big sparkly hello and welcome to my blog! I design and make Wedding Stationery www.katelewisdesign.co.uk
My blog is a little bit 'higgledypiggledy' (and no doubt full of spelling mistakes) but I see this as my digital sketchbook - disorganised, but a little bit special! Within my blog there is a lot of wedding loveliness and plenty of fabulous things & people that I love!
I hope you enjoy my ramblings.......love Kate x

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Wedding Wonder of the Week: Claire Penn Photography

Hello Wednesday! Halfway already, where is this week, month, year going!!!

Well it's time to have a brew and read my Wedding Wonder of the Week - the gorgeousness that is Claire Penn Photography. Not only is Claire a superb photographer she is a smashing girl to boot......read for yourself:

  • Tell me a bit about yourself and your company
Photography has always played a big part in my life; I grew up helping my Dad in his darkroom and can still remember my first camera… a trusty Kodak with those cute flash cubes that went on top!  I had never taken it that seriously until I got to Italy on my honeymoon... I think it was being in such a passionate country, surrounded by so much beauty and all loved up with my new husband, something just changed.  I started seeing things differently and knew instantly that I wanted to get into photography more. 

When we got home I promptly sold my wedding dress so I could buy my first dSLR camera; I paid for one-to-one tutoring with my own wedding photographer; I joined Flickr; I read books; I attended courses; I practiced, a lot. And the rest, as they say, is history.  I shot my first wedding in August 2009 as a favour for a friend and never looked back

  • Are you married?
I am! Our first date was on Valentine’s Day so naturally I’m a bit of a sap when it comes to romance. We got married 4 years later on Leap Day so have a big ‘first’ anniversary coming up in Feb 2012!

The planning didn’t go very smoothly which was a little embarrassing as I used to be an Events Coordinator!  The wedding dress shop closed down a week after I’d ordered my dress, the florists sold up shop and our venue (a Tuscan restaurant set in a stunning Jacobean hall in Chester) closed down 6 weeks before the wedding!  They told us by text message. #customerservicefail

So after the initial shock we got busy re-planning and with the help of friends and family we arranged the whole wedding again in those final few weeks.  It turned out a little more traditional than we had originally planned but the day was better than we could ever have imagined.  It made me realise... you can have the most amazing dress, cake, flowers, shoes... but ultimately none of that matters because it’s about the marriage and people that share the day with you. 

  • What attracted you to working in the wedding industry?
What’s not to love? Working in such a creative environment, alongside ridiculously talented people and getting to ‘freeze’ important little nuggets of people’s lives forever and capture them in an artistic way.  Yes it can be hard work but it‘s the best job in the world. 

  • What is your favourite part of working with bride & grooms (to-be)?
Getting to know them and how they interact with one another.  It’s so important because I need to be able to produce real images that portray who they are.  This is why the pre-wedding shoot is so important, we meet up for a cuppa and a chat, keep it relaxed and just shoot some fun photos. Coffee is usually involved somewhere along the way too. and cake.   

  • What is your most favourite wedding theme at the moment?
I don’t really have a favourite theme as such – although yes, predictably I love all things vintage!  For me it’s more about creative couples who stamp their own personalities on their day, the little extra touches that make it unmistakably THEIR wedding.  Whatever the theme, those are my favourite types of wedding.

  • Top wedding tip?
Relax!  As I can testify, even when things go wrong everything has a way of working out.  Also (and yes I’m totally biased but...) do your research when it comes to wedding photographers.  Find a style that you love rather than basing your judgement solely on price. Often the old adage is true, you get what you pay for. 

The photographs of your wedding day will long outlast your wedding cake, your shoes and possibly even your dress.  They will be the one thing (apart from maybe a video) that you have to look back on in years to come.  It does frustrate me when people place so little value on such an important part of their wedding. 

  • What do you think the next big wedding trends might be?
Well... as the trends usually come from our friends over the pond... I would have to say ‘first look’.  I LOVE the idea.  Rather than the couple first seeing each other at the altar or registrar’s table, they actually meet-up before the ceremony, in private and see each other for the first time. 

It’s uber special – a rare moment of quiet between the two of them. It allows the couple that time to just take it all in, settle their nerves and share an imtimate moment.  And of course it means that I can get some beautiful, emotive and really powerful shots from those initial reactions... perfect.

  • Where can we find your fabulous company?
I’m based in Chester but available all over the UK and for destination weddings.  (You got that I fell in love with Italy yes?)

On the net you can find me here:

  • What are your plans for the future?
There’s a shiny new blog in the pipeline for the New Year which I’m excited about.  Other than that simply to keep learning, trying new things and loving what I do!   

I'd like to say a huge thanks to Claire for doing this feature and for letting me show you her fabulous photos! I love the 'first look' moment - I would have loved this on our wedding day, you get so swept along in the day, it would be such a breath of fresh air to have that!

Would love to know your comments....

Have a happy day
Love Kate x


  1. fab interview....Claire Penn you talented so and so <3

  2. Claire Penn is SOOOOOO talented and a genuinely lovely, lovely person to boot. Great interview and beautiful work, as always xxxx

  3. Great interview and lovely images :-) xx

  4. Fab interview and having worked with Claire can say she is a pure joy to know and extremeley talented to boot x

  5. Worked with Claire a few months ago at Heaton House Farm, and her photos are fab! All the best for the future Claire! Sarah x

  6. Thanks so much Kate for featuring me and my ramblings! And for all the lovely comments. :)

  7. Complete pleasure Claire - I love your ramblings :)
    And thanks so much to everyone for your gorgeous comments xxx


I would love to know your thoughts on this blog post! (But please do not advertise your own product or company it really is just bad manners!!)
Love Kate x