Whilst Katy and I wait patiently for the film from our Cornish shoot to be developed, I am eager to share a little spontaneous shoot we worked on in April in one of my favourite pockets of Buckinghamshire on a beautiful warm spring day.
I had been eyeing up the papery white and blush apple blossom (surprise surprise) on my travels across the county and knew that I would be kicking myself if I missed the chance to photograph it in all its frou frou glory. Blossom is fleeting, perhaps why it is one of my most loved blooms, and one unexpected gust on wind in the night and you can wake up to blossom confetti lining the pavements - rather pretty but highly impractical for bouquet making. Deciding upon the best time to cut homegrown blooms for V&T weddings and events is a dangerous game I inevitably end up playing in the spring and summer months. Too early and it might not bloom to its full potential, too late and you end up with petal confetti on the workbench. In this instance I played a winner, for the following week I noticed those flyaway petals were peppering the lawn as I made my first tea of the morning.
Our impromptu shoot began, as they always do, with food. Katy drove out from London to meet me at one of my favourite country pubs near Hambledon for a peruse of the pudding menu (we missed the lunch menu by minutes but were delighted for an excuse to go straight to dessert) and a natter. A quick trip back to the cars to change and pick up the necessary and we were off across the fields with flowers and cameras in hand - much to the amusement of passing walkers and inquisitive sheep. After the third sweet smile and nod to the obligatory 'Are those flowers for me?!' remark we made it up the hill and into the fields behind.
As so often when shooting together, Katy and I bundle much loved items of clothing into the car to decide upon when we arrive. For this shoot, I had by chance come across one half of my mum's honeymoon outfit from 1983 at the very back of the wardrobe that morning - a lightweight white cotton poplin blouse from Laura Ashley with a rather frilly ruffle collar and flouncy lace cuffs. It was perfectly romantic, woven with treasured wedding day memories for her and the perfect backdrop for bobbling blossom, fluffy cow parsley and those candy pink tutu ranunculus gathered in the bouquet.
Armed with a temperamental blossom heavy bouquet we had to shoot quickly, Katy working her magic in her usual effortless and nonchalant way that produces the most beautiful light and grainy photos time and time again. We worked as the red kites soared above us, ducked into the long grass to take some portraits (a Katy Lawrence Film speciality) and dove into the cool of the bluebell woods when it got too warm.
Here we needed little in the way of flowers; the carpet of Buckinghamshire bluebells dancing in the dappled spring sunlight were beautiful enough on their own. Carefully picking a bluebell-free area (so not to damage these protected blooms) we shot a few portraits amongst these beautiful seasonal blooms Buckinghamshire is famed for and retreated carefully out of the woods when finished. We ambled back down the hill, chatting excitedly as we always do about what we think we might have captured that afternoon - the familiar buzz of shooting film and its unknown results making us a touch giggly with anticipation. Back at the pub, we drank our first Pimms of the season as the sun set and tucked into a hearty and well deserved tea.
It wasn't until I arrived in Cornwall what Katy announced she had secretly developed the film since I saw her last and had them ready for viewing. Having settled down with a fresh cup of tea - a 'first look' ritual - we poured over them, commenting as we always do on the light, the way that particular stem bends in exactly the right way and, as always, having a good laugh at those that didn't quite make the final edit...