Suzanne & Matthew: A West Didsbury Engagement Shoot
Suzanne and I first met 6 years ago when I was hired as the full-time receptionist at the Manchester City Centre branch of Nicky Clarke, where she was smashing it as a senior colour technician. We laugh a lot now about how we didn't set the place ablaze with our instant adoration of each other, in fact quite the opposite (I drove her crazy with my administrative cluelessness & she scared the ever-living crap out of me). Years (and several lifetimes) later, we have found in each other a kindred wine-drinking, book-loving, vintage-obsessed spirit and I'm now lucky enough to call her one of my very closest friends. Our past head-butting makes us giggle, though she'll never let me live down an unfortunate hotel-booking mishap that I was entirely responsible for, nor my terrible taste in footwear. She's still killing it as a colour technician but has moved on recently to the up-and-coming Sand Hairdressing in Altrincham. And now she has the wonderful Matthew.
Suze & Matthew met in that most modern way: on Tinder. And I'm not divulging state secrets here, their wedding invite embraces and riffs on how they met in such a clever way! When Suze met Matthew, the stars aligned. These two bring out the very very best in each other and you can't help but almost get giddy when you're around them, their love and respect for each other is soinfectious. When they got engaged a couple of years ago, I was just starting out as a full-time wedding photographer and was so eager to shoot as many loved-up couples as I could to gain experience and truly put my own skills to the test. Suze & Matthew agreed to be my guinea pigs and we spent a lovely afternoon wandering around Chorlton. At the time I was so proud of the photographs, but looking back I realise that whilst my skills were still quite limited, it was their chemistry and commitment to each other that was truly standing out.
So imagine my elation at the end of 2015 when, despite my lack of experience & the slightly amateur nature of that first shoot, Suzanne & Matthew asked me to photograph their Manchester Town Hall wedding in September this year. 2017 felt so far away but I was thrilled! And after two years of full-time wedding photography, I feel the confidence to truly do their wedding day justice. But first thing was first: we needed to do another engagement shoot, one to reflect the past couple of years of training and evolution and this voice I've managed to find through so much hard work and both self & peer critique. I needed to give them photos that weren't just relying on their own natural chemistry but celebrated it and showed it off.
We spent another gorgeous afternoon in the waning spring sunshine in mid-May, walking around West Didsbury and the beautifully tranquil Marie Louise Gardens. Once again, we found magic and I'm so so proud of these images that I managed to capture of my friends. Thank you Suze, thank you Matthew for taking a chance on me. I CAN'T WAIT for your wedding!