Lady of the Winter Lake: The Making of…

Happy 2015 everyone! It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted anything what with Christmas being exceptionally busy, taking on another job role and hitting January hard with wedding enquiries, I haven’t really had time to think about blogging! What I did have time for though, on Tuesday 30th December, was creating a bit of winter magic using a black wedding dress designed and hand made by Jo Morton at Valour and Valkyrie and the frozen lake as an insane backdrop at Silvermere Inn on the Lake in Cobham, Surrey.


This was a photoshoot that raised the bar for all future shoots and is truly worthy of some international bridal Vogue publication….if I do say so myself. This shoot came to life through the vision and hard work of an incredible team of talented wedding professionals and was captured not only by professional wedding and commercial photographer Amanda Duncan, but also by my favourite videographers in the whole world, Natalie and Luigi of Wedding Flicks.

When organising a photo shoot it really helps to have someone like Victoria Chainey under your belt. An uber cool, ex fashion model turned fabulous make-up artist with contacts who make dresses in their sleep and a fabulous internal look-book of ideas! Lady of the Winter Lake grew from the ground up using Silvermere’s natural beauty and went through stages of Black Swan before Lady of the Lake was chosen. To get the best of both worlds, we decided to find two models to portray two different versions of the ‘Lady of the Lake’ that we know. Drama vs. Whimsy. Commercial vs. Avant Garde. Traditional vs. Contemporary.

For everyone who is unsure of why you would want or feel the need to do a photoshoot, let me explain. First of all, there is no need. The ideal is at the end of the effort you put in you have some fantastic and professional imagery for your website as well as with any luck, features in publications for absolutely nothing! Beyond that – and part of the reason I find it so fun – is that a photoshoot will allow you the time to be creative in a relaxed and fun environment. You can connect with suppliers you may have never worked with and share ideas, inspiration, stories and make friendly business contacts for the future. An example of this being, we feature some fabulous headpieces in this shoot as well as an incredible brooch bouquet. All of these fabulous pieces by Rosadior and I Heart Buttons were created having never met me or any of the other suppliers before. They were excited about the prospect of the shoot, wanted to get involved and sent their labours of love in the post direct to my door so we could use them. How amazing is that!? For all of those sceptics, I say – “let your hair down!”


We also struck it lucky with our beautiful models Emily and Charlotte. A simple post to our Facebook page and within 1 day we received over 15 applicants from girls who wanted to be involved and from friends and family recommending their nearest and dearest! It was an easy decision for me and when I showed Victoria and Amanda their pictures, it was a done deal!

Tuesday 30th December – Showtime!

9.15am Arrival – a cold a bitter morning, the lake had all but frozen over and we all began to arrive at Silvermere in desperate need of something hot! The staff are amazing there and quickly whipped up a plate of yummy biscuits and some much needed tea and coffee! One by one people started to arrive and get setup for hair and make up for our fabulous girls. A quick ten trips back and forth to the lakeside and we had set the scene with some quite frankly unreal cakes by Jeannette’s Great Cakes, a stunning ombre croquembouche by Quintessential Cookies and a bit of fake snow (that may or may not have been leftover from a wedding the week before – I’ll never say) and a gorgeous bouquet of flowers by A & S Flower Studio and we were off!


Everything came together beautifully throughout the day and the stunning tuille dress by Ellis from BRIDE by Natasha Jane in Dorking was a whimsical contrast to the black gown. At 1pm our gorgeous male model Ashley arrived and after just a bit of sprinkling of fairy dust from Victoria, he joined the girls in a variety of stunning suits by Dapper (Best Menswear Retailer in the South East don’t you know!)

4.30pm saw the sun set on our shoot. Frozen (especially the models in their gorgeous backless dresses), hungry and ready for home, we all packed up and said our goodbye’s, eagerly anticipating the finished products! Well ladies and gents, having submitted the work to the amazing ‘Rock My Wedding‘ for them to publicise, I shan’t go crazy with the images but I have created a mini gallery and will add to them as time goes on. You actually can’t miss this gallery – I think I want a black wedding dress with crow feathers now!

Supporting Cast

Silvermere Inn on the Lake (Venue & Shoot Location)

Amanda Duncan Photography (Photography)

Wedding Flicks Videography (Videography)

Valour & Valkyrie (Black Bespoke Wedding Dress)

BRIDE by Natasha Jane (White Ellis Wedding Dress)

Victoria Chainey Make-Up (Make-Up)

Beckie’s Bridal Hair (Hair Styling)

Jeannette’s Great Cakes (Wedding Cakes)

Quintessential Cookies (Macaron Croquembouche, Cupcakes, Cookies)

A & S Flower Studio (Fresh Bouquet)

Rosadior (Headdresses)

I Heart Buttons (Button Bouquet)

Harpers (Sequin Table Cloth)

Female Models – Charlotte Lucy Hammond & Emily Woodward

Male Model – Ashley Mayers





Steampunk Inspiration Shoot: Industrial Glamour

Huh? Steampunk? Let me make this blog a whole lot clearer before you start reading through the wonder of Wikipedia. Ahem…’Steampunk’ is a sub-genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery, especially in a setting inspired by industrialised Western civilisation during the 19th century. Steampunk works are often set in an alternative history of the 19th century’s British Victorian era or the American ‘Wild West’, in a post-apocolyptic future during which steam power has regained mainstream use, or in a fantasy world that similarly employs steam power…Got it? Good!

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1960’s Vintage Barbie Picnic with a Modern Twist

Yes, this shoot was as awesome as it’s title suggests! I love my job – how many girls can say they trekked into the middle of the woods with cakes, vintage crockery, a wedding dress and a ribbon chandelier to setup for a 1960’s Barbie inspired vintage picnic. Answer: few. The best part was, I got to do this with my most favourite wedding troop who truly made this shoot extra special and loads of fun!  As you can see from the image below, the chief editors at Bride Magazine thought this was too amazing not to share with the world and our shoot made the front cover of Surrey Bride magazine!



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Bootylicious Shoot: Naughty Ballroom & Winter Warrior BouddICEa

December 6th 2013 – this was the day that magic happened!

Hair stylist Beckie Packham, make-up artist Victoria Chainey and professional photographer Amanda Duncan created a breathtaking moodboard of ideas for a stylised photoshoot. The wedding theme of 2013 was Great Gatsby so this was a sure fire trend to incorporate but with a fun and slightly Avant Garde twist and so ‘Naughty Ballroom’ was born!

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