On a beautifully sunny Autumnal day a weekend or two back I headed out to Waterton Park Hotel near Wakefield for a pre-wedding catchup

and I joined these two lovely kids, Annabel & Matthew, in the run up to their big day at the end of November.

After a cuppa and a good catch-up over a slice of cake (Yorkshire Parkin, I believe!) we set off out into the grounds to get these kids warmed up for their big day.  I always think it’s so much better to get any posing weirdness out the way before the big day than on it, so I pretty much insist on doing a practice photoshoot before the wedding.

I can’t believe the wonderful, dry and sunny weather we’ve had throughout October.

And guess who only had one wedding to photograph in October?  And has 4 in November, now it’s freezing and drizzly?

Clue: Not this guy.As it happens, Annabel & Matt aren’t actually getting married at Waterton Park, they’re hosting their celebrations at Wentbridge House Hotel, another luxury country house in Yorkshire.  But because I’ve photographed at both before, and because their parents live literally on Waterton Park estate, we decided to meet here.

Plus, they sell Parkin.

Anyhoos – it’s a stunning spot to limber into a photoshoot, cuddling in front of the technicolour ivy.

For me it’s all about a) getting a couple to feel relaxed enough with me to be themselves

and b) to show them how lovely I can make them look, in spite of them generally saying “we take a terrible photo / hate having our photo taken”

Once you show them it’s possible, they’re putty in my hands!

Out in the open, the wind and Annabel’s hair were conspiring against us, so we snuck off round the side and found a set of steps to sit on, literally round by the hotel bins.  I’m not sure why I always seem to end up photographing by the bins, but there we are.

As I’d had most of October off from professional shooting I’d hardly shot any portraits (though I’d got pretty snap happy in Venice!), so it was great for me to get back in the groove.  I really like these last two of Annabel looking at me and Matt looking all serious.

With acres upon acres of woodland and a championship golf corse to play in, we decided to venture off road a bit for a few more shots

One of the reasons these guys booked me was because I’d photographed Annabel’s sister Georgie’s wedding to Jonny back in December 2009

Pre wedding Photography by Barnaby Aldrick

Here they are!

I enjoyed their pre-wedding shoot too, which had a similarly country-style, fence hugging vibe…

Pre wedding Photography by Barnaby Aldrick

…and pretty much identically magical Autumnal colours, but over at Hazlewood Castle near York!

(I’m looking forward to catching up with these two a the wedding to see what they’ve been up to in 3 years)

But back to the stars of the show…
Bizarrely, the low sun was a bit keen, so I dragged them into the bushes for some more secluded snuggling.

By this time, I could tell that these guys were naturals.

For me it’s about seeing if I can make them relax, put them somewhere nice then make them laugh; and we seemed cool on all counts.

Pre-wed’s are also c) all about me getting to know the couple, so we’re mates when the wedding rolls around.

That relationship, in my opinion, makes all the difference…

…in being able to capture their actual relationship and how in love with each other they are!

Once they’d headed on their way, I left I couldn’t help but play in the wonderful Autumnal leaves to make a little heart.

I can’t wait to join these guys in a few weeks!

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