UNESCO World Heritage Site

Film Photography

An Autumnal Engagement Shoot at Kew Gardens

colour…

at Kew Gardens, an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Autumnal sunshine captured on a combination of medium format and 35mm film

An Autumnal Engagement Shoot at Kew Gardens, a couple walk holding hands, down a path away from the Palm House
An Autumnal Engagement Shoot at Kew Gardens, a couple kiss, the girl holding up an Autumnal leaf to hide their faces from the camera
An Autumnal Engagement Shoot at Kew Gardens, a couple sit on the steps in front of a temple

film photography

An Autumnal Engagement Shoot
at Kew Gardens

T & C had already chosen the glorious UNESCO World heritage site for their wedding, but loved the venue so much that they also opted to hold their Autumnal engagement shoot at Kew Gardens as well. It is not hard to see why. The glasshouses and orangery make wonderful hosts for wedding ceremonies and receptions but the gardens themselves are hard to better for Autumnal colour. We had an unusual stormy month in London but managed to find a day of lovely sunshine for this engagement shoot and it felt all the more beautiful for that. In fact T & C only mentioned at the end of the shoot that it was their anniversary of meeting, some things are just meant to be…

With so much choice of backgrounds, I wanted to make sure that we used areas of the venue that we might not use on the wedding day itself. The lake behind the Nash Conservatory catches the mid afternoon sunshine beautifully, and is a lovely quiet spot from where we could head over to the more formal surroundings of Kew Palace. Kew Gardens as a whole is a wonderful combination of striking architecture and parkland and the structures of the Palace gardens, more bare than in the summer, gave us beautiful frames for some relaxed portraits.

T & C had already seen some of my analogue film work – as a strange and rather lovely coincidence, I had photographed the wedding (also at Kew Gardens) of the jeweller who went on to make T’s engagement ring – and they were keen for me to photograph their own wedding and engagement shoot using film as well. The strong Autumnal colours of the trees and foliage at Kew are especially lovely on film but the superb tonal range of film is really clear in the images that also have the palm house and the temples in the backgrounds. Creamy whites and stone colours hold their own against these stronger colours, and there is an illuminary quality that digital photography would struggle to show.

The late afternoon sunlight was strong this day, and yet the light and shadows are bright and beautiful and we had scope to play with more spots than we might have done otherwise. I was especially grateful to T & C for patiently waiting ‘just 5 minutes more’ for the sun to dip and for the lovely hazy light to appear for our final portraits by the lake at the palm house. So much of photographing people involves trust. Trust that I know what I am doing, trust that it is worth waiting for that perfect light, and trust to be playful and yourself.

Thank you T & C for your gentle patience and for being so lovely in yourselves.

If you would like to speak to me about a couples shoot for an anniversary please do get in touch via my contact page.

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