West Dean Gardens Photographer | Engagement Shoot | Caroline & Geoff
When Caroline told me she and Geoff wanted to do their Engagement Shoot at West Dean Gardens I was super excited, I’ve been meaning to revisit for a long time. I hadn’t been there for many years when my sole purpose was to sketch and draw the sculptures for an art project… I wasn’t paying that much attention to the flora and fauna (although, were you to see my final sculpture based on my visit you’d be fooled into thinking my attention was on point!)
As is the norm for an Engagement Shoot we spend the first 15 mins or so bedding in (pardon my horticultural puns there!) to get relaxed with the camera and each other. It is a great opportunity to break the ice and get those nerves out of the way before the wedding day itself when the last thing a couple want is to feel they are on an endless photoshoot rather than celebrating their wedding day!
Caroline and Geoff were pro’s, a couple so visibly comfortable with each other it was an honour to be brought in to that fold. Geoff mentioned he had been awake since 7am the previous day, he was a trooper. Never once complaining or passing out from tiredness! A true professional to the end!!
West Dean Gardens are beautifully landscaped grounds centred around West Dean House, a place of artistic and creative education as well as hosting fabulous events throughout the year (I would personally recommend the Chilli Festival). The whole location is just made for a photoshoot!
There is this gorgeous Edwardian Pergola that has been extensively restored that cries out to be photographed. It was springing into bloom as we visited. Caroline and Geoff sprung to action being the perfect models as we traversed it’s 100m length, pausing at the pool to catch a calm reflection.
The Sunken Gardens are also a must visit, and for the foodies out there, the Walled Kitchen Garden as a source of inspiration for allotment growing (sadly, I have not inherited my Mother’s amazing green fingers, but greatly appreciate the abundant crops shared with me!)
As we strolled around the grounds together it was very hard to not just stop at every corner to take another snap. As a photographer at West Dean Gardens I was in my element. There are huts, nooks and crannies, green arches and endless fields all begging to be included in the shoot. We had planned to be there for an hour or two…. Four hours later we realised how absorbed we had all got, but it was certainly worth it! We talked about wedding plans, work, life, kids etc, it was hard to make this day feel like work!
As you can see from the images, Caroline and Geoff were true naturals during their Engagement Shoot at West Dean Gardens, their love and warmth for each other just shining through. I’m really excited for their post-wedding shoot when we can revisit in all their wedding outfit glory and create some stunning Newlywed portraits.
I can’t wait for next year and their April wedding!
FionaMillsArt | West Dean Gardens Photographer | Engagement Shoot