Sunshine filled pre-wedding shoot at Hogarth's Stone Manor in Kidderminster

Toby and I are big believers that not every photographer will suit every couple. All photographers have their own mix of artist eyes, editing styles, a way they naturally photograph a wedding, and of course their own personalities. We really want to have fun with each and every couple we photograph, and we want them to have fun with us too. It just makes everything more enjoyable and tends to fill a shoot with laughter.

We work hard to try and ensure that couples feel we’re the right fit for them. We’ve written a lot about ourselves on our website, and try to ensure the photography we show is a good representation of what each of our couples can expect.

Saying all that, sometimes we’ve not had the chance to meet a couple before they book. So when we’re heading out to a pre-wedding shoot, to meet them for the first time, you can’t ever be sure how well you’ll click with a couple. Five minutes after sitting down to chat, Soph and I were getting on like a house on fire (appropriate considering Jon is a firefighter). I feel I should offer Jon an apology in case it was hard to get a word in edgeways between Soph and me.

Soph and Jon’s pre-shoot was at the beginning of April this year. We had glorious sunshine, and the grounds of Hogarths Stone Manor in Kidderminster to play with. As Toby will happily tell you, I have a tendency to talk a lot, so I’m going to pass you over to the lovely and funny Soph instead. She can tell you a bit about her and Jon, whilst you enjoy some photos from their shoot.

“A little something you should know about me is that I am a complete coffee addict, so what you are about to read next was pretty much my own version of a Disney fairytale movie.

At the time Jon and I both met we were studying at Wolverhampton University. Jon just happened to be one of the students on a course my dad used to be a guest lecturer on. Fast forward a few months later and Jon was completing work experience with my dad as part of his university course.

It was at this point that whilst my mom and I were having a girly shop at Merry Hill, my dad phoned from work to say he could meet us for a quick break. So as I sat in Starbucks waiting with my bucket size coffee in hand, along came dad and a tall good looking man next to him (Jon), and for me this is where the Disney fairytale kicked in. After a brief conversation with Jon over my bucket of coffee, for me (I'm not too sure for Jon) I knew instantly that there was definitely a connection between the two of us.

What can I say there's probably been a million and one coffee dates that Jon and I have been on since, but that first one back in 2012 is the one I will remember forever.

Also can't forget a massive shout out to dad, if it wasn't for him bringing Jon along this pre-wedding shoot wouldn't be happening.”

“So by the time we get married we will have been engaged for over 4 years. This was simply down to the fact that when we were first started looking for venues... we could never agree.
After much searching, wedding fayres and several arguments, we finally both fell in love with the venue we decided on; Hogarths Stone Manor.”

“The both of us would definitely say food when it comes to what we’re looking forward to the most. Anyone who knows us will know that we both absolutely love food, and that our days revolve around whatever meal or snack we can get our hands on. We both have family not only up and down the country but also overseas. We are both really looking forward to being able to share our special day with all of our loved ones that we necessarily get to see that often. Finally not forgetting the most important thing we are looking forward to (after the cake) is finally being married.”

“The best bit of advice I would give any couple is enjoy the planning and build up to the wedding. To begin with we tried to book as many suppliers as we could to prevent any last minute rush or stress, and tried to prevent any unexpected issues. However you can't plan for the unexpected things that may go wrong, and trust me something will go wrong. We both have the philosophy that as long as we are both happy, married, and have a day full of fun, laughter, and love we couldn't ask for anything more.”

“To begin with the thought of having a pre-wedding shoot for both of us was a bit daunting. However as soon as we met Phil we knew immediately that we were in safe hands. Spending the first part of a session sat with Phil getting to know each other and hearing some hilarious stories really did put us both at ease. When it came to show time and standing in front of the camera Phil again was amazing, we both felt so at ease and calm with the help of his guidance and amazing jokes along the way.

The pre-shoot is a brilliant way to not only calm your nerves about having your picture taken but also a great time to get to know Phil and his brilliant sense of humour.“

Did you read that bit about "my brilliant sense of humour"? To my regret no fireman's hose jokes were made during the creation of this blog post. Such a wasted opportunity. 😂

If you'd like to see more our our pre-wedding shoots click here. And of course, if you're getting married at Hogarth’s Stone Manor and you're looking for relaxed and fun photographers for your wedding day, get in touch.

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