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INTRODUCING THE WATERMELON DESIGN

The Watermelon Design make funky accessories for photographers. So we were more than happy to check out their latest range of trendy camera strap action.

After several years working for international textile brands, UK-based designer, Ez decided to set up her own business. With a wealth of experience, a passion for fabrics and a special talent for unique ‘fresh and juicy’ designs, The Watermelon Design was born. Yaaay!

CAMERA STRAPS THAT MAKE A STATEMENT

Camera straps come in all shapes and sizes these days. So there’s no excuse not to ditch that characterless freebie that probably came with your camera. If you want to make a real statement with your strap, then be sure to check out The Watermelon Design’s handmade beauties.

Our strap arrived in perfect condition. All carefully packaged in a neat brown box and wrapped in protective tissue paper.

FUNKY ACCESSORIES FOR AWESOME PHOTOGRAPHERS

The camera strap itself is hand-crafted to the highest standards. It’s also a simple, classic-style strap with a functional design. There are even fab lens cap pocket and personalisation options too. A polypropylene-webbing inside the fabric provides extra strength. Also interfacing material gives additional support and comfort. The strap ends come with handy adjustable buckles. These are suitable to fit a standard 10mm camera loop or larger. Other swivel lobster clasp types are also available.

LEVEL UP! JUNE 2017 SPONSOR

The Watermelon Design have a wide range of straps, with many bold and quirky patterns to choose from. The lobster and the paisley designs are definitely two of our faves! Minimalist straps and scarf-style versions are also available in the shop. Check them out on Facebook and Instagram. Have a look at the excellent reviews from many happy customers!

We are very excited that Ez has beautifully handcrafted a super-cool paisley camera strap especially for our Level Up creative photography workshop in June 2017. Attendees will have a chance to win this amazing prize! So thanks again, Ez!

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Pre-Wedding Me and You Shoot in Blackpool with Lisa and Brian.

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The British Institute of Professional Photography‘s North West Regional Awards took place in Manchester last week. A date we always look forward to in our calendar. We certainly will never forget last year’s mega award winning night at Dukes 92 in Castlefield.

This year the new BIPPNW Chairman was at the helm and had been very busy behind the scenes. The event was also heavily promoted across social media. There were more hotly contested categories, big prizes up for grabs and a new judging panel. So we expected the number of entries would be up and as always the competition would be at the highest level.

NORTH WEST PROFESSIONAL PRINT COMPETITION

We loved looking back through the last years weddings to choose our entries. With so many amazing weddings each year, the task of choosing our faves seems to get more difficult. But that of course is a good thing! We were very impressed by our awesome competition prints, provided by Digitalab professional photo lab. We are very excited that these guys will also be one of our June 2017 Level Up! creative photography workshop sponsors.

AWARD WINNING DOCUMENTARY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY

We had a fab night (the food was delish) and it is with great pleasure we can reveal that Zo scooped two more awards! Even better, these awards were in our favourite categories Reportage/Documentary Wedding and Creative Wedding. So we will always be super proud of these achievements. Further professional recognition of our continued dedication and hard work is always a day-maker!

Congrats to all the amazing 2017 winners. Also special thanks goes to all our awesome couples we have the pleasure of working with. Because with your total trust and faith in our vision, we can capture your unique stories in our own special way. You rock!

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Respect! A scooter rally and a Northern Soul dance-off? It must be Kira and David’s Shireburn Arms wedding! Our awesome adventure together started over two years before the big day. We first met at a Towneley Hall wedding fair. Kira and David were keen to find out more about our creative portraits and unposed documentary style. Even in the early planning stages there was plenty for us to be excited about too. David was hopeful that his classic Vespa scooter would be back in action in time to greet guests at the door. (Currently residing in pieces in the kitchen). Fingers crossed.

SHIREBURN ARMS WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY

Leading up to the wedding we had also been entrusted with some top secret wedding day surprises, of course our lips were sealed. It was a beautiful morning when we met the bridal party at the couple’s quirky home in Rawtenstall, Lancashire. There was music, champagne, Jager and already plenty of laughs.

HERE COME THE MODS

It was a short trip to St James-the-Less Church for the ceremony. David’s epic arrival will have certainly been heard throughout the town and the surprise scooter procession led by Burnley and Pendle Scooter Club was not to be missed. Kira looked stunning when David turned to see her gorgeous dress and amazing red hair for the first time.

After the ‘I dos’ we all set off for the reception. We were really looking forward to being back at the Shireburn Arms, Lancashire. The amazing team and countryside setting always make this quintessential English pub a special place to shoot.

A pit stop in Whalley on the way gave us the perfect opportunity to enjoy a few quiet moments together, before party time begins! True to his word, David’s red Vespa scooter was waiting for us at the Shireburn Arms. We loved all their fab retro vintage pin-up decorations too.

EVER SEEN A WEDDING NORTHERN SOUL DANCE OFF?

The Mighty Boof! photobooth was in full swing as the evening guests arrived to join the fun. There was also still time for one more mega surprise. Northern Soul dance troop, the Fulledge Young Souls cleared the floor and blew everyone away with their moves!

A few words from Kira and David:

“Thank you so much for being our wedding photographers, the photos are absolutely amazing! Hope you enjoyed the day as much as we did!”

Thanks again guys for sharing your day with us, it was a belter! So, keep the faith!

Pre-Wedding Me and You Shoot at the seaside with Sarah and Nick.

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  • Pauline Finney - So amazing!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah Carroll - Wow! They look great, we love them! Thanks guys!ReplyCancel

It was a real red hot day for Laura and Ryan’s Barton Hall wedding! From the moment we arrived at Laura’s lovely family home in Walgrave to meet the bridal party, to dodging moves on the dancefloor, the temperatures were scorching!

NORTHAMPTONSHIRE WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS

We love shooting from our second base in Northamptonshire. (Also a chance for us to catch up with our family and friends there!) It’s certainly not always hotter than Tenerife though.

Walgrave is the kind of village where all the houses have names and not numbers. Luckily chief bridesmaid, Dawn was on lookout duty to wave us in – high five Dawn! Marmalade the cat kept a keen eye on things during bridal party preparations. Also photobombing a few shots, like all the cool cats do. There was champagne and plenty of giggles with the girls as the excitement built.

An immaculate Beauford Open Tourer from Warkton Wedding Cars then made the (very) short trip to Saint Peter’s Church that bit more special. Ryan played it cool awaiting his first look at Laura’s gorgeous dress.

A BARTON HALL WEDDING PARTY

After the ceremony, we all headed over to Barton Hall in Barton Seagrave, Kettering. The award-winning Northamptonshire wedding venue has an impressive Orangery and beautiful gardens. All perfect for drinking and enjoying the blissful sunshine. Fab to meet the lovely Toastmaster Tim reporting for duty.

Laura and Ryan had a choreographed first dance up their sleeves for later. Of course guests loved it. Other than a couple of minor ‘improvisations’ they get a ten from us too! Once The Bandits party band hit the stage the dancefloor was rocking all night long.

A few words from the newlyweds:

“We had Zo and Liam take our wedding photographs, and WOW they were fantastic! The photos are incredible and the service they delivered was second to none! Amazing people, so talented and amazing photographs. Thank you so much! x”

It was a real pleasure to hang out with Laura and Ryan and their crew. A four-hundred mile round trip adventure and we had a blast! Thanks for sharing your love story with us guys! (Whenever we have marmalade on toast for breakfast, we will think of your beaut of a day!)

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  • Laura - Thank you so much for our photos,we love them. Can’t wait to see you in August xReplyCancel

It was the sixth ever Tattoo Tea Party this weekend! Artists from around the world gather to show off their ink-work skills at one of the biggest extravaganzas of its kind. There were fairground rides, circus acts, sideshows, body painting, fire breathing, custom cars, strongman competitions, gentleman’s boxing and an eclectic mix of traders offering their weird and wonderful wares. Also this year, featuring for the very first time The Tattooed Wedding Collective.

INTRODUCING THE TATTOOED WEDDING COLLECTIVE

The Tattooed Wedding Collective is a collaboration with Marry Me Ink wedding blog and the fab Legend Bridal Designs. So big thanks again guys for making it happen! The two-day convention which takes place at Event City in Manchester now has a section dedicated to alternative wedding goodness. Because alt brides rock!

ALTERNATIVE WEDDING INSPIRATION AT THE TATTOO TEA PARTY

With so many great creative and talented suppliers on show, we’re really chuffed to be a part of the Wedding Collective. Our faves Paragon Floral Designs and Sonara Parker Makeup Artist were there. Also exhibiting were new friends Art & Sole, Fruitbat Textiles, Kokino Salon, Unity Ceremonies and Debbie Gillespie Cake Design. Such a great effort from all involved. Hard luck if you missed out on the goodie-bags!

FAIRGROUND BRIDAL PHOTOSHOOT

The Legend Bridal Designs crew were displaying some awesome new dresses. So we jumped at the opportunity for an impromptu photoshoot. Because it’s not every day we get to play with a bumper car backdrop. Of course the models nailed it!

We had a fab time and look forward to the next adventure! #thetattooedweddingcollective

NEW FUJIFILM X100F REVIEW

Introducing the fourth generation Fujifilm X100 mirrorless camera. Suitably named the ‘X100F’, for those struggling to keep count and due for UK release later this month. So it was a pleasure to be invited for a hands-on first look at Fujifilm’s latest instalment before it hits the shelves. We primarily shoot using Nikon. However until there’s a lucrative sponsorship deal on the table, of course we are always interested to see what latest technologies the world has to offer.

HANDS ON WITH THE LATEST FUJIFILM CAMERA

First up, this camera sure looks a beauty. It’s compact, light and rangefinder styling will be an attractive combination to many classic camera lovers. Inside the specs pack a punch too. The new X-Trans CMOS III sensor and powerful X-Processor Pro brings a new level of performance to the X100 series. The popular Fujinon 23mm pancake-style lens remains ever-present. Also fifteen film simulation options add to the cameras appeal.

A FEW HOURS WITH THE FUJIHOLICS

The good folks from Fujifilm Events arranged to meet the gang at Calumet Photographic, Manchester. They were very helpful getting the cameras set up fresh out the box. Street photographer and Fujifilm-X ambassador Matt Hart then lead us on our merry trail around Manchester city centre. Let loose we spent about an hour getting to grips with the new gear and testing some new features.

The Fujifilm X-series cameras are becoming the increasingly popular weapon of choice for wedding and street-shooters. The more discreet size and fast focussing is ideal for capturing those unposed, real natural moments. We shoot using manual settings, therefore can’t really comment on the cameras auto capabilities. But first impressions of the Electronic ViewFinder (EVF) function with real time exposure adjustment were very good. Also as expected the pin-sharp focussing was really great.

FOURTH GENERATION FUJIFILM X100F

Available in all-black and two-tone silver and black, this is most definitely an attractive and versatile little camera. There are plenty of new features to keep the Fujifilm diehards interested too. Undoubtedly it is a high-end camera with a premium price-tag to boot.

We will certainly look forward to testing out more cameras in the Fujifilm X-series. Thanks again for having us! The X100F is currently available for pre-order and may the fourth be with you.

Car park coolness and Bill Murray at the table? It must be Katie and Andy’s Samlesbury Hall wedding photography! They first got in touch after a recommendation from a past couple, Shelley and Glenn (thanks again guys). We loved hearing about their plans. It was fab to see Katie and Andy being so excited about their photographs.

SAMLESBURY HALL WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY

On the big day we met the bridal party at Iris Hair, Penwortham. Katie and her bridesmaids had totally taken over the salon for the morning. Brushes, blow dryers and bubbly! It was a short drive to Katie’s family home where the dress was waiting. Looking great and ready to roll, we all then set off for Samlesbury Hall.

CONSIDER AN UNPLUGGED CEREMONY

Katie and Andy were keen to have an unplugged ceremony. It is so cool when couples have complete trust in our unrestricted coverage of their nuptials. Most importantly encouraging guests to disarm gadgetry and share in such a special moment.

Afterwards family and friends enjoyed drinking and games in the glorious sunshine. Also exploring the historic building and gardens kept guests happy.

Table names can be a great way to express your personalities. Katie and Andy chose a theme they both love. We were also very excited to see that we share an obsession with film legend Bill Murray and director Wes Anderson! Because who would not want to sit with Team Zissou?

WES ANDERSON INSPIRED PHOTOGRAPHY

The exclusive Samlesbury Hall grounds had changed a bit since our last visit. Check out the luxury shepherd’s huts, they look amazing. Andy and the lads also had fun testing out the new Mayflower adventure playground rope bridge.

There was plenty of hilarious photobooth action as evening guests arrived. There always is with The Mighty Boof! around. Then Deckheds hit the turntables and rocked an awesome soundtrack of floor-fillers.

We hope you enjoy some of our faves from an awesome day! So take a tip from Bill, make it Suntory time!

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