Today we’re excited to be bringing you a styled shoot with a difference. Instead of the usual collaboration between local wedding suppliers to create an inspirational wedding day set using professional models and props, this morning’s styled shoot sees a real wedding couple taking centre stage, with little need for details.
The stars of the shoot, Amy and Adam, tied the knot two years ago but back then were unable to afford a quality photographer to capture their day as they would have liked. Keen to do something about it, they approached photographer Kate McCarthy with the idea of doing an ‘anniversary shoot’ to give them those special portraits that they longed for.
The result is a glam outdoor shoot with true emotions and laughter that will be treasured by the ‘models’ for many years to come.
To explain more about the concept we’ll hand over to the lady that captured the magic…
With images by Kate McCarthy Photography.
kate says: Amy is a fellow photographer whom I’ve become friends with recently and the anniversary shoot was something she was eager to do. Having had a discussion about our own wedding photos Amy had said that two years ago when she and Adam got married, they were (like so many of us) in the unfortunate position of not being able to pay for quality photos of their largely DIY wedding day. With their anniversary looming, Amy approached me with the idea of essentially ‘re-staging’ their wedding photos but with the freedom to have a bit more fun with them; to wear a totally different dress that showed off her own personal style and to capture her and her lovely husband Adam’s natural chemistry and laid-back comfort with each other.
We both loved the idea of a springtime woodland-style shoot and I suggested the not-so-secret Walkden Gardens, just down the road from me in Sale. I chose the location because I knew it was still quiet in the mornings. Not many people seem to know it exists! I wanted the ability to shoot without the couple feeling like they were on show. This way they were able to relax and be themselves with each other. After shooting in the gardens, I wanted to show contrast to the organic shapes and colours by shooting against brick or steel as well.
We kept styling to a minimum and chose to just let the flowers take centre stage in the locations. Amy originally planned to use her own wedding dress but changed her mind in favour of something totally different. The shape of her chosen dress (which was from ASOS) was very retro and so makeup artist Charlotte Sprosten of Beauty in Elysium, took her cues from the rose gold hue and the flowers and created a very soft bridal look with a bold berry lip.
As the date for our shoot approached and the forecast threatened rain, we debated calling it off until there was finer weather predicted, but in the end decided to just run with it! Amy arrived early in the morning for makeup with the lovely Charlotte and produced the loveliest bouquet, boutonniere and hair piece from the talented Jules Floristry in shades of peach and lavender to complement her rose gold sequined gown.
Armed with umbrellas and plastic bags to cover my gear, we left the house during a brief break in the drizzly morning and arrived at the gardens to the most lush green lawns and explosions of purple Wisteria, all still kissed with the recent showers. Between Amy’s dress and her golden-red hair, the natural beauty of the setting and Adam’s easy-going nature (and terrible jokes), the ease of the shoot was just extraordinary. Our woodland theme was followed very loosely and as the shoot went on, I realised that my theme really was ‘them’. And that incredible thing happened where I could just make small adjustments and they ran with it. Even the sporadic rain didn’t ruin our flow and we were able to have some fun with light and the garden’s tunnels, archways and enormous trees. When we got back to my house for final detail shots (and to dry off a bit), I kept looking at the monstrous brick building across the street and loved the idea of shooting this very Northern couple against the industrial brick after shooting in the vibrant greens of the garden.
The session came together because we embraced the elements and the beautiful contrasts that Northern England is so famous for. I love that Amy and Adam were open to anything that was thrown at them and I’m thrilled that we created a shoot that really encapsulates them and who they are as a couple.
For other couples that like the look of my photography, I’ve just re-launched my website so be sure to take a look at more of my work online. Having won a wedding photography mentorship with the lovely Jonny Draper earlier this year, I’ve had an awesome time both working with, and learning from him.