Last weekend I had the opportunity to do an engagement shoot down at Stanway House for Julie and Russell which turned out to be a surprisingly good morning's shooting. The reason I was slightly apprehensive as the weather was definitely against us with heavy rain throughout the night and drizzly rain not wanting to budge. It is always a fear that the bad weather will have a dampening effect on your work but as I learnt sometimes you need to be pushed out of your comfort zone to develop your skills. I arrived at the location an hour early so I could scout out the area and find the most interesting angles which turned out to be vital as it added some great variety to the mornings and get us all moving in the cold weather!
I knew I wanted to start off slow as Russell had said at our first pub meeting that he was not too confident in front of a camera so straight away I knew I had to avoid having him look straight down the lens. So we started off just joking and laughing with some simple poses as I pretended to be getting my settings dialled in, this made everyone relax as they thought the images weren’t going to be kept. But I knew it was a good technique to get everyone settled into the morning's shoot and we managed to get some great natural shoots right off the bat.
After he had everyone relaxed I wanted to break away from the typical poses and shoot list as Julie and Russell both have an amazingly positive outlook on life and I wanted that to come across in my images. So had the idea of breaking up the "walking down the path" shoot into three images and compositing them together later in PhotoShop, to give the impression of passing of time.
When moving onto the next location I noticed one of the many puddles on the lane we were shooting on had a great pocket of light and straightaway I knew I could grab something unique thanks to the bad weather. So I quickly posed the couple, deliberately cropped under their shoulders to give a bit of mystery whilst silhouetting them in the puddle. This turned out to be Russell’s favourite shoot of the day and mine too.
Then to wrap it up there was a beautiful field of buttercups which Julie loved so with some backlighting to give a nice soft haze effect to the image combined with a simple moment between the couple like this would be a great addition to the set of images.
So the lessons learnt from this morning’s shoot
1, Look for the opportunities in every situation, even when it is wet and miserable!
2, Start off simple and build the trust with your clients from there.
3, Never be afraid to try something new. If it doesn't work stick at it and learn from your mistakes.