On a very sunny Sunday last weekend, I joined Laura & James for their pre-wedding meeting at Woodlands Hotel in Leeds!We met at their ancient village church, St. John the Evangelist, in Mirfield after the morning service.  Sometimes I meet couples at their church to test SatNav and ensure we’ll run to course on the big day!  Logistically it’s rarely a problem (as I generally ride with the bridal party and Clare turns up with the guys an hour or so before the service), not being able to find the church on the big day wouldn’t be ideal!

Spring had sprung in the sunny graveyard, and the pretty grounds were literally overflowing with crocuses & daffodils.

So we decided to take advantage & dive straight into the practice shoot!

I always find it useful showing my couples how it feels to be in front of the camera.

It’s generally a bit weird for everyone, weather naturally comfortable in front of the camera or totally not.  So I coax all the couples through the process with my bad chitchat, generally trying to make them laugh and enjoy it…

…and even if it still feels a bit wrong, I’m looking for those moments between the awkwardness, that show a natural, loving relationship 

These guys were totally natural anyways, straight off the bat!

I actually also really like this one of Laura & James playing their ‘serious’ faces

After our turn round the church, we headed over to their wedding reception venue, Woodlands Hotel in Leeds.

I’ve possibly photographed here more times than at any other venue, and it’s a fab location for a wedding.

After a coffee and a catch up on May’s big day logistics, we did another quick round of snaps in the classic Woodlands locations.

Stairs are always a good place to intertwine!

A bit further down the garden path is a whole other area that’s a bit more hidden away from the guests on the big day

A bit of depth of field action!

The church shoot had definitely already limbered them up for round 2

That and they seemed to find me amusing!

Which always helps.

I like the mix of eye contact in this one, as well as the super soft background blur.

It’s all about the lovely Canon 50mm f1.2 lens.  You don’t always hit focus, but when you do, it’s a beautiful thing!

This one is probably my fave of the entire shoot.  I love the natural embrace and relaxed expressions, but the background blur (AKA ‘bokeh’ to geeky photographers) is just so lovely.  While the subject is crispy sharp, the woodland has an almost abstract impressionistic quality.

Can’t wait to join this lovely couple in May!  Watch this cyberspace for a blog of their highlights a few days after their wedding!

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