At the start of September 2019, I was part of a luxury styled shoot at a new and upcoming venue in Essex called Hatfield Place. At the time, the venue, an old manor house, was still in the process of being lovingly hand restored by its owners, and as part of a marketing campaign, they were looking to create a few styled shoots to show what they had to offer. When Kristie Smith from the venue contacted me with her vision for the shoot, I knew I had to be a part of it, especially seeing as one of my couples had just booked the venue for their wedding!
Now, my life is always on the go, and this day was no different, because after photographing the shoot I drove back down to Devon for a week of work, and as many of you know, I work best under pressure, which I think is why these photos turned out so beautifully!
Styled shoots are something I have always been on the fence about. I love them for the creative freedom that they give me, but at the same time, I am very aware that social media fills our feeds and minds with ideas of what is 'real'... except none of this is from a real wedding. It's very easy to be misled into thinking this is a real wedding with a real bride, and that all of this is 'attainable' on a wedding day... As much as these photographs are so beautiful, there is so much a real wedding does give us, like emotion, our friends, family and all of the candid moments in between. It's important to bear in mind that at a styled shoot or workshop, everything can be a little more extravagant, and time is on less of a crunch, too. That's not to say that any of this is impossible to do at a real wedding by any means, it's just important to note that this is a creative shoot, and not a real wedding, so things are a bit more laid back and experimental. Transparency is so important to me, as giving couples false hope for their wedding days is the last thing I'd want to do! That said, I do adore a styled shoot (the editorial photographer in me loves them too!) and it is a lot of fun to stretch your creativity and mind with shoots like these, and to be able to work in a hands-on way with other suppliers, who you can go on to recommend to your couples.
Thank you Kristie for putting this together, and for making all of this possible. It was such a wonderful day and the photographs are a testament to the incredible team involved. I can't recommend the following suppliers, without them this wouldn't have been possible!
Dress: @enzoani from @milimilicolchester