A big ass round up of
Pre wedding photography sessions
We all know that getting your photos taken is one of the most nerve-wracking experiences you can put yourself into. I try to make it painless on the wedding day itself, but I also swear by booking yourselves in for a pre wedding photography session like this lot did.
Here are four couples who all had pre wedding photo shoots with me this winter. They’re all booked in with me for their wedding photography this year (so their preshoots were complimentary – yay!) and literally each one of them told me how awkward and painful they found having their photos done. Taking photos of people is not just pointing the camera at something that looks nice – it’s a mutual effort, a collaborative process. It’s my aim during these sessions to get to know people, set them at ease and figure out the right approach for them ahead of their wedding day. That way, I can show up and get right down to it without them hoping for the best, because they’ll already know how bloody amazing they look.
The reason I’ve bunched these four together is because they’re all so different. From massive boulders on the edge of the peak district to pottering around shops in Islington, all four shoots suit the couples they are of. That’s what I want to show you.
Leanne + Steve
I met Leanne and Steve at Leicester Forest East services last year. It was a day of shit weather, the M1 was as crap as it always is, and I went to the wrong Starbucks. After several minutes waiting in the wrong Starbucks, my phone rang. It was Steve, wanting to know where I was, and telling me I wasn’t in Starbucks. But I was. And so was he. After a bit of re-coordinating and a jaunt across the terrifying motorway bridge, we finally met. And they were dead nice! Quite daft but wanting to know all about everything I could do for them as a wedding photographer. We had a lovely chat over a cuppa and later that day we were all sorted.
Six-ish months later (I’m stabbing wildly in the dark, I don’t actually know how much time passed. Oops.) we popped out to Bradgate park for a walk around in more Weather. As I got them to stand in weird positions and told them to kiss with teeth (among other top photography techniques) I think they eased up. Laughter came, and a piggyback followed. More laughter. It was great to see them relax into the session and just get cracking on looking like the most romantic, windswept couple on the planet.
I’m always excited to witness a couple’s wedding after having an pre-wedding photoshoot (you’ll notice that this is a running theme) and Leanne and Steve are no exception. They’re getting married in August at Park Farm and having loads of traditional Madeiran touches (where Steve’s mum is from) like dancing with tea towels and drinking a crazy homemade booze guaranteed to put you on the floor. It’s lovely to learn stuff like this about people, and a great bonding point for us as my husband’s family have a place out there. It’s gonna be epic!
Anna + Mike
You know those freezing cold winter days with clear skies and bright sun? Beautiful as anything but the cold wind just relentlessly slaps you in the face? I met Anna and Mike on a day like this. And we went up some rocks, and into the woods, and had a good old chinwag.
Their pre-wedding shoot began with gifts of peanut butter and beer, because they clearly know the way to my heart! Gifts gratefully stashed in my backpack, we headed up one of the steepest bloody hills I know of, which someone has helpfully covered in loose gravel.
After 10 minutes of huffing and puffing, slipping and sliding, Anna and Mike must have wondered what kind of hell they’d unleashed. Thankfully they were as trusting as labrador puppies and followed me onto some massive bleedin’ rocks. They even stepped over a 1cm wide crack to a rock just a bit further out while I whimpered behind my camera.
Black Rocks is a Derbyshire gem. It gets a bit busy with 17 year olds smoking interesting smelling stuff while families try to enjoy a brisk walk with the dog, but I love it all the same. There are just so many different landscapes to explore, in a neat little package. So we did the rocks, popped into the wooded bit and then went down to the trail to please my symmetry loving mind.
Anna and Mike have planned their entire wedding in just four months, so that important people can share their day. They’re having their shindig at Swancar Farm in Nottinghamshire.
Tish + Fin
There’s an awesome alternative registry office in London called The Asylum. It’s a bombed out old chapel currently beyond used as a space for weddings, and I love it! I was lucky enough to shoot there in March last year (read about it and see some amazing pics), and fell head over heels with the peeling walls, crazy beautiful light and candlelight ceremony space. When Tish and I spoke on the phone last year about me photographing her wedding with Fin there, it was a hard yes.
Fast forward to early February and I hopped on a train to go and meet them. I’d arranged to meet them in Battersea Park in the morning, shove a burger at my face, then hook up with another couple later in the day. We spent a couple of hours wandering around the park and drinking coffee, and they told me about the pub they’d hired for the reception, plus the old routemaster bus that was taking them and their guests from the Asylum to the George IV pub (which I guarantee is going to create incredible photos). I got super excited when they mentioned a saxophonist and drummer to entertain everyone.
I just know Tish and Fin’s wedding will be unforgettable. I can’t wait for it!
Emma + Tom
Emma and Tom have big plans. We met in Angel and went straight to a pub. We got to know each other better over a few drinks, and they told me all about what they’re going to get up to. They’ve been married for 9 years – they eloped to Las Vegas when their eldest child was a baby and now want to celebrate their tenth anniversary with a massive party. I can’t fault their decision! What better way to celebrate a very successful marriage?
They’re both big Disney fans, and Mary Poppins is going to be a big influence. Oh, and gin. Lots of that. I won’t give away too much right now, but trust me once their wedding renewal photos are ready I’m going to making a hell of a lot of noise!
After we were all suitably watered we had a mooch around some quirky shops and then ambled around in a sort of clueless haze (they’re not from London, and I can count on my fingers how many times I’ve been there). Thankfully London is just banging. Not a vape shop, nail bar or Poundland in sight, we happened upon an indie cinema, a piano (which they immediately sat down at and pretended to play), and some questionable curios in a window which looked like a shop, but wasn’t.
Emma and Tom renew their vows this summer at The Bay Tree Hotel in Oxfordshire.