I am a huge fan of engagement portraits. I have always loved seeing the photos of a couple in their casual clothes before the big day, reflecting the time and style in a relaxed way. I had my own engagement shoot last week and I am even more convinced of their value. This week I thought we'd hear from some photographers to explain in more detail about the engagement shoot process.
'There are two main reasons that couples do an engagement shoot,' says David Stowe of SOCIETY [Photography]. 'They (couples) want some beautiful images of themselves as a couple in a more timeless sense. Wedding photographs are an obvious point in time with wedding dress, suit etc. An engagement portrait is about images that celebrate their love in a more 'everyday' way. It's also a great opportunity for a more artistic image on your wall at home.'
Secondly, 'most people haven't had professional photos taken and are often a bit unsure of being in front of a camera. Having a portrait sitting before the wedding can be a great way to feel more comfortable about it and a chance to get to know their photographer better. Everyone that does an engagement portrait with us remarks on how much easier and more fun it was than they thought it might be!'
David recently shot this fabulous engagement shoot and we've been dying to share it with you!
'Chren and Aerock were a couple that I hit it off with from day one, so to be able to spend some time with them shooting the engagement portrait was really lovely,' says David.
'They loved the rocks and shells so we started to incorporate them into a series of images telling the story of their engagement and that sense of giving of each other. I knew they appreciated a more artistic interpretation of themselves as a couple which inspired me too.'
David suggests choosing a photographer whose style you love and who you get along with. 'If you love the style of the photographer you have chosen then you will automatically have a degree of confidence in their ability as a professional.' He also points out that some of the best images have a degree of 'orchestration' in order to get the couple into the right position with the right background and right light. 'A good photographer will be able to do this and still create a natural image that celebrates you as a couple.'
When it comes to theme, props and location, Sarah Harris of MM photos recommends 'a couple of changes of clothes as standard and special locations such as where the proposal took place. We try to ensure that the couples personalities shine through so think about hobbies, passions, likes, pasttimes - for example if you love kayaking lets shoot on the water! Accessories such as hats, scarves and pretty umbrellas work really well.'
This stunning engagement shoot from MM photos features Priscovia from Melbourne and Andrew from Uganda. They met at university when they were both doing their masters. He moved over here in 2008 to study and they fell in love!
Sarah has these tips to help couples relax:
- Have a glass of wine! But not too much of course...
- Be yourselves and pretend the camera is not even there.
- Don't try a new hairstyle for the shoot; go with something you are comfortable with already!
An engagement shoot also provides couples with a collection of beautiful images that can be used at the wedding ceremony, reception, for the guest book and stationary. 'One husband recently organised a proposal shoot and used one of the photos on canvas as a wedding gift for his partner,' says Sarah.
Thank you to David Stowe of SOCIETY [Photography] and Sarah Harris of MM Photos.
Stay tuned next week as I share my engagement shoot experience with you...
P.S Do you have a wedding challenge? Ask us for help and you could feature in the next Brides Made edition of Modern Wedding magazine!