Nick Desprs Photography

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Francois & Stephen

We had a beautiful day last Saturday for the wedding of Francois and Steve. They had planned this day for a long time, and I am sure that all their preparations were more than worthwhile. The weather was absolutely gorgeous, blue skies warm and light winds.

There was a crowded house where the bride and bridesmaids were getting ready, I really enjoyed this picture, where the little flower girls gaze in admiration at Francois as her dress is laced up. Fran made a stunning bride as expected.

Onto the groom's party for their preparation. Another crowded house, especially as the men are all rugby players. Now you don't expect men like this to have to use make-up, but Steve had a good excuse. There is never a good time to cut yourself shaving, least of all on your wedding day!

At the church we had some nearby roadworks to contend with, but everyone made it in good time. Here the bridesmaids are waiting for Fran to arrive at St. Martin's church.

Reverend Keirle always has a good joke or two for the people present, but the best man played his own joke by presenting a couple of hula hoops as rings. Once the laughter died down he promptly ate them and normal service was resumed!

We stopped off at Fermain Bay on the way to The Venue for a splendid reception.

The first dance provided me with the opportunity to record this close moment between the newly weds.

To finish off this blog I have chosen one of my favourite images of the day, a very demanding picture to take as the couple let off a chinese lantern into the dark night sky. What makes it so special are the beautiful colours, dramatic lighting, and of course the lovely expressions as I got the perfect moment just as the lantern was released.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Liz & Chris - a wonderful wedding in Sark

Every wedding is special, but some end up being truly exceptional and, this was one of the latter without a doubt. As a lover of Sark it was wonderful to be chosen by a couple who share this affection and naturally wanted their wedding there. They had organised everything meticulously and the whole day ran beautifully. I really found it very difficult to select which images to use in this blog, so please enjoy the below knowing there are a lot more beautiful pictures to share of this day. So there's not much text below and a few more pictures than normal.

I started early in the morning with the bridal preparations, it was a pleasure to photograph those special moments that illustrate the bonds between Mother and Daughter and between the bridesmaids. A record of precious moments showing precious friendships.

Liz looked stunning and the grounds of the house made the perfect walk to the waiting carriage to take her to the church.

La Moinerie was where the groomsmen were getting ready, those button holes certainly proved a bit tricky to fit.

A gentle walk to St. Peter's Church was ideal to keep the nerves calm, where Chris awaited the arrival of his bride.

St. Peter's Church in Sark is surprisingly big inside, with an unusual layout as there is no central aisle. The scene inside looked very impressive with the packed guests and stunning flowers.

Now I knew the couple well after spending time with them in London and Guernsey shooting their engagement session. Liz is a person who hardly stops laughing, this was very evident on her wedding day!

A favourite candid moment as the couple await to come out from signing the register.

There were congratulations all around outside the church as the sun smiled on the newly weds. Then it was off in the carriage accompanied by the sweet sight of some of Sark's children cycling behind the carriage.

La Seigneurie gardens in Sark are one of the premier tourist attractions of the island and it was a fitting place to stop off with the now Mr. and Mrs. Carter to take some beautiful portraits of them. Thank you to La Seigneurie Gardens Trust for their permission to do this.

Then a gentle ride to Les Cotils to the marquee for the reception.

What a perfect location and how beautiful it all looked inside. The staff of La Moinerie and Le Aval du Creux have to be congratulated with the results of their efforts.

It was difficult to photograph the speeches as there was much to laugh about and I found that infectious.

As dusk fell the scene outside made a worthwhile picture as the lights in the tent contrasted with the blue of the approaching night.

What a first dance! They promised something different and certainly delivered, the speed and energy of their unusual routine was fun and admirable, if a bit of a challenge to record.

The band was made up with Luke as The Trumpet Player, The Kings of Swing and Wavelength. A great mix of music from brass to crashing Queen numbers accompanied with frenzied dancing. It was a treat to hear these accomplished musicians perform.

The dancing continued unabated with extraordinary energy the whole evening. What fun everyone had.

A conga to finish off and, yes Liz is still laughing. What a superb end to the day.

To those who have not seen Liz and Chris' engagement album, please scroll down to my blog entries in February and January.
Also for the visitors to Sark for this wedding who may not have had the chance to see as much of the island as they would have liked to, please check out the Landscapes section on my website where there is a small selection of some of my Sark images.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Guernsey Festival of Photography

The Festival has opened and what a packed month of events it will be. I encourage everyone to visit as much as possible and take the opportunity to get involved and especially attend the lectures by some of the world's greatest photojournalists. Catch up with the full timetable of events at

I am honoured to also have an exhibition to celebrate the 65th anniversary of Guernsey's Liberation. My show is on the railings around the Town Church, I photographed people who actually lived through the Occupation in the Island. Each image is accompanied with a few words about each person's memories of that difficult time.

The text that introduces the exhibition is reproduced below, together with a few of the images on show. Hope you enjoy these and go to see the rest.

"Occupation Recollections - A Series of Portraits"
by Nick Després FRPS

Nick is a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, and is a local professional photographer who specialises mainly in weddings. He was delighted to be invited to have his own exhibition as part of the festival on the theme of the Liberation, his own family history gave him a strong connection and understanding of that time. Doreen Bichard and Desmond Tostevin, both featured in this exhibition, are relatives on his father’s side. In addition Juan Alarcon was a good friend of Nick’s grandfather. The latter was a Polish national who had settled in Guernsey after fighting for the British forces in the war. The first time he saw his daughter, Nick's mother, she was 18 and had being allowed to leave to settle in the Island. His own family's plight gave him an appreciation of the subjects' hardship throughout the Occupation.

Nick said it was quite moving to meet and photograph the subjects for this exhibition, he gained a lot personally from this project. He is keen to continue to photograph people from this period, please contact Nick if you would like to take part.
Please take your time to view the images on display, and appreciate the hardships that people living through the Occupation faced.

Juan Alarcon - fought against General Franco in the Spanish Civil War, but was captured and brought to Guernsey as a slave worker by the Germans. Enduring atrocious conditions, he also lost part of his hand. Many of his compatriots in his division were massacred by the Germans after being taken to Austria. Juan managed to stay in Guernsey, married and worked as a farmer. The picture he is holding shows him as a 17 year old soldier in Spain, he is 91 this year.

Doreen Bichard – wonders how her Mother coped with caring for the children. She left school at 14 and worked as a children’s nanny. She recalls that many goods were bartered for with tea being a precious commodity to barter with. Also a vivid memory was the pitiful state of the slave workers that used to be transported in railway trucks past where she lived at Les Vardes.

Desmond Tostevin – as a boy of 14 when the war ended Desmond says that he did not feel the responsibility and worry that his parents had. He recalled that during the initial air raids on Guernsey he was in a fishing boat off the west coast, they were fired upon and had to run the boat aground amongst rocks where they hid, pertrified. A bullet was lodged in the bow of the boat. Tragically he lost an uncle in 1941 who was part of a fishing trip that was shot at in Saint’s Bay, the exact circumstances are still not clear or fully disclosed.

Madeline Sims – worked as an assistant in the Bailiff’s office. She used to listen to her crystal set at home and would record the news. At huge personal risk she would provide typed copies of this and would brief the Bailiff daily. Madeline and her husband would print up what they had heard and distribute these as part of the Guernsey Active Secret Press. The consequences of discovery would have been extremely severe.

Roy Burton – had to work hard on the family farm, he was 14 at the end of the Occupation. A German soldier who had tried to use one of their fields for grazing his horses ended up becoming a life long friend, helped out around the farm and sometimes ate with the family. Roy wrote to his friend Rudolf, “when we first met we were classed as enemies in the 1940-1945 war and now we are as close as brothers after being friends for 67 years”.