Hengistbury Head Engagement Shoot | Jack+Stacey (and Leo)

As you probably know by now, I absolutely love doing engagement/pre-wedding shoots. I also love Hengistbury Head, so combining both is perfect for me. 

This shoot was perhaps a little different/unusual to most, as in, usually an engagement shoot is just for the couple. Or so people are led to believe. I'm all about bending rules, mixing things up, being different. Whatever way you want to dress it up. I'm not 'normal' and photography shouldn't fit a certain mold either. 

The thing with me and children is, I don't have any of my own, so when I meet them for the first time we either hit it off straight away or it's an uphill struggle for those great shots. When I met Jack and Stacey's son, Leo, it was an instant hit. In fact, if I'd kept all of the pebbles he was giving to me from the beach, I probably would've been so weighed down I may not have made it home. He certainly was a cool character with so much energy. 

The sunlight was amazing but the wind was something else; ice cold and biting. Definitely not ideal for this type of shoot, but I've never let a bit of weather stop me yet. We had a good walk along the beach, then passed the cows, or the 'Moos' as Leo called them, and then we had a tantrum on the Mudeford Spit side. It was all a bit much for him and an ice cream was needed.

Don't think for a second that an engagement shoot has to be just the two of you, and neither should it be about standing in front of trees making heart shapes with your hands together. It can be whatever you want it to be, and wherever you want it to be. It's your shoot, so make it about you!

Here's a selection of my favourites from this cool (in both meanings of the word) day.

Until next time,

R x

Source: http://www.rgw-photos.com

Pre-Wedding | Lucy+Lewis - Bournemouth Beach (and town centre) Engagement Shoot

Hello again!

The last couple of months have been pretty great, ending 2017 on a high with a New Year's Eve wedding, and going straight in to 2018 with a whole bunch of pre-wedding shoots lined up. And they haven't stopped coming in. Since booking all of my 2018 couples, I'd say that at least 90% of them have reconsidered their initial decision to not have an engagement shoot. 

And good for them (and me), I say!! 

At the end of the day, there really is nothing for you to lose. You get to spend more time with your amazing photographer, and let's face it, as you'll be spending the most time with them out of all of your wedding suppliers, you may as well. 

I know, I know, you hate having your photo taken. 

Don't worry, we're not all paparazzi from the 1980's. Some of us have boundaries too and know when close is too close. Or something like that.

I treat my shoots the same way as my approach to the big day itself -- documentary style with a sprinkling of creatively posed shots. The best thing about this is, you'll get some practice in before the big day comes around. Being awkward in front of the camera is one thing, but why run the risk of winging it. After all, you wouldn't hire a cowboy photographer who winged it on the day, right?! 

Anyway, last month I got to do a few more engagement shoots, one of which was with Lucy and Lewis, who will be tying the knot at The Salterns Hotel next month on the 7th April (the day after my birthday!). We had a great day hanging out in and around Bournemouth town centre and the beach. It was really nice to be able to mix it up with a more urban setting, and loved our shots down on the beach, too. I think my personal favourite has to be the one of little Annie. She actually stopped just off camera, then wheeled herself back to give me that questioning look. Bloody hilarious! 

I love it when my couples are totally game for whatever you suggest on an engagement shoot. Although I think I'll wait until the summer before I go under the pier again... it was FREEZING under there!!!

Here's some of my favourites from our day together. If you're looking for your wedding photographer (or would like to know more about my lifestyle portrait shoots), why not send me a message and book in. 

Until next time,

R x

Source: http://www.rgw-photos.com

Pre-Wedding | Jess+Paul - Hengistbury Head Engagement Shoot

Yesterday it was glorious sunshine as far as the eye could see, freezing cold, but still sunny. Today it's attempting to snow here in Bournemouth, and boy is it cold again. So I'm sat making my way through some recent engagement shoots, keeping myself warm with lots of hot tea, and I thought I'd post some of the photos from Jess+Paul's recent pre-wedding shoot at Hengistbury Head. 

It is by far the most popular location for engagement shoots with my couples, which is fine by me, as I love it there. If you've not been, you really should get down there (and take me with you!). 

Since we all first met late last summer, Jess+Paul have become more than just another couple to me (not that any of my couples are JUST a couple), they are now more friends.

I KNOW, I KNOW. I CAN HEAR YOU ALL RUNNING FOR A BUCKET... 

Sometimes you click and others you really click -- we're all comic book geeks, so we have more in common I guess -- plus they brought their scrumptious dog, Fozz, along for the day which was a massive bonus. 

So for any of you lovely couples out there who are yet to have your engagement shoot with me, and you're wondering whether to bring your dog, the answer is quite simple...

BRING YOUR DOG!!

Jess was harping on about forgetting her Fitbit, but it was all for nothing as we walked plenty that day. A full loop along the coast, up to the head, down to the beach huts and back again. I slept very well that night, and no gin was needed. 

By now, you'll know I have a different take on photographing people, as in I don't spend a lot of time or energy posing couples. I like to incorporate walls, bright colours, even bushes if they're around. I'm not your run-of-the-mill wedding photographer who tells you exactly how to sit/ stand/ look, in robotic fashion. I might suggest somewhere to stand, like against a mural wall, or the awesome coloured beach huts at Hengistbury, but how you interact with one another is totally down to you. 

So talk about the weather, the dinner you're planning that night, say you farted to see if that gets a smile/ laugh. Hell, tell him/ her you love them and have a smooch, it's up to you. I like to keep things as natural and laid back as possible. 

Blah, blah, blah. 

If I haven't sent you to sleep by prattling on, here's some of my favourites from their awesome pre-wedding shoot. 

Ps. If you or anyone you know would like to book in, give me a call or pass them my details. I love having a day out and snapping away.

Until next time, 

R x

Source: http://www.rgw-photos.com

Pre-Wedding | Adam+Chloe - Moors Valley Country Park Engagement Shoot

You know that wedding season is kicking up a gear when you have a whole bunch of pre-wedding shoots lined up. A couple of weeks ago I got to shoot my second of many - and it was a really good one!

I have a few places that I fell in love with when we moved down to Bournemouth, and since becoming a wedding photographer, I love them even more. Moors Valley Country Park is up there with the best of them for me. I love that feeling of getting lost in the woods, disconnecting from everyday life and being able to take in some of this planet's truly wondrous natural beauty. 

The majestic pine trees seem to go on forever when you look upward at them. At this time of year there is something quite magical about being in the forest for a couple of hours, what with the feet of the trees being laden with amber ferns. 

I was so pleased when Adam and Chloe decided upon Moors Valley as the place they wanted to have their pre-wedding shoot. Although it's pretty busy at the weekend, especially the first weekend of half-term, you can still get lost and away from everyone else for some romantic and atmospheric shots of the two of you. 

For anyone else who has recently got engaged, and you are thinking of having a pre-wedding/engagement shoot, this is definitely somewhere for you to consider!

Here's a selection of my favourites from our morning in the woods. 

Until next time,

R x

Source: http://www.rgw-photos.com

Pre-Wedding | Jessica+Gavin - Coy Pond, Bournemouth

Some of us are super confident and some of us are not. Some of us love having our photo taken and some of us do not. 

That's the reason why I love a good pre-wedding shoot. Regardless of which one of these applies to you, you will always feel better for having had a pre-wedding shoot come your big day.

I met Jessica very briefly at a wedding I did in March this year, she was one of the guests and a friend of the bride, Clare. And now proof that word-of-mouth exists and pays off.  We met up earlier this summer at the Hilton Hotel in Bournemouth, had a lovely cuppa and a chat about their plans (and took in the view of the Level 8 Sky Bar). Glorious.

It was pretty obvious from the first meeting that this was going to be a good one. For one, I'm ticking off another of my wish list venues. Secondly, I'll get to have a couple of cheeky cocktails afterwards with them in the fabulous Sky Bar. 

Like a lot of couples, they weren't initially sure if they wanted to have a pre-wedding shoot, but after dropping a little hint in a later message, Jess decided they would have one. Go on girl. Like I've said earlier, not everyone is comfortable in front of a camera, so this is why it's a good idea to take your photographer up on the offer of having a pre-wedding shoot.  You won't regret it, I promise. You'll get to have a nice little morning or afternoon out somewhere, you'll get extra photos to look through on your anniversary, and you'll definitely feel much more relaxed on your big day. Trust me!!

Just don't go out the night before your pre-wedding shoot like a certain someone did (I'll mention no names, Gavin. Haha!)

So we met mid-November at Coy Pond, near Westbourne.  It's a lovely quiet spot in the Upper Gardens that run the length of Bournemouth down to the sea.  No one really comes up this way, so if you're not much of an extrovert or into public displays of affection, it's a great little spot for you.  Plus, there's a beautiful pond with ducks to feed (if you want) and lots of trees, which at that time of year have all got there autumnal shades going on.  

As always, I like to keep it pretty simple and relaxed. We went for a walk up and down the gardens, did a little posing practice - because I do love a good wall shot on your big day - and I want you to be ready for the few posed shots we will do.  The rest of the time is me snapping away getting some great shots of you, ready for me to put my cinematic edit spin on them. Like this little lot below. 

Massive props to Gavin for doing this shoot, he wasn't feeling it, but the boy done good. 

Until next time

R x

Source: http://www.rgw-photos.com

Autumn and Winter Mini Portrait Shoots

I was born in the spring so I have a natural affinity with that time of year, it certainly can be magical.  Deep down though, I just love the autumn and winter seasons.  I love the clothes, being able to get wrapped up in a big woolen jumper, scarves and gloves, drinking too much hot chocolate, and heading outside with my camera.  

The light at this time of year can be just incredible, shorter days and the sun sitting lower in the sky can create some stunning effects without having to use Photoshop.  These seasons also give me the time to combine my love of being outdoors with my other rather obvious passion.  

The festive season isn't too far away, and so what better excuse to have some stunning (and fun!) photos of you and your loved ones done.  Whether it's just for you, or to give as a gift to your mum, dad, granny or grandad, you can't beat an outdoor photo shoot. 

So I'm running an autumn/winter special for a mini portrait session - all for just £50! 

You'll get...

  1. A fun and relaxed 45 minute outdoor shoot in Bournemouth
  2. All of your edited photos to view, share and download on your own private online gallery - and if you really love them, you can order extra prints

T&C's apply:

  • All shoots must be paid in full in order to secure your session
  • Your portrait session will take place within Bournemouth (Coy Pond, Hengistbury Head, Moors Valley Country Park or Bournemouth Beach) so you must be able to provide your own transport to the location
  • Offer is only valid on shoots that are booked and take place on or before 1st March 2018
  • In the case of adverse weather, dates may be rearranged (subject to availability)
  • Portrait sessions may be gifted, but all T&C's still apply

So what are you waiting for...?

Bring a friend, a loved one, the whole family and if you have one, bring your dog too. 

Source: http://www.rgw-photos.com

Family | Lisa+Paul

I've always felt incredibly lucky living on the south coast, being surrounded by such stunning locations like Hengistbury Head, I'd be a damn fool not to make use of them.  Work just doesn't feel like work when you get to have a day out and take photos of such a fun family.  

It's more of a 'work-out'.  Walking for miles, sometimes running after folk to get that shot.  Put it this way, I sleep pretty well after one of my location shoots.  All that fresh air, a nice big dinner and a good slug of gin all help.

My second visit to the head in as many weeks saw me having a perfect day out with Lisa, Paul, their two daughters, Neve and Lauren, and Millie the dog.  I've never known a dog that wants so many cuddles or who goes for so many toilet breaks.  I can honestly say that I had a great couple of hours walking around, chatting to, laughing with, shooting a load of photos of, and getting to know this totally genuine, warm and funny family.  I would do it again in a heart beat. 

Guys, your gallery is almost ready, so in the meantime please enjoy this lot (some of my favourites from the day). 

Until next time,

R x

Source: http://www.rgw-photos.com

Pre-Wedding | Alice+Jemma

A couple of months ago I met up with Alice and Jemma for a coffee and a chat about a project I'm working on. They agreed to a couple's shoot with me, then a few weeks ago Jemma text me saying they'd got engaged. 

Bloody brill news!

We all met up at the Hiker's Cafe at Hengistbury Head, the sun had come out and we set off for a walk.  It's a brilliant location for this sort of shoot; loads of open space, the beach, the woodland and the head.  Personally, I love it round on the beach with all the colourful huts and luckily, so did the ladies.  It's always a bonus when you can have a good laugh and a decent conversation with your couples like you've known each other for years.  

I loved hearing all about their wedding plans, and was blown away when they told me the big day was next year - they're some seriously organised brides-to-be. 

I fully believe that we are destined to meet, that eventually our circles will move close enough to become concentric.  
You can feel it's so, you know when it's true. 

Love is a beautiful gift. I feel truly blessed to capture it.

Here's a few more tasters from their shoot.  Your gallery is almost ready, I can't wait to share it with you! 

Until next time, 

R x

Source: http://www.rgw-photos.com

Love - Avril+Tracy

Photography for me is art, it's expression, and it's therapy.  It allows me to interact with others and tell their story the way I see it - vicarious art, if you will. 

I first met Avril and Tracy after I ran an advert on Facebook - seriously not as dodgy as it might sound.  I was looking for models, real couples, to be a part of a series of shoots I'm planning for 2018, where I'm working alongside a whole bunch of other talented wedding suppliers.  Models are great because they're beautiful, but they're rarely believable, and I love to showcase REAL love and emotion in my work. 

And I found it in the form of these two gorgeous ladies.

Tracy was notably nervous the day we did their couple's shoot in Christchurch.  I don't blame her, as I would be too if the shoe were on the other foot.  I tend to allow my couples free reign of what they want to do, where they want to go and what they want to wear, as I prefer them to be as natural and comfortable as possible.  

Getting to know these two has been a gift to me.  If there's one thing I really love about my work - and I struggle to class it as that - is the ability to connect with so many people, getting to know them, all their little quirks, their stories, and they in turn get to know me.   Avril and Tracy have some beautiful stories, some that really resonate with me on a very personal level, and they share a love that is unique to them,  a love that was a dream to capture.  I know this sounds a little corny, but I really feel like I've made some incredible friends and can't wait to see what their future brings.  Here's to you ladies!!  

"We are full of stories to be told."

Until next time,

R x

Source: http://www.rgw-photos.com

Family | Lana - One

To say I'm fortunate in the work that I do is an understatement; I have the best job I could think of!

I get to connect with new people every time I go on a new shoot, I get to share in their lives for a day, sometimes longer.  I get to see babies grow into toddlers, and toddlers into children.  I'm lucky enough to see couples get engaged, and then say 'I do'. 

This is the second of three shoots I will do with Gina, Daryl and their seriously cute daughter, Lana.  We all met at Compton Acres, where Gina and Daryl were married a few years ago, and also happens to be one of my favourite places to visit in Bournemouth - I could get lost in their gardens for hours.  

So we had an afternoon celebrating their wedding anniversary and Lana's 1st birthday (officially on the 23rd September), wandering around the gardens, sharing in some giggles and some more grizzly faces.  She definitely knows how to work the camera, so I'm expecting big things for her second birthday next year.  She's not so keen on the stepping stones in the Japanese gardens, however.  You can see her reaction in the photo highlights below.  

It was all rounded off with an awesome slice of chocolate cake and tea/glass of red wine for the happy couple in the cafe afterwards.  All in all, an ace day out! 

If you would like to book me for a fun family shoot, get in touch, I'd love to hear from you.

Until next time, 

R x

Source: http://www.rgw-photos.com

Daniel+April - Pre-Wedding

It's been a bit of a whirlwind meeting this amazing couple.  We met at Circo Lounge, Bournemouth about six weeks ago for a cuppa and a chat about their wedding plans, with little over ten weeks until their big day.  I've said it before and I'll say it again, I love a good challenge.  

Meeting a couple for the first time - as with meeting a photographer for the first time - can be a daunting thing for some, but it was quite clear from the minute we said hello that things would go well.  Anyway, to cut a long story short, they booked me (hurray!) and I couldn't be happier to be working with such a loving couple.  

There is something about spending time with another couple, and seeing how they interact, those magical little moments where there's a glint in their eye. It's unmistakable and irreplaceable. You know when they're meant to be.

So here's a decent bunch of photos taken during their pre-wedding shoot last week in Swanage.  Bring on the wedding next month! 

Until next time, 

R x

Source: http://www.rgw-photos.com

Love is Love

Hi guys and gals! 

So I'm officially back from my days off with the other half - did you miss me??

I've had five brilliant days together with my wonder-man, Rob.  We celebrated his 21st... ahem, 37th birthday, spent a day playing computer games (both massive geeks!), had a wonderful night in Brighton, a day at Moors Valley Country Park, and a day at Compton Acres.  Side note: I can't wait to do my first wedding there in March!!

So what's the reason for this post, I hear you all ask?

Well, when we were in Brighton, we got to walk hand-in-hand and watch other same-sex couples doing the same - it was truly heartwarming.  Brighton was the first place where we shared a night away together back in the early dating days.  Before we came home, we were stood at the Victoria Square fountain, I was taking a photo and Rob tapped me on the shoulder - a couple were meeting there.  What's so special about that you might ask?  It was two young guys, one was waiting by the fountain as the other approached, they immediately went to hug and kiss one another, and then the guy who was waiting by the fountain took the hand of his partner and span him around - it was the most romantic scene I have witnessed in a very long time. 

When we got home, I was going through the photos on my computer and looked through the photos from our civil partnership back in 2011 - there was probably a maximum of 50, all taken on the phones/compact cameras of our guest as we didn't hire a photographer (doh!) - and it got me thinking... Mainly that I wish we'd had a photographer that day, and about how much it means playing that part in another couple's special day.

I know I bang on about this all the time lately and it's probably driving some people nuts - I'm sorry (not sorry) - but I mean this, that it would be everything for me to be involved in another (or many) gay couple's wedding.  I've had two wonderful years of photographing so many beautiful couples with many more to come, but I'm still waiting for the day another gay couple book me as their photographer. 

I've tried many ways to attract more same-sex couples to RGW PHOTOS, and almost got there with one.  So I've put my thinking cap on again. 

I would like to offer a FREE couple's shoot to all you gorgeous gay guys and girls - how's that for aliteration!  You don't need to be getting married (just yet!), but ideally be planning it in the not-too-distant future.  

What do you get?

  • A free (yes, FREE!) photo shoot with me
  • All the photos lovingly edited by me
  • An online gallery to view, share and download all of your photos
  • One mounted 10x8" print of your choice from the shoot

Ideally the shoot will take place in the Bournemouth area, and all travel will be covered, but if you want to do the shoot somewhere else, all I'd ask is for a contribution toward my travel. 

If you're interested, get in touch, I would love to hear from you!  You can email me at: richard@rgw-photos.com - message me on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/RGWPHOTO - or just give me a call on 07533 401199. 

Until next time, 

R x

Source: http://www.rgw-photos.com