I don't often do engagement shoots in my line of work. That's not to say I don't do them, it's just with my previous job taking up most of my time I didn't have time to do such shoots during the working week. But when an opportunity comes along that has a very unique proposition, it's hard to resist the lure of a new challenge.
Eunice contacted me in regards to her idea for a photoshoot. Her and her fiance Junyuan, henceforth dubbed James (as in James Bond), were coming to Melbourne to celebrate their engagement with a tour of some famous landmarks within the city and also to drive along the coasts to see the likes of the penguins at Phillip Island and the Twelve Apostles on their way to Adelaide.
Her idea was simple; to follow them both around the Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne whilst they do some shopping. The catch is that James doesn't know about this, he is totally unaware. She wanted the shoot to be undercover, in the style of the paparazzi following a celebrity as they go about their daily routine. The only caveat is to not get caught because James is somewhat shy and doesn't like his photo being taken.
Sadly, she had asked many other photographers about helping out with this shoot and they rejected her because it was not "what they do". That's a sad indictment of the industry that your own "image" might be tainted by some couples different idea of what THEY want.
It was at this point I felt the jig was up. :)
You can see from the photo above that part of the white car roof I was shooting across meant I was being as sneaky as I could be and James made eye contact with me. I ducked for cover pretending I had dropped something and tried to be as casual as possible doing my shoe laces up. This gig was tougher than I thought it was going to be.
When I popped back up, James had gone off to buy some donuts so I SMS'ed Eunice stating that I may have been compromised and she agreed that we should let him know in case he felt uncomfortable. Here's where it gets funny.
James had no idea I was following them, even when he made eye contact. His exact words were "I hardly noticed you and when I did see you, I thought you were some Photography Arts student doing a project around the market." Not once did he feel he was being followed which was a relief. So I asked if he was comfortable getting some proper shots of them together and he obliged and truth be told, he actually loves the camera and is very comfortable about it.
It's kind of weird when in the middle of a photoshoot a complete stranger comes up to my couple and asks them to take some posed shots of him in the gardens. Which reminds me, I must watch Inception again. :)
What a great shoot. Thoroughly enjoyed this.
Undercover Photography: ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED