This is a story about networking, giving back, friendship, trust, #sharingiscaring and steampunk.
Before I moved to Wales, Cardiff I decided that I want to do couple of my own projects while I’m here since I’ve noticed that these “pro bono” -projects bring inspiration and sometimes good things you didn’t even expect. This in mind I was browsing through different photographer’s webpages and stumbled on a webpage of a really amazing photographer Aga Tomaszek. On her pages I saw these Steampunk wedding images and I was hooked. The images were taken in a really awesome mansion, but my eyes were caught in the wedding couple wearing really detailed Steampunk costumes. I looked through all the images many times and thought that it would be awesome to shoot that couple in those steampunk costumes but with my own style.
So I read through the article and found out that the groom in the images was called Hyper Hamlet and the bride was Tink Hamlet, the real names were Paul and Danielle. I found Hyper Hamlet’s webpages, HyperXP and found out that he is also a photography hobbyist, likes to tinker and make things from scratch.
So I took a leap of faith and sent Hyper a message trough his Facebook pages saying that I really liked the Steampunk images and I would love to take some images of both of them when I arrive to Cardiff. After couple of days I got a message back:
I’m Paul. Aga is amazing, I’m glad you like the photos. We had such a great time. You should get together with her too when you are here.
We’d love to help you out. We are not models of course but I do a bit of photography myself so understand what you need. Would you want to do TF? Your work is amazing, I can see why Steampunk takes your interest. Being in photos like that would be amazing.
What’s bringing you to Cardiff?
After this initial contact, we started keeping in touch. We talked about photography, laser cutting, steampunk and all kinds of things and in a way started planning the shoot already.
So then I finally landed to Cardiff and got to meet the couple in person. After the first meeting we already agreed to go ahead with the shoot, but it was still pretty much open what, when and where. Since they had their wedding in this really gorgeous mansion (Maunsel House) in Somerset, England, we decided to ask if we could have the shoot there. It was a year from their wedding so it would be perfect to revisit the place and commemorate their anniversary with pictures of them wearing the Steampunk costumes.
Tink (Danielle) started to email and call the mansion and when they heard what we were about to do they let us have the mansion to ourselves for a whole day! Few more weeks of planning and tinkering and there we were -at a photoshoot in a Victorian mansion with eye-popping scenery and movie star quality models!
This is HyperHamlets point of view of the same project.
We originally met Antti via a social media message when he found us from seeing our wedding photographs. It was an unusual message with of exciting request from an internationally renowned photographer to meet and network and possibly shoot us in our Steampunk attire. It seemed to good to be true but it wasn’t.
We are fans and participants of a subculture and sub-genre of science fiction known as Steampunk. It’s based around the Victorian era. Mainly comprising of steam or gear driven machinery, contraptions and the wonderful fashions that come with it. Our wedding was Steampunk themed and Antti expressed an interest in shooting us in our outfits.
We met Antti a few times and got to know him a little. After a bit of too and thro we decided we should ask Maunsel House, our wedding venue if we could visit again to shoot. They seemed excited to have us back so we booked it in and a few weeks later we had the photo shoot.
Maunsel House is a magnificent 13th Century Manor set in 100 acres of stunning parkland at the heart of sprawling 2,000 acre Estate, compromising of farms, lakes, woodlands, walnut groves, orchards, Somerset Wetlands, cottages and ancient barn.
We we’re really happy to see Antti as excited to see the location as we were the first time. He seemed pretty lost for words for quite a while.
During shooting Antti was an absolute professional. He was precise, knew what he wanted and how to get it and work with us to get a result. He made it easy even for novice models like us.
He took time to explain his methods and equipment with us too as we both do a little photography ourselves and it was an insight into the professional side of photography.
After shooting we went and got changed and left Antti to explore the house. We almost had to drag him away.
We can’t wait to see the photographs and artwork he is going to produce and to spend some more time with him during his stay in the UK.
So this happened when I sent a message to a stranger; we became friends and we did something really cool together. This is what you get when you expose yourself to the world and do something. Be bold and lose the shame, get out and meet new people.
Here are some Making of -images of our fun fun fun day!
THANK YOU PAUL AND DANIELLE FOR ONE OF THE MOST MEMORABLE PHOTOSHOOTS AND DAYS EVER!