An al-fresco engagement session in the Lake District with John & Sophia

An engagement or pre-wedding shoot poses an interesting dilemma for a lot of couples. On the one hand it has the advantage of familiarising them with their photographer, and also extends the period of anticipation and excitement in the lead up to the big day. On the other hand, it can add a lot of pounds to an already overweight wedding budget.

A quiet cafe corner provides an opportunity for refreshment and a chat for John & Sophia

A relatively new phenomenon from across The Pond, the engagement shoot isn't really what it says, as most couples are engaged well before this event takes place. Rather, it is a 'let's-have-a-practice-before-the-wedding-day' shoot, and this, for me, is the greatest advantage of all. It offers the couple the chance to both 'warm up' in front of the camera, and also to extend their wedding collection with photos that are a little more reflective of how they behave in real life (i.e. not carrying flowers and being followed by a bunch of girls in matching frocks).

One of many kisses exchanged by our engaged duo, a sign of wedded bliss to come

John and Sophia could not have been more cool about being in front of my lens. There were so many kissing stops that I almost called the fire brigade at one point. Man, was it hot out there!

so comfortable in each other's company, our couple get cosy on the log pile

Amongst other 'game' things, John and Sophia thought nothing of walking through the odd cow pat or mud bath to find a decent destination for a portrait. Love is like that.

Tramping through cow pats and mud not a problem when you're in love

We chose several different locations, including the picturesque town of Kirkby Lonsdale, with its cafes and pretty streets. A couple of refreshment breaks provided the perfect opportunity for our couple to catch up over a cappuccino. 

a brief stop for coffee and cuddles at the pub in Kirkby Lonsdale

Rarely more than an inch apart, I was left in little doubt that this couple will have an amazing life together. Their comfort in each other's company was clear for most of the residents of the Lake District to see, and even the passers-by (who were intrigued enough by the public posing to ask whether there was a celebrity in town) commented on how freely John & Sophia gave and received affection with so many eyes upon them.

never more than an inch apart, love was in the air all day long

The long grass (and thistles) is always a great spot for kissing, even if you have to stand up.

love in the long grass, helped by magnificent light
kissing in doorways - a wonderful passtime
public canoodling at the public house

There was public canoodling at the public house, kissing in doorways, snogging against the railings, and I LOVED it!

such closeness was lovely to witness in this awesome couple

Major thanks to the adorable, perfect subjects that are John & Sophia, and here's to many long years of love and lust. Wherever.

more kissing and any opportunity to show their affection on this special engagement

If you like kissing, try more wedding posts!

Thanks are due to Aspire who found John and Sophia and these awesome locations.