Lillian and Leonard: London Wedding Photographers


We'll give you a moment to catch your breath

by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

Who: Lillian and Leonard Wedding Photography

Where: London (plus the rest of the UK, if you ask nicely)

Why: They are not only the most talented, they also happen to be some of my favorite humans on the planet.

Why Number Two: The magical thing they do with light.

Price: £1900, which includes two photographers for eight hours and all of the images as high-resolution digital files. They also offer albums as an additional extra.

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The Real Thing

There are photographers, and then there are photographers. And every so often you’re lucky enough to stumble upon the real thing, and your breath catches. (And then, if you’re me, and you went to art school, you then assume they’re probably batshit crazy, because so many of the best artists seem to be.) So it’s particularly pleasing to find a duo like Cara and Nye, the photographers behind Lillian & Leonard, who happen to be both truly exceptional photographers, and also amazing human beings.

Cara was one of the first people I met when I started writing APW six-plus years ago. (In fact, she left the first comment not written by someone I knew.) At the time, she and Nye lived in Glasgow, were planning a wedding, and building a photography business from the ground up. Over the past six years, I’ve watched as it became clear that their work was far more than, “Oh, more wedding photographers.” I’ve also gotten to know both of them, through a series of stolen cross-Atlantic moments. There was the whiskey in a converted church on our honeymoon, the meal in New York after the volcano incident, the riotous dinner in London, and most recently the Thanksgiving with all the sheep. They are hilarious and wise people (though they would probably never admit to being either), and give you faith in the world being what it should be. Because obviously artists who make great art should really be the best kind of people. So it’s nice when it works out like that.

London And The Work

Since there are loads of APWers in London (and slightly fewer of you in Glasgow), I was thrilled last year when Cara and Nye moved their home base south (though they still travel everywhere to shoot your weddings, including Greece, recently, lucky ducks). Cara describes the move to London this way:

Since we moved to London eighteen months ago the venues we work at have changed (where once there were castles and Medieval caves, now there are skyscrapers and private members clubs) but the essence has stayed the same: photographing people in love, in all of their magical, complicated, messy glory. We are still travelling around the UK and have been returning to Scotland regularly, as well as flitting across the Channel to France and Greece in the last few months.

I also asked her to describe their wedding photography, she said:

We are documentary photographers, storytellers. Every couple, every family has a story, and for one short but beautiful day we are invited into it, asked to bear witness, to record it for the future. Weddings are not just about the couple, they are about two families coming together, two histories merging (sometimes colliding) to start a new history. To be trusted with someone’s story is a huge honour and we never cease to be humbled by it. That trust is hands down our favourite part of the job. We also like wedding cake.

Other Things You Should Know About Them

Now that we’ve gotten the formalities out of the way, I also just want to give you a heads up that Cara does some of the best writing on parenting on the Internet, if you ask me. (And you guys always are asking me, about what parenting sites I read. This one. I’m waiting for the memoir.) She also photographs families as Bluebird and the Bear, and often gets to shoot the babies of past wedding clients. She says she is “loving the continuation of documenting precious, fleeting moments in peoples’ lives.” And I’m loving the photos, so it all works out. She says, “Nye meanwhile has been perfecting his sports photography and is traveling to the Alps next month to photograph (and take part in, the lunatic) a thirty-five kilometer mountain bike race.”

In Short

If you’re in London, or really anywhere in the UK, or really anywhere CLOSE to the UK, I really think you should hire Lillian & Leonard to be your wedding photographers. I’m not going to get all shouty at you about how it’s the right thing to do, and you really won’t be sorry, and it’s really the best idea. But just know I’m thinking all that, and holding it in.

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. Her first book, A Practical Wedding: Creative Solutions for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration, was published in January 2012, and has been a top three bestseller on the wedding bookshelf ever since. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son.

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  • http://www.etsy.com/shop/DIYIDo Laura

    That gold dress is magic

    • http://www.asafemooring.blogspot.com/ Kirsty | A Safe Mooring

      SO GOOD.

    • Fiona

      I AGREE. I was going to say the same thing…

    • Dress Stalker

      I’ve been dress stalking it this morning with little success. All I can find out is its by Ulrich Engler. Anyone know more than that?

    • Alyssa M

      That dress is my dream dress…

    • Lauren from NH

      Sarah Seven has some beautiful gold dresses, if that’s what your heart desires. http://www.sarahsevenshop.com/

  • http://www.asafemooring.blogspot.com/ Kirsty | A Safe Mooring

    As a Lillian and Leonard bride, I can’t agree with this enough. They are magical and you need to hire them immediately.

  • Lisa

    In my humble opinion they are the best wedding photographers in the world, in the real world that is, not one inflated by puffery. The real world in which we really get married. Also I imagine they have great accents.

    • Meg Keene

      They have lovely understated accents. They’re sort of understated and hilarious people. In the best way, obviously.

  • Jeni

    Peonies and Polaroids is one of my favorite blogs – and she’s an APW photog! I feel like this is just a karma loop…

  • ItsyBit

    If I had had All The Money, hiring Lillian & Leonard (and flying them out to Rhode Island) for our wedding would have been the first thing I did.