Claire and Richard’s Magdalen College Engagement Shoot

Magdalen College is definitely one of my favourite Oxford colleges. Why? Well, I think it has to be the beautiful college gardens, the enclosed cloisters, as well as being the only Oxford college to boast a private deer park that make it a winner in my book. I was therefore absolutely delighted when Claire and Richard decided on Magdalen college as their engagement shoot location. The college however also holds a very special place in the hearts of Claire and Richard, as it was the college where Richard studied Classics, and many a happy occasion have they shared there together since then. And as an Alumnus of the college come extra privileges – the 3 of us could get free access outside visitor hours, meaning that we had relative privacy for our shoot. And as if on cue, the weather also played its part that day, with beautiful blue skies all day long! Indeed, I could tell as soon as I opened my curtains that morning that we were going to have a great shoot, and I was definitely not disappointed.

Claire and Richard arrived at the college in true Oxford style – on bikes and looking extremely glamorous, decked out in summer smart-casual clothes, sun hats and sunglasses. And wow – what a fantastic red dress Claire was wearing!

We first started our shoot in the cloisters, where I was lucky enough to have a sneak peek of Claire and Richard’s wedding dance – a tango – as they danced down the cloisters. (I wonder how many people have danced the tango in those cloisters before?!) It was great fun, and I’m really looking forward to photographing their wedding dance when they’re dressed in their full wedding attire very soon! (Watch this space!)

Next we headed to the arcade, taking some shade from the sun’s glare.

I love the way that Claire and Richard had brought some props along. As I already mentioned, Richard studied Classics at Magdalen and Claire studied Maths and is now a Maths teacher. So bringing along an Oxford Classical Text in ancient Greek and a Maths book to use as photography props was a great idea!

They are also Guardian readers, so taking a few shots of them leisurely reading (or made to look like they’re reading!) in a laid-back weekend pose on the grass was also great ideas of theirs.

With the sun in full-force, I next suggested that we take a walk down the shady tree-lined avenues. Claire and Richard both love the outdoors, so where could be more appropriate?

I had so much fun with Claire and Richard and they seemed so relaxed and absolute naturals. They’d never had a shoot like this before, so I was delighted to receive this feedback from them:

I love the light of the photos and the way it made us look like us being us, feeling natural!  We had time to relax into it and chat, it was actually like going for a walk with a friend! The whole experience made us feel very special and also more comfortable about the wedding photos! Now it is one less thing to worry about on the big day. We are feeling more relaxed about posing together and not looking stilted as we sometimes do!  Also, Lorna’s advice before the shoot about how to get ready was really helpful and made us consider our outfits well.

Their wedding at Caswell House takes place on 23 July and I just cannot wait! So more on that to follow very soon…

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