In November 2014, I spent the afternoon photographing love between a special couple, Sarah and Jeff. I first met them over coffee at NuCafe in Worcester, MA before I even moved to Connecticut. We talked about their upcoming wedding that will be happening in June at Bittersweet Farms in Westport, Massachusetts. They are excited to be making it a special day!
I love engagement sessions, because during an engagement shoot, I get to hear what aspects of the wedding that clients are excited about (and not), and see natural facial expressions. Sarah and Jeff are making their wedding day with their friends and family at Bittersweet Farms to have a rustic but fresh, natural vibe to their decor and atmosphere. The venue is very rustic and gorgeous.
Another thing I love about engagement sessions is that I learn about my clients’ lifestyle, hopes and dreams. Engagement photos are not really just snapshots of two people hugging or kissing. To me, engagement photography involves first learning about a couple’s experiences, personalities, and then finding the perfect natural expressions to photograph. For the shoot, I met Sarah and Jeff at one of their favorite Worcester hang-out places, Vincent’s Bar. It was really dark inside Vincent’s, so I took out my off-camera flashes to capture Jeff and Sarah in the darker atmosphere of the bar. Vincent’s is also decorated with everything rustic and old inside, and it reminds me of a Western saloon, with the stuffed wild animals, Lol! Great divey place to hide out, and I was grateful that Vincent’s gave me permission to photograph.
When using off-camera flashes, you can change camera settings, flash settings, and flash locations to create a different feel and different looks to the photos.
The more time I spend with a couple, the more familiar they are in front of the camera with me. Often times, muscles in our facial and body expressions relax more, and become less tense as we are more comfortable! For Sarah and Jeff, we just had a blast spending about 4 hours in about three different locations and outfit changes. Now that they did their engagement session, on their wedding day they will feel more familiar with the camera (and photographer). This way, on the wedding day, I hope I can move into some more creative, flattering poses, or try a unique photography idea that might require different camera settings or equipment.
After Vincent’s, Sarah and Jeff had an idea to stop at the Crompton and Knowles Building for a rustic brick look to the images. The Crompton and Knowles Building is a huge historic mill building on Green Street in Worcester, near Kelly’s Square. It was built in the late 1800’s, and now houses BirchTree Bread Company, the Canal District Farmer’s Market, and variety of amazing boutique antique shops called the Crompton Collective. Sarah actually had bought a few rustic items from Crompton Collective for their wedding. Can’t wait to see and photograph!
After we left the Crompton and Knowles Building in Worcester, we drove onto Uxbridge, Mass, to take evening photos at the Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park a.k.a. River Bend Farm Park. A few weeks prior to the session I did some internet research and driving around to offer Sarah and Jeff a couple of options for outdoor photo locations that included a big barn, and we decided on the River Bend Farm Park. There is an old barn that serves as the River Bend Farm Visitors Center.
River Bend Farm park is located at 287 Oak Street, Uxbridge which extends into Northbridge, Millville and Blackstone. River Bend Farm Park is about a 1000 acres and was created out of the former Voss farm. There are some small meadows, lots of trails, and canoe/kayak access at the pond there, called Rice City Pond. It is so huge, you could literally spend a whole full day here just hiking!
Thank you Sarah and Jeff for the fabulous time at the park. Afterwards, we had dinner together at a Gia Ristorante Italiano. It was really great Italian food, and I loved spending my day with this amazing couple. It’s an honor to be the photographer for their wedding at Bittersweet Farms, should be amazing!