When you choose your photographer chances are high that you will be very familiar with how they show up online. You’ve checked them out on Instagram, Facebook and had a good nosey around their website. You’ve chatted on the phone, maybe even met up now you feel like you know them…a bit. But the idea of an engagement shoot doesn’t appeal to you. But I think you’re missing a trick.
Not only will you be able to ask any questions you might have, it’s a good way to get to know each other – the last thing you want is to feel like there’s a stranger following you around taking your photos on your big day. In an engagement shoot you can practice being in front of the camera and start to feel more relaxed….with no pressure. You can get to see how your photographer works. You can have a laugh, yes this is actually possible. Even if you’re really camera shy. The experience builds trust between you and your photographer which is essential for good photography.
Kaiya & Max didn’t want to stray too far for their engagement shoot. Green & rural vibes seemed a nice contrast to their upcoming Brighton Seafront wedding.
Luckily Steyning has plenty to offer and we chose the lesser known Clays Hill, a beautiful spot largely ignored unless you’re a dog owner. We wandered for a while, chatted lots and I shared some great tips to help them feel relaxed.
By having this short time together it meant that on the wedding day itself we were able to do portraits swiftly. They already knew how to get cosy and relaxed with each other which meant they could get back to their guests and the party. Plus they now have two sets of beautiful photographs to enjoy.
Shona & Richard knew exactly what they wanted; relaxed, rustic and family were key words at the heart of all their planning. They decided to do it all themselves and host the ceremony in their back garden. They hired marquee, built the bar from pallets and even served homemade gins.
A fan of Pinterest, Shona created mood boards inspiring her to grow and source all the flowers herself, including a stunning flower cloud. Many friends and family lent a hand in days leading up and including the wedding day itself. From make up, hair, decorations, washing up (!), even flower arranging. There were eucalyptus, lavender and South Africa flowers in her bouquet – a lovely reminder of her soon to be parents in law who unable to travel down.
Their children Martha and Arthur helped with decorations along with Truffle the dog who was the most attentive host (providing you had a ball!)
Bucking tradition, there were no speeches or first dance which echoed further that this really was their day, carried out their way. Instead they opened up their beautiful home to host the perfect afternoon tea. Local bakers provided the delicious scones, including gluten free options and Shona’s mother baked further cakes and goodies. Eat the street food van arrived with amazing evening food & vegan friendly dishes were lovingly cooked and donated by friends. And another local cake maker was able to step in last minute & provide a beautiful lemon Vegan cake.
Unobtrusive photography was high on their list and I was thrilled to have been asked as I pride myself on my quiet style & adapting to suit the needs of my clients. Portraits were swift in favour of celebrating with loved ones.
Richard & Shona’s attention to detail was everywhere. They even provided Bell tents for accommodation for some & a local bus service for those staying nearby. (I know because I happily stayed till the end, even joining them on the dance floor)!
It was a fabulous day. Made all the more special thanks to the efforts of their friends and family as well as the bride and groom themselves. Congratulations Mr & Mrs Halsall.