Spring Engagement Shoot Ideas
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1. Cherry Blossoms
I heart cherry blossoms and would love to fly to Japan to do an engagement shoot! It’s one of the most beautiful short-lived flowers. In Japan it represents the transient nature of life, innocence, spring and simplicity. In China it’s associated with women’s dominance and beauty as well as feminine sexuality.
There is something truly beautiful and romantic about cherry blossoms and I’ve already seen some trees in London in full bloom! So if you want a shoot with cherry blossoms, chances are you’ll need to do it immediately, as soon as you see them in bloom as they only last 1-2 weeks. They are also quite fragile so a gust of wind can easily take a full bloom cherry blossom tree and turn it to bare branches in a day or two (though the cherry blossoms are also very gorgeous when they fall!).
- Usually blooms: According to websites in March / April (but like I said I’ve already seen a couple in full bloom)
- Lasts for: A couple of weeks (depending on wind and weather) so do it as asap.
- Locations: I was impressed there are quite a lot of cherry blossom trees in Regents Park. If you are someone who wants something truly unique (and aren’t easily spooked out) … check out Fulham Palace Road Cemetery. When the flowers are in full bloom it has the most amazing display of cherry blossoms (check out this flickr photo). I also found this website with list of cherry orchards, note it’s a little dated but it’s still worth giving them a call: http://bit.ly/fgplBl
- Pros: Using the trees as a feature will make your photos look amazing no matter what you’re doing.
- Cons: Where ever there are blossom trees there are people so you’ll need to time it right to avoid lots of randoms.
- Tip: If you want to go the extra mile. I would do 2 shoots with the cherry blossoms. One when they first start blooming and when the trees are bold with flowers (great picnic scene). And then again on a windy day when the flowers are falling (it can look a bit like snow) and you’ll get a very different type of shoot when the petals on the floor.
- Props & Inspiration: Picnic scene as mentioned above and there are loads of engagement and fashion shoots online that feature cherry blossoms. The photo below was taken by KLC Photography and you can see the full post here >>
Another flower I absolutely adore – big, bold and breathtaking. Magnolias only came to the UK in the 20th Century and are much harder to find because they are usually planted in people’s gardens. However there are some public gardens that you can visit and probably take photos. If I ever find a big magnolia tree in the wild, I will definitely be doing a shoot and climbing it (check out the AMAZING youtube video below).
- Usually blooms: According to the net, Spring though it depends on the age of the tree (sorry it’s the best I could do)
- Lasts for: Maybe a month – again depends on the age of the tree.
- Locations: Check out this list of gardens >> or ask your neighbour if you see one in their garden
- Pros: Not too many engagement shoots have featured magnolias
- Cons: Can be quite hard to find one you can use creatively (eg. climb)
- Tips: Magnolias are a big flowers and I would recommend contrasting the boldness by keeping your outfits soft, pretty and feminine. It will make the tree look even more beautiful and dreamy.
- Props & Inspiration: Check out the AMAZING YouTube video below for inspiration and if you know where this tree is, please let me know – I’m desperate to find it!!
I first fell in love with bluebells when I saw Lou’s engagement photos. She’s the blogger behind http://www.whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com – and I remember being so disappointed when she told me bluebells only last about 2 weeks in full bloom. So if you love the bluey / purple colour … make sure you plan for the shoot in advance so when they start blooming, you can jump straight in!
- Usually blooms: Weather dependant but usually April.
- Lasts for: A couple of weeks
- Locations: Check out this long list of locations & these bluebell photography tips
- Pros: Easy to find & usually located in woodlands which makes a stunning backdrop!
- Cons: Short bloom period
- Tip: Pick a location that has a combination of wide open space and dense trees. The woods are beautiful but your photos can start to look the same if there isn’t enough variety in your ‘backdrop’ so pick a place that has an open blueberry field, some dense trees and if you find any trees that have fallen over or trees that are big and strong enough for you to climb, don’t hold back : )
- Props & Inspiration: There are a gazillion bluebell engagement photos on google but they tend to look a bit ‘same-same’ after a while. For your photos to stand out you really need to stylise it and bring your characters into the shoot. Try unusual outfits and I would recommend experimenting with a theme. Fairies were the first thing that came to mind. But something outrageous and fun. Or perhaps an unusual prop … like .. a sewing machine?
I also often look at film or fashion for inspiration and I love this lingerie fashion shoot by Michael Powell because they kind of look like fairies : ) Oh … and not to mention my good friend Hannah Ubl is one of the models in the shoot (one at the back). Go Hannah! : )
4. Yellow Fields
It would be unfair for me to leave out yellow fields in this post because my first shoot was with 2 yellow fields: a buttercup meadow and a rapeseed field. It’s that same shoot that has led me to where I am now and let’s be honest, there is nothing more romantic and vibrant than a field of bright yellow flowers!
But for variety, I’m going to cover 3 types of yellow flowers that are in bloom over Spring:
1. Buttercup meadow / flowers: The photo with the bedhead below (yes it’s not a full size bed … just the bedhead) is taken in a buttercup meadow near Aylesbury. We basically drove around aimlessly until we found a yellow meadow. Buttercups are quite common and easy to find.
- Pros: Beautiful and delicate and great for picnic scenes
- Cons: Fragile and can be a bit tricky finding a buttercup meadow that’s dense and rich in yellow colour
- Tip: Be careful where you stand and move when setting up the ‘set / scene’. Buttercups are quite fragile and you don’t want to be flattening the meadow before you even start shooting!
- Props and Inspiration: Because the meadow is usually quite low (below knee height), it’s lovely to create ‘scenes’ that are low like the bed scene below. A camping scene could look quite cute (grab a small tent, set it up, and then put vintage fabric and lace over it to create a completely different feel). The possibilities are endless!
2. Rapeseed fields: These are everywhere in the English countryside so just hop in a car and start driving around. Again the one we found below was in Aylesbury. It’s on the A41 about 5 minutes from the Five Arrows Hotel (heading west) and on the left hand side of the road.
- Pros: Fields are dense and rich in yellow colour and will pop out of your photos!
- Cons: Fields are incredibly dense and although their stems are thin, they weave into each other which makes it very hard to move deep into the field.
- Tip: Make sure your photographer brings a stool or ladder so he / she can get some height when taking the photos – it really helps when trying to capture the ‘sea of yellow’.
- Props & Inspiration: Keep your outfits natural and simple. The yellow rapeseed fields are so bright in colour, you will actually stand out more by keeping things simple.
3. Daffodils I’ll be honest and say Daffodils are not my favourite flower but they grow everywhere in the spring time. I’ll also say that I haven’t seen many people do engagement shoots with wild daffodils so if you can pull one off creatively, it’s a HUGE achievement.
- Pros: Rich in colour and they grow everywhere!
- Cons: Usually don’t grow densely together (so impact is less). Because of how they grow you can’t exactly lie in a bed of daffodils.
- Props and Inspiration: If I was to do a shoot with daffodils I would try and use their separation (ie. individual stems) to my advantage. I would probably try and find 100 (or more) clear white vases .. or maybe even glass coke bottles and scatter them around in some obscure scene / set. Hmm … this idea requires more thought : )