These Paris engagement photos are an excellent example of how I strive to connect with my clients. Unquestionably, these images help to illustrate the relationship that I develop, nurture and keep with all my clients. Above all, my wedding couples get to thoroughly experience this connection between the planning meetings and the multiple sessions together.
From my experience, I would say almost all of us are camera shy in one way or another. We have such huge expectations of ourselves. We want to hide the things that we are self-conscious of, even if it is something that is not visible to others. Oftentimes, the most frightening aspect is simply the feeling of being put on the spot. Add to that the pressure to look your best while the camera and photographer are looking at you and there is no question why we might feel this way. Each person has unique intrinsic forces that they are combating when faced with a photography session.
It’s natural to feel this way! That is why I try to help my clients as much as possible to make the sessions effortless. They are free then to go from feeling uncomfortable to instead experiencing the fun, joy, and pleasure of documenting memories with their loved ones. Sounds a bit (or a lot!) better, doesn’t it?
How we met and started to plan these Paris engagement photos
I met Melissa at the Wedding Ring’s Brantford Wedding Show. We connected instantly! She loved my work, personality, and upbeat nature. I can honestly say that we had so much fun discussing their wedding day while browsing through my display albums. I find it so fulfilling to be able to connect immediately with my brides in this way.
Melissa’s wedding date was for the day of August. Incredibly, I just so happened to be available that day. One of my current wedding couples had moved their wedding from that day to the following year. Melissa obviously felt how we instantly connected. She contacted me on my way home from the show asking to book me for their wedding day. That was the moment that our journey began and I set out to capture their beautiful wedding moments.
As a side note, I discovered some extra information once their wedding day had passed. Melissa gave a review of my photography performance. (See the review here) It was then that I discovered they had actually booked a photographer already before meeting me at the show. However, she found my work so captivating and felt our instant connection. So, she went ahead and sacrificed their deposit with the other photographer.
If I had known then what I now know, I would have felt quite stressed. I would have felt some extra pressure to perform because of the expectations I put on myself to achieve. It is not an easy decision to forfeit a deposit of your hard-earned money. I would want Melissa to see the value (and more!) in choosing me instead.
Why we chose Paris for engagement photos
Once the formalities of the wedding paperwork were completed, we began to plan their wedding photography. Their wedding date was set for right in the middle of 2020 – a pandemic year. We decided to wait to schedule their engagement session until towards the end of the first COVID-19 wave to be safer. That pushed the session very close to their wedding day. There was just one month between their engagement session and their wedding.
Like most couples, Melissa and Winston were very nervous in front of the camera. Between all of our communication, I knew this up front. So, I set out to make sure I connected with them as soon as possible. I needed to help relax them so that we could get to those fun and enjoyable photos.
Actually, this was the first time I was able to meet Winston in person. Even with the engagement session just a month away from their wedding! Once we met, I knew immediately that we would work well together. His happy personality helped me to focus on him while Melissa was slowly relaxing into our session.
Inevitably, the first few images during a photo session are awkward, uncomfortable, and almost painful for a few. It’s not that any of us are doing something wrong or are not working well together. It’s just the connection that is missing and is desperately needed for great photos. Something is missing when you capture great images without having an accompanying awesome experience. It is like a man without a soul or a video without sound.
I knew that I would succeed to relax Melissa. First, I just had to keep building my connection with Winston while she kept more of an observation role. I continued to show them the photos to illustrate how we were progressing. And I always am the first to poke fun at myself for a few laughs and to set the stage for success.
It was later on while I was picking on Winston’s sweet expression towards his future wife that I noticed Melissa starting to relax. She began to voice her opinions for some small changes in poses and images.
I relished this great achievement. Now that we were getting somewhere, I could really start to open the creativity gates. With this in mind, I said to them it was time to move to a different location!
How the day progressed and the pleasure of happy faces
If you have yet to visit Paris, it’s hard to imagine how this little town could have everything packed within the downtown area. We were able to efficiently finish the photos at The Paris Wincey Mills Co. Then, we began to work together by the storefronts along Grand River Street in the heart of downtown Paris. At this point, we were working together so cohesively that all at the same time, we said that we should change the location.
Melissa and Winston went to change their outfits before we departed for the Nith Trail area. At this time, I instead went to the bridge that crossed the Nith River. While waiting for them to return, I had a chance to discover the beauty of the bridge and the quality of the light we had to work with. As always, the natural light was ever-changing and I was calculating the best way to maximize it for us.
We started the session at 5 pm so that we could capture some photos during the various light scenarios that occur at this time of day. This way, we would have images during daylight, the golden hour, during twilight as well as at sunset. We were currently headed into our golden hour and I could not have been more excited for it.
On the horizon, I saw both of them walking towards me. I admired how synchronized their movements were. They were so happy, with beaming smiles for one another. They were completely different people than the two I met 45 minutes ago. While walking down the middle of the street, they seem to notice anyone around them and focused instead on one another.
Fun with every passing moment for their Paris engagement photos
Using my telephoto lens, I captured their love, fun, and joy without them even having a chance to know I was there. To me, these are the most special moments to document for people. Capturing the pure emotions are the perfect memories of a real moment in time. That is why I enjoy taking photos of children. Because they are naturally impulsive and without as many inhibitions, they easily showcase these emotions regularly. Adults have a harder time getting over themselves and have to work to get out of their own brains.
Once they arrived, I explained to Melissa that it was now time to leave the fear of photography behind and to enjoy as much as they can. I showed them the relaxed photos I just took secretly. They were so happy with them that from that moment onwards we started exploring the trails near the Nith River like we had known each other for years.
We worked along the trail, by the river, and into the shallow part of the water as well. We had such diverse options for photos: from the shore right beside the river to the deep forest just down the trail. Winston told me that he loved photos taken with green fern leaves and so I made sure that we had prioritized those images too. It is amazing how the connection between us improved the photos I took. However, above all, I could see how it helped them to fully enjoy their experience too.
The last photos of this Paris engagement
In the end, we started walking towards the cars. Then, I noticed the beautiful colours of the sunset even though the horizon was so high. We were in a forest valley beside the river at Barkers Bush while the sun was setting behind the tall trees. Looking around, I spotted one huge boulder and asked them both to climb on top.
We had to act quickly with only one minute before the sun disappeared on the horizon. They were so speedy that in the end, they were waiting for me to set up my camera for this particular setting. I squatted down so that their silhouettes would be more visible against the highlighted sky instead of with the dark woods behind them. Here, I captured the final images of their session. Their Paris engagement photos were complete with our sunset pictures.
Wedding photos intro
The great connection we established during these engagement photos was so strong that it continued to benefit us through to their wedding day.
Their wedding was truly one of a kind. Melissa’s getting ready photos were taken in their historic home built in the 1800s. The beautiful ceremony and the reception were both held at Winston’s family farm. We became so close that by the end of the wedding, I felt as if I had taken some of my best wedding photos.
Check out my next blog post (coming soon!) for a chance to see these gorgeous photos.
My passion and biggest asset is taking the time to make every client comfortable and relaxed before I even pick up the camera. The result? Photos of you that actually look like you at your best! I can prove to you how much you can enjoy having your picture taken. Lifestyle photography is about the experience that happens to be served up along side of some great photos.
Family Photography for families that like to move around and enjoy their photo time, Wedding Photography for couples looking for a mixture of photojournalistic, contemporary and traditional images and Professional Corporate headshots that are far from cheesy and stiff.