We had the pleasure to capture Courtney & Adams love story through an engagement session in Wrightwood, CA. Right from the start, this couple was full of energy, excitement, and wonderful connection. They brought a youthful, fresh and edgy vibe to the session; needless to say, we LOVED IT!
Our Game Plan
We knew that we wanted Courtney and Adam’s engagement session to be personal and romantic, so coming up with a game plan before the session was definitely necessary.
Something that we do for almost every ‘couple’s session’ is start shooting from farther away, and then work our way to close-up shots. This gives the client time to warm up to the camera before we transition into their personal space. We envisioned the photos looking “dreamy”, so we positioned our clients with the sun setting behind their heads.
While doing Courtney and Adam’s engagement session, we could instantly see their love for each other; the relationship was sincere and pretty silly! In order to capture their personalities, we had to keep the conversation flowing to understand them a little bit more. For the most part, the photos came out pretty ‘serious’. A lot of the time, we asked them to just look into each others eyes. However, when the topic changed to something funny (even slightly), we made sure to snap as many shots as we could.
Before, during and after the session
Before meeting up for the session, we contacted our clients about clothing options. They seemed to have a similar style to us – casual but trendy, and the soon-to-be-bride wore a floral dress and head crown. They wanted something rustic, and we wanted to incorporate a mountain scenery, so it was into the woods we went!
As strange as this may sound, we like to start out most of our sessions with a quick stretch! This not only helps to loosen all of us up, but it can be a quick and easy way to start up a conversation.
Then, after placing the clients into their first position, we began shooting from far and wide. We truly believe that if we began with intimate shots, it would not be as comfortable and genuine. The close and personal shots are always our absolute FAVORITE pictures. We feel the more emotion that is being conveyed in the image, the more beautiful the story becomes.
The location we chose was a little spot off of Wrightwood’s Hwy 2. It is very unnoticeable unless your primary focus is looking for areas to pull off on the side of the road! Because we chose this location, it felt like a mini-adventure to all of us. We not only had a pretty view of the mountains, but we could walk around and enjoy the fresh air. It felt like we were hanging out and having fun as friends rather then as ‘client and photographer’.
(Fun Fact: When we found this location, we realized that deer like to roam around this particular area. We were stunned when we stood just a few feet away from a mother deer; it was amazing!)
The photo session felt so relaxed and for lack of a better word – easy! Most of our shots were done within 30-45 minutes, so we had an extra 15-minute window to just have fun and snap a few extra shots.
What we learned
Whether you’ve been doing photography for weeks, months, even years, there is ALWAYS something new to learn. During this particular session…
- We learned that saving the personal shots for last really makes a difference. It creates some separation between you and the client until you feel they are comfortable with you being in their “bubble”.
- We learned it is important to strategize what types of photos to take before the session begins. We had a vision, the clients had a vision, so we collaborated the ideas of both parties. While planning outfits and scenery ahead of time, we were able to execute our plans accordingly and perfectly.
- Be yourself! We found that being open about who we are was the best policy. We had more in common with our clients than we thought!