Firstly, Happy Valentine's day! It was awesome to login to Facebook this morning, and see my timeline filled with excited couples both past and present that seem to be glowing and celebrating their time together as a couple. We all know it's a bit cheesy, and a bit of an excuse for big corporations to cash in on some extra business, but rest assured, I was stood in the middle of Sainsbury's last night amongst the sea of blokes, who had obviously left planning a gift for their partner till the last minute, looking for something suitably mushy for Rachel to post on Instagram today.
I've just looked over my shoulder, and I can confirm that she seems pretty pleased with her chocolates, roses, and card declaring my love of her over beer. I think I can comfortably say I scored a decent amount of boyfriend points today, which I'll be cashing in later either for a takeaway or control of the TV for the duration of the day.
So, Engagement shoot locations. I apologize in advance, but this initially is going to be a bit of a rant.
Being in the heart of Leicestershire, and speaking with other photographers, I've noticed that 9 out of 10 photographers all choose the exact same location for an engagement shoot, and that place is Bradgate Park.
I should make this perfectly clear from the get-go, that I have absolutely nothing against Bradgate park, and I can absolutely see the appeal, but, it's been done to death. There are so many other incredible locations around the midlands, that can produce just as amazing shots, that won't look exactly the same as everyone else's.
I'm all about individuality, so let me share some of my first suggestions once we book in your engagement shoot.
Sense Valley - Ibstock
I always think Sense Valley is a little bit of a forgotten gem. Lots of people think of it as a brilliant place to go for a walk, and it really is, but there's still plenty of places to scurry away from the dog walkers, and get some shots down near the waterside, or just sat on a bench. I've taken some of my favourite photos at Sense Valley, and it's without a doubt up there amongst the best locations.
Calke Abbey - Derbyshire
Now, I know this isn't in Leicestershire, but it truly is an amazing location for an engagement shoot. It's such a huge place, with so many little paths and opportunities to walk away from the crowds. It really is an incredibly diverse location with some incredible woodland, and definitely well worth a visit, even just for a walk!
Great Central Railway Station - Loughborough
This is another one of my favourites, especially for those couples who are aiming for a bit of a vintage shabby chic type wedding. For the small price of a platform pass, it really is like stepping into a time machine with so many interesting things dotted around to include in photos. Extra point's if they've got trains running the same day, as some shots with steam billowing over the platforms from the trains look incredible.
Moira Furnace - Moira
The furnace is genuinely an incredible little place, and there's the opportunity for tons of photos walking along the canal or along some of the footpaths they have which are absolutely PACKED with Squirrels! I've yet to do an Engagement shoot here, but once the COVID restrictions are eased, it's going to be somewhere I suggest for awesome engagement photos.
Somewhere that's personal to you both as a couple!
BY FAR, my biggest suggestion. Think about where you got engaged, the places you've visited together, and the locations that are important to you both as a couple. This comes back to me wanting to tell a story through the pictures I take, and honestly, if it's somewhere that's got sentimental value, you'll feel more comfortable, and know your favorite spots better than I do! Bonus points are scored if this place is overseas, as I'm always a fan of plane journeys 😉.
There we have it, these are just a handful of my suggested locations, but I really want to lay emphasis on my last suggestion, so we can make your engagement shoot individual to you!
I personally feel that engagement shoots are HUGELY important and that's why I include them free of charge in all my packages. It benefits us both. You get even more images to share with friends and family (They're always a good idea to include on wedding invites or save the dates!) and it allows me to get to know you both better. That way when the big day rolls around, I can give you prompts and tips on the fly to get the most out of your photos, getting those shots quicker and allowing you more time to spend with your guests.
I'll leave it at that for this week, and as always, feel free to give me a call or a text to discuss how we can work together, no matter what your next photography project is!
Stay safe, and don't forget your face mask!