Elope to Scotland – Brochure

ELOPE
TO
SCOTLAND

THE ADVENTURE KICKS OFF HERE!

Welcome

I’m delighted that you have found a connection to my work and I look forward to learning more about you and your story. I hope this brochure and selected guides are of some help to you on your Elopement journey.

couple walking into the sunlight during their elopement in Glencoe

sean bell elopement photographer in scotland

Scotland based photographer, outdoorsy soul, a lover of the wild places and of the quiet light.

Ive been shooting elopements in Scotland for around 10 years and absolutely love my job!

I draw inspiration from different places but my passion for music, cinematography, art and nature all influence and drive my creativity. Im a keen rock-climber, mountain biker and snowboarder but equally happy being lazy and just chilling with a beer and a guitar in hand.. playing into the wee small hours.

I was born in Edinburgh and now live 8 miles South of the city with my wonderful partner Justyna (who is also a photographer and works alongside me) and our super quirky but very cute Border Collie dog (Molly).


ELOPing in SCOTLAND

Glencoe elopement in scotland couple walking in the rain in Scotlands mountains

Running head first and laughing into the rain on a Glencoe hillside, holding close together for warmth against the bracing Westerly winds on Skye or wandering lazily in the afternoon Sun on a gentle West Highland beach, a picnic in the middle of the ancient woodland in the Cairngorms, a city stroll in the Edinburgh’s old town or sunbathing on the banks of the rushing river Etive…

couple sitting on a mountain in Scotland during their elopement

Eloping in Scotland gives you a huge amount of freedom when it comes to where and when. Some couples will pick a location that speaks to them personally or holds some attachment to family or friends, but others will happily run to wherever just looks epic.. and to be honest, theres a lot of epic around in this small but perfectly formed country

eloping in scotland couple dancing on the isle of Skye

approach

bride walking in Glencoe mountain

Real moments over anything too staged are my preference and I try to keep things flowing, fun and with the couple in mind at all times, allowing the day to unfold naturally. Every elopement, every couple is unique. Ive learned this over many years working with people and over any technical skill I feel this is the most important asset for any photographer. Im sensitive to others and to the requirements of individuals and want to tell stories authentically. I also enjoy being a ‘guide’ on the day, Scotland is my favourite playground and I m always stoked to be between the hills and streets I love so much. I hope I can share this passion and knowledge of the area with my clients.

I continue to push myself creatively and enjoy exploring and growing and making new work but the most important thing for me, is that I really listen and deliver a body of work that resonates with the couple and will stand the test of time. I’m also drawn not only to the big epic moments but the quiet gestures and vignettes that often go unseen, the looks, the details and the connection, these are all elements that help build a more robust story and I’m still excited by and fascinated by piecing it all together.

timeline

I like to start from the morning preparation, this is a great time to capture the details, the surroundings and to create a few portraits before heading off into the wilds, it’s also a great time to get to know each other and relax into the day.

5 hours is the minimum and although this might appear like a long time for photography, through experience this will absolutely fly by and really is at the shorter end of coverage. Travelling between locations, short hikes to ceremony spot or in the woods etc will all add up.

Before the big day I work closely with a couple and get a feel for how they envisage their elopement adventure. From these online meetings we build a timeline and location plan which will always include plan B’s should the weather turn a little. I like to keep things light-hearted, but Im also always thinking ahead, carefully creating, quietly recording.

PLANNING AND INSPIRATION

scottish elopement planning guide

Planning your elopement can be exciting/daunting, or maybe both! I have now worked with over 100 couples on their elopements, another 200 on weddings and I believe experience only comes through finding out what does and doesn’t quite work and tweaking as you go. I don’t know it all and I’m still learning but Ive picked up a few things along the way to make life a bit easier and to get the most out of the photography whilst still enjoying the experience of getting hitched and running wild in Scotland!

Ive spent a bit of time writing a handy guide/blog post which should cover (almost) everything you need to know to get the ball rolling, it includes everything from Scottish weather, locations and ideas for clothing to the full on legal stuff. Clicking on the image will open a new tab so you can head back to this for reference at any time.

Ive also written a blog post on some of the most epic places to elope in Scotland, it is by no means exhaustive but it should be a great starting point and hopefully give you some ideas. If you would like to discuss some other areas I always have locations in mind, from city streets to easy-off the beaten path, to full on hikes in the mountains!

places to elope in scotland guide and information

Two Photographers

sean bell photographer

My partner Justyna is a super talented photographer (she would never admit to this!) and aswell as shooting her own weddings and elopements, has been seconding or me for 7 years. Originally from a small village in Poland, she is a quiet, unassuming and outdoorsy girl, happiest in nature, climbing, reading or pottering around with her many houseplants, she has a gentle and creative eye. We met through our mutual love of rock climbing while she was studying photography in Edinburgh. Having Justyna along for elopements helps build a fuller story of the day, adding more detail and alternative angles.
She can also be the second witness should you be eloping on your own.

This is us in Paris, one of our favourite cities… and where we fell in love..

Time and investment

You will no doubt spend a lot of time with your photographs over the course of the coming years, they are a visual legacy, an heirloom, and they will hold more importance to both you and your family as the years go on.

Investing in photography for your elopement is perhaps one of the biggest decisions you will make during your planning and its worth considering having your day documented in the most authentic and creative way possible.

I work super hard behind the scenes for every elopement I shoot. The many planning and support hours on the run up to the day I give to each couple is really important and I work closely with couples to help craft something that sits with their individual needs, loves and vision.

Elopements are more unique than weddings at a set venue, but more work is required in the build up to make it all flow. Its an exciting part of the job which requires a lot of map reading skills and a ideas for alternative plans should the weather take a turn!

But I really hope my years of experience and love of working in Scotland shows and that I can help with your plans or questions at any point along the way.


FULL COVERAGE ELOPEMENT

  • Planning, Local Advice and Recommendations
  • Up to 10 Hours Photography Coverage
  • Ongoing Support via email/Skype/Whatsapp 
  • 850+ High Resolution Images Edited in my own cinematic style. Fully downloadable and with print license.
  • 100 6x4inch prints
  • Beautiful Online Gallery + Shop (Password Protected)

£1850

SHORT COVERAGE ELOPEMENT

  • Planning, Local Advice and Recommendations
  • Up to 5 Hours Photography Coverage
  • Ongoing Support via email/Skype/Whatsapp 
  • 600+ High Resolution Images Edited in my own cinematic style. Fully downloadable and with print license.
  • 100 x 6×4 (inch) prints
  • Beautiful Online Gallery + Shop (Password Protected)

£1650

Second Photographer/Witness (Justyna)

£200

TRAVEL

I’m based just outside of Edinburgh but travel all over the UK. The first 100 miles of travel is included.

A guide to the most popular areas.

Edinburgh, Borders and Glasgow – Travel Included

Glencoe – £50

Loch Lomond  –  £50


Cairngorms – £50


Isle of Skye – Travel  £100


Torridon & North West Highlands – Travel £100


Hebridean Islands (Barra, Harris, Lewis) – Travel (+ Ferry Crossing) £220 

scotland wedding photographer at Dunglass

Extras


Beautiful Fine Art Contemporary Albums from ‘Folio’ – From £350

Personalised Engraved Wooden Presentation Box + USB – From £100
Also available – Fine Art Prints/Wall Decor/Canvas and Thank-you Cards


Booking

A Deposit of £350 is required to secure your date. I will send out contract, invoice and a Q+A along with a welcome pack and elopement checklist to help guide you along the way. The remainder of the balance is due anytime up until 7 days before your elopement.



FAQ

A short list of frequently asked questions, please feel free to get in touch if you need any more info

elope scotland couple walking in the sunset on the isle of Skye with close up of hands
Are you insured?

Absolutely! My equipment is insured, I have public liability and full professional indemnity insurance.

What is your experience and approach to weddings? 

Ive been shooting weddings and elopements for the past 10 years in all manner of venues and locations (and in all weather!)  I love to document the happenings as they unfold, a reactive photographer, picking up on the characters, the key family and friends. I also love to capture the off-beat vignettes that flit by, the unseen gestures and emotions, as well as everything from the tiny details to the epic environment.

We are a bit camera shy, can you work with us?

Definitely! I would guess that almost 100% of my couples (All those you see on my site)  tell me that they are worried about being in front of the camera before the day (and many tell me afterwards it was their favourite part of the day!) My approach has been crafted over many years of working with people and before any creative or technical skill, the ability to put people at ease is the most important asset for a photographer. I keep things fun and flowing and never too serious, there are no rules after all. I let couples just ‘hang’ together in sweet spots being themselves and I click the good shapes. I don’t stick to rigid posing but give soft direction to fit the mood, the environment and the personality of each couple. 

Can we meet before the wedding? 

For sure! I love to catch up via Skype or Facetime for a coffee and Chat (or a Zoom-beer!) in the first instance but if you are local to Edinburgh Im more than happy to meet up in person too, I know some good cafes and pubs. I like to get to know my couples and for us to all feel comfortable. Im easy going and can easily turn up and do a job but I want to learn as much as I can about you to give me the best chance of creating an authentic and beautiful document of your day. 

Do you take group shots?

Of course! I think a few groups are a great idea (Mum/Gran/Auntie pleasers) I usually say 6 or 8 set ups is a nice number, enough to cover close family/wedding party.

If we cancel do we get our deposit back? 

The deposit is in place to secure your day, once this payment has been made I honour this and will turn down other enquiries for this date. A large part of the deposit is for the initial admin, ongoing business costs and helps to secure the health of the business and as such is non-refundable if you are to cancel.Obviously I use my discretion in such matters. If I need to cancel(I wont) I will refund in full. I am kind and considerate and during the pandemic I have been as flexible as possible during tough times. If you now have to cancel due to COVID-19 I am willing to return 50% as a goodwill gesture if we cannot find a new date for you. For new dates being transferred I do not charge any additional fees.

Do you have backup equipment?

Yes, for sure! At every wedding I carry two cameras on me at all times and they never leave my side (even during dinner). I also have another spare and I also carry backup lenses, batteries and flashguns. 

I use Nikon SLR cameras with pro-level Sandisk SD cards in each. My cameras record onto two drives at the same time so that every image is backed up at the moment it is taken for extra peace of mind.

When I return to the office I back up all your RAW files to three separate external hard drives, one of which is kept off-site. I also keep a copy of the images on the original SD card until your gallery has been delivered. Overkill? Not when it comes to weddings. You get one shot at this and I 100% make sure Im keeping your memories safe.

Do you travel outside of Scotland?

I do, and I love it. I travel all over the UK (and occasionally Europe) for Weddings and Elopements. A small surcharge is applied for fuel/ferry/flights. For Scottish elopements we normally take our VW Campervan (Ziggy) and sleep in this, so that no charge for accommodation is passed on to the client.

Do you work with a second shooter? 

For most weddings/elopements I work with my partner Justyna (Who also shoots stills as one half of our We Are Elopers Film and Photography business). She is a talented wedding photographer and an amazing second photographer on the day. 

How long after the wedding do we receive our pictures?

My turnaround for the full gallery of images (850+)  is 6 weeks during peak times (often around 4 weeks in Winter/Spring). I always send a selection of around 30 preview images to my couples around 2 weeks after the wedding.

If you are considering an elopement in Scotland and need some advice, ideas, inspiration or local knowledge Im more than happy to help. Ive written a couple of handy guides to get you started too so please do check them out.

What if you are ill or cant make our wedding/elopement? 

In over 300 weddings/elopements I haven’t missed a single one and I’m grateful of that! That said, it’s not to say it is not impossible in the future so I have a group of photographer friends with similar experience, style and approach always on call. In Scotland the community of photographers is strong and we all help each other out, Ive had to step in a few times for others and they would do the same for me. We would never pass this stress onto a client.

Need to know more?

Get in touch