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  • Mandie Roberts

Arran & Kayleigh | A Real Romance at Aberystwyth Castle | West Wales Destination Photographer

My first time hosting an international photography retreat was probably one of the biggest accomplishments of my career and yet one of the most intimidating. I knew I wanted to keep my models local and I knew I wanted them to be truly in love. When Kayleigh responded to my advertisement I knew right away she and her husband Arran would be exactly what we all wanted to photograph.



Aberystwyth Castle is just ruins. From about 1277. The juxtaposition of an alternative, tattooed couple against romantic rubble made my heart flutter. I could photograph in this environment daily and never regret a single shot.



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The best part of shooting with a group of other creatives is seeing the different perspectives, the different editing styles, their interpretations of the same exact thing we were all looking at. We were so lucky to have a group that got along so well, took turns posing fairly and overall had an amazing time. We even got matching dragon tattoos- so the memory of our week in Wales will be with us forever.





Arran and Kayleigh felt like friends from the second they showed up. They were so natural at posing and laughing and making it look like it wasn't freezing the entire time. We didn't want our time with them to end so we all walked down the coastal street to the Glengower pub for chips and pints. What a beautiful thing to see a group of people from vastly different cultures laughing and sharing a meal all because of photography.



This location was personal to me. I didn't just pick it out of a hat. My mother and father in law live about 40 minutes away in a small village, so James had taken me many times before and there was always something magical about it. I originally wanted to plan a retreat to Wales in 2020- but we all know how that year ended up going. It was all worth the wait and next time we go I will remember this day; this couple; this magic.





Co-host: Scott Photography Co.

Venue: Aberystwyth Castle

Models: Kayleigh and Arran Broadhurst


Want to elope in Wales just like my husband and I did? Inquire: thistleandpinephoto@gmail.com

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