My brother is engaged, woohoo! I don’t know what I am more excited about…his engagement or getting to be a guest at a wedding 😉
We decided to do his engagement photos in New York City, which holds a special place for both Eddie and Wes. We hit up Central Park and attempted to avoid the crazy holiday crowds. I had the best time photographing two amazing humans that I love dearly and can’t wait for their wedding this September!
THE BRIDAL EXPERIENCE
Let me be the first to say congratulations! Your journey from newly engaged to newlywed will be filled with excitement, big decisions, and most likely, a touch of nerves. I hope you’ll choose me to document this milestone in your life. I’ve compiled some helpful resources below to help you as you start your planning.
Most likely, you’ve picked your wedding date, your photographer, and maybe even your venue. You’re doing great, although you probably feel like there’s so much left to decide. It’s time to take a break from all that planning and have some fun! It’s time for your engagement session!
I love shooting engagement sessions SO MUCH because I get a chance to really get to know you and your fiance, and you have a chance to find out what it’s like to get your photo taken by me. On your wedding day, we’ll feel much more comfortable working together and I’ll know how you interact with each other and how to photograph you so you look your absolute best.
WHEN TO BOOK YOUR SESSION
Although your engagement session can take place anytime before your wedding day, I suggest booking it at least 3 to 6 months beforehand. Most sessions occur on weeknights or Sundays, since I am shooting weddings most Saturdays. In the warmer months, the best time for engagement photos is 5-7pm, and in the colder months, 3-5pm is ideal.
CHOOSING A LOCATION
I believe engagement sessions are most special when they incorporate a location that’s significant to you and your fiance. I have a blog post where I share five tips for choosing a location for your engagement photos. If you can’t think of anywhere specific you’d like to go, I can definitely help. I’ve shot photos at farms, college campuses, downtown alleyways, and even laundromats. Seriously! The more creative, the better in my opinion.
MORE RESOURCES FOR NEWLY ENGAGED COUPLES
I love engagement sessions for several reasons. First, it’s a great opportunity to get comfortable in front of me and my camera. Secondly, you get a chance to showcase your personalities in a more casual setting, while creating some fun, memorable images for you guestbook, save the date cards, and your walls. Lastly, its a chance to create wonderful memories with your partner that you’ll cherish long after you walk down the aisle together as newlyweds.
Your life is about to change in ways you can’t even begin to imagine. Soon, you’ll be sharing your time, your heart, and your big (and little) moments with another person. Someone who has just promised to care for you forever in front of everyone you love. Your wedding day is going to be fun, emotional, and yes, exhausting at times. Everything will happen so fast, and no matter what you do, you’re going to blink and it will be a beautiful memory.
This is why photography is so crucial. As the years pass, it’s going to be such a blessing to be able to pull out your photos and remember all of the people and moments that came together to create your perfect wedding day. Couples that don’t invest in great photography live to regret their decision, because they realize that even at their most attentive, they can’t be everywhere at once or remember everything that happened.
I’M THERE TO HELP
Yes, I am your wedding photographer, but I’m also there to help you as you navigate the exciting and sometimes nerve-wracking moments that make up your special day. I’m not a planner or coordinator, but since I attend weddings almost every Saturday during wedding season (and beyond), I have a few tricks up my sleeve and I know how to support you and your partner without getting in the way.
BEFORE, DURING, AND AFTER THE BIG DAY
Over the years, I have been blessed to document many wedding days. If there’s one thing I know, it’s that everything goes so much more smoothly when you have a timeline to refer to. Things can get crazy and knowing that someone has your back can be a big relief. Here’s what you can expect before, during, and after your big day when you work with Brooke Ellen Photography:
Pre-Wedding Questionnaire: We will send a questionnaire before the wedding where you can list out the shots that you want taken during your wedding. This will include any solo shots, couple photos, and family formals. Your responses will help me plan my day and make sure we have enough time to get you all of the photos you have your heart set on.
Wedding Pre-Ceremony: The big day is finally here! We’ll start with some pre-ceremony photography, including detail shots and we’ll capture those special “getting ready” moments. Then, we’ll do the first look (if you’ve chosen to do one) and bridal party shots before the ceremony.
Wedding Post-Ceremony: After the “I do’s” have been declared, we’ll do family portraits, couple portraits, and I’ll do some reception detail shots before dinner is served. Next come the introductions, speeches, and dancing. Coverage varies depending on the package you’ve chosen, but this gives you a general idea of how things will go.
Access Your Online Gallery: After your wedding day comes to an end, we’ll get right to work editing your images. We’ll send you a link to your online gallery, where you can access all your photos easily from your computer or your mobile phone. Download and order photos right from the gallery and have them shipped right to your house!
Enjoy Your Beautiful Marriage: And your happily ever after!
MORE RESOURCES FOR YOUR WEDDING DAY
I am so excited to learn more about you and your wedding day vision. I know that I have a bridal collection that will be a perfect fit for your needs. If you would like to see more of my work, feel free to visit my gallery page or check out some of the press I’ve been lucky to receive from some of the top bridal publications in the country!
If you have any questions about Brooke Ellen Photography, please contact me and I will get back to you right away. If you’re ready to book your wedding photography, click the button below. I can’t wait to hear from you!
Emma and Kamil met me on a very cold winter day at her parent’s house atop the mountain in Wilbraham. Their home has gorgeous views of the valley and the warm afternoon light was perfect, even in the weather was anything but warm 😉 I am so excited to be back here in June for their wedding!!
Having a talented photographer as a friend is pretty great, isn’t it? You always have someone who’s able to get that oh-so-perfect photo of you for Instagram feed or an adorable family photo for your holiday cards. It’s the best! However, when it comes time to pick your wedding photographer, I strongly encourage you NOT to hire your friend.
You’re probably thinking, “but wouldn’t it be best to work with someone you already know and feel comfortable with?” You probably think it will be more meaningful to have someone you know and trust shooting your wedding. Plus, wouldn’t it be much better to give your friend money rather than a stranger? You’re right, it might seem a little crazy, but hear me out. I’ve seen it happen and more often than not, it doesn’t go super smoothly… no matter how much you love your friend or their work.
Here’s just a few reasons I advise couples against hiring friends (or family) as their wedding photographer:
They Won’t Get to Enjoy the Wedding (Or They’ll Enjoy it Too Much)
Shooting a wedding is a big job. In fact, it often requires more than one photographer, just because of the number of hours — and photo opportunities — involved. If you think your friend will be able to still enjoy the ceremony, dinner, dancing, and drinks while still making sure you get all the photos you want, think again!
Either your friend is going to feel like they missed the entire wedding (which is a huge bummer) or they’re going to be having too much fun at your wedding that they’ll completely forget to take the photos you were hoping for on your big day. Both scenarios are not ideal, and that’s why it’s better to hire someone who isn’t already on the guest list to photograph your wedding.
The Photos Aren’t What You Were Expecting
Maybe your friend has a really nice camera and they’ve taken some great shots with it. That’s awesome! However, shooting a wedding is on a whole other level. There are so many factors to consider: lighting (indoor, outdoor, time of day, etc.), posing, angles, focus… I could go on and on. Let’s just say there’s a lot of room for error. Practice makes perfect, so someone who hasn’t done a ton of weddings is working at a disadvantage versus someone who solely photographs weddings.
Skill level aside, there may be a difference in style as well that you may not know if you haven’t seen examples of their wedding photography before. You never want to gamble when it comes to your wedding day photos. Instead, choose someone who has lots of examples to show you so you can get a feel for their skill level and style beforehand.
They Won’t Take Charge
The last thing you want to be doing on your wedding day is directing photos. You want to be able to get completely lost in the day and enjoy every single second. If you have a photographer who isn’t comfortable coordinating your guests for posed portraits, you and your partner are going to be the ones who end up doing it.
When you hire a wedding photographer with lots of experience, they’ll actually be able to help you on your wedding day (not the other way around). A professional with experience will have their own system that works for them, so you won’t ever have to guess what’s going to happen or help them if you catch them standing around looking lost.
I know you love your friends and you want to support them, and that’s great! Just remember, this is your wedding day and it’s only happening once. Instead of using it as an opportunity to give your friend more photography experience, allow them to be a guest and truly enjoy your wedding. There are other ways to show your support, and I think at the end of the day, you’ll be happy you went with a professional.
When I first met with Ciara, I knew we would get along. We both value travel, hiking, adventure, and laughed the whole time. I could not wait to meet Alec and photograph their engagement session. I was not disappointed, they were both so stylish and so full of laughter and joy. We met at one of their favorite breweries and walked around the neat industrial area and headed down by the river to grab some woodsy images too. I can not wait for their wedding this July 🙂