Wedding Of Sidone & James at The Great Hallingbury Manor Hotel, Bishops Stortford, Herts.

We met Sidone, James and little Bella, back in May 2016 at a wedding show at The Great Hallingbury Manor Hotel, the venue they had chosen to book for their special day and one that we know very well.
Over the 18 months or so we held our usual pre-wedding planning meetings, one of which was at the venue. On that occasion, we were joined by Lisa, the venue’s Wedding Coordinator and Mark, the Toastmaster.  They are a great team to work with and it is always a pleasure to work with venues who share the same values and offer a great service to their clients.
At that meeting was also the latest addition to the family, baby Freddie had arrived and would be only eight months by the day of the wedding.
With so much time to plan their wedding,  Sidone and James could choose and book the suppliers they wanted. However, one thing totally out of their control was the British weather! Thankfully, it is something that, as professional photographers, we always plan for. 
Arriving early on the day we began with the bridal prep and groom prep photographs.
Sidone had been clear during our planning meetings that she did not want photographs taken of her before her makeup and hair had been completed. So we took advantage of the time to capture some lovely images of her accessories and managed to accommodate James’ groom prep images too.
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A wedding day is a day of celebration, where family and friends join together to celebrate the love two people share for each other. However, life does not always work to plan and for some, it can also be a very difficult day, when sadly, some of those special people can no longer be there to share in the celebrations. And this is was the case for James and Sidone.
They were determined however to ensure that James’ father, who sadly passed away a few years earlier, would still play a part in their special day. From the lapel pins featuring his face, given to the groom and best man, to the pictures of him, that graced the memorial table and right the way through to the speeches later that evening.
By the end of the day, there was not one dry-eyed person left.
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The weather was definitely feeling the emotions too as it rained heavily throughout the day and evening. But Sidone, James, their family and friends did not let this stop them from having an amazing time. And, as always the staff at the venue, along with Toastmaster, Mark, all made sure that everything went to plan.
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We would like to thank Sidone and James for booking us to capture photographs of their special day and to all their family and friends who were fantastic.

Thank you to Lisa, Wedding Coordinator at the Great Hallingbury Manor Hotel and all the staff, including Mark the Toastmaster, who all worked tirelessly to ensure that the day was perfect in every way.

If you are interested in our Wedding Photography Services, please make sure to get in touch as soon as possible as we only book a limited number of weddings each year. 

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Specialist Pet Photographer, Detheo Photography, Inspired By The Horse Whisperer.

Sometimes in life, the reality turns out to be a disappointment compared to the fantasy. Like that time when you were so looking forward to something and once there it turns out not to be as great as you had imagined.  This was definitely NOT the case here!

After years of admiration and months of excitement having booked to attend a Special Training Day with Monty Roberts, The Horse Whisperer, I did question how this would live up to expectations. Would he be a nice as I imagined? Would I be able to feel the connection or would I disappear into the background? I had wanted to meet him since I was a child, so it was my responsibility to make that happen. But would he be receptive?

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Arriving at The Intelligent Horsemanship centre run by Kelly Marks (who herself is an amazing woman) I quickly realised that I never had needed to question it at all.

From the very beginning, I felt an instant sense of belonging. Which of course is a little odd as I was the only person who was not either a horse breeder, an owner or a stable hand. Some of the terminology used meant nothing to me. But when I questioned the meaning of something, Monty kindly explained without making me feel belittled in any way.

At this point, people will question, why I felt the need to attend such a training day in the first place? So let me explain.

From a very young age, I have always been fascinated by the ability to develop an instinctual understanding and route of communication between us and other species. As a Specialist Pet Photographer, I feel very passionate about the ability to understand the animals I work with. To understand how the animal is feeling, how what I do affects them, and how I can ensure that my behaviour always creates a positive experience for them.

This was the motivation behind my learning about dog behaviour and over the years I have seen how this knowledge of dogs has influenced my work. It has not only enabled me to work better with dogs in general, but enabled me to work with dogs, that others would struggle to photograph. But above all, it means that I am always working with the dogs best interests at heart.

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So it was actually quite emotional for me to finally meet Monty, and confirm that he holds the same values for his relationship with horses. It wasn’t a publicity stunt and when you watch him work with a horse that he has never met before, there was no doubting he really did understand them and have the ability to communicate with them. You could feel something between the horse and Monty, like a private conversation but with the volume muted.

The owners of both horses on the day were attendees of the workshop and I watched closely their reactions when Monty was working with their horse. I was left with no doubt as to how shocked and blown away they were.

At some point during the lunch break, I approached Monty and introduced myself, explaining my reasoning for attending. I thanked him for all the work he has done and continues to do, in trying to make the lives of horses better all over the world, and, for giving me the knowledge and inspiration to keep learning and working the way I do. Taking my hand, we spoke briefly and he thanked me for attending and for my kind words. This gesture will never be forgotten.

I have never in life idealised anyone based on fame or status. It was never and still is not important to me. It is what they choose to do in life that intrigues me and where they gain my respect.

To me, Monty Roberts is not a celebrity, he is a man who has is trying to make a difference. To remind humanity that each animal has its own evolution, its own behaviour and its own way of communicating.

But for me, Monty’s work serves as a reminder of a deeper message. When working with animals, you learn that they can sense chemical changes in our body. Increases in our adrenalin and heart rate, for example, will have an impact on them. With horses, it will often make them fear a possible upcoming danger.

So it is not just about learning to relax and clear your mind of all negativity, but also the ability to just BE in that moment, that makes that connection more possible.

Animals do not care about our social status, wealth or materialistic possessions. They do not know who we are in the human world, all they relate to is who we are at that moment in time. It is our intentions and our behaviour that confirms the purity our heart and mind and it is only then that they will begin to trust us.

Monty and Me March 2018After the day had ended, I had the opportunity to speak to Monty again whilst he signed my book and also had a chance to speak to Kelly Marks who is in her own right, an incredible woman who also works so hard at changing the lives of horses and their owners. An accidental meeting drew Monty and Kelly together (although my belief in fate would suggest this was meant to be) and after a short period, Monty asked Kelly to be the first ever to teach his methods to the public. This was to be the birth of the Intelligent Horsemanship.

I hope to meet up again with Kelly and her team in the future. Her passion and knowledge are infectious. And her kindest is evident for all to see. Without her commitment to the Intelligent Horsemanship, the opportunity to meet and witness, first hand, Monty’s methods would not exist. I personally would like to thank Kelly for making this possible. It has changed the lives of so many horses and people and I am sure it will continue to change many many more. It definitely has changed my life.

I encourage anyone with a horse or pony to at least attend one of the demonstrations held by Kelly or Monty and witness the same as what I did.

It will change your lives, how much of course, is up to you.

 

Detheo Photography – Exciting New Developments Have Begun.

As many already know, Detheo Photography began over 7 years ago almost by accident. But we had never envisaged just what the future would hold.

The journey has been, at times, very challenging, both physically and emotionally, but nothing could destroy the passion.

In the very early days we worked from a room in our home. It was far from ideal, but it was all we had. At that time we would meet clients away from the office.  Then in 2013, with the business steadily growing,  we decided to convert our garage into a new office and studio combo.

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Converting the existing garage into a new office

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Harvey our own dog have a sleep in the office

This was to be a great asset and the business started to really take a turn as we were able to display samples of our work, host meetings and small workshops. At the same time we also started our Christmas Special Offers, shooting from the same space.

However, the business continued to evolve and over time we decided to make the move and take on our first Barn Studio.

Rustic and airy would be very simplistic words to describe it! At over 100 years old with no windows, lighting, flooring or heating it was a new challenge. But it gave us clarity on what we wanted for the future.

Barn Studio Stage 1

It was exciting to have such a huge space.

Barn Studio 1

It accommodated many photoshoots and training sessions.

And just 12 months later we had moved into a properly converted stable block just opposite. We retained the Barn Studio name for ease and have since then seen Detheo Photography take another huge leap forward.

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Our current Studio is still spacious and rustic.

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We have a great shooting space too.

The transformation from those early days has been incredible and it is still quiet unbelievable to look back and see how far we have come.  But it is a journey that we have not travelled alone and the support of family and close friends has been a huge part of our success. Along the way we have faced difficult times, but we chose to learn from them and they have served to make us stronger and wiser.

2017 began with a promise to ourselves. It was to be our own commitment to dreaming bigger and, in turn, to achieving greater goals.

Today, we are proud to say, that we are well on our way to making those dreams a reality with this week seeing the building works begin on our new, purpose built office and studio.

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The build is going to be quite extensive and projected to take approximately 4 months to complete. As such, business will continue as normal from the Barn Studio. However we look forward to keeping everyone updated on developments during the building phase, so make sure to follow our page on FaceBook.

Thank you to all of our clients for whom we have worked with over the years and especially to those who have been so supportive of our work. At the very core of  all our plans and developments is the ability to offer the highest, most personalised service possible and we know this new move will do just that.

 

Bishop’s Stortford Based Specialist Pet Photographer. Fine Art Image Of Puppy Lexa Gains Another Award.

As we look forward to Lexa’s second photoshoot this Sunday, we reminisce on the fluffy bundle that we meet a few months ago.
Back in November last year, our clients, Kezia & Dom purchased a “Watch Me Grow” package for their new puppy, before they had even before brought her home. They had shared their lives with dogs before and knew first hand, not only the joy they bring to our lives, but the heartache that comes when they sadly pass away.
This is what guided them to seeking the services of a Specialist Pet Photographer and we are always honoured when clients come to us, knowing how much they value our service.
Having only been with her new family for a matter of hours, Lexa came to the studio for her first session and of course, made a huge impact.
Working with puppies of such a young age is definitely not for the faint hearted. They have not yet developed the bond with their new family and have not even experienced the most basic of training.
As such it took a great deal of patience and a good understanding to be able to harness her natural behaviours and use that knowledge to capture the images we had wanted.
On the day, Lexa was fantastic. A typical puppy she was initially cautious, but soon settled in and was eager to explore our studio!
The images we took were brilliant and as a collection, they definitely captured her character. However, we were also able to create one of our signature Fine Art images, which we then decided to enter into the online monthly competition held by The Societies of photographers. At that time the image was awarded a Highly Commended Award.
Then, just last week, the image was presented before a panel of 6 judges at the international 20×16 Print competition, part of the annual photographic convention held at the Hilton Hotel, London.
We were fortunate to have been in the audience when the print was placed before the panel and were totally amazed when they awarded the image a Merit with a score of 84! Another image we had submitted was also awarded a Merit, with a score of 82.
Seeing Lexa’s image then hung alongside other Merit awarded images from some of the worlds best photographers was truly inspiring. Whilst this is not the first time we have had our images gain awards, it is only when you know the complexity of working with such a young dog, that you really can appreciate the achievement.
So, Lexa is now that little bit older and we are really looking forward to capturing the next stage in her development as we meet on location for our next photoshoot.

If you too would like to have your dog, horse, cat or any other pet photographed by Specialist Pet Photographer, Maria Michael, please click HERE to be forwarded to our Contact Us page. Or to visit our website for more details click HERE.

London Photographer. The Savoy Hotel, London, United Kingdom.

Over the years we have been very fortunate to have either photographed, or have been a guest at many of London’s fantastic hotels and the Savoy has to be one of the finest.

So, having been booked to photograph a function at the Savoy Grill at the end of January this year, we decided to pop over and familiarise ourselves with the hotel and meet the staff.

The stunning entrance draws you in, promising to blow you away with what is to follow. And from the moment you enter the beautifully crafted front hall, the grandeur leaves you breathless. Every little detail carefully attended to, creating a visual masterpiece.

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We decided to find out more about this iconic London landmark and discovered that the Savoy has an interesting history.

In 1246 Count Peter of Savoy built The Savoy Palace, which went on to become the home of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster.  Sadly, in 1381, it was burnt to the ground during the Peasant’s Revolt. The estate then became part of the Duchy of Lancaster, and remains so to the present day. 

In 1881 The Savoy Theatre was opened. This was due to the collaboration between theatrical impresario Richard D’Oyly Carte, lyricist William Schwenk Gilbert and composer Arthur Sullivan. It was a collaboration to last for over twenty years and see the creation of a total of thirteen classic operas. Every one of Gilbert and Sullivan’s subsequent operas were premiered in the Savoy Theatre, and the entire canon became known as the Savoy Operas.

Richard D’Oyly Carte then went on to build the Savoy, which was opened on 6th August 1889. The new Savoy hotel offered accommodation for the many tourists, especially Americans, who had travelled to London to see the Savoy Operas.

With restaurants, bars, lounges, private dining rooms and banqueting suites, the Savoy offered a variety of choices for Londoners wanting to enjoy themselves. The main restaurant was opened by noted hotelier Cesar Ritz, who later became general manager.

Over the years to follow, the Savoy underwent many changes, and in 2005 it was purchased by HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin AbdulAziz Alsaud, who handed the management contract to Fairmont Hotels and Resorts.

Then, on 15th December 2007, and for the first time in 118years, the Savoy closed its doors to the public. The planned refurbishment was expected to cost around £100 million pounds and take up to 15 months to complete.

However, it was not until some three years later, on 10th October 2010, that the Savoy was formally reopened, with the final restorations costing approximately £220 million pounds.

In 2014 the Savoy celebrated it’s 125th Year anniversary.

Ref:http://www.fairmont.com/savoy-london/hotelhistory/

Time To Say Goodbye. A Specialist Pet Photography Photoshoot For Samson & Sadie.

Specialist Pet photography photoshoot for dogs Samson & Sadie. Captured by Pet photographer, Detheo Photography

Being  a Specialist Pet Photographer did not happen by accident. Yes, it would be fair to say it was something I had aspired to. Over the past 7 or more years, I have worked hard and inevitably my business has grown. However, I believe that there was something more powerful than just wanting, that bought Detheo Photography to where it is today.

The relationships between people and animals has always fascinated me and the bonds that we build, have been one of the most profound foundations of my work.

Photographing animals takes so much more than just being a great photographer. The ability to interact with each individual, in a way that is suited to them, means dedicating a vast amount of time to learning and understanding the behaviour of each species. It is an endless journey with amazing rewards.

It is so lovely to be able to capture beautiful images of peoples pets, seeing the amazement when they view their images for the first time. And over 7 years we have been fortunate to photograph near on one thousand animals, of all shapes and sizes.

Yet, the true defining moment came Friday last week, when we were contacted by a very heartbroken lady Vanessa, explaining that her dog Samson had recently been diagnosed with Cancer.

“My Samson has only weeks to live. I have been trying to take pictures over the past couple of weeks but either burst into tears or just can’t capture a shot of him.Would you be able to fit Samson and Sadie (our other dog) for a shoot. They have never been apart for over 9 years and a picture together would be a wonderful thing for us to treasure.”

We worked quickly to make arrangements and get Samson and Sadie into the studio this Wednesday (23/11/16).

The dogs came with one of their regular dog walkers, Susanna as Vanessa understandably felt she would struggle. Instantly I sensed Samson was not quite right. It is difficult to express in words but there was just a gut feeling. So I decided to pretend that we were not doing anything other than just having a chat. I moved the giant leather pouf into the shooting area and invited the dogs to get up and lay down. Susanna then perched on the side and I sat on the floor. Within moments, they had both relaxed and soon feel asleep.

That evening I started to edit the images we had captured. But, if the truth be told, I found this an emotional time. Having said goodbye to three of our own pets, I knew all too well how devastated the family were going to be. Yet nothing I could do would ever change that.

However, there is something very special about a photograph. It has the ability to awaken all of our senses, so that in a split moment, we suddenly can feel the softness of our dogs coat and the distinct sounds of their barking. Photographs have the power to momentarily transport us back, to relive memories over and over again. And as sat back and looked at the final images, I realised, this way why I became a Specialist Pet Photographer.  To be able to create these important images, so others may treasure them and in time gain some comfort from them too.

On Thursday 24th November, Samson’s condition deteriorated and today, Friday 25th November, he crossed over Rainbows Bridge. However, his paw prints will remain on the hearts of all that knew him.

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Photography Day At Woburn Safari Park, Milton Keynes.

Being a photographer and an animal lover means that family are never too stuck for gifts and last year we received an amazing gift that combined both passions.  A voucher for a day’s photographic experience at Woburn Safari Park, with WildArena Imaging.

Woburn is a familiar location as we have often visited with the children on family days out. It offers the perfect opportunity to see some incredible animals in large open spaces, whilst driving around in your vehicle.

However, this day was going to offer something a little more special. David was our guide from WildArena Imaging and he was accompanied by Alice, one of Woburn’s own rangers.

Maria Michael, Detheo Photography with Black & White Ruffed Lemurs at Woburn Safari Park.

Me with the Lemurs

As a group of eight, we divided ourselves between two 4×4 vehicles that David and Alice would be driving.

Whilst bumpy, this gave us the opportunity to move off from the traditional visitors routes and cross over, close to where the animals would be.  In fact at times you could feel their breath as they strolled past or even looked up to investigate your sent in the air.

It was a brilliant day and whilst the photographic opportunities were plenty, there was something quite emotional about being so close to the animals. It was as if some of them too, seemed fascinated with us. Looking directly into the eyes of a Lioness or a large Bear and feeling something quite peaceful, is not what most would expect.

But it was out of the vehicles and on foot that we met some animals that, I for one, misunderstood most. The Black and White Ruffed Lemurs where truly special. Affectionate and gentle, they can of course also be quite cheeky. However, I discovered that they love it when you give them gentle scratch beneath their arms. So much so, that if you stop they will raise their arm up to signal for you to carry on.  They also like to hold on to your fingers and once they do, you just do not have the heart to prize them off.

Here are just a few of the images we captured on the day. If you like the images then please feel free to leave a comment below.

Photograph of Giraffes at Woburn Safari Park. Captured by Photographer Detheo Photography.Photograph of Monkey at Woburn Safari Park. Captured by Photographer Detheo Photography.Photograph of Lioness at Woburn Safari Park. Captured by Photographer Detheo Photography.Photograph of Brown Bear at Woburn Safari Park. Captured by Photographer Detheo Photography.Photograph of Monkey at Woburn Safari Park. Captured by Photographer Detheo Photography.Photograph of Brown Bear at Woburn Safari Park. Captured by Photographer Detheo Photography.Photograph of Giraffes at Woburn Safari Park. Captured by Photographer Detheo Photography.Photograph of Lemurs at Woburn Safari Park. Captured by Photographer Detheo Photography.

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