As we welcome the news about normality returning, one of the things we are most excited about is weddings being back on the cards!
For us, there is nothing quite like the moment our wedding couples share their photos from their big day - we love seeing our flowers in their prime, but also the love and joy of the couples and their guests is one of the big reasons we love our job so much!
One lady who has photographed many-a-Grace & Thorn couple on their big day is the fantastic Genevieve Chapman, the woman behind Miss Gen Photography. Specialising in elopements and intimate weddings in London, we absolutely love her vibe, and her photos speak for themselves - stunning and guaranteed to give you a bit of nostalgia for partying into the night, celebrating love with our nearest and dearest.
We caught up with Genevieve to discuss what inspires her, the best spots in London to elope, and of course, flowers!
Hi Gen! Tell us about your work:
I have a background in Graphic Design and this really influences my photography work. I love incorporating interesting backgrounds like the street art in Shoreditch, beautiful architecture and different textures. London is wonderful for this. I never really wanted to be a wedding photographer, so when I began to photograph weddings, I wanted to do it my way. My approach is non-traditional, I photograph the day in an unobtrusive, documentary style, capturing real moments as they happen & genuine, natural interactions. I also love spending time with couples, creating natural, relaxed, romantic portraits.
Your photos are stunning! What inspires you the most when working with couples to get something really unique?
Thank you! I’m really inspired by my couples. Everyone is different & I try to capture their unique personalities & style in my photos. Most people say they’re worried about the pictures because they’re not good at posing, so my job is to make them feel comfortable, enjoy their day & relax so that I can capture truly natural, spontaneous images that show how beautiful they really are. I love to include movement in my images & to capture the atmosphere of the day. I love the cinematic feel you get when everything aligns just right.
Do you have any sage advice for couples planning their big day?
With the trend for micro weddings & elopements, it’s really an opportunity to make it your own. Throw out the old traditions that don’t resonate with you & just spend the day doing things you love. Most of my elopement couples have a wonderful chilled day, getting ready together, strolling around their favourite parts of London, stopping for coffee (or a cheeky pint) & celebrating with confetti & friends on the steps of the Town Hall. For inspiration, I’ve created a handy guide on my website – How to elope in London with lots of venue ideas & other useful tips.
What are your favourite London venues - for weddings or otherwise!
I’ve photographed many elopements at Old Marylebone Town Hall, it’s one of my favourite venues with beautiful ceremony rooms & majestic steps & columns outside, perfect for confetti. Islington Town Hall & Chelsea Old Town Hall are also both classic venues. Apart from the Town Halls, I love venues that are a little different like Hampstead Pergola & Hill Gardens. This is a stunning hidden gem, an overgrown garden in the centre of London, that feels like you’re in a romantic ruin in the countryside.
We always like to ask - what's your favourite plant/flowers to shoot?
I love interesting flowers like anenome’s, the black centre against the white petals is so striking & graphic. I’m also a huge fan of peonies, dahlias, ranunculus, Icelandic poppies & daisies. I definitely prefer large, wild bouquets like those inspired by dutch masters with a beautiful randomness & trailing stems & foliage like ferns & eucalyptus. I’ve even seen fruit in a bouquet which was wonderful & unique.
How has the pandemic changed weddings in London?
I think it’s made people realise what’s truly important. I’ve photographed so many tiny, intimate weddings & witnessed so much emotion & realness. Of course it’s wonderful to have a big party (& you can always do that later!) but the actual wedding ceremony can be a quiet, smaller affair. Some couples have mentioned they felt their micro ceremony was more meaningful & they really focussed on the vows they were making to each other. It’s also an excuse to plan a really fun day, doing things you love together. I often take couples on a stroll through the pretty London backstreets, stopping for coffee on the way. They end up with beautiful, relaxed, natural couples photos in their favourite places. These days are much more chilled out than a big traditional wedding!
Want to see more by Miss Gen?
For more of our work with Miss Gen, check out some of her blog posts featuring Grace & Thorn: