This past weekend I had the pleasure of photographing Pete and Nora in one of my favorite wedding venues, Lewes Castle in Lewes. I have been a fan of Lewes and Lewes Castle for years. It is such a beautiful place and the photos really show it.
It had been a tough week weather-wise and I wasn’t sure how we would fare, but right at 11am the sun came out and the clouds turned from dark to puffy and were moving quickly. Fast moving clouds do make for a challenging shoot, especially when you can’t move around very much during the ceremony, but I would much rather have that than the alternative of dark, cold, horrible clouds.
Pete and Nora played their part perfectly. We achieved some really nice getting ready photos in their home and then it was off to the Castle for the ceremony. After the ceremony my wife and I (who is my second) followed Pete and Nora’s wedding car, a vintage VW van, to St. Nicholas Church in Lewes to get some nice photos of them in front of the van and the church.
The reception was at Northease Manor School in Lewes and what a great location it was. My first time shooting a wedding reception there and I look forward to my next. Pete and Nora set up games for everyone to play outside and they had a photo booth, which was a lot of fun. I love taking photos of people getting ready for the photo booth without them knowing it. It makes for a different look than when they pose for the photo booth.
Thanks to Pete and Nora for having me as your wedding photographer and I hope you enjoy the images as much as I do!
If you’ve ever read my blog you know how much I like to travel. It combines both of my loves, photography and eating. Traveling is a way I can learn new things and experience the world around me to, hopefully, enhance myself and therefore bring something to those around me.
Istanbul is a place I’ve wanted to visit for as long as I can remember. But living in the US for the first 29 years of my life, Istanbul was just a little too far to travel, especially when there are so many other places to see first; Florence, Porto, Paris, etc. But, last week, I finally made it. And I am so thankful I did. Istanbul is unlike any city I’ve ever been to. In fact, it is unlike any city anyone has ever been to, because Istanbul is totally unique in that it’s the only city that spans two continents, Europe and Asia. On one side you have the European Istanbul, then you cross the Bosphorus and you arrive in the Asian side of Istanbul.
When I asked a friend my wife met in London, Mustafa, who invited us for Turkish coffee in his workshop in Istanbul, if there were any differences between the people and culture of the Asian side versus the European side he said, “No, not really. We are one Istanbul. There are no differences.” And my wife and I found that to be true.
Istanbul is one of the friendliest places I have ever been to. The people actually look you in the eye and say hello to you. And unlike Marrakech, blogged recently, the people don’t want anything for this help. At first my back was up every time someone asked if we were lost. I was thinking, “Yes, but you’re going to make us follow you and then ask us for money and then say it’s not enough, just like in Marrakech.” I was completely wrong. Whenever my wife and I went anywhere we had people falling all over themselves to help us. And do you know what they wanted? They just wanted you to smile at them and tell them where you were from. That’s it. Oh, I did collect a few business cards from people who owned rug shops, but it wasn’t heavy sales. They simply said, “I have a rug shop. Here’s my card.” And left it at that.
As well as being the friendliest place I’ve ever visited, Istanbul is one of the prettiest. History is everywhere you look. Stand on any rooftop terrace and you see mosque after mosque after mosque, as far as the eye can see. Go a bit higher and you see the Asian side of Istanbul, the Bosphorus in the middle. And I couldn’t help but to think of all the traders sailing from Asia to Europe and crossing the Bosphorus on their way. There’s a reason Emperor Constantine wanted that land so much. In my mind, it is perfect. For the first time in a very long time I found myself not wanting to leave. I wanted to move there and live near Mustafa and drink Turkish coffee with him and his friends all day long. I wanted to take endless ferry rides across the Bosphorus exploring the ancient streets of Istanbul. I truly fell in love.
The one complaint I have is this; the food in the old town, Sultanahmet, is notoriously expensive and poor quality. And this held true when I visited. It’s like Venice in a way, they know people are going to visit anyway and they know they’ll be hungry and have to eat. So the prices are sky high and the food is less than average. In fact, as soon as my wife and I returned we visited our local kebab shop and found it to be much better and far less expensive than any kebab shop we visited while in Istanbul. Yes, yes, I know what you’re saying right now, “But there are far more things to eat in Istanbul than kebabs.” Yes, that is true, there is traditional Ottoman and Turkish food, but we tried those as well and found them all to be subpar in the Sultanahmet.
If you go to Istanbul, don’t worry about trying to find the best restaurants to eat in, just visit to see the beauty and marvel in a city that has been the home of four empires.