Bouquet Catch is back! To celebrate, here’s Natalie and Graham’s summer engagement shootAnd we’re back! Thank you so much for your patience over the past month while our editor, Natalie R Harris, tied the knot. It truly was the most spectacular day of her life. Full detailed post of her wedding to follow, but in the meantime, let’s cast our minds back to warmer, longer days in the summer, when Natalie and her fiancé Graham, deep in the creative throes of planning a wedding, paid a little trip with their extra-talented wedding photographer Chris Giles to Brighton, for their summer engagement shoot.
As soon as we saw Chris’s work, we knew he had just the right blend of natural and posed photojournalism that we were looking for to represent our wedding day. And then of course, we met him, and realised that not only did we have loads in common creatively, but that Graham (my now-husband) and Chris actually used to work together twenty years ago in a nightclub! Fate had brought us together.
Chris came up to London to photograph our engagement party in October 2015, but it was a bit of a drizzly affair, so Chris kindly offered to repeat the shoot in the summer down in his stomping ground and Graham’s spiritual second home, Brighton.
And so, in August 2016, we headed to Stanmer Park in Brighton, home to Stanmer House, an 18th-century Georgian manor house, owned by nightclub entrepreneur Alex Proud.
But the summer engagement shoot wasn’t in Proud Country House. Oh no. Chris’s off-beat imagination took us beyond the house and to his favourite secret spot, a tucked-away orchard where he often walks his beloved Westie.
Chris had us clambering through nettles, posing by disused greenhouses, and even had Graham picking me up amongst all the apples, all to capture the perfect few shots of us, pre-wedding.
In spite of all the sweat, hazy heat, and rapidly dripping ice creams, we had so much fun – Chris really made us feel relaxed and nothing felt too posed or ‘fake’. It was just us, joshing around in an orchard. And yes, there may be a few kissing shots in there too, but this was our engagement shoot! It was so nice to just break away from the wedding planning madness for an afternoon.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, Graham’s top reads: ‘GIANT SQUIRREL’.
It really was a great day, and set us up perfectly for what was to be our wedding shoot extravaganza, and what, in Chris’s words were “the best wedding photos ever from Northbrook Park” (our venue), and “the highest number of photos (he’s) ever delivered”.
Watch this space for the official wedding snaps!