Jennifer and Al’s wedding – Iffley Village and Tap Social Movement

Happy 2019!

I want to start the New Year sharing some photos of these two beautiful people in love: Jennifer and Al. I had the pleasure to photograph their wedding day last October, on a very cold and dark afternoon. When I reached the church – St Mary the Virgin, in Iffley Village – it was raining. Clear drops were on the trees’ branches, on the falling leaves, and on the wild berries, grown in between some old walls and the wooden fence of an enchanting cottage. Everything was silent and beautiful; then the guests started arriving, and so a smiling and happy Al, followed not long after by the lovely Jennifer, in her long white dress, holding a beautiful autumn’s colours bouquet.

The ceremony was relaxed but touching, and the warm atmosphere of the little church made everything perfect. At the end of it, despite the rain, we managed to find a few minutes to take some photos in the garden. Al and Jennifer were looking radiant! And so they were for the rest of the evening, spent at Tap Social Movement. I loved taking photos to their guests ordering hamburgers in the vans outside, chatting happily under the umbrellas; and I loved taking photos to the children playing board games – organized by Thirsty Meeples – while a band was playing for everybody’s enjoyment. So many special moments have been offered to my camera, on Jennifer and Al’s big day, and I feel lucky I had the chance to capture them. Joy and fulfillment were all over, and I wish them to be in this lovely couple’s everyday life for all the years to come.

Wedding Dress: Maudika Bridal; Bridal Hair and Make up: Daisy Oldershaw; Venue: Tap Social Movement

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Beate – A Christmas photo-shoot

“Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.” In Memoriam A. H. H., Alfred, Lord Tennyson

A Christmas photo-shoot done in collaboration with Bianca Elgar, with the beautiful Beate Howitt.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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Thomas Page’s portraits

Another dancer, another great artist I had the pleasure to have in front of my camera: Thomas Page. He is also a choreographer and you will be amazed by some of his work and project. I suggest you to follow him at http://www.thomaspagedances.com. In the meantime, here is an anticipation of his talent!

©2018 Flavia Catena

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Mao and Kalissi

“Before a Cat will condescend
To treat you as a trusted friend,
Some little token of esteem
Is needed, like a dish of cream;
And you might now and then supply
Some caviare, or Strassburg Pie,
Some potted grouse, or salmon paste —
He’s sure to have his personal taste.
(I know a Cat, who makes a habit
Of eating nothing else but rabbit,
And when he’s finished, licks his paws
So’s not to waste the onion sauce.)
A Cat’s entitled to expect
These evidences of respect.
And so in time you reach your aim,
And finally call him by his name.” T.S. Eliot, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats

Curious, sweet, adorable, Mao and Kalissi (one is a siamese/ragdoll cat, and the other one a bengal) are some of the most friendly cats I have met while working on this project so far. It was lovely to spend some time with them and her mum Manna, and I believe these photos below speak for themselves about how we enjoyed each others company!

©2018 Flavia Catena

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Big cat and Little cat

“If a fish is the movement of water embodied, given shape, then cat is a diagram and pattern of suble air.” Doris Lessing, On Cats

 

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Today I am happy to introduce you to these beauties: Big cat and Little cat (but they are called in many other different ways!). Harriet, the lady they love so much and from whom they are loved, rescued them years ago – they were living in very bad conditions with their previous owner – and gave them a beautiful home with a garden, in Oxford. Here I got the chance to meet the two, and to watch them happily sunbathing, playing behind the bushes and licking their lips waiting for dinner to be served. Such amazing animals are a joy for the eyes and the heart!

©2018 Flavia Catena

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Cats and their humans – Becky and Lexi

More than one year ago, I decided to start a portrait project about cats and their female owners, being a cat lover myself, and also strongly believing in that sometimes saving bond between humans and pets. I took the first portraits, and then, overwhelmed by commissions, work, and other projects, I had to stop. But I was still looking forward to going back to that series of mine, and now it seems the time has come!

Last week I visited Becky Paton, a very talented artist who makes and successfully exhibits beautiful mosaics (please, have a look at her Instagram page @beckypatonmosaics). She lives with her family in the countryside just outside Oxford, and has a sweet and gorgeous cat named Lexi. He – yes, Lexi is actually a male cat, but the vet found this out too late for his name to be changed, as he really liked it! – was adopted by the family while he was still a fluffy little kitty. Now he is a four years old beautiful feline who loves to cuddle up next to his human mum at night, but also exploring the fields following his hunting instincts. I could see he was just impatient to go out and enjoy the sun, on the day we took the photographs. But I thank him and Becky for posing in front of my camera and sharing with me a bit of their happiness!

©2018 Flavia Catena

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Harriet

I am excited to share with you these photos taken a few weeks ago to the lovely and talented Harriet, and assisted by a sweet Italian photographer I recently had the chance to meet in Oxford, Elisabetta. This was my first photo-shoot of 2018, and I could not desire for a different and better one: relaxed, spontaneous, focused on real photos, real beauty and real joy!

Model: Harriet Russell/Photography assistant: Elisabetta Vacchetto

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Snow magic

“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmastime.”  Laura Ingalls Wilder

With these photos taken in an enchanting snow day, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year!

©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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