It's no secret that we've been super busy lately and we've been blessed and fortunate to be working with some amazing couples leading up to their big day! Though most of our year is booked with wedding photography, we've been enjoying the chance to slow down and connect with our clients through some awesome engagement sessions. Every couple brings something unique to the table that is just 'them' and your engagement pictures should definitely try to highlight that. Living in Asheville allows us the opportunity to consider these differences with every couple and shoot at a wide array of amazing locations. From mountain tops to scenic landscapes. Downtown urban areas or small one horse towns on the outskirts, there is truly something for everyone. However, we do find that some couples haven't even discussed engagement photos in the midst of their wedding planning process. If you're one of them, don't worry, there is still time :) We wanted to go over some of considerations that may help you when planning your engagement session!
One of the first things to consider is LOCATION! There are a ton of options especially here in Asheville and the surrounding areas like Greenville. One thing to consider is do you want the engagement photos shot at your wedding venue? Do you want them somewhere else? Do you have a wedding that's sort of rustic themed and in the countryside so maybe a more urban or city-scape shoot would be fun? Or do you have a beautiful downtown wedding planned and maybe you want to get out and enjoy some of the beautiful nature? Part of the fun is there are tons of possibilities! Pictured above are Julie & Burt at one of our favorite places to shoot, 'The Devil's Courthouse' just off the Blue Ridge Parkway. For those thinking about it but not sure where they want to go, consider the NC Arboretum, Asheville Botanical Gardens, or Carl Sandburg Park (especially in the fall!). A favorite spot amongst locals and those from out of town alike is The Biltmore but be prepared to pay the entry fee which is not necessarily the cheapest, but if you decide you have to have it, be prepared to highlight your engagement shoot with some of the most beautiful scenery North Carolina has to offer.
We recently had the opportunity to capture Megan & Ben's beautiful engagement and we were excited to shoot part of it at the Root Bar in Asheville! Which brings us to our next consideration, style! We had fun with Megan and Ben as they had tons of ideas and chemistry, and one of the ideas they had was to capture them in the moment hanging out at one of their favorite hangouts, almost sort of a hybrid of a lifestyle/engagement shoot. This was fun as we didn't have to direct a lot, and they could naturally be themselves and enjoy a few brews and each other's company while we documented the magic. We even got the opportunity to play 'Root ball' as pictured above! So consider, do you want your engagement shot in the moment, do you want a mix of candid and posed? How about some creative shots and intimate close ups? The choice is yours! Don't be afraid to look for inspiration on pinterest or instagram!
The last thing to usually consider is time of day and feel of the photos. Do you want them lighthearted and fun? Do you want them to have a warm soft feel? Maybe light and bright? Maybe all of the above! The important thing is to discuss it with your photographer if there are any specifics that you want to make sure you absolutely capture. Time of day can also play a big role. If you are going for sunset shots, you will likely need to schedule your shoot about an hour or so before sunset. If you don't want your photos to be to harsh when it comes to the lighting, shooting around sunset or sun rise tends to be ideal! But if that's not possible due to scheduling or just life, maybe look for an area that has different lightings so you might be able to utilize some shade, or even indoors in some cases.
One of the things we love about engagement photos is we get to give our undivided attention to the couples we work with. Having shot many weddings, we can tell you firsthand that one of the main differences is, weddings have a tendency to not only be about the couple, but also the day, the decor, the family, and the fun of the overall event of your wedding. Engagements are just you two. Completely wrapped up in each other enjoying every moment. It tends to be a little more laid back, less stressful and allows you another opportunity to work with your photographer(s) prior to the wedding further building the connection and paving the way for awesome photos. One of the trends we've even noticed lately is couples making time either before or after the wedding to get dressed up in their wedding attire (yes, dress, tux, and all) and get these photos of just you two prior to the wedding as it allows you more time to spend hang with friends and family at the wedding without necessarily having to make time for as many photos during your wedding day. It's definitely not for everyone but they do have the style of the wedding by dressing up and the more relaxed feel of an engagement as you're not having to worry about an event schedule, being done on time, and anybody running late, etc. We encourage you to consider the previous when leading up to your engagement photos and with wedding season right around the corner be on the lookout for some incredible weddings in the near future!
Joe & Jenny