I met up with Sarah and Dale for their engagement shoot at West Wycombe park on a Sunday afternoon in June. I have visited West Wycombe Hill many times over the past few years, walking up to St Lawrence Church and the Mausoleum with my son. The view from the top of the hill is fantastic and we mainly sit together and watch trains below and planes up above. However, it has been many years since I had been into the Dashwood Estate section of West Wycombe Park which is run by The National Trust.
At the start of the shoot we walked and talked for a little while looking around the grounds, then we made a start on some photos. I always mention to couples it is perfectly natural to feel a little awkward at the start of their engagement shoot. Having someone take your picture in a public place is not something that happens every day, unless you are a model or a celebrity! In my experience couples quickly relax and get into it as the shoot goes on and it is my job to make them feel relaxed to get the best natural photos.
As we walked around the grounds, we found so many lovely locations and features for photos. My favourite being the bridges. Just the week before the shoot I coincidently read an article about film locations in and around Buckinghamshire and included in the article was West Wycombe Park and that one certain part of the estate and a small stone bridge was used in the opening scene of the classic 80’s film Labyrinth. I mentioned this to Sarah and Dale, and we made it a little mission to find the bridge and include it in one of their photos. In the film the girl runs across the bridge while acting out a monologue. I was not about to ask Sarah and Dale to do anything like this but a little walking photo over the bridge worked well.
As well as engagement shoots being great for couples to get used to being in front of the camera prior to their wedding, it is also a great way for us to get to know each other a little more and catch up on their wedding plans.
Once I was confident I had a great collection of photos for Sarah and Dale we headed back to the cars. Both of them mentioned the shoot was nowhere near as bad as they expected, and they enjoyed it. Now when it comes to their wedding day in September, they will be pros in front of my camera! All in all, a lovely afternoon in a beautiful location with a wonderful couple.
To see more engagement shoot photos please see this gallery.