Sometimes things don’t go to plan for a reason. I had arranged to meet Matt & Jen on the North side of the Thames for their engagement shoot but when I arrived at the chosen venue there were already two wedding receptions taking place which meant I needed a plan B… quickly! I used to live around East Greenwich and had been told that down by the banks of the river there were some really interesting places to shoot. So that’s where I headed.
With a little bit of luck – the sun was shining out some lovely early evening light, and the tide was out revealing some amazing old boats to use as our backdrops – I think this location couldn’t have been more perfect. Matt and Jen are a creative couple who live on a canal boat so it kind of all came together wonderfully. They even brought their cute wee doggie Bowie along and I think he is also going to feature at the wedding :) As well as shooting against the boats, the new flats by the river made for a great place to start. The only thing I worried about is how dirty Jen’s great white shoes became!!
One of the biggest compliments I can be paid is to be asked back to shoot another wedding in the same family – and I’m lucky that it’s something I’m often asked to do! I’ve shot sisters, brothers and cousins of the same family, so when Graham’s sister Laura asked me to shoot their wedding at Blake Hall I was delighted to be able to say I was available. Arriving at a wedding like this is just like seeing old friends and it was lovely to catch up with everybody.
Laura asked for a recommendation for a make-up artist too so I was ecstatic she booked the most wonderful Katy who is not only a great make-up artist but the most fun person to spend a morning with! Laura and Scott chose Blake Hall for their venue as it offered the relaxing vibe of a barn but also the option of having an outdoor ceremony. It was a bit touch and go in the morning with a few spits of rain but when the sun came out the decision was made and guests began assembling outside the barn to see the bride and groom. It is such a lovely way to have a ceremony more couples should consider it! I love it when couples get emotional and this was no exception – however the real tears came during the speeches when Scott made such a lovely speech that included different guests holding up lines from their favourite film, Love Actually. I even had a little tear too!
Sophie and Mark live in France and contacted me to ask if I could shoot their wedding in Southwell Minster after I shot a friend of Mark’s sister a couple of years ago. I wasn’t quite sure where we would od the engagement shoot at the time as Mark is busy pilot and they live in the French city of Toulouse. After going through a few dates to see who was where and free they just asked if I’d rather come to Toulouse and shoot in the city and countryside nearby. I didn’t much persuading to give a resounding YES to that!
I’d never been to Toulouse so was pleased that timings meant I was able to stay a few days and explore the city as well as shoot their engagement session. The old streets and buildings provided a great backdrop for shots as we explored around the beautiful area they are lucky to live in. After that we headed off into the countryside and found some lovely fields of sunflowers to shoot in as well. Going to new places is always inspiring and there’s subtle differences in the light, architecture and colours that helps it look different from what we can shoot in the UK. Sophie and Mark were so easy to work with and it was lovely spending a few days to get to know them as well. I also found one of my favourite tea shops – Kusmi tea – had a branch in the city so I was able to stock up on some tea before heading back to the UK!
Although most engagement shoots are in the UK if you are planning a break before your wedding, or would just like to shoot somewhere a little different, I can usually arrange a European engagement shoot for a small supplement to your wedding photography collection. Just send me an email or let me know if it’s something you would like!