Back in October I attended a wedding fayre at the Ingliston Country Club. Despite covering weddings all around Inverclyde I hadn't yet had a chance to visit this venue just next to Bishopton.
I was struck by the venue's service and style. I know everybody talks about the stables, weddings in a liveried carriage and the rest, but I was more drawn to the Art Deco recreation in the Salerno Suite.
So with a little wangling and a little persuasion I wrestled a photoshoot into being. I'd shot with Freja Designer Dressmaking's dresses last year at Springkell, but this was a chance to shoot with her new collection (for an even more impressive preview of her dresses, check out Lee Howell's shoot and photoshop wizardry!). Accessories were kindly loaned to us by Twinkle Twinkle Tiaras and I roped in Katherine Yardley (previously shot together at Burnhouse Manor Hotel) and Victoria Kyle as makeup artists. We had to improvise a little with hair in the end, but I think between MUA's and models they managed to rustle up some passable hairdos.
My wife and I arrived bright and early at the venue to offload dresses so that I could pop to Bishopton Station to collect some of the shoot participants. I briefly met Kirsteen of Twinkle Twinkle Tiaras as she dropped off her shiny objects of desire and said my hellos to Brian at the venue and then sat in the grey morning light at Bishopton Station.
Once we were all safely returned to the warm embrace of the Country Club's Salerno Suite things kicked into gear as Victoria and Katherine attended to makeup, models selected dresses and I wrestled lights into some semblance of functionality.
At the end of the day we shot most of the shoot with some ambient lighting, a big Octobox and a small input from a shoot through brolly bouncing off walls etc. With a little more time and extra thought I might have thrown in an extra bit of light here or there, but I was quite happy with the results. The dresses and accessories were the main focus, with just enough of the venue's characteristic staircase and other features to showcase it as well. Bouncing light was also the name of the game when shooting models in the lift with the Marilyn Monroe chair. Lighting the wall behind the bar so that light bounced back in and lit the models in the narrow confines of the lift. A mirror at the back and highly reflective surfaces all around made it an interesting challenge as I struggled to keep myself, the lights and the people holding the lights out of shot.
We used the larger spaces in the upstairs function area to dance about with the fabulous dresses, relax by the fireplace and get a good mix of shots throughout. We kept the curtains closed though, as I am not sure the parade ring was the best view in the circumstances.
In what is possibly a first for me, we wrapped the shoot more or less at the estimated time, returned models and MUA's to where we found them and adjourned home.
(early next morning was the trip to Edinburgh to drop the dresses back to a very relieved Mette)
All in all I really enjoyed the shoot, the venue has a great deal of charm and style that would really set off a wedding well. The Salerno suite is not overly large, so a small stylish wedding could be had. The Country Club has the advantages of a hotel and a full liveried carriage as extras to the deal too. The other main function suite is more mundane in comparison, though more suited to larger parties. An outdoor gazebo for the ceremony or photos, shots with horses, views down the hill and across the Clyde, it'd be hard for a wedding photographer not to get some great shots on a good day, with enough interiors and covered areas to scrape a creditable shoot undercover in less clement circumstances.