dorset fun wedding photographer

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

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. 

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

Hitched - Daniel+April

How do you know when they're the one?  

Believe me, when you meet them you know.  I'm speaking from both sides here, as both a photographer and as the couple.  It's a similar feeling you would get in almost any situation of meeting someone for the first time.  

When I met Daniel and April, it was very clear that it was a good match, both for them as a couple, and as a whole for us all working together.  They were clear with what they wanted and also what they didn't, and that ticks so many boxes for me.  I'm pretty straighforward which makes for a great collaboration when your couple are on the same page as you. 

Anyway, fast forward a few weeks and we headed out to Swanage for their pre-wedding shoot.  April was nervous as hell, and I think Daniel might have been too.  To be honest, I am as well, but I try not to let it phase me anymore.  I just get stuck in, let you do pretty much what you want and I snap away to get the best shots.  I hate telling people what to do, or how to stand, as it generally makes for a more uncomfortable couple than you begun with.  

Fast forward another month and their wedding day had arrived.

I have never set foot in Upwey before, but by god is it a gorgeous place!  The sun was shining, in fact I had to take off my jacket I'd worn for the day - a sweaty photographer is not a nice sight.  We did morning prep at April's mum's house, a beautiful limestone cottage.  Everything was within walking distace of their house, which is very handy and gives me a chance to get all of those strolling shots I love so much (take note future couples, hehe).  I even learned a new skill that day of tying the ribbon to the wedding car.  Tick! 

A glorious church ceremony followed at St. Laurence Church, with an afternoon tea-cum-picnic reception at the village hall right next door to the church.  The family and couple's shoot was done in the ever-so-stunning Upwey Wishing Well gardens.  Amaze!!  With evening festivities taking place a staggered walk up the village at The Old Ship Inn.  A massive thank you to the newlywed couple for allowing me to take them into the corn field and tick off a shot from my wish list. 

I always think each new family are my new favourite, and I kind of hate myself for saying this, but Dan and April, your families were seriously awesome!  And we got some wicked moves from April's mum and dad on that dancefloor.  Check out some of my faves below, and get in touch if you'd like me to capture your big day! 

Bridal Flowers - Fiona Penny at Sunflowers 

Bride's Dress -  Butterfly Brides, Poundbury 

Cakes by Dan's sister, Ellie - Instagram: @bristowbakes

Bridesmaids hair and make-up - Morgan Brown Hair & Beauty 

Venue Decorator - D Dee's Bespoke Parties  

Bride's hair and make-up -  Leanna Stibbon Makeup 

Ps. the G&T's from the pub are served in HUGE goblet style glasses which gets a massive tick from me! 

PPs. Those outfits the groom, best man and ushers wore... very nice!! 

Until next time, 

R x