July 24, 2018

An Adventurous Ilkley Engagement Session | Megan & Cameron

Adventurous Engagement Photoshoot in Ilkley

Leeds Wedding Photographer 


First thing’s first, before I get into how this Ilkley engagement shoot went, I want to talk about love. My love for weddings is really a love for love (and I really love love). Love that’s quiet, love that is loud, love that is two people who can’t stop laughing together. It is a touch of fingers or an embrace. It is a look, or a kiss or a smile. Consequently, a wedding is a pinnacle moment between two individuals who love one another. They love so much, that they want to stand up in front of the people they care most about in the world and declare it. They want to shout that this person opposite them, is THE ONE. Out of all the billions of people on the planet, this is the one.


So it is then that whilst all couples who get married are declaring their love for one another, but no two couples are the same as anyone else. Love is unique. My idea of love – or at least the love that gives me goosebumps – is kissing in the rain, eyes closed, running over moorland, breathless, passionate, beautiful. At the beginning of my journey as a photographer, this is what I really wanted to photographs. Madly in love couples, Heathcliff and Cathy and all of that.

But as I began to grow as a photographer, I realised my view of love was too n arrow. Love is so much more than grand moments (although the grand moments are amazing) and it differs between people. It grows, it changes, it gives strength.

AS AN ASIDE: One of my all time favourite film moments is from a Paul Thomas Anderson movie called Punch-Drunk Love. It’s not a film for everyone, so I’m not exactly recommending it, but it is a film about love. And the stand off with The Mattress Man and the character development of Barry because he falls in love, is just amazing. Love is unique – just sayin’ .



So for me, I am widening my vision of what love means. I am working to understand each of my clients and why and how they love one another because it makes me a better photographer. It means I can give better photographs and that I can put my clients at ease. That means understanding that some clients will want completely unposed photos. Some will want intimate and close photography. And I can adapt to that and create beautiful images.

This shoot was about fun but also about connection. It is a couples photoshoot about love. The amazing Nicola Dixon designed the concept around water/inflatables/camping and we went from there. As a Leeds Wedding photographer, it was a part of Leeds too that I had yet to shoot in, which was another key reason to do the shoot.




Okay first, it’s not really a venue. Nicola looked for somewhere where we could easily get into the river and do some different kind of photographs in the water. Ilkley in Leeds is a spa town and the River Wharfe runs through it’s centre. There are four bridges which cross the river, the suspension bridge was the focus of some of the shoot, and then from there down to the left, we were able to get down to the shale covered river banks. A perfect setting for a camp fire, toasted marshmallows and beers and for a Leeds photographer to enjoy shooting with clients.




Nicola arranged the shoot and I participated with another 5 local photographers and Megan and Cameron who were our models for the shoot in Ilkley. They are a couple and so were very easy and confident with one another. We spent an hour in the River Wharfe which runs through Ilkley before moving onto the shore and shooting Ilkley engagement photos along the shale banks. We had a quick shower of rain which was one of my favourite moments as the sun lit up the rain droplets. Finally, we moved onto the suspension bridge and was able to have some fun with the symmetry and lines of the bridge which crossed from one bank in Ilkley to the other.

All in all it was an amazing shoot in Ilkley. As I am a Leeds Wedding Photographer, I shoot around the Leeds and York area often. Ilkley in particular is especially beautiful as well as Otley. I am looking forward to doing more shoots in these areas.



Venue: Ilkley by the Lido
Photographer: Lianne Gray Photography
Stylist/Planner: LW Events
Organiser: Nicola Dixon Photography Co.
Dress: Mango



If you love the look of these Ilkley engagement session photographs, are an adventurous couple or are looking for a Leeds Wedding Photographer, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

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Ilkley Engagement Photography for the Adventurous | Megan & Cameron
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