Category Archives: engagement
I have way too many words for this little family. Meeting through mutual client-friends, it’s been years of portraits, baby bumps, newborns, family sessions, just-because-just-for-mom-sessions, and now the engagement into the wedding. I’ve gotten to know both Tilar and Robert pretty well over the years, and their daughter is every bit as amazing as they are. I’ve been enthusiastically welcomed into their home (by the dog), and into their lives (by the humans). This job can be such an honor. I don’t know how long I will get to do this job, but I’m going to make the most of it, for as long as possible. Documenting life for people is fulfilling in a way I never could have imagined when I started playing with a camera for the first time.
Sally Mann first inspired me to document people in a documentary sort of way. Informed by art, for sure, but less about art, and more about humanity. She also said, “I wish I could be a better writer, but writing is so difficult. I get seduced by visual aesthetics. Because I just like making beautiful pictures, sometimes I wander away from making a clear statement.” I’ll leave this post right there.
Occasionally I would have a senior who talked more about me photographing their wedding day than the session we were currently shooting. I photograph weddings, seniors look at wedding photography, it makes sense. Often it doesn’t happen that way, though. Life moves on, people move states, they meet new photographers and create a bond with them. No harm, no foul. However, when I get the chance to watch these senior girls turn into dynamic women, and be involved in their lives… it’s an immense honor. I count it a double honor-blessing-joy to be present for their wedding, which has apparently been in the works since they were 16. 🙂 From the Bieber poses (mixtape dropping soon) to the laughter during the engagement session, I felt a sense of relief at what an amazing man Eryn chose to be her partner in life. They both chose well.
Having photographed two of the sisters’ weddings now, I feel like I have a good grasp of how special the family is, and how lucky Eryn and Michael are to have each other. I see so much on their faces every time they look at each other. What a joyful couple. What an emotional day. From senior, to engaged, to bride… Eryn’s wedding couldn’t be any more special to me.
Start with an engagement session hike to a waterfall, and end with a laser show at a historic Sugar Mill. Sounds like a winning combo, right? It’s easy to get caught up with the locations and details in this industry, it practically force-feeds Pinterest-worthy moments to you, at times. Hell, it’s easy for brides to feel so much pressure over the perfection they view online that the process can feel like a weight due to comparing your day to someone else’s, and not an airy nimbus ride to happily ever after. Don’t misunderstand, the details and location are not UN-important… they are as much a part of making the day as anything else, but they are secondary to the lasting stuff. The vows, the relationships, the family, the memories. Plan your wedding, your way, absolutely. If you love being on-trend, own it. If you’re looking for something minimal and uncommon, don’t feel the need to justify it to anyone, just do it well and the people who appreciate your work will mean all that much more for looking outside of the box with you. And for the traditional bride, who wants all the classic accouterments, remember there is a big difference between being #basic and being timeless (not sure who gets to decide being”basic” is bad, after all).
I’ve had a few conversations with burdened brides lately. I get it. You want everyone to have the best time of their lives, feel taken care of, sidestep any drama, and it wouldn’t hurt to have a few friends walk away just a little bit impressed with your hard work. Here’s some unsolicited advice: make a really good plan, put in the work ahead of time, then hold on to it loosely the day of and be present. Your wedding should be a time where you allow yourself to have the time of your life, and be taken care of, do your best not to start any drama, and if you’re feeling particularly sassy…
walk away just a little bit impressed with your own hard work.
Jessica and Jared had an amazing wedding, full of perfect and imperfect moments. Some moments went better than planned, and some plans had to change. Weddings, and life, are like that. We only get so many spins around the sun, enjoy them with the people most deserving of your time. Weddings are beautiful, stop and smell the roses. Or lasers, whatever you’re into.
WORDS OF ADVICE FROM THE BRIDE: The advice I would give to any bride-to-be: To the DIY brides, choose your projects carefully, start early and utilize your helpers (and fiancé!). For the organized brides, write out a schedule and contact list for your vendors and helpers, it will help you feel prepared. And for every bride, this day is not about the details. Focus on having fun every step of the way, from trying out caterers and cake tasting to getting ready with your bridesmaids and of course dancing the night away with your best friend.