Festive Asian Bridal Styled Shoot

As a London wedding photographer and having had a multicultural wedding myself I’m always excited to find ways of bringing different cultural traditions together. I wanted to do a bridal shoot that would showcase how traditional Indian elements could be combined with a festive, wintry theme. I also wanted to show that you can have beautiful bridal portraits in winter without shivering in the cold! The beautiful flowers and red berries look gorgeous with both the traditional white wedding dress and a silver sari. Adding intricate henna designs to candles allows a festive feel with an Indian twist, and wrapping up in faux fur, chunky knits & cream accessories gives a stunning winter look.

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I loved working with Joanne Truby Floral Design who created the stunning flower crown and winter bouquet and Shreya Pandya who did the gorgeous make-up, hair & intricate henna designs. Binaisha Shah was our beautiful model.

Read more about the inspiration for this festive bridal styled shoot on the Secret Wedding Blog and visit my website to see more wedding photography.

Christmas Markets in Bratislava

This year I headed to Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, to try their Christmas markets. The old town is welcoming, the people are warm and the stalls are full of delicious local specialities.

There are two larger markets – on the main square (Hlavne Namestie) and on Hviezdoslavovo Square. Hlavne Namestie has a stage with festive performances in the evening and a small roofed area where you can sit and enjoy your tasty treats. Hviezdoslavovo seems to have more arts and crafts, although there are still plenty of food stalls. It also has a small ice rink, funky illuminated ‘running’ figures that appear to sprint down the length of the market and a nativity scene of carved wooden figures. There’s also a small market in the Old Town Hall’s courtyard just off Hlavne Namestie, with craft stalls and sheep, and a few food stalls and occasional concerts under the upturned ‘Pyramid’ broadcast centre. My favourite place was the peaceful crib scene in front of a Christmas tree under the arches of the Bratislava City Museum.

The emphasis is definitely on local Slovak dishes, but in the red and white painted stalls you can also find beautiful wreaths and Christmas ornaments of dried oranges and limes, decorated glass baubles and nativity scene figures. For savoury foods there are sausages, bread spread with lard and raw onions, fried potato cakes (lokse) and a ‘gypsy roast’ (ciganska pecienka) which is a meat filled bread roll. Also for those with a sweet tooth there are many dishes, often including poppy seeds: crepes, strudels and pastries called bratislavske rozky. The local gingerbread (medovnik) is delicious and is sold with intricate coloured icing. I can highly recommend the trdelnik or chimney cake – a steaming pastry chimney rolled in cinnamon, cocoa or vanilla sugar – delicious!

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You can see more travel photography on my website. I’d love to visit more Christmas markets so please leave your tips and suggestions below!

A family adventure on the Polar Express

I love being an auntie, especially when it means I get to go on amazing adventures at Christmas! This year I was very excited to join my nephew Joshua and his parents on the Polar Express. Based on the book and film, there is an actual Polar Express train which runs on the Weardale Railway from Stanhope. Not only do you get to ride on the train (in your pyjamas!) and hear the story of the Polar Express, you’re served hot chocolate and cookies by dancing waiters, have your golden ticket hole-punched by the train conductor and see Santa with his huge sack of presents. Santa himself even joined the train to find out what everyone would like for Christmas and gave each child a magic silver sleigh bell. It was a magical day!

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Thank you Sarah, Dom, Joshua & Reindeer for letting me join you on the Polar Express! extra Polar Express Dec15-2

My relaxed family photography sessions can take place in your home or on an adventure like this! Please contact me to talk about a session for your family, I’d love to capture some special memories for you.

Jo & Ali’s Christmas Engagement

Jo & Ali wanted to do their engagement shoot in Leamington Spa in locations that were special to them. We visited the park they used to sit in, the porch of the house where they first lived together and a cosy café they loved to visit. They’re both huge rugby fans so we made sure to incorporate this into their photos. They also wanted a Christmas feel so we used mistletoe, a Christmas tree and they even changed into (tasteful) Christmas jumpers! A prewed shoot is a great way to get used to being photographed and relax in front of the camera – and gives beautifully romantic, natural images which can be used for invitations or even Christmas cards.

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Please visit my website to find out more about my wedding photography and romantic portraits.

Sherina and Andy’s Wasing Park Wedding

I was very happy to work with Rachel Rose to capture Sherina & Andy’s stunning wedding at Wasing Park in Berkshire. They had a intimate church ceremony at St Nicholas Church and then a party into the early hours! Sherina looked beautiful with an amazing bouquet, a pair of the most gorgeous wedding shoes I’ve seen and a sparkling tiara. Their reception included a delicate 3-tier cake, lots of dancing as well as caricatures and guests enjoyed the Wasing Park grounds late into the night.

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Click to see more of my London wedding photography.

www.hannahlarkinphotography.com/