My online acquaintance and soon-to-become real friend (for I have the pleasure of meeting him later this month), Photographer Chris Hanley, was recently commissioned for an Engagement Shoot ~ an urban engagement photoshoot, that brought a lump to his throat and truly set his creative juices flowing. Because, it’s not every day that someone who photographs weddings, and the celebrations surrounding these huge life events for a living, has the chance to capture the build-up to his first born Son’s wedding on camera.
This was going to be a photoshoot that held special resonance for everyone involved.
Stars of the photoshoot, Paul Hanley, 25 and his fiancée Sophie Goddard, 26, were awestruck by the incredible images – and we're pretty darn fond of them here at Love My Dress too.
Here’s an insight into Paul’s experience of being photographed by his dad and his thoughts on a couple of the stunning images…
"It almost went without saying that our engagement-shoot would have a vintage feel, My dad is pioneering a sensational new genre of vintage-inspired photography and Sophie and I just love the glamour of the 1950s: Sophie’s constantly scouring vintage fairs and antique shops…in fact, the blue dress she’s wearing in these shots is a genuine 1950s number. She looked absolutely beautiful in it. My suit was taken from my wardrobe, but with the settings and poses so totally 1950s, it soaked up the vibe, with just a little help from a trilby…"
Oh crikey! My heart is melting for this handsome young gentleman and his Bride-to-be already!…
All Photography Copyright (c) 2010, Chris Hanley
"Of course, there was special chemistry in this shoot, that shines in the images, because of our family connection, but I think that anyone who decides to use Chris Hanley Photography for their wedding has the same feeling of being instantly at ease. That’s why an e-shoot is the perfect start to the wedding photography experience, as it gets people comfortable in front of the camera, so Dad can get the absolute best out of them. We had a great time getting into character and channelling Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe-esqe characters."
"Dad had saved a new shoot patch in Manchester especially for us. We mooched around and stumbled across so many inspirational settings. The Cuba Nightclub shot is one of my favourites…anyone else might not have noticed the fab typography on the wall, but my dad had the shot framed instantly. Working with Dad is really natural – after all I grew up being photographed – so when he told me to put on my hat, cross my legs and dip my head, I just trusted his instincts. And rightly so, because the photo is one of those instant hits, that I’ll feel comfortable hanging on my wall without feeling too vain!"
"We can’t wait for Dad to photograph our wedding day itself – what a memorable wedding gift. We did look around at a couple of other photographers, with the intention of letting Dad sit back and enjoy the day as a guest for once, but no one even came close. It was Chris Hanley or nothing for our wedding photography.
Seeing the finished product (just an hour after our e-shoot) brought tears to Sophie’s eyes and it was quite emotional all round – so I can only imaging how we’ll feel poring over the wedding shots themselves…"
"The e-shoot photos are causing a bit of debate, as on our wedding day, which is fast approaching – at the magnificent Sandon Hall in Staffordshire in July – we’re going to have one of the photos from our e-shoot framed, so guests can sign the open mount instead of a guest book. There are just too many contenders for the honour of being the chosen shot!"
"One of my favourite shots is quite cinematic – it’s a black and white shot of me kissing Sophie’s shoulder. We’re standing next to the canal and the atmosphere literally sings from that photo. It just captures our tenderness but sense of fun as a couple, as does a great shot that freeze frames an instant when we’re walking down the street – I’m tipping my hat, whilst Sophie works a ‘50s heroine pose with a flirty leg lift."
Super, sexy, stylish and extremely very gorgeous! Paul and Sophie – we wish you the very best indeed for the most fabulous wedding ever, and we are excited already about seeing the photographs!
Thank you so much Chris for submitting these fabulous photographs to Love My Dress, and huge gratitude to Paul also for telling us about his experience :) For further information, please visit the Chris Hanley Photography website.
Have a beautiful, warm, but most importantly romantic Friday evening everyone