All of my full wedding collections include a complimentary Somerset engagement shoot. Or we can head to the Dorset coast or a Devon beauty spot. If you don’t live locally then it’s the perfect opportunity to book a B&B and make a weekend of it in this beautiful part of the country.
As many of you know I am a total devotee of the traditional film format. If you want to see the amazing luminous tones and vivid colours then scroll down now! Add to that the fabulous grain… These scans from the lab are mostly un-edited. It’s really difficult – and often impossible – to reproduce these qualities in a digital image. This Somerset engagement shoot included quite a few black and white images at the couple’s request, and was shot entirely on film.
You can see the similar luminosity in this countryside couple session and this coastal session, both shot on film.
Rachel and Robin met several years ago but had since moved on in different directions in life. Last year their paths crossed once more and they have found love later in life. They had planned a blessing in St Paul’s Cathedral but it was proving tricky to arrange. For their engagement shoot we decided to visit the sleepy Somerset village where they enjoy Sunday church services together. We took a few shots around the little church, and wandered the lanes.
Then a lovely thing happened. A woman from the church recognised them and threw open the wrought iron gates to her beautiful garden and orchard – complete with rope swing and meandering stream! We captured some lovely images which really represent what this Cider county is famous for.
Rachel and Robin went on to reorganise their wedding to take place in the church you see here, with an English Cream Tea and Cider to follow for their guests. Their cocktail hour and evening meal then took place the following weekend at a London private members’ club on Pall Mall. I’ll be sharing their wedding celebrations later on, with lots of wintery colours and gorgeous English interiors.
Shot on Fuji Pro 400H and Ilford Delta 400 and processed/scanned by Exposure Film Lab.
Joni and George celebrated 4 years of marriage with this anniversary session – a collection of fine art film images.
They have always loved to take a break together along the coast in West Dorset – a chance to get away and spend some quiet time together. It was almost as if they were retracing old footsteps in the sand as they wandered by the waves, talking together about these first years of their marriage, and their precious young daughter.
The coast is a great place to go for an engagement shoot or an anniversary session, especially if you can easily access both the cliffs above and the beach below. This kind of location offers both variety as well as beauty, drama and romance. I love to shoot at the coast whenever I have the chance!
Although there had been sunshine all day, banks of cloud rolled in off the sea as we began the shoot, creating some spectacular skies over the distant cliffs as the sun shone through, and a maritime feel to the images as the blue-green light bounced around us. This too provided a reflection of their marriage: it’s certainly not always sunny in such a close and demanding relationship and cloudy weather is all part of the package, yet that too is beautiful in its own way.
I believe that the actual process of the shoot – taking the time out, carrying a bouquet, reflecting on the exchange of rings to name just a few aspects – this process is in itself an encouragement to a couple, and an affirmation of their commitment. Grounded in the day-to-day reality of marriage, this celebration is so much more poignant than the original wedding.
For this reason I absolutely love these sessions and the images they produce, which declare to the world, “I still do.”.
We are all too familiar with rain all year round in the British Isles, but English summer evenings can rival other parts of Europe for their pretty, romance light. The evening light is the most flattering for couple session portraits because the rays from the sun really are hitting us sideways on. This means contrast and shadows are at a minimum. The same is of course true of the early hours of the morning, but this light is cooler and fresher as opposed to the warm glow cast in the hour or two before sunset. Even if there is some cloud cover the angle of the light still makes for more attractive portraits, as seen in this Dorset beach engagement.
The colour of the light as it lands on our skin really does affect the colour our skin will look, so the golden evening sun leads to golden skin tones. Light is literally a mixture of the colours it is bouncing off so if you stand by a gold-coloured hamstone wall then those tones will be reflected in your skin. If you stand right underneath a tree in dark shade you will look a little green around the gills! This reflected tone effect is much more significant in digital photography; film is much more forgiving here.
I stepped out on one such evening for a couple session with these two, who are as beautiful inside as they are out. I think you will agree that, as the sun prepared to dip behind the hedgerows, we captured some really romantic and tender moments, as well as bucketloads of the joy that this couple naturally exudes. They really did laugh their way around these Somerset fields! This lovely English backdrop was just beyond the back gate, and the hand-tied posy thrown together with roses and herbs from the garden – proving it is easy to achieve beautiful, natural, fine art portraiture.
Fine Art Dorset Beach Engagement
The rain fell softly int he evening light for this fine art Dorset beach engagement. Helen and Martin were so obliging and relaxed on their engagement shoot on the Jurassic coast. Despite the gentle rain we meandered around West Bay and the disused railway line and captured some beautiful fine art images on this summer evening. The light was lovely, and so were they. And now they have this beautiful collection of images as a memento of their last days together as a couple before tying the knot, in a place with a special significance for them. Wishing you and your family all the best for your wedding in October.
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