Specialist Pet Photographer, based in Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire / Essex borders – The Passion Of Pet Photography.
Posted on July 21, 2014
It is often those who do not have animals in their lives that immediately appear surprised when I say I am a Specialist Pet Photographer. They regularly question if there is a market for such a specialism. Then there are those who are aware of other photographers who photograph pets, but have little understanding of the genre and what it truly entails.
And why would they? For like all genre of photography, there is a huge diversity of standards, often driven by the personal values of each photographer. What is seen by the public is merely a snipped. Once they become a client, they then get to read the whole story.
As such, in this article I hope to share with you the passion and values that underpin our “Specialist Pet Photography” title, taking you to the core of what we strive to achieve and why.
Animals have played such an important role in human history and continue to do so in our everyday lives. From guarding to herding, guiding the visually impaired to active war duty. Rightly or wrongly we have used animals to help us hunt, test our medicines, help us travel, and keep us company for thousands of years.
The connection that many of our clients have with their pets is one of great intensity. It is a relationship that conquers the barriers of communication from one specie to another and is far more innate than many give it credit for. With all this in mind, we know that preserving the memory of that relationship is very important. It allows us to celebrate the bond we have now, and continue to honour what we had, once they are gone. Like all photography, the images we create can act almost like a psychological time machine, with the power to instantly transport us back, igniting the memories of touch, smell and sound.
As an individual I spent all of my life around animals always seeming to gravitate towards them. My extended family owned horses and I would spend hours out in the paddocks watching them and talking to them. My mother still recalls my childhood dreams of one day having my own horse and riding it everywhere. Over the years I shared my life with rabbits, hamsters, cats, dogs and birds. I learnt to ride and could be found every weekend, for many years, at the stables. So it was a natural progression that once married and living in our new home, we would share our new life with animals.
Throughout my life a camera was rarely far from my side, however many many years would pass before fate guided me into professional photography. It was to take major, life altering events, to send me in a new direction. But when it did, that innate connection drew me directly back towards animals. With early life experiences as my foundation, I set about building my knowledge further. At this time I had recently come to meet an amazing lady, Laura Shambrook, who ran her own pet services company Pawfect Friends. Little did I know then how hugely influential she would be, not only to my life, but to the future of Detheo Photography.
We met Laura when looking for a reliable alternative to kennels and almost immediately I started to learn so much from her. I volunteered at a local rescue centre and found my new knowledge gave me even more understanding of the dogs there. Over the years I absorbed as much as I could. A sponge soaking up the knowledge she would share with me. It is therefore no surprise to look back now and see that since starting Detheo Photography I have photographed hundreds of pets including dogs, cats, horses, reptiles and rodents.
Our most popular subject is be the dog. The domesticated ancestor of the Grey Wolf, who has been a part of our pack for hundreds of thousands of years, we see all varieties and all with their own unique personality.
Working primarily out on location, photoshoots are designed to enable the dogs to feel relaxed. As such photoshoots are held in gardens, fields or forests where the dogs can behave naturally. We spend time making sure the dogs are comfortable in our company and with our equipment, which often means having to clean some slobbery lenses!
Over the years our skills have grown, both photographically, and through our greater understanding of animals. In turn our reputation has grown and we are regularly called to photograph dogs who other photographers would not, or could not work with. These dogs may appear to be aggressive and some have even bitten through fear. Others are frail and suffering life limiting conditions. Many are just nervous and traditional photographic studios are far too overwhelming.
The ability to work with these dogs and give their families what they once thought impossible fill me with such a huge sense of pride. It takes a great deal of patience, understanding and determination. But it also requires a vast amount of trust. Not only from the family, but from the dog themselves.
Against much pressure and possibly some common sense, I stuck firmly to the passion and the values, that from the start helped build my vision. I have learnt so much along the way and am always learning.
Laura Shambrook, now very much seen as an important part of our family, still runs a very successful pet services company offering excellence in boarding, walking, grooming and training. Her many years of experience and training finds her company head and shoulders apart from the many whimsical start ups we see come and go on a daily basis. So it is with great pride and overwhelming honour to know that Detheo Photography and Pawfect Friends are actively working on some amazing ideas for the future, whilst continuing to integrate services for our ever growing client group.
And as if this was not exciting enough, last year Detheo Photography’s Pet Specialism started gaining recognition within the commercial work of marketing and specifically within the veterinary world. Commissions already have included both leading Veterinary Insurance companies and large veterinary groups. The projects have each been challenging, but an amazing experience. We have met such talented and skilled individuals, with whom we have thoroughly enjoyed working.
And we believe this is just the beginning!
Hertfordshire / Essex Wedding Photographer. Wedding Of Lee & Sarah, At The Legacy Great Hallingbury Manor, Great Hallingbury, Bishops Stortford. 7th Feb 2014
Posted on May 13, 2014
We met Lee and Sarah in 2013 and immediately knew it was a perfect match. They had already booked to have their ceremony and reception at the beautiful Legacy Great Hallingbury Manor Hotel, situated just outside the market town of Bishops Storford. Lee & Sarah wanted full cover from the bridal preparations right through to the end of the evening and had opted to include our Comedy Corner service. With the wedding set for 7th February 2014 and the ceremony scheduled to start at 5pm, we knew there would be the usual challenges of limited natural light and potentially difficult weather conditions. Thankfully however, our studio is located in the neighbouring village of Little Hallingbury and as such we are accustom, and well equipped to deal with, the impact of poor weather out here in the countryside. We did not quite envisage, however, the issue of flooding. The night before the wedding and unbeknown to all of us, the hotel’s beautiful lake decided to flood the entire restaurant and kitchen area. On our arrival at around 1pm we were greeted by the manager, Rose Walker, who explained that she had been called out at 4am when the lake decided to breech its banks. The dedication and exceptionally professional attitude of the team meant that by the time the Wedding was due to start, the pumps had managed to clear all the water and the kitchen was back up and running, ensuring that the Wedding Breakfast arrived on time and exactly how Lee and Sarah had expected it. It was such a lovely Wedding and the laughter flowed from start to end. The Comedy Corner was a huge success, as was the surprise guest appearance (see if you can spot him in the images below) of one of the best celebrity impersonators we have ever seen. Having Lee & Sarah return to the studio to view their slideshow was like welcoming back old friends, ands what greater gift than to see the images we captured immediately transported us all back to that special day. Needless to say the laughter and the tears (of joy of course!) flowed in abundance.
If you are planning a wedding and would like us to quote you for a personalised package, please get in touch.
Wedding Of Stephen & Jane. Down Hall Country House Hotel, Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire. 15th December 2013
Posted on March 5, 2014
It was during a charity Coffee Morning event that I remember helping a lady with her buggy. We started talking and she noticed the display of my work and commented on how she loved my images. She mentioned she had a friend who was getting married very soon and thought they would be interested in looking at my work, so I gave her a business card and suggested she ask the couple to visit my website.
However, she had other plans, and picked up her mobile, calling her friend to explain the situation. The next think I knew I was talking to a lady and arranging an appointment for her and her partner to visit the studio.
It was lovely to meet Jane, Stephen and little Lewis on that first visit. Their wedding was due to take place in less than eight weeks time, not far from our studio, at the magnificent Down Hall Country House Hotel, in Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire.
As we always do, a personalised package was created especially for Jane & Stephen. However, on this occasion we needed to include a special guest appearance. Jane explained that she had booked someone very special to appear in the evening and the couple would want some images taken together with the start before he made his entrance – but it had to remain a surprise.
On the day, the hotel was decorated ready for Christmas and set such a beautiful scene. Everyones seemed to have a brilliant time and the guest appearance definitely took them all by surprise.
The Wedding of Chris & Sharon At St Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church & Pembridge Suite, London. 24th August 2013
Posted on January 31, 2014
Growing up I attended many Greek Weddings and 16 years ago I even had one of my own. However on the 25th August 2013, it was an honour to be on the other side of the camera for Chris & Sharon’s wedding.
Bursting with the traditional cultural ceremonies that start from the family homes and follow all the way through to the wedding reception, the day was filled with so many special moments.
It was fantastic to be working alongside Tony from Top Class Vision. Tony is one of the best videographers we have seen and his many years experience is evident in the fantastic work he produces. It also helps that Tony videoed our own wedding, so there is no doubting our confidence in his work!
The day was amazing and everybody seemed to be having a great time, especially towards the later part of the evening when the dancing really took off.
I would like to wish Chris & Sharon lots of joy and happiness for their future together.
If you would like to discuss your own forth coming wedding please visit our website
Hertfordshire & Essex Wedding Photography. Chris & Mary 31st August 2013, At The Great Hallingbury Manor Hotel.
Posted on November 30, 2013
Our first wedding at the Great Hallingbury Manor Hotel was that of Chris & Mary.
A wonderful, fun loving couple who were an absolute pleasure to work with.
From our first meeting it was clear that they wanted a relaxed, natural approach to the day and our photographic style definitely seemed to compliment this.
Working her wonders on the day was Wendy Fach, hair & makeup artist, whose creativity and expertise transformed our bride Mary, maid-of-honour Kerry and little flower girl Niamh, effortlessly.
The day progressed smoothly and elegantly, filling the hotel grounds with the sounds of joy and laughter.
We would like to thank all of the wonderful people we met on the day and especially to Chris & Mary who made us feel so welcomed. What a fantastic first wedding at this venue.
Posted on May 30, 2013
At Detheo Photography we strongly believe in working in partnership with others, especially in our local community. Our commitment to providing an affordable, high quality, personalised service has continually been met with open arms and we are proud of the links we have made so far.
One such link is with Great Hallingbury Manor Hotel. A stunning, country hotel who is always welcoming us back and has repeatedly provided a service second to none.
It was sometime early this year that we first met with Sales Manager, Jill Moore to discuss our ethos and vision for the future. So when Jill contacted us to request our services on the launch of the hotel’s new bridge, we were very excited.
Set amongst the immaculate gardens is the hotel’s own lake, in which lays a tiny island. With the hotel catering this year for some 80 weddings, they decided to built a striking bridge and create a beautiful wooden gazebo on the island.
After battling with the extreme weather conditions and having to accept some delay, the transformation was finally ready and now it was time to formally launch the new setting.
Gemma Freeman, who had been married at the hotel last year, was delighted to take up the role and model her beautiful dress a second time.
For once the weather surprised us and the rain held off enabling us to capture some stunning images.
We hope you agree.
Posted on May 3, 2013
How many times do you stop and make time to appreciate who you are today?
If you look back on your life, how much of it would you say you spent trying to be someone else?
Of course, it is important to have dreams and ambitions, to believe in your ability to achieve the things you want. However, so many people spend years of their lives unhappy with how they are seen by others. And as time goes on, without realising it, those feelings become the sub-conscience, deep rooted seed of negativity. This in turn grows to drain their self esteem and the ripple effect begins.
It took years to realise, that learning to love the person you really are is the most important start to making the rest of ones dreams, a reality. That is not to say that wanting to become fitter, healthier or wiser is wrong.
However, how many times do we hear people say, “I could never wear a bikini, I’m far to flabby” or listen to people talk about the never ending “When….”. And what of the many people who feel that the emotional or physical scars left from life’s journey have somehow tainted their beauty, forcing them to believe that they have no right to be viewed as beautiful?
They say you cannot change the world…. well, we say you definitely can’t if you don’t ever try! And if in trying, we help even one other person to fall back in love with themselves, it makes every individual effort worthwhile.
So the journey begins. Taking the everyday person, and unveiling their beauty to remind them that, rather than waiting for others to discover you, it is loving yourself that is the most liberating and powerful achievement. Once you can do this, nothing will extinguish the light that you shine.
Marianne Williamson wrote…
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.’ We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
The images below were taken from a recent Beauty Unveiled session. Jayne, a busy working wife and mother, is usually dressed in boots and jeans whizzing around catering for her family and having little time to herself. We have had the pleasure of photographing Jayne before, so it was great to be back photographing her again. As always we had a fun time working the different lingerie sets, lighting and finding different locations to shoot in. But the images we captured really took our breath away and seeing the pride in Jaynes eyes when she first saw the final set, was the greatest reward we could receive.