Four brides by cake table

Today we are going to take you behind the scenes of the ‘Drama Queen’ Shoot on the Set of Les Misérables we featured last week, with more stunning pictures from the day. The organiser of the shoot Caroline Nicholson describes how the day unfolded…

“Once the concept had been sorted and the suppliers were on board, all that remained was to get going. In the space of a few weeks we had everything finalised and decided we all wanted to do the shoot before Christmas. At this point we all started praying for good weather; even in the rain The Historic Dockyard has loads of places to shoot, but life would have been that much harder on a bad day. Thankfully we got a lovely sunny winter’s day and created some film inspired magic!

“We began in the morning at Commissioner’s House with our gorgeous brides, Dawn Ferguson, Hayley Griffiths, Samantha Stevens, and Sarah Rogers, and our wonderful make-up artists Elaine Barrow and Shamirah Sairally took over, expertly transforming the ladies into Drama Queens. Both girls worked so quickly, and came on board at the eleventh hour when another hair and make-up artist couldn’t take part — they saved the day, quite literally. Our Drama Queens took their pick of the gorgeous accessories from Claire Ogden Designs, and then worked their own little miracles doing each other’s hair for the shoot, and we all agreed they did amazingly. While all that was going on, Gwenda Wilkes from The Vintage Floral Design Company dropped off the stunning floral garlands that featured rather prominently all day; they were so beautiful, all made with preserved flowers.

“Next, Jinder Raja from The Finer Details and Elizabeth Solaru from the legendary Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium worked their creative magic on our styled areas in the Tarred Yarn Store and the 3 Slip — Big space. Jinder specialises in beautiful wedding invitations and accessories, and all of her beautiful brooch bouquets are designed and produced in her studio in Surrey with the utmost attention to detail, and it showed — they were truly unique. Elizabeth arrived with an absolute cavern of cakes and treats which everyone one of us was trying to resist. She is of the belief that a cake should delight both taste wise and visually, and these were nothing short of remarkable; the workmanship on her cakes was impeccable.

“As the morning went on we were sticking to a very tight schedule that we’d worked out in advance. While our gorgeous brides were getting glammed up, the rest of us were preparing the styled areas of the Historic Dockyard. Marsha Hall from Marsha Hall Handmade Shoes arrived with bespoke shoes designed exclusively for the shoot, which I’m surprised she got to take home as we all wanted to steal them, and Sarah Poole from SP Wedding Events, who had only just left hospital, arrived to supply us with some gorgeous props that she hires out for all kinds of events and weddings.

Cristina Rossi and I began photographing in earnest, and were joined by Johanna and Apos from Urban Cinematography, who were keen to shoot some behind the scenes footage of this amazing location and of the shoot, with their unique cinematic style (you can see their work at the end!). I still love Cristina’s reaction when she finally got to see the first location, the Tarred Yarn Store which was used so much in Les Misérables; she literally squealed with delight!

“I’ve worked with Cristina before and admire her work greatly. She clearly has a true passion for creating a memorable experience for her clients and is a joy to be around — she makes everything so much fun. We didn’t stop laughing all day but we were always dead on schedule — the only way to be.

“We basically shot images all day from then on. We all could have stayed for hours, and our hosts at the Dockyard couldn’t have been more helpful and accommodating.

“I know I can’t wait to go back there, whether it’s for a wedding, a shoot, or some other reason, this very unique location is definitely at the top of my list as THE go to venue.

“With huge thanks again to all involved — we couldn’t have done it without you.”

Set of Les Miserables

Wedding make-up artist Make-up artist applying make-up

Bride having eyeliner applied

Wedding dresses hanging Wedding shoes

Long eyelashes

Bridal hair clip

Red flower bridal headpiece

Colourful brooch bouquet

Pearl and silver brooch bouquet

Silver brooch bouquet

Red heart brooch bouquet

Red white and blue brooch bouquet

Button bouquet

Gold brooch bouquet

Large empty warehouse

Photographer assessing space

Props being adjusted for photo shoot

Wedding cake table

Cupcakes with flags


Photographer taking close up picture

Red heart brooch bouquet on table

White tiered wedding cake with red and black Black hat on table

Black cupcakes

Shoes hanging from birdcage

Pink shoes on birdcage Pink shoes

Bride having dress adjusted

Bride sitting holding brooch bouquet

Photographer taking picture of brides

Brides in a line

Brooch bouquets

Bride with top hat

Brides walking to photo shoot


Brides wearing coats

Beamed ceiling

Tall white wedding cake

Tall white wedding cake with flower design Flower detail on wedding cake

Brides looking at wedding cake

Bride eating cupcake

Table of cakes

Floral headpiece on back of chair

Close up of white postbox White postbox

Red rose cupcakes

Detailed purple wedding cake

Flowers on top of purple wedding cake

Bride taking sweet Bride eating sweet Bride looking at camera after eating sweet

Bride holding cupcake Bride holding out cupcake to camera

White and black wedding shoes on stairs

Brides walking down stairs

Bride having back of dress adjusted Bride standing on stairs looking up

Bride standing on stairs Photographer leaning over banister to take picture

Photographer with brides

Images © Caroline Nicholson Photography and Cristina Rossi Photography