A sunset engagement shoot at the coast with Jessica and Christopher

Using a ruined and rusting outdoor swimming pool as a backdrop for an engagement shoot is an unusual idea, which is why I suggested it as a location to Jessica and Christopher. Tynemouth Outdoor Pool can be found hewed out of the cliff face above Tynemouth Longsands and is a prominent local landmark for all the wrong reasons. 

The concrete, rectangular, salt water tidal pool, was built in the 1920s. It was popular with locals and travelling holiday makers for over 50 years, but it began to lose favour in the late 1970's with the introduction of cheap package holidays abroad. Virtually all British coastal holiday destinations went into a steep decline around this time.

The pool fell into disrepair, and in the mid 1990's the Local Authority demolished the ancillary buildings and bulldozed the rubble into the pool, before filling it with concrete and imported boulders to form an artificial ‘rock pool’. The anticipated marine life they introduced never flourished and the outdoor pool remains an eyesore to this day.

What I like about this as a location for photographs is the textures and colours of the rusting railings and paintwork. I also like the juxtaposition of the ugliness of the derelict pool and the attractive engaged couple. There's also a metaphysical or spiritual angle, with the sea battering the man made pool and the world changing around it leaving it forgotten and unloved which contrasts strongly with the vibrant love of a young couple.

We shot at sunset and were rewarded with some beautiful light, which I often filtered through prisms.

Jessica and Christopher were quite shy and reserved to begin with but loosened up as the shoot progressed and were soon getting comfortable with PDA's. We ended up with a selection of interesting, romantic and fun pre-wedding photographs that are a bit out of the ordinary.

Alternative engagement photography.

See more engagement shoots, and real weddings, in Newcastle on my Newcastle weddings page.