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A springtime elopement in the Pentland Hills, Edinburgh

One of the many joys of being in Scotland is that you can get married almost anywhere you want. There may be some exemptions but I can’t think (off the top of my head) of any specific examples. Sian and James opted to have their elopement in the middle of the Pentland Hills, near Glencorse Reservoir, a few miles drive from the centre of Edinburgh in Scotland. It really was the perfect setting. They told me nothing would stand in their way of having an outdoor ceremony.

It was a very small elopement – immediate family in the shape of parents, siblings and partners, and nieces, and made for a beautiful and intimate day. There’s something wonderful about everyone meeting up together, then travelling in convoy, and then walking together along a path to the spot that Sian and James had identified for their wedding ceremony to take place. We passed ramblers and sheep, and the spring mountain snow was starting to melt and it’s patchwork like formation looked beautiful on these soft rolling hills.

I think the thing I loved about this elopement – among all the things I loved about it – was the simplicity of it all. Strip a wedding back to what is important and make that the focal point. Photographing it became such a divine pleasure for me – just tell the story, photograph it as it happens, document. For me it was as much about stripping elopement photography back to it’s simplest form and rediscovering all the things about photography that make it special. That in itself was such a creative release, and I came away feeling refreshed and invigorated about photography.

There were so many little things I loved as well – it was a cold day, and everyone came appropriately dressed, elegant clothes, wellies, wool coats, gloves. No tiptoeing in clothes better suited for a garden party in July. I loved the choice of location too – there are so many little hidden gems across Scotland of some of the prettiest locations, often ignored for the wider known tourist honeyspots. The Pentlands have a special place for me – I remember being taken through the hills as a kid (reluctantly) on Sunday walks. Later still, being able to see the ski slope at Hillend from my kitchen window in my top floor flat in Morningside. One of the joys is how ridiculously close it is to the heart of the capital – it took me exactly 20 minutes to drive from Sian’s AirBNB in the city centre to this beautiful idyllic spot in the hills that James and Sian adore.

All these wonderful things made this a remarkable day, taking it back and making it about what it ought to be at it’s very heart – about the beauty of love.


Location: Glencorse Reservoir
Celebrant: Midlothian Council registrar
Hair, make up, bouquet and button holes: all made by Sian and her family.

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A selection of photographs featuring individual weddings and photography sessions, all mixed with a few of my own thoughts on the side.

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