pre-wedding photo shoot

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

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

Spoilt For Choice - Choosing Your Perfect Wedding Venue

One of the things I love the most about living in Bournemouth - and subsequently running my business from here - is being surrounded by so many stunning places of natural beauty.  We have the New Forest, Moors Valley Country Park, The Jurassic Coast, The Purbecks, Brownsea Island, and so many more.  On top of that, an almost endless list of venues that fill these areas, which you couples get to choose from. 

Basically, we are spoilt for choice. 

For me as a wedding photographer, it is one of the most amazing things, to firstly be invited into a couple's special day, but on top of that, to get to work within these venues - that's just incredible. 

I've been very fortunate in the (comparably) short time I've been a wedding photographer, by having a portfolio that is now made up of completely different venues for each couple I've photographed - with the exception of just two.  Next year also, the venues I'll be covering weddings at are all different.  So far I've worked at the following: The Legacy Rose and Crown Hotel, Merley House, Passford House Hotel, Poole Guildhall (twice), Bryanston School, Les Bouviers.  This year I still have weddings at Bournemouth Town Hall, Dudsbury Country Club, St. Laurence Church in Upwey (with reception and evening at Upwey Village Hall and The Old Ship Inn), The Holiday Inn - Southampton, and Gorwell Barn, Abbotsbury.  

Next year I've got a growing list of fabulous venues which include: The Hilton - Bournemouth,The Italian Villa, The Old Hall - Ely, The George Hotel - Huntingdon, The Sibson Inn, The Chine Hotel, Newbury Rugby Club, The Orangery Suite, Spitbank Fort, Kingston Maurward, Barford Park and RAC Woodcote - Epsom to name a few.  I'm absolutely loving the variety.  

I've always been a bit of a dreamer, and was always told that unless you win the lottery, you are the builder of your own dreams.  I stand by this.  So in light of this, when I first started down this road of becoming a photographer, I purposely made a 'wish list' of venues/types of weddings I think of as my dream list to photograph.  

The List - or at least a portion of - in no particular order:

  • Same-sex weddings 
  • Bournemouth Beach wedding (obviously)
  • Kew Gardens (and any other botanical gardens)
  • London/Urban wedding
  • Theme weddings (especially Star Wars!)
  • Destination weddings - New York would be amazing (because I LOVE to travel)
  • Festival weddings
  • Barn weddings
  • Cinema/Theatre wedding
  • Forest wedding

Specific venues would include: The Barbican Centre, The Southbank National Theatre, The Sky Garden (Walkie Talkie building), The Shard, so basically most well known buildings in London. 

Anyway, I digress.  Getting back on topic, I suppose what I'm trying to say is; I fully understand the dilemma couples must face when it comes to planning their wedding.  They're a political minefield anyway, but to add on top of that choosing where to hold the day can be (but hopefully won't be) a nightmare.  

I remember planning our wedding.  Rob and I did the guest list first, then sorted everything else out around that.  We live in Bournemouth, most of Rob's friends and family who came live in fairly close proximity, so the only challenge was whether we held it here or nearer my family.  Both options caused the similar issues - namely travelling distances.  So we thought about it some more and came to the conclusion; it wasn't about making our families happy, but rather about making us happy.  So we landed on London and had a bloody good long weekend there.  So that would be my advice to all of you future newlyweds; choose somewhere that makes the both of you happy, reflects you as a couple and the guests that join you will enjoy it all the more for doing so. 

Below I've posted a few photos from the venues I've covered weddings at, so expect a follow-up to this post at some point next year.  

Until then, 

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