Portraits in Oxford and London

“Hope” is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops – at all
And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.” Emily Dickinson, Hope is the thing with feathers

Here are a few portraits taken at the end of last year to some beautiful and talented girls I worked with in Oxford and London, focusing on natural beauty and candid moments.

Alisa
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Odella
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Agnessa
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Anesu

November is already here and I am still thinking about the summer, as something I have just took my eyes off a few days ago. But months have passed and I still have some photos taken then to share with you. Anesu’s photos, for instance, are among those. We had a lovely, relaxed session in London, and got the chance to explore museums – being a bit adventurous shooting inside one of them – and to chat about art and life. That’s the lovely Anesu!

Model: Anesu Noelle

©2018 Flavia Catena

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Esther

A selection of photos from a test shoot done with the lovely Esther Ajie and the make up artist Ryn Zhan. We had so much fun and enjoyed a very warm spring day in the beautiful Holland Park!

©2018 Flavia Catena

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Dovile – Natural beauty

I hardly ever say I am happy with the photos I take. I always feel I have to improve my technique and be more creative, but this time I have to confess I am really pleased with the portraits taken to the beautiful Dovile. And the magic of it is that we did not do or plan anything special, if not walking around Alexandra Road, in London, and getting inspired by its architecture and the mood of the day, while chatting about our lives. It is true: “less is more”. I strongly believe in that!

©2017 Flavia Catena

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Justyna

Summer is almost over, as are my holidays, so it is time to process the last photographs, and plan new projects! Here are some photos from a test shoot done with the lovely Justyna, just a few weeks before she moved from England to Spain. Wishing her all the best, I leave you with these sweet images!

©2017 Flavia Catena

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Trisha + Paul – An intimate wedding in Woodstock

“The fountains mingle with the river
And the rivers with the ocean,
The winds of Heaven mix for ever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single,
All things by a law divine
In one spirit meet and mingle –
Why not I with thine?

See the mountains kiss high Heaven
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister-flower would be forgiven
If it disdained its brother;
And the sunlight clasps the earth,
And the moonbeams kiss the sea –
What are all these kissings worth
If thou kiss not me?” Percy B. Shelley

What a lovely, joyful, cheerful couple I have photographed a few weeks ago on their wedding day! It was a sweet, intimate ceremony celebrated in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, and followed by a small reception and of course a portrait session in the historic part of the town (we could not miss it, also considering how nice those little streets were looking!). No fake poses was the rule of the day, and I could not agree more! True love has not need for forced smiles and bright eyes!

©2017 Flavia Catena

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Wedding at Macdonald Randolph Hotel – Jessie + James

My wedding season has started, and I could not ask for a better couple to work with! Jessie and James celebrated their big day last June in the beautiful location of Macdonald Randolph Hotel, in the heart of Oxford, just opposite one of my favorite photography spot: the Ashmolean museum. They had both the ceremony and the reception in the hotel, and every moment I had the honour to photograph was moving and at the same time full of smiles and laughts. It was great to see these beautiful people surrounded by so much love (Jessie’s family came for the occasion from Singapore to England and some of Jame’s friends from Australia!). This is what makes a difference in a wedding, this is what makes my work every time new and every time special.

Thank you, and a very happy life together!

©2017 Flavia Catena

Just a room, a pretty soul, and a smile

“Youth is happy because it has the capacity to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.” Franz Kafka

From an improvised (due to weather conditions) – but not less enjoyable – test shoot with the beautiful Liana VL.

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Dreams wear white dresses

Dreams wear white dresses and live in old houses with no roof, but sky. There are trees next to the bed where they sleep; plants grow on the wall around which they chase the day that is ending. What they wait is to be free, to walk and run and be seen, being recognized as real.

Model and dress: Dovile Ciapaité

©2016 Flavia Catena

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Amanda & Billy – A countryside wedding

Amanda and Billy got married last summer in the lovely village of Wytham (Oxfordshire). I had the pleasure to work and collaborate with Amanda the year before, and I was very happy when she asked me to photograph her wedding, treating me as a friend and really trusting my vision and style! The ceremony, celebrated at All Saints church, was a very heartwarming one, and it was followed by a reception in the Wytham Town Hall. Everything, from the cake to the decorations and the childrens’ games, was handmade (families and friends worked hard on that) and beautiful. Speeches were hilarious, funny and moving. I could not expect anything better from a couple in love! Everytime I photograph a wedding like this, I feel blessed to work with such lovely people. So, thanks again Amanda and Billy, and all the best in life!

©2016 Flavia Catena