I met Malinda at the Riverlodge Bridal Fair in January. She booked her wedding soon after. Malinda decided she wanted to shoot her engagement session in Trinidad on the beach. I had so much fun with this couple! We met at College Cove in Trinidad where we frolicked on the beaches, climbed on top of sharp rocks and had fun playing around on the beach. It was a beautiful day with barely any wind. As the time for sunset neared, we hustled up the grueling incline trail from College Cove and got to Trinidad State Beach as the sun was beginning it’s descent into the horizon. We ended up with an epic sunset. This was one of my favorite engagement sessions, and I can’t wait to shoot their Beau Pre Golf Course later this month!
Engagement photo shoots are on the rise and have become a huge trend in the wedding industry. I love them because it gives me a chance to get to know the couples I am working with, to see how they interact in front of the camera, and help couples feel comfortable in front of the camera (because you will have hundreds of photographs taken of you on your big day). Let’s also not forget that these photos also double as great presents, which could be made into photo books for your wedding guests to sign, and great to have on display on your big day!
Engagement sessions will typically last about 1-2 hours. I can help recommend a location or you can choose a place that has significant meaning to you both as a couple. This could be anything from where you first met, the spot of the very first real date you had or a place where you shared an unforgettable moment of joy and laughter together!
I love the creative side that unfolds between couples when they want to make this experience unique and special! Let’s get outside and let your personalities out to play!
Below are a few tips on not just how to take great photos, but how to have a fun engagement shoot!
Trust your Photographer… Feeling comfortable with your photographer is important. This is our chance to get to know each other better. The more I can learn about you, the easier and more comfortable it will be during your shoot.
Your Outfit is Important… Feeling confident and comfortable is one of the most important parts of an engagement photo session. If you feel great about what you are wearing and how you look, it makes posing in front of the camera so much easier! If you are not the type to wear high heels or not really a “dress” person, then don’t feel obligated to make drastic changes. Stick to clothes that make you feel beautiful and bring out the best in you. A pair of wranglers, boots and a button up plaid shirt can do just as much as a cute summery dress dancing in the soft breeze.
Hair and Makeup… Leave this to the professionals. The wardrobe can be left totally up to you but the hair and makeup, I highly recommend seeking a professional. Professional hair stylists and makeup artists have the experience and knowledge in understanding colors, tones and what will look good on camera. They know about lighting and angles through the lens.
Location, Location, Location… As I stated above, the place you choose to have your photos taken is so important! If you want the story of who you are as a couple to truly be told, select a location that truly means something to you both! If you are a power couple that loves hiking in redwood country, maybe the perfect location would be at one of the many trails you have hiked at Humboldt Redwoods State Park! Or maybe you are the couple that loves long walks on the beaches of Shelter Cove. What I love even more than these traditional places are unique ideas that are truly special to you and your fiance. I have some fun and unique engagement sessions coming up and I can’t wait to show them off!
Create Movement… Many people think posing in front of the camera means you have to be still like statues. It’s actually just the opposite. Cameras nowadays have the ability to capture images at a fast rate, so moving doesn’t mean a blurry image. Creating movement gives me a chance to capture an image that is flattering & unique. Movement also creates little details in images that would never appear had you been standing still. For example, your hair might look as if it is being teased in the soft breeze at just the right angle, as your fiancé holds your hand twirling you as if you were dancing. The small details movement creates might just be what makes a photo pop!
Lose Yourself… As a professional photographer my main job is to capture unforgettable photos of you. The best way to do that is for you to forget I am there. Take a moment to embrace your surroundings and partner. Think about what you love about your partner, the joy he/she brings to the relationship and all the memories that make you laugh. Walk hand in hand, talking, laughing, hugging, kissing and enjoy this moment of being together. The more relaxed, comfortable and affectionate you can be with one another, the better experience you will have.
Have fun and make the most of your engagement photo shoot. After all, “Life’s not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away.”
Engagement session season is in full swing and I have some engagement sessions coming up that I am SO excited to shoot! : ) One of the toughest part of engagement sessions is figuring out what location you want to do them at.
If you are the dynamic duo type that loves beautiful sunsets, the sound of waves crashing along a shoreline and the feel of soft sand beneath your feet, you might consider a beach for your engagement session. Spring might be in the air but summer is just around the corner! Sandy shores are a great destination but pristine beaches really are an ideal spot for a truly romantic engagement sessions.
Beaches with breathtaking panoramic ocean views such as Black Sands in the remote and romantic location of Shelter Cove CA , create the ultimate setting for a perfect beach engagement. If you are looking for the perfect backdrop setting of an unforgettable proposal, consider exploring the rugged Lost Coast!
Lucas and Vanessa met in Community College. They were both math tutors at the time and had a few friends in the same circles and saw each other in some study groups. After a few years and an Associate's Degree, Vanessa transferred to UCSC for Astrophysics. They really got together after Lucas’ first summer session at UCSD. Lucas came to visit Vanessa. They had hung out with friends and both decided to leave a little early, but ended up going to see some holiday lights at the beautiful Riverside Mission Inn. It was there that they agreed on their first "date" to Disneyland. (I am so jealous by the way! I have always wanted to do a theme park date!) Disneyland was a long fun day, and by the end of the night Lucas had picked up on Vanessa’s interest. They "officially" became a couple after a discussion and hanging out on New Year's Eve in 2010.
Lucas proposed to Vanessa in September of 2015. She had no idea he was going to propose, even though they lived together. They went to San Francisco just to walk around and explore some touristy sites like Fisherman's Wharf, Ghirardelli Square, and dinner at McCormick and Kuleto's. He proposed by the Hyde Street Pier. After a long night walking the streets of SF, he finally got the courage to bend on one knee when they were just about ready to go home from walking the late night empty beach. He proposed with his mother's wedding ring. He wanted to have the engagement ring be something that they picked out together to really represent them and do something else with his mom's ring that was given to him. They eventually picked out Vanessa’s engagement ring. His mom's ring has been taken apart, and her small stones are in Vanessa’s wedding band, and her gold is in Lucas's wedding band.
Lucas and Vanessa found me online and we met up for coffee to get to know each other at the wedding consultation. We met 30 minutes later to do their engagement photo shoot at the Benbow Inn. It was a gorgeous winter day in February. We really lucked out with the weather. It enabled us to get some amazing images! I can’t wait to continue their love story at their Benbow Inn wedding in May!