Summer is upon us

026Sophie & Deian-189Alex & Cara-268Summer is upon us

 

Today we simply wanted to share our joy for the bouncing step we’ve taken into summer; shorts and t-shirts are on, BBQ’s are lit & ice creams are coming out of the freezer like they’re going out of fashion. With wedding season fully in flow, it is great to be putting the planning into place capturing numerous weddings and to see some lovely couples celebrating their big day.

 

From the wet, drab winter, full of floods, this summer season couldn’t have come quick enough and how gorgeous everything is looking; gardens are flourishing, evenings are light and there’s a lot more smiles on faces it seems. Every season is great for photographing, as we get excited for the different themes and colours in contrast to the season prior. Although we are in wedding season it is not just weddings we are enjoying to photograph; with the sun setting that little bit slower, we are capturing some fabulous images out and about on the coast and in the countryside in it’s prime. We would thoroughly encourage any photographers (whether you’re an amateur or a professional) to get out there and get snapping. For any amateurs two little tips:

1. Be careful of sharp shadows on faces caused by any wedding hats under the strong sun

2. Be aware of your friends / family squinting in a photograph when the sun is at its highest

 

We’ve been making the most of the finer weather and have been exploring the Somerset countryside (and beyond) for location engagement photographs, lifestyle family portraits and commercial shoots. Where shall we head to next? Well nowhere is too far for us whether you’re home or abroad and we’re happy to get creative ourselves. For any home or business needs we’d love to support you.

 

Good luck to anyone getting married this summer & all the well wishes for your happy future together.

Happy snapping!

Love MHP x

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Posted in Business Photography, Famiy Photography, Portrait Photography, Uncategorized, Wedding Photography Tagged , , , |

Milestones Caught on Camera

Milestones Caught on Camera

Our initial contact from brides & grooms is usually just after their engagement to discuss their photography requirements on their wedding day. Shortly after we arrange an engagement shoot offering us and the bride & groom the chance to get to know each other. Although these images are to fit a purpose, to feel more at ease having your photograph taken and to discuss specific ideas for the big day itself, it also provides a tangible memory from the exciting time when couples become engaged: it is the start of their wedding journey.

Always quicker than expected the big day arrives (I don’t know how that happens but time zooms by when engaged), and we put those final plans into place for the wedding day. We thrive spending the day with you and your loved ones capturing those all important memory reminders to look back on in many years to come. The lead up to the wedding day is full of expectation and excitement that couples often struggle with when this time is over. There has been such a build up to the day & suddenly it’s the morning after. Whoever designed honeymoons is a genius!

Post mini-moon or honeymoon brides & grooms have started their married life & are invited to the Martin Hill Photography Studio here in Taunton, Somerset, to choose the images they would like for albums or framed pieces of art. Once this is packaged, wrapped and sent off to be enjoyed it often feels like a chapter has ended….and then the phone rings… “Martin we have some news, we’re expecting”.  Following hearing such fab news for our lovely couples we feel ecstatic firstly for them & secondly for us that we are able to work with them again.

From mum-to-be and bump images, newborn portraits, our latest ‘Messy Madness’ baby & child portraits and the many more family portraits that follow over the years, we feel so lucky to be able to mark these milestones with you.

Although the initial communication was to capture a wedding day we are able to capture the start of a marriage and the family that grows from this marriage. Unfortunately a wedding day only lasts for one day but your marriage and photographs will last you a life time. Thank you for investing those memories with us & believe us, we know how precious they are.

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Posted in Wedding Photography Tagged , , |

The Forgotten Bride

The Forgotten Bride

Second marriage or getting married later in life, why is it expected to be a small affair?

Often brides & grooms we work with are celebrating their big day that is either later on in life or it is a second marriage. The wedding industry regularly markets to brides and grooms in their 20’s and 30’s but they seem to be forgetting about couples outside of this demographic. With couples we meet who are getting married in their 40’s, 50’s and beyond, we often hear the same line of ‘we just want a small day; don’t want any fuss’ but why is that the case? A wedding for any couple is a momentous occasion showing their commitment to each other and surely every bride should be able to feel her best?

December 13th 2014, we photographed the wedding of Sheryn & Peter; a couple celebrating their wedding at Maunsel House, Somerset. They had the day that they wished for; a relaxed, happy & romantic day celebrating with their closest friends & family.  They organised a candle lit ceremony & wedding breakfast with dozens of stunning touches that oozed a classic and timeless style with modern twists. They had the best of the best: Sheryn wore a Sassi Holford dress accessorised with Jimmy Choo shoes and a Hermione Harbutt headpiece with Amy Elizabeth styling her makeup to suit. Dinah at Inspiration Wedding Flowers decorated Maunsel House and a string quartet walked Sheryn down the aisle; it was gorgeous. Sheryn & Peter spent their time concentrating on the parts of the day that mattered to them & it was completely worth it. From the larger ideas to the tiniest of details Sheryn & the team of suppliers that she surrounded herself with thought about everything. By choosing these suppliers, Sheryn & Peter were in safe (and lovely) hands and boy does it show.

Every bride & groom should look & feel the way that they have dreamed of & this couple are the perfect example of this. Regardless of the situation, age or other people’s opinions, it is your day & no one else’s. Thank you both for sharing your day with us & we wish you the happiest of marriages together.

Love MHP x

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Messy Madness – children’s first birthday

“Messy Madness”

When it comes to our children’s first birthday we of course want to make it special and go that extra mile mainly due to the fact that it is their first celebration. Whether this is for their benefit or for our own benefit it doesn’t really matter but unfortunately our little ones aren’t going to remember it in years to come.

With inspiration from my own children & wanting for us as a family to remember their first birthday as well as the children to be able to look back at their momentous milestones, we have created a new style of portrait photography named ‘Messy Madness’. Messy Madness provides a great day for your little one to have some fun with a birthday cake in front of a camera whilst doubling up as a professionally captured image for them to look back on as well an image for you and grandparents to keep.

We were delighted to spend the day with Freddy Tyson, a Taunton little boy who has just turned one who came to celebrate his birthday with us. As you can see from the images he had a great time & for any parents nervous about whether their child would sit in the right place etc we were thrilled to learn at how much a chocolate cake can entertain your little ones; he didn’t want to move! Here in the Martin Hill Photography studio, Taunton, Somerset, Freddy and his lovely Mum Katherine came and spent the morning with us drinking tea & eating cake with a lot of giggles and “mmmmm” noises added into the mix. We’re so pleased with the final images for Freddy & his family to look back on & we’re truly impressed at what a superstar Freddy was. We hope you like them in years to come little man.

For anyone else who has any babies or toddlers and would like to capture a momentous time in their lives with an added spoonful of fun let us know in anyway that we can help:

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Personal Brand Head Shots

Personal Brand Head Shots

Commercial Head shots at Martin Hill Photography studio, Taunton

Aiming for the job you want, not the one you’ve got!

Often we are required to capture head shots for companies and commercial clients when improving or promoting a new brand. The shoot below is an example of a style of branding which is on the rise & one that will be increasing continually; personal branding.

I was thrilled to be contacted by Lydia, a wedding planner whom I have worked with for many years, who following completing her degree in Business Management Practice earlier this year is looking to spend some time & effort improving her own brand and social media presence.  The constant pressures of social networking for both social & professional reasons have prompted Lydia to create new images for networking sites including LinkedIn as well as any other future business purposes.

As Lydia works in a customer focused industry, it was important to appear approachable yet professional whilst most importantly looking & feeling like herself. Lydia came to the Martin Hill Photography studio in Taunton, Somerset where we spent an hour shooting several varieties of images & ensured we had framed head shots that she was happy with. I was so pleased to receive an email from her with the following:

“Thank you for today. As always you have gone above & beyond especially by making a daunting experience in front of a camera into a fun one. I feel more confident already with the new images so a huge thank you for making it so easy for me.”

We really hope the new images help Lydia towards her current & any future ventures. Should anyone else require a similar service either in or out of the studio, please don’t hesitate to contact us on the following number: 01823 335106.

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Documentary & Fine Art Wedding Photography in Wet Weather

Documentary & Fine Art Wedding Photography in Wet Weather

 

“It’s like rain on your wedding day” Alanis Morissette

For the majority of English weddings, the dreaded English weather is a topical conversation during the lead up to a bride & groom’s wedding day & a thief to many nights sleep. Unfortunately, come rain or shine, this is one aspect to your day that is out of your control but hopefully I will help to ease any concerns with today’s blog.

Martin Hill Photography are based in the heart of Somerset, in the County Town of Taunton & as it has been well broadcast, we Somerset folk have now got used to having wet feet this past winter. Many photographers also fear bad weather with the task of capturing photographs to last a lifetime in awful conditions. It is this factor that often sets apart the amateurs to the professionals.

From the experience that Martin Hill Photography have gained photographing both fine art & documentary photography, we like to think we’ve got it sussed & with this I’d like to offer some advice.

Firstly, DON’T WORRY! Worrying about the weather is a complete waste of energy as there is zip that you can do to change it, so instead, utilise that energy into preparation; order or hire some gorgeous umbrellas to feature as part of your day, using additional props to add to your theme such as ‘wedding wellies’ ensure that you can still make your way outside without ruining your Jimmy’s. Any concerns that you do have discuss them with your photographer so that you are all reading from the same page. If your photographer knows what’s good for them they will have done their research and have in mind both inside & outside shots for all eventualities. It’s your job to look great & have a wonderful day so let your photographer worry about where & what photographs to take- that’s their job.

You can see from the images below that bad weather brings an additional essence of fun amongst your guests and bonding with your immediate wedding party. Documentary photography is fabulous to capture in the rain encompassing the varieties of personalities tackling the challenge of remaining as dry as possible. For your fine art photography, this can be shot inside or outside of your wedding venue and Martin Hill Photography always bring the correct equipment with us so there is no need to worry when the sun has gone down or if it is a dull day; we can solve the problem. Please remember that is it unlikely to rain constantly on one day and just 10 minutes outside will allow you to capture those images that you have had your heart set on.

We hope that this has helped to calm any pre-wedding nerves relating to any weather issues but please let us know if we can help with anything else. Rain on your wedding day really isn’t all that bad, trust us.

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Maunsel House Viewing Weekend, Somerset

Maunsel House Viewing Weekend, Somerset

Showcasing fine art and documentary photography at the top wedding venue Maunsel House.

Many of you will know how special Maunsel House is to me and why I always love to visit the eccentric wedding venue in Somerset. For those that don’t, let me elaborate…

Over 6 years ago, my lovely wife Katie and I were fortunate enough to celebrate our “I dos” within the house and grounds of Maunsel House and unlike other wedding venues you were not shipped out at midnight; instead the last guest to bed turns out the light. Perfect. To add to our fondness of Maunsel House, our little boy Oliver arrived shortly after (9 months to be exact) and we hosted his Christening at Maunsel House too.

Since then, I have popped back to Maunsel House, based in the heart of Somerset, several times a year photographing documentary and fine art photography within the manor house and stunning grounds. Not only is this a treat for me but also for Maunsel House brides and grooms as I have got to know the quirky features of the house and the team there too. Come rain or shine there are areas to capture unique images that brides, grooms and their families love at this special home.

Last weekend I was invited by the Maunsel House team to showcase my albums as their preferred photographer to be introduced to their wedding couples. Usually not one to attend wedding fairs, the Maunsel House Viewing Weekend seemed to suit me and fortunately how right I was. The Maunsel House Viewing Weekend hosted a handful of wedding suppliers for brides and grooms to chat to whilst still allowing couples to see the beauty of the house. Mitchell and Vincent, a Somerset based folk duo, set the pre 1066 bar alive with their atmospheric music whilst Harry from Chestnut Productions, a Somerset based videographer, helped couples to visualise their big day through his personalised style of footage. Dinah from Inspiration Wedding Flowers had dotted her gorgeous creations around the house and how nice it was to catch up with her too. Martin Hill Photography were situated in the regency Dining Room with Ornella- Bianca, a professional patisserie and bespoke cake creator based in Taunton (I would be in a room with her samples to taste wouldn’t I?) who I will definitely be asking to make our family cakes for the future.

We met some wonderful couples and their families all looking to host their nuptials at Maunsel House and what a place to party it is too. I look forward to working with some of you on the run up to your wedding day and capturing your memories on the big day itself! Thanks for having me Maunsel House, it was great to catch up with you all as always.  Below is a snippet at some of my favourite images from Sir Ben’s family home.

 

Love MHP x

www.maunselhouse.co.uk

www.chestnutproductions.com

www.ornella-bianca.co.uk/

www.inspirationweddingflowers.com/

http://mitchellandvincent.com/

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Competition – The face of Martin Hill Photography

The Search is on for The Face of Martin Hill Photography 2014

We are looking for a new lady to pamper & picture. Following the success of our ‘Face of Martin Hill’ competition last year we’ve decided to do it all again.

The face of Martin Hill competition was so much fun for us all that we really want you to be a part of it. All we ask is that you ‘Like’ our Facebook page and follow the link below to enter. Our finalists will be put to a panel that will choose one lucky winner to enjoy a full makeover from the wonderful team at Olimi Hair & Beauty followed by a photoshoot in the Martin Hill Photography studio here in Taunton.

You can see from the images below that we’re not looking for one specific look; we simply want you to come & enjoy your day with us. If this isn’t for you but you know of a friend or relative that would enjoy this unique experience please don’t hesitate to direct them towards us. Once you have entered please ask all of your friends to vote for you and the top 5 will be put to our panel.

Following the photoshoot you will have your own personal portfolio and images to last a lifetime. All you need to do is ‘Like’ our Facebook page & ENTER HERE.

We hope you’re as excited as we are.

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Treasure The dress at The Manor Somerset

Treasure the Dress at The Manor, Somerset

 Top Wedding venue Somerset, top dress, top model.

We always get excited to tailor a photo shoot to suit our clients but especially when working with great products in a gorgeous location with fabulous people.

Recently we were invited to The Manor, Somerset; a gem of a venue tucked away in the heart of Somerset near to the town of Wellington. One of the top wedding venues in Somerset, the manor boasts luxury all the way. Fiona & Spencer have created a wonderful wedding venue and one we are looking forward to working with again very soon. Rapidly climbing the ranks of top wedding venues in the UK, The Manor, Somerset is a well sort after wedding venue.

The very lovely Charlotte was married a couple of years ago but unfortunately MHP we’re unable to capture her wedding day.  However, the happy ending is that Charlotte & her mum Julie contacted us to shoot a ‘Treasure the Dress’ day.

For those of you who may not have come across our Treasure the Dress shoots before, brides are able to get ‘glammed up’ and have a specific photo shoot to firstly wear their dress again (prolonging the wedding bubble) and secondly to capture additional images to remember their dress that they were so in love with.  It was not hard to fall in love with Charlotte’s dress as this was our good friend Sassi Holford’s creation & what a stunner it was too. Charlotte’s hair & makeup was styled by the wonderful team at Olimi to complete her overall bridal look.

With Charlotte we wanted to create a classic look, which was very much helped by the backdrop that The Manor supplied. Although it was the most miserable of days outside, with the use of plenty of studio lighting, Charlotte felt like she was on a film set & we were able to create a warm essence to her pictures.

Thank you to Charlotte & Julie for such a wonderful day but also a huge thank you to The Manor for inviting us into your wonderful home & to the girls at Olimi Hair & Beauty for always working your magic.

Love MHP x

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Samsun Lobe – Fantasy writer – Head Shots

Samsun Lobe

Tuesday morning in the studio was a very interesting one indeed. The brief from Samsun was fairly straight forward ” I need some cool head shots”! As with all my commercial head shots I like to know a little about the person in front of me and it wasn’t long before I got where Samsun  was coming from. Enough from me but check put the words from the man himself. A fascinating bloke indeed. Thanks for reading Martin.

 

I started writing fantasy fiction in 2010. As a massive fan of the science-fiction and fantasy genres my main purpose for starting my first novel was to create my own world. I completed my ‘Dying Star’ trilogy in early 2012 and during this time saw the world I had imagined come to life in the illustrations that were commissioned.

I started to tour the major comic conventions around the country, and went from a single desk with a poster to a custom made stand with props, live actors and loads or merchandise. The sole purpose for this was to get my name out there and establish a fan base – and occasionally sell a few books. It has been hard work, but well worth it and I now have some awesome fans.

I continued my writing with a new series – RUIN, released in 2013. This series has proved very popular, partly I think because of the flawed but likeable main character and also because my skill as a writer has improved. I released a second book in the RUIN series ‘Awakening’ late last year and have another 3 books to go.

It was suggested by a fan that RUIN would make a great comic book character, as he is a sort of modern Conan – perhaps with a few more anger management issues. After researching comic production I decided to try produce it using Kickstarter. This is a crowd funding platform whereby people pledge small amounts of money in return for items from the project itself. If the funding goal is reached, I would produce my comics and send them out, and if not, then all monies get returned. It’s a sort of no lose situation for those choosing to back a project. My Kickstarter project  is live now with 12 days left to run. You can take a look a the stunning artwork here…

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/655748277/ruin-the-beast-inside-comic-mini-series

As well as writing I like to get my hands dirty building props. I have built each of the main swords used within the RUIN series and these go down very well with fans at the conventions. I could have sold each of them many times over and so I decided that this year at the London Con I would raffle them all off. That should be an interesting afternoon! As well as the smaller props I have embarked on a project to build a lifesize Dreadnought from the Warhammer 40K universe. It stands 4.5 metres and will be fully functional (apart from walking) when complete.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Samsun-Lobe-Dreadnought/245568992162685

The writing at present is only my side job and during the working week I run a successful e-learning company with a very talented team. My work here involves writing the learning content as well as creating new ways for students to learn. It’s never dull, but I am seldom allowed to incorporate a dragon or include gratuitous violence :)

My mind has to be kept occupied at all times and when I am not creating in some format, I am playing sport; Football, Roller Hockey, Cycling, Quad Biking, All racquet sports and hours in the gym provide a welcome change to the mental challenges of work. I consider sleep essential but also a waste of valuable time.

I thoroughly enjoy writing and will continue to deliver at least one book a year for the foreseeable future. I have been lucky to meet some fantastic people through my endeavours and enjoy the opportunities that have arisen. I am also sure that however fantastical my fictional worlds might be, they will never be as amazing as the one we actually live in.

www.samsunlobe.co.uk

 

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