When my friend Kim asked me if I would take her engagement photos, I immediately said yes. Kim is one of those people who you like and admire within hours of knowing her: we met on my trip to Costa Rica this past summer, and I was immediately taken by her keen intellect, combined with her kindness and openness with the kids who were traveling with us. And now that she was engaged to be married, and asked, of all people, me to take the first official photographs of her and lovely fiancé, Kevin? Well, I was honoured, to say the least.
Only one problem: I've never taken engagement photos in my life.
I stewed about it for a few days after she asked me, trying to figure out exactly how I was going to take these shots. Eventually, I had a thought, and emailed her.
"Just had an idea," I wrote, "how would you guys feel if we did your portraits as a sort of 'day in the life' shoot? Basically, I'd meet you guys one morning, and just capture you doing your daily thing -- breakfast, coffeehouse, hanging out a pub, lunch somewhere, whatever. Would that feel okay for you? ('No' is a totally acceptable answer.)"
I hit send, and waited nervously.
I didn't have to wait long. Her response was quick and enthusiastic: "We would love love LOVE this!!! So cool!"
So were were set. And this past Saturday, we spent about 5 hours making it happen.
Perhaps it's because when Kim and I met back this summer I was gigging, and she therefore got to know me with cameras draped all over my body the whole time I was in Costa Rica; or maybe it's merely that she and Kevin are just that chill, but I was pretty surprised this weekend that neither of them seemed phased in the least by the fact that I was walking around like a paparazzo. They just pretty much behaved like I'd come over to hang out -- in fact, I'm not entirely sure that they even realized that I had the camera with me.
We started by taking a few shots around Kevin's place (their future home) ...
... and then we spent the rest of the afternoon touring their favourite haunts: coffeehouses, parks, bars and even their favourite restaurant.
(Incidentally, I learned that Kim is very serious about her pimiento cheese. When it comes to pimiento cheese, Kim does not play.)
And of course, once the golden hour arrived, we took the opportunity to get some proper engagement shots:
It had been quite some time since I'd shot portraits, so I ain't gonna lie, I was having a whale of a time. But it was also such a great reminder for me, too: the fact is that you can have the most high-tech, high-end camera on the market, the most perfect lighting conditions possible, and have your technical photography game down cold -- but really, the magic of portraiture happens when the people you're photographing allow you to see their beautiful spirits. And Kim and Kevin were so wonderfully open and generous of themselves, that I just pointed my camera at them and they turned on the magic. It was, hands down, the easiest photo shoot I've ever done, and I'm so grateful to them for this experience.
And of course, needless to say, I wish them a lifetime of happiness together. But judging from these shots, they're already well on their way.