Today we’re bringing you a styled bridal shoot that’s all about the drama. With a secret lake, boathouse and rugged hilltops – it’s like something from a period novel and it’s giving us all those ‘pin-me-now’ feels!
The concept ‘love at the lake’ was developed by photographer Hayley Baxter, after she had set her heart on the beautiful Coniston Country Estate for this winter styled shoot, which also formed part of her photography workshop.
Letting the scenery do most of the talking, the styling is understated and natural, with the floral arrangements showcasing a palette of earthy tones – think cotton, pampas grass and burgundy ferns. The venue itself is dressed in all kinds of pretty, with candles, shimmering lights and candelabras creating the most classic and elegant of backdrops.
Two beautiful gowns take centre stage too. The first is a vintage-style long sleeved lace dress; while the second – an off-the-shoulder custom-made gown – is the model’s own. Needless to say, there’s lots to captivate and inspire today, especially among you outdoorsy brides seeking something with the wow factor!
With images by Hayley Baxter
Hayley says: I had my heart set on The Coniston Country Estate for our winter styled shoot. Nestled in the Yorkshire Dales, this venue offers alluring views, whimsical photo opportunities and the dreamiest secret lake and boathouse you have ever seen!
The outdoor styling on the day was minimal and natural, complementing the stunning scenery and working alongside it.
Natural, earthy and muted tones were used in the floral styling by Sam Williams Flowers, incorporating fresh and dried pieces to create dramatic, but simple arrangements. Cotton, pampas grass and burgundy ferns were the key elements.
The Bannister Suite was dressed by Creative Events in classic neutral linens, featuring a statement backdrop and elegant, timeless centrepieces, producing a dreamy and romantic setting in which to hold a wedding reception.
We had two exquisite gowns for the shoot. The first – a long sleeve lace side panel gown used indoors – was from Dotty Bridal at Holmfirth. It was a brand new Pronovias Atelier gown called Condesa, from their 2019 collection. It is a soft flowing, off white, crepe fit ‘n’ flare gown with embellished side and sleeve detail. A real figure-hugging wow worthy number.
The second gown we used was the model’s own. I shot Megan and Ben’s wedding last year in October and I loved her off the shoulder gown from Ava Rose Hamilton so much I asked her to bring it along for the shoot. The silhouette of the gown really worked on the hill top shots. It was actually two gowns which the bride had custom made: the bodice was Martina Liana and the skirt was Enzoani – the Carys Corset and Lily Skirt.
Our model Megan has the most amazing long auburn hair, so we went for a loose low bun to really show off the gorgeous headpiece Sam had made. When we headed outdoors for our hilltop shots, she let her hair down to give a lovely flowing dramatic effect.
We went for quite a dramatic makeup look, created by Coniston’s in-house SPA team – smoky eyes and a deep red lip – gorgeous darker earthy tones to match with the gorgeous flowers.
We had a fantastic day and it was really great to get a contrast of shots in the intimate boathouse (perfect for shelter on a wild and windy day!), the stunning jetty and lake, as well as venturing up to the high hilltop for some epic sunset shots.