Updated: Jul 9, 2020
Something old and something REALLY old!
So last year I was given the opportunity to do a wedding shoot at the stunning Ashmolean Museum in the centre of Oxford.
If you don't know the Ashmolean, it really is incredible. Almost a million antiquities from the last 10,000 years, varying from Egyptian, Japanese, European and everything in-between. Not only does it have these unique and priceless artefacts, but the building housing all this stuff is just magical. A real mix of modern and classic architecture with each room feeling completely different to the last.
About the shoot -
I was approached by the really lovely Stacey Puffer who is the wedding co-ordinator for the museum. She assembled an amazing team of suppliers to showcase their talents and give up their time to create what turned out to be a wonderful and creative atmosphere. We had 3 outfits from the brilliant Ellie Sanderson, flowers from my very talented (if I do say so) girlfriend Kirsty at Flowers by Kirsty. Our muse was the beautiful Filippa and making her look even more stunning was Rachel Capocci.
We had about 3 hours where we would pretty much have the museum to ourselves. If you have ever walked around an empty museum, you will know just how incredible it is. Seeing all this delicate and precious history and beauty from all over the world, it really was inspiring and strangely calming.
Having visited beforehand, I knew that if it was possible, I wanted to shoot on the empty plinths at the front of the museum. I had an idea that shooting from a low angle with Filippa looking straight out, would be reminiscent of statue of a Greek goddess. Stacey was happy to make this happen, but it needed to be off the cuff as security were not best pleased about it.
Making this shot a reality, was trickier than I had anticipated. As I mentioned, security were circling, we had no ladder to get Filippa up there, she was wearing a expensive jumpsuit that I didn't want to ruin and the floor of the plinth was covered in pigeon guano. With all that, we carefully got her up there, hurridly got the shot and moved on like nothing had ever happened.
Inside the museum is a real treat. I had time to roam around looking for the next location while Filippa was being readied for the next shot. I have to say that choosing a handful of locations in place like the Ashmolean was incredibly difficult because you are spoilt for choice. There are 3 staircases that are so beautiful that I could have spent all day on those alone. We settled on the grand staircase which had a real classic feel which made the bright floral headdress really pop.
We knew from the offset that the shoot was to be a little different, we never wanted a smiley and blushing bride, we wanted attitude and sass and I think you really get a sense of that from the shots on the stairs.
Next up was the European Art Gallery with the lush vivid coloured walls, grand piano and stunning paintings in gold frames. Wow. It's also one of the rooms that you can get married in, how stunning would that be? With the rich colours, you get a real sense of opulence, slightly reminiscent of an old English country house.
On to the Pottery Room which is one of my favourites. As soon as I saw it, I knew there was huge potential for a beautiful shot. There are lines everywhere which frame Filippa perfectly and draw your eyes in. On top of that, there were reflections upon reflections and possibilities of shooting through cabinets with these delicate tea sets slightly out of focus. Just stunning.
Finally we rushed her into the next outfit and pretty much ran to the Egyptian Room as our time was fast running out. To shoot here was so incredible-what a beautiful location. As a kid I was obsessed with Egypt and being so close to these precious artefacts was so awe inspiring.
Just imagine wondering around the museum with your guests, chatting about Pharaohs and Kings one minute then on to Japanese Samurai's, then 20 seconds later "oh and how stunning does the bride look". What a magical place. It has to be right up there as one of the best places to get married in Oxfordshire.
Love, love love this place. Can't wait till next time, I have some big ideas for the zig-zag staircase.
Venue - Ashmolean Museum
Instagram - @ashmoleanevents
Co-ordinator - Stacey Puffer
Flowers - Flowers by Kirsty
Dresses - Ellie Sanderson
Hair & Makeup - Rachael Cappoci
Model - Filippa