What Every Bride Needs to Know
The engagement session is one of my favorite parts of our time together because it gives you both a chance to be in front of my cameras before you get married, which is going to make your wedding day experience feel so smooth, seamless and comfortable. Not only that, but we get to create something so special together. You’re going to be married for over fifty years, but you only get to be engaged for this short period of time. I’m so excited to capture the only time in your life when you get to be each other’s fiances. I created this guide for you, and packed it with all my best secrets for getting the best out of your engagement experience, so let’s dive right in!
Choosing Time & Date
I’m a natural light specialist because I believe that natural light, from the sun and its reflections, creates photographs that feel fresh, timeless and true to you as a couple. I begin all engagement sessions two hours before the scheduled sunset during “the golden hour,” when the light is the dreamiest. Use a sunset calculator online to determine the scheduled sunset for the date and location you’d like to do your session. Then, just subtract two hours to figure out your start time. Remember, the sun sets much earlier during the colder months of the year and much later during the warmer months, so make sure to factor that in when choosing your engagement session date, especially if you’re taking off work or have evening plans afterward. To get the most out of your session, please plan a buffer when getting ready so you can arrive a few minutes early to your session and be ready to start on time. We’re only able to shoot when natural light is still in the sky, so we’ll want to take advantage of every minute we have together before the sun goes down. If you’re wearing two outfits, save your favorite one for the second half, and if you’re wearing one, arrive in that.
QUICK TIP: My weekends fill up fast and far in advance. You can get a Fast Pass to the front of the line by scheduling mid-week.
Selecting the Right Location
The location of your engagement session is up to you! The first thing to decide is whether you’d like to feature the beautiful Texas hill country in your session. Like you see throughout this guide, most of my couples want to showcase the natural beauty of Texas to give their out-of-town guests a fun preview of what to expect when they travel to the Lone Star State (plus most of us are Texan and proud!). I especially love shooting in the hill country because it’s so unique and the light is divine. There are also other great options around the state, and we’re always up for exploring a new spot together.
Think Outside the Box
This is the time to think outside the box! I encourage you to brainstorm unique locations that you might have special access to that most people don’t. For example, maybe you, or someone in your personal or professional network, can secure permission to a location that would otherwise be off-limits, like a beautiful private estate, country club or resort. Maybe it’s a family ranch, upscale hotel or even an airplane hangar. The sky is literally the limit! Spend a few minutes thinking about it and checking around. You’ll be surprised with what you come up with. Plus, if something seems out of reach, just remember: you never know until you ask! Our couples have secured permission to some pretty amazing places in the past. I have some great go-to locations around town that we can always hit, too. Easy. Peasy.
Your engagement session includes my travel time anywhere in the Uvalde area and within 100 miles. If you’d like to go somewhere outside the area, we’re up for the adventure! The travel fee for 3-4 hour drives to places like Austin, Houston and Laredo is $199. I love traveling and am actually on the road quite a bit. So if I’m already going to be in or near an area you’ve always dreamed of doing your photos, and we can coordinate our schedules, let’s set it up. I’d love to make it work! If you’d like me to meet you in a destination outside of Texas for your engagement session where I don’t already have plans to visit, just let me know and I can get you a custom quote.
Styling Your Session
Want your engagement images to look more editorial? Bring a little extra something with you! A freshly-picked bouquet for you to hold, or fresh flowers to put on something else, like a bicycle basket, tree swing, picnic basket, car bumper or rowboat, is a fun way bring a little extra romance to everyday objects.
Whether it’s larger items like classic cars, or smaller ones like blankets or hats, even incorporating just one extra styled item, could be a fun way to make your session more unique. Brainstorm what is special to you and your fiancé and we can make it work for your session.