Winter Wreath-Making...

Ryan and I spent a blissful day last week foraging in the woods near our home for beautiful natural elements to incorporate in to our Winter wreath designs... it was such a beautiful, crisp and clear day, it really blew the cobwebs away and you could see how much was still growing vigorously in this mild weather we've been enjoying! There's nothing like being outside amongst things that are growing to make me feel grateful, grounded, and festive. Ryan beautifully captured the gorgeous day we got for it and looking at these shots makes me so happy - I had such a good time...

We piled our spoils in to the car, along with a few bits I had bought for the job from the wholesaler, and took them up to our studio where we set about crafting our wreaths. Such a simple and beautiful way to celebrate the season, focus on what matters (family, creativity, growth, nature, happiness!) and let the things you've foraged inform your designs... I really like to let the branches, twigs, seed pods speak for themselves in the most part... it seems only right sometimes to bring the outdoors in, in a minimally tamed and contrived way. We had a lovely time creating these wreaths, and we hope you enjoy this little insight in to our day, well spent.

This will be our final post of 2015, and we are sending our warmest festive wishes out to all our friends, colleagues and followers and want to say thank you for your support this year. We hope you all have your halls decked, mulled wine simmering and gifts wrapped, and spend these last few days of the year reflecting on what's been, and what will be coming next... I know we will be!

Merry Christmas, and lots of love from us!

Abigail & Ryan 

p.s. We are delighted to announce that these stunning wreaths will be available from petal studio this year!



North Coast Love...

A few weeks ago, we were treated to the most epic day up on the North Coast, exploring some secret spots and amazing coastlines. Our guide was the ever awesome Mike, one half of the Bearded Candle Makers and he was kind enough to show us, along with our pooches, Angus & Hamish, some of the most beautiful places we've ever been lucky enough to go in Northern Ireland (or otherwise)...

Having not had a car for very long, we've not explored all that much of this beautiful island... so, if you want to see some incredible hidden beaches, coastlines and scenery? Ask a surfer and rock climber who's made it his mission to seek out these stunning spots! He'll be the best guide (and company!) you could ask for.

The day started out as a perfect Autumn morning, crisp, cool and super misty. The photo's I've shared - just a very small selection of what I shot - track the day as it unfolded... going from misty and moody, to breath-taking sunshine and light moving across rock faces and gleaming cerulean waters. We marvelled all day at how lucky we were to get this stunning day out exploring... it was insanely magical.

We started near Ballycastle - ate fish and chips on the harbour walls, went up the road further to Ballintoy Harbour and Dunluce Castle and then chased the sunset home. It was a pretty perfect day, all in all.

Huge thanks to our fantastic guide Mike - it was the best roadtrip EVER! We had a really fab day with you - Let's go back soon! :)

Shooting for Story Horse - 'Chilly Days Out & Cosy Nights In' Campaign...

A few months back, we were approached to shoot the AW15 campaign for lovely local brand, Story Horse! The head designer, Olive, told us about the beautiful new collection she had designed in collaboration with her partner, Wendy, and we couldn't wait to see the beautiful range of raincoats, wellington boots, knitwear, luggage, umbrella's and toiletries they had designed!

The shoot location was to be Rowallane Gardens, near Saintfield, and we enjoyed a lovely afternoon ahead of the shoot date location scouting in the beautiful wooded areas and around the majestic lake... it was so beautiful. We couldn't wait to get started...

As a little bit of background to the brand Story Horse - which is currently exclusively available through their beautiful website - it roots took hold in the stories, landscapes and colours of Northern Ireland... specifically, Belfast Lough, over which the Story Horse studios look... 

The creative minds behind the brand wanted to take these ideas, motifs, feelings and invitations to adventure, to customers around the world, and so, set out to create a beautifully curated collection of patterns, designs and products that would inspire the women who wear them. The beautiful raincoats, boots, brollies and over-night bags are a call to action... get outside, have some adventures, and look great while doing it!

I love the warm autumnal, but contemporary, colour-palette of this collection... lots of ochre paired with grey, deep aubergine and burgundy paired with fuchsia pink and pops of green and blue. So lovely, and something for everyone..! 

I don't know about you, but I'm sold, you know ;)

We really enjoyed shooting this story - both on location in Rowallane (despite the downpours!), and also in our studio where we created more product shots. All the products are really beautiful, and we are thoroughly enjoying using our 'Wherever I Wander Umbrella' on rainy days!

HUGE thanks to Story Horse for asking us to shoot for you - we hope everyone likes the campaign, and thank you to the team we worked with on the day... we hope everyone will support this gorgeous new collection!

Our model Sarah was absolutely fantastic... I've never shot a model with such a high success rate and who knew her angles so well - I barely lost a shot! Such an absolute star and a pleasure to work with! :)

The team:

Photography: abigail*ryan (that's us!) / Model : Sarah Ennis from Style Academy / Hair: Lynette Murray Hair / Makeup: Ashley Morhej / PR: Victoria & Kaz at Weber Shandwick UK




Local Loves - A Samphire grazing Herd on an Islandmagee Farm...

A few weeks back, we went to a beautiful Farm in Islandmagee to photograph a handsome herd of Friesian Dairy Cows... their adorable calves, and of course, the Bull!

They were absolutely enormous creatures - you don't realise quite how big they are when viewing from a field (insert Father Ted joke, here), and we were maybe just a little intimidated at first! ;)

But the lovely, lovely Jane, who runs the farm with her husband and son (and daughters when they're at home!) soon put us at ease... They have the most gentle nature, and they were very interested indeed in what on earth these two city types were doing in their field, photographing them!

I was absolutely captivated by how different each cow was - their different markings, and personalities, so we ended up shooting almost a series of portraits. It was a really special shoot. I love how they just stared down the lens at us... it was almost like they were looking inside our soul. Wonderfully intense creatures. The Bull was really incredible - an enormous mass of rippling muscle, so majestic - I don't think I realised just how close I was to him until we got home and reviewed the shoot... 

These cows have a pretty amazing life... after milking in the morning, and evening, they stroll down to the banks of Larne Loch, where they graze on Samphire, seaweeds and grass, herbs and wild flowers, until it's time to head back up to their hay lined beds. I have to say (apart from the milking!)... I wouldn't mind a day in the life of these lovely girls! The wee calves are all hand reared by Jane once their Mummy's are back to milking - they keep both the boy and girl calves, and rear them up until they're ready to join the herd or go on to be Bulls at another farm... they frolic all day in their cosy barns, and have great fun moo-ing at the top of their lungs! We got a wee cuddle with some of them, and they're so cute!

I hope you enjoy this little glimpse in to some local Northern Irish farming - we so enjoyed shooting this one...