Holiday Hair

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My hair is getting quite long now, and I have been searching out ways to style it into more interesting vintage fashions. I currently have two styles in mind that I am desperate to try out of the Christmas period:-

Double Chignon

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This one has been on my to-do list for a while. Its utterly gorgeous! I don’t see the top roll being a problem to recreate, its a style I do quite a lot, however, obviously my hair isn’t as long as in the picture to create the actual chignons. But as it says ‘ you may have a mop of hair or a minimum…it doesn’t make much difference , excepting in the size of the finished product.’

It’s a Wonderful Life hair do

The second style is very festive indeed. Its the hair do that Mary has in the last scene of this quite Wonderful film. She has what I assume is a faux plait over the top of her head and the rest of her hair rolled under at the back.  I’ve tried desperately to find a good picture of it from the back, to no avail!

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I purchased a chunky faux plait headband on Ebay in preparation!Unfortunately it is no where near as chunky as Mary’s, but I’ll give it a go anyway

If all goes to plan I will photograph the styles and share how I did it, but do give them a try too and let me know how you get on!

 

 

Summer Tales Part 4 – Getting Wed

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The last stop on this very long, very memorable day that started in Bodie, and took us through Death Valley, was to be Las Vegas. The most exciting part was that when we arrived there, our families would be waiting for us having flown from the UK and Spain……….as they were joining us for our wedding which was to be in two days time.

Oh sorry, had I not mentioned before that we were going to Vegas to get married?!  I had absolutely no idea what I was going to think of Vegas, I knew that it was probably going to be bonkers, but that was about it. I wasn’t far wrong either. I know people can be really snobby about that city but you do have to just accept it for what it is and go with the flow, if you do that you might even enjoy yourself.
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We were staying at the Venetian, which was out of this world, weird/crazy/amazing. I know the word ‘tacky’ gets bandied around a lot when referring to Vegas, but you’ve got to give the place a little credit for knowing how to do luxury, for really not that much money. The price we paid to stay there for four nights is what you would pay to stay for one night in the Savoy Hotel in London. Our suite was bloody enormous and I felt like Cleopatra when I took a bath.

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The next day we went to the county hall to get our marriage license which was fun, and then we drove out to the Hoover Dam. Can I just mention that there was a heat wave going on the whole time we were in Vegas, and since getting back I’ve learnt that this June was the hottest June there on record. When we were at the Hoover Dam it was 118 degrees. Wow.

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Because of the very dry heat, and also I think partly because of the air con, I kept having nose bleeds! I’d never had a nose bleed before in my life, and I think I had 5 while we were there. At one point during the wedding ceremony I actually felt my nose running a little because the air con was very cold, and for a horrible moment I thought I was having a nose bleed and that it was about to run all over my dress!!

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So the very next day was our wedding day. Eek! We weren’t due to get married until 3pm, so we started the day having a lovely relaxed breakfast with our families in a restaurant in the hotel and then went to get ready.

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I had big plans for hair and lashes etc, but it was so bloody hot, the last thing I wanted was fake lashes to be melting down my face and having to fuss around too much with my hair. So I kept it pretty simple with a back roll. My dress was a 1940s gown from Etsy and my shoes were from Remix. Hanson wore the most incredible 1930s linen suit (that cost way more than my dress, may I add!)

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We got married at the Wee Kirk O’ the Heather Chapel. It is the oldest in Vegas dating to 1940, and was lovely. We don’t have many photos (oh the irony! We are wedding photographers if you didn’t know…)  although we had a photographer at the chapel, we took a few snaps ourselves throughout the rest of the day, but actually we didn’t do as many posed shots as we thought we would. I think the main reason for that was because it felt like the surface of the sun outside and we didn’t stand around anywhere particularly picturesque for very long in case we melted.

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After the ceremony we all went to Maggiano’s restaurant in the Fashion Show Mall, and following that we headed to the Mirage to watch Cirque Du Soliel: LOVE. It was all so much fun and I loved floating around Vegas in my beautiful dress and my bouquet which had long since wilted in the heat.

The day after the wedding we explored Fremont Street, took a visit to Frankie’s Tiki Room, soaked up the atmosphere on the Strip, and rode on the rollercoaster at New York, New York. It was all bloody brilliant.

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Thanks for the memories Vegas!

Next Stop……Los Angeles!

Summer Tales Part 3 – Death Valley

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Yesterday we arrived back from a mini adventure in Spain (yes I know we have been spoilt this year), but more about that later. Back to our American Adventure…..

After Bodie, once again we were relieved to get back into the air conditioned car, and we headed towards Death Valley. We were very excited and not sure what to expect. I think in my head I thought I was just going to see lots of big rocks, but I wasn’t prepared for the variation in landscape that we came across.

This was our route for the next stage:

As we drove we watched the temperature on the thermometer rise..95….98…..101….110….115….119!! (That’s 48 degrees Celsius to all my English chums) Blimey! I can honestly say it is hard to explain that kind of heat and the experience of stepping out the car into it for the first time. It is totally overwhelming, quite scary, pretty amazing and to use this horribly overused word for it’s real meaning for once, completely awesome. There was a strong breeze, but the breeze was so hot that when you opened your mouth for more than a few seconds, it just dried out completely. It was like when you open an oven door and the heat hits you in the face. I felt like I wanted to continually drink water, even though we were only outside the car for a few minutes at a time wherever we stopped.

Before we reached Death Valley, we stopped at Manzanar Japanese Internment camp. This is the site of a Japanese-American relocation camp that was used during WW2. I’ll be honest here and say that we attempted to go and look around and read the panels in the museum, but it was SO DAMN HOT! The last thing I wanted to do was walk around and learn about stuff. I just moaned for 10 minutes until we got back in the car. I am really rubbish in the heat and very quickly start to feel totally overwhelmed like I’m going to pass out! So he relented and we drove on towards Death Valley….

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Our first stop in Death Valley was by what I first thought was a huge plain of sand, but when we got out the car we realised that it was dried, cracked mud, and it was so beautiful. I was terribly excited. I’ve always wanted to visit death valley, and I love it when you fulfil your dreams and cross things off the list.

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35mmcrl1Scan-150712-0012I couldn’t believe it when we turned a corner and saw these huge sand dunes just dropped in the middle of nowhere, like they were from space. There was a sign here that said ‘Warning, don’t walk here after 10am, danger from heat!’ but we were naughty and couldn’t resist a few photos:-/

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It was such an humbling experience being somewhere where nature can totally overwhelm you. 10 minutes out there on my own completely exposed and I’m convinced I’d be dead.

Next Stop….Las Vegas!

l’inspiration de la mode

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My current vintage obsession is French style of the 1940s. Its not hard to see why. Its not just the clothes they wore, but the way they wore them. The colours that they put together, the way they pomped their hair reeeally high on their head, the huge, crazy shoes. There are, of course, political implications as to why certain fashion styles seemed to thrive during wartime, and the Zazou culture of wartime Paris was certainly a direct result of rebelling against the occupation. I believe that some of the images here also came from propaganda that was circulated to make the world believe that Paris was still thriving as the centre of the fashion universe. Putting all that aside for the short time it takes to read this post, let’s just appreciate the clothes as a feast for our vintage thirsty eyes. C’est magnifique!

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Summer Tales Part 2 – The Wild West

The next part of our journey was very exciting! We were heading to Lee Vining, a little town situated next to Mono Lake, just North of Yosemite. We had a long drive ahead of us that we hoped to do in one day, and on the way we wanted to stop at Lake Tahoe. The drive was supposed to look something like this:

However, unfortunately as we were headed towards Lake Tahoe, we ended up driving towards a road block and got very close to some very large forest fires. We heard on the radio that they had been raging for a few days and covered a huge area, something like 17,000 acres. We were redirected and lost a bit of time; we had planned to visit the ghost town, Bodie later that afternoon but didn’t have time.

We did see Lake Tahoe in the distance, but that’s as close as we got

We did however have time to stop for a bit of vintage shopping. We crossed over the State line into Nevada just after we were redirected, and ended up stopping in a town as we passed by a huge antique mall. Well, getting out of the car at this point was the first time we felt the full effect of the heat, and boy was it hot?!! The lady in the antique mall said that it was unusually hot for the time of year and that they were having a heat wave. When we had been out towards the coast it hat been warm, but not particularly hot, and even quite chilly in the evenings. But here it was almost 30 degrees hotter, which is a very strange feeling when you’ve just driven for a few hours in a car, in the same country!

Huge ANTIQUES sign. Yes please!
 We picked up a few goodies including a lovely 40s blouse with ‘Willows Hotel’ embroidered on the back, a California charm bracelet, some 40s Sailor pants and a bunch of vintage photos, including some of an actor dressed as Superman, and Clark Kent

We hopped back into the blissfully air- conditioned Dodge and headed to Lee Vining. What a picturesque little town greeted us! We were delighted with our digs for the night, The Yosemite Gateway Motel which overlooked Mono Lake, we even had a friendly cat that kept coming into our room and purring outside the door. We ate at the local grill and had the best night sleep after our journey!

Skipping through Lee Vining in my Willows Hotel blouse

The next morning after a stack of pancakes at Nicely’s Restaurant, we drove back to Bodie, because we didn’t want to miss it. We knew we had a long drive ahead of us again, but we would have regretted it totally if we had skipped it. We gave ourselves just over an hour to look around, but it was so worth it!!

Breakfast. What the hell is that white stuff? Certainly isn’t butter as I know it!! First I thought it was ice cream and got a nasty shock
View behind the hotel of lake Mono

Hanson took photos around Bodie on his Hasselblad, and they are such beautiful images:

Bodie is was a gold prospecting town that had its heyday in around 1880 when there were up to 7,000 residents living in 2,000 properties, but by 1910 this had dropped to 698 residents. Most people had  followed the boom to other prosperous mining towns. Even though people still lived there, it was first labelled as a ghost town in 1915, and by 1920 there were just 120 recorded residents. In 1932 a fire destroyed much of the downtown district, and by 1943 there were just 3 people left in Bodie, including the caretaker. Bodie is a real Wild West ghost town, and you can read about tales, of murder, gambling and prostitution. One young girl famously wrote in her diary ‘Goodbye God, we are going to Bodie’

Oh yes, worth mentioning because it’s funny – there is a 3 mile gravel track that leads you into Bodie, and all along the road these tiny creatures kept flinging themselves in front of the car, or scurrying across at speed forcing us to slam on the brakes! I’m still not entirely sure what they were, possibly chipmunks? But they were very cute, and obviously had some kind of death wish!

Next stop – Death Valley!

Summer Tales Part 1- The Russian River

Hello!

I hope your Summer/Winter (wherever you may be)  has been as wonderful as mine.

In June, we flew out to Sunny California to photograph the wedding of two special people that we are delighted to call our friends, in the beautiful Sonoma County region surrounding the Russian River . What a magical place!

We didn’t really know what to expect but as we hadn’t done too much research into the area we were staying, as our heads were sort of focussed on the hard work aspect of photographing a wedding, the day itself and planning a big trip! But we couldn’t have been more pleasantly surprised.

The teeny tiny town of Duncan’s Mills had its boom time in the Victorian era when two brothers set up their logging business there. Unfortunately most of the town was flattened in the great earthquake of 1906, but what remains and what has flourished there since, in Duncan’s Mills and the nearby towns is a happy, sleepy, friendly atmosphere of life by the waters of the beautiful Russian River. We especially loved Guerneville and the quaint little Monte Rio with its wonderful sign ‘Welcome to Monte Rio, Vacation Wonderland’.

As an English girl, born and bred in dirty old London town, although it sounds such a cliché; this side of America really is like a film to me. Being in the great big, beautiful outdoors gave me such a sense of space, freedom and complete awe at nature, that I have only experienced  before on our last visit to the States in 2013.

We spent 4 days in this area, exploring, spending time with wonderful friends, and photographing the *most* incredible and beautiful wedding I’m sure we are ever likely too. The day after the wedding our pals took us to the Town of Bodega where Hitchcock’s The Birds was filmed and then went to the BEST seafood restaurant, which I believe was called Tony’s (?). I have a really bad iphone pic of it which is too crappy to share, but the clever GPS on the phone tells me that Tony’s is on Petaluma. Oh man, what I wouldn’t do for a bowl of that clam chowder now

Running from all the imaginary birds

When we left the area and our pals, (although he wouldn’t like to admit it) we both had a little tear in our eye, but we were excited for the BIG adventure to come, and I’ll be back soon to tell you all about it…..

Picture a wedding

Are you getting married soon and seeking a wedding photographer?

If you follow my social media channels you may already be aware of this fact, but sometimes when I’m not doing my day job in the museum, I photograph weddings with my partner Hanson.

We started Mid Century Weddings as an off-shoot to Hanson’s other photography freelance work, because we both felt it was something creative and fun that we would love to get involved with.

Hanson’s main inspirations for all his photography work come from mid-Century photojournalism and the images from the lenses of celebrated LIFE Magazine photographers Henri Cartier-Bresson, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Margaret Bourke-White, to name but a few. So that’s the approach we like to take, discreet and laid back, not directing the day or the action in any way, but letting the events happen and making sure we are in the right place at the right time to capture the memories.

We have been lucky enough to photograph some beautiful weddings so far and met some wonderful and welcoming couples who have invited us to be part of their special day.

I will not lie, photographing weddings is hard work! But its extremely gratifying, and I like to think that we do a good job too! Here’s a selection of the lovely couples that we’ve had the pleasure of photographing

So that question I posed at the beginning – are you getting married soon and looking for a photographer? If you are, then we have a special offer for you, just because you read this! This is what our package includes:

Full day of photography starting from your desired time. This could be the ‘getting ready’ shots with the bride or groom in the morning, or we’ll just meet you at the ceremony venue. We will shoot the full day and normally finish after the first dance when everyone’s getting a little squiffy!

 Hanson as the main photographer and Jeni as 2nd shooter

 Roughly 250-300 digital images provided via an online image sharing service for you to download.

 Images are provided in a mix of black and white and colour. This is dependent on Hanson’s editing and experience understanding which images look better in each colour way. If you want any particular images in black and white or colour after you have received them they can be provided at no extra cost

 Images will be ready 4-6 weeks after your wedding

 Normal Price: £1000

Yesterday Girl Reader Offer: £850

If you like what you see here and you want to know more then please drop us an email at info@hansonleatherby.com and tell us that you saw the offer on the blog. We are always delighted to meet for a consultation first to chat through your plans and expectations for your wedding photography, and of course – to see if you like us!

www.midcenturyweddings.com

Note – if your wedding is outside London we charge an additional cost for petrol which will be calculated by an online fuel calculator