A Love Shoot For A Wedding Sparrow…

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Afternoon beautiful peoples 😉  You may have noticed that I tend not to feature too many engagement or pre-wedding shoots {or 'love shoots' as I prefer to call them} and that's probably because I feel that for the most part, these photographs are a private opportunity for the couple to learn how to relax in front of the camera, to became used to being directed by the photographer and feel comfortable about being photographed ready for their wedding day.  

For many, I guess it's a fairly uncomfortable and daunting experience at first, for others it might be something they relish. For some couples however, when it comes to their love shoot, it seems that they were born to be in front of the camera, a little like Sara and Andy…

Sara is the blogger behind The Wedding Sparrow, and she is due to marry her long-term fiance Andy in the next few weeks…

Love My Dress Wedding Blog – Photography Copyright (c) 2012, Debs Ivelja

Debs Ivelja, London and Brisbane Wedding Photographer

Sara told me about the experience of finding her wedding photographer and getting used to being in front of the camera ready for her big day…

"Choosing our photographer for the wedding was one of the hardest decisions we made during the wedding planning process. What made it harder was that I had a massive fear of being photographed too.

No exaggeration, it literally gave me panic attacks to know that someone would have a camera in our face whilst the pressure was on to look as calm and serene as you see the brides on wedding blogs and in magazines. In truth, I was putting way too much pressure on myself to be perfect. Like most women I have my insecurities and I was convinced the camera would just be picking these up and showing them off to the world. I’m not relaxed when a camera comes out and I didn’t want this to show in our wedding day photos."

Debs Ivelja, London and Brisbane Wedding Photographer

Debs Ivelja, London and Brisbane Wedding Photographer

"So why on earth have an engagement shoot I hear you ask?! I figured I needed to get used to the camera and how to look more natural and relaxed whilst getting used to someone pointing a lens at you. It’s a very personal thing and I needed to have a ‘dummy run’ so to speak before the big day.

 The last thing I wanted was to look back at stiff looking photos of the wedding and wished I’d had practised beforehand. It doesn’t matter how good your photographer is at Photoshop, they will struggle to get that ‘terrified’ look off the bride’s face!"

Debs Ivelja, London and Brisbane Wedding Photographer

Debs Ivelja, London and Brisbane Wedding Photographer

"I did my research on the internet and didn’t restrict myself to the local area. I read a lot of blogs and follow a fair amount of photographers on twitter so I checked out as many websites as possible. Some I found certainly had obvious ‘styles’ about them and some seemed more traditional.

We met up with three contenders at our home to find out what they were like in person too. It was important we shared the same style (and they were good at Photoshop!). In the end (and after a three hour chat!), we choseDebs Ivelja…"

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"Debs was really kind and much more than a wedding photographer. It was important to us that we chose someone who was passionate about photography in general and was always striving to be better. It was amazing how many photographers out there just saw wedding photography as a paycheck and not about making beautiful images. Debs’ passion shone through as we saw her pictures from her around-the-world travels and the way she spoke about wedding photography sealed the deal for us.

So the e-shoot came around and Debs was very patient with us whilst we played ‘model’ for the day. We went to the New Forest which is near to where we live and full of wild ponies and beautiful scenery. Although I breathed a sigh of relief when it was all over, I was glad I did it and now have a much better expectation of the wedding day…"

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"I can’t recommend Debs highly enough as a photographer as it’s more like having a friend photograph you than a stranger. Debs always keeps in contact and I can’t wait until the wedding in ten weeks when she captures the day for us.

To anyone who is not confident in having their photograph taken, I would highly recommend having an engagement shoot prior to the wedding to get used to how having someone take your picture feels like. Not only would you get used to them and how they work but it also gives the photographer a chance to see how you are and give tips on how to get the best images. Drop Annabel a comment below and let us know if you are having an engagement shoot and how you found it – would leave to hear your experiences…"

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Isn't that just lovely? I adore these photographs, they depict such a perfect moment in time and Debs' skill behind the lens is evident in the way she captures the light, the love and the bond between Sara and Andy.

Sara, I'm s excited for you guys and your wedding, thank you so much for allowing me to share these beautiful photographs with my readers.

You can learn more about Sara over at The Wedding Sparrow and see more of Deb's work on Love My Dress here. Those interested in learning more about Debs' photography services should visit her website here 

Are any of my readers planning a 'love shoot' in the near future? I'd love to hear from you, what your experiences so far have been, and how you've handled the task of finding your own wedding photographer…

You can see more love shoots on Love My Dress here.



Annabel View all Annabel's articles

Founder of Love My Dress. Passionate Podcaster and Editor. Annabel lives in rural North Yorkshire with her husband and business partner Philip, their two daughters and menagerie of furry hounds. She loves photography, meditation, walking, being outdoors and star gazing. She is fierce when it comes to championing talent within the wedding industry and when she's not working on Love My Dress, she supports her husband Philip in the running of the family's sustainable flower farm and floral design business, Moonwind Flowers. In 2013, she became a published author.

23 thoughts on “A Love Shoot For A Wedding Sparrow…

  1. I love it!! I tend to have the same view as you on engagement shoots Annabel, but so pleased that you shared these. They are so lovely, love the ones where they are gazing at each other.
    Sara and Andy both look like naturals in front of the camera (even if you didn’t feel it)! I can’t wait to see the wedding photos now 🙂 best wishes for the big day!

  2. Wow what gorgeous photos, they look so comfortable in each other’s space and her eyes are beautiful! We haven’t considered a love shoot or anything but might have to now x

  3. Ha! You see, I started looking at this, saw the first photo of Sara and was muttering ‘oh yes, it’s alright for you, you’re gorgeous and clearly love being photographed’. And then I read on. Doesn’t it just go to show?
    I too am very, very scared about the photographs as I fear I will be confronted by me looking dreadful and those photos are for keeps! I too have scheduled an engagement shoot – mainly as I’m hoping it will put my fears at rest. Worst case scenario: we make sure we have photos of everyone else at the wedding and as few as possible of me.
    So I can really empathise with how Sara felt. Hope she’s feeling happier and more relaxed as a result of these pics – she looks gorgeous.

  4. It certainly does go to show doesn’t it? I am so pleased you have replied Amanda. I am pretty scared being in front of the lens myself, but in my experience, a good photographer will know this and will be able to relax you into feeling much better about things.
    You just gotta make sure you find the right photographer for you 🙂
    Lots of good luck with the rest of your wedding planning- I do hope you’ll share some photos in due course 🙂
    Much love,
    Annabel xXx

  5. Gorgeous gorgeous shots, Sara. So glad you found your perfect match (both photographically & romantically!). Your day is going to rock the moon xxx

  6. So beautiful – this is such a calm and pretty shoot. Echoing Clara’s words, Sara and Andy look so comfortable with each other. I love the one where they’re lying down and Sara has her eyes closed – gorgeous. I didn’t have a love shoot before my own wedding but seeing shoots like this makes me regret that decision! Sara and Andy, have a most amazing day Xx

  7. Hi Annabel,
    We had an engagement shoot to get to know our photographer better and so that he could understand what sort of photos we liked. Actually, anyone can look at our photos (if they’re bored! at http://www.mywedding.com/samandgem).
    I think it’s quite obvious from our photos that we relaxed as time went on, so it was a worthwhile thing to do by way of a practice.
    I also think engagement shoots are a good opportunity to have fun with props (I made cupcakes!) which you don’t get to do on your wedding day.
    This is a lovely photoshoot- I’m from the New Forest and it is lovely to see it so beautifully photographed.
    Gemma xx

  8. I can imagine exactly how Sara feels, looking through the photographs theres such a lovely softness which translates beautifully. A gorgeous couple, with stunning surroundings, so sweet and intimate… I can definitely feel the love. I totally think it’s good idea to almost have a ‘warm up’ pre-shoot before your big day, having just done a creative shoot… first time in front of a professional camera it’s nerve-wrecking!

  9. A huge thanks to everyone who has taken the time to comment here or on twitter 🙂 I have been super nervous about people seeing these pictures! The reason I have put them out there is to remember that it’s the experience we had not the end result that’s important. It just do happens that Debs captured some amazing images of the two of us and I can’t wait for the wedding now. I can’t stress how much an eshoot helped me in getting a little more confidence in front of the camera (although I’m still terrified of the wedding day!). Thanks again for your lovely comments and to annabel for featuring it 🙂
    Wedding Sparrow (Sara)

  10. Just had to say – enjoy the eshoot!! I didn’t enjoy it fully until it was over to tell the truth as I was so nervous! I didn’t sleep a wink the night before but I’m so glad I did it now 🙂 hope yours goes well. Follow me @weddingsparrow and let me know how you get on 🙂
    Sara x

  11. Ahh – that is exactly why I include these pre-wedding shoots too – from a photographers point of view, I love how it extends the whole experience – I place so much value on getting the chance to meet up with couples before hand, and build a relationship with them, I really do feel it adds something more to the photos on the day with the couple.
    PLUS – speaking as a old married woman (10 years this April – HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?!!!). I really really wish I’d had the chance to get some shots of Andy and I, from that point in our lives. We have three kids, now, quite rubbish Wedding photos and hardly any pics of us together as a couple 🙁 I’m planning an Anniversary shoot sometime for that reason!
    Sara, I am SO excited for you both – its so important to build that relationship and trust with your photographer – your Wedding Day is going to be so amazing xxx

  12. Sara I am so glad you put your photographs and thoughts out there for other brides to share your experience. Debs has done a marvellous job and you look happy, relaxed and stunning! A really great set of images! I can only hope it might encourage other brides to do the same. 🙂

  13. Spooky…My name is Sarah and I will soon be Mrs Sparrow!!! I’ve also been with my Mr Sparrow for 7 years hehe! My own blog is after my name to be…www.wintersparrows.blogspot.com
    Lovely photos Sara

  14. One of the loveliest engagement/love shoots I’ve ever seen 🙂 I love doing engagement shoots, they make so much difference to how the couple feel on the wedding day and it really shows in the photos. Thanks for sharing these beautiful photographs Annabel, Sara & Andy, and Debs, they are just gorgeous 🙂

  15. Such a naturally beautiful engagement shoot! I love every single image. Debs is one seriously talented lady. Wow. Love the shots with the apples and that lovely horse/pony (not sure which) So helpful for brides to read Sara’s experience behind the lens. xx

  16. Oh wow! These photos are just lovely! Sara you look amazing!!! These pre-wedding shoots are perfect to practice how you would pose on your wedding day. As a photographer I ALWAYS take my B&G on a love shoot. It’s so important to get to know how people will react in front of the camera. And the best part is that on your wedding day you will feel so relaxed and will be posing like a pro!
    PS: we’ve just been to the New Forest. Such a lovely place, I fell in love with it 🙂

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