Monday, 2 January 2017

The Winter Engagement Shoot

Pinhole Images provide wedding & event photography with 2 photographers as standard.
Our “Through the Pinhole” blog posts feature either individual images that we love, or, like this one, focus on a particular wedding or event photography session or subject.

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We met Jamie & Kate at the NEC National Wedding Show last year.  They visited our stand and loved our high quality photobooth and our natural style of wedding photography.  So much so that they booked us soon afterwards to be their wedding photographers for their big day later this year. 

But they also liked the idea of a pre-wedding shoot, so on a cold Sunday afternoon in December we met up on location in Worcestershire and spent 90 minutes taking photos at several different spots that we had reccied in advance.

It was certainly cold, but the low winter light was fantastic, casting long shadows and highlighting the colour of the fallen leaves.  

Engagement, Shoot, Worcestershire, Pre-Wedding, Gloucestershire, Cotswolds, Wedding, Photography, Documentary, Reportage, Midlands, Warwickshire, Fuji X, National Wedding Show, Brides,
About to walk the future winding road together....
Whether just engaged, already engaged a while or just about to get married, a pre-wedding shoot (or engagement shoot) gives the opportunity to celebrate this stage of your relationship.  I often think it should be called a ‘loveshoot’.

Here, the backlighting from the low winter sun and the breath condensing in the cold air certainly helps to add some atmosphere, and captures the context as well as the image of the couple.

Engagement, Shoot, Worcestershire, Pre-Wedding, Gloucestershire, Cotswolds, Wedding, Photography, Documentary, Reportage, Midlands, Warwickshire, Fuji X, National Wedding Show, Brides,
Kate wears a halo from the setting sun
Our wedding photography style is as discreet as possible and captures moments as they unfold. This is sometimes known as documentary photography or reportage photography.  A photojournalism approach - but because we give you 2 photographers rather than one, you get double the amount of coverage.  

We like to make our engagement shoots relaxed too, with the minimum of posed photos.  But there’s no getting away from the fact that the couple is the centre of attention – more so than at the wedding itself, because the only purpose of the session is to have your photo taken.  And there aren’t usually any other guests or events going on as distractions.  Few people are used to being in front of a camera – unless it is for a selfie.

The engagement shoot is an important way for both the couple and the photographer to get to know one another a little better, to have a chat and to get as many natural and memorable photos as possible with the minimum amount of directing along the way.

Usually it doesn’t take long for couples to relax into the role and actually start to enjoy it.  In this case, Kate was soon in the spirit of things as it was her idea to use the lifesaver ring as a prop.

Engagement, Shoot, Worcestershire, Pre-Wedding, Gloucestershire, Cotswolds, Wedding, Photography, Documentary, Reportage, Midlands, Warwickshire, Fuji X, National Wedding Show, Brides,
Still waters run deep.

Jamie & Kate had also brought along daughter Ella, together with Bonnie their French Bulldog / Jack Russell cross who added some extra energy and entertainment.

Engagement, Shoot, Worcestershire, Pre-Wedding, Gloucestershire, Cotswolds, Wedding, Photography, Documentary, Reportage, Midlands, Warwickshire, Fuji X, National Wedding Show, Brides,
Sorry Bonnie it's not a treat, it's just a camera

One of our chosen locations on the site was a shady woodland glade that made for a good backdrop, but which was quite gloomy for natural light photography.  No problem - this called for our portable studio lighting equipment to be deployed.  Although rarely used on location, it’s invaluable for situations like this.  And having the second photographers helps here too - even though our camera equipment isn't heavy, this adds to what we carry on the day.

Engagement, Shoot, Worcestershire, Pre-Wedding, Gloucestershire, Cotswolds, Wedding, Photography, Documentary, Reportage, Midlands, Warwickshire, Fuji X, National Wedding Show, Brides,
It's nice to work with such a photogenic couple!
The object of the exercise is to capture the affection between the couple and their personalities, and I think this shot achieves that quite well.  This picture has been well liked on social media channels, and for me shows the dynamic between Jamie and Kate, as well as indicating the fact that it is winter!

Engagement, Shoot, Worcestershire, Pre-Wedding, Gloucestershire, Cotswolds, Wedding, Photography, Documentary, Reportage, Midlands, Warwickshire, Fuji X, National Wedding Show, Brides,
An affectionate moment - and a giver of warmth 
This picture is processed in black & white as in my opinion the colour distracts from the subjects, but we also provide clients with the colour version for them to decide.  Photography is an art, not a science, and is subjective in the eye of the viewer.

And then it was back to the sunset.  For a pre-wedding shoot we like to find a venue that has some meaning.  This location is where Jamie & Kate’s wedding reception will be held, in the countryside that they love close to where they live.  We are hoping for similarly good weather for their wedding....

Engagement, Shoot, Worcestershire, Pre-Wedding, Gloucestershire, Cotswolds, Wedding, Photography, Documentary, Reportage, Midlands, Warwickshire, Fuji X, National Wedding Show, Brides,
A lake, a big sky, some hills.  A lovely backdrop

There are usually lots of guests at a wedding and few opportunities for shots of the couple alone.  It is also a more formal event, so an engagement shoot gives an opportunity for some more informal photos to accompany the wedding photos when they are produced.

You could use the photos produced for save the date cards, thank-you cards or perhaps in some other way on your wedding day.  Project them at the reception venue perhaps.  Use your creativity! It is also a great opportunity for you to see the photographer in action and the quality of their work in advance. 

Some couples ask a friend or relative to be their wedding photographer.  That might be a good subject for another blog post.  And if you are considering doing that, why not ask them to do an engagement shoot with you in advance too?  The same logic applies and it will be good experience for you both.

Autumn, winter and spring are in many ways better for photography than summer (when the light can be very harsh).  So if you have a summer wedding, do consider an engagement shoot in winter, or spring or autumn.  Your wedding photographer will probably thank you too – as he or she is probably very busy in the summer months.  

And you will be have some photos of you and your partner to cherish.


Engagement, Shoot, Worcestershire, Pre-Wedding, Gloucestershire, Cotswolds, Wedding, Photography, Documentary, Reportage, Midlands, Warwickshire, Fuji X, National Wedding Show, Brides,
Reflecting on the important year ahead...

Pinhole Images provide wedding & event photography with 2 photographers as standard.
Our “Through the Pinhole” blog posts feature either individual images that we love, or, like this one, focus on a particular wedding or event photography session or subject.

To see future posts and be the first to hear about our special offers and events please subscribe to our Newsletter.  




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