Charlotte and Andrew
“this is US“
Pre-Wedding Shoot | Bradgate Park
Relaxed pre-wedding shoot at Bradgate Park
A pre-wedding shoot for Charlotte and Andrew at the beautiful Bradgate Park was a great idea. Charlotte had suggested it as it is a park they both know well and frequent regularly being located a short drive from the centre of Leicester. It was my first time visiting the park and I did not know what to expect. But I was not disappointed! It’s a great location and I know I haven’t yet seen even half of it!
Charlotte and Andrew will have a local wedding down south, in a few months, but had not had the opportunity to have any images since they got engaged late last year. We wanted a location that afforded them the opportunity to be really relaxed and themselves. Of course, my philosophy of shooting you, doing what you do, was applied here as Charlotte detailed the park and their frequent trips to the summit of Old John, the highest hill, which is a prominent landmark across Leicester. I think there originally was a windmill on the site but now there is the ruins of a tower dating back to around the 1700s, with an arch attached. It does look a bit like a giant mug on a hill.
Well there were no mug shots for us, we had a great time, as the adventurous and fun-loving nature of both Charlotte and Andrew came out and I guess whatever concerns they had of being photographed by a perfect stranger dissipated.
It was amusing seeing them racing each other, climbing trees and walking along old quarry cut, walls. I could really see the outdoorsy character they both share and their personalities shone brilliantly.
Getting those relaxed shots
Of course, talking things over beforehand, is really, important to having a relaxed pre-wedding shoot. Discussing likes and dislikes, how comfortable the couple are with displays of affection and culturally what is acceptable for them, would come into those conversations. Who is the shy one in the front of the camera? Who is the confident one? How many shots do they have to date of them both? Charlotte and Andrew had some but not a great lot as they do many things in groups. So, it was going to be good having some of just the two of them.
I really like scenic shots with the couple small in the frame. As you can see Bradgate has plenty of opportunities for this. So, I just asked them to walk from A – D and talk amongst themselves. I prompted them to look at each other at times and look away at others. Discuss their wedding plans. Talk about ideas this shoot was giving them for their wedding day. Really, anything to make them think warm and engaging thoughts. Shooting from a distance first, made them realise my style would not be full on, in their face. It plays to my documentary candid style and I do think this helps set the tone for the shoot.
Charlotte and Andrew told me how they got together, who proposed and what they were looking forward to, being married. We laughed and joked throughout the whole shoot and it was great seeing this come out in the images.
As there had been some rain the day before, the park was a little wet in places. Sadly, poor Andrew had stepped into a few puddles and bits of soggy marsh during the afternoon and his shoes were soaked through! We couldn’t help but laugh as he squelched his way back to the car after the sun had gone down. But he was in good spirits and in fact, we all felt that little bit closer for having had a good pre-wedding shoot experience and spending that time together.
Thanks so much! These are awesome! Really appreciate it, we really enjoyed the shoot!
Charlotte and Andrew
Bradgate park highlights
Having the deer roam the park gave a wonderful back drop and brought some visual interest on both the images and while in the park itself. I absolutely loved the variation in heights and colours of the fauna, landscape and rocks.
We timed it to be at the top of Old John, as the sun began to dip late afternoon and found that some other photographers were there waiting for the sun set and I thought, trying to silhouette the ruin. Although this did have some impact on us shooting, we got the shots we wanted and kept things moving. The ruins of the old Bradgate House was visible from the top as well as the Reservoir and Charnwood Forest, which we had not had time to visit. All these went into my mental notes for the next time!
All in all, Bradgate Park is a great location for pre-wedding shoots, engagement shoots, family shoots. I will be quick to recommend it again and look forward to my next trip there.
Pre-wedding Shoot Enquiries
Are you thinking of having a couples shoot for you and your intended? Perhaps your wedding photographer has not included a pre-wedding shoot in the package you have purchased or you haven’t had a shoot to commemorate your engagement. Feel free to reach out to me for my couples portraits pricing and “this is US” packages. Feel free to reach out via my Portraits Enquiry page. Below are some other shoots of mine to look through.