Mary Ann & Josh
Engagement Photoshoot in Milton Keynes
As a wedding photographer, the summer of 2017 will be memorable for me on many different levels. This was the year my photography business began to take shape. The whole year was specifically devoted to concentrating on wedding photography. Further developing my technical knowledge, was also high on my list.
I invested in some very expensive equipment and got to meet lots of fabulous people. Travelling up and down the country, I was busy arranging consultations and wedding photoshoots. One engagement shoot, in particular, stands out for a number of reasons.
Meeting my new clients as a wedding photographer
I was contacted through my website at jmphotographyweddings.com by Mary Ann. She lived in Oxford and was due to be married to Josh in a lovely church in the heart of the city. We exchanged emails, spoke on the phone and arranged to meet up in Milton Keynes. The weather that day was particularly hot and very sunny with clear blue skies and a gentle breeze. They arrived promptly and I was delighted to see that they had dressed for the occasion.
Getting to know you
Mary Ann is a strikingly beautiful Brazilian woman and Josh is a really lovely soft-spoken young chap. It was clear to see that they were very well suited to each other. We talked for an hour or so over a cup of coffee. I heard all about the plans they had made regarding the wedding itself and it sounded wonderful. They were to be married by a friend, who is a vicar, in the church they both belonged to. By all accounts, it promised to be a grand affair.
Excitement would be an understatement, this would be my very first time photographing a church wedding! After all the details were discussed and all the coffee drank we headed outside. We took a leisurely stroll down to the location I had chosen for this session.
Milton Keynes is blessed with lots of amazing locations for photography. Acres of wide open green areas, tree-lined avenues, and a fantastic lake right on our doorstep! We headed for Willen lake which was teeming with people enjoying the amazing summer weather. The atmosphere was wonderful and we just soaked it all up.
The lake is absolutely huge with lots of trees, banks and gardens. We headed for the far side away from the crowds and into the shade. I took with me a variety of lenses, a couple of cameras and a portable softbox for the flash. My partner kindly offered to be my assistant for the day making things a little easier. We all spent lots of time chatting and gradually the nerves just melted away. I wasn’t surprised to learn early on that they were both “camera shy”. As their wedding photographer, I told them not to worry and made every effort to make them feel comfortable and as relaxed as possible.
Its all about the communication
We talked about the plans they had for their new life together. I asked them how they met, what their interests were and pretty soon they just settled into the afternoon. We all started to enjoy the session before I had even taken a camera out of the bag! By the time I had set up the first shot using the softbox and flash, they were really chilled. Mary Ann and Josh were open to all the suggestions regarding the kind of images I had in mind for them. I do have a vague idea of what I would like to do in a session such as this. Generally, however, I just go with the flow, taking advantage of opportunities as they present themselves.
I took loads of photographs that day. Mary Ann & Josh were so helpful and eager to try anything I suggested, but by and large, we kept it simple, natural and I allowed them to just be themselves. It was extremely satisfying to have spent a pleasant afternoon in the company of such lovely people. We came away with lots of glorious images, walked for hours all around the lake, taking advantage of all the beautiful locations this spot has to offer.
Just relax and enjoy yourselves
It makes such a difference to the session if everyone is relaxed and comfortable only then will the photographs look amazing. I always tell my clients that this is very much a collaborative effort and that they are not just “subjects” to be photographed, herded around and staged. The last thing anyone needs is to feel that kind of pressure.
As a wedding photographer I make it my business to get to know my clients. This kind of shoot depends so much on being as fun-filled as possible and is the key to a successful session. On that day it felt as though I had achieved that. These two people were complete strangers before we met but by the time the session had ended, we were friends. Any trace of nerves about the wedding day itself had completely disappeared!
They loved all the images we achieved for them on that day, and I was so chuffed to see my photography on display in a frame next to the wedding cake!
Days like this just reinforce my desire to be a wedding photographer. I look back on that day and I take pride in knowing that I did everything right and that both Mary Ann and Josh, were instrumental in contributing to the session. They both took the time to dress for the occasion, listened to all the advice they had been given and allowed me the freedom I needed to provide them with great images . . . the end result speaks for itself.