Saturday, 23 April 2016

Foxes & Ferns: Our Botanical Engagement shoot

As soon as we started wedding planning, everybody bombarded us with the question: "Who's going to photograph your wedding?!" 
George and I are fully launching our wedding photography business this summer as an all out, full-time profession and not just a fun, enterprising, university distraction where I get a legit reason to procrastinate from my degree and take photographs of beautiful people. Lots of our friends and family joked that we'd be photographing our own wedding, using a shutter and a tripod and we sort of laughed nervously. Neither of us could imagine anything more tricky and unappealing! 

The questions we faced were...
  • How can you trust somebody else to capture your special day and get it right?
  • But why would you spend THAT MUCH money on wedding photography when you are  both photographers, why not ask your friends? 
  • So who is it going to be? 
The truth is, George and I are really not control freaks. Sure, when it comes to creative projects I quite like hogging the camera to myself but we are both very easy going, relaxed goofballs who are very trusting in other people. To be honest, I'm way more likely to trust somebody else with photographing my wedding than myself! Could you imagine the faff of awkwardly wrestling with the self timer during the vows? aw hell no. Ain't nobody got time for that. It's impossible. 
That brings me to the second part, the cost! Yes. There's no getting around the fact that wedding photography is expensive. But I can tell you this honestly from a photographer's point of view, so is the equipment! and the public liability insurance. and the costs of running a website. and did I mention equipment? A lens for a full frame can cost £1000 by itself! And you need more than one. 
The photographer isn't just there for the day either. On top of their ten or so hour shift, there's the labour time spent editing the photographs afterwards. That can take me up to a week. Then ordering the prints, putting together a package and paying for all those materials. The costs mount up. Photography is an expensive luxury, but being a photographer is an expensive freelance profession! (This hasn't deterred me though, I'm quite happy to sell all of my clothes and shoes to fund my camera obsession) We could never bear to ask our friends for the same reason I'd never ask my Dad (who's a bus driver) to drive everyone around at the wedding. We want them to have fun! Not  be working their little butts off. Having said that, I know I would be mortified if I wasn't allowed to take photos at a friends wedding, so there's no strict rules against it ;) 

Finally, the big reveal! 
I've been following Scuffins photography on Facebook & Instagram for quite a while. I love their work, it's so refreshing and they live not too far from us, in the Cotswolds. What I always admired most about them, is how natural and relaxed the people in the photos are. George and I are pretty silly and we don't take ourselves all that seriously. We wanted a photographer that could understand and work with that - so when I read Chris' bio and it said, "Hi my name is Chris Scuffins, rhymes with muffins" I was like, okay, that's a done deal. Clearly this is a guy with whom I can see eye to eye. He also said he liked anime, so that helped too. 
I've seen a lot of wedding photography that's very elegant, fine art and poised - and that's just not us. Scuffins' portfolio boasted charming, quirky and intimate photographs of couples having a rad time on their day. None of the "this is a real wedding but we're going to make this look like an editorial" business. We felt like we could get on with the whole 'fun having' part of the day and leave it to them to work all the camera magic. 

We travelled on the train over to my absolute, most favourite botanical garden in all of England. George fell in love with it as we were walking around before the shoot. The day was made even more magical by the appearance of a fox! I was so excited, I nearly melted into a messy puddle on the floor. What on earth this confused fox was doing out in the middle of the day, I've no idea! 

Rather than trundle on about the details of our dreamy, spring day in the gardens, I'm going to do something I've never done on this blog before and take this post as an opportunity to introduce George a little more. I suppose you guys don't know a lot about him, other than he's from Cornwall and he likes to steal my hats! So here we go, some interesting facts about him and us. ^_^ 

  • George's Dad wanted to call him 'Leaf' when he was born, but his Mum was having none of it. His real name isn't even George. His parents just couldn't make up their minds about what to call him and then went and changed it after they had put it on the birth certificate. George rather likes Leaf, and to make his Dad chuckle, he's going to make it his middle name when we get married.

  • The first question I ever asked George was "Are you a vampire? Because you have very sharp teeth." - Basically, my version of a chat up line. It obviously worked though ;) 

  • George once dared himself to be a vegetarian for a month. Not because of the morals, but because he rather 'felt like it'. He did it, but he nearly shrivelled up and died from all the lack of protein. He ate a plate full of steaks the day it was over. 

  • I hate wearing shoes so much, that I always take them off as soon as I get to uni. I never wear shoes in class. Ever. In Cornwall, I just tend to not wear shoes unless it's raining or we're going somewhere thorny/rocky/town. Towns like St. Ives though, it's okay not to wear shoes :P 

  • It was me that proposed to him. He insisted that he wanted to be proposed to, and it ended up in a game of 'who could wait the other one out'. After a long internal debate between my stubbornness and my love of making George happy, I decided to surprise him and so I asked him on the top of the Salisbury crags in Edinburgh on the 30th October.  

  • We first started courtin' unofficially (as they say back in Cornwall!) every Monday night at the folk pub down in Falmouth. He'd ride his little motorbike over to Fal (where I was studying Art & Design at the time) and we'd go Celtic Folk Dancing together at The Front on Custom House Quay. 

  • George used to have long hair. Like, down to his shoulders long. This was before I knew him, but the photos absolutely tickled me! Apparently one time, he got mistaken for a girl. He had a skater/BMX dude phase. 

  • George collects records. He's got a big old record player that takes up a large portion of our front room and he likes to pick up peculiar vinyls from the charity shop. It's not unusual for us to eat our tea to the sounds of Frank Sinatra, crackling away on the turn table. 

  • George also collects coffee paraphernalia. He is obsessed with coffee. We spent a lot of our time going to coffee shops. If we're out in the evening, we'll go to a late night coffee shop instead of a pub. George is very pernickety about his coffee. 

  • I collect hats. I have always had a bit of a thing for hats and I just don't have enough space for them. Both of these hats in these pictures are mine! George mostly steals my hats and wears them so he never really has his own. 

  • I have an irrational fear of being abducted by aliens, but Nan tells me that that already happened a long time ago and that I'm a changeling child as it is. 

  • George does not like Game of Thrones. I do. This is the greatest source of conflict in our relationship. 

  • George isn't a fan of fantasy - another source of conflict. George enjoys books of the more political or sciency variety. He's just one big hipster in denial. 

  • I am two and a half years older than George! I guess that makes him my toy boy? :P 

  • I have abnormally narrow feet! It makes finding shoes that aren't too wide for me very difficult. It all aids my 'no shoes' campaign :P 

  • George can juggle. And ride a unicycle. And walk a tight and slack rope. He also practices fire eating. Why he didn't train for the circus, I'll never know :P 

  • George went to Mullion secondary school where he did GCSE's specialised in Drama & Dance.  George is a very good dancer! 

  • George is very forgetful. I am also very scatterbrained. I'm not quite sure how we get through life. 

  • If George went to Hogwarts, he would be a Gryffindor. Although he loves wisdom and knowledge, like Hermione he's quite close minded and loves solid, proven facts. I'm a Ravenclaw and we love the concept of infinite possibility! George has other certain Gryffindor traits too - he has the swagger and bravado and love of rule breaking that often comes with Gryffindor personalities :P 

  •  I got my belly button pierced when I was fourteen. Not entirely sure why, I'm now left with a hole in my tummy! That's definitely one decision for the time machine, as well as the decision to dye my hair black when I was fifteen >.< and while we're re-writing time, I definitely wouldn't have chosen this flat that we're currently living in. We've got rats in the ceiling :'( 

My goodness! I don't know about you, but I think I've seen enough of our faces to last me a lifetime now :P 
It's hard to believe these photos were taken a week ago. It was truly a most perfect and wonderful day. We ended up bumping into one of George's favourite comedians in Pizza express - that's London for you! 
A huge thankyou to Chris and Helen Scuffins, for braving the motorway to come to London to take our photographs and for taking such beautiful ones too ^_^ They are everything we had hoped for and more. It's not often we're both in front of the lens at the very same time, so its great to have these to hang around the house. 
And as for wedding planning? We've now got the venues booked, the photographer sorted, the catering plans covered, honeymoon booked and the grooms shirts delivered and safely tucked away - we've got a lovely long year spread out before us to take it easy and have fun enjoying the ride. 

All photos in this post, credit to Scuffins photography 



  1. Absolutely beautiful ...


  2. Wow, these engagement photographs are beautiful! I love the idea of having your engagement shoot at the botanical gardens. I am also getting married next year and it's slowly dawning on me how much more I have left to plan!

  3. Beautiful photos! You two are the cutest couple :D

    Jamie xxxx

    Ps. Love the dress <3

  4. You two are positively perfect for each other! The photos came out so beautiful and airy - I just love the whimsical feel to them, you both look so happy :)

    Thank you so much for sharing your gorgeous photos!

    Claire xo

  5. Oh what a beautiful shoot! Absolutely love the photos. You're such a lovely couple! And loved reading the random facts too!
    Mimmi xx
    Muted Mornings

  6. This is such a beautiful shoot! They've captured your relationship wonderfully and the setting was perfect! You definitely chose the right people! I can't wait to see the wedding photos! :D Alice xxxx

  7. You two are so precious that it hurts. Much love, and I can't wait to see the wedding! It'll be adorable, I'm sure! x

  8. I can't even deal.

    These are STUNNING. Pinned most of them, not gonna lie! You're beautiful, your hair is goals, your hats are amazing and your dress looks adorable :) Your story is lovely!

    I can't wait to see the wedding photos ;)


  9. These photos are breath-taking -- you two make such a stunning and happy couple. My husband is 2.5 years younger than I am. I guess I'll need to start calling him my boy toy now ha ha.

    And I'm actually jealous of your narrow feet -- mine have the opposite problem. I have such wide feet that I struggle to fit into most shoes. It's been a decade-long battle at least!

    Can't wait to see how your wedding will turn out!


    Ashley || Sed Bona

  10. These are utterly beautiful and so you!!! It was delightful to know more about George!!!x

  11. These are such beautiful photos and the entire series is just lovely to see - big congratulations to you both and I hope the rest of your wedding preparations go nice and smoothly! Two of my very close friends are also doing this at the moment so it's always really sweet to hear about other couples doing this too. A lovely post! - Tasha

  12. Your blog is a wandering poem.


  13. Lovely photos Sarah!! Amazing place! :)

  14. Just adorable! Certainly your style - what a great job you all did! xxx

  15. I love this blog!! The flash up the top is awesome!! Candid Photographers in Chennai

  16. I am in love with your wedding shoot! Thanks for sharing these photos here. We just got married at one of iconic Seattle convention center and we had a garden shoot in DC during spring. It turned out to be fantastic!


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