Tessa & Jacob are getting married next June, and we took their fall engagement session this weekend. Thankfully we are all 3 good at going-with-the-flow, because our first location choice fell through a couple hours before the session, then our SECOND location was closed for construction when we arrived! But no problem! I’m so thankful we ended up shooting where we did! We had fall leaves, beautiful light, and a pretty church to set the scene for their unfolding love story!
Nathan is my husband’s cousin, so these two are pretty special to me! I love being the one to photograph family members special moments!
I had an itch to do another styled shoot the past few months! And I’m super thankful so many beautiful pieces fell into place to make this GORGEOUS engagement session a success! I have lots of people to THANK!
To my friend and fellow photographer, Shannon of Simple Joy Portraits for brainstorming, shopping, setting up, and shooting this alongside me! This was such a fun creative outlet for us!
Thanks to Alli & Sid for being the beautiful models that made our vision a reality! And to Karina for suggesting them! (They REALLY are engaged, if you were wondering.)
The talented ladies at TNT Floral created a wild bouquet for us, AND Alli’s greenery crown, AND Sid’s boutonniere! (And now I’m a firm believer that we should all walk around with floral crowns, because Alli looks magical in hers!)
The Hooley family brought out Dotty, the appaloosa horse, as a beautiful accessory to our sweet couple! If you’d like to have a horse in YOUR photo session, I can connect you with them!
Jessica Godlove of Studio 3 Hair Company was the talent behind Alli’s hair (with Halo extensions added for an even more epic look!)
And my dear friend’s, the Fergusson’s, who allowed us to shoot in their breathtaking vineyard! Thank you so much for your generosity!
Okay, now you can enjoy this fairy tale session!
Alli had never been on a horse before, but she pulled it off gracefully! TNT would love to supply all of your wedding flower needs! Give them a call!We had some good laughs trying to get a fun champagne popping shot! Shannon and I didn’t realize we’d bought champagne with a TWIST TOP! No cork! (face palm). So we improvised!
1. Twist off cap. 2. Put thumb over bottle opening. 3. Shake a little. 4. Pull your thumb off a little and let it fly!
I almost called this “Pro’s & Con’s of Mini Sessions vs. Full Sessions”, BUT it really just comes down to preferences. So I don’t want to say one way is BETTER than another way. It’s totally up to the photographer and client as to what they prefer. If you’re considering having your family portraits taken, this might be really helpful for you to find what fits your preferences best!
(Disclaimer: Every photographer is slightly different in how they price, shoot, and deliver their sessions. So this post is tailored to your experience with me specifically. This is how Valerie Joy Photography does sessions. But it may overlap to other photographers in various ways. I’d suggest clarifying with your photographer how they do things.)
-Location is chosen by the photographer, not the client. Typically a themed session (Fall, Christmas, Snow, Sunflower field, Studio backdrop, etc.)
-Photographer chooses the dates that clients have to work around.
-$125. Lower total cost compared to Full Session. But not as good of a deal if you break it down per minute.
-15 minutes of shooting.
-Fast paced, to get the most photos during our time together. This naturally doesn’t leave much time for personal discussions, or breaks for fussy children. (It has happened that a child was fussy during their mini session, and the gallery was very limited because of that. If we’d had more time, we could have taken a break to have a snack, and I could have delivered a much larger gallery.)
-Approximately 30 images in final edited online gallery for download.
-Best for clients on a smaller budget, families with members who can’t make it through a full hour of shooting, clients who prefer multiple smaller sessions per year, or only want a handful of images for whatever reason.
(If you want to know when I offer Mini Sessions, be sure to follow me on Facebook & Instagram to see those announcements.)
-Location is chosen by client (based on photographer suggestions, if needed.)
-Client chooses the date and time which works best for them (within photographer’s availability, of course.)
-$250. Higher total cost compared to Mini Session. But a better deal if you break it down per minute.
-60 minutes of shooting.
-More casual pace, allowing kids to relax between poses, and photographer and client to get to know each other a little bit. This pace usually leads clients to be much more comfortable in front of the camera.
-Approximately 120 images in final edited online gallery for download.
-Best for clients who want a larger gallery with LOTS of variety to choose from, who want to have more of a say in when & where their session is, and who want an individualized, relaxing experiences.
If you’d like to book a Full Session with me, my favorite season for photos is almost here (FALL!!!!!) and my schedule fills up quick, so contact me ASAP!
I had the privilege to photograph this adorable couple last weekend while in Sarasota, FL visiting my family. It brought back a lot of memories, as I’ve known Jenay since she was in elementary school, and we took pictures on the same property where I was married, all in my hometown! What a nostalgic experience!!
I asked Matt & Jenay during our session to describe each other in 3 words. I think I may start asking all of my couples this! I loved what it told me about each of them, and about what they cherished in each other.Jenay said that Matt was: Goofy, Loyal, and Cuddly
Matt described Jenay as: Original, Bold, and Attentive to Detail
(I know…that was more than 3 words, but I’ll allow it. 😉God Bless you two!! I can’t wait for the big day in November!
Skyler & Nicole were such a sweet couple to work with! You could tell they were excited to have their photos taken. It’s so special to document your relationship at this stage! So excited about the future, and so young and good looking! haha!
These two played it cool as they posed in the chilly weather, and even some rain toward the end! I love my sweet, amazing couples! They make my job so fun!
Keith & Kelly got engaged earlier this year in front of a waterfall in Wyoming! Kelly was completely surprised! Sounds dreamy!!!
I hope we captured a little bit of their love for nature in their engagement session last weekend at Matea Park! These two were so funny to hang out with! I can’t wait for their wedding next summer!!
This engagement session was pretty special! Desiree is my husband’s cousin, so I’ve known her for the past 15 years, meaning most of her life. It’s crazy to be old enough to photograph an engagement session of someone you knew as a child!
What an honor to be the one to capture their love story though! You guys killed it! And Foster Park + the glowy sunlight made this session simply magical!
Engagement sessions are possibly my favorite type of portrait session to do! I LOVE love! So to have two fiancé’s in front of the camera is super sweet to me!
But before you go into your engagement session its important to put some thought and effort into your look to make sure your photos are the best they can possibly be! Here are a few tips to consider…
Coordinate but don’t match.
A good rule of thumb is one or two pops of color between both of your outfits, and the rest can be neutrals.
(Neutrals: denim, black, grey, brown, khaki, white, cream, navy. Get it?)
Dress for your portrait LOCATION.
Springy blooms? Go with lighter neutrals or soft pastels.Summertime picnic in the park? Stick with light weight clothing to stay cool.In home session? Don’t be afraid to get a little romantic.Holiday time engagement? Get festive for a few shots.Winter session? Stay warm, so you’re not miserable! And layers look great when it’s chilly out.
Take this opportunity to dress up a little bit!
Go shopping for a new dress, some new heels, get your guy his first suit! Pay the extra money to have your hair and makeup done professionally. It can give you a really good idea of how you’ll look on your wedding day. You’ve only got one shot for that, so it’s a great chance to practice during your engagement session! Pay attention to your nails as well, as I’ll be focusing on your left hand for a few shot.
Accentuate your best features.
Got great legs? Show them off with a cute pair of heels and cocktail dress!I love Teresa’s red hair, and she did a great job accenting it with her dress color!
Bring along a prop that fits your relationship!
A bouquet is a gorgeous accessory to make your photos extra classy.Is one of you musical? Maybe we can work that into a few photos.Like having fun together? Be playful with a classic tree swing, or old fashioned bicycle. Winter session? Work a fun activity into your session! (Ice skating, sledding, snowball fight.) Winter is fun! Don’t miss out on the opportunity to laugh together.Bring along a bottle of your favorite beverage for a toast!Accessorize with a hat or light shawl. Then take them off for a totally different look!
Get your ring cleaned before your session.
I always take a few shots of your bling during our session. Close ups, on your hand and on it’s own. So the more sparkly and smudge-free, the better!
Bring multiple wardrobe options to your session.
It’s a great idea to bring a casual option and a formal option to your session. This way your final gallery will have even more variety.
Find my Pinterest board of wardrobe ideas here!
Jason & Jessica’s engagement session was full of whimsical & romantic winter fun!
A blanket of snow, with their pups frolicking around them. A (failed) attempt at sledding. 😉 Then inside by the cozy fire. I love all the sweet, candid moments from this session!!
Thanks so much to the vendors that helped me bring this wintery dream to life!!
Hair and makeup by Megan Shively. Click here to find her on facebook. Available for weddings and special events.
before & after: