As part of my Full Day wedding package (or as an additional extra for anyone), I offer couples an engagement shoot at a location of their choice a few months before their wedding day.
I find this is an excellent opportunity to really get to know a couple and find out what kind of shots work best for them, as well as seeing how they interact with each other in front of the camera. They also get to meet me and learn about how I work too, and I have found that this helps them have greater faith in my style of work, as well as some images to share with family and friends, or to use in their wedding stationary.
More often than not, the groom-to-be starts off by declaring that they don't really like having their photo taken, but they do seem to find their way pretty quickly with a bit of gentle direction, and I believe it helps them having their bride-to-be there to lean on. I try to stick with a fairly relaxed, only semi-posed style, as I think this shows the couple in a more natural light and also helps put them at ease - for example; I ask them to talk to each other while the shots are being taken and more often than not a joke is cracked or a simple 'I love you' is exchanged creating much more authentic smiles and a sense of closeness difficult to achieve with stiff posing. This often leads to the couple coming up with some ideas of their own as well!
Different couples err towards different styles, and I aim to accommodate all. For instance, some prefer a highly romantic atmosphere in their shots, where as some are certainly up for some fun! Such as in the image below; we were aiming for a formal, yet playful 'classic' shot of the groom-to-be (Andrew) surprising the bride-to-be (Morgan) from behind a large tree.. instead we had Andrew, all of his own accord, jump out and yell the loudest "BOO!" that I'd ever heard! Needless to say, Morgan screamed, but I managed to press the shutter at just the right time to capture the moment, leaving the couple with a shot that perfectly summed up their fun nature.
I'm soon going to assemble an FAQ to provide further information about my engagement shoot service, but in the mean time I have put toghether a few of my favourite shots from last year. Can't wait to take some more this year too!