How to photograph your engagement ring

Just engaged? Have you had a sparkle on your left hand since Christmas or New Year? Here are seven ways to photograph your engagement ring to share your news with friends and family…

1. Simple ring lying down

Place the ring on a flat surface – a windowsill, table or even a blanket. Get low down so you’re eye is level with the ring and get close up to capture every detail of that sparkle.

2. Simple ring standing

With a little white tac on a white surface you can balance your engagement ring standing vertically. This perspective allows you take a photo from directly above looking down, focusing on the stone.

 

3. Pair with perfume

A miniature bottle of your favourite perfume works beautifully to show off your engagement ring – and you can slip it in your purse to top up your fragrance on your wedding day.

   

4. Beauty in the box

If you have a beautiful ring box then use it – place it on a clear surface and try different angles to capture the profile and stone of the ring nestled in the velvet.

  

5. In your hands

One of my favourite ways to capture an engagement ring is to have held loosely in both hands – you’ll need someone to take this shot from slightly above, focusing on the stone.

 

6. Holding hands

An engagement ring is a promise between two people – so holding hands is a perfect pose to show off that sparkle. Face away from a friend whilst holding hands and ask them to take a photo level with the ring. Or hold your hands out towards them so they can take a photograph looking slightly down at the ring.

  

7. Spell it out

Break out the scrabble or bananagram tiles, take the magnetic letters off your fridge or use your ring with calligraphy to spell out your love.

 

And of course I’m always happy to lend a hand and would love to photograph your ring in an engagement shoot or as part of your wedding photography. Please send me an email – I can’t wait to hear the story of your proposal…

5 Christmas Photo Ideas

I know it’s not December yet but Christmas trees are popping up, Christmas lists are being written & it’s the perfect time to plan your Christmas photos. Whether for Christmas cards for friends & family, prints, canvases or photobooks as presents or gifting a session itself, here are my top 5 festive photo session ideas for couples & families – plus some on my own Christmas wish list…

1) Romantically wrapped up warm

Winter is the perfect time for those snuggled up couple photos. Add chunky knit scarves, bobble hats & winter coats then cozy together for warmth – giving natural, relaxed & romantic photos

 

2) Family fun decorating

Family traditions are always special – I remember the excitement when my dad took down of our box of Christmas decorations from the loft each year! Whether you’re in novelty hats putting lights up outdoors, or snugly gathered together hanging Christmas stockings by the fire – capture these traditions as your family grows

3) Christmas jumpers & mistletoe

Mistletoe is the perfect prop for a couples Christmas shoot allowing plenty of kisses & laughter, while celebrating a (possibly) ancient Norse tradition. Add a festive winter woolly to keep you cozy for a fun-filled couples shoot

4) Pjs & favourite toys

Capture that Christmas morning feel with a relaxed session at home in your pjs. Add current favourite toys, or even (if you’ve been really good) open one gift early for that Christmas present joy & excitement

5) A visit to Santa

Santa’s pretty busy in December & can be found in magical grottos, farms with reindeer & even on the Polar Express. I love to capture the awe & excitement from stroking Rudolph, baking with Mrs Claus or telling Santa what they want for Christmas

And my wish list? This year I’m asking Santa for a Christmas photo session for furry friends (pets can be Christmassy!) & photographing a trip to choose, carry home & decorate your Christmas tree (bonus points if you cut it down yourself!)

I have limited dates available in London & Northumberland & I’d love to talk to you about your plans

Marcus & Marta’s Cambridge College Engagement

Marta & Marcus chose to have their engagement shoot at Pembroke College, Cambridge. Marcus went to university here and, like his parents, they decided to get married here. Pembroke is one of Cambridge University’s oldest colleges with buildings dating from nearly every century since it was founded in 1347. The grounds are beautiful, with plenty of quiet doorways, lovely lawns and sheltered seats.

Before their engagement shoot Marta & Marcus’s wedding website contained ‘placeholder’ photos of their handsome cat Clovis as they didn’t have any photos of themselves. They let me know they were unphotogenic and that it would be a “bit of a challenge” to get photos without silly faces…

This is why I love prewed shoots. So many couples feel a little apprehensive or think they don’t look good in photos and it’s best to get those nerves and misapprehensions out of the way before the wedding. An engagement or prewed shoot lets couples get used to being photographed and relax in front of my camera – and gives me a chance to learn what helps them to feel comfortable and happy.

For Marta & Marcus there was certainly plenty of laughter and the odd silly face. At one point I asked Marta to look at me and Marcus to look at Marta – “not like that!” – which caused gales of laughter!

I love the confidence my couples gain when they look through a whole gallery of beautiful, natural, relaxed portraits – so that on their wedding day they won’t worry about the photos and just enjoy every moment of their celebration.

                          

You can see more of the fun and laughter from their engagement shoot here:

If you’re just engaged please get in touch so we can plan a relaxed and romantic engagement session that fits your story. Or if you’re planning a special proposal I’d love to find a way to capture the moment, whether you’d like to propose during a couple shoot or arrange for me to be in your chosen location to photograph it discreetly.

www.hannahlarkinphotography.com

Meera & Raj – St Paul’s sunset engagement

After introducing me to the hidden gem of Pergola & Hill Garden in Hampstead for the first part of their engagement shoot, Meera & Raj opted for a more well-known spot for sunset. Raj’s favourite part of London is the Millennium Bridge with its view of St Paul’s Cathedral. We met on the steps of St Paul’s at the start of the golden hour as the sun started to set. I love the huge scale of the doors & pillars, and the beauty of the building’s white stonework. Sitting on the steps also allowed Raj to show off his impressive eyebrow agility! We found a quiet alleyway that gives beautiful reflections of the cathedral, before heading down to the Millennium Bridge for sunset & a dreamy blue dusk.

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If you’re just engaged please get in touch so we can plan a relaxed and romantic engagement session that fits your story. Or if you’re planning a special proposal I’d love to find a way to capture the moment, whether you’d like to propose during a couple shoot or arrange for me to be in your chosen location to photograph it discreetly.

www.hannahlarkinphotography.com

Raj & Meera’s Pergola & Hill Garden engagement

Meera & Raj suggested visiting the Pergola & Hill Garden in Hampstead for the first part of their engagement shoot and I’ve fallen in love with this hidden gem. Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of London it has raised walkways, beautiful brick archways and carefully landscaped gardens. Meera & Raj are great fun and happily braved creepers and spiders so we could find some precious spots of shade on this bright and sunny afternoon! Then we used little arcs of sunlight created by a row of arches to frame them laughing and snuggling together. That evening we headed to St Paul’s Cathedral for sunset – those photos will follow.

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If you’re just engaged please get in touch so we can plan a relaxed and romantic engagement session that fits your story. Or if you’re planning a special proposal I’d love to find a way to capture the moment, whether you’d like to propose during a couple shoot or arrange for me to be in your chosen location to photograph it discreetly.

www.hannahlarkinphotography.com

Lizzie & David’s St Paul’s Engagement

Lizzie & David both work near the river and their first dates often included walks along the South Bank, so it was only fitting that we headed there for their engagement shoot. We managed to find quiet benches and spots to sit in, as well as enjoying the incredible backdrops of St Paul’s and Tower Bridge. Before we met, Lizzie explained that she and David didn’t like having their photos taken and that they weren’t photogenic… Happily these pictures proved them wrong – this is why I love prewed shoots! It gave them a chance to get used to being photographed (the first time I asked them to kiss they both just looked at me in horror and then burst out laughing!), to learn to relax in front of the camera and even enjoy it. And the beautiful, natural, relaxed portraits give them the confidence that they look great in photos so that on their wedding day they won’t be worrying about how they’ll look in the photos, and can just lose themselves in the excitement of the day – I can’t wait!

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If you’re just engaged please get in touch so we can plan a relaxed and romantic engagement session that fits your story. Or if you’re planning a special proposal I’d love to find a way to capture the moment, whether you’d like to propose during a couple shoot or arrange for me to be in your chosen location to photograph it discreetly.

www.hannahlarkinphotography.com

Dana & Eoin’s Lakeside Engagement

Dana worked for many years as an actress before becoming a teacher – but it seems she’s not the only one with a dramatic side! Eoin planned an elaborate Christmas proposal, asking Dana to help him turn off the lights on her parent’s dock at dusk. When they got there Eoin took out a sparkly engagement ring and asked Dana to marry him. So far a beautiful story, but at this point Eoin dropped the ring and could only watch as it bounced on the dock before disappearing with a splash into the water… After what Eoin describes as a ‘dramatic pause’ and Dana describes as ‘forever’ Eoin reached into his pocket and handed a completely shocked Dana the real engagement ring!

With a proposal like this, it was only fitting that their engagement photos featured a dock, a beautiful lakeside setting and plenty of laughter. I can’t wait to see what Eoin has up his sleeve for their wedding later this month… or whether Dana plans to get him back!

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If you’re just engaged please get in touch so we can plan a relaxed and romantic engagement session that fits your story. Or if you’re planning a special proposal I’d love to find a way to capture the moment, whether you’d like to propose during a couple shoot or arrange for me to be in your chosen location to photograph it discreetly.

www.hannahlarkinphotography.com

Highlights from Couple Shoots in 2015

As well as looking back through my highlights from 2015 weddings, I enjoyed choosing favourites from the couple shoots I did last year. From a Hollywood styled night-time engagement shoot at famous landmarks in London to a relaxed photography session in your own back garden, from a walk in the park to a Christmas engagement session in the town you first lived together – I love how unique these sessions can be!

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I always love black and white and it can be perfect for capturing romance…

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And this year I’ve particularly loved couples incorporating their hobbies, their favourite places or recreating special dates.

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I now include a couple shoot in all of my wedding photography packages – giving us the chance to get to know each other and for you to feel relaxed in front of the camera before your big day.

But you don’t have to be engaged for these romantic couple shoots! They make a great Valentine’s gifts – we’ll spend two hours together somewhere that means something special to you both and I’ll create beautiful portraits of you relaxing and having fun.

And if you’re planning to propose, I’d love to talk to you to find a way to capture the moment, whether you choose to arrange for me to be at your chosen spot to photograph the moment discreetly or you decide to propose during a couple shoot.

www.hannahlarkinphotography.com

Jo & Ali’s Christmas Engagement

Jo & Ali wanted to do their engagement shoot in Leamington Spa in locations that were special to them. We visited the park they used to sit in, the porch of the house where they first lived together and a cosy café they loved to visit. They’re both huge rugby fans so we made sure to incorporate this into their photos. They also wanted a Christmas feel so we used mistletoe, a Christmas tree and they even changed into (tasteful) Christmas jumpers! A prewed shoot is a great way to get used to being photographed and relax in front of the camera – and gives beautifully romantic, natural images which can be used for invitations or even Christmas cards.

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Please visit my website to find out more about my wedding photography and romantic portraits.