The enchanting Larmer Tree Gardens has played host to West End stars in a collaborative project bringing together the cream of local Salisbury businesses.
After more than a year in the making, Wiltshire based Photographer, Barbara Leatham, brings her passion for storytelling within her beautiful images to our very own Larmer Tree Gardens, a wedding venue fit for the stars.
Combine the passion of a long-established photographer, the 175th anniversary of the photographic image and add a sprinkling of the themes of autumn and Salisbury, the results are astounding.
A fusion of Barbara’s passion for both commercial and wedding photography led her to conjure up the exciting idea of a styled wedding photo shoot to showcase all that Salisbury has to offer to create the dream wedding day.
The star-studded styled shoot combined a host of different wedding items sourced from local businesses from around the Salisbury area and involved actors and actresses who kindly visited Larmer Tree Gardens during their commitments to the West End stage.
From wedding gowns to grooms suits and flowers to jewellery, Barbara strived to showcase all that Salisbury has to offer those searching for a wedding oozing London-style glamour but a bit closer to home.
Through exposing what Barbara describes as the ‘secret gems of Salisbury‘, she artistically illustrates how prospective brides and grooms can achieve the day of their dreams without travelling as far as the nation’s capital.
“It’s too easy to pop on a train to get all your things from Oxford Street. Salisbury has got a whole host of talent,” said Barbara.
The shoot was also a way to set about changing the public attitude about thinking you must go to London to source items fit for your big day.
“Nobody looks beyond London. If you do not showcase what we can do, people’s attitudes won’t change. I cherry-picked the cream of talent in Salisbury,” Barbara added.
Barbara wanted to use her energy, talent and experience to showcase what Salisbury businesses have to offer and to dispel any myths associated with London being the only destination to stock unique wedding pieces.
“If you want a London-style wedding, you don’t have to go to London for it,” she said.
Larmer Tree’s magic
The enchanting surroundings of Larmer Tree Gardens enabled Barbara to immerse herself in storytelling and combine notions of romanticism and personal narratives within her images, one of her most loved passions.
Barbara and all involved in the styled shoot were immediately captivated by Larmer Tree Gardens’ stunning grounds, with Barbara keen to showcase all that Larmer Tree Gardens can offer those searching for an inspiring garden wedding venue.
“Everyone walked in and said ‘wow’. Everything is a photographic possibility. There’s a whole magic about the place, it is an absolute gem in Salisbury.” Barbara shot numerous images within Larmer Tree’s many special locations, playing particular attention to The Roman Temple, Lower Indian Room and The Singing Theatre.
In awe of the perfect backdrop offered by the striking stage of The Singing Theatre, Barbara said: “It is amazing, I could do a whole shoot on there, it (the background) almost becomes a painting.”
Barbara described the uniqueness of Larmer Tree Gardens and what makes the venue stand out from the rest:
“Why wouldn’t you want to get married there? It’s about the whole venue, the ethos and feel of the place and the people that work there. You can’t get a bad feel there. “It was lovely. I was so grateful to Larmer Tree because it was such a beautiful place. It was the fact that they turned around and said yes and really got it.”
Barbara took the opportunity to reconnect with local business and showcase what they can offer and was overwhelmed by the support she received in the process.
The shoot included a variety of different ideas, narratives and approaches, all to tell different stories. Among the narratives, a homage to the photographic image through use of old cameras including a Kodak No. 1 being used to take selfies, a tongue-in-cheek reference to the latest modern online fad.
A striking combination of inventive framing and bringing the indoors outside to reflect the beauty of the garden wedding venue were among the ideas explored by Barbara during the shoot.
Barbara was particularly passionate about the textures of the various buildings, plants and trees which came alive in her images, with a particular fondness of the black and white exterior of The Lower Indian Room, one of Larmer Tree’s many unique wedding ceremony venues.
Barbara’s raw passion and quest for finding the narrative within her imagery is communicated as a result of her time at the inspirational Larmer Tree Gardens.
“It’s not meant to be a snapshot, it is meant to be a story. Each photo should tell a story,” said Barbara.
An unquestionable passion for storytelling within her imagery, capturing a romantic and compelling narrative within her shots lead Barbara to ask the apparent question, “Why would people not want to do what they love the most in the world?”
Barbara already has her sights set on revisiting the exquisite and unique wedding venues Larmer Tree Gardens has to offer for a second styled shoot next spring.
Barbara would like to give special thanks to the lovely ladies at the Wiltshire Wedding Show who recommended Larmer Tree Gardens.