3 steps to better intimate engagement photos with Erika and Stan

When it comes to intimate engagement photos, professional photographers use some tried and true methods to help you look your best. During the preparation process of your session, you will most likely touch on the these together. However, sometimes things don’t go to plan or the couple has their own unique and amazing vision instead. That works too!

Intimate engagement photos

Intimate engagement photo

Intimate engagement photos in Oakville

Intimate engagement photo in Oakville

For Erika and Stan, they were ready to benefit from my experience with these methods. Once I shared my proposed plan with them, they were totally onboard. As with every wedding couple of mine tend to be, they were a bit nervous about the session. The unknown can be very scary and intimidating and showing emotions is definitely on this list!

What is the steps to better intimate engagement photos?

The 3 steps to better intimate engagement photos are simple. Be warned, they are not mind-blowing. However, we sometimes overlook the importance of the simplest of steps. These are just some suggestions based on my previous experiences that enhance intimate engagement photos, making them a more enjoyable and memorable experience. Without further adieu, here are Erika and Stan`s intimate engagement photos. We used the 3 steps to take the images to a whole other level.

Oakville engagement photographer

Oakville engagement photographers

Oakville engagement photographer at Gairloch Gardens

Oakville engagement photographers at Gairloch Gardens

Engagement photographer in Oakville

Engagement photographers in Oakville

When to do your intimate engagement photos?

In my experience, the best time for your intimate engagement photos is in the afternoon. More specifically, about an hour before the “golden hour”. Erika and Stan had their engagement session in the Summer. With this timing rule in mind, we scheduled the session for 5pm. On the other hand, if they had planned for Fall or Winter engagement photos, we probably would have started anywhere between 2-4pm. Starting an hour earlier gives us the benefit of using the less overpowering,  late afternoon sunshine.

We used this time to explore and capture images of the location and their beautiful garden area. At 5pm, the garden and the park area was almost vacant. I find that because it is so close to dinnertime, often times people have left to be home with their families. This gives us the perfect scenario for some great intimate engagement photos. Ultimately, it was only Erika and Stan alone in nature.

Engagement photographers in Oakville at Gairloch Gardens

Engagement photographer in Oakville at Gairloch Gardens

Gairloch Gardens Engagement photographer

Gairloch Gardens Engagement photographers

Gairloch Gardens Engagement photographer in Oakville

Gairloch Gardens Engagement photographers in Oakville

Best engagement photographer in Oakville

Where to take your intimate photos?

The 2nd step in preparing for your best intimate photos is always the location. I’m pretty transparent with where I take my photos. Location is so much more than one specific area I take copy and paste photos in. More importantly to me, is the combination of the “when, where and how” when it comes to a unique photo shoot for my couples. For Erika and Stan`s engagement photos, we chose Gairloch Gardens in Oakville. As you may know, this location is very dear to me for many reasons and was undoubtedly the best perfect location for these two lovebirds.

Gairloch Gardens is nicely isolated from the busier part of downtown Oakville. On the Lake Ontario shore, the area has perfect gardens that are always kept immaculate. The location accepts day visitors. However, not having picnic or recreational areas, it is geared more towards walking traffic. There is a great turn around of people coming to appreciate the area while respecting the rules of the gardens. This kind of behaviour ensures the gardens continue to be well kept and picture perfect for intimate engagement photos. This location also offers unique views based on the time of day. With my clients wants in needs in mind, I usually suggest a preferred time of day for the photo shoot to maximize the opportunities available for us.

Best engagement photographers in Oakville

Best engagement photographers at Gairloch Gardens

Best engagement photographer at Gairloch Gardens

Top engagement photographer in Oakville

Top engagement photographers in Oakville

Intimate engagement photo at Gairloch Gardens in Oakville

Top engagement photographer for Gairloch Gardens

Top engagement photographers for Gairloch Gardens

Intimate engagement photography in Oakville

How we did our intimate engagement photos?

The third and final method to securing amazing photos for Erika and Stan is figuring out the “how”. Immediately, I noticed how they were both quite nervous at the beginning of the session. So, I switched gears and focused on getting to know them better instead of jumping in to photographing them right away. I used my strong accent and unique sense of humour to switch the primary focus to our connection versus the pictures that were on their minds.

Those that have worked with me before can attest to the fact that I do not stay in one spot while I work. Like, ever. With Erika and Stan, as we were talking we were also moving between my favourite micro locations inside the gardens. I love my couple`s reaction when I show them the hidden areas and they are wowed by the gorgeous views!

Gairloch Gardens engagement photography

Oakville engagement photography

Engagement photography at Gairloch Gardens

Engagement photography in Oakville

Top intimate engagement photo locations in Oakville

While sometimes they say how much they love it, most often I can tell just by looking at their eyes. My duty is to watch for those sparks in their eyes  and to stop to capture them in the moment. At this point,I simply need to give them time to get comfortable and move away from them. By shooting from afar, they still have their privacy. This helps the intimate engagement photos to be genuine and true to the emotions that they are feeling.

We visit as many places as we can like this for the next 2 hours, finishing up where we started off. I have an approximate plan prepared in advance though. I want to make sure we visit certain places at certain times for the best lighting and photo possibilities. The system I use is pretty hard to replicate simply because it is unique to my own experiences, visions and connection to my couple. If you want to experience it for yourself, you’ll need to schedule a session with me so we can make it happen!

Lakeview intimate engagement photos

Intimate engagement photos by the lake

Best intimate engagement photos in Southern Ontario

Why we have chosen this approach for Erika and Stan’s photos?

In the end, there’s always the “why” to answer too, right? I felt this approach for the engagement session was right from them at the very first meeting we had to discuss their wedding. After the wedding show where we officially met, we later had an in person meeting to discuss their specific needs. I listened and tried to decipher what the most important thing was for both of them. Erika’s wide open and curious eyes telling me she was ready for some unique experiences. I knew they were ready for something intimate and unique to just the two of them. Stan was right there with Erika but was observing and trying to read if I was the right photographer for them.

After their intimate engagement session, Stan and I’s connection really evolved. He seemed to be comfortable enough to remove any hesitancy he had previously. This relationship in turn made their wedding photos even more unique and original.

Intimate engagement photos at Gairloch Gardens in Oakville

Southern Ontario top photography locations

Intimate engagement photo at Gairloch Gardens

Intimate engagement photos at Gairloch Gardens

Seeing Erika and Stan’s photographs while preparing them for this blog brought back many happy thoughts for me. I am pleased with what we achieved and how we documented their intimate engagement photos at Gairloch Gardens in Oakville.

Photos taken by Dragi Andovski, published ©2020 DA Photography
Photo Location: Gairloch Gardens, Oakville, ON
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Want to see some more intimate engagement photos? Check Andrea and Dylan’s blog post.