The Gift of a Photoshoot - By Stewart Barker
It's the weekend before Valentine's Day. If you're still at a loss for what to get your loved one then look no further. I hand you over to the very talented photographer, Stewart Barker, who tell us about THE perfect Valentine's Day present. Thank you Stewart!
Planning a romantic gift for Valentine’s Day? Flowers and chocolates are so last year. The perfect Valentine’s Day gift is a couple’s photoshoot! As an increasingly digital society, lots of us have pictures with our significant others on our phones and tablets. But how many of you are guilty of not having any of these photos printed out in your home?
Come on guys, hold your hands up! We have lovely selfies on our phones, and everyone on Facebook and Instagram gets to see them. But I know a lot of people have very few (if any!) photos printed out around their home. Now here’s the part where I hold both my hands up and make a big admission – I’m a massive hypocrite! Me and my other half (me and Emma have been together for over 11 years!) don’t have any recent photos of us on display in our home. As a wedding photographer, I’m rightfully a little ashamed of this.
For some people, the thought alone of having their picture taken on their wedding day fills them with horror. As part of my wedding photography package, I offer a free engagement or general couple’s photoshoot to all of my couples – and I’ve had some really mixed responses to this!:
“Can we just have the wedding photos? I’m worried it will be really awkward”
“I would love this, but my fiancé doesn’t like having his photo taken”
“I would love this! My fiancé is beautiful, but she is really nervous about photos”
“Are the photos going to look really posed? We would want them to look natural, but we’re not models – we don’t have a clue how to pose!”
Honestly guys, I hear you. I am definitely more at home behind the camera than in front of it. I have had issues with my appearance and self-confidence for as long as I can remember. So I always dodge cameras, and try to avoid having my photo taken. But I’m starting to realise that I need to face my fear. In years to come, I don’t want to regret not having enough photos of me and Emma.
So why is a couple’s photoshoot the perfect Valentine’s Day present?
It’s something different to the regular chocolates and flowers! Surprise your partner by just getting them a card, and writing inside that you have booked to have a romantic photoshoot. Show them how much it means to you to make these memories.
It’s super romantic. Like seriously. If you are really looking for that extra special and incredibly romantic gift, this is definitely for you. It’s the perfect way to show just how much you love your other half. And just think how incredible it will be, to be able to share a stunning photo of both of you, instead of just the standard Valentine’s Day selfie! Plus, if you want to be the king or queen of romance, you can take your shoot one step further – and propose! Pretend you’ve planned a really special shoot as your present, and then surprise your partner by getting down on one knee! Your photographer will there to capture the whole thing!
You can’t beat professional images. Don’t get me wrong, I love the obligatory Valentine’s Day selfie before our nice meal at a restaurant. But it just doesn’t compare to professional photos. A good photographer will make you feel incredibly comfortable in your own skin. When I shoot couple’s sessions and wedding portraits, I really get each couple to relax and enjoy themselves. I don’t do really posed images, instead, I give you simple cues to interact with each other, then snap away and get beautiful and natural looking photos.
It’s an excuse to get dressed up! Having a couple’s photoshoot is more than just the images, it’s an experience. Take the opportunity to treat yourself, buy yourself that dress you’ve seen every day on your way to work, or that jacket you keep seeing on Facebook. Change up your hairstyle, or invest in some new makeup. Pick a location that you love, that has significance in your relationship. Or failing that, just pick a beautiful place! Enjoy spending the quality time together, with you both looking your best, then look forward to seeing the photos after. Picking which photo you want to get printed can be a tough choice, but when you hold and look at that print it will instantly transport you back to that moment.
Make a new tradition! Like it’s traditional to go for a meal every Valentine’s day, why not make it a yearly habit to get a photoshoot? This is a perfect way to capture your love story over the years, and an excellent way to celebrate the love between you and your other half.
So, if you want to surprise your partner with a truly thoughtful and romantic gift this Valentine’s day, why not treat them to a couple’s photoshoot? I love meeting lots of couples, and it’s an honour to be able to tell part of their love story. If you like the photos that accompany this article and want some for yourself, why not contact me to arrange a couples shoot?!