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Bognor Regis Wedding Photographer

Bognor Regis Wedding Photographer | Pre-wedding Shoot

Bognor Regis Wedding Photographer | Pre-wedding Shoot

I met the lovely Charlotte and Rob at a wedding last year that I shot at Two Woods Estate (have a look to remind yourselves!). Barely weeks had passed before we were getting together to discuss their October wedding plans for the following year. I shoot all over our beautiful country, but it really is a joy to be on my own doorstep sometimes as a Bognor Regis Wedding Photographer. We were able to meet at a local pub to us all and plan the pre-wedding shoot to happen in our town.

I’m a regular on our beach, walking the dog, playing with my children or just paddling on a warm evening when the tide is out. It was a perfect spot to hang out, practise posing and take some portraits. We managed a cheeky half before setting off and capturing a portrait with their baby daughter before she was whisked away to play with Grandma!

Bognor Regis Wedding Photographer

Bognor Regis Wedding Photographer

Bognor Regis Wedding Photographer

Today happened to be deceptively chilly quite a windy day, we really felt like we could have blown away! We played on this with some Hadouken fun! I happen to be a sucker for reflections too! Charlotte and Rob are planning a more alternative approach to their wedding day so I really wanted to capture some of this in our pre-wedding shoot.

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Running alongside the beach is Marine Park Gardens, so we sauntered our way through there on the way back to the pub, somewhat  more sheltered from the wind! I like to look at scenes from different perspectives. While Charlotte and Rob looked quite symmetrical from the front, I just love how they appear more abstract when viewed from the side through a peep-hole window.

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Bognor Regis Wedding Photographer

Next on the agenda is to plan their wedding timeline. October may seem a way away yet, but it will certainly fly by! I can’t wait!!

Fiona xx

Bognor Regis Wedding Photographer | Pre-wedding Shoot

Goodwood wedding photographer

Goodwood Wedding Photographer | The Kennels

Goodwood Wedding Photographer | The Kennels

goodwood wedding photographer

As I was sorting through my archives this week I realised there is a plethora of weddings I have long forgotten to blog… and in my typical form, rather than doing what I’m supposed to be doing (my accounts FYI, booooring!) I thought I’d share this little nugget. Lizzie and Steve were having a very quiet, secret wedding at The Kennels so were looking for a Goodwood Wedding Photographer. West Sussex is my stomping ground, and although my work takes me all over our fair land, I love the chance to be just up the road!

The wedding is no longer a secret, so this is now safe to share. A small intimate wedding of only 3 other guests, here is a very short photoblog of their afternoon. Lizzie and Steve shared a few moments together before their ceremony…. I’m a little envious of this chair!

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The Kennels at Goodwood is a very prestigious venue (with amazing food should you wish to become a member). Here’s a glimpse into the opulence of the library room where the ceremony was held.

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Goodwood wedding photographer

With all guests seated round the registration table, it really was a close and intimate affair, which as a Goodwood Wedding Photographer I love to capture.

Goodwood wedding photographer

Goodwood Wedding Photographer

The newlyweds and guests adjourned for canapes prior to their afternoon lunch, with a few quick portraits in the grounds and I was off on my way. For those looking at having a longer time for their celebrations, there really are some beautiful grounds within the Goodwood Estate for both the formal, group shots and more private newlywed portraits. It’s a real pleasure to be able to shoot in this beautiful party of our county.

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A brief but wonderful afternoon. Congratulations Lizzie & Steve

Fiona xx

FionaMillsArt | Goodwood Wedding Photographer | The Kennels

P.S. If you would like to chat about your up and coming Goodwood Wedding, I will be at the PMN Wedding Fayre at Goodwood Racecourse on Sunday May 21st. I would love to hear about your plans!

Mr & Mrs Cooper | The White Swan, Arundel

Daniel & Vicky were a lovely young couple I met early in 2015 planning for their 2016 wedding at St George’s Church in Eastergate followed by their reception at The White Swan, Arundel. As with every wedding, we had a test shoot on a cold and blustery day in March to prepare them for their big day. I love a cold day, it encourages us all to be snuggly and cosy!

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Daniel and Vicky were to be married in a small church in a village on the south coast. St George’s in Eastergate is a stunning, yet petit, building with wonderful exposed beams and original stained glass windows. Sadly, Spring was yet to appear on this May afternoon so there was a mildly damp moment as Vicky arrived at the Church driven by her father and accompanied by her bridesmaids and mum. Vicky, however seemed unfazed by the showers as she patiently had her veil fixed before entering the church to meet her awaiting groom.

I love that moment of anticipation between the bride’s arrival and the groom being made aware. The air is suddenly filled with excitement! The music starts to play, their eyes meet, hands touch, songs sung, vows shared and that magical first kiss as newlyweds!

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Daniel and Vicky were keen to share their special day with their family and closest friends. The rain inhibited us during the end of the ceremony from using the outside space, but the inside of the church was a great spot to capture their nearest and dearest before they headed off to The White Swan, Arundel for the reception. You would never guess from these pictures that it was sheet rain outside!

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I had a few moments with the new Mr & Mrs Cooper alone before they joined their guests at The White Swan, Arundel. With a little help from Daniel’s mum to keep me and my camera dry we were able to capture a few portraits of the newlyweds around the church grounds. I’m very grateful that the rain, although still present, wasn’t strong enough to drench us at that moment!! Daniel and Vicky are big fans of black and white images, so I enjoyed finding spots that lent themselves to the bold contrasts that black and white photography brings.

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As we arrived at The White Swan, Arundel Daniel and Vicky were greeted by their awaiting family and friends before sitting down to a wedding breakfast. The speeches came first, however, to allow the delicious food to not be marred by the nervous anticipation that comes with public speaking! Amazingly, Daniel had also been putting the finishing touches to the wedding cake he had baked that very morning! (I can attest it tasted delicious!!)

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Before the evening party started, there was still a good pocket of time for me to be able to capture some shots of Daniel and Vicky and their Bridal Party. Thankfully the rain had come to a stop by this point so we put to good use the green space and the spiral staircase that is at the back of the function room of The White Swan, Arundel.

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To complete the wedding collection, Daniel and Vicky had chosen a Young Book by Graphistudio which I delivered recently alongside some parent copies (please excuse the iPhone pics!!). I was chuffed to bits that the image I had chosen to go inside the box (the final image below) was also one of their favourites that they had already printed and framed! Many congratulations Mr & Mrs Cooper, I hope you love married life and treasure your memories of the day for years to come!


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Matt & Jen | The Live Proposal

This is a short story all about Matt & Jen and their Live Proposal at the Angmering Bluebells Wood.

When Matt contacted me in May about doing his and Jen’s wedding photography in September we talked about how all wedding collections come with a test shoot. This would prove to be a tactical move as Matt hadn’t actually proposed by this point. Matt told me how he and Jen were pushing the wedding through quickly as there were key family members they would love to be able to attend before it becomes too difficult for them to make the journey overseas, but as they had been living together for some years and had a young son together, the actual proposal was just a tradition that had not yet been met.

Matt mentioned that Jen loved the outdoors, nature and was a big fan of the bluebells that covered the forest floors this time of the year, so we booked a date in at the soonest opportunity to catch the tail end of the blooms under the guise of it being a formality and a great chance to grab the three of them in a portrait.

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I had mentioned to Matt that before proposing we leave it 15/20 mins so they all get used to having me and my cameras in close proximity. I have to say, I was waiting with baited breath for THE MOMENT to happen! My long lens was out to give them as much space as possible (for the tech geeks out there, I was shooting with a couple of Canon 5D mkii’s and switching between *The Beast* 70-200 f2.8L mkii and *The Tank* 24-70 f2.8L. *The Fave* 50mm f1.2L was decommissioned for this shoot, but a bag of mini cheddars and a pull-back car proved useful). Matt, Jen and Stanley wandered through the woodland acting natural during this time. Although we were at the tail end of the bloom of the Bluebells, they were still an impressive sight to see blanketing the ground of the woodland at Angmering Park Estate

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After about an hour (the suspense is killing me by this point!) Stanley is happy perched on a tree stump with some snacks and toys while we “practise posing techniques” with Matt & Jen.

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Matt pops back to the bag for a moment before declaring “One last picture”… and there it is, THE MOMENT we’ve all been waiting for happens. The Live Proposal! He drops down on one knee and asks Jen if she will marry him! Obvs, blog fam, she said YES otherwise we wouldn’t be sharing this story together. Jen seemed genuinely surprised at the timing as Matt had always said to her he had it (the proposal) in hand. A very humble romantic, it seems, Matt had used one of Jen’s Grandmother’s rings and had it remade into an engagement ring. How sweet is that! What a talking point for the future.

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Massive congratulations to Matt & Jen on their Engagement (finally!!), I’m looking forward to your wedding…. let me know if you are planning any more surprises…

Fiona x


West Dean Gardens Photographer | Engagement Shoot | Caroline & Geoff

West Dean Gardens Photographer | Engagement Shoot | Caroline & Geoff

When Caroline told me she and Geoff wanted to do their Engagement Shoot at West Dean Gardens I was super excited, I’ve been meaning to revisit for a long time. I hadn’t been there for many years when my sole purpose was to sketch and draw the sculptures for an art project… I wasn’t paying that much attention to the flora and fauna (although, were you to see my final sculpture based on my visit you’d be fooled into thinking my attention was on point!)

West Dean Gardens Engagement Photographer

As is the norm for an Engagement Shoot we spend the first 15 mins or so bedding in (pardon my horticultural puns there!) to get relaxed with the camera and each other. It is a great opportunity to break the ice and get those nerves out of the way before the wedding day itself when the last thing a couple want is to feel they are on an endless photoshoot rather than celebrating their wedding day!

West Dean Gardens photographer

Caroline and Geoff were pro’s, a couple so visibly comfortable with each other it was an honour to be brought in to that fold. Geoff mentioned he had been awake since 7am the previous day, he was a trooper. Never once complaining or passing out from tiredness! A true professional to the end!!

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West Dean Gardens are beautifully landscaped grounds centred around West Dean House, a place of artistic and creative education as well as hosting fabulous events throughout the year (I would personally recommend the Chilli Festival). The whole location is just made for a photoshoot!

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There is this gorgeous Edwardian Pergola that has been extensively restored that cries out to be photographed. It was springing into bloom as we visited. Caroline and Geoff sprung to action being the perfect models as we traversed it’s 100m length, pausing at the pool to catch a calm reflection.

West Dean Gardens photographer

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The Sunken Gardens are also a must visit, and for the foodies out there, the Walled Kitchen Garden as a source of inspiration for allotment growing (sadly, I have not inherited my Mother’s amazing green fingers, but greatly appreciate the abundant crops shared with me!)

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As we strolled around the grounds together it was very hard to not just stop at every corner to take another snap. As a photographer at West Dean Gardens I was in my element. There are huts, nooks and crannies, green arches and endless fields all begging to be included in the shoot. We had planned to be there for an hour or two…. Four hours later we realised how absorbed we had all got, but it was certainly worth it! We talked about wedding plans, work, life, kids etc, it was hard to make this day feel like work!

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As you can see from the images, Caroline and Geoff were true naturals during their Engagement Shoot at West Dean Gardens, their love and warmth for each other just shining through. I’m really excited for their post-wedding shoot when we can revisit in all their wedding outfit glory and create some stunning Newlywed portraits.

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I can’t wait for next year and their April wedding!

Fiona xx

FionaMillsArt | West Dean Gardens Photographer | Engagement Shoot

Jess & Geoff | The Engagement Shoot | Chichester

When I got an email from Jess enquiring about doing an Engagement Shoot in Chichester following her recent engagement to Geoff, after putting two and two together I realised we had an army of mutual friends between us. I was shocked at how our paths had not crossed before this! After a flurry of emails, we got onto location… Being torn between the floaty dreamy setting of West Wittering, or the more gothic architecture and floral blooms of Bishops Palace Gardens at Chichester Cathedral, they chose the Cathedral.

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Meeting Jess and Geoff at Chichester Cathedral for their Engagement Shoot was like hooking up with old friends. They are a lovely, vibrant couple with a real sense of fun and joy! I learnt that Geoff likes to climb trees (he’s very good at it) and is not afraid of the spiders that may live in those nooks and crannies!

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Jess was a bold and adventurous model, very quick to be comfortable under the glare of my lens, and full of laughter with it! At times it seemed we forgot we were on a shoot as we chatted and got to know each other better! I found out that they met as Geoff was supposed to be interviewing Jess for a job in the family business…. it seems he not only scored a great employee but his future wife to boot! Lucky man!

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One of the lovely things for me about joining a couple on an Engagement Shoot is that you get to see that fresh flush of love and excitement as a couple are starting to prepare for their married life ahead… I’m not sure where this romantic side of me has come from, but  it sure seems to be creeping out more and more! As they chatted about ideas for their wedding day, what they may or may not like, whom they wish to share it with, I couldn’t help but share the excitement!

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As you can see from the images, Jess and Geoff share a wonderful love… they also look fabulous together! Bishops Palace Gardens at Chichester Cathedral is a wonderful place to explore. As a photographer there is a plethora of backdrops to use, and despite having shot here multiple times, I can always find a new angle or scene to capture. The buildings and walls that surround the area are also a great backdrop to use.

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After editing and sending over the online gallery and mobile app to Jess and Geoff following their Engagement Shoot in Chichester I realised they would also be a perfect subject for me to test out and order a sample of the GoBook, a new product by Graphistudio (whom I use for all my album products). Beautifully handmade in Italy, I’m sure you’d agree this album, with it’s free standing box frame would be a perfect addition to you home, preserving those fantastic memories.

J&G GoBook Sample

I was very pleased to see that Geoff also values the medium of print, when upon my morning Facebook and coffee ritual I saw (much to my amusement) that Geoff had bestowed upon his beloved a gift of a cushion…..using the image below!! Cheeky eh?!

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Peace and Love

Fiona x

British Institute of Professional Photography

You may have read in one of my previous blogs that one of my aims for this year was to submit my work to be assessed for a Licentiateship with the British Institute of Professional Photography in the category of Weddings. Since joining the Institute this time last year I have been closely mentored by Chris Harper FBIPP (and also CEO of the BIPP). Attending courses and taking constructive feedback on the chin has really helped challenge me to improve how I compose, shoot and edit an image. I can really see the difference in a year!

This February Chris suggested I apply for my Licentiate, with assessments taking place in March. Basically, the British Institute of Professional Photography has taken over my life for a very intense month or so. With help from Chris to put together my portfolio of images, I was very kindly given a small extension with which to write my supporting evidence. A book that documents how I began, where I am at now and how I hope to grow in the future. It also shows my working process, how I interpret client briefs and customer feedback. This workbook was the hardest part!

So……. Today I was assessed, and YAY!! I was awarded a Licentiateship in the British Institute of Professional Photography. I can use the letters LBIPP after my name  and here’s a new fancy-pants logo I can incorporate into my marketing:

British Institute f Professional Photography

This is what the BIPP have to say about qualifications, “Recognised across the world as a benchmark of excellence, our tiered qualification structure offers photographers continual professional development. There are three qualifications, each reflecting increasing levels of experience, skill and achievement; Licentiateship, Associateship and Fellowship”

The assessors had some very kind words to say about my images but also offered some golden nuggets of how I could improve and what I could develop to take my art to the next level.

I am really looking forward to this next year or so, developing my craft and working towards the next qualification with the support and guidance of my mentor. The additional development tool I can now consider is whether I choose to complete a degree. The work submitted for my LBIPP can be assessed and awarded up to 240 points towards a BA(Hons) Photography with the Open College of the Arts (basically it could count as 2 years of a 3 year degree). I need to weigh up if I have: a) the time to do this; and b) the money, as the cost would be equivalent to a new camera and lens I’ve got my eye on!

Anyhow, I’ll think about that and leave you the images to peruse from my Licentiate Portfolio for the British Institute of Professional Photography while I pour myself a glass of vino and scoff some well deserved cake!

Fiona xx
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