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Engagement Shoots

The decision to make a lifetime commitment to someone is a huge milestone. For you, it may have been love at first sight, or perhaps it’s taken a few years to pluck up the courage to pop the question to your beloved. Whichever way your proposal happened, getting engaged is an exciting and possibly one of the most romantic times for both of you.

During those first giddy weeks of telling your nearest and dearest, you’ll begin the search for venues, dresses, shoes, caterers – and of course for your ideal photographer! A great way to see if you have chosen the right person to capture your wedding day is having an Engagement Shoot.

I’ve offered Engagements Shoots to my couples for quite some time now and although the idea seems quite new, it really has taken off over the last year or so. Engagements shoots are like a mini-trial for the big day. The best thing about them is that we get to know each other, usually, somewhere that’s special to you both, in a relaxed and informal way. I love hearing about how my couples met, how did they propose, I like to know as much about them as I can.

Not many of us are completely comfortable in front of a camera, and nerves can make people look anxious and even terrified! By having a chilled-out engagement shoot you have the best opportunity to learn how to be your most natural self, whilst having your photo taken. It’s my job to make sure you don’t freeze in front of the camera. We can work together to come up with poses that feel effortless, and in turn that will really help how you feel on the actual day and make your photographs even more stunning.

Kathryn and Scott recently had their Engagement Shoot. Scott was quite nervous about having his photograph taken, but we met at Wepre Park, the local woods to us and chatted for a short while and he soon felt more at ease. He made Catherine laugh a lot and the pictures worked a treat. Capturing a lovely natural laugh or smile makes me so happy too!

Finding a lovely location can be quite simple. How about a walk through the woods, or a stroll by the river? Or maybe you met at an unusual venue and want to celebrate your love for one another there? It really is up to you.

The shoot is calm and casual, there’s no standing on ceremony (unless that’s your thing!) and I can assure you we will have lots of fun. It’s never too late to have this kind of photoshoot – sometimes couples have pre-wedding shoots done just a few weeks before the wedding.

Couples often use a photo from their Engagement Shoot to put in a signature frame at their wedding. Guests can sign the frame and it makes a gorgeous keepsake for years to come. They can also be used for ‘save the date’ cards to tell your family and friends that you’ve decided to tie the knot.

However you decide to use your gallery of beautiful photos, you won’t regret having such a wonderful memory of a most amazing time in your lives. Getting engaged is truly special and deserves to be celebrated wholeheartedly!

An Enchanting Day at Tower Hill Barns

I knew from the moment I arrived at Alicia’s parent’s home in Wrexham that this was going to be a day of fun and laughter.  The bride was surrounded by her 5 bridesmaids chatting and giggling, and her mum and dad, Linda and David were on hand to help with all the preparations.   

Alicia & Dan were married at St Mary’s Cathedral in Wrexham, which is also Alicia’s family church. It’s a beautiful traditional building, and one I was familiar with as I shot Alicia’s brother’s wedding there just last year.  

After the ceremony we made our way to the enchanting Tower Hill Barns for a perfect afternoon of delicious food and drinks and plenty of entertainment, some of which came in the form of Dan and his rugby playing friends who were in fine voice, singing lots of rugby songs, the best one being Calom Lan – which really made me all goosebumpy again as it’s my dad’s favourite song too. 

I was so happy to be back at the barns, not just for the amazing setting (have I mentioned how fabulous it is??) but also to see the all the lovely staff who make everyone feel so welcome. Tower Hill Barns is a family run business and they go out of their way to make you feel right at home. Having people around who obviously love their job and want their guests to have the best time really does make a huge difference to a wedding day, they were all amazing.      

We had a great time with some different coloured smoke bombs that the bridal party danced around with, and I’m so pleased the pictures capture the exuberance of the moment! 

Alicia’s dad, David, is Italian and it’s a big tradition in Italian families for all the men to gather in the evening and smoke the biggest cigars they can lay their hands on.  This was one photograph I knew I just HAD to get, so as the evening was drawing to a close, I got the menfolk together and got one of my favourite shots of the day. 

What a day to remember!

A Golden Moment

To say I love what I do would be an understatement. Meeting amazing couples, being lucky enough to share the biggest day of their life and getting to make memories that will last a lifetime is enough reward for my job, and I cherish that enormously.  

It’s so lovely though when your work is recognised away from the wedding day, and it’s not just the Bride and Groom that think your photographs are wonderful! 

I’ve been a member of the Guild of Photographers for two years now, and every month they have a competition that members can enter.  It’s only been in the last eighteen months that I’ve been brave to enough to enter some of my favourite shots. Having your work looked at by your peers and voted for by some of the top photographers in the country is nerve-racking, to say the least!    

I recently submitted a picture I took at the wedding of Puja and Sam at the Belsfield Hotel in Windermere.  It was one of those days where rain almost stopped play, and we were inside for most of the photos because of the wet weather. The hotel is part of the Laura Ashley chain, so we were spoilt for choice with the gorgeous interior and I took a shot of Puja on the stairwell holding her bouquet.  It was a beautiful shot and my favourite of the day – and also the one I entered into the competition.   

To my absolute delight, I got a call to say I had won a Gold Award in the wedding category, which is very rarely handed out, so for me to get it was a massive achievement and a real honour. When I found out I was literally screaming around the house! I told Puja and Sam that one of their wedding photographs had won and they were just as thrilled, it’s one of their favourite shots of the day too.  

Winning the Gold Award means I now have enough awards to become a lifelong member of The Guild, which supports top photographers around the world, from wedding photographers to arts and documentary specialists.  

I can’t tell you how much this means to me, and to be honest I’m still a little bit in shock! 

You can see the winning shot below.

Let me know what you think, and please do get in touch if you think I’m the kind of photographer you’d like for your special day.