I haven’t blogged for a long time and whilst I keep my portfolio up to date (I try to have at least something new every fortnight) this is not a good state of affairs because I think actually I have a couple of useful things to say.
The first of these useful things I have to say is about squirrels: have you ever wondered how those amazing bushy tails they have are like a tickle mitten? Like if a squirrel was to rock up to you, and start wafting its tail across your nose like a living feather duster, it would probably be quite ticklish.
The second thing I have to say which is arguably more helpful, is all about how to look great in your engagement shoot (or pre-wedding) session photos, and by extension your wedding photos.
All of my couples get a little bit nervous, or a bit scared in the run up to their engagement sessions, and some by the time their engagement shoot comes around are wondering what they were thinking when they thought, ‘yeah I want to have my wedding photographer do an engagement shoot that will be so cool.’ And then the day comes, and they feel white as a sheet.
Don’t worry – I totally understand. These anxieties are normal and more or less every couple I have the pleasure of working with experiences the same thing. You are not alone.
If you have booked me as your wedding photographer, you are in safe hands. I consider it absolutely part of my job to help you relax, build trust in me but most of all ensure that the photos you receive as part of your wedding collection are drop dead gorgeous and authentic.
Hopefully my approach or advice if you have chosen a wedding photographer other than myself may help you regain control of your fears and move you back towards looking forwards to it.
My approach to engagement shoots is that they are every bit as important to me as your wedding day itself. That means to say that I give 100% to every engagement shoot and spend a lot of time prepping and working with my couples to make them memorable and cherishable. There are three things that I think engagement shoots are good for:
They are good for many other things, but those three are what I think for me they are most helpful for.
Ok, so we’re almost a third of the way through and we’re none the wiser of how you’re going to not worry about your engagement shoot and actually enjoy it. So let’s crack on…
We live in a very image and media saturated world. You will have seen plenty of engagement shoots yourself by myself and perhaps other photographers and found your favourites but you are concerned about how on earth will your engagement shoot photos look so relaxed and natural?
I’ll tell you the secret to looking great in your photos: don’t think about it, be in love and be yourselves.
I don’t want you to have to think ‘is this the right way to smile’, or, ‘should I be natural’, ‘should I be thoughtful’. And you should never worry about ‘how does this look’. The secret is to just be yourselves with your partner and be free in your love. Live in the moment and be carried away by it.
When we open ourselves up all that beautiful authentic emotion will come pouring out, it might be rapturous laughter, it may be a real moment of meditation between you as you catch each other’s gaze, and you’ll watch the sun setting on the sea or perching itself on the edge of the hills on the horizon and you’ll soak it all up, it will affect you and move you and then you remember; the one you are committing yourself to is here with you and sharing in this moment too. And that’s beautiful.
All the while I photograph this, hopefully my intuition will catch this moment with you and I’ll do whatever I need so that I can create aesthetically gorgeous photos of that moment, in flattering angles and in ways that are cherishable. I may help style and guide certain elements by suggesting ideas or finessing the placement of say where your hand is, or encouraging something that I think will really make the photo work, but I am guiding you along with this, building your confidence that you can do all this and not look at all a bit stupid.
Sometimes it takes a little while for this penny to drop on engagement shoots but I always find with my couples it does. Sometimes it can take half an hour, sometimes even the most nervous of couples suddenly realise 5 minutes in they are having fun and rekindling all the excitement, passion and heart fluttering emotions that make us weak at the knees.
So never worry about how you think something may look on camera, leave that to me, just enjoy this moment with the one you love. And if you’re worried about looking stupid, I’m a professional photographer that starts blog posts with sentiments about squirrels, but after all, those tails….