Can I tell you how much we LOVE having pups along to photography sessions?! Virginia and Tim chose the most perfect spring day for their downtown Lancaster engagement session and brought their fur-kiddos, Milton and Hugs, along. Don’t these two look incredibly snuggly?! Check out more images from Virginia & Tim’s Engagement session here 🙂
Technology is amazing! I still remember back in junior high school when the internet was introduced. Coming from a single parent, low income household, we didn’t have a computer in the early 90’s. The cool thing was to hang out at a friends house on the weekend who had at least WebTV so we could jam to Bell Biv DeVoe and chat to random strangers in AOL chat rooms.
Flash forward over 20 years (gosh I sound old) and technology continues to transform our way of life. My new favorite transformation in the portrait world is our new Room View program we introduced this year. Room View removes the guessing game of size and layout for portraiture on your very own wall.
Room View is beyond simple- starting with an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper taped to your wall. Snap a simple photo with your phone camera (fitting as much of the ceiling and floor into the frame as possible) and send it off to us. Behind the scenes we transform your favorite images into collages and get these archival items on your wall in as little as two weeks! Simple and the design is FREE!
Think 3 8×10’s will fill up your wall.. nah.. check out these gorgeous collage ideas we designed for a family recently. Complete night and day!
Late summer engagement sessions are awesome with the exception of the crunchy brown grass. One way to beat the lack of green is seek out locations that offer beautiful landscaping year round, such as the Hershey Gardens. We met up on a humid afternoon (damn you September.. cool off already will ya) with Colleen and Brett, a super sweet couple who met way back when in college orientation at Pitt. As we made our way around the gardens we chatted about their lovable bull dog pup and upcoming wedding plans at the Hershey Vineyard and Brewery in May of next year.
One of my favorite areas of the Gardens is actually off the beaten path towards the rock garden area which is sometimes closed off so if you hit it open consider yourself lucky. The other is their rotating annual section which is always filled with beautiful summer colors.
Congratulations on your engagement Colleen and Brett and can’t wait to see you both in the spring! Check out more images from their session here!
WOW! We had an amazing Spring engagement season this year! Lots of creative couples and fantastic weather is the perfect background for gorgeous imagery!
Camille & Rob chose downtown Harrisburg for their setting which we took full advantage of the remaining snow for a few fun creatives!
Kaitlyn & Brian also had some snow on the ground for their Founders Hall Garden session. I love that they included their gorgeous pup, Koosh:)
Kate & Douglas rocked engagement style with their State Street engagement session. Seriously one of the best groom engagement looks in our opinion!
Samantha & Michael.. OMG. Just hands down one of my favorite fashion focused engagement sessions. We had a perfect session at Hershey Hotel.
Courtnay & Nick chose to Troegs Brewery for their location which was fantastic both inside and out. The barren train tracks next door were a unique touch!
Taryn & Nick picked a perfect day and a perfect location to showcase their high school sweetheart love. The Masonic Gardens in Elizabethtown is one of our favorite location recommendations!
Downtown Harrisburg is one of my favorite engagement session locations for couples. Many think most areas are slightly overused (like the Capitol Building, Walking Bridge, and Front Street Park), myself included. The key to using great locations like downtown is to find some off the beaten path settings and in areas where the parking fee doesn’t rival the cost of college tuition;-).
Nicole & Brian opted to start their session at the Harrisburg Train Station. Originally built in 1887 and remodeled in 1986, the station features wide open natural light windows and a long waiting interior of wooden benches. Although not captured during this session, with permission granted, management tends to allow a few outdoor captures on the platform areas when not populated (get your sweet talk on because not everyone gives the ‘Ok’). Next we went for a walk around third street, court and walnut for some neat detailed stops along the way. My personal fave from the session was a stoop we found near The Plum for a cool, urban feel.
Lauren & Ryan, to be married on 7-11-15, opted for a unique engagement experience, starting at 7-11 for some Slurpee and images to commemorate their upcoming wedding day. Downtown, we opted to capture images near the Broad Street market, another historic building rocking out since the mid 1800’s. I like to travel a few blocks around the starting area, so we hit up the Mid Town book store, Broad Street and another alley leading to a vacant bank drive through area. One of my favorites, aside from the Mid Town images, was a neat art/pottery store that had stunning colors in their window.
Tips for Downtown-
*Avoid 4-5:30pm if you want to get anywhere around the city.
*Aim to start your session about an hour and a half before sunset time. Building shadow will alter the normal hour before sunset start.
*Go off the beaten path, safely. Harrisburg is a quilt of great neighborhoods meshed with the… well… meh ones. Stick to populated areas with lots of shops and restaurants.
*Shy away from a change of outfit downtown. There are few great places to make a quick change and the less baggage to carry (and set down) the better.
I’m pretty sure engagement sessions are hands down one of my favorite things to photograph. Don’t get me wrong… I love a fantastic wedding, but with engagements we have ample time to work with our couples and can creatively control when and where images are captured. One of the most common questions aside from what to wear (see this post for those details) is when to schedule your engagement session. I personally REALLY like our clients to make the schedule decision based off of the time of year since well.. they’re your images, ones you’re going to look at far more regularly than myself and hopefully not punish to be kept on a computer or USB but proudly displayed in your home and on your walls (end soapbox) plus you guys probably know what seasons you enjoy the most.
Schedule wise, first the time of year should be chosen appropriately. About 75% of our client family chooses to have their sessions captured between the beginning of April to the end of June also known as prime time Spring and early summer season. The other 20% choose autumn months starting towards the middle of September into the end of October. The remaining 5% are our gladiator couples opting for summer months of July and August or the winter months between December and February. Scheduling also really depends on your location, such as a winery like recent couple Kim and Ethan chose for their late May session. Kim and Ethan definitely wanted greenery and to have some open foliage on the vines to accent their backdrop, basically choosing the perfect time to capture this and not sweat it out like a 5K runner at the gym.
Along with the time of year, the time of day is equally crucial and in most cases when scheduling with our couples I will do a quick internet search to see what the proposed sunrise and sunset times are versus the chosen location. Valleys or tree covered areas I want to get a start time sooner in the evening versus a mountain top or open field area to capture the right lighting based off of the couples preferences. For morning sessions I want to start a bit earlier in the day to avoid heavy face shadows around the eyes if possible. For Jocelyn and Brandon, whom we captured a few weeks ago, grabbing key images around the “golden hour” was key to starting the session at a certain time based off of their covered bridge preferences then to an open field where sunset was approaching, making way to some stunning colors as a backdrop.
In closing, your preferred look, theme, or outfit should also be taken into consideration when scheduling. Having a gorgeous summer dress would look a bit.. odd in October, as would sporting a long sleeve button down and a vest for the guys in the heat of summer. When it came to pairing an outfit with the time of year, Dana and Stephen hit it perfectly for their late May session. Dana chose a very classy blue and white a-line dress while Stephen chose khaki pants and a classic green button down making this perfect pair look as if they stepped off a Ralph Lauren catalog and right into their engagement photos.
There’s a lot of food for though when working through your who, when and where’s of your engagement session, but start basic. Choose the time of year first, then the type of location you prefer, and work around the best timing for the lighting you love and when all else fails contact your photographer, most have seen it all:)
We’re questioned by a large majority of our couples on what would be best to bring to their engagement sessions. Some choose fun props, thank you signs or save the date banners.. some even choose a beloved pup which is always fun! The biggest thing to bring along to any photographic session is your personalities. Photo sessions have come a long way since the sit down in studio with your entire family as a cheesy photographer snaps photographs while saying “Say Cheese” or “Smile”.. gag. If never having your photograph professional taken aside from school portraits, it’s super easy to be nervous and uncertain of how your session will develop. However don’t! I know it’s easier said than done, but bringing both your individual personality and shared personality as a couple allows your photographer to capture natural, fun, timeless images.
Jen and Garrett, whom we met a few months ago at a bridal show, definitely won their gold stars in the personality department for their session. Not only are these two a blast alone but one of the cutest darn couples we’ve photographed so far this year. Their passion and comfort for each other was so apparent in every image we captured at their rustic Hershey session, it’s hard to choose a favorite. One of my favorite moments from their session was one of the last images captured in a large grass field as the pending rain storm we were hoping to dodge, began to pour down. Jen’s reaction and Garrett’s gaze at her are completely priceless and so very much who they are as a couple. If holding back or forgoing sharing their personality with us, we’d never have captured such a beautiful image and for them a sweet and hopefully cherished memory. We’re so excited to see these two again in May 2015 for their Wind in the Willows wedding!
For more great images of Jen and Garrett’s engagement click here!