Getting Ready for your Engagement Session



I know it's not always possible, but if you can, take the day off together. We'll photograph your session about an hour or so before sunset, to allow for the most flattering light, so plan a day date! Sleep in, go to brunch, play your favorites tunes, have a cocktail (or two) and re-connect. You could also use the time to pamper yourself a bit with hair + makeup. (Massage, anyone?) By the time you get to me you'll be so darn in love it'll be sickening. And I'll friggin' love it. (And so will you when you see your gallery.) 

If I'm not prompting you, you're doing it right.

If you remember nothing else, remember this! During the first few minutes of an engagement session, someone (usually the groom-to-be...ha) will ask "What should we do? Are we doing it right?" And I always tell them, "if I'm not giving you direction, keep doing what you're doing!" Even if that just means chatting or laughing with your partner. Just relax. I am a real person just like you, and I promise that if you're not "doing it right," (you are) I'll let you know! 


When we're moving from place to place, whether that's a new pose or a different location all together, keep lovin' on one another; hold hands, get cozy, get handsy, whatever! These always end up being the most genuine moments I capture and a true representation of your relationship. 


During the session, I might ask one of you to whisper something funny (or dirty) to the other person in order to get you guys laughing. (Don't worry, I'll be far enough away from you and won't be able to hear it.) Cant think of one? No problem. The awkward silence will make you laugh, too. ;) 


You might be surprised at some of the prompts I give to evoke emotion. You also might be standing so close to your partner that you get an up close and personal show of their nose hairs. Trust me that I'm creating something special for you. Leave your inhibitions at home, be confident, and I promise you, you're going to love your photos. 


Want some advice on what to wear to your session? Check out my Engagement Session Style Guide here. 

HAVE MORE QUESTIONS? NO PROBLEM! Shoot me an email or give me a call!

Hey! What's in your Camera Bag?

I get this question a lot so I figured it was finally time for me to sit down and write a blog post about it!

I shoot pretty light in comparison to a lot of photographers I know; I take a storytelling approach to weddings and so I shoot with prime lenses, only. I find that having to physically move to compose my subjects encourages my frames to be more deliberate and intentional. I shoot most of the wedding portraits with my 50mm and the rest of the day with my 35mm (see specifics below.) I've found that shooting the in-between moments and the documentary portions of the day (the getting read, ceremony, and reception) with my 35 allows me to capture and tell more of a story. Instead of focusing in on one moment, up close, I catch the background motions + events, too, which gifts the viewer (and the couple!) more details of their wedding day. Of course, there's no one, right way to shoot a wedding; some of my favorite photographers shoot absolutely stunning weddings solely with zoom lenses. Like the old Canon versus Nikon debate, it's just a personal preference that works well for my particular approach. 


I shoot with two camera bodies simultaneously using my Money Maker from Holdfast. I love the invention of the Money Maker but I will say that when I'm wearing short sleeves and I have to bend down at all, sometimes the hook catches my arm and it's pretty painful. (If anyone has an alternate strap that doesn't do this or a way to fix the issue, I'd love to hear about it!) I shoot with the Canon EOS 5D Mark iv and the Mark iii. I shoot with these two bodies over other bodies like the 6D because these have the option to shoot to two cards at the same time; one SD and one CF. Cards fail ALL OF THE TIME! Knowing that I have a back up of all my images on both camera bodies let's me sleep at night.  


Like I mentioned above, I shoot with the Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 and the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art lens. I do get both lenses calibrated with my cameras bodies probably around twice/year. I also use the Hoya 72mm Macro Filter set for all of my ring and detail shots.


I only shoot with my speedlites during the dancing portion of the reception; the rest of the day, including the getting ready portion, is all taken with natural light. When I'm using flash, I have the Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT on my Mark iv and the Canon Speedlite 430EX II Flash on my Mark iii. 


At every wedding, I carry at least 6 SD cards and 6 CF cards in a water resistant memory card case. When I've filled up an SD and a CF card, I always keep the SD card on me, in a zippered pocket, and the CF card in a case in my camera bag. I never leave both copies in the same place just in case my bag gets stolen or damaged. 

I always come prepared with 6 camera batteries charged and 2 chargers to charge the used batteries at the reception. I also charge 16 Eeneloop Rechargeable Batteries the night before and bring that charger, as well, to re-charge the used batteries at the reception. 

Rain Gear

In case of rain or snow, I always bring a Ruggard Cold and Rain Protector to put over my camera and lenses. The camera body, your lens, and your arms slide right through and there's even a clear screen that allows you to see the back of your camera screen. 


All of my equipment listed above fits in my Vinta.Co Travel + Camera Backpack. It's super compact and really comfortable. It has a removable pouch that's accessible from both the front of the bag and the larger zipper in the back. 

Still have questions about my gear? No problem! Shoot me an email!