Their love story

This has always been a whirlwind relationship. After just one month of meeting each other Matt had made himself at home in Sophie‘s flat.

Just a year later, on a birthday weekend down in Saint Ives, a walk along Carbis Bay Beach resorted in a sunset marriage proposal and the rest, they history! 


Deer Park Recommended Photographer

I was delighted when Matt and Sophie got in touch after being recommended to me by the Deer Park Hotel. The Deer Park Hotel is one of my favourite wedding venues in Devon and one which I’m proud to be be associated with. As one of the Deer Park Hotel recommended wedding photographers it’s my absolute pleasure to capture a number of weddings there each year and to work so closely with the team.

How to look your best in your wedding photographs

When Matt, Sophie and myself first met they confessed that whilst they loved my wedding photography at the Deer Park Hotel, they couldn’t imagine themselves looking like that in their wedding images.

In that moment it became clear to me, as it does with many couples getting married who are nervous about their wedding photographs, that a pre-wedding shoot would be of real benefit to them.

I am quite possibly one of the worst people in the world to be photographed. I am so nervous, so awkward, and really don’t like myself in photographs. I tell people a lot though that practice absolutely does make perfect and, as branding photography is so important these days, I’ve had to throw myself in front of the lens and get used to it. I’m not saying images of me are now perfect, but having had some practice, it’s a lot less of awkward than it used to be and the images are so much better!

Knowing I am an experienced wedding photographer, Matt and Sophie were thankfully happy to be guided by me and took me up on my suggestion of a pre-wedding shoot.

How far in advance to book a wedding photographer

It’s often common for wedding photographers to book many years in advance and therefore in order that couples get their first choice they need to look to book almost as soon as they’ve booked their wedding venue.

What to expect at a pre-wedding shoot

I always start my pre-wedding shoots by spending a little bit of time getting reacquainted with a couple. Having often been booked at least a year or two in advance often means the last time I saw a couple they were at the very start of the wedding planning journey and as you can imagine there’s so much to catch up on!

Meeting in a café near to their chosen preshoot location over a coffee (or a glass of fizz!) we have a little catch up, talk through their wedding planning and start to think about the nuts and bolts of the photography on their big day. 

Running through things like timings locations for images and of course those group shot requests I can then start to understand what they really require and put together a plan for the wedding photography on the big day.

Then comes that fateful time when we all look at each other, nerves start to take hold and we all know that the time has come to...take some images! 


Preparing for your wedding photography

I always say to my wedding couples that having a preshoot is like doing the worst bit before the best bet. At your preshoot you’re often in a public place, often wearing your normal day-to-day clothes, and with a photographer in tow, wonder whether everyone is thinking you’re some kind of celebrity. But the truth is…no one notices!

Matthew and Sophie felt exactly like this, so I did what I always do and worked hard to put them at ease. Wandering along the seafront at Lyme Regis we found so many wonderful nooks and crannies, architectural structures and places to have photographs that would make their first foray into professional photography an easy one.


They say time flies when you’re having fun and before we knew it we’d been shooting for over an hour. The light was utterly divine. Bright but a little bit cloudy with the sun occasionally poking through, made for some gorgeous preshoot images. And being a out of season and on a weekday, meant that the masses hadn’t descended on Lyme Regis and we could wander and take photographs to our hearts content.


I love the results from Matthew and Sophie preshoot. They felt at ease, so looked at ease and the experience will set them up perfectly to create some beautiful wedding images at the Deer Park Hotel, later this month.

Venetia xx