Behind the Scenes of a Midsummer Circus Styled Shoot

The saying goes, “Never work with children or animals.” But for my Midsummer Circus photo shoot, I did and I don’t regret it one bit!

When thinking up the concept for the shoot, I wanted to combine bright, summery colours with the whimsical nature of the circus and cross that with a fairytale. Right from this point, I knew that the shoot would need to be outside, bathed in bright sunshine and nature. Once my Surrey venue was secured, I went about listing all the suppliers I knew would understand my vision, from the crazy carousel horse cake to the ice cream cone flowers, but more importantly who had the skills to combine childlike dreams to high end luxury.

I knew that I didn’t want to just use nature as a backdrop, but rather furnish it with soft fabrics in vibrant colours, as if they had pushed out of the ground especially for the day. I also included delicately patterned plates, engraved silverware and a number of miscellaneous items such as books, keys and sweets. When looking at the photographs, you can see that nothing is inherently modern, but rather historical shapes and aesthetics modernised through colour and associations.

As for the dresses, I was lucky enough to have a friend model them and she brought them to life, taking the jewelled garments from looking pretty on a hanger to veritable modern day princess. I wanted to have detail and sparkle on the dresses, but it was all about striking the right balance and not making the environment and dresses compete for the lens’ attention.

One of the highlights of my day was turning Pintu the horse into a fully fledged unicorn, complete with horn and flowing pink mane. I was lucky enough to know Pintu well and was sure that she would be docile and patient: not all horses would put up with having flowers and a horn attached to their forehead! I was also very happy to work with my own dog Coco and my family’s bulldogs, Bianca and Auguste. I wanted to show, with both the dogs and the horse, that it is possible to include your pet or favourite animal companion on your special day. You don’t always need to dress them up to include them, but for the dogs anyway, you could opt for custom floral collars which match your colour scheme and that will not inhibit their movement.

A shoot day is exhausting and an immense amount of work, but I was so lucky to be surrounded by fantastic suppliers, friends and family who were all willing to make my vision come to life. Roll on the next photo shoot!

Styling & coordination by @lafeteweddingsevents
Photography by @robertafacchiniphotography
Floral design by @rickypaulflowers
Cake & deserts by @enchanting_cake
Photo booth by @boho_booth
Bridal couture by @ruthmilliamcouture
Hair & make-up by @bumblebee_bridal
Flower girl outfits by @littlebevanlondon
Balloons by @3bubblegumgirls
Floral chairs by @couturechairs
Stationery by @dewintonpaperco
Tableware by @classiccrockery
Videography by @gione.silva
Floral dog collars by @cupidcollars
Lollipops & donutpops by @thelittlelollipopshop
Furniture by @vintagestylehire
Female model – Lili Pennington
Male model – Owain Pennington
Taxidermy – Animatronic Animals