Natalie and Luke were the lucky winners of an engagement shoot from The Wedding Expo and Jessica Notelo Photography. This forest autumn shoot captured by Jessica perfectly portrayed the happy couple brimming with joy in such a natural way.
Choosing a wedding photographer to capture those intimate moments on your big day is a tall order. It’s personal and you want to work with someone who understands who you are as a couple. We caught up with Jessica to find out more about the woman behind Jessica Notelo Photography.
An engagement shoot is a great way to capture this incredibly happy moment in your life, but what are the other benefits to doing an engagement shoot.
Chances are, it’s your first time doing a photoshoot – right? An engagement shoot will give you the opportunity of a “test run” before the big day, so the couple shoot after the ceremony will feel more familiar and not so alien. It is also a great way to get to know your wedding photographer! You will more than likely do a makeup and hair trial, just in case you change your mind and would prefer a different style – the same applies with your photographer. It is important that you are 100% confident in their abilities on the big day and the engagement shoot is a great time to test this. Not to mention you will have all the awesome photos to use on your save-the-dates, and to build the excitement leading up to the big day!
Photography is an art form and it’s important for the artist to be inspired. As a photographer, where do you draw your inspiration from?
People! Where else would I draw my inspiration from than the people I’m capturing? I feed off others’ energy and find that the better the rapport between myself and the couple I am photographing, the better the photos turn out. I like to capture every couple in their own unique way that brings out their personalities so you will often find me talking and asking tons of questions before I even lift my camera to start shooting. This allows me, not only to learn about their love story and how they came to be a couple, but also to get a great feel of their individual personalities and what they love about each other. I am even more inspired by the couples who love so strongly that they take each other’s hands out of muscle memory, and kiss each other’s faces while having conversations – visible love is just amazing.
What’s your favourite thing to do in your spare time?
This is a tough one. In all honesty I am so in love with what I do, that “I’d rather be taking photos” does not even begin to describe my bumper sticker of life. Very often I find myself having a manicure or watching TV, thinking that I’d rather be editing photos. Of course, I love spending time with my husband more than anything. Going away and being outdoors experiencing nature with him is probably where I am happiest. So in my spare time my favourite thing to do would be travelling with my hubby, snapping photos of our travels, and creating awesome memories.
What’s your favourite movie, song, colour and food?
Favourite movies would be Dirty Dancing, Avatar, and just about all the Marvel Movies
If I had to pick just one song it would be “Be My Forever” by Christina Perri and Ed Sheeran – It was our first dance song at our wedding.
Food – I cannot go too long without Sushi. And pizza. Always have to have some pizza handy!
Favourite place you’ve travelled to and why.
This would most probably be Hong Kong. It was mine and my husband’s first big city holiday travelling together (when we were still dating). It was winter so it was quite cold, but this made it even more special. The city is full of amazing little treasures around every corner. Buzzing with life. We must have walked almost 20km every day we were there – just taking in the streets and getting lost the way you should when you’re in Hong Kong. We discovered new foods that we loved (and also some that we hated). Most importantly I think we learnt more about one another and loved experiencing every moment together. After all, life really is more about who you’re doing things with, than what you’re doing, right?
Share something interesting about yourself that you think people would be surprised to know.
I still cry at every single wedding. I’m sure you can tell by reading my other answers that I’m a hopeless romantic! I have a weakness for weddings. No matter what movie or series I’m watching (even the action and thriller stuff), if there’s a wedding, I will cry. As soon as that song comes on for the walk down the aisle and I’m focussing on the groom’s face, I feel the tears start to well up!
What advice would you give to couples that are planning their wedding?
One VERY important thing I always tell couples when choosing a photographer – bear in mind that you will most probably spend more time with your wedding photographer on your wedding day than you will with each other. Make sure you gel well with each other and there’s great energy between you. Have a meeting with the photographer before making the booking. Make sure you like them, as a person, otherwise the photo sessions will just be awkward which will show in the photos. I use the meeting to get to know my clients to make sure that we are a good fit. This is just as much a time for me to interview them as it is for them to interview me. I think this should be the case with all photographers so that each of their weddings are different and truly resemble who the couple really is.
It is your BIG day after all, and it happens only once – so the photos should be as unique and memorable as the couple you are.