Last weekend I was fortunate enough to be asked to exhibit at the fabulous Nonsuch Mansion wedding fair. I had the most amazing day surrounded by fabulous brides and grooms-to-be and wedding suppliers.
I was lucky enough to meet the wonderful Alison Russell who is one of the few remaining silhouette artists in England. Having never experienced this art first-hand before I was amazed by the samples Alison had on display.
Using just scissors and paper Alison cuts out the subject’s portrait in profile in just a few minutes, resulting in a most charming, detailed and highly accurate likeness. So when Alison asked if she could create a silhouette of me of course I jumped at the chance. Standing to the side so Alison could see my profile I was asking her how she found she was so good at this very specialised art. Alison explained that she learned how to cut silhouette portraits from her grandmother, Mary-Lou Russell who was an established painter and silhouette artist for more than 50 years. Alison cut her first silhouette aged just eight years old and she keenly observed her grandmother’s expert technique and was encouraged to develop the skill by practising on friends and family.
Now I am terrible at anything arty and even the thought of having to draw a stick person makes me get goose bumps, so I was in complete awe of Alison whilst she snipped away creating my silhouette. Within about five minutes she had created the most delicate and detailed silhouette of my profile, including details of my hair, eyelashes and even the necklace I was wearing.
Alison’s silhouette portraits would be a perfect addition to your wedding. You can hire Alison to create silhouettes of your guests as they sip reception drinks, and guests receive their portrait in a special card that can also be custom printed to include specific details of the event, such as the names of the wedding couple, date and venue details, creating a perfectly personalised memento to take home and frame.
If you are looking for unique wedding invitations Alison also offers a commissioned service, so she could create silhouettes of the two of you for your wedding invitations and wedding stationery.
I am still completely amazed by how talented Alison is. You can see her incredible talent for yourself on this video…
To find out more about Alison Russell and to contact her for more information about how she could make your wedding day even more special visit www.alison-russell.co.uk
“She is astounding, truly fantastic!”
The latest real wedding story on The Wedding Community is the wedding of Louise and Gavin, who got married in Sorrento, Italy on 03/08/2010. You can read their story by clicking the link, and here are more pictures from the wedding taken by the fabulous Amy Turner from iMAG1NE.
How did Shan’s Photography get started and how long has the business been going?
I’ve been interested in photography as a hobby and art form ever since I can remember! My journey towards making photography my career began at a local photography society in 2005. I joined up to hopefully learn some new skills from other photographers and everyone was so helpful and friendly! They held regular competitions, and I was so surprised when I was awarded first place in the first competition I entered and it was announced in the local newspaper! It was really encouraging and after that I started taking photography really seriously, learning as many new skills as I could. By the end of the year I won “Best Photographer” along with a host of trophies!
I continued working really hard on improving my photography and decided to make it my career. In 2007 I set up Shan’s Photography while studying Management with Marketing at Royal Holloway, University of London. In June 2010 I completed my degree and moved back to the Isle of Man as a full-time photographer. I always feel so lucky to have become a photographer and doing something which I love every day!
Have you always wanted to be a photographer?
When I was little I wanted to be a fashion designer or a ballet dancer. However, my family wanted me to be an accountant. After studying accountancy for 4 years and working in a company I came to understand that wasn’t what I wanted in my life. I wanted to do something I could be passionate about and decided to make photography my career.
Can you remember how old you were when you took your first picture? What was it of?
I can’t remember when I took my first picture – when I was young I was really into painting and photography. Since then I’ve become really passionate about art and photography!
What’s the best thing about the job?
The best thing about my job is being able to do something that I can be incredibly passionate about every day. I am proud that my pictures have strongly connected with the people I documented and those cherished moment are captured through my lens. I love my clients; I think they are truly amazing! I feel like one of the luckiest photographers; I am blessed to witness love and happiness, and the people who I document make me fall more in love with life, with everything. I appreciate it all from the bottom of my heart.
What makes Shan’s Photography different from other wedding photographers?
I think my fresh, youthful and contemporary style along with my personality make me different from other wedding photographers. I wish to go beyond simply recording every client’s wedding, to capturing all those meaningful moments that tell the story of their big day, and each time they look at them will take them back to that moment and let them experience their wedding day over and over again.
Where do you get your photography inspiration from?
Every day I am inspired and influenced by life, sometimes just simple things around me. I like to use my imagination and be creative while keeping images in my style.
The love between my husband and I is one of my biggest inspirations for my photography. He makes me a better photographer. He is my soul mate, my website designer, my lover and my everything. He makes me feel so in love and understand how to love, that is the way I document people through my heart and my lens. Photography is like love – you’ve got to see it and feel it, it’s unbelievable!
Of all the venues you have photographed weddings at, which is your favourite and why?
There are so many beautiful venues I have photographed in the Isle of Man. It’s difficult for me to pick my favourite. I love the wedding venues that are unique and present the couple’s style and personality.
Do you provide other photography services apart from wedding photography?
Yes, I also provide Fashion and Portraiture photography services; Fashion, Boudoir, Family and Newborn baby photo shoot. Also some selected commercial events.
Do you have a favourite picture you have taken (If you can choose!)?
Where is your favourite place in the world and why?
I love the history of Beijing in China, the food and culture of Japan and Italy, the memories of Santorini, a Greek Island, the liveable life style of Hong Kong, the vintage fashion of London and the beautiful nature of the Isle of Man. How could I pick my favourite?!
What’s your top tip for choosing a wedding photographer?
Firstly, decide on the style of photography you’d like for your wedding and then find a photographer that you really like in that style. Remember there are lots of different types of photographers out there so have a good look around – some photographers can take really good photos, but their style might not be your cup of tea. Once you’ve found a photographer you like try and book an engagement session with them – this will give you a good idea of what they’re like to work with. They’re going to be with you for virtually your entire wedding day, so you should get on with them really well and feel comfortable in front of the camera. Also, try and see a full wedding album to see if you like how they’ll tell the ‘story’ of your wedding day.
Where can I find out more about Shan’s Photography?