I’m not sure if you can tell how much fun Lynn and Nick have together from their engagement photos we took at Tide Point at the Under Armour headquarters… these two didn’t stop smiling, laughing, snuggling and dancing as the sunset and I loved capturing it all!
It’s making me even more excited to capture their outdoor July wedding at Wyndridge Farm in Pennsylvania!
Here’s their proposal story in Lynn’s words, isn’t Nick the sweetest ever!?
”Nick proposed in Seville, Spain during sunrise. It was a complete surprise! We were up early and went for a walk across the city bridge. It was on the 7th day of our trip and I actually was not feeling too well the day prior (I got too excited with the Spanish food and ate too many unfamiliar things). I even said to Nick "I want to go home". While we were walking by the river, Nick goes to grab something from his backpack. Nick loves candy, so I of course thought he went to grab chocolate from his bag. I was thinking "Really Nick?! It's 8am in the morning, candy at this hour?!"
But then he pulls out a small box! I was so surprised...my exact response was "NO NO WTF!". This was not the beautiful "I love you" response I had imagined but I had no clue and was thinking - How did I not know this was happening?! Nick got on one knee and asked "Will you marry me" and I responded "Of course!!!". By this point my stomach ache went away completely and I was so happy.”
Let’s get you two MARRIED… Wyndridge Farm, here we come!! It’s going to be a beautiful midsummer’s night among the rolling hills, craft ciders and beautiful scenery of this unique farm brewery. We can’t wait for another Wyndridge wedding among all of your closest loved ones and District Remix mixing it up on the dance floor!
So, you said YES (or you asked someone if they’d say yes) and now you’re engaged! Once you’ve had a chance to pop multiple bottles and share the news with everyone, the first official act of your new status as an engaged couple may be to take your engagement photos… the most common concern I hear as a photographer is that you don’t take good photos together / hate having your photo taken / want candid moments together that don’t look posed or staged…
I get it! No one is naturally photogenic when told to “SMILE!”… seriously think about it. I’d rather ask people to lick noses since that elicits more of a genuine expression than asking you to smile on command ever will. ;)
Here are 7 do’s and don’ts that hopefully help get you in the right mindset when it comes to taking photos together!
Do feel confident.
Shop for a fun new outfit or go to an old classic you know you love the way you look in. Make an appointment to get pampered (meaning, scheduling a hair/makeup trial for the day of your engagement session can kill 2 birds with 1 stone!) if it’ll give you an extra boost of confidence. If not, just do you!!
Don’t worry about how you look.
That’s my job. I’ll tell you if something’s out of place and remind you to empty your pockets. ;) You don’t have to be models! The quality and range of emotion real couples have and want to celebrate together, is why I love what I do.
Do think of our time together as a rehearsal for your wedding day.
Having casual and everyday photos of you both that aren’t phone selfies is wonderful and something I think more couples should absolutely have, but the main goal of our time together is to get to know each other. I want to feel like a good friend that happens to have a professional camera by the time you’re saying ‘I Do’… not some random person you can’t remember the name of who asks you to smile in my direction. I want to see how affectionate you naturally are together and learn what inside jokes you make that result in nose crinkling laughter and eyes smiling so brightly, it’s unmistakable that your love is unique and special.
Don’t worry if one of you is more enthusiastic about taking photos than the other.
Just being a good sport and going along with the crazy ideas your fiance has or the prompts that may be out of your comfort zone will encourage them to love you that much more for it… and if nothing else, will earn you a beer right after we’re done.
Do hold hands.
Touch noses, faces, fingers, hips, hair, neck. Seriously, you’re getting married! You found your person!!
Don’t overthink it.
If thinking of it as a photoshoot makes you nervous, think of it as a date and pretend I’m not there!
Do eat before (nothing good happens on an empty stomach) and drink during.
I’m a huge supporter of liquid courage in whatever form that takes! We can start at your favorite bar, break open champagne when we start or enjoy a fun cocktail halfway through... why not?
Don’t look at Pinterest poses.
The light, the location and your love are not the same as that super posed adorable couple who’s flowing hair took more time and setup to capture than it looks like. However, this leads right into my next tip…
Do communicate if you have a strong vision for what you want.
I love it when couples not only choose a location with meaning but also have an idea of the kind of images they want out of their engagement photos. Are you an outgoing couple that want your photos to reflect a lot of movement and more candid action? Or are you most comfortable at home in a more private spot to allow you to be comfortable getting cuddly and close together while barefoot and quiet?
Don’t lose sight of why you’re doing this in the first place.
You met online… or at college… or at work… or at a bar during a night out with mutual friends. However the stars aligned, the fact is that they DID. Millions of tiny decisions, conversations and choices lead up to the moment you met and when you stop to think about it all, it’s pretty miraculous and deserves to be celebrated.
Do bring your dog!
I’ve captured the fastest moving hyper little pup and the sassiest 100lb. Great Danes. I was a boxer mom, we have 2 kids and I have plenty of experience and tricks up my sleeve. Besides, slobbery wet kisses make for the best expressions!
Don’t choose a location you’re not comfortable in or familiar with.
Meaning and good vibes are everything. Your location should hold both... and if you can’t think of the perfect spot, I’m happy to share my favorites that may resonate with you!
Do embrace your awkwardness.
At least for the first 10 minutes. It means you care and you’re doing it right... I promise. Remember your first date? Pretty sure those first 10 minutes were awkward too... and look how that ended up.
Don’t bring an audience.
Other than a friend or family member meeting us to help take the dog home if you bring yours, this is one situation that is best as a party of 3.
If this isn’t the best answer to what Courtney’s favorite thing about Dustin is, I don’t know what is… “just one?! I love that we compliment each other. We are opposites in the right ways and the same in the right ways.”
One of my favorite aspects of being a photographer is learning about what means the most to my clients (both in love and in life) and capturing the joy of their relationship TOGETHER in an effortless way. While Courtney told me numerous times how they are awkward in front of the camera, I beg to differ… these two ROCKED their photos and chose an amazing Baltimore location, Rye Street Tavern, adjacent to the Sagamore Spirit Distillery, to enjoy a gorgeous October night overlooking the water!
After I first connected with Courtney on Instagram, we’ve bonded over our shared love of wine, cheese, healthy and easy recipes, female small business ownership, a lifestyle full of approachable wellness, growing up in the tristate area… and the list goes on!
Here’s the story of how they met, in Courtney’s words:
“Dustin and I met at a bar on the University of Delaware campus. In my mind, it was a much more 'meant to be' moment than just meeting some random guy in a bar might sound. I went to UD for undergrad and when I stayed for grad school, I moved out of the college town and was alone with no friends in the area. There was a new grad student orientation happening my first true night 'alone' and my mom encouraged me to go. She called me and said she was worried about me and I better not be home alone all night. I was not planning to go to this event, I thought it was so silly because I had just spent four years at the school and I knew my way around. But I went in the hopes that maybe I would make a friend. I did meet a few people and had a nice time. At the end of the event, the organizers / leaders of the event invited us all to meet them at a local bar to hangout. It was still early in the evening and I called my mom to tell her about how I was glad I went to the orientation. I told her about the bar gathering but said I didn't think I would go. She told me I should go for at least 15 minutes if I had a good time because having some friends for this stage of my life was important. I said fine. I went and felt awkward but almost immediately one of the leaders, Ryan, came up to me and said hi and that he recognized me from the event and he was glad I came. He was very nice and was trying to make me feel comfortable. After a few minutes of talking a guy walked into the bar and up to us and Ryan introduced him as his roommate, Dustin. I immediately thought he was super attractive and I hadn't gotten a drink yet so the two of us talked while Ryan moved on. We ended up standing at that bar and talking for almost 3 hrs. I found out he liked Bruce Springsteen and was from Kentucky; being a Jersey girl, I was sick of east coast guys and had a love of Bruce. I thought he was funny and easy to talk to. We exchanged numbers and I went home. On my way home I called my mom and told her I met a 'really nice guy'...”
And then the most thoughtful clue-filled proposal…!
”We had a day trip to DC planned to see the cherry blossoms. I was running late (per usual) and we had a train to catch. Dustin was upstairs because I asked him to help me with my outfit choices. Once I was dressed, he came over and gave me a hug and said I looked nice and there was something he wanted me to do before we left. He reached into his pocket and picked out a slip of paper. It was a clue! I immediately knew what was happening and got all shakey. Clue 1: ‘You let me eat these when I have a sweet tooth (it was a box of sugary cereal)’. Inside that box was another slip ‘Thank you for feeding me nutritious foods and helping me be healthy.’ Clue 2: ‘We took one of this the first day we met' (a shot… it was a shot glass on our bar). Next slip said: ‘I love that you are fun and adventurous with me’. Clue 3: ‘This is where you organize all of your days, like today (my planner)’. Next slip said ‘I admire your ambition and I know it will pay off big soon’. Clue 4: ‘It's under the thing I worked on for six years (his PhD which is framed above our office desk)’. Next slip said: ‘Thank you for always supporting me and being there for me, even during hard times’. Clue 5: ‘hiding under your favorite sleep companion’ said "I want to be with you for all days" and when I turned around Dustin was there with a ring box open - just looking at me, for what felt like FOREVER. I was so tempted to speak but I didn't, I just smiled and nodded like come on, ask me, hahahaha and he asked "Do you want to get married?" in a Dustin fashion I would expect, and I said yes, and then we went and had a fun day in DC.”
Your wedding at Mt. Washington Tavern is going to be absolutely incredible - we can’t wait to be a part of it! I already love how your wedding date is the EXACT date you met… 1000% meant to be!!
As soon as Kelsey + Bryan told me they were thinking of taking their fall engagement photos at Artifact Coffee since they love their maple lattes, I knew we were in for a treat (and I don’t just mean the delicious maple lattes!)… add in their pup Camden and a love of the Clipper Mill / Woodberry industrial sites around the corner and I was feeling all the ‘how-did-I-get-so-lucky-these-are-my-people’ feels!!!
We talked about our shared love of the texture throughout the stone and wood historic mill buildings for probably more emails than I should admit… ;) You both are too cute for words; words can’t express how happy I am that our paths crossed!!
Camden has the most alluring eyes and was such a wonderfully sweet little model! He rocked his status as the newest #urbanrowpup and coordinated with the warm fall color palette so well…
But enough of my commentary, I can’t wait to share THEIR love story: one of perfect timing and location. While Bryan and Kelsey both grew up in North Carolina and spent their college years at UNC-Chapel Hill, it wasn't until a year and a half after moving to Baltimore for graduate school that they ended up meeting at a school formal. Bryan tried to woo Kelsey by bringing up their similar roots, but Kelsey was extremely unimpressed. A year later, after several crossed paths and attempts by friends to bring them together, Kelsey accepted Bryan's request for a date. Bryan cooked Kelsey BBQ, they talked, laughed, and watched Game of Thrones. Kelsey fell for Bryan's sense of humor, good cooking, and kind heart while Bryan fell in love with Kelsey's intelligence, compassion, and of course, her beautiful smile (it didn't hurt that she laughed at his dumb jokes too). A year and a half passes. They explore Baltimore, get a dog, travel together, do Whole30, meet each others families, and decide they want to spend the rest of their lives together…
Once we decided that we wanted to get married, Bryan got to work designing a custom ring using the diamonds from both his maternal and paternal grandmother's engagement rings with Ron at Stonehaven Jewelry in Cary, NC (Kelsey always wanted a family ring!). Kelsey is someone who is very hard to surprise and Bryan decided to propose when she'd least expect it - on a trip to visit Kelsey's best friends in Atlanta. Bryan got Kelsey's friends Kaley and Emma in on it to help with logistics and decided to ask in the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. When he found the perfect spot, he got down on one knee and asked Kelsey to marry him, and the first words out of Kelsey's mouth were, "Stop it.". Nevertheless, Kelsey said yes and we celebrated with her best friends. There was champagne, confetti, and of course pizza to end the night.
You two have such an undeniable chemistry, we’re SO excited for your September wedding at Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park!! The menu alone (featuring Copper Kitchen’s catering and ice cream cookie sandwiches for dessert) is already making all of my fall waterfront wedding dreams come true!
When Elizabeth and Donald are together, they exude calm and gentle love one minute and adorably sweet laughter the next… these two are the perfect blend of fun, sophistication and classic style with a love of city life!
We started in Mt. Vernon since the Walters holds a special place in their love story and finished by the water in Fells Point… you don’t want to miss Donny’s incredible proposal that involved a Faberge egg exhibit, one of Elizabeth’s favorite things to see at the Walters Art Museum!
In Elizabeth’s words, this is how it all started…
”At a coworker’s going away party, a few people from my office got together at Ryleigh’s in Federal Hill and each coworker brought friends along. We met briefly and then Donny left and went to the bar next door. I went to the guy that brought him and said “…where did your cute friend go? …bring him back.” And Donny came back. A few fireball shots is all it took and since that night, we have been together.”
And as for the proposal?
”It happened at the Walters Art Museum. We had an action packed weekend with Happy Hour and dinner with friends planned but before it all started Donny suggested we go to brunch and he had a surprise for me. First instinct, I asked if we were going to SPCA to be annoying and get another dog since I would like another... he said no, its a surprise. We pulled up to the Walters and we were just there a few weeks before so I was suspicious why we were here again, since he knows this is one of my favorite places in Baltimore. But he said there was a Faberge exhibit so I really believed we were going to see this and the suspicion went away. Then he asked if we could go to the Chamber of Wonders and in there he got down on one knee after asking what was my favorite thing in the room. Afterwards we still went to HH and dinner with friends and were able to celebrate with them!”
I’m so excited for their wedding day one month from today at the Baltimore Country Club in Roland Park; I can’t wait to share their engagement session with you since Jayce, their cute little pug was the most perfect dog model!
We CAN NOT wait until your wedding day is finally here, lovebirds!! It’s going to be such an incredible moment when you become husband and wife!
I wanted to share my top 5 reasons why engagement sessions are so valuable... since after being in this industry for awhile, I've answered all of the questions below and you might be wondering the same thing!Read More