dorset engagement photography

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 | 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

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. 

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