When we first received an inquiry from Bri & Jim saying that they were looking for a photographer who was willing to capture a “different type of engagement shoot” we were intrigued to see where this was headed. Reading further, the next couple sentences of their email read; “We would love a black and white shoot in a studio with a fun atmosphere! We don’t take ourselves too seriously and want that to be seen in our photographs.”
Although we ended up throwing a handful of color photos into the mix anyways, a request for a black and white shoot is any wedding or portrait photographer’s dream. To be honest, it’s something that we thought no client would ever ask for, especially with the latest trend of ‘light and airy’ wedding photography where the colors and detail are washed out and everything is purposely overexposed (thank you, Pinterest). After hearing that they don’t take themselves too seriously and just want to have fun, it was the icing on the cake – and more than obvious to us that this was going to be a great fit for everyone involved. Needless to say, at this point, our minds were racing with ideas that we couldn’t wait to spill out into an email back to them.
After some back and forth communication filled with shared enthusiasm, there were a few words that started to appear over and over in our emails. Some of those words that found their way into our final plans for the session were; music, dancing, glitter, confetti, champagne, and fun. The bottom line was that Bri & Jim wanted to have fun being themselves while trying something new that none of us have ever done before.
In the planning stages of our session, we tried doing a couple quick searches on Google and Pinterest and didn’t see much creative inspiration in the direction of what we were aiming for… but that’s probably because popping champagne for photos, sounds so much easier and photogenic than it actually is. Have you ever tried to pop a bottle of champagne while still looking photogenic? Try it, we dare you. It’s sure to bring some laughs! We’ll admit, the “bottle popping” may not have been as glamorous as we had imagined, but that’s not to say that the unintentional champagne shower that Jim gave Bri was anything short of amazing.
So what were the main ingredients for this successful studio shoot?
- An open and inspiring studio space with beautiful exposed white brick walls willing to rent to daily creatives who may (or may not) make a very sticky mess. A HUGE thank-you to The Bananaland for trusting us with your beautiful space, and a shout out to the Banana Lady herself, Marella Kovac for personally lending us a hand!
- A big bag of glitter-confetti
- A waterproof tarp large enough to catch our mess – and most importantly the champagne
- A HUGE fan. We’re talking industrial size. To blow the glitter around, obviously.
- A solid playlist fit for a confetti-filled dance party
- Champagne. Lots & lots of champagne. And don’t worry – not all of it went to waste 😉
Having to break the ice at the beginning of a shoot is something we’re accustomed to. If you’re not a celebrity of some sort, you’re most likely not used to having a camera on you at all times. This shoot could have been uncomfortable for a lot of couples, but once the tunes started blasting, Bri & Jim showed no fear and held nothing back. Soon enough, the glitter and confetti started flying, the champagne exploded everywhere – almost making it too easy for us to capture their candid personalities on camera. You’d think it was New Years, the way these two were celebrating!
After we finished shooting indoors, we cleaned up our mess and started loading up the car. Looking across the street we noticed a large, ivy-covered wall that we have always had our eyes on. Surrounded by apartment buildings, restaurants, and shops, this type of unspoiled wall in the heart of Bridgeport, Connecticut is rare to find. It’s especially hard to a plan a session with this spot in particular because of the commercial trucks that are usually blocking the wall. All we needed was the right opportunity and luckily, we had an awesome couple who were down to keep shooting with us just a bit longer.
It was refreshing to do something different from what we were becoming so accustomed to, and just let loose with so much laughter. Words cannot express how much fun we had with Bri and Jim, shooting such a unique engagement session with them that really matched their personalities. Our experience with this shoot has really encouraged us to think outside the box when it comes to engagement sessions or portrait sessions, especially with the use of chalkboard signs being considered as the new “traditional”. Do you have a creative idea for a session that you’ve always wanted to try, but need photographers with an open mind? Let us know! We’re open to ideas!
If you’re recently engaged and are looking for a wedding photographer, we would love to hear from you! We’re currently booking weddings for 2018, and if you’re interested in starting a conversation with us, just click here. Nick Benson Photography is a wedding photography studio based out of Fairfield County, Connecticut, but we are more than willing to travel (especially to our neighboring states New York, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts) if you love our work!