Technically I’m supposed to be calling these our pre-wedding photos since Ben didn’t like the idea of engagement photos but was happy to go with pre-wedding – I accepted this on the pretense that it was just meeting our photographer and getting to know her ;D And I’ll quickly apologise now for the overload of photos in this post but I had to share as many of them as possible!
Anywho, wedding photography was a big deal to me. Like a huge deal. As someone with an already established interest in photography and being in front of the camera a lot with blogging, I knew that our wedding photography was going to be one of my top priorities when planning our day. I wasn’t quite sure where I wanted the wedding or what style, but I knew that I want photos that capture the day perfectly. Photos that reflect us, our guests and the atmosphere at the wedding. Aside from the ring and a husband, the photos are the one thing I’ll be coming away from the wedding with.
I’ll admit now that I’d started collecting a list of wedding photographers I liked the style of before we were even engaged. We’d known for a long time that we would get married one day, it was just making it official, so I wasn’t planning in vain! Once I started looking seriously, I discovered I have a very specific style of wedding photography I like best: natural, documentary style that’s well lit, fun and a little bit retro style.
Once we’d booked the venue, I made a list of our (…my) favourite photographers then sent out an email to each one asking for their availability for our date and their rates. I had a couple highlighted as “Favourite favourites”, so I was super pleased when one of these came back to let us know she could do our date: Jemma King. Her website had sold her style to me straight away with its simple but retro style and pops of colour. She describes her work as “beautiful storytelling” and that was precisely what I wanted. It also helped that she had photographed a few venues we’d viewed and made them look even better than they had done in person!
Our package included a pre-wedding photoshoot, so I jumped on that straight away. The idea of this shoot is both to get a set of lovely images to commemorate our engagement, but also to get to know the photographer. I’m so glad we had this opportunity as I’m an awkward person at the best of times, so getting the chance to be on the other end of the lens from her to see how her photography works before the wedding was definitely a bonus.
Jemma is based in Hull so we headed over that way for the photos. I knew exactly the style and setting I wanted for the pictures, but didn’t really know anything about that area (it’s around an hour away from us). Since our honeymoon is taking place partly in upstate New York in the fall and will be filled with fall foliage (hopefully!), I had a vision of our engagement photos reflecting that – looking like a natural walk out in the woodland and countryside, with grass and leaves. Fortunately Jemma knew just the place and told us to meet her near Beverley racecourse which is in the gorgeous surroundings of the Westwood. This is an area of pasture overlooking the historic town of Beverley, populated with roaming cows – the pasture, not Beverley – which gave me a bit of a surprise as we came over the cattle grid into it!
The leaves were just beginning to turn, I had us dressed in coordinating autumnal colours (I may have provided Ben with a little help on his outfit choice!) and it was a partly overcast early morning, fairly chilly but not cold. Exactly what I’d envisioned!
The best way to describe Jemma’s photography was natural. She told us she wasn’t going to pose us or tell us what to do, instead she captured the story between us. She started off by telling us to walk away from her holding hands and chatting, then we naturally just walked back towards her and got into our swing. Throughout the shoot, she was chatting away to us, finding out more about us and just making us laugh. She occasionally shouted a couple of directions like “KISS!” which made me laugh all the more! Pretty much every photo of me has my face creased in giggles and I love the fact that she managed to snap such natural and happy photos of us rather than posed studio style ones. I had so much fun doing this shoot, and even Ben with his doubts about being on the other side of the camera enjoyed it in the end.
My favourite pictures from the day turned out to be the ones where I’m cracking up laughing like above – I wonder what it was that Ben said that had me laughing like that?! Some of the photos are ones that I think I would normally write off as blog photos from outfit shoots, but they’re the ones I love the most in these because they show us so naturally and capture our emotions perfectly.
It was definitely worth doing the pre-wedding shoot for us. Getting to know Jemma and her style of photography means that we’ll be much more comfortable to have her around on the day, plus we know that she’s going to get some amazing pictures that really do tell our story. I can’t wait for it!