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A few weeks back I joined Eleanor & Richard for their pre-wedding practice shoot ahead of their wedding at St. William’s College in York next weekend!

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Unless I’ve not photographed at a couple’s wedding venue before, I let them decide where to do the pre-wedding catchup and practice shoot.  Understandably, not everyone wants their public practice shoot to be in the hustle and bustle of central York, so Eleanor & Richard decided to catch up in a peaceful corner of Derwent valley between Malton & York, at the riverside ruins of Kirkham Priory.

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As opposed to some Abbey & Priory ruins, such as the imposing Kirkstall Abbey in Leeds or lofty Fountains Abbey near Ripon, there’s not a great deal left of Kirkham Priory besides an imposing gatehouse & a few monastic arches, but that makes it all the more secluded for a catchup and private photo shoot!

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After laying out in the blazing sun and catching up on their exciting day plans, we got cracking on the practice pics!

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The majority of couples that I photograph kick off saying how they don’t like being photographed / don’t take a good photograph / don’t do PDA’s (public displays of affection!), so I always put every couple through a ‘pre-wed’ shoot to show them how it feels and what I’m looking for from them; but mainly to iron out any weirdness or anxieties they may have before their big day.

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I try to keep the vibes relaxed and light, and show my couples that essentially all I really need them is to walk between and cuddle up in front of a few spots that catch my eye and ideally (but not essentially) to laugh at my jokes!

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Eleanor and Richard were already lovely together and very much in love, so we had a great jumping off point!

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As it was nice and dry, it was fun to get them lying on the grass together!

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We might not end up lying down on the grass on the wedding day, but it’s all good practice!

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[ I liked this little detail! ]

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I liked this spot under one of the only arches for a cheeky smooch

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Aww!

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I hope the experience of being photographed eased any nerves they may have had for their big day portraits!

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I can’t wait to join these guys in Central York!  Their guests have some fun things in store!

Stay tuned for their official highlights blog next Sunday!

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