Dixie Wedding

General

We had the wonderful pleasure of photographing Ross and Wendy’s beautiful Wedding the other day. The ceremony took place at Farmborough Church in North Somerset and the gorgeous reception at Priston Mill a couple of miles up the road.

The bride of course looked stunning (the Groom looked pretty hot too) and it was a privilege to photograph such a wonderful laid back and relaxed couple with their equally affable and fun guests. The day was a long one but thoroughly enjoyable and exciting (as Weddings generally are I guess!).

The service was interestingly punctuated by a Barn Owl that was (supposed) to deliver the rings for the Best Man but they do say never work with children and animals. The beautiful owl got stage fright at the last second and ended up on the videographers shoulder rather than the waiting glove and titbit of the Best Man!

The weather held good and we grabbed an opportunity to take some images along the way before the reception which led to some cool images in the wonderful Somerset landscape.

Our heartfelt congratulations to Ross and Wendy and may you enjoy many years of happiness in the future.

Here are a few of the shots taken during the day:-

Dixie Album Thumbs-5877R&W-5851 R&W-5917 R&W-6033 R&W-6129 R&W-6178 R&W-6230_tn R&W-6331_tn R&W-6382_tn R&W-6439 R&W-6692a_tn R&W-9351 R&W-5398

And the pesky Owl!

Dixie Other Thumbs-5993

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Wedding Accessories

General

Recently we have mostly been taking photographs of Wedding Accessories! Accessories for the wonderfully talented Vivien J Wedding Accessories business and their new website. This sounds like a nice easy job that requires us sitting in a nice and cosy studio, cup of tea warming on the side,  snapping away with a table top set-up. However this has not been the case!

Anyone that has ever tried shooting largely white objects on a white background will no doubt confirm, it ain’t easy! We ended up concocting various clever ways of supporting said jewellery and gorgeous items (made out of crystals and pearls) in order to photograph them properly. The main issue in shooting these items is that they have curved surfaces (pearls) and in order to ‘blow out’ any background to white, you risk also blowing out the pieces as well.

Photographing them on a black background and cutting out is not an option because the curved surfaces reflect the black from underneath. Firing strobes directly underneath caused problems of highlight detail being lost in the jewellery pieces themselves so the solution was to create some separation between the item and the white base. This was achieved by a piece of glass supported a couple of inches (5cm) above the white table top.

We used a white tent cube with diffused lights from the rear and left of camera. These were dialled up enough to blow the highlights on the glass/background but not enough to lose detail in the pieces themselves. Yes there were a few reflections that needed to be lost in post processing but this was a fairly easy job compared to cutting out around these intricate pieces individually.

Anyway, all is well that ends well and we look forward to the next collection of items that arrive Monday for the next instalment of the Wedding Accessories shoot!

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Lighting set-up with rear light and soft-box hidden

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A stunning Hand-Made Tiara by Vivien-J

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Detail of a Hand-Made Tiara by Vivien-J

Accounts…

General

This week has whistled by as they all are starting to do these days! Must be a sign of age?We haven’t done much in the way of photographing over the last few days due to the fact that I have had to get my accounting system up to date and accurate. This is not one of my favourite tasks and nor is it one I hate doing either. It just consumes time and much of it. I think Mr VAT Man will be happy as all seems to be in fair order there and the business is doing well according to our P&L log which is brilliant given we have only been properly trading over the last year!

I have also spent a huge amount of time researching and gaining background knowledge on the internet business idea that has now reached a point where we have totally run out of excuses to not proceed with it and the whole thing now needs to go somewhere. I am totally committed to this idea and HAVE to find the right partners to help take it forward and make the dream a very exciting reality. There is an enormous amount to do to take this project finally to market but all the big hurdles can be easily overcome.

Yesterday was spent in London on the above project and visiting one of the oldest retailers in the country to discuss a photographic project. Having spent a brilliant hour with the owner we have agreed that we will begin a project of product shots and location shots for their ‘soon to be launched’ product range and developing campaign. It is a very exciting piece of work based on retro-look imaging and I cannot wait to get going on it. We hope to start work on this in the next couple of weeks and help build a great presence for this wonderful rekindled brand.

As always, everything keeps moving swiftly and each phone call brings a whole new set of ideas and challenges to the ever evolving Ellis Imagery. I am loving this constantly changing and dynamic world and look forward to each week immensely. If only everyone could enjoy their work as much as we seem to!

Saul of James playing his Godin at Hard Rock Calling, Hyde Park, London

The Killers??

Photographs

We were invited to attend the “Hard Rock Calling” festival at Hyde Park by “James” on Friday. We decided to train it up and back as we thought there might be some alcohol involved. Again, we were assured both guest and photo passes as the Godin project continues to roll. We arrived without a fuss at around 3pm at Hyde Park. We had already had a hearty lunch and bottle of wine to get in the festival spirit!

We approached the “Media and Guest List Booth” and asked for our tickets. As we have become accustomed, these moments are always fraught with a bit of worry, “have they remembered to put us on the list” etc etc. Well, this time, they hadn’t. Saul, the guitarist, was quickly contacted. He assured us he would sort it and get the guys to get us in. Well, 60mins later we were starting to doubt we were ever going to make it in through the front gate! We had already become personal friends with the Security Guard, Rob and the girl in the ‘hut’ Debs. But we were still not in! At last, Kat arrived. Kat was all of 20 years old but she was a PA to the James Tour Manager and we felt we had a lifeline. We wandered back to the smallest hut in the world at the entrance to Hyde Park. Nope, no tickets there. We wandered back to where we started this escapade and Kat asked Debs where our tickets were and what she had to do to get us in. A quick phone call to her Manager and his calling to Justine and we had a pass!! Wow! However, I reminded Kat that we needed a photo pass and she nearly collapsed in front of me. However, three minutes later we had everything. Passes and an entry to the massive gig featuring James (our reason for being there), The Kaiser Chiefs and The Killers.

After entering, I saw an entry point titled “Guest Area”, well naturally, I tried to get in with our wristbands. Amazingly we got in without any fuss and found ourselves pretty much behind the main stage in an area with a few private bars and food areas etc. Well, not wishing to appear rude and not believing our luck, we proceeded to make use of said facilities and grabbed a beer, or two. Within minutes it seemed, we needed to get front of stage where we were going to be photographing to get pics of James and the fabulous Godin Saul was playing. Well, we wandered out to the front, pushed our way past the thronging masses and made our way to the front left stage and showed my photog pass to get into the ‘pit’. “Sorry, you have to go through the ‘Guest Area’ to get into the pit” we were told. Ben flashed his wristband and said ‘Really, can’t we come this way?’. Incredibly, we were ushered quickly through the wrong way and entered the pit. I then set up and proceeded to grab the shots that were the reason we were here. 3 songs later and that was it. We were out, as per normal.

Only, I had a feeling, I had a feeling we had some pretty cool wristbands that were better than the normal bands we received. On trekking back through the backstage areas I decided we should try t0 get on the mainstage and join family and other artistes for the rest of the gig. Well, guess what? Instead of being hiked off as per normal we were waved through and on the main stage we went!! I had my 5D II and a 70-200mm f2.8 strapped to my front, hardly inconspicuous but still no worries from anyone. I shot away, nobody turned a hair!! Amazing. When we had all the shots we wanted we went back behind the stage and wandered unchallenged anywhere we wanted and ended back up at the Guest Area for a few beers.

When The Kaiser Chiefs came on we decided to do exactly the same. To the front for the photog pit and then backstage after the 3 songs. Incredibly we did exactly that. Wandering on to backstage at the fourth song unchallanged due to our wristbands. Cool or what. The Kaisers were amazing! Backstage, I snapped away and then something was shouted in my ear. I couldn’t hear so asked Benno to repeat it. It sounded like he had said, “Prince Harry” was right behind me! Haha! I turned around and guess what, there was Harry! Seriously, I was stood with a 70-200mm lens and two feet behind me was Prince Harry! Well, I wussed it and after 10 mins we left. Leaving Harry to his girls and his privacy and I had no shots of him! Should I have gone for it? I don’t think so, I didn’t want any of him, I was just pretty amazed he had the same goddamn wrist-band as me!

So, a while later and I arrived at the front of stage for the main act. The Killers. Well where were all the other photographers? I got out my camera and within seconds I was pounced upon by the Head of Security! “No photographs of The Killers” he told me. “No way”, I said, “I have been given clearance”, I lied. He radioed through, I ignored him and walked away. He held onto my coat and received his answer. The answer I knew was coming. “Sorry Sir”, he said, “you have to leave!” Bollocks. Never have I been so pissed off. I love The Killers. Oh well I thought. I have this wristband. I shot backstage to get a prime position for some shots from the side of the main stage. Within seconds I realised I had a great wristband but not the best wristband. “excuse me” said the lead singer from The Kaisers, as he pushed past and got onto the main stage. I was told that my pass was not gonna get me on, I needed a green band and I didn’t have one! Bugger!

Out to the front we shot with the plebs! Pissing it down we got soaked but loved the set and sang along to all the classic Killers tracks.

A brilliant gig but so nearly the best we have ever been to……. but not quite!!

Tim Booth

Tim Booth from James performing at Hyde Park