I can’t believe January is nearly over already, how did that happen?!
It’s been probably the most extraordinary January I’ve ever had with some incredible opportunities presenting themselves which is going to mean I’m abroad for most of February but more of that later.
I’ve had many property shoots for local estate agents and holiday properties to keep me busy this month, some portrait shoots, various press work and a very cool aerial shoot at Norwich Cathedral for well-known artist Brian Lewis. I can’t show any of the shots for a while as I need to make sure Brian has a chance to paint his commissioned pieces (for the Dean of Norwich, The Very Reverend Jane Hedges) before I publish any of the photos (we don’t want anyone else painting this unique view until Brian has got his done!)
The year started with the (now) traditional New Year’s Day Dip at Sheringham organised by good friend & fellow lifeboat crewmember Liam Cooper. I always help out with the PR & some other bits & bobs but it’s Liam’s baby and he puts a huge amount of time and energy into organising this great event every year. He started the dip three years ago and we had about 40 people, fast forward to 2019 and we had over 350 crazy dippers running into the icy waters and record amounts raised for Sheringham RNLI (£1,600 raised this year). Well done Coops!
Two local leg-ends – Coops (organiser of the Sheringham NYD Dip) and Clive Hedges (organiser of the Cromer Boxing Day Dip), between them they have been responsible for generating tens of thousands of pounds for many great local charities…
Nice of Keith Richards to pop along!
Thankfully the weather was calm for the dip but not long after we had the first storm of the year with strong Northerly winds whipping the North Sea into a frenzy. Of course I couldn’t resist heading down there to capture some of the exhilarating action…
The day after the storm I headed to West Runton beach – I love a good beachcomb after a storm, you never know what you’ll find washed up. Sadly this time it was just an awful lot of plastic and polystyrene. I posted a short video & some photos of the rubbish on the beach (while collecting as much as I could to take home & dispose of). This was picked up by one of the local news reporters and ended up as an EDP news story!
Mid January I purchased a new drone – the DJI Mavic 2 Pro – what a fantastic piece of kit – stunning image quality through the onboard Hassleblad Camera. I thought I’d make the most of my CAA Night Flying Permissions and put the drone up on a clear night at Sheringham. The results were quite amazing considering how long the exposure was. The below shot was a 1 second exposure – I couldn’t hand-hold a shot of that length and get a sharp image from it so how something flying 60m above the ground (sea actually!) could manage it is mind boggling!
I was so impressed with the results I wanted to see how it would look doing a similar shot of Cromer Pier, again the results were amazing…
The next day I took the Mavic 2 down to the lifeboat station and got some aerial shots of the chaps (and lady) doing some Sunday morning training…
I had been asked to conduct a lower harbour survey at Blakeney Point for the Blakeney Harbour Association at the next low Spring tide so I took a walk out through the saltmarsh at Blakeney to get the shots they required. Between getting the photos of the current positions of the buoyage and showing the shifting harbour entrance channel I grabbed some interesting shots of the scenery. Below is a shot of some seals resting on the sand banks…
Below is a plan view of the wreck of the SS Hjordis which sits by the entrance channel presenting a hazard to shipping…
This last week the winds whipped up again once more and we were battered with 70mph gales and a 15ft swell. I couldn’t resist some shots of this intrepid local kite surfer, James, making the most of the conditions…
As the storm raged on that night I spent an invigorating 2 hrs at Cromer Pier photographing the storm lashing the coast…
I made a short video of the waves although it’s not exactly broadcast quality! With the winds blasting around and very little light it’s a pretty wobbly & grainy video but hopefully it gives a sense of the energy out there that night. It’s no wonder I had the pier to myself!
Last year I was contacted by the production company that makes the Channel 5 TV show ‘The Hotel Inspector, Checking In, Checking Out’ (series 6, episode 4 if you are interested, 34 min in!) to see if I would be interested in being filmed photographing the rooms at The Swan, Harleston and discussing the importance of good photography with the host Alex Polizzi. Apologies for the crumby screen grab below, it’s the best resolution I could manage from their streaming version online…
We had great fun at the filming, Alex was exactly as she comes across on screen – charming, in control and brilliantly honest! The program was aired last night and the lovely Stacia Briggs was kind enough to write a piece for the EDP online yesterday to publicise it in advance…
…and finally in this update of what I’ve been up to… some very exciting news – in January I was invited to document an expedition to the Maasai Mara Reserve in Kenya for Biosphere Expeditions – two weeks filming and photographing the wildlife and the great work the volunteers carry out monitoring and protecting the many incredible species inhabiting the reserve.
As you can imagine I am pretty excited about it and put a post on social media to outline my plans. Shortly after the post went live I was contacted to ask if I was available the week beforehand to fly out to The Maldives for SwimQuest and document a trip they are organising for open water swimmers – swimming around the coral atolls, living aboard the 30m MV Emperor Voyager. It’s fair to say I didn’t need long to think about it! This is literally my absolute dream assignment, I have no idea where I can go from here but I am going to enjoy every single minute of it. They arrange swims with manta rays, sharks, hopefully whale sharks too and who knows what other wonderful sealife. I had to go out & buy a new underwater camera just to make sure I can do it justice!
I will be posting the results of both trips on this blog once I return but if you are interested in following the photos as it happens I am hoping to keep my Instagram page regularly updated (wifi dependent) so please follow me here: @christaylorfoto
See you on the other side!
I usually do a bit of a round up of the year by choosing my favourite photos of the past 12 months but this year I’ve chosen to limit it to 50 images and not necessarily my favourite images but the ones which I think sum up the year best for me.
2018 has been a great year for the business, the best I’ve had since starting it in 2005 so I have a lot to be grateful for. It’s been a lot of hard work but I’ve enjoyed pretty much every minute of it. As always the variation of subjects I have photographed through the year have been fascinating and kept me on my toes.
2018 has also been the year that the film-making really took off, adding a whole new creative outlet which I am really enjoying. I have a couple of hefty video & stills commissions already booked in for the new year which will keep me busy for a few weeks each plus a very healthy number of wedding bookings so 2019 is looking to be a continuation of this vintage year!
As 2018 was the 13th year since I started Chris Taylor Photo and 13 being my lucky number I decided to commission a cake from the lovely Emma Thorburn at the Buns of Fun bakery…
With the snowfall earlier in the year I had been hoping to get loads of aerial shots of North Norfolk blanketed in the white stuff. Sadly it was also accompanied by very strong winds for much of the time the snow stayed around so I couldn’t get the drone up much. Below is one shot I managed to grab in Holt at the Gresham’s Prep School rugby pitches while shooting some scenes of Holt town for Arnolds Keys estate agents as part of a year-round commission.
In late January I spend a lovely morning with the CRAB rowers – a group from Blakeney who keep their rowing skills up to scratch in the winter months on Barton broad. In the non-winter seasons they row at Blakeney and I spent another morning with them & friends later in the year as you will see further down.
A few years ago local legend and talented artist Colin Seal had an idea to start a Viking Festival in Sheringham to honour the viking history of the town. The below shot was one of many I took on a beautiful sunny day in mid February of a viking reenactment group battling it out on the beach at Sheringham.
Of course I couldn’t leave out wedding shots in this blog post so below are a few of my favourites of the year. Obviously with tens of thousands of images to choose from it’s always going to be difficult so I have grabbed a handful from some of the amazing weddings I shot this year…
With so many stunning properties in Norfolk I was again spoilt for choice for what to choose to show some of the amazing places I’ve been hired to photograph this year. From huge luxury converted barns that sleep 20+ people to tiny one bedrrom converted fisherman’s cottages, each have their own unique North Norfolk charm and present different challenges to photograph in order to capture the atmosphere.
For the last few years I’ve been lucky enough to be the photographer for the Byfords Group properties which include the legendary Byfords Cafe & deli and The Pigs at Edgefield. With regular improvements and changes to the menu they keep me busy photographing their beautiful rooms and delicious menu. In fact 14 of us are heading to The Pigs tomorrow for our New Year’s Day lunch. Their pork belly with black pudding & crackling is pretty special! Below is one of the shots I took this year of their new games room…
2018 was a good year for publicity with my work being shown on BBC, ITV & channel 4, featured in some national press and a four page spread in the Cameracraft magazine as seen below…
It was also a good year for publicity for Cromer Pier, seeing them hosting the BBC Antiques Roadshow, BBC Radio 4’s Kitchen Cabinet with Jay Rayner and the cherry on the cake was seeing the pier used for the BBC1 Christmas ident…
As always I spend as much time in, on, under or by the sea as I can and 2018 gave me plenty of opportunities. I made a couple of shrimp nets last year from some vintage shrimp netting I bought from a museum. We like a bit of a forage so the summer time is a bonanza with the brown shrimp we can now catch and the delicious samphire we pick on the North Norfolk saltmarshes! Not to mention the mackerel we catch off Blakeney Point from the boat.
With the amazing summer we had this year the sediment dropped out of the water column and provided us with some incredible clear water for at least two weeks. I don’t remember ever seeing the sea so clear here and made the most of it by getting out snorkelling as much as I could. Below is a shot I took of my son Will while we were out snorkeling one morning and the shot below that shows just how clear it was.
I believe this was the second year that the increasingly popular Cromer Hall Concerts were held and I was asked by the organisers to go along & film it for a promotional film. The drone was invaluable for providing the opening shots to set the scene on a glorious summer evening…
In August I had an incredible week down at Cowes Week photographing the sailing action from the press boat. Below are just two shots out of hundreds I took over the time I was there…
As always the RNLI played a huge part in my year and we took Sheringham Lifeboat over to Wells along with Cromer’s All Weather Lifeboat for the last trip of retiring Wells Coxswain Allen Frary. In the below shot you can also see Cromer Coxswain John Davies on the bridge of their Tamar class lifeboat. John also retired this year, a sad year for the North Norfolk RNLI to lose so much experience & knowledge.
Blakeney Point is one of my favourite places on earth and I got to spend many happy days out there this year on various projects, adventures and foraging trips! The below shot was taken while flying the drone from my boat on a shoot for the CRAB Rowers. They were on a trip with various other rowing clubs coming from Wells harbour to Blakeney…
…and back again to shoot the World Norfolk Oyster sailing championships. Again making sure I got the iconic old lifeboat station in the background. Such a beautiful building.
As part of the 1st World War centenary armistice celebrations we held a special service at Sheringham Lifeboat Station and I was honoured to set off a single white parachute flare from the boat. Expertly captured in this shot by my partner Leanne.
A number of events were held around Sheringham for the Remembrance weekend culminating in the lighting of a beacon. This shot of the flames really caught my interest as it looks like a phoenix flying out of the fire. A poignant end to a touching weekend of remembrance.
It wasn’t always sunshine & blue skies for my North Norfolk boating experiences this year – the below is a shot of the Norfolk Coastal Exploration Co.’s 30ft whelker, The Salford, coming into the recently restored Cley Harbour. Once a busy shipping port the harbour became so silted that it resembled a muddy stream until the good folk of the Cley Harbour Association formed to clear it out & make it navigable again. The Salford was the largest boat to sail into Cley Harbour in over 50 years. A momentous occasion indeed!
Always a sucker for punishment I undertook my third Tough Mudder event this year with this merry band from our local gym. It was great fun, if a little tiring but the teamwork & camaraderie makes such a difference when it comes to sliding into a skip full of iced water or running through an obstacle designed to shock you with 10,000 volts!
Please excuse the quality of the next shot, it’s from my phone but I couldn’t resist including it. I’ve always been a huge fan of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s programmes so when I saw online that they run a summer festival at River Cottage I just had to get tickets. We saw Hugh about the place lots, he seemed to ennoy it as much as the festival-goers plus I got to ask Prue Leith in a Q&A session what she would choose for her final meal if she was due to get the electric chair tomorrow. She found the question amusing. (…and in case you are wondering her answer was oysters, followed my more oysters, followed by treacle tart!)
Always looking for a different angle I grabbed this shot of the iconic Happisburgh Lighthouse one evening. It’s not a shot I can ever see anyone buying but I like it for the angles, lines & lighting.
As part of a commission I spent a couple of mornings filming the seal pups at Horsey beach. Looks like this pup has smelled something he didn’t like!
Always a sucker for a good coastal storm I can always be found out & about when we have a good Northerly blowing. My cameras don’t thank me for it although I do provide them with little waterproof anoraks. I’ve only had one die on me so far due to sea water ingress which isn’t bad considering how many times they have been totally swamped by huge waves & spray!
For me 2018 will always be remembered as the first time I found amber on the beach. In fact I know four other people that found sizeable chunks of amber on the North Norfolk beaches. For me it is the ultimate beach treasure (not counting ambergris) and as a total beachcombing anorak it made me happier than I should probably admit! After a short polish using my dremel and some fine grade wet & dry paper the amber came up a treat….
It must be the scavenger in me but I love trawling the local junk yards & antique shops. We were in our favourite one on the coast road when Leanne spotted an old fishing boat which had been cut in half. We asked the owner, ‘Tony Two Sheds’, how much & decided to buy both halves. I got the bow half and Leanne got the stern half. We have since done them both up & use them as garden seat shelters. Pretty cool huh?
Continuing on the creative theme I also learned how to carve wooden spoons this year (and how to carve my finger which wasn’t so much fun). A great way to while away those long winter evenings in front of the wood burner!
I also had a crack at making my first pheasant feather wreath. I was really pleased with it & after sharing a shot on social media it seemed others were interested in making them so we laid on a pheasant wreath-making workshop which was a real success. Might do another next winter, if you are interested please drop me a line.
I couldn’t do a review of 2018 without including a shot of our gang, between myself & Leanne we have 5 little beauties. For Leanne’s birthday we went out for lunch at the awesome Dun Cow pub at Salthouse (their Sunday Roast Beef is just awesome!) followed by birthday cake on the boat at Morston. Look at all the Coke & sugar, we must be mad!
Another phone shot coming up… this is Dexter, a beautiful little Bengal kitten, I got him as a birthday present for Leanne in November and he’s been a source of great entertainment ever since. I’ve never known a cat so clumsy or funny. A beautiful little character and a welcome addition to our clan of 5 children and now 5 cats!!
…and finally a shot of Leanne & myself at our favourite place – the beach! This shot was taken on my camera by Leanne’s sister Onah, it’s not often I get in photos myself so it was great to have this shot taken by Onah and it now adorns the wall of my lounge to remind us of the best place on earth. Happy New Year, I hope 2019 brings you everything you wish for and more!
I promise I’ll get back to posting some more wedding photos soon but I thought I’d share a short film I made recently, shot all along the North Norfolk coast, showing our beautiful area in autumn.
Wedding couples often tell me they find the non-wedding stuff I post on here interesting and I think it’s good to show the range of work I do alongside the wedding photography. While I haven’t ever filmed a wedding (and have no intention of it to be honest, I’ll stick to the stills, wedding videography seems far too much work for my liking!) I really enjoy making outdoor films and who knows what they could lead to.
I narrowly missed out on a job filming for a travel programme for ITV earlier this year, would have involved 4-6 weeks travelling all around Australia. Sadly (for me) their usual cameraman was able to make it at the last minute so I didn’t get the job but maybe next time!
For more of my short films please visit my Vimeo channel.
• Norfolk Filmmakers • North Norfolk Video • Videographers in Norfolk • Norfolk Film •
Saturday morning saw me getting up at 6am to go out in a small boat. With 40mph NW winds and hail slamming against the windows I have to admit I did wonder what the heck I was heading out into!
The event I was photographing and filming was the Coastal Exploration Company’s 30 foot wooden whelker sailing up the River Glaven from Blakeney Pit to Cley Harbour (next to the wonderful Cley Mill). Salford was to be the largest commercial vessel to enter Cley Harbour in 60 years. The Cley Harbour Committee have been working hard since 2014 to clear the harbour after it had become silted up & overgrown to the point of being more of a stream over the last few decades.
A few hardy souls met in the watery dawn light to brave the elements and head out in Simon Read’s boat – Hesperus to meet Laura & Dom who had spent overnight on Salford anchored in Blakeney Pit ready for the final leg up the river into Cley Harbour. Luckily the rain held off for the journey and we met Dom & Laura and jumped on board. Below are few of my shots from the morning plus a short video I made from some footage I grabbed between stills. The light was pretty awful so apologies for the video but I think it captures the atmosphere and it was a pleasure to be able to record this historic event for Cley.
(The images are watermarked ‘Aquavisuals’ which is the marine-based/nautical side of my imaging business, for more on Aquavisuals click here.)
Below, the cherry on the top was seeing the Cley Harbour Committee receiving the NNDC Environment Award 2018, here they are with the Coastal Exploration Co. Team and their plaque…
Below is the short film I made of the event…
The story & photos have been really well received even making the front cover of today’s Eastern Daily Press and a full page on page 3. Plus a national news agency has been in touch this morning and will be pushing the story out to the national press so watch this space!
• Norfolk photographer • Photographers in Cley • North Norfolk Photography • Marine photographers Norfolk • Aquavisuals •
It was a gorgeous sunny September day for Daryl & Emma’s Norfolk wedding, one of many sunny weddings I’ve been lucky enough to photograph this year.
I’ve known Daryl for many years after I got involved with the Norfolk Movember fundraising about 7/8 years ago. Daryl was part of the team and it was lovely to catch up with the rest of the guys there at their wedding.
I started the day’s coverage with the ladies bridal preparations at the Black Boys Inn at Aylsham, where Emma, her bridesmaids and brother Ben were getting ready for their big day…
With the ladies all ready I headed down the bypass to the Reading Room at Alby. A really lovely little venue, this was the first time I had seen it and I was really impressed. Beautiful grounds, lovely inside and plenty of places for great photos. Plus there’s a church right next door (not that we used it this time but pretty darned convenient if you did decide to marry in the church at Alby!)
After an emotional service by the lovely ladies of Marry in Norfolk it was time for champagne & canapes…
I also took the opportunity to put the drone up for a couple of quick shots of the venue from the air. It’s included free in all of my wedding packages and can be a great way to show a wedding venue and it’s grounds in one shot.
The musical entertainment was provided by Tim & Chris Wall, again part of the Norfolk Movember team from a few years back. I was also lucky enough to photograph Chris’s wedding a couple of years ago at Blickling Hall, always lovely to see the Wall family!
After a quick shoot with just Daryl & Emma it was time to head inside of the speeches and wedding breakfast…
And so to the first dance, the end of an amazing day and the start of what I am sure was a fantastic night!
For the full gallery of Daryl & Emma beautiful Norfolk Wedding at The Reading Room click here.
• Reading Room Wedding Photographers • Wedding Photographers in Norfolk • North Norfolk Photographers • Wedding Photography Norfolk • Wedding photographers near Aylsham •
It’s been a while since I have managed to post on here but after just finishing processing last weekend’s gorgeous Holkham Hall wedding photos I couldn’t resist sharing some of my favourite shots. Holkham Hall is truly a stunning location, set in the beautiful parkland grounds with their own herd of deer it is a photographer’s dream. The architecture is just breathtaking and the luxurious Marble Hall really must be one of the most impressive wedding ceremony locations in Norfolk.
I started the day’s wedding photography coverage at Row & Richard’s home just inland from the North Norfolk coast where I found Row & the girls getting ready on this beautiful, sunny autumn day.
Anyone for pizza?!
The incredible floral work for their wedding was created by the talented ladies at one of Norfolk’s top florists – Constance Rose. Such a lot of work had gone into these stunning flowers and the many decorations throughout Rowena & Richard’s Holkham Wedding. The colours Row had selected were absolutely beautiful…
With the ladies all set to head off to Holkham I jumped in the car & headed over to get some shots of Richard plus bestman (and brother) Martin and ushers Luke & Joe. Holkham Hall was looking majestic bathed in the autumn sunlight. Definitely my favourite time of year for photography with the low raking light and amazing colours of the leaves.
With everyone in place it was time for our bride’s arrival…
After a quick chat with the lovely registrars it was time to get the show on the road! So lovely to see Charlotte Martin (from Marry In Norfolk) was to be holding the ceremony. I’ve known Charlotte since she worked at Cley Mill, then had the honour of photographing her son’s wedding so it’s always lovely to find Charlotte is taking a ceremony I am to be shooting.
While Mr & Mrs signed the legal documents I got some shots around the hall – we are not allowed the photograph the register itself since it is a legal document so I always use the time to get some shots of the guests and the location.
After walking down the aisle, Richard & Row came back in for a big group shot of everyone on the steps before we released them to the drinks & canapes awaiting in the Lady Elizabeth Wing.
Amazing to think that we could all be outside in the courtyard enjoying the warm weather in mid October, it was genuinely like a Summer’s day!
After making sure Mr & Mrs Chantree had a chance to speak to their guests & enjoy the champagne & canapes we headed out into the grounds for some photos although with the meal looming there wasn’t long so I worked fast to get a selection of shots in the one location. It’s often the way with weddings – I will work with as long as I have available but my one rule is that I will never keep the kitchen waiting for us – if we have to be back at the reception for a certain time for the guests to sit down to eat then I will make sure we are back with time to spare. The chefs work extremely hard to make sure everything is ready for a certain time, the last thing they want is for the guests to be seated late because the photographer got carried away!
Back at the Lady Elizabeth Wing it was time for Richard’s speech before everyone sat down for the wedding breakfast…
The Lady Elizabeth Wing at Holkham Hall is a fantastic asset to this incredible Norfolk wedding venue – spacious, airy & light – perfect for photography!
With the main course finished it was time for Martin’s speech – heartfelt, funny and entertaining, everything a bestman’s speech should be (certainly not as cruel as some I’ve seen this year!)
Cake cut (and sampled by Edie) it was time for the last official duty of the day – the first dance…
A huge thank you to Row & Richard for having me as their wedding photographer, it was a fantastic wedding to photograph and they all made me feel so welcome.
For the full gallery of their Holkham Hall wedding click here. If you were guests at the wedding the reprints are available from the gallery at a 50% discount for the next seven days.
• Holkham Hall wedding • North Norfolk wedding photographer • Wedding photographers in Norfolk • Holkham weddings •
I got back last night from a fantastic few days photographing the action at Lendy Cowes Week 2018.
As part of my Aquavisuals maritime photography brand I wanted to get a good range of sailing photos and yachting photography for some magazine features so I booked a few days out in my diary earlier this year and made the trip down south. I had found a fantastic AirBnB place literally a stones throw from the quayside and about as central to the action as I could possibly get. I love it when a plan comes together!
I arrived on the Monday evening, Day 3 of Lendy Cowes Week and got straight to work catching some shots of some of the yachts crossing the finish line with their beautiful spinnakers bulging in the evening breeze, backlit by the setting sun…
While on the quayside I overheard someone saying that these boats had all their pennants up because the Princess Royal, Princess Anne, was in Cowes for the sailing. I then suddenly realised there were quite a few police around and some black cars parked behind me, seconds later I saw a small boat come into the marina and sure enough Princess Anne was on board. She disembarked the boat and walked straight up the jetty towards me, talk about right place, right time!
Biggest binoculars I’ve ever seen!
Gonna need a bigger boat…
For the rest of the week I had managed to secure a place on the Lendy Media boat which was fantastic, although the weather on Cowes Week day 4 wasn’t ideal initially with torrential downpours…
…but it soon brightened up and the sailors all seemed to be enjoying themselves on what was Cowes Ladies Day…
Cowes Week, Day 5 brought some great weather, sunshine, 25 knot gusts of wind and some good clouds in the blue sky to add some interest to the images. By far the best day for photography of the time I was there…
Fever Tree were handing out goodie bags to the yachts as they came back into the marina after a day’s sailing. Sadly they didn’t give any to the media boat!
RNLI Cowes Lifeboat were busy on the Wednesday with three shouts, this one made me smile – the Pig has gone belly up so who do you call? Cowes Lifeboat obviously!
Not a happy sight…
Cowes lifeboat off on their next shout…
So to my final day at Cowes Week, sadly another overcast day so I concentrated mostly on getting close ups of the action, trying to eliminate as much of the drab sky from the shots although I couldn’t resist still getting plenty of wider shots showing these beautiful boats in action…
Oops, slight touch there as some of the yachts struggled against a strong tide & little wind to get round one of the course markers…
Hauling in the spinnaker!
Joy at finally getting round the bouy after a tense few minutes of drifting the wrong way with the strong ebbing tide…
So there’s my favourite shots of this years Lendy Cowes Week, I’m already looking forward to heading back for next year plus a few other major yachting events in the diary.
I am open to commissions to any yachting events so please drop me a line or see my Aquavisuals site, aimed specifically at maritime & boating photography here.
For the full gallery of my 2018 Cowes week photos click here.
• yachting photography • yacht photographer • sailing photographer • sailing photos • marine photographer •
Last week with the fine weather and calm seas I decided to make a short film showing some of the beauty that lies beneath the waves just off our beach here at Sheringham.
In 2016 the unique chalk reef ecosystem stretching from Weybourne to Happisburgh was designated to be an official Marine Conservation Zone. The MCZ covers an area of 321 square kilometres and is home to a vast and rich diversity of sealife. The MCZ is apparently home to over 30 species of Sea Slug, I haven’t spotted any yet but I’ll keep looking!
The problem is that for much of the year the sea is stirred up so much that the water resembles a muddy gravy which is no good for snorkelling or scuba diving. Most years we have a few weeks in the summer when the sea is calm enough for the sediment to drop out and the water clears up providing some great visibility for underwater exploring. Last week was one of them and with the beautiful sunshine beaming down on us I couldn’t resist a venture into the water, I wasn’t disappointed. I don’t recall the water ever being quite this clear, the visibility was great!
Below is a short film I made using the drone for some aerial footage and a GoPro Hero6 for some 4K underwater shots. I think the results have surpised a lot of people as to just how clear the water can get and also how beautiful this environment is, just under our noses but often totally unexplored by the vast majority. At the time of writing the FB video has had over 30,000 views & 500+ shares on my Facebook page, plus an edited version appearing on the BBC East of England social media pages (another 33,000+ views) and stills/clips of it being used by the EDP & BBC in other areas. I’m due to be interviewed for a piece about the chalk reef for BBC Look East next week too. Jacques Cousteau was always my hero as a kid so this is my chance to emulate him!
Below are some still shots I took while down there, not as sharp as I’d like but not bad for a little GoPro I guess!
Another nice local wedding for me in a weekend of three weddings and it was lovely to see so many familiar faces at Charlotte & Ben’s wedding. I’ve known both Charlotte and Ben’s families for a number of years and being a North Norfolk wedding it meant I also knew a lot of the guests which is always great!
No preparation shots required today so I started the day’s coverage at Kelling Church and found Ben and his groomsmen having a cheeky snifter at this gorgeous VW Camper, one of Simon’s collection and part of the legendary Retro Campers fleet. The sun was shining, the spiced rum was flowing, all was well in the world!
The bridesmaids arrived in ‘understated’ style in this beast! Certainly took some skilled driving to navigate the little North Norfolk country lanes!
With everyone present and ready it was time for the service to begin. The church looked amazing with the flowers and floral arrangements provided by the lovely Karen at Blooming Blooms florists in Sheringham.
With the formal bit done, the guests all enjoyed some champers out the back of the camper van, while we quickly got the formal groups done, how cool is that?! Then I put the drone up for a few quick shots of everybody from the air with Charlotte & Ben in front of Henri’s (Charlotte’s father) awesome red Cadillac Eldorado…
After a really chilled time at the church in the sunshine we all headed off to the wonderful Back To The Garden for their wedding reception. Back To The Garden is a North Norfolk institution these days, a cracking deli & cafe during the week and a stunning venue for a wedding reception with the most amazing gardens and surrounding farmland not to mention the incredible food. It really has to be one of my favourite Norfolk wedding venues.
Ben & Charlotte were so much fun to work with, it’s always so lovely to shoot a wedding for a couple that are really into the photography, as a result our happy couple gave me a really good chunk of time to work with as we explored the grounds of Back To The Garden and we found some great farm buildings to shoot in. I always enjoy the juxtaposition of the rural buildings & barns and the immaculate wedding dress and suits (wow, that sounds awfully pretentious, don’t think I’ve ever used the word ‘juxtaposition’ on this blog before, sounds all a bit art critic-like!)
With some fun shots in the bag we headed back into the venue for some reception cocktails and this sumptuous feast awaiting…
Krispy Kreme doughnuts for dessert, now this really is my kind of wedding!!
The evening catering was provided by the lovely folk at Pie Central – I can honestly say that the steak pie & ale they gave me to take home is the best pie I have ever eaten (no exaggeration), the beef was tender, no nasty fat/gristle surprises, amazing rich gravy and a perfectly light & crispy crust. Exactly as a pie should be. I truly can’t recommend these guys enough.
As the sun began to drop I headed up onto the hill with the wedding party for a few more shots in the gorgeous golden evening light and we had some fun trying to get them to do synchronised jumping. Sadly I think the wine meant we didn’t quite get the same timing throughout but we gave it a go!
So there it is, Ben & Charlotte’s amazing North Norfolk wedding, it was such a fun wedding to photograph, I came home buzzing from such a great day. Thank you to Ben & Charlotte and their families and friends for making me feel so welcome, such a lovely bunch of people, I’d happily do it all over again!
For the full gallery of their Norfolk wedding photos click here.
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Laura & Ben’s wedding was blessed with glorious sunshine from start to finish, and we started at the beautiful Dialhouse in Reepham for Laura’s bridal preparations.
All was calm and relaxed in the room where Laura & her bridesmaid Amy were getting ready, I love all the thought that has gone into the decor for the rooms at The Dialhouse, each so individual.
Laura & Amy were getting ready in ‘The Taj Mahal’ room, decorated in Indian-themed colours and objects.
With the ladies ready for their departure I headed off to Thurning Hall, a gorgeous North Norfolk wedding venue and the first time I had been there. Thurning Hall is an 18th Century georgian manor house set the most beautiful grounds & surrounded by woods & farmland. Proper North Norfolk style!
It was a great surprise to walk into the ceremony room and find the lovely Xenia Horne warming up on her harp. Xenia is always an amazing addition to a wedding day, a truly lovely person and highly talented harpist, from classical pieces to Coldplay covers, she can play them all!
With the formal bit done everyone headed into one of the walled gardens for cocktails…
As ever I put the drone up for a few aerial shots (all included at no extra price in my wedding packages)…
After some garden games everyone headed into the teepee (tipi?) for afternoon tea provided by the talented folks at Back To Your Place…
So I left them to it as the warm summer’s evening continued, a really nice chilled wedding in the heart of North Norfolk. For the full gallery of Laura & Ben’s North Norfolk wedding click here.
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