engaged

Emily and TJ - A Classic Philadelphia Engagement Session

It is crazy to think that I have known Emily for TEN years but it's true!  We met at college and I still remember my first impression of her was that I was jealous of her hair.  So silly right?  She rocked these awesome red and blonde highlights and always had the best style.  While her hair color has changed (like 100x times) since then, her style and sassy spirit have not.  I was SO excited when she reached out to see if I was available for her wedding and even more excited after I met TJ.  These two are so perfect together!  We spent the morning wandering around center city Philadelphia which made for the perfect background for their engagement session and we even were able to get their two cats to cooperate for a shot too!  I loved all the little spots we found, a few of which are now new favorites of mine!  

I can't wait for these two to tie the knot in just a few weeks so get ready to see them again really soon!  Emily is going to be such a gorgeous bride!!!!  For now, enjoy a few of my favs from their Philly engagement session!  

Wedding Resources - Make That Ring Sparkle!

Today's Wedding Wednesday post is a fun one because it is FULL of gorgeous ring shots, and lets be real, who doesn't love staring at some sparkle!  But how do all my couples have such sparkley rings in their photos?  Great question!  And today I am going over a few ways you can have your rings look their best for photos!

Ring Tip #1 - Get it cleaned!

This one may seem a little obvious, but a ring that's just been cleaned will ALWAYS look better than one that's been worn!  Sometimes we forget how much dirt and dust can build up around our ring, so even if its not for photos, its good to get that bad boy cleaned every so often!  If you can, it's best to take it to your jeweler as they will make sure your stones are looking good too but most chain stores like Kay's or Jared's will offer to clean your ring for free!  

Ring Tip #2 - Great Light

This tip is more for wedding day's but in general, great light is the most important part to getting those amazing ring shots.  On a wedding day, I will often ask my couples, if they mind if I step into another room or go outside with their details so I can find great light and a great background!  This is where trusting your photographer is key!  If they are an experienced photographer, they know how to set up a great shot, but it may mean taking that sparkley ring out of your site for a few minutes.  During a lot of our engagement sessions, we willl have our brides leave us their rings while they change into their second outfit.  BUT - always trust your gut!  If you don't feel comfortable giving your ring to them, that's ok too!  Offer to go with them or send a bridesmaid to keep tabs!  But again, if you trust your photographer, you know you and your rings are in good hands!

Ring Tip #3 - Get Your Nails Done!

You wouldn't believe how many of my couples show up with their nails looking a mess for their engagement photos because they assumed their hands wouldn't be in the shot!  And even for guys, while they don't need to have a manicure, having their nails trimmed and clean, def helps makes ring shots look better!  I love taking photos of the rings on my clients hands because hey, that's where they belong!  So treat yourself to manicure! :)  

Ring Tip #4 - Where You Focus Matters

This one is for all my photographers out there!  I recently figured out a little trick, especially when I am on a time crunch and shooting details with my 24mm or my 50mm!  Focus on the prong closest to the camera.  This may make the rest of the ring look a little soft BUT because that is the part closest to our eyes, the image will look more in focus.  I use to try and focus on the diamond or main stone itself and never loved the way it looked and then recently tried this and noticed the look of my ring shots were more sharp.  

And now because, why not show off more gorgeous rings, here are some of my favorite rings from the last SIX years of business!!!!!  Enjoy friends!  

Wedding Wednesday - Choosing a Location For Your Engagement Session

We are back it again today with our Wedding Wednesday series and today we are talking about something that all of my couples ask me about - where they should do their engagement session!  Very rarely does a couple come to me knowing exactly where they want to do their engagement session, so this post is for all the couples out there that don't know what to do!  To make it easy, I am going to give you a few "rules" to follow when coming up with your engagement location and share some of my all time favorite places we've done engagement shoots along the way!

Rule 1 - Consider your wedding

 Are you having an outdoor barn wedding and looking to use your engagement photos for save the dates?  Are you planning a ballroom wedding and love a classic city style?  Is your wedding in the spring but you really love the look of fall photos?  Do you want your engagement photos to "match" your wedding look and theme or are you hoping for something totally different?  Depending how you answer those questions, you can get going in a great direction for your engagement session!  If you are looking for your engagement photos to go along with the look and feel of your wedding, one great idea is to see if you can photograph your engagement photos at that location!  Want something more classic to go well with your downtown wedding?  Maybe photographing around the city would work best!  Consider how you want your wedding to impact your engagement photos (all the way, as inspiration, or not at all) and then talk to your photographer about any ideas that they might have!

These two are having a family centered wedding this winter and so for their engagement session they wanted to do their photos at their family home!  And their hunting vibe matches their wedding perfectly!  

These two are having a family centered wedding this winter and so for their engagement session they wanted to do their photos at their family home!  And their hunting vibe matches their wedding perfectly!  

These two got married at a beautiful estate that had a lake, so for their engagement photos they picked a park that looked a lot like their wedding venue and the results was perfection!  

These two got married at a beautiful estate that had a lake, so for their engagement photos they picked a park that looked a lot like their wedding venue and the results was perfection!  

Monet has planned a industrial, classic Philadelphia wedding for later this month and so her home and roof deck was the perfect location for their engagement session!  

Monet has planned a industrial, classic Philadelphia wedding for later this month and so her home and roof deck was the perfect location for their engagement session!  

Stephanie and Dan had a gorgeous fall wedding and so for their engagement session, she wanted to capture all the gorgeous fall colors in the sunset!  

Stephanie and Dan had a gorgeous fall wedding and so for their engagement session, she wanted to capture all the gorgeous fall colors in the sunset!  

Rule 2 - Think about the time of day and year

We often get asked to do center city Philadelphia engagement session and one of the things our couples often forget is that the city is busy!  There is this iconic engagement photo in front of the "Love" sign that everyone always sends me from pinterest and they always say how they love that no one is in the background!  To get that look, you've got to be willing to do your engagement session really early in the morning and for some, that's not something they would be interested in!  Time of year also plays into this as some locations will be more or less busy depending.  If you can, checking out the location around the time of day you want to photograph and seeing how busy it is, what is typically going, ect can be really helpful.  

Along with that, think about the time of day too!  If I am shooting your engagement session, chances are you love the glowy light that you see in almost all of my engagement sessions!  In order to achieve this look, we have to shoot around 2 hours before sunset!  We photographers call that golden hour and it is how you achieve that glowy, golden look!  If you are looking to shoot earlier in the day, shade is something we will definitely be looking for!  So wide open fields, beaches, and the like aren't great locations for that time of day.  

For Angela and Rita's engagement session we shot at Villanova University and avoided crowds by shooting on a Sunday evening and a cloudy day!

For Angela and Rita's engagement session we shot at Villanova University and avoided crowds by shooting on a Sunday evening and a cloudy day!

For Mary and Arielle's engagement session, we walked around some of their favorite parts of center city, but we avoided the crowds by finding little side streets!  

For Mary and Arielle's engagement session, we walked around some of their favorite parts of center city, but we avoided the crowds by finding little side streets!  

These two lucked out and got all the glow and sunset prettiness at their engagement session!  

These two lucked out and got all the glow and sunset prettiness at their engagement session!  

We got both glow and less people by shooting at Eastern University during the summer in the evening for this engagement session!  

We got both glow and less people by shooting at Eastern University during the summer in the evening for this engagement session!  

Rule 3 - Think about places that are special to the two of you

Have a favorite park?  The place he proposed?  Where she always takes you when your having a bad day?  Those sentimental locations make for GREAT engagement session locations because they mean something to you!  Some couples will even plan a date and have their photographer follow them around capture their engagement photos in a more lifestlye manner at places they love!  

This park on the river was really special to these two so it was an easy choice to do their engagement session there!!

This park on the river was really special to these two so it was an easy choice to do their engagement session there!!

Peddler's Village was one of their favorite date night spots and so when we did their engagement session, Stephanie asked if we could do their session there and of course - we said yes!  

Peddler's Village was one of their favorite date night spots and so when we did their engagement session, Stephanie asked if we could do their session there and of course - we said yes!  

Cindy and Scott choose to do not only their engagement session but their wedding at one of their favorite places - Mercer Museum!

Cindy and Scott choose to do not only their engagement session but their wedding at one of their favorite places - Mercer Museum!

Rule 4 - If stuck, ask the professional

One of the worst things you can do is just pick a place at random and tell your photographer you want to shoot there!  Often couples will feel stressed that they don't have any idea where they want to do their engagement photos so they will pick somewhere someone else did theirs or a random place that looked pretty online.  And that can equal disaster.  Instead, if you haven't been able to come up with a location, ask your photographer if they have any favorite places.  For me, I have 2 places in Center City I love, 2 locations near me, a park in Jersey and vineyard in Bucks County I love.  If a couple is stuck, I will recommend one of those places based off of where they live and what I think would match who they are.  Those places are ones I know, love shooting in and can show past work from, so clients feel confident going into their session!  So if you find yourself stuck...ASK FOR HELP!  Its what we are here to do!  

Ebony and Creig had no idea where to do their engagement session but they knew they wanted bright, winter photos!  I suggested Tyler Park and they LOVED the results!  

Ebony and Creig had no idea where to do their engagement session but they knew they wanted bright, winter photos!  I suggested Tyler Park and they LOVED the results!  

Heather and Simon had no idea where they wanted to do their engagement session and this sweet park I suggest was the perfect background for their style!  

Heather and Simon had no idea where they wanted to do their engagement session and this sweet park I suggest was the perfect background for their style!  

Brooke loved the look of fields, flowers and nature but didn't know where would work best for their engagement session!  I suggested my favorite park and it was exactly what they were looking for!  

Brooke loved the look of fields, flowers and nature but didn't know where would work best for their engagement session!  I suggested my favorite park and it was exactly what they were looking for!  

I hope that helps!  While those rules aren't the end all of how to choose an engagement session location, they definitely will get you going in the right direction!  Do you have a wedding question you want answered?  Drop us a line in our contact form and we will be sure to answer it an upcoming #weddingwednesday post!  

Alyssa and Timmi - A Pastorius Park Engagement Session

Sometimes the weather just refuses to cooperate.  You make plans for an engagement session for one date and then it rains.  You reschedule and it rains again.  You reschedule again and this time clouds are rolling in but you decide to go for it anyway!  That was how it went for Alyssa and Timmi's engagement session but despite everything, these two and their sweet little one were amazing!  

We spent our time together at a new spot for me, Pastorius Park, but it was perfect!  The outdoor theater, the beautiful lake, their love for each other, all came together for a great engagement session!  And photographing Alyssa?  Oh my it got me so excited to photographer her as a bride!!!  She's a gorgeous girl with such a sweet personality and Timmi clearly loves her so much!  He even made the little letter signs the day of their engagement shoot!  Not every guy would do that!  

I can't wait for next fall when these two tie the knot but for now enjoy a few favorites from their session!  

Missy and Mo - A Collingswood NJ Engagement Session

A little over a year ago I shot a sweet wedding at a lakeside venue in Jersey.  The couple had a photographer that bailed on them just days before the wedding and so their friend reached out to me shoot their wedding for them!  I was heartbroken that a photographer would do this to such a sweet couple, but it gave the opportunity to meet not one but THREE other amazing couples who's weddings I have done/am doing in the last year.  

Which brings me to Missy and Mo.  Missy was a bridesmaid in Ashley and Darnell's wedding last fall and she also wanted to hire us to shoot her August wedding!  We were so excited!  Missy is a gorgeous girl and Mo?  He's clearly the total package.  Sweet, charming, a gentleman, handsome and funny.  So needless to say, I was so excited for their engagement session!  We met at Knight Park in Collingswood NJ and just a few minutes in, I was commenting about how excited I was to photograph Missy as a bride.  These two have the best kind of natural chemistry, so between that and the gorgeous sunset light, it was the perfect of sessions!  And this park?  A new favorite little place!  The lake, red bridge, beautiful trees; you can bet that I will be back there sometime!  

Enjoy a few of my favorites from their engagement session and look forward to seeing their wedding pictures in a little over a month!!!

Lee and Alex - A Valley Forge Park Queer Engagement Session

I can't believe that I will have the honor of photographing these two again in just FIVE days!  Lee and Alex are tying the knot on Saturday at a family farm and last weekend we met up to shoot their engagement photos!  It was so fun getting to this awesome couple as we explored around Valley Forge National Park!  From the moment we started taking pictures, it was obvious that their love is built on a lot of laughter.  And coming from 2 years of marriage, I can tell you that a love that is full of laughter makes for the best kind of life!  But seriously though, these two are so easy going, down to earth and obviously in love that you can't help but like being around them.  

Lee and Alex, I can't wait for this weekend and being so honored to capture the start of this exciting next chapter in your lives.  I am crossing my fingers for the perfect weather and the most amazing day for the two of you!  For now, enjoy a few of my favs and look forward to seeing them again real soon!