pre wedding

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

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

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

Pre-Wedding | Mark+Rhonda - Branksome Dene Gardens and Beach

I remember having a conversation with Rachel - one of my wedding supplier buddies - about this site she advertises her venue styling business on, she seemed pretty successful with her bookings from it. So I gave it a try and signed up to the same site.  

It's funny how the world works, because within a day of our conversation, along came Rhonda. 

Rhonda and I chatted via email for a couple of days before nailing down a time for us all to meet and grab a coffee together. 

Mark and Rhonda were instantly a couple I knew I could work well with.  They wanted things to be kept nice and simple, not too much emphasis on posing; I knew there and then this would be my type of wedding to photograph.  During our meeting, I mentioned about having a cheeky pre-wedding shoot with me before the big day came around (and I always try so hard not to sound like a windows salesman at this point, because it really is a great idea to have one). There was a slight look of hesitation as they both looked at one another to agree on it, but sometimes you just have to trust your wedding photographer - we're not all crazy!

Initially we talked about Coy Pond being the place to do the shoot; it's a lovely secluded spot at the top of Bournemouth Gardens, but at this time of year, it's not much to look at. So I suggested Branksome Dene Gardens and the beach. They're always nice and quiet if you get to them at the right time, and as luck would have it, that was the case for us. 

I always like to think that my style of working as a wedding photographer is that of 2% creatively 'posed' shots, 98% documentary/reportage, and always 100% fabulous!

Sometimes I get the impression that people think I'm a little bonkers - and I am - when I ask them to go and stand against walls, but they always thank me afterwards. It never seems to matter what said wall looks like, it ALWAYS makes for a cool, often striking background for your 'posed' shots. 

Anyway, I prattle on too long. Here's a bunch of beautiful shots we got when this supposedly nervous couple (total pros!) went out for a walk with me and my camera. I can't wait to shoot their wedding at the end of March! 

If you're thinking about booking in your pre-wedding shoot, what are you waiting for, give me a call. 

Until next time, 

R x

Hygge Inspired Autumn/Winter Wedding

I feel very blessed to know and work alongside some fantastic people; local wedding suppliers who get me and my aesthetic.  It's one of the things I love most about my job. 

This week we brought to life a Scandinavian/Hygge inspired wedding shoot at the East Cliff Cottage Hotel in Bournemouth (you may have seen my first attempt at a Facebook live video).  It's a lovely little place, tucked just behind the main east cliff road, perfectly suited to this style of shoot, and would be an ideal location for an intimate wedding reception. 

A few years ago, Rob and I took a holiday in Copenhagen and instantly fell in love with the city, the people, their immense style and their way of life.  Last month, we flew out to Stockholm to continue our new found Scandinavian obsession, and the same feelings came flooding back.  It was clear what I wanted to do with out next collaborative shoot, and I knew just the right people to be involved in it. 

I delved into my copy of 'The Little Book of Hygge' and read up on the Hygge manifesto.  It has ten points, which cover the basics to what Hygge is all about. 

  1. Atmosphere - Turn down the lights.
  2. Presence - Be here now. Turn of the phones.
  3. Pleasure - Coffee, chocolate, cookies, cakes, candy. Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!
  4. Equality - 'We' over 'me'. Share the tasks and the airtime.
  5. Gratitude - Take it in. This might be as good as it gets. 
  6. Harmony - It's not a competition. We already like you. There is no need to brag about your achievements. 
  7. Comfort - Get comfy. Take a break. It's all about relaxation. 
  8. Truce - No drama. Let's discuss politics another day. 
  9. Togetherness - Build relationships and narratives. 'Do you remember the time we...?'
  10. Shelter - This is your tribe. This is a place of peace and security.

I'm pretty sure these points can be applied to literally every aspect of your life, including your wedding.  My hope from this post is that you can take some inspiration from our combined effort, and apply it to your autumn/winter weddings, wherever you have them.  We also wanted to show you that there is so much more scope out there for styling your autumn/winter wedding - it doesn't all have to be about red, silver and white.  

There is so much choice out there and available to us nowadays, it's so easy to forget or look passed the things we already have.  

Incorporate items you have at home.  

Most of this shoot was pieced together using things we all had in our own homes, and they came together perfectly.  You don't need to spend thousands of pounds on things you will never use again.  Why be wasteful when you already have everything you need.  Or at least buy something you will re-use or keep for the future.  

None of your guests will care an iota about the money you've spent/not spent on your wedding day - it's your wedding, not theirs!  What they will care about is how much love you've put into it and how much fun everyone else is having, the atmosphere on the day, the general feeling of love and togetherness everyone has on the day.  Believe me, I've been at weddings where I've felt part of the family and I've been at those where you feel very isolated.  You don't want it to be the latter. 

Okay, that's enough from me for now.  

Here's some suppliers you might want to be a part of your day. 

  1. For perfect venue decor and styling - http://www.lovebydesignweddings.co.uk
  2. For stunning floral arragements - http://www.with-love-from.co.uk
  3. For beautiful wedding cakes - http://www.thesweetsuitedorset.co.uk
  4. And for modern and relaxed wedding photography - ME!! ;)

Until next time,

R x