Dade Freeman
Photographer & Trainer
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Danii & Mike's engagement

Engagement in Shrewsbury

It was just after 4pm, dark clouds were looming, spots of rain were falling and we were walking around The Quarry, Shrewsbury, looking at location spots to tell a story for an engagement shoot in an hour. The lucky couple were Danii and Mike, who are getting married in exactly one years time. I knew Danii, a great, bubbly Aussie, from my work in Spain but I hadn’t previously met Mike, a quieter, deeper person. Still, you know what they say about the quiet ones and it’s true! Once he let his hair down (so to speak), Mike really enjoyed the session, Danii was game for a laugh and up for anything.

One aspect we hadn’t considered was the perception of the public. While Hussian and I snapped away and got Danii and Mike to do a variety of fun things, I heard various comments from passers-by, and I was even asked excitedly by one couple “Is it someone famous?” I guess having two photographers snapping away at a good looking couple is not the norm around here.

Whilst chatting to Danii and Mike we asked about the proposal and how Mike had approached it. Mike, wanting to surprise Danii, had hidden the ring inside a chocolate Easter egg and then waited for the perfect moment to propose. One day, after a shopping spree and a huge curry they both collapsed, exhausted. Mike seized this opportunity to run and get the egg. Danii, tired and full of curry, said she didn’t want it, that Easter was still two days away and insisted the egg go back in the fridge! Mike then took it upon himself to force feed Danii the egg. When she finally submitted and began to unwrap it, she suddenly understood the urgency as she discovered a perfect sparkly engagement ring! I think this summed up their relationship perfectly.

We asked Danii and Mike to choose three adjectives for their shoot. They chose: fun, natural and different, which presented their own problems as being outrageous doesn’t necessarily fit with being natural. We took a range of shots that incorporated the words separately and collectively where possible.

We had a good idea of what we wanted and how to use certain locations for different elements of the shoot. One factor we were VERY aware of was the weather. It had been raining and was threatening to start again but, luckily, it held out for us.

However, it only offered us flat lighting and grey clouds to work with, but with a little creative magic, you would never know it from the photos. We started the shoot slow and easy in the gardens and ended with spinning and swinging in the kiddies park, that’s SO Danii and Mike!

I think it’s fair to say fun was had by all. The only ‘problem’, if you can call it that, was finding shots where Danii wasn’t in fits of laughter!!! We are now waiting with anticipation to photograph Danii & Mike's wedding in August 2011, where they have hired a wonderful venue and a tailor made wedding package to suit their individualism.


Dade Freeman is a Brighton photographer producing portraits and headshots for actors, musicians, corporate business and other professional industries.