Dade Freeman
Photographer & Trainer


Dade Freeman's blog page for all the latest photographic news.

Jane Austen style photoshoot

Located at the foot of the South Downs is Wiston House, an impressive sixteenth century Grade I Listed building. This was to be the venue for our Jane Austen themed photo shoot and I could barely contain my excitement.

Melissa Love had a vision for a shoot which she shared with U.S. photographersChelsea Lavere & Meghan Beckwith, who adore Jane Austen and all things quintessentially English. With this in mind the foundations were laid for a splendid day of photography. They sought out a wonderful location - Winston House, contacted vendors of vintage clothing and props, engaged set designers, make-up artists and stylists, to create what has to be the shoot of the year in my book!

So armed with my new 5d MkII camera and my own sensibility and little sense, I began photographing what was to be an epic shoot and one Jane Austen herself would be proud of.

Scene 1: The outdoor wedding

Curtains raise on scene 1 - set against the magnificent backdrop of Wiston House, this location featured a Regency-styled wedding couple. With a walled garden, a hedge maze, sweeping lawns and a private church the photographic possibilities were endless.

Bride and Groom hugging
Bride and Groom hugging

The models were wonderful, all dressed appropriately for each set and the make up artists and stylists skills were evident. The models were so accommodating even after a whole day of being told what to do, where to stand, how to look etc.

Scene 2: The vintage picnic

Using vintage china and fabrics from The Tea Set, this scene featured a Regency-styled vintage family. The little models got to feast on beautifully crafted cupcakes beneath the trees on the great lawn, being careful not to get any crumbs on their period costumes.

Little Bo Peep
Little Bo Peep

As for the other photographers, they all gathered together in their groups to produce some stunning images without pride or prejudice.

Scene 3: Afternoon tea in the conservatory

Elizabeth Bennett and Mr Darcy take tea in the orangery, a stunning conservatory which leads off the library at Wiston House. The choices for this spot were vast, from sipping from fine bone china, to meandering amongst the roses or simply lazing on the lush green croquet lawns.

Bride laying down
Bride laying down

To do this well it takes some coordinating and organising, it doesn't simply fall into place and the work and effort that went into this shoot was evident from the very first moment.

Scene 4: The Wedding Breakfast

A table beautifully laid for a wedding breakfast in the Great Hall of Wiston House. This scene had everything you would need, from specially designed stationery to gorgeous vintage-style flowers, nothing was overlooked. The sets themselves were meticulous in details, and I could have happily spent hours shooting the sets alone.

Bride and Groom details
Bride and Groom details

The venue was perfect, the food delicious and stunning grounds - should a bride wish to get married at this location, don't hesitate to contact me as I will be only too happy to return and photograph here again.

Scene 5: Trash the dress

No Jane Austen inspired shoot would be complete without a lake scene and Mr Darcy in it. Sadly this ending wasn't possible but we did have an alternate ending - with the bride and groom not having the happiest end to their special day.

Trash the Dress
Trash the Dress

To top it all off Melissa has also arranged some fantastic prizes for the best images. The prizes include; training with Aspire Photography, a gorgeous vintage actions set from Lisa Devlin, and the chance to win a website and year's web hosting from Melissa Love Design. On this occasion, I think the winning is not important, it's the taking part that counts. Special mention has to go to Lel Hurst who very kindly escorted me to the venue and entertained me during the drive there.

The Grand Finale

It was a pleasure to work with such professionals and makes me so pleased to have this as my chosen profession, I just hope I do it justice.

Team details: Melissa Love Design - Orchestrated Stylised Shoots - Venue - Wiston House. Styling, food & flowers. The Tea Set. Dresses - White Mischief. Tailoring - Gresham Blake. Makeup - Natalie Clark of NC Bridal Beauty. Hair Accessories - Cherished Vintage Bridal Accessories. Hair styling - Caroline Kearney. Stationery - The Girl Taylor. Children's vintage clothing - Dinky Vintage. Children's clothing - Bonnie Baby.