A colourful and fun styled shoot in North Wales
11 Nov 2020
The stunning Portmeirion was the ideal location for this colourful shoot inspired by a bicycle. Sally Smart from Blue Bug Photography explains how they did it
What was the inspiration behind the shoot?
We started a Pinterest board of colourful wedding photographs. With Portmeirion being a venue open to the public we decided to keep it as simple as possible and with as few people involved as we could with the pandemic causing more restrictions.
On our search for inspiration we came across a bicycle with a basket of flowers on the front - I was obsessed. A lovely friend lent me a ladies’ bike with an attached basket and we asked the very talented Dawn from The Very Nice Flower Company to “do her thing” with it. She absolutely did not disappoint.
Then we needed a couple who had great body language, were super fun and up for a giggle. In June 2018 I photographed a local couple’s wedding here in Prestatyn. Vanessa is naturally beautiful, has a great smile and laugh and was a joy to shoot on her big day. Her husband Gary is tall with a magnificent beard and an amazing presence, so they were my first choice.
It is safe to say we caused a stir with our couple, the cameras, the drone, the confetti canon, smoke bombs and the flower laden bicycle. We explored the whole village and captured some amazing shots. I think one of my personal favourites was Gary flying along the cobbled lane on the bike, legs out and a massive smile on his face. We shot a few takes purely for the giggle factor.
All in all, it was an amazing day with a fantastic bunch of fun suppliers. It was more like a day off with friends than work. Social distancing and face masks did not stop us having a fantastic day out capturing some lovely images.
Tell us a little bit about the venue and why it was chosen
Portmeirion is a stunning vibrant and quirky village in Gwynedd on the shores of the River Dwyryd. It was created by Welsh architect Clough Williams-Ellis from 1925 to 1976 to show how a naturally beautiful site could be developed without spoiling it in the style of an Italian village. Portmeirion village and gardens is one of Wales' premier visitor attractions which now comprises of hotels, self-catering cottages and shops amongst sub topical gardens. The village was made famous in the 1960’s by TV programmes such as The Prisoner. The main attraction for us was the brightly coloured buildings and breath-taking scenery.
What did you choose for the flower arrangements?
Dawn, our florist, used red Naomi roses, calla lily Callista, dark pink astilbe, eustoma and white freesia along with vicious and two types of eucalyptus ‘populus’ and ‘cinerea’. The bouquet was finished with hessian ribbon and pearl pins. She wanted the arrangements for the basket on the bicycle to be bright and quirky to match the theme of the shoot and location.
What kind of look did you want to achieve with the make-up, hair and outfits for the bride and groom?
We went for minimalistic make-up with a classic feline flick and a bold red lip accompanied with porcelain flawless skin which showed the true natural beauty of a modern woman. To fit with the style of the venue and the shoot we went for a 1940’s style victory rolls with a modern day twist which is very fitting with the three quarter length dress for the ultimate 1940’s style glamour.
We used a three quarter length dress from Karen Lesley Bridal and two suits from Attire Menswear as well as Gary’s own more casual outfit for some crazy bike shots.
What was the thinking behind the décor for the shoot?
Due to the pandemic and the increase in cases locally we decided to keep the number of people involved to minimum and therefore we left out venue styling.
What kind of accessories were used to create these looks and why?
The main accessory we wanted to use was the bicycle. I have never shot one previously and had a ton of ides of how it could be used to fit in with our 40’s style. The bicycle lent itself to be filled with colourful flowers to fit with the cobbled streets and coloured buildings.
Steal Their Style
Photography: Blue Bug Photography
Venue: Portmeirion Village
Hair & Make-up: Cassie M Bridal
Bridal dresses/wedding outfits: Karen Lesley Bridal Emporium
Suits: Model’s own and Attire Menswear
Jewellery: Model’s own
Flowers: The Very Nice Flower Company
Videography: Woodpecker Films
Models: Vanessa and Gary Tuck