A few weeks ago, someone said to me that —for them— to photograph someone well, you have to fall a little in love with that person. Visually, metaphorically, spiritually, etc. (or any other “-ly:), this is total and absolute truth — for me and I’m sure for many other photographers who love what they do and value each and every interaction with their subjects. It means that you “see” the person as they are, and beyond. You see the things that others miss. You see the moments that others may pass up as “normal”. And you see the beauty in each and every single person.
That certain something, the spark, the mojo and the “je ne sais quoi“.
I fell in love with my dear O when I first met her and her fiance at their engagement shoot a few years ago. And every time since, I see her anew and fall in love a little more (as with her maternity shoot many months ago). This time around I am falling fast in love with her adorable, gorgeous bub, who was just a dream to photograph. As many of you know, I don’t normally venture into the world of kids photography, but if they were all this fun and breezy, I may just have to reconsider. xxx
(Photographed on film, on a mixture of Fuji 400H, Kodak Portra 400 and Ilford Delta 3200)
Sunny lazy afternoons are the best. Time flies by yet everything slows down, its deliciously warm outside and meandering through the streets of City of London takes on a whole different feel. Take a gorgeous Texan babe and a handsome English gentleman, and photographing an engagement shoot doesn’t feel like work. Its just me and my new friends, hanging out, enjoying the sunshine and the sights. So many clients often thank me for making it a relaxed shoot where they feel like they can be themselves, but for this one especially, I want to thank A & J for making me feel so at ease. Lets hope we catch up over a ice-cold cocktail soon and reminisce about our shoot! x
Phew, it has been a crazy few weeks! Working non-stop for 31 days, not a single day off, multiple weddings and portrait shoots, not to mention more driving / training / flying than I care for, I am glad to say I am finally entering a period of some R&R and of course, an editing mountain of biblical proportions. Nevertheless, they are all incredibly stunning and fun events, so it is always a joy to be working on the images and relive them in all their glory. Coming back to my other backlog of equally abundant proportions – blogging – I am so happy to finally reveal this elegant London wedding, which I have been dying to show for some time now.
S & E’s simple wedding was a mixture of English, Afghani and Dutch cultures, as evidenced by the beautiful details and the guests in attendance. As an homage to her mother (who was Afghani) the bride wore her mother’s beautiful vintage necklace. The florals were a mix of big beautiful poppy heads amidst classic red roses. Henna stands and beautiful wooden trinket boxes were also a nod towards the bride’s Afghani roots, and even the evening’s cuisine featured a contemporary marriage between classic Continental and traditional Afghani food.
Once a month, I’ll be doing a round-up of some of my favorite blogs, both here and elsewhere. I enjoy reminiscing former shoots, and sometimes in the fast-paced world of blogging, the gems of the past can be forgotten amidst the archives. Since it’s June, I decided to do a “flashback” of sorts through some of my favorite blog posts. Click on the links to see them in full.
The River Cottage Wedding : I saw Louise and Phil again at Phil’s brother’s wedding a couple of weeks ago! It was so lovely to continue photographing their family.
Montreux Wedding : This gorgeous wedding stirred up happy memories a couple of weeks ago, when the bride sent me an amazing thank-you note. I needed the happy vibes and that wonderful note during a particularly tough time, both professionally and personally.
Mandarin Oriental wedding for Dianna and Rowland : I love shooting Chinese weddings as they are so colourful, full of joy, and always have amazing and never ending food!
Wedding for Rebecca and Joe : Despite the rain, R and J were still so happy to be getting married and had an incredibly happy and beautiful wedding. (Did you know they did all of their own decor, favours, invites, etc.?)
A Wedding in Provence : The light is so magical in Provence; the landscape is always inspirational and bathed in delicious golden light. I cant wait to be shooting there again as it really shows the true beauty and potential of photographing on film.
O + S are “fellow Muscovites” whose engagement shoot I covered in 2012. We really got along spending the day together in Hyde Park and ended up keeping in touch. When Olga found out she was expecting, I was delighted when she asked me to document her and S again, this time with Baby Bump in tow. We spent a really relaxed and lazy afternoon together, meandering in and around the cute streets of Notting Hill, talking, laughing reminiscing and enjoying the sunshine. We spent some intimate moments indoors at first, and then made the rounds of the cafes, parks and shops, where Olga — a professional violinist — bought a cute pastel coloured ukulele for fun.
We all know social media can be a bit like marmite – you either love it or hate it. When I first got on Twitter, for me it was kind of love at first sight – all these people, willing to talk, to share, to be open – it was wonderful. This was where I first “saw” Galina – in true Twitter fashion, I clicked on a tweet to a tweet to another tweet that had a link to Galina’s website. She caught my eye with her insightful writing and her sharp wit, and it was also a wonderful bonus that she was a fellow Russian – it meant I had someone else I could geek out with for my love of pickled mushrooms and blinis and varennikis! Heaven! Soon after that we finally met in person and it wasn’t long before we became friends.
After months of talks about likes and dislikes of styles of photography, we decided to work together on a lifestyle shoot, where I would capture Galina at “work”, creating imagery of Galina herself and her wonderful sense of style. What followed was a 4-hour shoot at her home, the results of which you can see in her profile photos on her website (galinka.co.uk) and which is also blogged on her blog (See “A Peek Inside My Shoot with Aneta Mak“)
We had great fun picking out her outfits and props, locations in and around her home, and conceptualizing the look and feel of her shoot. It was like an afternoon of “just us girls” – the hardest part was deciding when to shoot outside or indoors, as the sun just couldn’t make up its mind whether it wanted to be in or out! Fun nevertheless!
The reason for Galina’s abundant laughter shots? Well, her adorable daughter and mum were watching from the window the whole time, which helped draw out her natural endearing nature. I am so glad to know a person as warm, honest, kind and smart as she!
Enjoy the rest of this truly enjoyable shoot.
A love for all things French brought Marie-Claire and Luke together over 4 years ago, at a French language school in Paris. With Luke from Australia, and Marie-Claire from Puerto Rico and the States, a serene chateau nestled in Bergerac was the perfect choice for their wedding destination, considering their multi-continent families.
My first meeting with Marie-Claire and Luke was at their gorgeous engagement shoot in Paris. Paying homage to Funny Face’s Audrey Hepburn, amidst the vintage landscape of Paris , it was an absolute pleasure to shoot the most in love couple ever. When it came to shoot the wedding at the secluded, sylvan grounds of La Leotardie, I felt immediately transported back in time! The vows — an emotional Catholic ceremony — took place in a historic church in the nearby village of St Georges de Monclard, where the bride was escorted down the aisle by her brother, and her mother, the matron of honor.
You can see more of the elegant details (designed by Mary Lee Herrington Celebrations) — the miniature clay sculpture wedding favors; the Puerto Rican-inspired wedding cake (which was a family effort), and other personal, bespoke touches — in the Style Me Pretty feature, ”French Wedding in the Countryside of Bergerac” (Do check it out!)
Meanwhile, here are my favorite captures of that day. Enjoy!
Photography: Aneta MAK | Wedding Dress: Priscilla Of Boston | Flowers: Amour De Fleurs | Reception Location: La Leotardie | Hair: Laura From Salon Julien David | Beverages: Vin Blan Rouge | Cape: Bespoke | Catering & Furniture And Linen Rental: Humblot | Church: St Georges De Monclard | Crescent Moom Photo Booth: A La Folie Creation | Favor Tote Bags: Custom Made By Bride’s Aunt | Groom’s Shoes: Carmina | Groom’s Suit & Tie: The Cloakroom | Invitations & Stationery: Bespoke Press | Makeup: Sophie From Bio Institut | Mother Of Bride’s Dress: Pia Du Pradal | Music: Epoq | Planning & Coordination:Jarretierre In The Air | Table Candle Holders, Poms: BHLDN | Veil: Twigs & Honey | Vintage Car: Sege Sotin | Wedding Design & Styling: Mary Lee Herrington Celebrations
It was a late summer’s evening in Richmond Park when I shot this set for a gorgeous couple, H & N, who were celebrating their first wedding anniversary. We had glorious weather, balmy, sunny, and absolutely brilliant with natural light. We spent about an hour and a half walking through the park, stopping at random landscapes set among the park’s ancient trees. The pastoral vibe was charming, providing the couple with natural “benches” (like these logs, below) and rustic avenues.
I’m looking forward to featuring their wedding later in the year, here on the blog. Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy these images as much as we enjoyed the afternoon that made them happen.
Oh how I love couples who make a wedding their own! Everything about this wedding was exactly how my wonderful G & P envisaged it would be. The brief to their ultra-creative wedding stylist & planner, Charley Beard of London Bride, was “distressed elegance” – a sophisticated yet contemporary day full of beautiful design, delicious food, an East London vibe, and subtle hints of bride’s Scottish heritage. From the smallest touches of understated, soft and elegant – to the gold-foiled, oyster shucking, champagne-drinking, tartan-kilt-flying loveliness – G & P wowed guests with incredibly unique decor, hog roasts, Scottish whisky and home-made terrines served by golden candlelight, all finished off with a fervent hour of traditional Scottish dancing. It was ridiculous amounts of fun, it really was. So despite an 11-hour day of photographing such an incredible event, I didn’t want to leave the party and wanted more and so did my camera. It was such a joy to be there and to witness such a happy union (and possibly the happiest groom I have ever seen!). Here is a longer-than-usual post of my favourite imagery from the day – I wish I could have shown you more. Hop on over to Style Me Pretty and Charley’s blog to see their take on the day!
Dress & Veil: Halfpenny London / Shoes: Rupert Sanderson / Hair: Severin Hubert of Hepburn Collection / Makeup: Mariam Jensen / Groom Bespoke Tailor: Cad and The Dandy / Ceremony Venue: Islington Town Hall / Reception Venue: MC Motors / Wedding Planning & Design: Charley Beard of London Bride / Florals: Flower Appreciation Society / Catering: Roast Hog / Oysters: Oyster Meister / String Quartet: Tyburn String Quartet / Ceilidh Band: Lochnagar Ceilidh Band / DJ : Wedding Smashers / Vintage Hire: Classic Crockery / Lighting: Peachy Productions / Red Buses: Routemaster Transport / Taxi: Black London Taxi / Cinematography: Ewan McNicol (family friend) of Lucid Inc. / Wedding Cake: Groom’s mother /
As we are approaching winter, it seems timely to post an incredibly stylish wedding I had the pleasure of photographing earlier this year in Megeve, a quaint ski village in the French Alps. A wedding of only 45 guests, the bride and groom invited their nearest and dearest friends from all over the world to celebrate in a cosy and intimate affair full of mulled wine, lots of snow, beautiful winter sunshine and Michelin star food at the amazing Alpaga. As this was their wedding number 2 (having celebrated with both sets of families at Thanksgiving in NYC), the lovely K & R designed a laid back weekend with an informal and endearing ceremony officiated by a friend, with a live link to the groom’s mum in NYC via an iPad – dont you just love technology! All this was preceded by a hilarious “welcome” dinner for all the guests on the night before, where guests dined on traditional alpine food at La Refuge and participated in lighthearted “roasting” of the groom. Thank you K & R for incredible memories! xxx
Stationery by Paper + Cup / Dress, hood, stole & belt by Le Spose di Gio bespoke / Bride’s shoes by Miu Miu / Groom’s tie & cufflinks by Lanvin / Groom’s suit by Dolce & Gabbana / Bride’s gloves by Vera Wang / Bride’s jacket by Delphine Manivet / Bride’s jewellery by Jenny Packham
As featured on Style Me Pretty / Photographed on a mixture of film and digital