So a few weeks ago I agreed to take part in an engagement style shoot by my sweet friend Ashlee from Taylor Barnes Photography, she wanted to practice a style of photography using the beloved technique to evoke emotion, and she also wanted to shoot it all in film. Having been in front of the lens a few times now, I’ll say that this felt much less like a photo shoot and more like a personal experience, with a photographer there who just happened to capture the moments.
I’m so delighted with the results from our session at this Cotswold Vineyard (also a gorgeous wedding venue and restaurant). You see one of my biggest regrets is that I never had an engagement shoot, or took enough time on my wedding day to have a few shots of just me and my new hubby. We were so excited and busy chatting to our friends that we didn’t notice the photographer being dragged into group family shots that we weren’t that bothered about, and we ran out of time. Don’t get me wrong, I love our official pics but I wanted some that really captured our love of one another for the grandchildren to look back at one day.
It was so nice for us to get away from our busy lives for this sweet little shoot in a beautiful Cotswolds setting; what with work, family and home renovation .. we hardly ever get time to connect and just be in the company of one another. Ashlee totally stepped back and let us interact with each other without feeling posed or unnatural, she prompted us with the odd question and moved away to let us share a private moment each time. I loved it. I felt amazing afterwards, really back in tune with who we are as a couple.
After the shoot I asked Ashlee if she’d pen down a few thoughts for the blog about engagement shoots and couple sessions. So I’ll hand over to her now and hope you feel inspired…
Documenting your life is something that is hugely important to most people, you just have to glance at how many apps now focus on photography and videography – with Facebook and instagram being the most popular apps now available via our smart phones. So it always surprises me when my lovely couples choose not to have a couples session before (on an engagement session) or during their wedding day.
After further discussion many couples tell me that it’s because they are not a fan of having their own photograph taken, and others feel it may take up precious time that they would rather spend with their loved ones. I understand both of those objections. I understand that it can often feel nerve wracking being in front of the camera – but like most things practice makes perfect and what better way to practice than at an engagement session?
I find them so useful as a way to get to know my clients better, learning how they work as individuals and how to photograph them in a way to reflect there personalities. That’s why I offer an engagement shoot free to any couple who book me to do their wedding as I feel its imperative to getting better photographs on the day.
So if you don’t feel comfortable in front of the camera do discuss that with your photographer, as it is our job as professionals to give you more confidence, make you feel comfortable and give you fond memories of your session.
Another thing to note is on your wedding day, is that without a doubt you will have spent a great deal of time and effort into making sure you look amazing! Every single bride I have ever met has been completely radiant, fresh faced and genuinely beautiful. All of these efforts deserve documenting!
The other objection I get to taking couple photographs on the day is that my bride and grooms are worried about too much time being taken out of the day away from their loved ones. This is something I completely agree with and would never want to encroach on, so I always aim to make a couple session as quick and succinct as posible. I work along side your wedding planner to find a time that would be most suitable for you both, and I spend as little as 10mins capturing those key shots (for couples who have an engagement shoot prior then this time is always considerably shorter).
Its only on reflection that I believe a couple look back on their wedding photographs and really appreciate the time they put aside to have a few shots of them both. I have never had a couple say to me that they regretted having portrait shots of themselves, but every couple who I have worked with who have’t had them, have regretted not doing so.
When thinking about your wedding, remember that this is the start of your family, you are the roots of your family tree! Make sure you capture those memories, not just for now but for your children and grand children to come.
My grand parents wedding album is one of the things I have left of them being together and it was what inspired me to become a photographer myself.
xxx Love and Hugs xxx
Isn’t she talented? And oh so lovely? If you are looking for a wedding photographer who uses both real film and the beloved technique, then she’s your gal. She happens to have her own super pretty blog if you wanted to check that out for some extra inspiration too.
Have a lovely day.