Dear Bride...

I don’t blog much, and I’ve stopped apologizing for it. You should too. Like why do I have to say I’m sorry? I blog when I have time, and when there is something I have to say. Recently I’ve had a real awakening with my engagement sessions, and more than ever I am striving to connect with the couples that have hired me. I know it. I can feel the connection between me, my camera, and the couple. How is this happening? Well. It’s all about communication. I’ve realized I’ve become too complacent. I need to take more of an active role by guiding these couples into the shoot they are really after and the shoots I am after. Sessions are mostly about talking. The gift of gab. Couples are nervous. I’ve had the last 3 couples say they have spent the entire day preparing for our session, and one was so nervous she got sick right before the session. This is real anxiety people. Real fear. During the session though, they marvel at how relaxed and fun this is, and how they can’t believe they wasted the day feeling so stressed! I’ve heard this story a lot over the years, and while I try to tell them to relax weeks and days before the session, it’s not until we are all laughing and having a great time that they realize things are going to be ok! I don’t bite!

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So how do we get those amazing “instagram” engagement photos where everyone is so natural? Like who doesn’t take photos while they are making pancakes and feeding them too each other? Or better yet, they’re in the bathtub having a glass of champagne? While I love these, and they do show an amazing amount of creativity, it is just seriously not realistic. It’s cute, but not real. On the other hand, maybe that is what the couple wants anyway- some dreamy shoot where they have created their own world. I can get on board with that too, however in MY world, couples are happy if they can get a photo of them smiling and not blinking…

An engagement session in my mind, is a session in which the couple is announcing to the world that they are together, they are in love, and they are getting married. My goal is to create a set of images which shows how much they love each other, how happy they are together, and how in love they both are. I also want the images to show their personalities, and the fun they have together.

Read that paragraph again. I am often told how shy they are, how the fiance hates pictures, how they are both awkward, how they don’t like smiling, how they would rather be literally doing any.thing.else. but taking pictures. I get that. Raise your hand if you want to walk around with a person you’ve never met, while you are trying to “have fun” with your fiance, as a stranger is taking your picture. Seriously. That is literally what I am asking people to do. When you put it that way, it sounds strange to say the least. Yet, here we are.

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Lately, I’ve realized I’m really not asking the right questions to my couples who want really great engagement sessions. If you want these images, there will be some work on your part. It will be worth it, but it will take some work. Here’s what I mean. Say you want the really fun spontaneous natural happy looking photos. The couples are kissing and holding each other, and just SO into each other! Ok, cool. How are you kissing in public? Holding hands? Hugging each other and showing your love for the world to see? Seriously. You have to really think about this. If you are the type that has a problem putting your hugs, kisses, and hand-holding on display then what makes you think you can pull this off during our session? I’ve dealt with this so many times, and never realized that I AM NOT ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS BEFORE THE SESSION! If you have a problem with PDA (public displays of affection) then you probably will not be able to overcome this in front of a stranger with a camera. Maybe practicing a few months or weeks before our session will help you? Everything takes practice; if kissing and squeezing each other while you're out and about is not a normal thing for you, yet you crave the pictures that demonstrate this, then you have to practice. You have to get into the habit of doing that so that it becomes natural.

Now don’t worry, I will guide you so that we can create those photos, but I also want you to feel comfortable doing this, and to feel that comfort, it will take a little practice with your fiance!

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I want you to be happy with your photos. I want you to look through them over and over again and think, OMG. THAT IS US!! In order to have those images, you have to be comfortable with yourselves, and allow yourselves to go on display. I will do everything I can to make sure we are having a good time. We will be talking and laughing so much, you’ll forget we are taking pictures. But, I need help from you too.

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I am so excited to work with you, and follow you to your wedding day. This is just the beginning! Engagement sessions are fun for me; I get to see how you both work together, we get to create magic before the magic of your wedding day! I want it to be fun for you too! I want this shoot to be successful, and I want you to get what you want out of this. So HELP ME help you! :-)

Talk soon!

Leia