Engagement sessions are an opportunity to get you comfortable in front of me and my camera but even more so to connect and hear more of your story, share my story, and foster a deeper trust with more than "our photographer", but Reese - the [mostly] calm, fun guy that's a dad of 4 under 4. This trust goes a long way on your wedding day so you can be fully present and KNOWING I'm getting all the best moments and also comfortable being yourselves.
We can grab a brew (coffee or beer) and sit down before getting your beautiful mugs in front of the lens. If time permits, we can do an activity that you two enjoy together (like getting ice cream, coffee, walking your dog, surfing, hiking, etc.) Obviously we take time for some “formal” portraits too! This also offers some variety with your wedding photos (different location, your “everyday” clothes, and a fun activity).
More than just photos for your wedding save the dates, these are images documenting this current pre-wedding season you’re in as you excitedly await & take a break from planning for the big day. Take a deep breath and remember this time. Together.
C.S. Lewis has this quote where he says "to love at all is to be vulnerable". And while it can be uncomfortable at first, vulnerability allows me to document you as you are. Sure, I have a very chill personality that will help break the ice & a few ice breaker games [if necessary], but the best photos always happen when people are 'in the moment' and so that is my charge to you: be present to each other, the place, and reminisce on how you got here because it's a gift! Sincerely think about the events & people that have happened to bring you to this place & time and let me document that joy.
No two couples are the same, so I try to minimize how much direction I give you in posing, in initiating a specific reaction, etc. You are in l-o-v-e, you are going to be marrying this person; do with them what you would normally do, sit how you'd normally sit, hold hands how you'd normally do - I promise you don't need me interjecting to tell you how to connect with one another. It's your relationship, not mine, and every couple's interactions are unique to them 🙂 That's the best part about it and therefore your photos will look like no one else's because no other couple is like you!
Are you two goofballs? Be goofy! Are calm & quiet? Be your kind selves! Are you lovebirds? Show some PDA!
Just like a weekend getaway, this session will be most enjoyable when you pair it with a day off work & grown up commitments. Get some champagne together, buy some new clothes, or do something that fills you up BEFORE so that by the time we meet, you're already in the flow of connecting with one another! A few ideas: go golfing, grab a bite at your favorite food type joint, take a hike, go for a swim, hit up a local farmer's market, etc. And have a competition to HAVE THE MOST FUN 🙂
If an awkward feeling comes over, that's ok, roll with it and laugh it off. This is our full-time job and even we get nervous when a camera is pointed in our direction. It's not normal to feel 100% at ease (unless you're a model). You got this!
WEAR WHAT'S YOU
You should wear an outfit that is YOU! We don't have a Pinterest board telling you how to dress because it's not about making photos to fit our "brand", it's about documenting this time in your lives; whatever hobbies you enjoy together, favorite food places, where you live, and how you interact. If you want to get in a nice flowery dress and your favorite graphic tee, that's cool too. My only recommendations are try not to clash with lots of patterns for each of ya, avoid both of wearing all white, and avoid bright neon colors (try for more natural tones).
FOCUS ON WHAT MATTERS
People are what make great photographs. And when two people love each other enough to devote their lives to one another, that is a sacred space to enter into! While I appreciate a beautiful location or backdrop as much as anyone else, even a blank wall or some gorgeous light is enough for two people who care & connect with one another deeply. What matters is you two, not where you are. My goal is to guide you as the unique couple you are and leave space for your natural feelings & idiosyncrasies to come forth!
EMBRACE THE TRUTH
It's good to fix our eyes on what's true and not what culture tells us is true. In this context, that means letting go of "looking perfect" in order to be more present to one another. Don't get lost in what culture (wedding blogs, IG, other people, etc) is telling you what you need to do or look like to have awesome photos. Instead, focus on what's right in front of you: each other. Someone who has decided to choose you over the other 7.75+ billion people on earth. That's what's true and that's a wonderful gift. Embrace it!
Unless it's for an emergency, I highly recommend leaving your phones in your car. This is a great time to be free of demands, free of that feeling that someone is trying to reach ya, and just enjoy being. Another C.S. Lewis quote to finish this out: "For the Present is the point at which time touches eternity."
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