My first winter engagement session.
Though to be fair this was only my second overall. I had started shooting engagement sessions last spring but with fall quickly approaching the other 2 I had scheduled had to be moved till spring on account of the clients not having a chance to fit them in.
Stacey and Dave had wanted to do some shots for a scrapbook a family member was creating for their wedding which was only a few months away. They had contacted me and suggested they would like to do a shoot somewhere in a park and/or around Whyte Ave here in Edmonton. I did some research and took out a friend to do some practice shots since i don't shoot outside in winter too often. What can I say, I'm not the biggest fan of the weather. Everything went great and I had set the plans for the day in stone.
Of course, things never go according to plan.
On the actual day the weather had cooperated. I was hoping it would be over cast and had set out to do the shoot at about 3 pm, giving me a bit of time before the sun actually set and it got dark fast. The plan was to start at the river valley for a series of shots, then head over to Whyte Ave, warm up in a coffee shop and then head back out onto the street for a few more shots.
One of the big things I learned on the test shoot was how crucial a plan is for the actual shoot. It's winter here and the weather can get pretty chilly, you end up not having the kind of time to play around with your subjects as you would in summer. People get cold, fast. You don't really have time to make people wait in those conditions while you figure out your settings or plan out your shots and angles. It becomes essential to have everything planned out before the actual shoot.
Lesson 2 as it always seems to be is communication, communication, communication. It's something I can never seem to get to the degree I would like. Talking with your client is important. If everyone is on the same page it makes the flow of the shoot a lot easier. Try as I might I can never seem to get this lesson down pact. Practice makes perfect as they say.
In this particular case I had asked the couple to dress warm since we would be outside for a while. Me and my assistant ended up being the only ones who actually brought a pair of gloves as well as a hat. Unfortunately the bride to be had worn slip on shoes with no socks. This was of course after I had planned to do a handful of shots in almost knee deep snow. That scenario had to go out the window and this is where having a back up plan or two becomes really important.
Things will go different than what you had planned. It's just the nature of it all so there's no sense getting caught up in it. Spend the extra time and have a backup plan.
Because of this we had to finish the river valley side of the shoot early since the couple were getting pretty cold. As a result we ended up getting to Whyte Ave earlier than i had anticipated and a number of shots I had planned for that location needed darker conditions than what we had.
Luckily in the end everything turned out just fine. It's not always the scenario but days like this are a great reminder why it becomes incredibly important to have a plan as well as things to fall back on. It helps prepare you if you plan on shooting weddings in the future. Now those bring some stress to the table.