• Welcome to the blog! This is where you'll find all my latest work and sneak previews from recent weddings & engagement shoots. For FAQs and prices follow the link below and head over to the website or feel free to contact me to tell me all about your wedding plans! I'm based in beautiful Cheshire and cover the UK, Europe and further afield.

Ostuni Workshop 2014 – wedding photography workshop in Puglia, Italy at Masseria Montenapoleone

The A Team (L-R): Gianluca Adovasio, Pablo Béglez, Thierry Joubert, Sean Flanigan & Alejandro Gómez

 

I have struggled to write this, words are not my strong point.  I edited the photos the day I got home, on the sofa in my pj’s, but it’s taken this long in between all my other work to try and put this experience into words!

To say the workshop was life changing may seem a bit dramatic, but for me it’s true.  It made me realise how far I’ve come in 3 years… and how far I still have to go.  It confirmed to some extent what I already knew – that there are incredible wedding photographers out there who are doing what they love because they love it, not just to make money.  Photographers who are incredibly humble, open, honest and very happy to share their knowledge and passion to inspire others.  And it showed me yet again what an incredible industry this is to be a part of if you are with like minded people.

There were shoots, portfolio reviews, business and technical advice which was all fantastic but for me the highlight was hearing the personal stories… how people got into wedding photography and why, what motivates them, what influences their work.  It was fascinating.  Something Sean said about how he’d felt growing up that he wasn’t very good at anything/any job, until he found (music first, then) photography – that really resonated with me.  And Thierry’s story and the emotion is his images moved me to tears.

I have not cried or laughed (sometimes both at the same time) so much in months… I am so thankful to have spent a week in the company of such inspiring people – both ‘teachers’ and students alike – in such a beautiful part of the world.

For me this wasn’t about getting photos for my portfolio but about learning, being inspired and having a much deserved break just for me.  A trip where I got to indulge a few my favourite pastimes: talking about photography/shooting, visiting beautiful places and eating & drinking with good company.  A lot of the time my camera was down and I was watching, listening, chatting, drinking or eating!  But I did take a FEW photos… camera, iPhone and Polaroid are all here, mixed in together.

As for our ‘home’… I will return to Masseria Montenapoleone at the first chance I get.  If only to sample the amazing food, homemade Crema di Limoncello and rose wine again!  This place is quite simply paradise as you will see – almost half of this post is dedicated to it!  And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  A huge thank you Giuliano, Doriana and the rest of the wonderful team for looking after us all like royalty.

Gianluca & Mary, the people who put this whole thing together – thank you from the bottom of my heart.  You are both wonderful and I cannot wait to see you again in London soon and give you both a big hug.

Gianluca, Pablo, Sean, Thierry and Alejandro – inspirational and brilliant teachers all of you.  Thank you for sharing so unselfishly.  Hundreds of things are still going through my head!  I will continue to try to forge my own path, strive to be different, get off THAT road (Thierry) and get out of THAT dance (Alejandro)!

Antonella & Andrea – the incredible models who went well above and beyond the call of duty to get the shots!  Thank you!

Lucy, my most excellent travelling partner, what a giggle we had… even when we got delirious trying to get back from the airport at 3am!  I loved sharing this trip with you and miss your face.  <3

And last but not least…. everyone else!  The Ostuni class of 2014.  I have made so many new friends and we had so many laughs.  I miss everyone and hope we will get to meet again one day.  Particularly the Wine Club!  So I only have one final thing to say…. CHEERS.

xxxx

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JaneNovember 7, 2014 - 3:51 pm

These are fab Claire. What beautiful settings!! Sounds like an amazing workshop. X

Mandy BeckNovember 7, 2014 - 3:54 pm

These are just beautiful Claire <3 x

Mandy BeckNovember 7, 2014 - 3:56 pm

p.s. “Photographers who are incredibly humble, open, honest and very happy to share their knowledge and passion to inspire others.” <— that’s you too xx

Marika StanwayNovember 7, 2014 - 3:57 pm

Utter thrill to see all these photos, Claire! I absolutely loved living your memories :) All photos are fab, some of them were out of this world. Do you really understand now how good you really are??? xxx

Lucy WNovember 7, 2014 - 4:00 pm

Wasn’t it just the best workshop ever? So glad that I got to share it with you. So many giggles, so many happy memories and it all went by in the blink of an eye!

xxx happy days xxx

Lucy WoodrowNovember 7, 2014 - 4:01 pm

Oops and I meant to say – stunning pictures and beautiful words, as ever xxx

Andrea EllisonNovember 7, 2014 - 4:19 pm

BOOM…… you nailed it …I felt like I was there !!! and then wished I was with every core of my being

Sue DalyNovember 7, 2014 - 4:20 pm

Wowser ….. That place looks like heaven! Fab pics xx

amy j.November 7, 2014 - 4:24 pm

love this post!

Amanda HaylerNovember 7, 2014 - 5:27 pm

So so lovely…Looking at these photos, I feel I am there xxx

KerstinNovember 7, 2014 - 7:22 pm

stunning pictures – I love every picture xxx

Samantha BellisNovember 7, 2014 - 8:37 pm

Claire you are an absolute inspiration, do you know that? I felt so emotional all the way through, I didn’t have to be there (although I bloody wish I was!) to see that it was an amazing trip and I hope so much that you know you are so up there with the best. And I’m not jealous at all at how stunning your model was! Just beautiful xxx

Julien NavarreNovember 7, 2014 - 10:31 pm

As Sean said : If a bomb fall in Ostuni at that time, There are a lot of talents who disappeared !

KellyNovember 11, 2014 - 4:51 pm

Looks fantastic Claire xx

Linda, Ottawa Wedding PhotographerNovember 11, 2014 - 6:15 pm

That would be a dream workshop for sure. I mean, does it get any better than Italy? That’s awesome that it changed you in a positive way.

A beautiful, stylish village hall wedding, Northamptonshire – Sarah & Richard sneak previews

Sarah & Richard… welcome home!  I’m sure you have a touch of the post-honeymoon blues so here’s a little something to help ease you back in to normal life again….:)    A preview of your beautiful wedding in the prettiest village hall I’ve ever seen and the greatest best man’s speech ever I suspect.   I hope you enjoy looking through these as much as I enjoyed shooting your wedding!  Lots of love xxx

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Julien Navarre PhotographeOctober 24, 2014 - 9:58 pm

Wow ! Your work is totally amazing Claire. I love the way you catch these moments. Looking forward to ask you some question about your style in Ostuni !

Destination wedding – the secret garden chateau in the Dordogne, France – Ashley & Greg sneak previews

This is one of the most elegant weddings I’ve ever photographed.  A magical venue, just 10 guests, his and hers Louboutins, the cutest little ring bearer ever (their son), the most FUN bridesmaids and such an amazing couple.

It was an absolute pleasure Ashley & Greg!  Congratulations guys, have a safe trip back to California and enjoy these previews!  xx

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Alan LawOctober 17, 2014 - 6:17 pm

Lovely work as always Claire! Love the capture of the bride checking herself out in the mirror: magic.

JoOctober 17, 2014 - 7:00 pm

Simply beautiful!

Wendy GrantOctober 18, 2014 - 12:08 pm

Just beautiful as always Claire xxx

Samantha BellisOctober 18, 2014 - 8:53 pm

Absolutely stunning!xxx

Jody VaughnOctober 20, 2014 - 5:56 am

Congratulations. Just absolutely beautiful!

Destination wedding – a fairytale chateau in the Dordogne, France – Natalie & Tom sneak previews

So I’m just back from an incredible week in France.  I took a few days holiday after a very busy summer (if I hadn’t we would not have had a holiday all year, oops!) and took Mr P over for a few days to celebrate his birthday, then packed him off home and headed off to this beautiful fairytale chateau in the Dordogne… the setting for Natalie & Tom’s wedding.   The foggy morning gave way to a beautiful October day and it couldn’t have been more perfect.

Natalie & Tom, here are your sneak previews!  Something you can enjoy now that reality has set in, and something to keep you going until your honeymoon.  : )  Thank you for letting me be a part of your incredible day! xxx

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John ClareOctober 18, 2014 - 1:34 pm

Great photos! Great memories.

Sue JonesOctober 18, 2014 - 8:17 pm

Beautiful photos x

Rangefinder Magazine: 30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography 2014

I have been waiting (what feels like) FOREVER for today.

Back in July I received an email to tell me that I had been nominated for Rangefinder Magazine’s annual ’30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography’. I still get butterflies when I think about it.  I read and re-read the email a few times and then just sat staring at it.

WHAT??

This is a really prestigious, worldwide (gulp) industry ‘award’ for want of a better word.  Rangefinder describes it as “the best emerging talent in the industry today, nominated by industry insiders (blog and magazine editors, veteran photographers, vendor sponsors and RF editors) and judged by the Rangefinder editorial staff”.

Photographers cannot nominate themselves. And I had no idea who had nominated me but I wanted to kiss them.

Some of the photographers who have graced this list in previous years are people I admire HUGELY… Fer Juaristi, Nordica, Nirav Patel, Emma Case, Logan Cole, Andria Lindquist, Marianne Taylor, Sean Flanigan (who I get to meet in Italy on a workshop in just a few weeks), Ed Peers and last but by no means least, the amazing Sassy from Assassynation.  I have pored over the list for the last couple of years, ogling the work of these inspirational photographers from all over the world… to think I could be on it too was crazy and very humbling.

After many hours, hundreds of photographs and a lot of swapping and changing I sent off my requested 30 images and tried not to think about it (I failed).

Rangefinder Magazine 30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography_0002

Fast forward a month… email arrives….’We’ve Chosen!’.  A MILLION things went through my head – many of them expletives.  I wasn’t expecting to hear until November… ”Congratulations Claire! We at Rangefinder have chosen you as one of the 30 Rising Stars of 2014!’

WHAT??????

I don’t think I squealed, I didn’t even cry (unusual for me)… I was just floored and sat there in disbelief.  I told my husband, Dad and a few very close friends but I wasn’t allowed to announce anything publicly until today and it’s been killing me!

So yeah… I am on THAT list.  One of 30 Rising Stars… in the WORLD.  My mind is officially blown.  All because I got back off my honeymoon with a renewed love for photography and decided to sell my wedding dress to fund my first ‘proper’ camera.

A BIG shout out to my amazing couples…past, present and future. Whether you’re featured above/in the magazine or not, it’s you who make what I do possible and so much more than just a job.  Thank you.

I’m also thankful to Blair de Laubenfels, co-founder of JunebugWeddings.com, who nominated me (I later found out) and to the judges who chose my work from the 150 nominated.   And to Andrea, Kate, Ade, Maria, Anna and Nicola for helping me to choose which images to submit. Without you I would still be deciding!

Seriously proud to be joined on the list by the very talented Alan, Andy and Hannah.  To think Hannah and I had a mutual commiseration party all planned out involving Facebook chat and lots of gin.;-)  I’m so excited to see who else is on there with us.

The magazine is out in November (in the States) and I will share when it’s published.

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KellyOctober 15, 2014 - 7:00 am

well done darling xx

AndreaOctober 15, 2014 - 7:08 am

Dear Claire … is my first public opportunity to say …, I bloody told you so !!!! Lol … I knew with every beat of my heart that you would make that list well well before they even told you had a place even though you kept thinking it was a mistake or on the odd day where realisation dawned that you didn’t stand a chance … Believe it girl !!! You earned every single light that shines on you because of it xxx I’m so so proud of you xxxx love Andrea

Laura BabbOctober 15, 2014 - 7:12 am

So very well done. x

Sophie BoldOctober 15, 2014 - 7:24 am

Yay!!!!! This is awesome Claire and 100% deserved xxxx

Janet de BatheOctober 15, 2014 - 7:56 am

Fabulous news. Xx

Gail PortlockOctober 15, 2014 - 8:06 am

Congratulation’s Claire. Hard work always pays off. Well deserved too .. :)

Mandy BeckOctober 15, 2014 - 8:25 am

I am super proud of you hun, well done you 100% deserve this, love you lady xxxxxxxxxxx

Cathanne ChalkleyOctober 15, 2014 - 10:13 am

I don’t even know you… I’m a friend of Andrea’s, but I am so happy for you. A huge well done. xxxx

penOctober 15, 2014 - 10:15 am

Congratulations, and totally well deserved! x

Clare CookOctober 15, 2014 - 10:48 am

This is incredible!! Cant wait to congratulate you face to face on Sunday! xx

JackiOctober 15, 2014 - 11:13 am

Oh well done, I love looking at your work, it is just so beautiful and different :)

Jackie

Helen BarrettOctober 15, 2014 - 12:21 pm

Well done!!! I knew I picked a real pro xxx

SamanthaOctober 15, 2014 - 12:33 pm

Just had a chance to read on my lunch…wish I had waited until I got home! In tears haha. Absolutely wonderful wonderful news – and congratulations to the rest of the world for being introduced to the amazingness that is Claire Penn! Whoo hoo!xxx

Tony EcclesOctober 15, 2014 - 1:28 pm

You rock! Fabulous choice of shots to send too.

Show Me The Pretty LtdOctober 15, 2014 - 4:36 pm

Massive congratulations Claire, so very well deserved. We’re chuffed to bits for you xx

Simon YoungOctober 15, 2014 - 5:15 pm

Well done Claire :)

Si

AbbieOctober 15, 2014 - 6:40 pm

congrats

Claire PennOctober 15, 2014 - 7:15 pm

Thank you so much Penny! x

Claire PennOctober 15, 2014 - 7:16 pm

I want an extra big hug Clare! :) Thanks my love. xx

Claire PennOctober 15, 2014 - 7:16 pm

Thank you Jackie! x

Shirley Lever CaldwellOctober 16, 2014 - 5:41 am

Well done. Xx

Alan LawOctober 17, 2014 - 6:21 pm

Whoop whoop whoop! So honoured to be on a list with your awesome self, Claire. And thanks so much for the shout-out, too! :)

Stephanie MilesOctober 20, 2014 - 8:57 am

Only just got round to reading this on your blog Claire, such amazing news and so truly deserved! Huge congratulations from Chris and I. Big love x x

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