I try to vary my locations for engagement shoots as much as possible. Every couple is different and I want to ensure that each engagement shoot represents them as much as possible. Columbia Road was particularly busy on this day but we snuck off down some side streets initially until Tim and Sophie were more relaxed in front of the camera then we braved the crowds and went shopping for some flowers, stopping for a few oysters on the way. They were great in front of the camera - very relaxed and natural and fun to be with. Wedding pictures now here.
Every wedding is unique and beautiful but occasionally a wedding is truly spectacular for other reasons. Judith is a friend of Hannah whose wedding and engagement I photographed in Glasgow a couple of years ago. Having seen my work she contacted me when she got engaged. I was charmed by her immediately and as she told me more about her plans for her wedding in a beautiful chateau outside of Bordeaux. I jumped at the chance. As Judith and Chris live in Belfast we didn't have a chance to meet in advance of the wedding but they kindly invited me to stay for a couple of nights before the wedding so that we had a chance to get to know each other and do the engagement shoot. The Chateau De La Ligne was nothing short of spectacular with vast grounds surrounded by vineyards as far as the eye could see. My room was in the tower of the main building with a cool breeze and stunning views. I had the most wonderful few days and because the wedding was relatively small I had the chance to meet and get to know many of their lovely family members and was made to feel very much a part of the party throughout.
Wedding picture to follow!
I hadn't see Debbie since I was about 14 as far as we could both remember. Our parents are close friends from their military days but we had lost touch a while back. I was so delighted to reconnect when Debbie wanted to speak to me about her wedding in Somerset. We spoke in the loosest sense of the word back at Easter, although I was in the throes of losing my voice, and confirmed the details and finally had the chance to meet up when I went down to Bristol last weekend. I had the most wonderful day, a few hours with Debbie, Gavin and their gorgeous, smiley little boy Jack wandering around Clifton, followed by a lunch with a girlfriend at The River Cottage Canteen, a wander along the harbour at the Bristol Harbour Festival and finally a few drinks with an old friend. The perfect spontaneous, fun filled, sunny day to fill my heart with love and friendship.
Gorgeous Julia and Pete asked to do their engagement shoot in Camden where Julia used to live and where they used to 'court'. We met at 7pm but it was still muggy and hot and everyone was on the streets and in a great mood, not least Julia and Pete who are the most smiley, lovely couple. Julia is a pilates instructor which is why she looks so A-mazing! I love engagement shoots; I get to wander round new parts of town and get to know a couple in a much more relaxed environment. We started off at Camden Town tube and pottered along the canal up to Primrose Hill and near to where I live.
Their wedding in September is at Kensington Roof Gardens. I haven't been there for years but I'm sure it will be a fantastic venue not least because there are pink flamingos up there!!!
What a treat to be able to wander around the private Hurlingham Club on the banks on the Thames in Fulham this morning. It spreads over 42 acres so we only covered a small part of it but it's quintessentially English with it's grass tennis courts and bowling green. I photographed James' brother's wedding last summer before James' had even popped the question to Tash and was delighted to be asked to do their wedding this summer at Natasha's family home in Somerset.
I was just writing up a blog posting for Che and Richard's recent London wedding when I realised I hadn't written a post about their engagement shoot! And this is one definitely worth mentioning because of the unusual and creative location they chose for their shoot; Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. It was the most glorious, blue-sky day and we got there early before the crowds. I had never been before but Che and Richard are big fans and were joined by the rest of their family for a day out. They were a whole lot braver than me and impressively went on the biggest roller coaster in the park for the sake of my photographic demands! It's not open again until November of this year.
Sometimes the terrible British weather can bring fortuitous results - such as a previously arranged engagement shoot at Virginia Water being moved to the British Museum as a wet weather alternative. I am always very happy to try alternative locations for shoots and this was somewhere I have been wanting to shoot in for a while. The light is beautiful, the backdrop stunning and on a Thursday morning not too busy - other than a few bus loads of tourists and school children. After a while I think Stevie and Stuart even forgot they were in a public place and we just enjoyed the space and freedom of this incredible place.
Lynn: "Stephen and I have an idea that we thought we would run past you... My mum has a friend who works for the BBC and when I was younger she introduced me to the BBC prop store - you may have heard of it? It's the most amazing place, it's basically a warehouse with aisle after aisle of clutter, things from various tv programmes and films. It also has a costume department with everything from ball gowns and tuxedos to flapper dresses and flares. It reminds me a lot of the underground part in the ministry of magic from Harry Potter! What do you think of shooting there?" Me: "Well, yes - of course! What's not to love about shooting in a prop department?!"
Here are the results of that shoot a couple of months ago.... a truly beautiful and very much in love young couple and I very much enjoyed shooting their wedding in October. A blog posting to follow of the wedding pictures.
Since moving into my gorgeous garden flat near Chalk Farm earlier in the summer I've been musing about how I can shoot in it. It's quite little but has a wonderful range of textures and backdrops and light sources. Teva and Neil, who live in Brisbane, Australia but are getting married at Southend Barns in Chichester in February came round today for a cup of tea and to chat about their wedding details and as the sun was streaming in through the French windows I decided this would be the perfect opportunity to try the flat out as a location.
It was the first time I had met either of them but they were so warm and friendly from the moment they came in, and so affectionate with each other I knew they would be a delight to photograph. Such natural smiles and ease in front of the camera.
I hate being late and I hate having to rearrange things unless absolutely essentially so I very nervously contacted Ian after we had settled a date in the diary for our engagement shoot to ask tentatively if he would mind if we met on the Sunday morning rather than the Saturday afternoon. Why? Because in the time between arranging their shoot and the actual day I had foolhardily committed to spending my Saturday rowing 21 miles down the Thames from Docklands to Richmond in an old Navy tug rowing boat with a team of volunteers in The Great River Race on behalf of HASTE, a charity which raises funds for educational projects in Africa.
Thankfully Ian and Rachel are charming, flexible people and realised that having me rush straight from my race to their shoot was not ideal! By Sunday morning I was rested and raring to go and delighted to finally meet them both having previously only spoken on Skype. They were the perfect couple to photograph - smiling and natural from the first shots. We had a great time wandering through the near deserted city around the dramatic Lloyds building and onto Leadenhall Market. It was inspiring to shoot in more of a cityscape rather than a park - so many interesting backdrops, colours and textures. I left them at lunchtime to continue their wanderings around London whilst I collapsed into a big comfy sofa with my boyfriend at Shoreditch House for a Bloody Mary and roast to recover from the weekend.
I lost count of how many times Lucy and I had tried to arrange their engagement shoot but with this disastrous summer I was really keen to hang in there until we had a beautiful evening. We had a great location picked out; the canal near their home in Islington and I knew that given the right day it would look fabulous. We hadn't even met by the time I knocked on their door last night but when Lucy opened the door looking utterly gorgeous and floaty in a beautiful summer dress I sighed happily at the prospect of shooting this very lovely couple. This perfect evening made me even more jealous of my American wedding photographer friends who take this amazing light for granted every day! Hopefully they will be lucky again on their wedding day in September on the banks of Loch Lomond.
When Vicki and Alan booked me they asked if for their engagement shoot they could include their children Lewis and Brooke which of course I was more than happy to do. Although toddlers do NOT stay still for a second! A photographer needs lightening reflexes or a bottle of calpol. And their moods swing quicker than lightening! Lewis was charming though and it was quite adorable they way he was so caring towards Brooke. We did the shoot at the stunning Pollok House and gardens just outside Glasgow.
I think it's great that kids can be involved in their parents weddings and I look forward to another loch-side wedding next month where (weather pending) Vicki and Lewis will be arriving for the ceremony in Callendar by boat.
I've really crammed a lot into my recent weekend in Glasgow, 1 pre-wedding consultation, 2 engagement shoots and a wedding. I love visiting Glasgow and enjoy getting to use some of my favourite locations for engagement shoots. I met Lorna and David for a coffee in Heart Buchanan on Byres Road before heading over to The Botanic Gardens for a little stroll around. Their wedding is in just two weeks time in Loch Lomond which I'm very much looking forward to.
I first met up with Danny and Suzanne on a cold December evening back in 2010. They had found me online and decided to book me. Since I last met them I have done well over 40 weddings and happily they have been following my blog and have seen how my work has developed since they originally booked me. But I love that they saw something in my work even back then when I was just really starting out, and in fact still at college when we met up (I may not have mentioned that at the time!) So, we met up on Wednesday morning, early so that I could rush to Bristol airport for my flight to Marseille, and spent a lovely couple of hours at Wisley Gardens, chatting about their plans for their wedding in Croydon, and then photographing in the blooming grounds before the bank holiday families started arriving. The morning really confirmed how important it is for me that I genuinely like my clients; it hardly feels like work when I get to spend time with interesting and warm people who I would choose as friends.
Last weekend I jumped in the car and headed down to Royal Tunbridge Wells to meet Kate and James for the first time and to do their engagement session. James had attended a wedding I shot for Amanda and John ages ago in Glasgow and so even before they had got engaged they had decided they wanted me to do their photography. I'm looking forward to catching up Amanda and John at the wedding at Swallows Oast in April. Kate and James chose to have the shoot at Dunorlan Park in Tunbridge Wells - a now public park that was a privately landscaped gardens with a lake, grecian temple and fountain so loads of great spots for shooting.
I spent most of Saturday at Pout Studios in London photographing the beautiful Ruth for a boudoir series. Whilst Ruth is obviously an experienced model, boudoir photography is becoming increasingly popular for pre-wedding shoots for brides-to-be, or as a present for partners or even just for women to have a beautiful keepsake of themselves. It can be a hugely liberating experience and lots of fun to be pampered by hair and make-up artists before being shot tastefully in a series of gorgeous outfits. These shots were taken in a studio but shoots can take place in your own home, or a hotel. If you are interested in booking a session please email me for details. If you book a session before Christmas (a great stocking filler...) then I am offering a complimentary album filled with your pictures.
I am hugely flattered to have been chosen by Kate and Alex to shoot their wedding. As a school friend of my brother's, I hadn't seen Alex for many, many years until he was best man at Mark's wedding recently. Mark hadn't actually mentioned to Alex and Kate that his sister was a wedding photographer and so they had booked another photographer. Happily for me they decided to change at the last minute and even more happily I was available. We managed to squeeze in this shoot 10 days before their wedding.
I was bowled over by how stunning Great Fosters is - it will be a perfect wedding venue. The grounds are spectacular and the venue itself is impeccably smart with wonderful staff. We had a lovely 2 hours wandering around the grounds and they were such a delight to photograph - and absolutely gorgeous as you can see... 9 days and counting!
I hadn't seen Mo and Lionel since we met to first discuss their wedding back in September but their wedding date has swung round so fast, in fact we only just managed to squeeze in the engagement shoot last weekend, two weeks before their wedding, before they rushed off to go and look at a new house they are looking to buy in Perth. They are such a lovely smiley couple and reassured me that the rain wasn't a problem in Glasgow's Botanic Gardens. They then enthralled me with plans of their honeymoon - a drive around Italy taking in the main cities and wine regions. That's pretty much what my parents did for their honeymoon and sounds absolutely perfect.
I've just arrived back home in Surrey after a whirlwind of three weddings, two engagement shoots and a magazine shoot in Scotland. I'm working through the editing but seem to have started backwards with this shoot being the last one I did last night whilst it's fresh in my mind. Hannah went ahead and booked me for her wedding at Mar Hall before we had even met. When we did finally meet it was a fleeting coffee in a café in Glasgow after I had spent a very special night with friends on a Gullane Beach in Edinburgh. I had woken at 6am to the sound of the sea and a clear blue sky before hurrying back to Glasgow to meet Hannah.
So on Sunday afternoon I finally got a chance to spend a bit more time with Hannah and to also meet Danny. Despite Hannah having just come back from her hen weekend in Ely she looked gorgeous and fresh faced. Hannah and Danny are easily the youngest couple I’ve photographed at only 23 (they will be 24 when they marry next month) and I sighed over how lucky they were to have avoided 10 years of dating and uncertainty – and of course that they will look handsome and young in their wedding pictures (something I feel I have now missed the boat on!)
They took me down to Cramond Shore in Edinburgh where Danny proposed after setting a treasure hunt trail for Hannah. After a few wrong turns she followed the clues including an ipod message left with an ice cream seller, a boat named ‘Hannah’ and a Harry Potter-esq tree with sprawling exposed roots to find Danny waiting for her on a bench by the river with a ring and a bottle of champagne. We followed the route of the treasure hunt stopping for plenty of photos along the way. The sun even came out for a bit as they snuggled down into the grasses on the beach. Such perfect young love.