For couples who love having their photo taken, engagement shoots are easy and fun, and naturally I love working with these super relaxed couples. We all know those people who are comfortable in front of the camera, know exactly how to stand and look great from every angle. But of course in real life very few of us feel so confident being in front of the lens (I include myself in this slightly awkward bunch!). One of the most common things I hear from couples after the short portrait session on their wedding day is “that wasn’t as bad as we thought” or “that was actually fun!”, so imagine how much more relaxed you could be on your wedding day if you got those nerves and uncertainty out of the way a few weeks or months beforehand. For me the main benefit of engagement or pre-wedding shoots is to show you exactly how I will work on the wedding day, and to assure you that it’s a quick and painless process, which you might even enjoy. I don’t do a lot of posing, but I will guide you into positions and lighting that show you off at your best. Then I’ll probably ask you to ignore me. If you feel like you’re about to break into a nervous laugh, then that’s great for photos! If you want to kiss and cuddle, I’ll be happy. All you have to do is relax and the photos will follow. Engagement shoots also give me the chance to see how you interact as a couple, whether you feel comfortable with public displays of affection and lose yourselves easily in a romantic moment, or whether you prefer more light-hearted, fun portraits, full of movement and laughter. When you know how I work and I know how you react, then the benefits will definitely show through on your wedding day.
And of course, one of the big benefits of an engagement shoot is that you get a collection of beautiful photos of you as a couple, as you are in everyday life. It’s an opportunity to mark the end of one chapter in your life, before you embark on new adventures as a married couple. I urge couples not to have preconceptions about what an engagement shoot will be (“standing in a field hugging” as one bride described it!). Yes, most of my engagement sessions are simple photoshoots in a park or on a beach, lasting around an hour with a good bit of that time spent chatting about the wedding and getting to know each other. But they can be as simple or as elaborate as you like. If you love surfing or playing music or climbing in the mountains and you want me to follow you for an afternoon, I’ll be there. Or like one of my couples from a few years ago, head to the pub, play some board games and have me record you doing something that is meaningful to you and your life. It doesn’t matter to me what format the shoot takes, as long as you feel comfortable and we’re making some beautiful images.
So after all of that, I should really show some photos. This past week I’ve had pre-wedding shoots with two of my Christmas wedding couples. The first was complicated and cut slightly short by gale force winds and a sand-storm on the beach (though the couple somehow still managed to look amazing!), but thankfully the second went a bit more to plan. I met up with Aislinn & Seamus at their home and then had a quick photoshoot in nearby Lurgan Park. It was so fun to catch up with them and hear all about their plans for the wedding, Aislinn’s excitement is infectious and I really can’t wait to photograph their day. Here is a little preview of our afternoon in the park.