Last month Greg and I had a somewhat (VERY) overdue engagement shoot*. I’ve previously written about how we got engaged, which you can read here, but I’ve never really written much more on it since. That’s simply because of us being no further along with wedding plans than we were after we got engaged. Buying a house was our first priority and now that we actually own one, we’re starting to put plans in place on the wedding front.
If I’m completely honest, I’ve never really seen the point of engagement shoots as I always thought of them as an extra cost that could be spent on the actual wedding day. However, my view on this recently changed after reading some wedding advice suggesting to have an engagement shoot and to essentially view it as a “pre-wedding test shoot”. That way you can get a feel of your potential wedding photographer before the big day and have a taster of some of the style of photography that they can offer.
For me, I’ve always said that the one main thing I would like for our wedding is a decent photographer because I hate the whole “you just point and shoot” attitude and I would hate to have photos I despised as my memories from the day. You can call me a photography snob but I didn’t get an A in my photography A Level for nothing!
I’ve been asked to be a photographer for a couple of weddings myself but I haven’t really felt that confident doing it and neither do I think my photography was that great. Although I am probably my greatest critic and the couples themselves were happy with the photos.
Our engagement shoot was with HS Photography, currently a one-woman, side-hustle business run by Hayley. I have been following HS Photography on Facebook for a while as I love the style of her photography. Hayley recently ran a competition on her Facebook page for people to share and tag a person on a specific post, and then she would pick a winner at random. With Greg being my fiancee, and wanting to have some experience with Hayley before definitely wanting to choose her as our photographer, I entered the competition and tagged Greg in the hope that we would win.
Luckily for me, we won the competition. Although I had to do all the arranging as Greg wasn’t overly bothered. It was a good job I tagged him and explained that he was my fiancee as I foresaw him not doing that if I didn’t.
We met with Hayley in the New Forest on a day that had flash showers in the morning. Fortunately though, by the time of our shoot, the weather cleared up and turned out to be a beautiful afternoon. The shoot took a couple of hours as we went for a several miles walk around to find some decent locations. She arranged for us to meet her at 2 pm so that we could get some shots during golden hour – most photographers or photography enthusiasts favourite hour for beautiful imagery!
Hayley was friendly, fun, engaging and made us feel comfortable which I think is everything you want in a photographer. She sent the photos from the shoot over to us really quickly and we were not disappointed with them – we both loved them. (Even if Greg looks like he’s trying to kill me in some of them!). Greg is a fan of black and white photos so much preferred those, but I love the coloured images as I just love the golden hour tint to them.
If you’re based in Hampshire then I would definitely recommend Hayley as she creates beautiful imagery and her shoot prices are also really reasonable. 😊 She’s based in the Southampton New Forest area but is willing to travel to other areas, although she will charge travel expenses.
*Although we won this engagement shoot in a competition. All thoughts are my own and I have written this post as a recommendation from my own honest opinion.
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