So, it’s been a while since I was up at 5am for a 6am photoshoot. My close friend, Stephanie Kate, had approached me about a shoot for a dress in her Winter Collection. A Christmas Tree Farm seemed like the perfect location, so we started looking for somewhere local near Scunthorpe and Brigg in North Lincolnshire. Simon and Jim from Scawby Hall very kindly agreed to allow us to use their Christmas Tree farm in the woods.
I met up with Stephanie and our stunning model Terri-Ann, at 6am on a cold and icy Monday morning. Simon was waiting for us at the gates and lead us on foot into the woods in the dark. We had a few moments where we almost slipped up, taking all our gear with us, but luckily, we made it into the clearing dry and mud free. The location was beautiful. The ground was white and frosty and the first rays of sunlight could just be seen over the treetops. Within that small clearing of woodland, hundreds of Christmas trees had been planted. The atmosphere felt quite magical and I was beginning to feel the pressure to capture such a feeling on camera.
Whilst Stephanie was getting Terri-Ann prepared, I was setting up my camera for the low lighting conditions and taking a few test shots. I decided to use my 35mm f1.8 lens so I could use a wide aperture. I had to carefully select the right combination of settings so that I’d get sharp quality photos. When it’s -1c it’s quite difficult to eliminate camera shake, my tripod was useless in this situation but I do love a challenge, and this shoot gave me more than a few obstacles to overcome when shooting.
The early morning light and the frost was the most captivating to work in as the natural lighting was just flawless. Terri-Ann was fab, she was so brave and professional, even though she was freezing cold! The dress that Stephanie had made for this shoot was just something else. An illusion gown with hand stitched silver beaded crystal lace, crisp white silk tulle and a flash of baby blue liquid satin.
The 5am start and frozen limbs were definitely worth it for this beautiful dress, designed and created by the amazing Stephanie Kate and modelled by the fabulous Terri-Ann! Special thanks go to Simon and Jim as well for their help and kindness in allowing us to use their private grounds and play amongst their Christmas Trees. Oh, what a fun morning, even if it was -1c!
Wedding Dress & Headpiece: Stephanie Kate Bridal Couture
Model: Terri-Ann Heseltine
Location: Christmas Tree farm in a secret location with thanks to Simon and Jim from Scawby Hall
Photography: Victoria Gray Photography
We'd love to hear your thoughts on this shoot so please feel free to comment!
Behind the scenes
Victoria is a professional photographer with a portrait studio in Brigg. You can find behind the scenes access, real Weddings and more of what Victoria has been up to recently right here on her blog!