London Wedding Photographer: Why you should have sunset portraits on your wedding day

Country Tipis wedding photography

Here, I’m going to make the case for fitting in sunset portraits on your wedding day! You may have heard photographers excitedly talking about golden hour and wondering when exactly this mystical being is. It’s that time just before sunset when the sky has turned that gorgeous fading orange and the light is magically soft.

Why do photographers love golden hour so much?

As wedding photographers, or any type of photographer in fact, we know that light is the key ingredient to any photo. The light as the sun is falling is beautifully diffused and soft – completely different to the light in the middle of the day, which can be harsh and create huge shadows. As well as this, sunset perfectly lends itself to stunningly romantic images, especially when you shoot in my kind of style – soft and dreamy.

Bohemian bride at sunset wearing floral crown

How do I achieve them at my wedding?

With weddings in good old England, common timings will be that the ceremony will be around lunchtime, and portraits will happen immediately after. Really, this is at the worst time of the day as the sun is strong and harsh (this is the point in the day when your wedding photographer is keeping their fingers crossed for cloud cover).

Depending on when in the year your wedding is, sunset normally falls between the speeches and the first dance, or if you are in high summer, after first dance. If it falls between speeches and first dance this is the perfect opportunity to get some sunset portraits done! It’s the point in the day when everyone is normally well into the swing of the party and you have the chance to sneak off. We also aren’t talking about being gone for an hour – 15 minutes should be enough if you choose the right time. You have a slot of about an hour before sunset, to around 20 minutes after it. If you are considering sunset portraits just talk to your wedding photographer and plan ahead

And here is proof of why you should DEFINITELY DO THEM 😉

Outdoor Tipi wedding with celebrant

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If you are someone who equally loves sunsets and are getting married, get in touch! Caroline x

London Wedding Photographer: Suzannah & Ben’s Shad Thames Engagement Shoot

Summery couple kissing in cobbled sunlit street

This weekend, Suzannah and Ben are getting married at the stunning Lost Orangery in Chippenham. I honestly can’t wait for it –  it should be a brilliant, relaxed day. Back in May, I met them for their engagement shoot in the lovely Shad Thames/ Bermondsey. It was the start of the London heatwave and we had a relaxed stroll around the local area, using the interesting back streets and river side buildings of Butler’s Wharf. I love couples who choose a location close to their heart – this was Suzannah & Ben’s old neighbourhood, before they moved to Singapore.

My style is usually inspired by nature, featuring lots of foliage and trees, so this was something a bit different for me. Saying that, I have really loved mixing it up this year with more urban engagement shoots around London. This was a great part of town for a pre wedding shoot – plenty of quirky backdrops, as well as awesome views of Tower Bridge!

Engaged couple stood in fronton Butler's Wharf in summer

Shad Thames engagement shoot

During my initial consultation meetings with my couples, pretty much everyone asks why an engagement shoot is important. Most hate the camera and don’t really want to be in front of it more than necessary! This is exactly the reason I think they are a must. We get to know each other, you get comfortable around the camera, and I can figure out how to get the best from you ahead of your big day. I’ve written a whole blog post on this, and offer engagement shoots with all my packages.

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Well dressed couple

Couple walking down Butler's Wharf with Tower Bridge behind

I absolutely love Ben and Suzannah’s engagement story – on a road trip in Australia, Ben popped the question under the stars while the pair were camping.  They then spent the next day swimming with humpback whales.. any story which features swimming with, or even just seeing whales is a total winner in my eyes!

Shad Thames engagement shoot

Bermondsey pre wedding shoot

To book your 2019 wedding or an engagement shoot, drop me a message – I would love to hear from you! Keep an eye on my Instagram for previews of Suzannah & Ben’s wedding this weekend.

Caroline xx

London Wedding Photographer: Hollie & Jon’s Colourful Brick Lane Engagement Shoot

Engaged couple cuddling in front of Whitby Street graffiti

At the start of April, I met Hollie and Jon by the the historic Ten Bells pub, ready for our Shoreditch street art engagement shoot. It was the start of the *good weather (*temporary), and by the photos you would think we were in mid summer thanks to Hollie’s gorgeous dress.

We set off down Brick Lane, with the first stop being one of my favourite street art locations – a small mews opposite The Monsoon restaurant, which is covered in large art works.

Working our way down to Shoreditch High Street and Box Park, we stopped at Hanbury Street, home to the wonderful Blitz vintage store, The Canvas Cafe.. and at the moment this huge sumo wrestler art. This is one of my favourite roads coming off Brick Lane – at the end of the road there are two huge murals, both of which we made use of for this shoot.

Couple walking past sumo wrestler street art in Shoreditch

I have never done a truly urban pre wedding shoot before – I normally tend to shoot at locations with plenty of greenery and natural settings, so this was completely different! However, working around the area everyday, I’ve always wanted to do a Brick Lane engagement shoot so really glad Hollie and Jon chose this as their spot. The sheer number of people about was a challenge but the colours, graffiti designs, and of course lovely Hollie & Jon made the whole thing super easy and enjoyable! It’s definitely one of the most vibrant engagement

Couple stood in front of love street art

The sun was just starting to set as we came to our final locations around Redchurch Street / Chance Street. Jimmy C’s art on Whitby Street have always been some of my favourite pieces here, so I was really glad to get his portrait of a woman included in the shoot.

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Couple holding hands against colourful wall with street art

Natural photo of couple smiling at camera against street art graffiti

Get in touch to book a shoot here, or check out my blog post on why I think pre wedding shoots are so important. For more engagement shoot ideas, head to my Pinterest board

Caroline x

A couple stood in front of a red, yellow and blue mural on Chance Street, Shoreditch

London Wedding Photographer: Why Is An Engagement Shoot Important?

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With all my wedding packages, I offer a free engagement shoot. Not everyone wants one, but I think they are really important, and heres why:

1. Get to know your Wedding Photographer and vice versa!

Engagement shoots are such a great way for me to get to know you, and for you to get to know me! I’m very relaxed, and generally like a good chat and a giggle with my couples while doing a shoot. I think it’s really important you feel comfortable around your wedding photographer, and an engagement shoot is a fantastic way to break the ice, and also for me to find out more about your wedding day!

2. Practice for the Big Day

On an engagement shoot I get to see how you and your fiance are with each other naturally, which guides the way I need to direct you on your big day. Some couples prefer being in front of the camera more than others, and I’ll work to get the best out of you both. By the time your wedding comes around, you’ll know exactly what to expect in terms of the way I work.

wanstead engagement shoot, wanstead wedding photographer, wanstead park bluebells, east london engagement shoot

3. It’s fun!

No but seriously.. it is 🙂 Even if you don’t like having your photograph taken! All of my couples come away saying they really enjoyed their engagement shoots. I try to make it as chilled out and fun as possible, and amongst the stress of wedding planning this can be an opportunity for quality time with your fiance!

4. Get some lovely photos of you together 

It can be rare couples get professional photos done together so this can be a great chance to get some nice shots of you together – No selfies or grainy mobile phone shots here 🙂  You can also then use the photos to create save the dates, table plans or decorations, or use on your wedding site.

If you are interested in booking an engagement shoot with me, or getting a wedding package, drop me a message 

Caroline x

London engagement shoot in front of Queen House in Greenwich

 

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London Wedding Photographer: Alternative London Venues – One Friendly Place in Greenwich

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One Friendly place in Greenwich was one of the first places I second shot with Robin Ball photography, a good few years ago now, but it stuck in my memory as a venue I would love to go back to.

Built in the 1930s, One Friendly Place was originally a spice warehouse, tucked away on a private road in Deptford. It’s warehouse charm is not your traditional venue – think exposed walls, brightly coloured murals and abstract art, and lots of fun and unique props! If you start to feel a bit tired there is even a double bed upstairs to rest your dancing feet for a little while 😉

Affectionately known as one of the quirkiest venues in London, this place definitely has a bit of everything. Alongside the main space, there is a little greenhouse-esque area with peacock chairs and plants, making a great portrait area. There are so many main rooms and floors you have your pick when it comes to wedding breakfast location and dance floor area.

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If you head up a gorgeous wrought iron staircase you come out on the rooftop, overlooking south London. This is the perfect place for sunset portraits – something I think is a must for your big day!

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This is the venue for you if you’re a bride who loves colour, quirky props, mismatched furniture and a sense of untouched industrial charm.

I personally loved this venue because the sense of fun that came off it. It is also a good blank canvas, but ready and waiting with props to use as wanted. There are so many things you could do with this space – I’ve seen so many different setups at this venue, each wedding is completely unique. For me, the portrait opportunities are endless – the peacock chairs in the conservatory, the coloured abstract walls, the rooftop – all make for fantastic couples backdrops. Group shots would also be fantastic here with plenty of room both indoors and outdoors.

If you’re getting married here do get in touch – I would love to shoot your wedding, or can even offer friendly advice on making the most of this quirky venue!

Capacity: 120 dining, 250 standing

Venue address:  One friendly Place, London, SE13 7LS (A few minutes walk from Deptford Bridge station)

To book: Contact Steph or visit the website

Caroline x

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London Engagement Shoot: Cassy & Declan in Greenwich

 

A brunette couple on their engagement shoot in Greenwich Park LondonBack in the autumn, I gave away an engagement shoot on my Instagram account, and my lovely winners were Declan and Cassy. 

We met in the late afternoon at the Cutty Sark, with the aim to take advantage of the beautiful soft pre-sunset light. Taking a chilled walk through the Naval College and up to Greenwich Park, I remembered how stunning Greenwich is for an pre wedding photo shoot! I love the grand and old architecture – it provides so many interesting lines, shapes and backdrops. The park in October was also filled with fallen burnt orange leaves – my favourite.

Cassy and Declan were an absolute delight to photograph. So natural around each other and I had a great afternoon hearing about their relationship and plans for the wedding so far.

 

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Expect more engagement photography posts coming up over the next few months as my engagement season starts in March! Can’t wait to be photographing couples again after a winter break!

To book an engagement shoot with me, or your wedding please get in touch! I would love to hear from you.

Caroline x

London Wedding Photographer: Alternative London Venues – The Depot N7

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Last week, I exhibited at the Depot N7’s Crystal Maze Wedding Fair. The venue is an industrial style pub in a cute Mews near Caledonian Road – perfect for a reception if you are having an Islington or Stoke Newington Town Hall wedding!

An old bus depot warehouse, I loved it immediately – the space has so much potential, with different areas for everything. Next to the bar, theres a large wedding breakfast space with long benches for a rustic setup. Theres also an upstairs area which is a fab location for a dance floor, and a chill out zone with comfy leather sofas. The cobbled outdoor area also has benches outside, and lots of potential spots for great portraits.

For the Wedding Fair, the venue was setup with huge LED Letters, fairy lights everywhere, and lovely eucalyptus leaves.  I loved the foliage spread across the length of the benches, complete with pastel pink and white flowers in jars, and lovely muted stationary by Harry Says.

The fair itself was great fun. I met some wonderful suppliers, old and new and got to chat to lots of excited couples planning their big day.  At the end of the day we were treated to the taster menu with corresponding wine tasting which was a real highlight. I went for the vegan menu option, which in itself was great – I don’t know many venues with vegan options yet. Happy to say it was delicious! If you fancied extra dessert, Caked by Carissa was offering out bitesize portions of her delicious wedding cakes, and Sugar Tits London had a feature doughnut wall (such a great idea). I was also won over by the wedding themed ales!

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If the space itself didn’t sell you, theres also a Crystal Maze immersive theatre experience.. how many weddings have that? Sadly I didn’t get the chance to give it a whirl, but we did get our own little taster of some magic amongst chatting to couples visiting the fair.

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I’m super excited to be on The Depot’s list of recommend suppliers, and because I loved this venue so much, I’m offering a 10% discount to any couple who books a wedding with me at this location in 2018 or 2019.

Venue address: 1, Carpenters Mews, North Road, Islington, London N7 9EF (a few minutes walk from Caledonian Tube Station).

Get in touch to book

Caroline x