We took Nick’s cousin, Kelley, and fiancé, Marty, to Vaughan’s Woods in Hallowell on a Sunday morning for their engagement photos. Nick felt like a clumsy tourist with his GoPro, Polaroid, film Canon, and Nikon D60 cameras. Anna brought here trusty Pentax 645 and Nikon D3300.
Poses vs. Natural Look
One thing we both wanted was to create a comfort zone as much as possible. Natural photos and candids are just as good as posed images, if not better. We knew Kelley and Marty’s dynamic would foster amazing candid pictures. Kelley has the heartiest of laughs and Marty is a soft spoken guy with a bit of a chuckle. Capturing these laugh moments or every time Kelley fixed Marty’s hair was our goal.
Film and Digital Combo
Most photographers shoot only digital or only film. We decided to shoot both. Nick shot with his 35mm, Polaroid, and digital. Anna had her favorite 120 format and digital. Having these options offered greater versatility and the chance to see images through digital before capturing them on film. Digital also gave us a good chance of catching the moments. Nick used manual on the digital and left his film on automatic, using Ilford’s HP5 and FP4. He’s certainly going to buy more FP4.
Vaughan’s Woods offers waterfalls, fields, bridges, and trails. There are great opportunities for various locations to take photoshoots of any kind. It’s a local hot spot for senior portraits.
Nick enjoyed the chance to capture moments both digitally and on film. Film’s texture and character is hard to replicate. He shot on both Ilford HP5 400 (bottom left) and FP4 125 (bottom right). Clearly, the FP4 is a much better choice for the sunny day we had. There were some clouds, which acted as a natural diffuser, but the FP4 made more crisp images. Still, HP5 is one of Nick’s go-to film stocks. It’s reliable with a solid ISO for internal or external shooting.
Nick hasn’t shot digitally for months, so it was fun to work those photographic muscles. Since using film, Nick is almost as conservative with his digital shots as he is with film. Composition and lighting are important to manage. He has some more practice to do, but he likes these shots. Nick edited the digital images to Kelley and Marty popped out to add depth. He attempted to edit the film pictures, but he prefers to keep them as taken. All Nick really did to the film was de-saturate and remove the dust particles from scanning.
Overall, this was a great first photoshoot. Nick felt like this would be an amazing way to earn a living. He’s looking forward to the next opportunity.
A few thoughts from Anna
I greatly enjoyed this experience. It was a good foot back into a passion that I stepped away from a long time ago. I have only ever shot family photos or company headshots so this was a fun venture into something more special than the everyday photoshoot. I had some ideas floating in my head that were the ‘typical’ engagement photo shoot shots but they didn’t want any of that! haha The client is the boss! I noticed I did fall back on my traditional ‘family photo’ style of shots, and they loved it. I would like to delve into the different types of poses and shots that are more traditional to this type of photography but they were beyond happy with the results, so, that makes me happy! In the end it is all about the client. Their wants, their vision. They will choose a photographer because of how they can make the photos look but the poses are really all up to the client. I am greatly looking forward to more shoots with Nick! I have always been a solo photographer and having the support while doing this as a team really made me feel more confident and comfortable.
I would like to say a special thank you to Kelley and Marty for choosing us! We had a blast and we’re beyond happy that you love our work!