Why Sash Windows offer the Most Perfect Romantic Backdrop

When thinking about romantic photography, pre-wedding shoots or wistful images of children, finding the right backdrop is critical to the quality and aesthetic appeal of the images.

W hen thinking about romantic photography, pre-wedding shoots or wistful images of children, finding the right backdrop is critical to the quality and aesthetic appeal of the images.

Seasoned photographers will often use a window largely because of the opportunity to capture natural light but there is more to it than that. A window has an ethereal quality and provides a focus so the subject of the picture can look away from the camera rather than directly at it. Additionally, a window represents a view, a horizon so it gives a multi-dimensional quality to the picture that suggests poignant reflection, a journey and future hopes and intentions.

Common backdrops at weddings have until recently been flower walls or arches but unless they are an actual natural arch with trailing plants in a beautiful garden, these can look rather artificial and ‘staged’. Flower walls are now falling out of favour as are giant standing letters that usually spell out the word, ‘LOVE’, which have become over-popularised. Brides are looking for something different and more natural.

Pre-Wedding Shoots

Pre-wedding shoots are something many photographers offer. This is a chance for the bride and groom to meet before the ceremony and enjoy some private time before they greet their guests. It can dampen down wedding nerves and often if the location permits it, couples will shoot outside and make the most of natural features depending upon the location. Wedding shoots in ruins are particularly poignant or romantic, perfect if you are at a large country house and there is a ruined church or folly in the grounds. Another popular backdrop is dramatic scenery, like cliffs or large horizons which work really well in stormy weather or for winter weddings.

The problem with outdoor shoots is the weather – it doesn’t always cooperate and we’re not just talking rain or snow but the wind which is an issue even on a hot day. For hair and make-up to remain intact, being exposed to the elements doesn’t always work well and a full-length dress presents its own unique challenges.

Planning a pre-wedding shoot which is taken indoors means a bride won’t have to worry about the weather and that includes sunshine. As any pro photographer will tell you, sunshine doesn’t always offer the best lighting potential so a cloudy day will work just as well if not better because it creates more atmosphere.

How to Incorporate Sash Windows into Romantic Wedding Photographs

Sash windows reached their zenith in the Georgian era and have been shamelessly used throughout all the architectural styles that followed throughout the Victorian and Edwardian periods and well on into the 20th century. They are even popular with new builds, and this is because, in one classic design, sash windows represent style, class, quality and heritage. What a perfect backdrop for sentimental or romantic photographs.

Many approved wedding venues are within large country houses, stately homes or urban conversions so there is no shortage of sash windows for a shoot. Here are some ideas for the best wedding pictures.

  • Close-ups of the bride and groom standing beside one another and looking through the window and away to the far horizon are timeless and representative of the beginning of their journey together – a beautiful image and one which can make the most of a stunning vista in a dramatic location or a view overlooking formal gardens
  • Long sash windows with grand drapes or voile curtains offer the potential for full-length shots of the bride who can be captured in a nonchalant moment looking through the window or adjusting her dress, a typical casual ‘posed but not posed’ shot – these pictures may also attract the attention of the wedding venue as they are the perfect showcase for their interior
  • In certain houses, large sash windows also have window seats which allow a range of standing and seated poses – if you have small children in the bridal party, try one of the bridesmaids seated end to end with their knees tucked up under their chins with the backdrop of the window and the view
  • If the weather is good and there are lovely gardens surrounding the venue then taking a picture from outside with the bride or bridesmaids looking through the window can be very evocative, particularly if it is posed as a ‘chance’ shot where the subjects of the image are apparently unaware it is being taken
  • Large sash windows which are deliberately unadorned with curtains and drapes can make the perfect evocative shot of the back of the bride looking through the window with her head either turned slightly to one side or looking back over her shoulder. This is also a great way to showcase the back of the dress which is often as beautiful as the front and hairstyles

Sash windows offer limitless potential for a creative photographer. Not only is there the prospect of natural light – the best light – but the windows themselves form a story with the bride and her party as the characters. Sash windows represent dimension, perspective and reflection, in all senses of the word and can be used to create timeless and evocative images that will look as beautiful ten or twenty years later as they did on the day.

We offer quality new wooden sash windows which are available in a wide range of shapes and sizes to retrofit to a period property or complement a stunning new build. We also provide restoration and repair services combining traditional techniques with modern materials to restore classic windows with the benefit of draught-proofing, thermal regulation and acoustics.

Contact us here to find out more about our range of sash windows and restoration services.