Archive for the ‘Lifestyle’ Category

Baby it’s cold outside …

30 November 2015

It’s cold and windy out there. And I am still technically on maternity leave from any photo work. But this shoot has been waiting on the sidelines to be blogged for pretty much forever. So as it was shot at a similar time of the year and it has sloe gin as one of the recipes (and thats pretty much Christmas in a bottle), it seems right to showcase it now in all its colourful glory. Beautiful, healthy food prepared by a very beautiful Flossie who writes the fabulous blog Food From Flossie, prepared at her family home in Dorset. You can see more of this shoot in Hearth Magazine Vol.4.























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… Dusk at Stourhead …

20 January 2015

One of our stops in Dorset was Stourhead, a National Trust property with, quite possibly, one of the best gardens in the UK. The house and the gardens date back to the 1700s, with the gardens gradually developed by its owners over a number of years to incorporate lakes, woodland, grottos, temples and an extensive range of flora and fauna. Sadly we arrived 2 hours before sunset so it was getting dark very quickly, hence the moody feel of the photos below, but I’d like to think this was probably the best time to visit as light levels dipped and shadows started to appear, only adding to the mythical atmosphere of the place. If you haven’t yet been, I would highly recommend it. This is one of THE most beautiful places we have ever visited, allowing you to escape into your very own magical fairyland.

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Old Harry Rocks

3 January 2015

Say to most people that you are taking a few days off to explore England in December, and you will get a weird look. “She is so weird, why would she want to! It’s so cold and wet!” I’m convinced they whisper as they quietly step back from the crazy camera lady. True, it is cold and horrible, but you don’t need sunshine to see the beauty of some places, and you definitely don’t need warmth.

Having visited Studland Bay back in June to photograph a rather glamorous wedding, I’ve been meaning to come back and explore the area on my own time. When we finally arrived on our mini holiday in the first week of December, seeing the windswept coastline, all moody and dark, was definitely worth the wait. It was cold and it was wet, just like they said it would be, but it was breathtaking, mysterious, wild and just awesome. We also obviously picked the windiest day in history ever to embark on the famous walk to Old Harry Rocks – you could probably stand on the edge, lean out and not fall off (no, I didn’t do that, I’m not that brave, and no, I don’t recommend you should either!).

Of course, no trip-planning is ever complete without agonising which camera to bring and which film to pack. So after a few hours of driving my husband crazy with which “look” I should go for, and should I be shooting digital or film, I settled on his present to me from a few years ago, a very sturdy and beautiful Nikon FM2, and some BW film – because nothing forces you to connect with your subject matter more than having only one camera, one fixed focal length lens, and 1 type of film (ok, 2 – but the Fuji colour film was water-damaged and I brought it along hoping to create some weird psychedelic landscapes anyway).

So here it is, my favourite frames from this part of our Dorset adventure, hope you like it! Come back for more photographic tales of thousand year old castles, 100-acre stately homes, mythical stone doors and secret pirate lairs! (Oh, and for the sake of artistic integrity, I must confess that there is one shot that was not taken by me, but by my very patient other half, taking a rare photo of a very cold and grumpy little Russian).









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Photographed on film / Camera: Nikon FM2   




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… Pitstop in Pisa …

6 December 2014






Photographed on expired Fuji 800Z / Nikon FM2.





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… Some time in Siena …

22 November 2014

Everyone we spoke to in Italy told us that we must visit Siena. “Like Florence, with less tourists. Prettier, too.” So on our way back from our anniversary mini-retreat to Castello di Vicarello (in all its splendid glory here), we stopped in Siena for a bit of sightseeing, lunch and ice-cream. Lunch was ok, ice-cream wonderful, the sights – like stepping back in time!












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Some things are definitely worth waiting for, and a great holiday is one of them. Our 3rd wedding anniversary was fast approaching, and we hadn’t even officially celebrated our 2nd, so we knew we had to do something a little out of the ordinary. Tuscany has always been high up on my travel list, and having been there in 2007 with my best friend, I knew it was time to experience it once again, this time with my husband as my travelling companion and an equal wannabe bon-vivant.

Having looked at the boutique travel service Mr & Mrs Smith for what seemed like an eternity (wanting to book just about everything to go everywhere), we decided on Castello Di Vicarello – a thousand year old castle, lovingly restored by the beautiful and elegant Aurora and handsome Carlo Baccheschi Berti. It was easy to see why it was voted one of the Best Hotels In the World by Tatler a couple of years ago (amongst many other awards and accolades) – this wasn’t a big hotel experience, but more of a private luxury hideaway high up on hills of Cinigiano, surrounded by vineyards, forests and olive groves. Each suite was uniquely styled and decorated by Aurora herself, where little touches of Italy were tastefully married with Indonesian art and furniture that the Bertis acquired living in Bali many years ago.  Service was truly exceptional (thank you Simo for being so attentive and wonderful), and the tranquil surroundings the best environment one could wish for as an antidote to a summer of endless work, wedding editing and travel.

And of course, for us and I’m sure for many others, the food makes the holiday. Local ham, sticky and ripe figs straight from the trees, fragrant basil from the local vegetable garden, homemade pasta, a huge array of delicious cheeses, wild boar stews and grape & berry desserts – all from the land, all seasonal and all full of incredible flavour. Not a gimmick in sight – farm-to-table in its purest form. We hadn’t event left yet and we were already looking forward to our next visit, where we are hoping to book a cooking experience with Aurora, sampling more of the local produce and creating dishes from the area. I also found out that Aurora has a gorgeous book titled “My Tuscan Kitchen” which is now firmly on my Christmas wish list (hint hint, Mr H). If you would like to experience the magic of Aurora’s cooking, here is a link for UK buyers – having tasted the food first hand, I am sure you will not be disappointed! Come back again in a few weeks for part 2 of this trip with a flying visit to stunning Siena and quaint little Pisa.

(For my photographer friends here, all images were photographed on Nikon FM2, using discontinued Fuji 800z stock. It was a nice change to see the world in 35mm again, instead of my usual medium format, and shooting at apertures beyond f2.0. Slowly but surely I’m  embracing the world of shadows and contrast 🙂 And I must say, Im loving the results, not to mention there is even a rare holiday photo of me, taken by my husband – such a rarity to be IN a photo instead of TAKING the photo! Anyways, enjoy the photos and let me know what you think! Lots of love, Aneta xxx)



























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… From Bump to Baby …

11 August 2014


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)


Olga baby - 2


Olga Baby - 1


Olga baby 3



Lifestyle, Portraits


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Baby Bump & Ukulele

9 June 2014

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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.

Olga 5 - pregnancy photography by Aneta Mak


Olga 3 - pregnancy photography by Aneta Mak


Olga 1 - pregnancy shoot by Aneta Mak

Olga 6 - pregnancy photography by Aneta Mak




Olga 4 - pregnancy photography by Aneta Mak

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Olga 2 - preganancy photo by Aneta Mak




Lifestyle, Portraits


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Glad About Galina

29 May 2014


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 ( and which is also blogged on her blog (See “A Peek Inside My Shoot with Aneta Mak“)

Galina by AnetaMakBlog

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.


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Lifestyle, Portraits


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Sometimes a place just takes your breath away. When everything is not what you are used to, when its fresh and new and old, all at the same time. When you see things that make you gasp at their beauty or at their wonderful weirdness. A wedding that never was, with a flight that never happened, culminated in a last-minute decision to fly to Amsterdam, for a grand total of, yes, 36 hours. My Nikon FM2 in hand loaded with a roll of Ilford’s finest BW film, Delta 3200, off we went to the city that is truly ahead of its times. Amsterdam, you made us fall in love with your art, your matter-of-factness and with your intense feeling of freedom. May you never change. It wasn’t the most image-heavy of trips, but sometimes its good to go back to just being a tourist. 🙂




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