Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Daddy is 80!

Today is my father's 80th birthday! I still can't believe it. This photo above was taken this past July in Italy. I am so amazed that he keeps referring to it as the "terrible birthday", when all I want to do is shout about him from the hilltops. I want to shout about how lucky he is that he has reached such a magnificent age, and more importantly, he has reached this incredible milestone still full of energy, vitality and a fun and joyful spirit. As you can see, he is still not even fully grey, he doesn't need glasses, nor a walking stick or frankly anything to help him get on in life. I suppose for him, when he says he wants to keep this birthday quiet, he is remembering back to when he was a hottie pottie like in the below shot, taken in 1980. But that was thirty three years ago and his life has been so blessed with loving family and friends, wonderful lifestyle here in Bermuda, and the opportunity to travel. He has everything and although he may have a few more wrinkles and grey hairs, he hasn't lost the important things in life like his sharp mind, sense of humour and all of us who love him so very much. So as far as I'm concerned, he still has it all.

Above is a photo from 1981 with my sister Amanda, on the left, and me, in my Brownie uniform on the right - too cute. Below is my father carrying me over an electric wire which I was utterly petrified of when we visited family friends in Canada.

My father has one of those rare noses that don't come along very often. He is a Master of Wine and was the youngest with that qualification for many many years. He came to Bermuda in the 50s for six months to open a fine wines company and here he still is on the island today. And today at 80, although he pretty much only lives off raw fruits, veg and nuts, (no more cheese, sigh) he can still recognise and appreciate a fine wine and is brilliant at recommending to us such colourful selections at all price ranges - can't recommend him highly enough - he does an amazing job. He also invented the Vinicool and I remember when I was growing up what a household of creative ideas it was with him always trying to perfect his next idea - such an unusual brain the way he didn't see boundaries the way most of us do - he things anything is possible.

Not only was he a young star in the wine world, he also was a water skiing whizz. He is one of the key people who brought the now popular sport to the UK in the first place and below is a triptych of him doing his wild stunts.

Water skiing naturally transferred into skiing, and it was on a ski holiday where he met my mother 46 years ago! He likes to mono ski and invented his own Blackburne Contoured monoski which he still uses today.

Ever the ideas man, he invented a double strung tennis racquet which makes the sweet spot that much larger so if you haven't got one yet and need to improve your game (let's face it - who doesn't want that!), then go out and get a Blackburne tennis racquet!

And on top of being such a go-getter driven mad inventor/wine connoisseur/tennis and ski buff, he is also a loving grand father. Although it is exhausting to spend time with littles, he loves the kids so much and they simply adore him. And now that they are getting older (7 and 8), he can finally share his love of sports like tennis, croquet and boules with them.

Daddy - you have given me so many opportunities in my life and for that I am so thankful - you are a constant voice in my head of the point of life is that it should be enjoyed - your joie de vivre, and as a result your incredible health, is an inspiration - I just hope you passed down those genes! We love you very much. Happy birthday. xxxx

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Faith & Kevin -- Vow Renewal, Bermuda

Faith and Kevin were married in June, 2003. They have an 8 year old daughter and a 6 year old son and the family love to spend time together riding bikes and taking various day excursions. But something Kevin and Faith decided they wanted to do, just the two of them, was to honour their ten years of marriage with a special trip and a vow renewal. They wanted their ceremony to be intimate and with beautiful scenery. The couple chose Bermuda because of its closeness to the US and they had always heard how it is such a beautiful island. 

We decided to do a combination of Southlands with its glorious acreage of the banyan tree and the beach just down the hill. At first they were going to exchange vows under the canopy but later decided the beach with the ocean view and sounds of the waves would be more romantic so we did photos first in the trees.



The couple each wrote their own vows renewing and expressing their commitment and love for each other - it was incredibly touching to witness.


There is a huge movement among a certain type of wedding photographer to get the most creative and unusual ring shot. I love ring shots, but what really moves me most is emotion and people so I tend to find myself spending that time on couple shots rather than away figuring out cool ring shots. That said, when I saw this piece of drift wood - an entire tree root with part of the trunk, I was swooning. I just adore the soft greys of drift wood and all the different textures and stories told in the wood. So I couldn't resist doing a few shots of their polished, shiny rings in contrast with the soft organic wood, weathered by the elements.

How delish that there is an upside down heart just under Kevin's ring in the shot below.

Kevin and Faith - thank you so much for asking me to be part of such an intimate and inspiring exchange - you two are so lovely together and I hope next time you come to Bermuda, I can meet and photograph your gorgeous children with you! Much love and wishing you many many more blissful years together. xxx