos as I felt it had an American vibe; however under the porch was a very heavy table & chairs, which of course Rob was there to help me move. This means I didn't have to disturb the family as they were finishing getting ready. This is just one example of why I love having 'an assistant', especially when it's someone I love ;-)

This was my ideal kind of family shoot. Not only because they were all PERFECTLY coordinated, but the fact it was one big family formed of little families. This meant I could take it in turns to photograph them in their own little groups & all together. It really broke up the time & made it a relaxing experience for everyone. Even though it included child tears, barking dogs & a dangerous slip on a bridge - we all had so much fun together & it was the most perfect working environment. I have been a wedding shooting / editing machine the past few months so it was a breath of fresh air being able to work in a way I want without any rush.

So if you are wondering my style & approach to family photography, this is the PERFECT example. I am looking forward to lots of family shoots in October, & if you are interested in me photographing your family - please don't hesitate to get in touch! :-)

This shoot came at the perfect time for me. It was just what I needed, to spend the morning stepping away from my screen & photographing in a way I adore, giving me a gentle reminder why I do what I do.

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Source: www.jessicaraphaelphotography.com

Summer season 2018 deadlines.

Well, if you have clicked to read this blog it's a miracle as I know the title is far from enticing - BUT it has to be done, as I go away on September 2nd for four weeks - WAHOOO! However with this comes deadlines & a lot of backlogged editing, so I feel it best to do a blog so whoever needs to be kept in the loop or whoever emails whilst I am away can have something which will hopefully explain everything.

So as you all know this has been my craziest year with the business to date! I have definitely learnt the hard way as I do everything on my own - admin, editing, meetings, the shoots itself, which has meant it has had an affect on my personal life, so I am very much looking forward to spending some quality time & not worrying about "got to get home to edit"! I have currently edited 29,278 photos this Spring / Summer - individually! It's absolutely crazy when I see the number like that. More will be added to that this week as I aim to catch up as much as I can.

So deadlines!

Anything shot before August 18th WILL 100% be finished by the time I go. Every wedding thereafter (still ongoing this week) have been made aware & left with a handful of edits to keep them going. If anyone is wanting a specific photo that I haven't sent them, for example it could be a family member's birthday & you want a certain photo for them, please let me know by August 30th so I can get that to you. The fact I am leaving editing behind is something I never wanted to do, but unfortunately nothing could've prepared me for the workload this year. Luckily I have the most understanding & patient couples - however my wait time is still currently quite quick, I HAVE TO keep telling myself this! I have been speaking to lots of different people about it, fellow photographers, guests at weddings etc, & they have all assured me they know of people who wait MONTHS or photographers who take 10+ weeks to get the photos back, which I can now see why by the way! I would love to know how long you waited for your photos / you'd be willing to wait or other photographers wait times? Leave me a comment! With this in mind, I know I am the one who puts pressure on myself - not my clients, but I am learning & coming to realise that "it's okay"! What it has made me do is amend my editing time to six weeks from now on, & then for holidays that do happen to come up in the future, clients will always be made aware, just like this time!

I can't believe I am fully booked for 2019 & fully in swing taking bookings for 2020 - nearly booked half way! Current open enquiries wishing to FaceTime, will all be organised for this week. Otherwise we can meet when I am back in October. Sometimes however if both the client & myself are 100% sure, the booking can go ahead without an initial meet, as we can arrange that at a later stage. So any enquiries I receive whilst away - I will reply, there just might be a slight delay as I aim to only do my emails one night a week. This will be very difficult for me but it's so important I really take this time to shut off & recharge ready for what has turned out to be a SUPER BUSY October. I will be starting October with a styled shoot & a triple wedding weekend, so definitely coming back with a bang! I also have lots of lovely family shoots booked in, so if you are wanting me to photograph you in October, please get in touch before I go as I am very limited with dates. I will also be revealing new & exciting things which I haven't had chance to talk about or properly sort out this Summer - but changes are coming!

All album designs have been sent out & / or ordered. Anyone who is having an album who has not yet made their favourites, I will start work on these in October. Suppliers wanting photos - please email me before I go & I will send you the link to the galleries once having got permission from the couple! Otherwise I shall get them all sent out once I am back! All October couples have been contacted - weddings after that, if you haven't heard from me - don't panic, it's cause you're not meant to yet ;-) you will be hearing from me in October. How many times have I said October please?! I will probably need to say it again....sorry.

I think that's it! As my automated email will explain in short! I just wanted to make everyone aware that I haven't vanished, just in need of a much needed re-charge. This in no way is an insult to what I do, as I adore my job & actually even more so because of the amazing people I have photographed this year. But because I love it that much, I sometimes forget to love those around me as I don't have time to think about anything else, & this is where it becomes a problem. We are very lucky that we can go away for such a long time, but I definitely think it will take me around ten days to settle - HA! I will try & get a couple of blog posts scheduled for whilst I am away - otherwise see you all in October! I have one more wedding today (later ceremony which is why I have chance to blog) & another on Friday, so if you follow me on social media you will still be seeing new images coming in!

Thank you to all my AMAZING clients so far this year, & to my family & friends who support me, even when I am no joy to be around!

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Source: www.jessicaraphaelphotography.com

Intimate Majorca Wedding - Francesca & Jack

Destination weddings are my favourite things & it has always been my future goal to predominately end up shooting them. They are stressful cause the pressure is up even more than normal due to getting there without any delays & with all your kit etc, but once you’ve done it a couple of times & once you’re there - it’s so worth it.

I first met Jack whilst Rob & I were working on another wedding last year. Jack was running the photo-booth helping out a friend, & as I walked past he asked for a business card saying he was getting married in Majorca. I was excited but honestly didn’t think much of it as I give my cards out all the time. A couple of weeks later I received an email from Francesca & we arranged a call to chat about their intimate wedding in Majorca. I was aware I had a few more weddings that week (didn’t really figure out it was four until later on) but I really wanted to shoot this wedding so thought I would take on the workload challenge. This meant that we couldn’t arrive in Majorca until the night before the wedding, & I have to admit once I saw the cute man who looked like Super Mario waiting for us at our reception desk, I nearly cried with relief that we could get to bed! The following morning Rob & I walked to Francesca & Jack’s hotel,  where they were spending the morning getting ready before their intimate ceremony in the gardens by the pool. I straight away knew we were all going to get along & it was a rather busy morning with me going between the two rooms either side of the hotel so I could capture both Bride & Groom prep, as Rob was filming. As Rob must come with me for all destination weddings they booked him to also film the ceremony & speeches, but as there were only twenty guests I knew I would be fully capable of shooting alone, so Rob kept filming all day.

The ceremony was relaxed & incredibly intimate in front of their closest family & friends. We then spent time taking lots of family photos under the palm trees which I was very grateful for as we had the midday harsh sun to battle with! We then all moved to a terrace in the hotel for drinks, wedding cake & a lot of singing along on the piano! It was a lovely atmosphere & we both felt very grateful to be there. I got chatting to Jack’s family & soon discovered they knew of my Grandad, & they ended up phoning a guy who was very good friends with him & I got very emotional. Sounds cheesy but I felt like I was ‘meant to be’ their photographer even more! During this incredibly relaxed drinks reception, I spent time taking shots of the boys, Fran & Jack, & a few more groups. It was so refreshing being able to work in such a relaxed environment without checking my watch every five minutes & having to work very fast. What was also refreshing was the fact everyone was really up for having their photo taken. I already knew this would be the case, as they had chosen to fly us all that way for something so intimate, so I knew whenever I asked they would more than likely agree. It was lovely for me to watch people having fun & finding enjoyment out of being photographed, as I’m used to being told it’s something people dread. This was especially the case with the bridal party & groomsmen who by the end of the night really took on board my GQ instructions & I think really believed that’s what the shoot was for - just brilliant. 

Anyway. After a few hours at the hotel, we all jumped in taxis to a gorgeous restaurant Sa Punta by the sea. As soon as we walked through the gate I was blown away by the intimate setting in a gorgeous meddeterrain style. We did more photos on the rocks with the stunning views, a little confetti line & then Jack did a lovely relaxed speech with everyone just standing around him. This was great for me as I could move around capturing close up emotion without getting in the way! They all then sat down to eat, whilst Rob & I had our own table where we were lucky to have the most beautiful meal overlooking the sea. Although we were flying home the next morning, this moment gave us a very mini holiday experience. Fran’s Dad then did a surprise speech which meant Rob & I dashing around the corner just in time shouting “WAIT”, by this time we felt like part of the team so they all made a joke “call yourself professionals” but obviously waited for us to quickly get the cameras ready. I was then watching the light like a hawk & suddenly realised it was moving very fast. We quickly grabbed Jack & Fran to take them back to the rocks by the sea, just in time to get the last minutes of the most gorgeous golden hour! A lesson to always just go for it if you see the light, because if we would’ve waited another five minutes, we probably would’ve missed it!

We then did the last remaining GQ shots, & then the groomsmen kindly did an iPhone shoot of Rob & me asking us to “kiss, look at each other” - giving us a taste of our own medicine! So funny & also brilliant. We then grabbed a G&T, even though I couldn’t drink, & stayed for a little chat with everyone before heading back to our apartment. It was in this time I discovered how it really was meant to be that I was their photographer. As I mentioned at the start, Jack got my card when we met at another wedding, I assumed he went home & gave it to Fran, but he didn’t. Apparently a few days after that, Fran told Jack she had found a photographer (me) & asked him to look at my website with her. “Hold on” he thought, & then pulled my card out of his wallet. Now if that isn’t meant to be - I don’t know what is!

Rob & I then flew home the following morning in time for another wedding the day after. Although this week should’ve been immensely stressful for me, I absolutely loved this wedding & everyone there. It re-enforced my love for the job & the kind of photographer I want to be, & proved that your clients can make or break your working experience. I’m so lucky to work with the best people. 

I have to thank Fran, Jack & their friends & family again, for flying us out there & including us in such an intimate & special day. The following Saturday they were back in England ready for their wedding reception party with everyone back home. Fran messaged me asking if we would like to go as guests, not photographers, however we had another wedding, but I can’t tell you how much this meant to us & we would absolutely have loved to celebrate with them properly. 

Here’s a few images from their very special day including Rob's trailer of their film at the bottom.

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Source: www.jessicaraphaelphotography.com