Virginia & Tim Engagement

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 🙂

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Room View- Changing Portraiture

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!

Oliver Three 8x10

Hershey Gardens Engagement- Colleen & Brett

Vogelman_178_MMPLate 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. Vogelman_195_MMPWe 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.

Vogelman_295_MMPCongratulations 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!

Spring Engagements 2015

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!SpringEngagement_021_MelissaMcClainPhotography

Kaitlyn & Brian also had some snow on the ground for their Founders Hall Garden session.  I love that they included their gorgeous pup, Koosh:)SpringEngagement_022_MelissaMcClainPhotography

Kate & Douglas rocked engagement style with their State Street engagement session.  Seriously one of the best groom engagement looks in our opinion!SpringEngagement_023_MelissaMcClainPhotography

Samantha & Michael.. OMG.  Just hands down one of my favorite fashion focused engagement sessions.  We had a perfect session at Hershey Hotel.SpringEngagement_024_MelissaMcClainPhotography.jpg

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!SpringEngagement_025_MelissaMcClainPhotography

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! SpringEngagement_026_MelissaMcClainPhotography

Engagement Sessions- When to Schedule?

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. 10506645_10152584097192259_4780065743080305203_o 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.

10317572_10152503888162259_6265076660794116129_oSchedule 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.  10383755_10152541664577259_3430027562085323212_oFor 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.  1548202_10152540280607259_3258425399173538759_oWhen 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:)