An Easter Engagement Shoot outside a Barn | Part 1 of 5

Overview | How I will be posting Spontaneous Spring shoots …
With all the shoots in the “Spontaneous Spring” challenge, I’m going to start off by talking about the creative process. I’ll explain the sequence of events, the challenges we had at each location and what I wish I had done differently. After that I’ll then talk about Erin & Chi’s photographic love story and the meaning the images have for me.

But before I start, let me explain why I chose Kent …
I know this is going to sound boring and uninspiring but I chose Kent because it logistically made sense. The photographer and couple both lived in Kent and I knew from my previous research that Kent was full of bluebells, woodlands and cherry blossoms. What I didn’t know is that it would be a hit and miss process – but more on that in the next post when I discuss bluebells.

Easter Engagement Shoot outside a Barn
| About the Creative Process

I actually love this shoot and it turned out much better than I had expected (I can’t explain how nerve racking it is to try and squeeze in 4-5 shoots / locations in one day). We well exceeded the 5-8 shots / shoot I was aiming for and I had loads of images to choose from.

I think one of the reasons why this shoot worked so well is because we spent so much time here. We actually weren’t planning on shooting here first but because we did we allowed extra ‘bonding time’ between us (Darren & I) and the couple. I think we shot here for about an hour which I think is quite long given how simple the location is – by simple I mean there was nothing to set up and no props to move etc-.

(a) So how did we find the location?
Purely by accident. We were on our way to the Pennypot Woods in search of bluebells and this barn was situated just down the road from the woods. Darren got to the woods before me and sent me a text with an image of the hay rolls – I was very excited!

(b) How did the Easter theme / props come about?
Again, a stroke of luck! When we were on our way in I got a text from Katy asking me to pick up some sandwiches. We pulled over to a country store (it was so cute!) and the next thing you know I’m picking Easter eggs for the barn shoot. Total improvisation at the time but it’s so obvious now!

(c) How did we get permission to shoot?
I simply walked around the barn until I found the owner and asked him. People in the country are SO nice! I know some photographers are afraid to ask (Darren much prefers me to do it LOL) but so long as you’re not damaging anything they are usually ok. Sometimes they ask for a small fee but I think it’s totally worth it!

(d) Biggest Challenge
As an art director my biggest problem was actually entertaining Darren. As a photographer he likes to play with different elements and angles. The problem you have with shooting outside a barn is that you basically have lots of fancy walls and although the textures are interesting it’s quite limiting what you can do in terms of angles for the couple (there are only so many ways you can stand in front of a wall!). I know when I work with Darren I need to give him a variety of scenes to keep him engaged.

How did I overcome this? Because the angles of the couple were limited, I knew I had to capture lots of ‘detail’ shots of the setting to complete the look and feel of this shoot. The Easter eggs also allowed us to capture different angels and I tried to add movement (Erin & Chi getting off the hay roll) to add diversity and to help create a story.

(e) What I would do differently?
Two things: I would give Erin a pair of cute boots because I so wanted to capture some feet / walking in hay shots. And I would have brought along props they could have interacted with. To be honest if I had time to prep for this shoot I would bring out a shovel set a scene of them planting a tree together to signify spring and new beginnings. Or I’d get them to feed the chickens hehe … Gosh I wish I was smart enough to come up with it at the shoot! LOL!

Erin & Chi
| The Photographic Love Story …

When look at this photographic love story it reminds me of two things. Obviously it’s Easter so it reminds me of spring, new beginnings, celebrations etc-… and I absolutely love the chickens as it creates a three dimensional feel to the barn.

But the images at the bottom of the post with the brown textures and the hay rolls reminds me of something slightly different but also Easter related. I’m not sure how many people can relate to me and how embarrassing this is going to be, but here goes …

Secret Hiding Places
When I was younger in my teens my parents would make me go to church over Easter. It was always a big deal and we would go to mass on Thursday, Friday and Sunday. Mass always went for at least 3.5 hours and over this Easter period it was always held in a park with thousands and thousands of people.

My friends and I would always sit together in church (aka the park) and there would come a time where we would tell our parents we need to go to the “toilet” (remember mass goes for over 3 hours!) but instead we would meet up with boys.

I promise you nothing ever happened at church – I was young and naive at the time (omg this is getting very embarrassing!) … but I have to admit as a young teenager I really loved having these secret meeting places. Even if it was for only 15 minutes and even if all we did was chat and say hello … these fond innocent memories remain dear to me.

Climbing on the hay sacks very much reminded of how sweet it is to have secret hiding places. Love often blooms when no one else is watching and in places no one else knows about.

Happy Easter everyone! May you all find your secret hiding place to share with your loved ones : )

ps. On my blogs I like to do a much tighter edit (ie. less shots of the same scene). So what I will do for those who want to see more, I’ll upload some more images on facebook. They are images I liked but for whatever reason it didn’t fit with the photographic love story I was creating. So check out facebook for some more images.

pps. I will try and edit the Pennypot Woods shoot tonight (I fly out tomorrow) and then I’ll try and login next week when I’m in Vietnam and squeeze in a post while I’m away.

Photographer: Darren Wong
Creative Director: Thaoski
Stylist: Katy Chung of Madame Moi … How good wast Katy at putting together the outfits! Katy brought a whole bunch of dresses along and this one fitted Erin and the scene perfectly!

PUBLISHED: This photographic love story, was featured on ‘OMG I’m Getting Married’ wedding blog.
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13 Responses to “An Easter Engagement Shoot outside a Barn | Part 1 of 5”
  1. Humaira says:

    Absolutely adorable! Like you say, simple location, bu the shots of the couple themselves, especially the bride kissing the groom’s cheek was adorable!

  2. Konfral says:

    Fab work 🙂 How did you get the chickens to cooperate?

  3. star says:

    Love the hay bale ones!

    • thaoski says:

      is that what they are called hay bale’s LOL … i had no idea what to call them! glad you like it starry X

  4. Alice says:

    Absolutely gorgeous! Do you happen to know where the dress is from?

  5. Over all this one is my favorite shoot from your spring challenge 🙂

  6. thaoski says:

    Sofia – I do love it too! It was the first location and we probably spent at least double the amount of time here. Goes to show somethings can’t be rushed 🙂

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  3. […] the Spontaneous Spring Challenge. To see other shoots that were shot on the same day, check out the barn shoot and Pennypot Woods. This Yellow Fields shoot will be split into 3 photographic stories and across […]

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