Hello from sunny and beautiful St Ives!
I’m currently writing this from a bedroom high up in a former sea captain’s house, with Justin snoring softly beside me and the waves gently lapping against the beach below. I am almost able to completely overlook the snoring, because Cornwall is just so gosh darn picture perfect. I’m not sure what you know about this place (all I knew about were Cornish Pasties?!), but there are teeny tiny roads that twist and turn through naturally formed tree arches, honesty boxes selling sea shells and signs for Cornish Cream Teas and all things clotted cream at every turn. Today we walked past a paddock and the Jersey cows were lying down (lying down!) eating grass and there were BUNNIES HOPPING PAST THEM. It was like a really corny children’s book illustration – but it’s real! Unsurprisingly Enid Blyton, The Darling Buds of May and Queen’s ‘Seaside Rendezvous’ have suddenly taken on a higher meaning. I feel like the Magic Faraway Tree could pop out at any moment as Ma and Pa Larkin tootle by in their Rolls Royce and then we’ll all intuitively launch into a rendition of “Oh I do like to be beside the seaside…”
Anyway! We came to the UK in early September for two family weddings. First up, Justin’s delightful cousin Isobel married her gorgeous Ed at the family home in Surrey last weekend.
I’m not even sure where to start with this wedding…How can you possibly measure the love and the family bonding that comes about when scores of people all pitch in and bring a wedding day together? From the time we arrived, there wasn’t a single moment where crafting, setting up, feeding, and organising duties weren’t being undertaken by at least twenty odd people, even including children! Our nieces kept us sustained with freshly picked blackberries from the surrounding field, and every time I looked up they were delivering cups of hot tea to whoever had turned up.
In two days, we watched the entire thing grow before our eyes…a friend of the couple’s made at least fifty trips into the nearby woods to fetch branches for a magnificent archway he constructed from scratch, Isobel’s dad made magnificent bauble and ribbon trees and had to deny himself the Pimm’s the rest of us were drinking to make sure he didn’t fall off any ladders before the big day (the discipline!) and it goes without saying that Isobel’s mum is now qualified to feed the entire British Army.
Something so so special happened to us all. Friends became family. The family became a community. I think we built a perfect wedding snow globe and it is actually heartbreaking to leave it all behind. But we have the photos!
This is a bit of a different post, since its a family wedding. You’ll see anything from tennis matches to people making things, but it would feel incomplete not include some of these moments as they truly tell the story of our wedding ‘community’ and therefore Isobel and Ed’s amazing day!
Hope the love shines through,
Love Sarah xo
The wedding year is kind of like the financial one. It goes from July through til May or June and for a short period over winter we get to catch our breaths before the next amazing year of weddings is upon us.
But unlike the end of financial year, wedding season provides us with one big party to capture pretty much every weekend of the year. Only after we’ve watched dozens of couples say ‘I Do’ and celebrated with them all does our accountant call us in for that depressing tax time meeting (and then the party is only temporarily over…)
Our first wedding of the new season is this Friday, starting with a friend of Sarah’s. The second is in Surrey, UK!
We have so many incredible weddings in all sorts of wonderful locations to bring you over the next year. Most exciting is our first same sex union, which we are so proud to finally be doing!
But first let’s celebrate the precious memories of the last year before we say hi to our 2013/2014 couples!
Love Katie + Sarah xo
I think Mexico has changed my life. And I am so relieved.
Back in January, I decided to go to Mexico with a gorgeous photographer friend of mine to take Mary Ellen Mark‘s workshop in Oaxaca. It had been a long time since I had done any personal photography work and it was really starting to get me down. I was in a creative rut, and there was a huge sadness that sat in me. Mexico seemed to be the solution.
Five flights later and I am in this old town nestled in a beautiful valley, with old churches on every corner. Music is playing everywhere and fire crackers go off in the main square. The food is spicy, the afternoons are hot and everyone seems to be smiling at me. And then I find myself in a room with 20 other photographers all nervous as hell about showing a world renowned photographer my personal work.
Day one of the workshop had begun, and Mary Ellen didn’t really take a liking to my photos. I was given my first assignment which I had little interest in and went home feeling totally flustered and unsure of everything I knew as a photographer. Dramatic enough for you? It was probably just the jet lag but boy oh boy, did I get a wee bit emotional. But despite that, there was no way I was going to argue with a woman who has decades of experience and a folio that would make any photographer weak at the knees. I knew she had a plan for me and I just had to shut up and do it.
The first day of shooting, my cab driver got lost. I knew no Spanish so I had absolutely no idea how I was going to make it to day two. By day ten, I couldn’t bare to leave. The people I had the privilege to meet and photograph was, hands down, the greatest experience of my life. I visited a school for kids with Downs Syndrome where I was greeted with kisses and given a spot at their lunch table. I went out to small villages to photograph families and I couldn’t get over how welcome I was made to feel wherever I went. I visited orphanages, livestock markets, watched the Luchadores (the Mexican wrestlers) and small towns preparing for fiestas. I also spent an amazing day with the Charros, the Mexican cowboys where I rode their horses, drank rum and took their portraits while their proudly showed off their roping skills.
Every day, I had no idea what was going to happen, or where I would end up. A creative freedom of immense proportions. I had the time of my life. And the sadness left.
One the last day, Mary Ellen took everyone’s portraits and on my print she wrote, “To Katie, who is always full of joy. It shows in your photographs.”
Here’s a small selection of my work, but if you want to see more, just pop over here.
Love Katie xo