Catherine & Charlotte. Engagement shoot at Stock Place in Slough, Buckinghamshire

THE LOVELY Catherine and Charlotte got in touch with me via The Gay Wedding Guide where I am listed as a wedding photographer. 

They also came to meet me in person at Chosen wedding fair in Islington, London, where I was exhibiting.

I feel that a face to face approach is always the best one, there is so much we can say without any words, and I believe that having the chance to talk and meet your photographer prior making any decision about booking them is always a good choice.

The engagement shoot 

Catherine is Canadian, bubbly in spirit and of a very caring nature, is usually the one emailing me about the wedding day, the engagement shoot, or any other question she has.

For the engagement shoot, it was decided that it would take place at their wedding venue, a stunning and peaceful countryside manor with fabulous parkland, Stoke Place in Slough, Buckinghamshire.

I am a great lover of capturing the moment, my house is full (literally) of displayed Polaroids everywhere. This is why I usually encourage the couple to opt for the engagement shoot where possible. It’s a great chance to have beautiful pictures taken with your partner, as well as experiencing being in front of the camera before the big day as this can sometimes create anxiety and worries. 

Spending time with my couple before the wedding day means I have the chance to build a relationship and many times this flourishes in a friendship!

Thank you Catherine and Charlotte for sharing your thoughts with us….

How did you meet?

We met in Oxford at an International Research Conference. Walking across the lawns from a Book Launch, Charlotte approached Catherine and engaged in conversation. This led to talking over lunch and agreeing to meet up to discuss mutual work interests. Catherine is Canadian and the topic of skiing came up. Charlotte suggested that maybe we should go skiing' as she was looking for a ski buddy. This caught Catherine’s attention. Being an amputee, most people would not make such a proposal but Charlotte did, not seeing disability as an obstacle nor a challenge. 9 months later, we hit the slopes and have never looked back!

About our Journey as a Couple...

It has been an interesting and colourful experience getting to know each other. We committed to relating with authenticity, integrity and consideration and this has been the most important part of our journey together; just to be ourselves in relationship to each other. We made time to confront emerging hurts and/or difficulties to discover better, mutually beneficial ways that would be comfortable for us both - that process has been negotiated and co-created, requiring flexibility, adjustments and understanding. We had a lot of dialogical discourse!

We have worked hard on introducing respective friends and family to us as a couple and this has created a supportive and loving network all around us. As we approach our wedding day, we feel that this effort and engagement with our respective connections has paid off well.

We continue to prioritise adventures, travelling to interesting places in order to explore new horizons. Charlotte is a Ceramist so new perspectives and the Arts are central in our life. We both love music from Opera to Rock and everything in between – our appreciation for Bruce Springsteen and Joni Mitchell cemented our relationship! Today, we continue to be nourished and refreshed by our interests and socialising with our friends!

Advice to other couples: Communicate, communicate, communicate from a place of love and consideration. Just be yourself and articulate your feelings without fear as you explore and negotiate your journey together. Greet the path you create as an adventure, exploring with curiosity all the joyous opportunities along the way. Even the most mundane can be made into a moment of harmony when met with thoughtful intention.

Why an engagement shoot?

We thought it was important to celebrate our commitment. It offered us an opportunity to connect with and get to know our lovely photographer Paola De Paola who took her time to learn what we were like and what appealed to us. Taking photographs of an older couple was never going to be easy but Paola was encouraging, friendly and committed to working with our shyness so that we became more relaxed. We learnt that some angles and lights are more complimentary than others and this proved to be a wonderful practice run. We are delighted with our commemorative photos! We feel so confident and relaxed with Paola that we know that our Wedding day, when friends and family come together from several continents, will be beautifully captured – a moment in time shared with the people we love. Love is Love.

Paola xxx