Sometimes it’s important to go beyond the boundaries of our commissioned work to reconnect with our artistic side, find inspiration in the unusual and create beauty for the sake of beauty. That’s why a few months ago I decided to do a competition to offer one couple an engagement shoot. It wasn’t going to be the usual stroll in the city’s most famous landmarks. This shoot had to transcend the obvious clichés and go deep and intimate.
On a Sunday in April I finally met the winners of my competition, Riccardo and Noemi, an Italian couple who met in Urbino while at university. Noemi loves Florence and its romantic and artistic style, so when she heard that the couple shoot would be done at Soprarno, one of Florence most eclectic and artistic boutique hotels, she jumped at the opportunity to have images of the two together that would portray them in a place so close to their heart.
I’m so grateful to Riccardo and Noemi for letting me capture images of themselves that are so intimate. As a photographer, I find that my camera allows me to enter a private, personal realm that you could never enter without. It’s a small eye peering into an intimate situation that gives you the opportunity to capture deep, unspoken emotions. Riccardo and Noemi have allowed my camera to do just that - authentically.
If you’re a couple considering the idea of doing a love, couple or engagement shoot, these are some of my tips for you:
Look for affinity. On the day of the shoot, your photographer will enter a space (both physical and emotional) that is usually reserved only for your closest friends and family. It’s important, therefore, that you feel 100% connected to them so you know you’ll feel comfortable as their camera enters that space. So as you go through photographers, follow them on their social channels and get to know their personality as expressed through things like their insta stories. Look for things that make you feel close and connected to them - that affinity is what will allow you to relax in front of their camera.
Decide what kind of shots you’ll be comfortable with. Have a look at a photographer’s couple shoots and allow yourself to be transported in that setting. This will allow you to decide what kind of images you will feel most comfortable shooting, and those you won’t. If you feel most of the images are not for you, then chances are, you won’t feel at ease in front of the camera and this will affect the outcome of the shoot.
Prepare for it. Choosing the attire for your couple shoot will mentally prepare you to express your personality, not just through the posing, which should hopefully come fairly natural when you’re madly in love, but also through a look that really speaks of you and makes you feel like yourself. Noemi and Riccardo, for instance, spent some time looking at images of the venue and realised that they wanted to wear clothes that felt complementary (by bringing in simplicity to a very eclectic space) to the style of the hotel.
Ask the photographer’s input. We have pretty much seen it all, so when it comes to giving you advice on things such as location, what activities we could do for your shoot, what props and outfits you should bring, chances are, we will have plenty of tips to give you. We know what works and what doesn’t, what gets our couples to relax, or what kind of outfits work better, so do feel free to ask our recommendation and we’ll always be happy to help, because we know that ultimately those images will stay with you for a long time, so we want the experience to feel just right.
I hope you’re loving Noemi and Riccardo’s engagement shoot as much as I do, and I hope my advice will come in handy at some point. I’m grateful to this beautiful couple for the chance they’ve given me to go behind the scenes of their love and capture that intimate side that very few get to see.
If you’re considering doing a love or an engagement shoot in Italy or beyond, I would love to hear from you.
Full gallery on LOVE STORIES, intimate couple shoot in the streets of Florence.