Tuesday, 29 November 2011

A Taste of Lancashire: Shutterleaf Photography

Today we have a lovely man on the blog, who goes by the name of Anurag Sharma, also known as Shutterleaf Photography.   When Anurag sent over a selection of his recent work, I was blown away.  Here is just a small selection that I chose, so I hope you'll enjoy them as much as I did.  Over to Anurag...

"My name is Anurag Sharma & I run ShutterLeaf Photography. I am based in the village of Wrea Green about 3 miles from Lytham, in Lancashire. Weddings are all about love, about friends, about family, about the moments, about the day, about a story. I take pictures that tell that story."

 How did you get into photography?

"I guess I've always loved what photographs represent. A photograph says so much about the human condition. They are not just throwaway things. They have purpose. They give you a glimpse of a specific moment in time. They remain when all else goes.

I started getting serious about photography back in 2008. This was 2 years after the birth of my first child and around the time of the birth of my second. I put down the reason that I am a full time photographer purely down to my two daughters. I am very conscious of how important time is to us. It is the most precious commodity of all. We can't get it back but we can reflect on it. We can see it again. The memory of moments. The still beauty of images is such a driver to our imagination. It elates us and saddens. It makes us laugh and weep. It makes us belong from afar. My family is one of my two loves in life. The other is photography."

Where can we find you and which areas do you cover?

"I live in Wrea Green, a village near Lytham. Ribby Hall is about a mile away and The Villa Country Hotel about 800 yards. I cover the whole of the UK with most weddings I shoot being based in Lancashire. I've shot weddings in Tatton Park, near Manchester, and The Majestic, in Harrogate, so I have no issues with travelling out of the county."

Apart from weddings, can you offer anything else? 

"My services extend from doing engagement shoots with provision for some beautiful signing boards, through to catching the fun and the love enjoyed on a wedding day. After the great day, I provide a personal viewing session, if convenient. I always hold hope for a future baby shoot – ahem. :-)

My aim is simple, to tell a story...to tell your story."

You know how I love a good Rock The Frock shoot and these photos just prove my point.  The shoots are the perfect time to wear your dress again AND get some alternative photos that you would never achieve on your wedding day.

What is your photography style?

"In essence my style is documentary in nature with time included to take formal bridal and couple portraits and a maximum of 5 group shots. Your wedding day is not the photographer's day therefore I try and keep interruptions to a minimum and let my couples enjoy the time with their friends and family. This mixture of a documentary style with a sprinkling of portraiture ensures that your wedding day flows with ease and equally the story of your day flows within the photographs."

Your blog is fantastic. It allows brides to be to see your previous work. Do you think this helps with potential clients?

"Of course. A couple can gauge whether the photographs and the photographer suits them. A photograph is more than clicking a button. There is an art to taking a picture and an art to making a picture. Blogs showcase both. My photographs are about moments that when put together weave into a story."


Do you have any favourite photos?

"It is very possible to capture love. I see a part of me in all my photographs. My personal favourites are those of my two young children. My photographs are like children to me. I have so many favourites, for so many reasons. From when Diane's father had his hand on his daughter's shoulder soon after she was married to the look in Craig's face when Jessica stood next to him. They are all about love, emotion, a moment."

Have you had any demanding brides or unusual requests?

"Yes but nothing that couldn't be catered for. When couples meet me it is crucial that we get on and that they understand the way I shoot a wedding day and the stories I produce for them in an album or video. It is essentially the service that they will be receiving if they hire me. I will want to understand their needs. My hope is that what I offer fits neatly with what a couple wants. It's the perfect match. It may well be that I am not the right photographer for them. For example my style may not suit a more traditional style that a couple is looking for. In that case, I am more than happy to recommend another photographer who would suit them better. It is very important to me for people to like the way I tell a story rather than hiring me simply as a photographer. Equally important is that couples walk away happy whether they hire me or not."

Can you give us an idea of prices?

"My collections & prices tend to get reviewed every 6 months. Currently, my base collection starts from £995. This includes selected images from the day, with basic lighting and colour corrections on disc with print rights. Larger collections contain hand crafted photographs for inclusion in your story book."

 Where can our readers meet you? And do you have a website?

"Readers can meet me for some flavoursome coffee or tea (PG tips I’m afraid) in Wrea Green where they can view my collections, see more of my work and discuss their needs. As an introduction to my work, my latest work can be viewed via www.shutterleaf.co.uk/blog.

My portfolio can be see at www.shutterleaf.co.uk"

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Christmas Comes Early At Glamour Bridal & Prom

** Special Offer **
** 20% off **
How would you like to choose the dress of your dreams and receive a staggering 20% off? Don't delay, book your appointment with us now on Saturday 26th November or Saturday 3rd December and not only will you save 20% on the cost of your dress......

You'll also receive:
* £50.00 voucher towards accessories including veils, tiaras and shoes.


* An exclusive FYEO Brides photo shoot at a studio of your choice worth over £150
- a magical keepsake and perfect wedding day
present for your
husband to be and only available at Glamour Bridal!

Don't delay ladies, book now, this offer is only available on Saturday 26th & Saturday 3rd December 2011
call us on 01204 388390
Glamour Boutique x

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

We're Up For Another Award

This time its The Wedding Industry Awards

We would like to say a BIG thanks to all our brides who voted for us! Not only are we thrilled that we excelled your expectations on your big day but are also very grateful that you took the time to go online and vote for us too... it is very much appreciated.

Now we just have to keep our fingers and toes crossed until the end of the month when the winners will be announced!

Watch this space!

Monday, 21 November 2011

Disney Fairytale Weddings

I have something to confess to you all.  I am a MAHOOSIVE Disney fan.  I've even been harbouring two Mickey and Minnie champagne flutes for my own big day. So when I came across the website for Disney Weddings, imagine my excitement!

Now I know Disneyland is a far strech from Lancashire but when the brochure dropped through my letterbox I just couldn't resist telling you all about it.  Ever since I was a little girl, I have imagined myself marrying my very own Prince Charming in the pink Disney castle.  Yes, I was a little disappointed to find out that you can't actually get married in there but I got over that when I saw the rest of the brochure.

Disney organise weddings at 4 locations: Florida, California, Hawaii and on their magnificent Cruise Liner. Each location has different collections depending on whether you want an intimate affair or a wedding that meets all your princess wishes.  Use this link to see a collection comparison for each location and find out what each collection offers.

 Disney also have inhouse wedding planners and services to pander to your every need.  At Florida, Franck's Bridal Studio- a re-creation of Franck's studio from the hit Touchstone movie "Father of the Bride" - showcases all of Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings' offerings in a Victorian summerhouse setting. The planning studio is elegantly styled with French provincial furniture and antique portraits in gilt. Classical music plays quietly in the background.  Brides-to-be can meet with their Disney Wedding Specialist to select all the elements that comprise their storybook wedding: music, entertainment, photography, candelabras, centerpieces, sample specialty linens, fresh floral arrangements, world-class cuisine, cakes and guest books.

Once you have chosen your location, you then have an abundance off venues to choose from.  Have your reception in the actual theme park, or choose from one of many beautiful terraces or lavish Ballrooms.  As always with Americans, Disneys have weddings off to a tee.  So if its those special touches that make you go gaga for weddings then Disney is your place. 

But with all this choice I'm not quite sure how one will ever decide!

Credits: All photos and information are from http://disneyweddings.disney.go.com/

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Make Your Wedding Stand Out From The Crowd

I am a big fan of American weddings.  The detail and thought that goes into simple things such as chairs, table linen and even napkins are very much what Simply Bows and Chair Covers aim to do.  We offer something different and unique to your bogstandard white chair covers. We love an event with a theme or a wedding that allows us to be creative and try new designs.  This is why I often use American blogs and websites for inspiration like the photos below.
And heres a few pics of unusual designs from Simply Bows and Chair Covers.

For details on how we can make your wedding day stand out visit the website at www.simplybowsandchaircovers.co.uk.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

To A Dear Friend...

8 years ago this week we lost one of our dearest friends.  At the age of 15 we thought our world had ended.  But life did go on and little did we know that our memories and the times we spent together were to influence every decision we made.  I remember when we used to star up at the sky making shapes out of the stars.  Now I look up at them and I know you're staring back at me.  Whenever I'm feeling low I look up to the stars for reassurance from you.  This year brought the start of the business, and who would have thought 8 years ago that at the age of 23 I would be running my own business.  I obviously can't say for sure, but I like to think you played a part in that.

It was a brief friendship but the fast year that we spent together is one I will always remember.  Your smile, your laugh and your ability to light up a room.  How 8 years have flown by.  We all went to to college, university and on to full time jobs and we often wonder what you would have ended up doing.  Life has changed a lot but our memories of you never will.

I'm not normally one for soppy stories but I just wanted to say thankyou.  You made me who I am today and for that I thankyou.  I thank you for the memories, for the fun times we shared and for the laughs we had.

RIP Rachael x

Thursday, 10 November 2011

A Taste of Lancashire: Dawn Juson

Today I have a Bolton based photographer for you lovely lot.  Here is Dawn to tell us a bit more about herself.

"My name is Dawn and I am a Weddings and Boudoir Photographer. As a small child I was obsessed with taking photos and I would take my camera everywhere at the annoyance of my family! It wasn't until my children were born however that I decided to leave the rat race and follow my passion."

"I would describe my style as photojournalistic with staged shots kept to a minimum. I think it’s nice to have some posed photos but not at detriment to style and enjoyment of the day. I do capture all the little details but most of all I love to capture the joy and real emotion of day not the fake smiles and military line ups! I give 100% not just on the day but also afterwards in the editing stage. Quite often I can take up to 2000 shots per wedding and it can take me up to 2 weeks to fully edit. I don’t just hand the client all the photos, I hand pick the best images and importantly don’t over process or add effects that will date your photographs over the years. I offer beautiful, elegant and unpretentious wedding photography."

Dawn also offers Boudoir photoshoots which can make a great present for your hubby to be or simply used to boost your confidence.

"I love the Boudoir side of my business! I love seeing the client be transformed into a starlet and realising that with correct posing and with a bit of magic afterwards all women can look sexy in their underwear. The women I have worked with have found it to be an amazing confidence booster and a brilliant gift idea!"

Dawn Juson Photography
07984 417 562

Wednesday, 9 November 2011


All sizes and shapes.
Blackburn, Blackpool or Chorley and beyond.
Church, registry or civil ceremony.
I want to feature your lancashire weddings.

Tell me what was great about your lancashire wedding and share the local suppliers you used for your big day.

A Tweeters Guide To Twitter

I'm no expert on social media but here's a few tips I've picked up in my short time on Twitter:

Source: yourseomentor.com

- Always include your website on your bio.  Then tweeters who need you, know where to get hold of you.

- Your bio should also include what you do and what you tweet about then people know what to expect from you.  They're also more likely to follow you.

- Always have a picture.  Followers like to know who they are following.  At a seminar I was told this must be a photo of yourself as followers like to know who you are.  I'm undecided on this.  If its a business account is it not just of good use to include a picture of your work? Thoughts below please.

- At the same seminar I was told not to include more than one hashtag in a tweet.  I'm not sure why but I try and stick to it.  I'm not sure why I try and stick to it either.

- Save the hashtags that are important to you as searches.  I have saved the hastag 'journorequest.'  When searching this hashtag I may see a tweet that relates to me, it may also be an opportunity to promote my business.

- Retweets are important for your 'status.'  Retweet when people ask for help, or promote offers etc and you'll get to be known as a useful and important tweeter.

Source: home-designing.com
- Don't be a salesman.  There's no need to annoy your followers with salesman tweets.  They know where you are if they need you and they will only unfollow you if you do so.

- Be careful what you say.  I've unfollowed several accounts that claim to be professional businesses yet tweet bitchy and unprofessional tweets.  One popular twitterer, who didn't follow me back, once tweeted that if they weren't following you back it was because you were unimportant to me.  That looks very professional to potential clients.  I swiftly unfollowed.

- When I'm looking at a profile to decide whether to follow them or not there is a few things I look at to decide.  I will only follow them if they are local or interested in the same things as me.  I also look at how many followers they have and how many people they are following in return.  Yes they may have 1000 followers but how many people are they following?  If they are following a substantial amount more than they have in followers,  it looks like they went on a following spree.  Some would argue that it gives you an idea of how important they are. For example, Lord Sugar has nearly 1.5million followers but only follows 58 people.

Source: technmarketing.com

And finally keep your tweets interesting and those followers will keep rolling in!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

The Wedding Ideas Awards 2012

I am so pleased to announce that Simply Bows and Chair Covers have been nominated for a prestigious Wedding Ideas Award 2012.

The awards, run by the team at Wedding Ideas Magazine, have become the biggest wedding consumer awards in the UK, with thousands voting for their favourite wedding companies.  Here at Simply Bows and Chair Covers we have been nominated in the category of Best Special Touches.  Voting has already started and ends on November 30th so please make your vote count by voting for us here...

The top 5 companies from each category will then go in front of a panel of expert judges from the wedding industry to decide who wins. The glamourous awards ceremony takes place in London in January and we would love to be a part of it.

So if Simply Bows and Chair Covers have made your wedding venue come alive or you simply love the work we do then please take the time to vote for us.

I'll keep you all updated! x

Monday, 7 November 2011

A Taste Of Lancashire: Wrapor

I am so happy to be featuring this lady as part of my A Taste of Lancashire feature.  Not only is the idea behind them great but having seen the pieces on a photoshoot, I can vouch for them being absolutely stunning!

Here is Kay, of Wrapor, to tell us a bit about herself and her unique designs.

My name is Kay McEllin, I am 43 and married with two boys aged 13 and 5. My business is Wrapor, it’s a small family business, we make unique bespoke wrap/shrugs and boleros and have been trading online for 4 years

Where did the name Wrapor come from?

Well, this is always a big decision when anyone starts a business. I was half way through a business course and was racking my brains for a suitable name. I wanted to use the word wrap in the name, and because the design is a cross between a wrap and a shrug, I combined the phrase “wrap or shrug” and then I registered Wraporshrug.co.uk as the domain name. I liked the word Wrapor too as I wanted it to suggest excellent customer services and the “rapport” I try my best to build with my customers.


How did you get into making your beautiful pieces?

I have over 20 year experience in the bridal retail business, I made my own wedding dress and bridesmaids dresses (20 years ago next year… eek!!) I also worked in several bridal shops, carrying out fittings and alterations on ready made wedding dresses. I loved playing a huge part in making bride’s look and feel their very best. However, I found that although most of the dresses came with a wrap, the customers would often look awkward trying to keep them in place and they would end up tying them in a huge knot at the back to keep them on!

Several years later in 2007 a friend asked me to make her something to cover a small tattoo on her shoulder on her wedding day, a wrap was out of the question as it would just fall down. After a few attempts the Wrapor shrug was born. Kelly loved how the creation stayed in place without covering any detail on her dress, she wore it all day and into the evening and she looked and felt fabulous! I had a business idea! I was lucky to attend a short business course NES at MMU and afterwards started trading online as Wrapor.


What styles and fabrics do the shrugs come in?

Oooh… any fabric you like! The range on the website includes satin, silk, chiffon, organza, faux fur, taffeta and tulle with or without sheer overlays, in a extensive range of colours and shades of white and ivory. Fabric can also be ordered in especially for each customer if our range of stock fabrics is unsuitable. We provide a fabric sample service so you can match the fabric up with your dress before your place your order. It is also helpful if you can send a fabric sample for us to match up with fabrics from our supplier.

 Why wear Wrapor a shrug or bolero on your wedding day?

The designs are ideal to keep the chill off in the cooler months. The faux fur shrug looks fabulous with any dress fabric and they are popular with brides and bridesmaids. We can also use a fleece lining inside the other fabrics for extra warmth.

Many of my customers feel a little exposed in a sleeveless dress, they may want to cover up for a religious ceremony or to cover imperfections due to weight loss etc. Others just like to add a little something to complete their outfit. Standard bolero jackets don’t suit everyone and can sometimes look rather shapeless, or frumpy, customers tell me that the simple elegant styling of the Wrapor is just what they have been looking for.

What has been the most popular design?

The organza and chiffon fabrics are very popular in the summer as they offer semi sheer coverage and will compliment most dress fabrics. The faux fur is very popular for Christmas and winter weddings.


Where can our readers meet you? And do you have a website?

Please visit the website: www.wraporshrug.co.uk to see the range available.
Email: kay@wraporshrug.co.uk, or ring 0161 432 1907 for a chat about our designs, or to request fabric samples.
I am hoping to be able to offer appointments to our clients from Jan 2012 onwards.

Lancashire Bride says: The fur shrugs are the reason why I would want a Winter Wedding, they're stunning and chic but practical at the same time. Wrapor are definitely one to watch.