engagement shoot

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

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

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

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

To shoot or not to shoot...? Why you should have a pre-wedding shoot.

So you've recently got engaged to the love of your life and are now in the midst of planning your dream wedding.  Congratulations to you both!! 

You start buying all the best bridal magazines, taking day trips to the venues you've always wanted to get married in, the list of guests is getting longer, you've decided on the theme, and you've booked you wedding photographer.  Looks like you've got things under control.  

When you had your consultation with your photographer, you noticed that the package you want/have booked includes a pre-wedding/engagement shoot and you're wondering whether it's worth it, or whether they may knock a bit off the price if you don't bother with it.  All fairly reasonable thoughts to have.  Then you think, 'Why are they offering it in the first place?'.  

Just to clarify, this blog isn't meant to sway you towards booking me as your photographer - unless you really want to ;) - more to let you know the reasons why you should take your chosen photographer up on their offer of that pre-wedding/engagement shoot.  I'd say I'll give you five reasons, but I'll probably give you more. 

  1. No one likes to feel awkward  -  I'm guessing this is the first time you've been engaged?  Being in front of a camera and a photographer can be a daunting thought - believe me, that's why I'm the photographer - so why not take that out of the equation.  I was always told that practice makes perfect, or least makes you better at something.  The same applies to having your photo taken.  You're bound to want a romantic shot (or ten) of the two of you to look back on, and the photographer will want only to give you the best photos they can.  
  2. Practice makes perfect  -  As I mentioned in the point above, practice does indeed make perfect, or at least better at what you're doing.  The photographer you've chosen will want to direct you at some point, regardless of their style.  So a pre-wedding shoot will allow you a bonus couple of hours - or more if they're a generous photographer - to spend going over ideas and getting you relaxed in front of the camera in readiness for your big day.
  3. No one likes to feel awkward...pt.2  -  Going back to my first point - no one likes to feel awkward.  If nothing else comes of it, you will enable yourself extra time to get to know one another.  Your photographer will be able to see the chemistry you have as a couple, what you feel comfortable with and most importantly, what you don't.  
  4. It's a day out with an added bonus  -  On top of getting a bunch of extra photos of you both, you will have a great day out.  For example:  I like to choose a location within Dorset - there are a multitude of them - or to visit the venue.  We have a coffee, some cake, and then I stand you up against a wall and shoot you.  Kidding!!  Forget I'm there and enjoy yourselves.  Just like on your wedding day, your chosen photographer will use their skills to document you in an unobtrusive way, most likely without you even noticing.  If you go to your venue for the shoot, you'll already know the best places for photos on the big day.  Bonus!!
  5. They're really good fun!  -  It's not like going to one of those photo studios to have your family portrait taken.  You know the sort, the ones with the fake backdrops of Christmas trees or beaches, or whatever they have nowadays.  No.  You'll most likely be outdoors somewhere you've been together and enjoyed, or have wanted to go to for a while.  And like I said before, there could be cake involved.  I also like to bring some other extras with me, like sparklers or coloured smoke grenades to give your photos an extra pop. 
  6. It's probably included in the package, so what the hell!  -  If none of the above has managed to convince you, then hopefully this will.  It's more than likely included in the package you've booked or are about to book, so just go for it.  It's not like you've got anything to lose, just more to gain.  Honestly, you may kick yourself for not doing it, and there's nothing worse than seeing a friends, falling in love with their photos and thinking 'If only I'd done it'. 

Well, there you have it, six bloody good reasons why you should have that pre-wedding shoot after all.  I could've added more, but I think there's enough in there to convince you.  If you're still not convinced, send me a message and we can have a chat. 

The photos are from a pre-wedding shoot I've done. ;)

Until next time, 

R x