Patrick Engel is weddingphotographer from Aachen, Germany, travelling to Cologne, Düsseldorf and internationally. His focus is the wedding story or wedding documentation. In this FAQ Weddingphotography he introduces hisself and gives becoming wedding couples hints for their wedding.
Patrick, you shoot wedding stories. What exactly are you doing?
For a wedding story I go with the wedding couple through the whole day. From getting ready in the morning until the party in the night. I love keeping the complete story of the day by pictures; the excitement right before the ceremony, the walk to the register office or to the church, the wedding ceremony, the wedding party, the wedding dance, all the lovely ideas and details, the cutting of the wedding cake…
I pretty much love the little details and moments, which make that day so wonderful and special. Long after their wedding my couples should experience this day with all its emotions again.
And why not just couple shoots?
Just ten years ago it was very usual German weddings that the wedding photographer came for only a couple of hours. Unfortunately I just have a few photos of my wedding – and I wished to have a whole wedding story.
A lot of wedding couples do a lot of preparation and invest many, many hours for their wedding. They invest time and money in lovely details, choose their wedding dresses, the wedding cake and handcraft decoration to make it a dream wedding and an unforgotten day.
Then comes the red letter day and hours just fly. I don’t know a more dynamic day than a wedding day.
But after the last piece of cake and the last guest is gone, only the pictures sort the memories. They remain and get better and better- like a bottle of good wine.
With the pictures a couple again and again can live through their day. All details and many magic moments and emotions were saved. Very often a couple discovers special moments and details, which they have not recognized before, on the wedding photos.
This is only possible with a whole-time photographic wedding story.
Some wedding couples just book a couple shooting and uncle Bob takes the pictures. Why do you disadvise?
I always explain what it means to assign responsibility for their wedding photos to a guest. This guest is no longer a guest.
Honestly: I love my work! It’s my goal to deliever my best quality to the wedding couple. I’m always thankful dor the confidence of a couple that books me. I’m totally aware of my responsibility. A wedding day is an unrecoverable event. Nearly everything on this day happens just once. Therefore I have to be 120 % focussed. Humility is also part of it, since I have the chance to be part of something and can do what I love. That makes me very proud, as well.
The wedding couple gets all my attention on the wedding day. Even when I have a piece of wedding cake my camera is always close.
I wouldn’t expect this from any guest.
And difficult and fast moving light and motive situations are even typically for a wedding. This needs a lot of experience to handle the equipment and the intimate moments. By the way, I always have a backup equipment thereby.
And we are always two photographers!
Do you also take couple shoots?
Of course, couple shoots are part of my wedding stories. Normally we need one hour for this- just two photographers and the wedding couple.
Most of all couples really enjoy the couple shooting. It is a moment of quietness during a very exciting day. Often we have the couple shooting after the ceremony, when you can see the contrast in terms of excitement before and after. A lot of couples now are aware “Hey, we are really married now!”
I always recommend to have some time for couple photos in the evening, since the light is fantastically soft and moody.
How would you describe your personal style?
Ich lege viel Wert auf natürliche, emotionale Bilder. I very much focus onemotional and native photos.
They often come out of a movement. This vibrancy, I think, is characteristic for my style. I do not let them pose for minutes in one position and do the adjustments until faces became masks. I prefer to talk about a loose concept and let them be as individual as possible.
The result are pictures where you can see their love.
In post production timelessness is my main idea. I don’t want to follow certain fashions /styles, which are not up to date in five years time. My wedding couples are supposed to watch their wedding photos with their grandchildren- without wondering about a special color preference or filter.
How can wedding couples find a suitable wedding photographer?
He shoul show you his wedding photos! At least one or two complete wedding days.
It is really important to see pics, which show a real wedding.
On Instagram or Pinterest, but even in wedding magazines you increasingly find styled shoots. These photos are results from situations which you do not find on a wedding day.
On a real wedding you do not have 5 hours for the couple shoots, we can’t wait for sunsets – and mostly the couples are not professional models.
Actually everything has to be very quick on the wedding day. The photographer has to be focussed and attentive for many hours. He must be able to adapt to squillons of different situations. Therefore he/she needs empathy and a very safe equipment handling and a lot of exoerience!
So, if wedding couples find photographers on the internet and they like their style, they shoul talk with him personally. I always meet my wedding couples personally long before the wedding. And if this is not possible, I see them via Skype or Facetime and we have a lot of talking on the phone.
It is very neccessary that you fit to each other. I think that is the only way to unforgotten and emotional wedding photos.
You also offer engagement shootings. What exactly is this?
An engagement or warm-up shooting is a photo shooting before the wedding day.
We meet in nature, a city, an old factory, a car park, subway station or wherever my couple has any idea or link to and shoot some photos in casual and relaxed atmosphere. They can use the pics for instance for their invitation card.
An engagement shooting is good to get to know each other before the wedding. On the wedding day we have a far more relaxed atmosphere between us and the wedding couple, because very often we have a gap of several months between our first meeting and the wedding.
You find more concepts, ideas and tips for photographers on www.store.engelfotografie.com.