A romantic sunset engagement shoot in Kielder Forest with Emily and John

Sometimes it's about picking a location that complements a couple and sometimes it's about picking a location that contrasts with a couple. Emily and John are a cool, creative couple into all things alternative, so driving out to Kielder Forest at sunset for an outdoors, romantic engagement couples session was a change of gears for them.

Their willingness to take risks and try something out of their comfort zone paid off handsomely when we were rewarded with simply amazing light. It was one of those days where the air itself seems to have a magical quality. It was almost as if you could reach out and touch it and maybe even reshape reality.

I made the most of the sunset by backlighting a lot of my photographs, blowing out the sky that was visible through the trees and allowing flares to happen in the lens. Many photographers hate these imperfections but I actively seek them out. It's analogue instead of digital, clean instead of dirty, and very human.

I played upon these imperfections by taking some shots with an old Russian Helios 44 lens adapted for use on my X-Pro2 camera. It's as soft as a soft thing and a devil to manually focus while heavily backlighting but it was fun to experiment. 

Emily and John were great sports so they tried out any suggestion I made, and suggested a few of their own so this shoot became a real collaboration. Emily has worked as a life model so is used to using her body to create art, and John, well anyone with such an impressive mohawk would rightly want it to be recorded for posterity!

If you'd like to see more of my pre-wedding, engagement and couples sessions, as well as some real weddings, from Northumberland have a look at my Northumberland weddings page.