Surprise Proposal at Westonbirt Arboretum

Proposals mayyyy just be my favourite things to photograph. I know I say that about engagement shoots and weddings too. And newborns. Haha.

But seriously, playing Ninja and Paparazzi in one is the most fun. Emotions don’t come any more real than when your loved one just asked you to be his forever!

Jack and Sarah got engaged just before Christmas, and Jack asked me beforehand if I could unsuspiciously follow them around Westonbirt Arboretum and photograph their big moment. How could I say no! Luckily Sarah didn’t have any idea I was there, and I was able to photograph Jack’s proposal and add on an engagement session straight after.

What better thing to do on a crisp, bright sunny Winter morning!

PS – guys, if you’re thinking of proposing, hit me up. You’ll want this moment on camera. Plus, she’ll love you forever, even more than, you know, she already does.

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Engagement Shoot in Oxford

Just a little over two weeks to go until my last wedding with bump – I’ll be 32 weeks! I seriously can’t wait for this wedding, it will be such a special one to finish on.

Becky from Make Today Beautiful will be getting married to Toby, and I for one will have to make sure to put the waterproof mascara on. Their story and their love is just so beautiful.

I’m also so excited to be shooting my first ever wedding at St Aldates Oxford, which was my home away from home for 4 years while I lived in Oxford.

Bring it on!

Here are a few photos from our engagement shoot just outside Oxford.

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Tom and Rosie’s Powder Paint Engagement Shoot

I love all my engagement shoots but this one was one of the funnest I’ve ever done. Tom and Rosie brought powder paint and I brought some SMOKE BOMBSSSSSS! Honestly, how is this my job.

See for yourself what fun we had (the fun ones start half-way down).

Rosie and Tom are getting married NEXT MONTH in Yorkshire, maybe we’ll leave the powder paint at home for that one ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m so excited. Bring it on!

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3 tips for your top table

At weddings, the top table can end up wherever it’s most convenient for the venue. However, consider these three points when making your decision about your room layout:

1. The background


Whatever is behind your top table will be in all of the photos! Make sure that any speakers or projection screens are put as far to the side as possible, and there’s little clutter in the corners (prams, people’s coats, … make sure there is space elsewhere to put these things).

A neutral but interesting background is the best, like the large windows and fairy lights in the image above.


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Make sure that there is plenty of light on your top table – natural light if possible (unless the sun will have set by the time you sit down). 80% of the photos I take at speeches are your reactions (yes, you, the bride and groom!) to the speeches, and if I have to use flash for each of those shots, it will be more distracting.

Extra tip: If your venue has spotlights in the ceiling (rather than indirect uplighters), make sure the spotlights don’t fall directly on your faces as the light will be super harsh (think holding a torch right above your head) and you might get ‘raccoon eyes’ – not a flattering look. Even moving the table back a few inches will make a big difference. You can look out for this when you visit the venue or on the day before the wedding when you set up.

3. Position to your guests


Guests love to see the couple during the speeches, so make sure you are visible to most people. Especially when the speeches get super funny or emotional, it’s a shame when your guests can’t see your reactions!

This doesn’t mean that you need a long top table at the front – you can sit at a round table, just consider which one is best and where to sit.

4. Bonus tip! Wine bottles and table name labels


It’s important to me that your guests can still see you while I photograph (see point 3!), so if I have to, I’ll shoot the speeches on my knees or sitting on any spare chairs! In that case, a wine bottle or large table name label can easily block someone’s face on the top table. Don’t be offended if I move them right before the speeches, you’ll get them back..!

PS, as mentioned in a previous #ACWeddingWedesdays post on myย instagram, the most photographer-friendly top table decorations are also shorter than wine bottles ๐Ÿ™‚

If you have any other questions regarding top tables, or venue layout in general, comment below!

Wedding Wednesdays: 6 ways to nail your sparkler exit

Sparkler exits are such a romantic way to end a wedding and I think that every couple should do them. If you’re the kind of couple that wants to stay on the dance floor till 5am, just do a fake exit before your photographer leaves! Here’s how to get the most out of it:

1. Buy LOTS of sparklers


This is not the time to save a few extra quid – the sparklers will be the only light source on your faces for your exit, so the more you have, the better it will look. Give everyone two sparklers if your budget can afford it! Remember that not every guest will stay that late, but those who stay should be well stocked with sparklers to light your way into the honeymoon.

2. Go for the super long sparklers


For obvious reasons. Nothing is sadder (or more of a photographer nightmare) than dealing with sparklers that were lit too early and don’t last as long as they need to. You can get super long wedding sparklers online,ย these ones for example look like they’d do the job well.

3. Put someone sensible in charge (who won’t be too drunk) to light them once everyone is outside


Fire and tipsy people, that’s all I’m going to say about this. Tell the person in charge to light the sparklers only once everyone is outside and lined up. People take forever to leave a building, and you don’t want to waste precious sparkler life time! Even the extra long sparklers only last for two minutes.

4. Walk through the sparkers slowly


For two reasons. Firstly, you get to enjoy it much more if you walk slowly and can wave good-bye to all your favourite people. Secondly, it gives your photographer more time to capture those romantic photos for you. Win-win!

5. Walk next to each other

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I don’t know why, but often one person charges ahead of the other during the exit. While this really doesn’t matter in real life, it just looks a bit odd in the photos. So instead, walk right next to each other like the married couple that you are, and if one of you wants to say good-bye to one guest in particular, just wait for them ๐Ÿ™‚

6. Do something romantic in the middle


Stop half-way down your exit for a good long “movie-kiss”. Not just a quick peck on the cheek – I’m talking full-on smooch, or pick her up, or have a little romantic slow-mo dance – you will have time to do it (see tip #2) and I guarantee you, you’ll want to frame those photos because they will be your some of your favourites from the wedding day. Sparkler magic at its best.

Have you done a sparker exit at your wedding and got any tips to add? Comment below!

Wedding Wednesdays: 3 ways to boss your confetti toss

Cueva-421I’ve gotta be honest, the confetti toss is one of my favourite parts of the wedding day. It’s so much fun and often I get some of my (and the couple’s) favourite photos at this moment. Here are a few top tips on how to make sure that your confetti photos turn out epic.

1. The space

Barnes-269It’s nice if you have a long walkway to do confetti but I always recommend having the sides of your walkway lined with more than one-person-deep rows of people, or at least pack them in super tight. When it comes to confetti, there’s no such thing as “too much” (at least I don’t think so), so make sure that there are lots of people throwing confetti at the same time and that they’re all packed in.

Ideally, the space is in open shade, or at least with the sun behind you, at the time of your confetti toss so that no one squints.

2. The ‘throwing devices’

StonehouseWedding-372Confetti flies higher, and therefore looks better, if it’s either thrown by hand or, ideally, with some sort of cone – especially the lighter varieties (i.e. not dried petals) fly much higher that way. You can make confetti cones yourself super easily. The Knot have a niceย video. Little mini bags or boxes filled with ‘wedding confetti’ never seem to get the confetti out on time.

I always ask guests to throw the confetti up rather than right at you… and sometimes they even listen!!

3. The confetti

Shelton edit-278Obviously go for bio-degradable confetti, there are lots of lovely options you can buy online. The bigger the confetti pieces, the less of it will end up getting stuck in your up-do, and it will be more visible in the photos!

Dried flowers are a beautiful option but they are smaller pieces, so make sure you get loads. On the flip side, lots of dried flowers can make you squint a bit more because the pieces are heavier and smaller. But of course they smell amazing, so it depends what you prefer ๐Ÿ™‚

Hope these tips are useful! Next week I’ll talk about the best ways to boss your sparkler exit. Until then!

Bristol Engagement Shoot

Ah, these two absolutely rocked their engagement shoot in Bristol! Laura and Ali are getting married in about a month, and for their engagement shoot we went to places they love and treasure. Would you believe that all of these are in inner Bristol?! #greencity

They will be Ali and Laura Brooks when they are married, so we went to St Werburghs at the end of the shoot for some shots with the Brooks Dye tower in the background. What a great idea of these two. Bring on the wedding!

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