Where to even start with these two? It was a case of love at first sight, and an engagement photo shoot that I will never ever ever forget.
Not only did it turn out that I also got to shoot their wedding in San Francisco, as I love them as friends, and we keep in touch all the time.
Casey and Daniel were amazing from the very beginning, and today I’ll tell you all about it.
That one email and phone call
Casey emailed me as a first contact.
She told me she was engaged to Daniel, the love of her life, and about their trip to London for a small holiday.
She also mentioned she had a hint she’d find her wedding dress at this wedding shop in Greenwich, where a lady collected vintage dresses and assorted them by different decades (we’ll get there in a sec).
On the email, I also read neither her nor Daniel were comfortable in front of a camera, and that she didn’t feel comfortable with what is known to be a “normal engagement shoot”, in one location and posing.
I felt, on my side, that the best way to talk to them and understand their worries and expectations was through a video call London – Boston, and we scheduled it for asap.
My first reaction was that I instantly loved them. Such a cool couple, sweet, (Harry Potter fans which is always a good sign), and quickly we jumped into showing off our pets and braking the ice.
An engagement that fits and reflects the couple
Talking to my couples and getting to know them is one of my very favourite things to do. I really don’t like it when we just jump straight into a business meeting and decide on what’s going to happen and talk numbers.
My job is about people. And my job is about connection. I don’t want to work with clients or couples I don’t connect with because I don’t think in the end I’ll provide them with my best work. But if we click. If we have chemistry from the start, I know the time we’ll spend together won’t even feel like work.
So with Casey and Daniel, and them being so camera shy, it was important to me to understand who they were as a couple. What their interests were and what they liked doing together. I do have packages that showcase different parts of London, but they are not static. They can be changed and rearranged for my couples’ needs.
Talking to them, I learned they liked the idea of London as a vibrant creative city, they liked beer tasting, and they go bowling together every week. Instantly that gave me an idea: why not picking up my Urban Package, which explores Shoredditch and Bricklane, and give it a beer-tasting-pub-crawl twist that would end up with dinner and bowling?
They loved the idea, and I designed two itineraries with different local pubs I’d show them when on our shoot. They had the opportunity to check them online, choose one of the itineraries, and we were good to go!
A day later, Casey texted me she made Daniel take the Pottermore test and found out he was a Hufflepuff. It melted both out hearts (Harry Potter private, unless you understand Harry Potter).
Meeting my couple for the first time in London…. and a lot of beer!
I arrived earlier at The Brew Dog in Shoredditch because I wanted to pick a good table for us. I’ve always loved how cool that space looks, and the colour contrasts between the seats and the walls. Also, the bar is so hip.
Casey and Daniel looked lovely. She had booked a hairstylist and makeup artist for that morning, and her hair looked so beautiful, with a little bow on the back!
As this was the first time we were ever together, I didn’t want to start taking photos of them instantly, and instead, just enjoy a beer (or two) and getting to know them.
Daniel went to the bar and brought us pints! I looked at them and went ‘oookaaay…..!’. I am not the strongest alcohol drinker, and I did get tipsy by the end of the night, but the engagement photos were done!
We had 3 beers at The Brew Dog, and when I felt they were more comfortable with my presence, I snapped a few quick shots. It was easy and painless. And we were all set to start the itinerary I had designed just for them.
We hopped from pub to bar and bar to pub. Stopping here and there for the street art and loads of squeezes, hugs and kisses.
As the minutes passed and turned into hours, I was so happy they had contacted me, and I was having the time of my life showing them around this part of town.
That Bowling date!
I hadn’t played bowling in so long. For sure never since I had moved to London, so I was really excited to play with them by the end of the night.
I booked us three seats at the All Star Lanes in Bricklane, and we had a lovely dinner, (beers, of course!), and we got to talk a bit more. During dinner, I offered myself to go dress shopping the next day with Casey, as she needed a second opinion on wedding dresses, and she loved the idea.
Little did we know I would end up suggesting a wedding dress for her to wear that when she came out of the changing room would make us both cry with happiness. I knew I was already a crier, so no surprise there, but Casey wasn’t ‘that type at all’, she said, while cleaning the happy tears that fell down her cheeks.
But going back to the bowling, me and Casey kicked Daniel’s butt at it, which according to her, never happens! And happy with my victory, I got home tipsy, and with lovely photos on my camera.
The aftermath of their engagement session
After their photo shoot, and dress shopping the next day in Greenwhich, we kept meeting for another two days. Either conversation went to them wanting to visit other urban fun areas of London and me offering myself to show them around, or I told them about cool places to eat and we all ended up there.
I knew I had found new friends in them, and I couldn’t believe it when they suggested bringing me to the States to shoot their wedding, as it only made sense I kept being a part of this chapter.
I tried not to celebrate too much at that moment, afraid of the plan not going according to what we expected, but truth be told, they indeed kept their words and flew me to San Francisco. A trip that will also forever stay in my heart for many reasons… but that’s a whole other post.