When Anne and Tom first got in touch about their engagement shoot with me I was taken by how much we had in common. The two have traveled a lot, and actually met while travelling in China, where they came to meet at the hostel they shared. Tom is also a violinist, as I am, but much more accomplished than myself and teaches violin as well as performing. Anne told me about their wedding plans and it was clear that the three of us would get on really well. Their wedding is to be a natural and rustic day at Standedge River Trust and they were looking for their photography to reflect their casual style and relaxed personalities.
30 Photographs of a Sunset Engagement Shoot on the Hebden Bridge hills
Having an engagement shoot ahead of their wedding was the ideal way to meet me, as their photographer, and to experience just what it's like to be in front of my camera.
In talking to Anne and Tom ahead of their engagement shoot/sunset session, I found out that the two of them are quite camera shy and tend to feel awkward when they are photographed. As a wedding photographer, and especially one with a relaxed and natural style, I find this very often. I feel that my style is appealing to those who don't relish being in front of the camera, as my brides and grooms can essentially forget that I am photographing on their wedding day. Knowing that my couple felt this way helped me to plan their engagement shoot to suit them, and I made sure that they were feeling comfortable and relaxed during their photo shoot.
The day of this couple's photo shoot could not have been more perfect in the Calder Valley. It was a balmy summer evening, warm enough for t shirts and skirts without getting chilly. We met Anne and Tom in Hebden Bridge ahead of their shoot, they had come into town early so we caught up for a drink, this is a great way to feel relaxed in front of the camera - if you feel familiar with your photographer you are much more at ease.
Because of Anne and Tom's travelling background I had planned a more adventurous route for our evening photo shoot. We took ourselves out of Hebden Bridge and up onto the hilltops to take in the best views around.
While walking one of Chris Goddard's routes from his book The West Yorkshire Woods, I found a section of the walk which I knew would be perfect for an engagement shoot.
On the hillside above Eastwood, between Hebden Bridge and Todmorden, is a beaten path which is secluded and peaceful, with beautiful views of the valley and also of Stoodley Pike Monument, a key feature of the West Yorkshire skyline. The monument that stands today was built in 1854-6, and replaced a previous monument which commemorated the end of the Napoleonic Wars. The original Stoodley Pike monument collapsed in 1854 after enduring years of weathering and a lightning strike.
The quiet spot was perfect, without passers by and with routes branching off, there was plenty of scope for variety and the views would keep my couple interested.
We planned the sunset session for just that - about an hour before sunset. This gave us the best light of the day, and it was a sublime evening, perfect for photographs. The sky was clear and the light warm, soft and directional, making for dynamic photographs during the engagement shoot.
We walked and talked our way along the hilltop paths, enjoying the views and my recently engaged couple were able to relax in front of the camera, feeling at ease and truly enjoying their photo shoot.
I felt as though I had met two new friends that evening and the three of us have met for a whisky tasting in Leeds since that night, another shared interest we discovered during our time together!
If you are looking for an engagement photographer or wedding photographer in the North of England with a natural and relaxed approach to capturing moments, I'm your woman! Coverage is available from Hebden Bridge and stretching across the North West and Yorkshire at no travel cost.