Veritas: Haley + Robert = Natural Beauty Engagement Session

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Veritas: Haley + Robert = Natural Beauty Engagement Session by Zorz Studios (26)
Reading time: 3 mins

Lovely engaged couples, let this natural beauty engagement session ease certain stereotypes about Zorz Studios.

I get it, after seeing my electrifying engagement portfolio, some couples assume two things: a) I opt to only work with models and beautiful people and b) being a fashion photographer, I throw every couple into some snazzy magazine-ish drama poses. Well, take a look:

Believe it or not, those looking for natural beauty engagement session half-jokingly asked me along the lines of “Do you take ‘normal’ pictures?” I do! Before showing an example, let me address those stereotypes.

Models Only?

I hear this often and take it as a huge compliment… The short answer is: I make them look beautiful. Not sure if it would be appropriate to show “every day” vs. “professionally created” shots but so many average-looking people told me: “Wow, I look like a model here!” While my body of work does include a prominent fashion clientele including models, it is what I mastered and practiced in that fashion industry that helps me implement the best posing, lighting, and retouching techniques which may turn an average person into a magazine-worthy subject if this is your preference. Not all couples want to act and look like models. Those are confident about their natural beauty and they want to look real. I’ve also had clients instructing me not to Photoshop them at all. I have the skills but I do not enforce them. You just let me know, it only makes my job easier.

Fashion and Drama

Of course I take “normal” pictures! In fact, most of them are such and may not differ a huge lot from an average photographer. I just don’t show them in my portfolio or blog, however cute and important they are to a client. What I choose to highlight in my portfolio is my ability to add the often-sought elements of fashion and drama. Understand this rule: artists show their best so if you see mostly “normal” shots in one’s portfolio, chances are there aren’t many better ones. If you see see some crazy or souped up shots, it does not mean that the simpler ones cannot be created. You surely can get the sweet and natural photos from me but on top of them, if desired, something different and not as attainable by someone else. There are couples who revolt all that fashion and drama; naturally, my theatrical and electrifying posing, further kicked with mighty lighting, would be an anathema to them. What do I do? I happily switch gears because this is how I’d possibly want my own photoshoot done—a natural beauty engagement session.

Paradoxically, most couple rejecting “posed” photos and aiming to look natural and unforced, are totally lost if offered to take the lead and act natural (wouldn’t that make them be themselves?) A funny thing happens: they freeze, stare at each other, and ask: “Eh… What do we do?” And then they make awkward movements… Very few can do without a photographer so however you are appalled by the word “posed”, you will likely benefit from your photographer’s direction and posing. It’s the art of making the poses look natural and not as commercial. It is simply a different type of posing, so don’t be afraid of the “P” word. 🙂

Haley and Robert are a sweet couple whose wedding I’m going to shoot next year. To send out out their “Save the Date” cards with lovely portraits, they were looking for natural beauty engagement session set in a woody environment last month. Both living in Philadelphia area, they suggested Wissahickon Valley Park stretched along the creek. The autumn day was cold and windy but—to our relief—so sunny! I timed the shoot around the glorious golden hour, although being unfamiliar with that park, I failed to account for the geographical limitation of the cleft. We weren’t in the sun all the time but as you can see, scored enough of spectacular backlit compositions.  Enjoy these natural, warm, and whimsical moments, and don’t be afraid to request such for yourself, partially or exclusively!

P.S. This was the shoot from which I emersed muddy, untidy, and super dressed-down and was intercepted on my long drive home to unexpectedly shoot a very fashionable party

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Ed Hafizov
Ed Hafizov
Ed Hafizov is a creative director and lead photographer of Zorz Studios, Manhattan-based boutique photography studio, offering arousing and daring fashion, commercial, beauty, and wedding photography. Multiple Fearless Photographer™ award winner, named among the top 50 US wedding photographers, top 10 NY wedding photographers, winner of Adobe contests, featured by Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Elle et al, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week photographer, and a distinguished member of Grace Ormonde Wedding Style‘s Platinum List, he is eager to step out of his and willing clients' comfort zone to pursue original artwork with a lasting impression.

1 Comment

  1. […] Most prefer a more traditional—even if insanely beautiful—approach to engagement photography like this. I’m happy to please and tell them those are only easier to do, even if I don’t show […]

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