To prepare for the most magical time of the year, we headed to the Cotswolds for our first-ever shoot out of home. Find out more about our Christmas shoot with Ashlee’s behind-the-scenes insights.
Christmas in the countryside
To create a dream Christmas in the heart of the countryside, we chose to travel across the country to the Cotswolds, one of my favorite parts of the UK. We spent two nights at the incredible Bibury Farm Barns – and we couldn’t have chosen a better setting for our first-ever out-of-home shoot! The barns are located on a family-owned working farm, and nature is at the heart of everything they do.
This was our second visit to Bibury Farm; we were lucky enough to visit with our whole family in the winter a couple of years ago, and it was an experience that proved to be unforgettable. I love the natural Cotswold stone of the barns and can’t imagine anything better than spending the festive season here, taking walks through the frost-covered fields before cozying up in the evenings with a roaring fire.
Shooting on location
Hosting a Christmas shoot away from home for the first time was incredibly exciting, but also a little daunting! Bibury Farm is located just outside Cirencester, which is around three and a half hours from us, so we were very aware while packing up that leaving anything behind could cost us a lot of time if we had to retrace our steps.
Planning and preparation saved the day; we packed absolutely everything we thought we might need – even our Christmas tree – into Chris' van. Inevitably, we still forgot one thing – our white dried flax wreath! Luckily, our team was able to act fast and send one out to us straight away, and thankfully, it arrived just in time.
Careful planning and a sprinkle of chaos
Before we switched the cameras on, we spent time creating a very long list of everything that we wanted to get shot and filmed each day. This made all the difference when it came to making sure we covered everything we wanted to shoot and meant we could make the most of our time in the barn. We worked non-stop both days and ended up taking over 500 photos and 50 videos!
But that's not to say it was all smooth sailing; our beautiful barn looked a little bit like a horse had been let loose inside by the time we wrapped. My goodness we made a mess! We had stock, packaging, fresh flowers, clothes, and even a coating of fake snow everywhere.
I must admit that, despite the chaos (and the cleaning up), I love shoot days – it's my favorite part of running The Suffolk Nest. Chris made sure we were all fed and watered, providing so many snacks that it felt a little like a mini holiday at times. So, while the overall experience was exhausting, I enjoyed every minute of it – and I hope you love everything we created just as much as we do.
Exciting Additions: 49 New Items and Brand New Candles
We also had the thrill of introducing 49 new items to our shooting list, including the much-anticipated brand new candles. The candles were an exciting highlight of this shoot, and we couldn't wait to showcase them in our Christmas collection. They bring an extra touch of warmth and elegance to your holiday ambiance, and we're sure you'll love them as much as we do.