From getting her first camera from Santa at 7 years old, to her leap to freelance full time a little over a year ago, Natalie has been captivated by Photography.
She mostly shoots fashion, but is also now focusing more on wedding photography.
She says "Although I will of course shoot any wedding, my very favourites are those with more thought put into the details and those with a quirky touch.
My background is in burlesque and pin-up photography and coupled with my experience in fashion, I am at my most happy shooting vintage and alternative-style weddings, such as this!"
Natalie recalls how she met Dawn "I 'met' Dawn through the wonder that is Social Media!
We have a mutual friend (the lovely makeup artist Ms Sali Moo) and I noticed a post she had written about her friend needing wedding suppliers urgently. I commented on the status and the rest, as they say, is history."
"Usually I prefer to meet couples prior to the wedding, either for a couples/engagement/save the date shoot or over a cup of tea and slice of cake to discuss all the fine details and image checklist, though due to the extreme short notice this alas wasn't possible on this occasion.
We did, however, converse at great length via email and phone conversation, which really helped to build a picture of Dawn & Robin's relationship and personalities."
The Big Day on September 11th 2011 was tinged with sadness due to loved ones passed, but still full of sunshine and smiles, although emotion was clearly palpable.
This thought is emphasised by the words of Natalie "The thing that stands out in my mind more than anything is how much laughter and many smiles there were on the day.
I know weddings are always a time for happiness, but at this gathering in particular my face was hurting by the end of it, never mind Dawn's & Robin's!"
"I was surprised at how calm Dawn was throughout the whole day, she looked absolutely stunning and beaming.
It really was a wonderful day and the atmosphere was completely relaxed, happy and full of love from the moment I got there to the very last image I snapped."
The lovely Bride Dawn continues the story,
How did you meet?
"We met at university about eight years ago. Rob was a full on punk with a Mohawk, and I had bright red hair and a few different piercings…We might look a little more ‘proper’ now, but we’re still just as full of mischief!"
When and how did you get engaged?
"We got engaged in October last year. We don’t tell anyone about how we got engaged, it’s our special secret!
In fact, we tell lots of different lies to people about where we were, and what we were doing and wonder how long it’ll take for them to clock that they’ve all got a different story…. Naughty!
Anyway, we saved it up as a little secret until Boxing Day, when both of our families came to our house for dinner and we announced it to them together."
Tell me about your Planning journey.
"Well, we basically didn’t really plan anything – we booked our venue for a couple of years away, knowing we had to save up loads of cash we didn’t have, and basically forgot about it.
But then in July, we found out that my Dad had cancer, so we decided to pull the wedding forwards so that he could walk me down the aisle."
"He loved Rob and we knew he would have loved seeing us get married, so it didn’t seem right to do it without him. So we called our venue and asked when the first date they could bring it forwards to was: it gave us six weeks to sort it out, mental!"
"So we basically gave a big plea for anyone that could help us, and we were shown so much kindness and generosity we couldn’t believe it."
"Our wedding planning reminds us of the Beatles song ‘ I get by with a little help from my friends’ – because that’s what it was. My dress was made by BooBooKittyCouture at a discounted rate; our flowers were done by a friend of a friend; my Godmother sorted the wedding cake; our bridesmaid Caroline and her boyfriend sorted out the car for us; the villagers did the flowers in the church; the vicar gave us as much of a discount as she legally could; we made the favours and the decorations ourselves; one of our friends treated me to having my bridal hair done; Natalie J Weddings gave us a lovely discount on our photography, and Ms Moo did the bridal make up as a gift – even the bell ringers and organist in the church pitched in for free!"
"It’s amazing what kindness you can be shown when you really need it; and having all these lovely people around us just ready to help out made our wedding feel even more special.
Still, regardless of how much everyone helped, organising it at six weeks notice meant planning was frantic. Sadly, Dad died two weeks before the wedding – but we still made him really happy trying."
"We had our wedding reception in my old house! It was amazing.
When I was a wee lass, she used to live in a two up two down that was part of a tumbledown country house split into lots of flats and maisonettes; all the grounds were a caravan park and an overgrown woods."
"Since then, a property developer came and spruced it up again, and now it’s suddenly a posh hotel, Kilworth House where they let us come and get married and other such grown up things.
My little sister died in a car crash last year, so it was nice to be somewhere that had a link to her too.We both thought it was a really lovely way of making us part of the same story, linking the past and the present."
Thanks so much to Natalie for sharing her images and Dawn and Robin for sharing their lovely story.
To Contact Natalie J Watts
Phone: 07967 361 365