Winter is our downtime. Wedding season doesn't quite draw to a close, but things quieten, you slowly regain your weekends, and you start to remember how to have a social life. It comes with a certain amount of relief; you can recharge your batteries and reflect on what you've achieved over the previous 12 months, but of course you look forward to your first wedding of the New Year. I had several winter weddings in 2014, but 2015 came with an unusually long gap between the last of 2015 and first of 2016, so I decided to plan a few shoots in for fun. It's rare over the summer that I have time to take anything extra on, so it's the perfect time to do something with no pressure, just to keep your creative juices flowing and shoot for the pure enjoyment. 

Louise and Ryan are friends of mine through Twitter (yes, I have many friends from Twitter and no it's not that strange. Think of it like a big party where you don't make any boring small talk, because you only have to interact with the people you genuinely like and have an interest in their ideas and opinions), and when they said they were up for doing a little shoot just before Christmas, I was thrilled. I knew it would be stress-free and fun, and judging by how the weather was behaving, more like a mid-Autumn shoot than a can't-feel-your-toes winter outing. We sure got lured into a false sense of security in December with those balmy 15 degree days... Anyway, it was a beautiful sunny day, there were still lovely brown leaves on the ground, and we went for our little jaunt to Regent's Park. 

I gave Lou and Ryan the brief: ignore me, be yourselves, remember why you like each other. Sometimes people can be a little shy with couple's shoots and take time to warm up, or maybe need some more direction in the beginning. These two... they were a dream. I barely had to do any directing and they goofed around in exactly the right way for some fun and cool portraits (leaves being shoved down trousers, a significant amount of cheek-squishing, you get the idea). I'm by no means saying that in order for you to be a couple in love, you must be completely comfortable being in front of a camera and willing to go a bit PDA, but with Ryan and Lou it was just obvious how happy they make each other. They couldn't take their eyes off each other, and I'm fairly sure that wasn't totally down to the fact that I'd asked them to ignore me. Luckily, the park was pretty quiet so we didn't feel too overlooked, but you can guarantee that if anyone had been watching, they'd have seen the sparks between them from a mile off and probably whispered 'relationship goals' to themselves. Being able to capture moments like this is such a treat and I left the session feeling pretty damn chirpy; I knew that everything you'll see below was just... real.