Family shoots - how they should be!

You know those family portrait sessions you go to where you all wear your best clothes, or maybe you all go for denim and white tshirts, and you pose against a white backdrop or you maybe go on location and all sit on a wall/log/stand in a line?  You desperately try to get the two year old to smile and look at the camera, and then when he/she does granny is blinking?  We all really love those experiences don't we?.............nah, us neither!! It's stressful for the family and stressful for the photographer.  

The best memories of family days out are from long walks, lots of happy smiles, the sun coming through the trees, the kids squealing in joy, the two year old falling into a mucky puddle and everyone laughing about it.  Capture that!! Those are the memories you want to come flooding back, not the stress of a staged family formal.

We love to get outdoors, and we love to photograph families being families.  As in, letting them just do what they do, we're not there to set anything up or have a list of shots to get through.  Please DO NOT send us your Pinterest board of photos you'd like to get during your session - what's the chances of your kids actually doing what you expect them to?  Slim to none!  Wouldn't you rather see a genuine image of them?  The time that they did really smile at their brother/sister saying something inappropriate, or mum running away from a buzzy bee?  

What does a family shoot with us entail?  Well, we go for a walk.  That's it! Yes, we'll try to get one of you all together smiling and having a good time, but if it's not one of you all looking and smiling at the camera, no biggie.  We really prefer genuine interactions and so our method is just to keep shooting while you play with the kids, walk hand in hand, do the things that make your family yours.  It doesn't stop there though.  Once you get your image files what are you going to do with them?  If you've got old CD's of photos you'll know they are now practically defunct! Hard drives can fail and then you've lost all your photos.  Please get them printed.  The best way to display this type of family shoot is to put them into an album - that way you can really tell the story through the images.  You really get that emotional connection through actually holding your photos in your hands and seeing them printed in high quality - you just don't get that from a computer screen.

Yesterday, we had the Wolfe family who were visiting from America for a family shoot and it was fantastic.  We clicked with them from the minute we stepped out of our cars; the kids Tessa and Gavin are super sweet, Kurt and Cassie are beautiful together, and it was just a big hit all round.  

Here are some of our favourites from our time with them.

 

 

Carlowrie Castle Wedding // Nicola & Blair

Last month we photographed the gorgeous wedding of Nicola and Blair at Carlowrie Castle.  We were really excited for our first time at this venue and it certainly didn't disappoint!  We were really pleased to be back there a couple of weeks later for Rhian and David's wedding which we'll also blog once they receive their images.

The day started off with preparations at the parents houses and everything went well and to plan.  Nicola's Dad was at the venue first thing to oversee the marquee as it's his own business and it was absolutely stunning.  Once he came back the girls were ready to get into the limo to head to the castle and finish getting ready there.  I was lucky enough to ride with them in the limo and managed to get some lovely shots.  Bryan had a great morning with the guys - they were really chilled out and Bryan fitted right in - there was some definite bromance going on with Bryan and Blair -but that only makes for a great day and we all felt so at ease with each other which made great images.  We feel so privileged to be photographing weddings and when we click so much with a couple it really is the icing on the cake for us.

Carlowrie Castle has a stunning apartment downstairs which the girls were using to get dressed and finish off hair and make up and it meant they were well out of the way when the guys arrived.  It was great weather so they got lots of time outside to greet guests and get some pictures taken.

It was a humanist ceremony conducted by Peter MacDonald, and we make no secret of the fact we love humanist weddings.  They are so personal and we really feel we know the couple so much more afterwards.

The grounds are fantastic for photo opportunites and after the formal family groups we took Nicola and Blair for a quick portrait session before they were called into dinner.  The table set up was gorgeous and the speeches were lovely.  After the main course there was a surprise for everyone as Nicola and Blair had organised singing waiters and they were fantastic! The whole room was up on their feet singing and dancing - at first we said we'll get a few shots of them singing but we stayed for the whole set as they were so good! 

Corra were the band for the evening and again they were fantastic and our gorgeous couple had a beautiful first dance.

We also worked alongside Big Day Movies for the first time.

Here are some of our favourite images from the day.

Scottish Cairngorms Elopement // Keely & Jason

Every morning, even before we pour our first cup of coffee, we check our emails.  This one morning we had an enquiry sitting from Keely and Jason and as we read further down our eyes got bigger and bigger and we just looked at each other in such excitement.  Keely and Jason explained that they were travelling over from Australia to elope in the Cairngorms, it was just to be the two of them with their humanist and they loved our work and because there's two of us would we also be their witnesses?  As photographers, there's certain things you want to tick off your list of goals and photographing an elopement was one of ours.  We were so freaking excited and had to try and calm ourselves to reply back and not sound like nutters!  We sent back a very enthusiastic reply and waited........we didn't hear anything for a couple of weeks and thought we had missed out but finally we did get the email saying they wanted to book us and it's just quite difficult to organise everything from another country so sorry for the delay - are we still available?  Hell yes! 

Keely and Jason were getting married at a cottage just outside of a wee village called Tomintoul in the Cairngorms.  We're familiar with the area as Grandad Picturesque used to work in Aberdeenshire but we'd never been to that part specifically, so we arranged a weekend away with the Picturesque minis to Aviemore and on our way home took a detour past Tomintoul and the super sweet Wild Farm Cottage where our couple were going to be staying.  We're really glad we did because honestly this place is in the middle of nowhere - it takes rural to a whole other level! We started to doubt ourselves as we had to open and close deer gates along a bumpy little track, but we came across the cottage nestled in the most stunning location.  Our hearts were doing a happy dance.  We seriously could not wait for the day to come.

30 May was the big day - we got up super early and headed off, the drive is beautiful too and we were just so buzzing to get there.  Keely and Jason had to pop out to pick up their marriage schedule and get Keely's hair done so when we arrived we had a bit of time to wander around ourselves and get the equipment set up.  When Keely and Jason arrived we said our hello's and got to know each other.  They are so nice!! We loved their Australian accents and it became a bit of a joke to add "o" onto the end of everything ("slugo" "doggo" you get the idea) and Keely started saying "wee" :) 

We helped them get ready and as Bryan was photographing Jason getting into his suit I helped Keely get dressed and snapped some detail pictures at the same time.  Keely had bought a lovely bunch of flowers so I fashioned them into a bouquet for her and I also had the job of ringbearer (total respect for every best man now - that's some responsibility!).  The sky was looking a bit ominious with dark clouds so the ceremony was held back a bit as the rain started to pelt down.  It did eventually stop and we headed out while it looked like we had a good shot at the ceremony but alas 5 minutes in the heavens opened again.  It didn't matter one bit - we all got soaked through to the skin, but the atmosphere it created with just the 5 of us on a hillside was so magical.  We've never felt so honoured to watch two people get married, it was incredibly emotional.  Halde Pottinger was there as their Humanist Celebrant and he did an amazing job of their ceremony.  He really brought their story to life and it was an emotional but also fun and lively ceremony, afterwards he brought some Scottish tradition by explaining the story behind drinking from the quaich and asking Keely and Jason to enjoy some whisky.

After the I do's were said we headed indoors to sign the legal documents, again an incredible honour.

Then we took Keely and Jason away for their bridal portraits to some spots we had scouted out on our family trip up the month before.  Pictures speak a thousand words so we'll let them do the talking on that front.

Keely and Jason, we said it a thousand times on the day, but it was such an honour to be involved in such a special occasion, you are an amazing couple who made things so easy for us and it really shows in the images, you were just perfect!  This will forever be a real highlight of our photography career.  Thank you.

Orocco Pier Wedding // Nicola & Murray

Nicola and Murray had their big day at Orocco Pier last month and we had such a great time with them.  We'd already done a pre-wedding shoot with them using the areas of South Queensferry that they and us liked, so we had a good idea of what we were going for on the day.

We think it's great when the bride is getting ready at the venue and Murray arrived nice and early too so there was lots of time for morning pictures before the ceremony.   Quite often the morning pictures are some our favourites from the day as they show the excitement and buzz of what's ahead.

After a lovely ceremony we took the family photos out on the balcony looking over the bridges and then we took the bridal party across the road to the cobbled street and raised terrace.  It's so pretty at South Queensferry and there's lots of little spots to stop at for photos.  Then we took our couple down to the beach to replicate some of the images from the pre-wedding shoot.  That's why it's such a great thing to do because you really get a feel for how the wedding photos will look and if there's one you love we know what to concentrate on for the day itself.

The dinner tables looked absolutely stunning with a rose gold sequin theme, and it really made the room look different to how we've ever seen it before.

After a beautiful meal we took Nicola and Murray a 5 minute drive to some rapeseed fields that they really wanted to use and this allowed them some quiet time just the two of them and brought another dimension to their images with the pop of yellow in the flowers.  We absolutely love these ones and it's always nice to catch some more photos after dinner when the light changes.

Here are some of our favourites from the day! 

The Vu Wedding // Justine & Ayden

Justine and Ayden were married at the Vu last month, and other than it being a blustery chilly day it was perfect! We loved their pastel colour scheme and they are both just so photogenic! 

As usual we started off with morning preparations for them both and we had a great time getting to know their families and bridal party.  Justine was relaxed and we had so many laughs from her Dad - such a great guy!  Ayden was mostly ready by the time Bryan arrived so it gave lots of time for pictures of the boys all together having a drink and chatting.

It was a humanist ceremony which was really nice and relaxed with a handfasting and some lovely stories about the couple.

You can't go to the Vu and not get some images on the jetty so that was our first port of call with the bridal portraits.  But to get some variety we took them over to the window of the Oasis too and we also really like those images.

The speeches were hilarious as you can see and it was quite clear there was going to be a good party later at night! 

Here are some of our favourite images.

Ghillie Dhu Wedding // Katie & Malcolm

Katie and Malcolm were married at the Ghillie Dhu on 13 April and it was such a great, fun day.  When they came to see us in our studio to book us they said that we were exactly what they had been looking for - although they hadn't known that til they met us - how nice is that!?

The Ghillie Dhu is absolutely stunning.  It's very unique and lush.  It was our first time there and as we admitted to Katie and Malcolm when they collected their USB we were pretty nervous about it.  We knew the dark interior was going to be a challenge and we hoped we could do the venue justice.  We are really happy with how the whole album has come out and are delighted that Katie and Malcolm are too as they left us a lovely review! 

Katie started off at the Waldorf Astoria which is also absolutely stunning, and she was so calm and collected as she opened the door to us that we knew she was going to be the perfect bride.  Her morning ran smoothly and she looked stunning along with her bridesmaids.  The morning is usually one of our favourite parts of the day as we get to know the bridal party and other suppliers who are contributing to the hair, make up and floral arrangements.

Malcolm had hired an apartment close by to get ready and when Bryan turned up at 10.30am he was already dressed! He was just too excited! 

The ceremony was lovely - we have to say Humanists are our favourite type of ceremony as they are so personal to the couple and we come away feeling like we know them a lot better.  There was a traditional handfasting, candle lighting and a couple of readings which were quite emotional for everyone.  

Afterwards everyone came outside for confetti, family photos, mingling and drinks while we took Katie and Malcolm across to Princes Street Gardens for their couples session.  The park was quite busy but we found some nice quieter spots and we really enjoyed photographing these two.  They're very cute together! 

Then it was back to the Ghillie Dhu for speeches.  One of the best bits was when Malcolm had to choose between two envelopes for the best man's speech - scary! It all went well though and there were lots of laughs.

After dinner, just before the cake cutting as we were admiring the cake topper Malcolm told us it is a family heirloom and has been on their wedding cakes for the last 60 years.  We thought that was amazing and it's things like that which make each wedding unique.  They had their first dance and then it was on to some ceilidh with the fastest Strip the Willow we have ever seen!  It was all so much fun.

We had the best time at the Ghillie Dhu and we would love to go back for another wedding.  Here are some of our favourite images from the day.

Linlithgow Palace & Beancross Wedding // Kara & Greig

Last month saw us photographing Kara and Greig's beautiful wedding at Linlithgow Palace.  Kara really wanted an outdoor ceremony, and nothing was stopping her! It threatened to rain just half an hour before the ceremony was due to start but thankfully it didn't come to much, and we were so glad because it was such a beautiful setting to get married in.

It was a fun morning with the girls with much chat about how prone to accidents they are, how close Kara's sister Erin was to giving birth and surprise trips to Disney World!

The ceremony was gorgeous in the setting of the Great Hall, it felt pretty magical.  There was a handfasting as part of the humanist ceremony which we always love.  

We did a few bridal portraits within the palace and then took Kara and Greig outside - it was freezing! But they were troopers and we managed to get a good variety for them.

Back at the Beancross we took some more family portraits and heard some great speeches.  It's always nice to hear a bit more about the couple and their story.

When we asked if we could blog their day, Kara said she had stalked everyone else's weddings so she felt it only fair haha! Here are a few of our favourite images.

The Byre at Inchyra Wedding // Erica & Joachim

Almost every weekend we see families and friends come together to celebrate the marriage of two special people in their lives.  It's always lovely to see how emotional but happy everyone is.  A lot of times we even hide behind our cameras as a particularly emotional moment gets us too.  Most times we've only met our couples two or three times before their big day.

This day was extra special because Erica and Joachim are two of our best friends.  We've known them for around 8 years now and it was such an honour to be the ones documenting their day.  If almost strangers can make us cry on a wedding day you can imagine how we felt for our friends.   

The day started off with an early rise as we had to get ourselves and our three picturesque minis ready before driving over to Perth.  As we pulled up to the venue Erica was walking across the lawn to see how the decorating of the stable room in the byre was going.  One of the bridesmaids, Louise, was also the florist for the day and she constructed the amazing heart wreath - it was a real focal talking point all day.  Louise works within Thanks a Bunch who supplied the bouquets.  Erica was getting ready in the cottage across from the barn and although nice and relaxed there was a lovely buzz about the place as everyone got ready.   Erica did her own make up and looked absolutely beautiful.  Fiona O'Donnel (Bridal Hair & Make up Design Scotland) was on bridesmaid hair while Paula Brown did a stunning job of Erica's and Freya's - Mother of the Bride - hair. 

The boys arrived and got their preparation photos taken in one of the other cottages.  Special mention has to go to Grant who is a previous groom of ours and has now been usher at two more weddings we've photographed.  He proved especially helpful at organising people for our group shots! 

Since Erica and Joachim booked their venue we'd been so excited to photograph there.  It has a lovely rustic, relaxed and romantic feel to it and the weather on the day could not have been better! (Erica's sister Julia really pulled through on this - she works at the Met Office!).  Erica is Scottish and Joachim is Belgian and there were plenty more nationalities inbetween represented in the guest list.  This was reflected in the dinner menu which was translated into English, French and Dutch and had little nods to both in the choices (Belgian chocolate brownie - AMAZING!)

The humanist ceremony was really beautiful, conducted by Jane Betchel, who really brought Erica and Joachim's story to life.  

After a group shot and some mingling we got on with the family photos and then the bit that we love - bridal portraits.  There's some really gorgeous spots at The Byre at Inchyra and we really tried to make as much use as we could of all the quirky little bits.  These are probably some of our favourite bridal images ever, but it was so easy since Erica and Joachim just couldn't stop smiling and kissing.  Keeping everyone entertained was Pete Dyer aka The Wandering Man, he created a really lovely, chilled out atmosphere for all the guests.

Cake cutting happened right before dinner and it was epic!  Erica's dad Les hired the replica Wallace Sword from The Wallace Monument and it was impressive to say the least!  The stunning cake was designed by The Cake and Craft, it was a pretty pink accented by edible lace and fresh flowers.

The meal was fantastic, catered by St Andrews Event Catering, presented beautifully as you can see in the images.

Erica and Joachim chose Flung Aboot as their band for night time entertainment and wow they were fantastic! The floor was full all night and their ceilidh was amazing.  We've worked with them before and they're such great folk!  It was really great to put our cameras down and join in with the dancing at 9pm - it was a brilliant party! 

This wedding meant a lot to us, there were tears a-plenty but just pure happiness as we witnessed two beautiful, amazing people start their next chapter.  One thing we took away from being so close to the people we were photographing is a heightened appreciation for how much a wedding day means - these moments have now passed, but on a personal level they have huge significance to us, and it drives home how important our job is.

Glencoe Portraits // Michelle & Malky

For a long time a trip to Glencoe has been on our bucket list.  Today we got up super early and drove the couple of hours through stunning scenery to get to the point we had chosen.  As we pulled up in the layby carpark there were lots of coach tours and loads of people out taking their snaps of the gorgeous backdrop.  Inevitably we attracted a bit of attention as we made our way down into the valley.

We had a lot of fun with Michelle and Malky and we think we achieved exactly what we were looking for in the images - the main thing being that epic backdrop!  It's well worth the early start.

We have to give special thanks to Lauren at The Flower Room in Dollar for the beautiful bouquet she made us.  We sent her a photo of a bouquet we liked not even knowing if it would be possible with the in season flowers but she did an amazing job and we absolutely loved it! We've been involved in several weddings together and we knew it was her we wanted for this shoot straight away. 

Here are a few of our favourite images.

Balbirnie House Wedding // Kayleigh & Douglas

This was a stunning wedding.  It was our first time at Balbirnie and we are excited for the weddings we have back there.  Being at the end of February it was touch and go with the weather but we ended up with a lovely fair day which allowed us plenty opportunity to get outside for photos.

Both Kayleigh and Douglas were getting ready at the venue which is always great as it gives us so much more time to capture the things we want to in the morning.  It was a very relaxed morning with lots of smiles and chat with the girls and the guys were pretty relaxed too.  Douglas had an amazing kilt handmade for him.  Kayleigh wore a stunning blush pink dress and she was absolutely beautiful in it.  

After a fantastic humanist ceremony we took the group photo on the front steps of the house and then went round to the gardens for the smaller family photos.  Then we had a bit of time with Kayleigh and Douglas for their bridal portraits - which they say was one of the highlights of their day - how nice is that! Although we always say we won't keep our brides and grooms long from their guests because we want to give them time to mingle, it is really nice to have that bit of quiet time just to themselves to absorb what has just happened and collect themselves.  We always have a good laugh and it really is lovely to hear that they enjoyed it as much as we did.

Here are some of our favourite images from their day.

Ellie & Dean // Engagement Photoshoot // Cockleroy, Linlithgow

A couple of months ago we had this idea that we'd like to do a couples/engagement shoot that was a bit more grungy and alternative to the usual "pretty" photoshoots that you typically see.  We were going to put a model call out to find the perfect couple but it so happened that Ellie and Dean had emailed us asking about our availability to photograph their wedding reception later this year.  They came into the studio to see us and straight away we knew they were who we wanted for this session.  They were happy to be asked but said they aren't very "lovey-dovey".  That was totally fine because that wasn't what we were looking for anyway! 

We went to Cockleroy.  It's such a great location for a photoshoot because it has a variety of settings within close distance to each other.  Ellie and Dean were nervous to start with and there was lots of giggling but they soon settled into it and we got some stunning shots from them.  Here's how it all went.

A Glasgow maternity session // Marie-Claire & Ross

It's always so nice for us when our wedding couples get in touch to say they are expecting, and we were over the moon when MC and Ross asked us to do maternity photos for them.  They really wanted to go back to the mushroom mural that we had used in their wedding photos and we thought it was a great idea.  We spent the morning walking around the surrounding streets and stopping when we saw a good opportunity.  We love the image with the pink and blue balloons - the original idea was to get ice cream but it was a bit chilly for that! 

Orocco Pier Wedding // Claire & Andrew

We're posting this on Valentine's day and it's very fitting as Claire and Andrew are one of the sweetest and loveliest couples we've had the pleasure of working with.  28th January saw our third wedding of the year with the new Mr and Mrs Morin at Orocco Pier.  It was a freezing, foggy, and rainy day but it definitely didn't dampen anyone's spirits.  As usual we started off in the morning separately photographing the couple's preparations.  This is always a favourite time of the day as there's lots of buzz and excitement and sometimes some lovely surprises.  The boy did good with an absolutely stunning Vera Wang bouquet delivered to Claire's room! 

It was a lovely ceremony conducted by Melanie Leckie who we always love working with.  She's so glamorous and delivers your story perfectly.  We always come away feeling like we know our couple better after hearing what she has to say.

We managed to do some family photos on the terrace but eventually gave in to the cold and took the rest inside.  However, Claire and Andrew were fantastic sports and really did well for their couples shoot.  It was so cold but they were totally up for going outside to get some romantic images.  It's such a gorgeous setting at South Queensferry that it really would be a shame to not get outdoors.

The speeches were made, Claire and Andrew had their first dance and then the father and daughter dance, and lots of their friends came to help them celebrate what was turning into an amazing party.

 

 

The Godding Family // Outdoor family session

This was our third shoot with Nichole, Mark, Orla and Thea but it was the first time we ventured outside with them.  Being an outdoor shoot in February we knew it was going to be darker and a bit windswept but we weren't prepared for having to contend with the bitterly cold wind and sideways snow blizzards!! A lot of people would have called the shoot off but we were all up for it and just had lots of fun along the way.

We parked the cars and started our hike.  The main aim of this shoot was to capture real emotion and natural interactions with them as a family.  We really didn't want to set anything up and we feel we achieved exactly that.  You can really see how much fun Orla and Thea had despite the weather conditions and we love the candid nature of all the images.

Thea had a permanent smile on her face and we learned that Orla loves the word "absolutely" just now, she's in primary 2 so she's learning lots of things and has a really inquisitive mind.

Nichole and Mark will have been together for 20 years next year so we really wanted to get some images of just them together and they did great with minimal direction from us.