Rachael & Andy ~ An Equestrian Pre Wedding Shoot

The other month I met up with Rachael & Andy ahead of their wedding for their engagement shoot, and who else should be coming along for their photos than their adopted daughter Pepper <3 Anyone who knows Rachael know she absolutely dotes on Pepper and it wouldn’t be right without her there with these guys too <3

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Johanna & Martin ~ Engagement Shoot at Mersea Island

Oh I do love to be beside the seaside!

Johanna & Martin are getting married at Houchins Wedding Venue later this year and we got together for their pre-wedding session at one of my favourite beach locations in Essex… Mersea Island.

We pinged a few emails back and forth and finally decided to head on down to the water to incorporate some fun and bright imagery in this beautiful area by the sea.

With it being a super hot day, I knew it would be very busy on the beach so we met up at the end of the day so that the last of the seaside goers would hopefully be heading back to their cars to descend back home for the evening, leaving us with the beach to ourselves for an hour <3

This was the second time Johanna had been in front of my camera as I’d done a photo shoot with her beautiful mare Duchess a few years back; a birthday gift from hubby to be Martin at the time. This time round they’ll be sharing the camera together as I can’t wait to share their wedding day with them in August!!

L x

 

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7 Reasons why a Pre-wedding shoot is totally worth it!

Included with some of my Wedding packages is the opportunity for a complimentary pre wedding shoot, also known as an Engagement shoot. Now some couples turn to me and say… “hmm we don’t really like having our photo taken so can we do without” and of course this is an option  (as I say it’s complimentary in my packages) however I will always strongly recommend having a pre-wedding shoot as I believe it is not only beneficial to you…but also to me ✨ and here’s why ladies and gents…

1. You know that feeling when you have just met someone, you’re not entirely comfortable around them and you want to know more about them before you feel completely at ease? Well what a good chance to spend an hour in my company getting to know just me! I want my couples to feel totally relaxed and able to ask me anything. I want to be more than just your photographer for your wedding day…I want to be your friend! I have been described as a goofy gal with a heart of gold and I will do anything to ensure that my couples have the best wedding day ever, but in order to help you feel happy and at ease with the camera, and in order to create those amazing smiles…laughs…snorts that we hold in when we’re around company we’re not totally comfortable with; come along and get to know me on a ‘free’ engagement shoot! I promise it’ll be well worth your time! 🤗

2. You want to update those photos on the walls? The ones that are ten years old when you guys had just met, or that portrait session you had done in those outdated clothes. What a great opportunity to freshen up your photo frames and have some professional up-to-date photos to go on the walls and send out to your Mum for her Birthday 😉 she’ll totally love it, you know she will!

3. You’ve got a new member of the family who joined you recently…two legged or four I’m happy to shoot you as a family instead of as a couple! If you didn’t already know by now I’m a HUGE furry fan and love my snuggles and slobbery kisses 🐾🐴  As well as Weddings I also specialise in Equestrian & Canine Photography and would love it if you brought out more members of the family on your Engagement shoot! We can have tons of fun, and even make time for some shots of the two of you as well as the three…four…five of you as well!

4. Use your photos as decor at your wedding. It’s such a cool idea and I’ve had a few B&G’s who have done this! It’s so lovely for me to know you want to show off your photos to your nearest and dearest and makes me so proud! 😀

5. Use a different time of year to when your Wedding is so you can have photos at both ends of the year. Another recommendation of mine; if you have a Winter wedding coming up then opt for a Summer Engagement Session! Get the best of both!

6. Those all important ‘thank you’ cards after the wedding are right at the back of your mind at the moment, so why not eliminate the worry of getting them done after the wedding and have them prepared beforehand? I always suggest to my couples to bring along a ‘thank you’ bunting or a blackboard to write some fun notes down on (dates, Mr & Mrs, fun facts about you two etc) it always makes for extra fun and I love hearing more about the two of you!

7. You’re totally in LOVE and want to show it off to the world 💕 Yes Yes Yes!! There is nothing more fascinating, fun and beautiful than couples so madly, deeply, head-over-heels in love with one another. Let’s do this!

Elizabeth & Richard | Essex Pre-Wedding Shoot at Danbury Park

Last month I caught up with Elizabeth and Richard at the ever popular Danbury Park in Essex! I find this location so beautiful and favoured by a lot of my couples plus I just love it here too!

Although a tad muddy and wet, we managed to find some beautiful areas to create some great shots and have some fun amongst the woods and open fields! The sun was just about to set, so we made the most of the wonderful golden hour as it fell around us.  I can’t wait to see these guys again for their wedding in June!

The majority of my Wedding Packages now include a pre wedding photo session with your booking. These sessions are such a great little extra and really help to make you feel comfortable in front of the camera as you get to know your photographer more in preparation for your wedding day!

 

 

 

My Wedding Photography Bucket List

A friend of mine recently asked…if I had just one more wedding to photograph, what kind of wedding would I choose to shoot? I absolutely adore my job and am so thankful to all my wonderful clients who have chosen me as their wedding photographer in the past. I have loved shooting every single wedding over the last five years and I am so passionate about photographing couples in love. This question got me thinking and laughing to myself, as I really couldn’t narrow it down to just one kind of wedding… so here goes My Wedding Photography Bucket List!

If your wedding involves aaaaaaaany of the below then please GIVE ME A SHOUT!!

 I promise there will be an exclusive discount to be had.

 

 

  • A destination wedding (I love to travel and see/photograph new places so this is my ultimate no.1)
  • A wedding ceremony on a beach
  • A wedding with fairground rides (bonus if theres a merry-go-round)
  • A tipi wedding
  • Inside a castle BOOKED – Kate & Jon 2018 YAYY!
  • An elopement
  • A themed wedding (bonus if it’s Game of Thrones / 1920’s Peaky Blinders / Disney)
  • A ‘Don’t Tell the Bride’ wedding
  • A wedding in the snow (has to be abroad – sadly we don’t get enough in the UK..boo!!!)
  • A wedding at the Roman baths
  • A wedding which involves the Bride riding a horse BOOKED – but it’s a secret, 2018!
  • A wedding in a treehouseforest or floral field
  • A wedding at the Lake District

Give me a shout if your wedding involves any of the above – you may be surprised! 🙂

Dogs at Weddings – 10 things to consider!

So you’ve decided to include your dog at your wedding… YAY YAY YAY!!

I LOVE seeing dog’s at weddings and can’t wait to meet your furry friends!

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It doesn’t come as a shock to me when a couple mention they’ll be including their dogs in their wedding… in fact you don’t see this but my heart skips a beat when I hear there’s a Frenchie as Flower Girl, a Border Collie as Bridesmaid or a Retriever as Ring-Bearer… you get the jist 😉

A wedding day is widely celebrated by so many in front of friends & family, as it is an enjoyable and memorable experience to be remembered forever. Your nearest and dearest are there to toast your special day, so why not include your furry friends in the ceremony too? They are a massive part of your family too!

There is a LOT of planning and thought that needs to be considered when you make this decision though, but I completely understand the need for so many couples nowadays to include their dogs in the ceremony alongside them. They have become such a huge part of your life and should be with you on your special day as long as you have the appropriate safety measures in place.

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1. Does your venue allow animals?

This is really a massive decider; if you’ve already booked your venue and then as an after-thought forgot to mention your dog will be present they may be against the idea and then it’s bye-bye to having your pooch there with you. Most weddings I’ve attended with the family dogs have been at country weddings or garden receptions, although one of my Weddings last year at Baddow Park did have my Bride & Groom’s two labradors show up as a complete surprise to them just after they had tied the knot! Let’s just say there was plenty of happy tears from my Bride Laura <3

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2. What part of the day will your dog(s) be taking part in?

Are you wanting them present for the morning as you get ready, the Ceremony as you say your “I do’s”, the Reception where you relax and enjoy time with friends and family, or the evening when everyone is partying? A wedding can be a very long day for people let alone animals, so make sure your dog can handle whatever part you want them around for during your Wedding. If they are present all day, make sure they have food and water available, and a quiet area for them to lie down should they want some time away from the electric atmosphere.

3. Can they cope?

It might not seem like it but most dogs do like routine so this is totally out of their comfort zone being surrounded by people, noise, little children (if present), food and all the attention. If they’re young & springy will they be liable to run off if it is a different location to where they’re use to? If they’re older will they snap and bite if they’re scared? All questions to think about.

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dogs at weddings, weddings with dogs, how to include your dog at your wedding, have your dog at your wedding, dog at wedding

4. Is it an indoor or outdoor Wedding?

I adore outdoor weddings – all the natural light, beauty and warmth of a Summer wedding is precious and so so beautiful ! Although with a dog present you do need to make sure guests keep their eyes peeled for those doggy do-do’s on the grass. I’m pretty sure your best friends won’t be too impressed with a brown mess on their Jimmy Choos’ when they go home later!

Indoors can be less to worry about with the do-do’s although someone does need to be aware that your pooch does need to go to the toilet and be let out for a break every now and then! Also are they liable to chew anything if you’re in an unknown venue? You don’t want to be forking out for a new rug if your furry friend has decided it tastes too good!

5. Do you need a Dog Chaperone?

To take the pressure off you, is it worth having a dog chaperone present so you don’t need to keep looking over your shoulder to make sure they’re ok? There are plenty of services out there that cater for this so you don’t have to miss out on having your furry friend(s) there celebrating with you. These guys make sure the dogs are collected, walked, brushed, behaving, fed, watered and looked after all day so you don’t have to worry about a thing! Could be a great investment to include…

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dogs at weddings, weddings with dogs, how to include your dog at your wedding, have your dog at your wedding, dog at wedding

6. Are they playing a role in the Wedding?

Would you like to consider them as Best Man, Ring-Bearer or Bridesmaid? I’ve seen some adorable dogs taking on important roles at a wedding but again it is something you need to consider as it can be a big ask for them to take part. Would it be best for them to just be present as a guest instead of carrying out a role? As long as they’re there it can be less of a stress for you than worrying, for example,  if they’ve still got the rings attached to their collar EEK!

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dogs at weddings, weddings with dogs, how to include your dog at your wedding, have your dog at your wedding, dog at wedding

7. Are they wearing something special?

A tux collar, a flower crown, special booties, a dress… are you suiting them up especially or are they to be running freely?

The suits and dresses can look super adorable and so great in photos but realistically are your dogs going to be comfortable wearing them? Make sure they don’t rub, or are too tight as this can be added unnecessary stress for them, however a matching dress with your bridesmaids, or bow tie can really bring together the wedding party!

8. Will your dog cause problems for the caterers?

Hehe I had to chuckle as I know my pooch certainly would!! Being part Labrador he can sniff out a plate of sausage rolls, a kitchen worktop of chicken dishes, or scratch open a hostess to steal the roast spuds.

You’re paying your caterers to provide a service to eat and enjoy, so try not add extra hassle onto them if you know your dog will be following them about all afternoon with his puppy-dog eyes. They already have a HUGE task of feeding yourselves and all of your guests some wonderful food, and you wouldn’t want to miss out on anything after your pet pooch has decided to scoff the sauteed potatoes or lick the gravy dish clean!

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9. Let your guests know your dog will be there too!

Something so small but can be a huge deal to some guests. It could be that Aunt Maud has an allergy to fur, or that the Best Man has a fear of dogs. By letting people know, this may ruin a nice surprise but can also allow others to prepare themselves if they are not so dog-happy to see them there.

10. Let your photographer know! 

Definitely!! If they are anything like me they will be absolutely thrilled and so so excited. It also means we can be well prepared with dog treats and squeaky toys if need be to make sure we get those beautiful photos of you all together 🙂

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2017 Roundup | Laura Jane Photography

Well what a year 2017 has been! I can’t believe we’re right around the corner from 2018 and I definitely say this every year but just how quick did last year go!!!

As is every year, there were a lot of highs and lows for my little family although at this stage I am more happy to remind myself of a few of the highs we’ve achieved this year…

  • Managing to secure and update our house to an even better one (in just under a year of only being in the old house!!)
  • Seeing our family grow by adding another furry member into the mix 😉
  • Enjoying a wonderful break away to the city of Rome, somewhere I have been dying to visit for the last few years!

Work has also been insane this year!! Here’s a little of what’s been going on…

  • A total of 18 Weddings shot in Essex, Suffolk and Kent in 2017, topping last years count and looking even more positive for 2018!
  • Booking so many Equestrian & Canine shoots and made tons of friends during the sessions – I love getting to know my clients & their quirky animals. One of the main reasons my job totally rocks!! <3
  • Setting up my own little office during our house move so I now have a whole room dedicated to my photography work Eek!! I’m so use to having an office in the corner of my old spare bedroom that this small change has been really appreciated!
  • Next year brings a Wedding booked in a castle in Wales YAYYYY – the furthest my photography has taken me! I’m so psyched I literally can’t wait for next year to start!!

To show how amazing my 2017 has been, I’ve narrowed it down to a very select few of my favourite moments to share with you <3

Thanks 2017 you’ve been amazing…Here’s to an fan-dabby-dozy 2018!! HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! 💃🏼 🥂 🍾 💃🏼 🎊

 

Laura x

www.laura-janephotography.com

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Best Wishes for a fabulous 2018!

Laura x

Kelly & Reiss ~ Engagement Photos at Chalkwell Park

When I asked Kelly & Reiss where they wanted to do their Engagement photos, they had decided on heading to the beautiful area of Old Leigh near to Southend-on-sea as it was a special place to them where they reminisced the moments of their first date there. However sadly on arrival the place was absolutely packed with locals and tourists, and the tide was out so we quickly re-tracked and headed back to lovely local Chalkwell Park which had an abundance of beautiful backdrops, scenery and lots for their son Hudson to get involved with too!  We had lots of fun exploring the park, and Hudson sure kept all of us on our toes for the duration too!

I had a lovely catch up with these guys, and I’m so excited to be at the stunning Gosfield Hall in December for their wonderful winter Wedding!

 

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Laura & Paul ~ Engagement Photos at Hylands Park

When Laura & Paul booked their Wedding Photography with me, we had a great chat and found that we actually shared quite a lot in common especially a great love for our four legged friends. Paul explained that Laura was quite upset that Penny & Woody wouldn’t be able to attend their wedding at Baddow Park in September, so after hearing this I explained that included within their package was an Engagement Shoot, so why not bring the doggies along and we can make an afternoon of it at the park!

I caught up with these guys in Hylands Park, Chelmsford for their pre wedding shoot with Penny & Woody tagging along aswell. The only times I have been here are to watch the good ol’ V Festival which takes part every year, and also back in the day when I did a bit of cross country running for my school team…we’re talking around 16 years ago now not something you’d catch me doing on my weekend off!!

To witness this location in it’s natural beauty is lovely. It stretches on for miles with plenty of grassland, trees, blossom and even a pond – although we avoided this for the sake of the dogs getting wet 😉

Laura & Paul chose this area for their pre wedding shoot as it’s a popular walking spot they enjoy with Penny & Woody and although a little hot, I think the dogs actually quite enjoyed the camera…they certainly enjoyed the treats that came with it! Laura dotes on these two and who can blame her – I love it when any pets come and join in on a shoot!

My thanks to these guys for being great! Bring on September!

 

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Emma & Darren ~ Engagement Photos at Layer Marney Tower

Recently I got to catch up with these two ahead of their wedding in September at the gorgeous location that is Layer Marney Tower. For anyone who’s never been, please go there for a day out as it is beautiful and there is so much to see and do! We spent the afternoon lamb feeding, as well as checking out the wildlife and of course the beautiful gardens surrounding this unique location.

Not only for it’s beauty, and because it’s so close to home; Emma & Darren also chose to have their wedding here for the historical aspect it brings aswell. The ancient buildings, the on-site Church and the Long Hall for their Reception seemed like a perfect place to keep their wedding wrapped up without having to move about too much. They’ll be able to celebrate the whole day with family & friends so fingers crossed for a beautiful day!

These guys were so easy- going and up for anything, we even had some fun feeding the lambs on site too (Emma’s idea…not mine 😉 ) but nevertheless there were some pretty adorable little baby’s in the barn guzzling milk from these two as quickly as they could!

I’m super excited to be back here in a few months time to capture these guys in a slightly different attire!

My thanks to Emma & Darren for allowing me to share these few images with you.

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