engagement session

Jesse & Kristen: Buffalo Engagement Sessions

I’d never been to Chestnut Ridge Park in Orchard Park, but it was the perfect setting for some early fall engagement pictures. Jesse and Kristen initially told us they were awkward in photographs.

I couldn’t disagree with that statement more. They were fun, sweet and lovable from start to finish. I’ll never know what Jesse whispered in Kristen’s ear to make them laugh so hard, but it was worth it.

These two fit so perfectly together, and are exactly the kind of couple that makes us so excited to do what we do year after year. I’m already so excited for their Finger Lakes Wedding day at Ventosa Vineyards next July.

Until then, send these two some love!

~ Erin

Product Spotlight: Engagement Guest Book

Engagement sessions (in any season) are my favorite type of session. I'm pretty sure I've mentioned that fact before. I love their peacefulness or playfulness and always their love - without the timeline of a wedding day.

We've photographed engagements anywhere from Letchworth State Park to downtown Rochester NY, and even in local coffee shops like Starry Nites Cafe or Joe Bean on University Avenue. Each one is unique and personalized to our couple.

But the one question we always get asked is - what should we do with these images? Answer: let's make a book!

But this isn't just any old Shutterfly book. Yes, it's a story of you, and who you are as a couple - but you can do more with it. One of our most popular ideas, is to incorporate the book at your wedding as a guest book.

These days, thanks to Pinterest, there are thousands of ways to display a guest book concept. Crafty people love coming up with new, never seen before ways to mark the occasion. But we love this book because it allows your guests to leave you notes, and answers to questions about love and marriage. Bonus point - there's no glue gun or mason jars involved, because we do all of the hard work for you.

It's an interactive guest book for your wedding. After the wedding, it's a cherished heirloom that you can safely keep alongside your wedding album. (And you don't have to find wall space to fit it into your home decor!) 

It shows not only who you are as a couple, but also how much you're loved by those who joined in your wedding day. So - what would you like to do with your engagement session photographs?

~ Erin

Neighborhood of the Arts Engagement Session: Lyla and Daniel

When they told me that they'd gotten engaged during a "Harry Potter Festival," I knew we'd fit together well. And we did.

We met up at Starry Nites Cafe on University Ave for some cuddles and coffee (them, not us). Then we headed towards the Memorial Art Gallery for a few snow scenes and even a little "snow juggling."

Though, if I'm honest, planning their dead-of-winter engagement session to include coffee BEFORE we went outside to play was not one of my finer decisions. Despite that faux pas, I think they still like us. Because even with frozen fingers we had so much fun.

I was looking forward to their October wedding before. But now, I can't wait!

~ Erin

Katie, Tyler and Ollie: Rochester NY Engagement Session

So we've spent a lot of time at Cobbs Hill Reservoir in downtown Rochester lately. Coincidentally, most of our visits there have been to photograph an engagement session. It's always a pretty busy place, so we're getting pretty accustomed to dodging runners on the path or picnic goers out for a night to watch the sunset over the city. That part always tends be the same. What I love, is that even though it's a familiar location, the people and the session is never the same.

For Katie and Tyler, the Reservoir made perfect sense as the backdrop to their engagement session. Their first apartment together was in the Upper Monroe area, so they visited Cobbs Hill regularly. It became one of their favorite spots to be together.

Together, they're comfortable, full of big smiles and laughter, even if they have differing opinions on baseball teams. (We'll forgive Katie for her life choices on baseball - just this once).

Oh, and can we talk about their rescue pup, Ollie for a minute? That little guy has such a personality; you can see it all over his face. He's so lucky to have been rescued by two of the sweetest, kindest humans.

After spending just a few short hours together, I know that their wedding day (and beyond!) will be amazing. I also know, that I can't wait to be part of it. Thanks you two!

~ Erin

Matt and Ellie: Engagement Session at Silver Lake

Here's what I know is fact about these two - they're awesome together. They are a wonderful combination of silly and sweet, which made their engagement session at their lake house on Silver Lake and Letchworth so much fun.

Even on a cold March day, this session was beautiful. The way she looked at him, and him at her, is the stuff that dreams are made of. And those big sweet, lovable great danes of theirs? Gorgeous.

They were nervous about their engagement session (as a lot of couples are). Everyone tells me they're awkward in pictures. To them, and especially to Ellie and Matt I say: "Nope."

This is the exact reason we recommend engagement sessions. We want you to relax and feel comfortable with us as your photographers by showing you how NOT awkward you are. Rather, we want you to know you're beautiful. Just like Ellie and Matt.

~ Erin

Rebecca & Orion: Rochester NY Engagement Session

Orion and Rebecca moved here from Alabama together for school, they love being outside (even in the snow) and trying new cuisine together. I heard their Southern accent and just knew they'd be the sweetest couple. I wasn't wrong. They're meant to be husband and wife. 

Their engagement session brought us to downtown Rochester NY, first to The Old Toad. I have a fondness for that pub, as it's where my own first date with my husband was. Ah, memories. I digress... 

The way Rebecca's eyes sparkled when she smiled at Orion - so crazy beautiful. We also hit up Cobbs Hill Park for a little fun in the snow. Whether cozied up in a pub or dancing in the snow, they fit perfectly together.

See what I mean?

~ Erin

Engagement sessions of 2016: Rochester NY Wedding Photographers

Ok, I know. It's February, and it's time to move on from 2016. I'm working on it, I swear. But I can't move into 2017 without acknowledging some of my favorite images from our 2016 engagement sessions.

Engagement sessions are one of my favorite things to photograph. It's all the love and beauty of a wedding day, with more time than a wedding day can sometimes allow.

We traveled everywhere from Syracuse to Letchworth sharing our couples stories and capturing who they are together. These were couples from 2016, but also some happen to be our amazing 2017 (or 2018!) wedding couples.

Judging from the gorgeousness of their engagement sessions, it's going to be a beautiful year.

~ Erin

Stephanie and Ryan: Webster Park Fall Engagement Session

Ryan and Stephanie love hiking, camping and trying new beers together. They're also fun and adventurous and absolutely love being a part of each other's world.

They fit together like milk and cookies. Like peanut butter and jelly. Like macaroni and cheese. Like...ok, ok, you get the idea. And let's be honest, they should - they're high school sweethearts. They are so comfortable together and with others, that I'd nearly forgotten that I've actually only met them once before.

Photographing their engagement session was so relaxed, natural and fun. A picnic, some beers and a blanket on a gorgeous fall evening? Swoon.... they're clearly my kind of people.

I'm so glad to be a small part of telling their story.

~ Erin

FAQ: 3 Reasons You Really Should Have an Engagement Session

Our wedding collection includes an engagement session. By now, everyone who doesn't live under a social media rock knows what they are. Naturally, we believe they are not only important, but necessary. As clients, you either love the idea, or you don't. If you're leaning toward "don't", this message is for you.

Here's our top 3 reasons for including an engagement session:

1) It's an experience you deserve to have: It's an hour of time for you together, totally dedicated to your relationship. It's a date that as you're going along, you didn't realize you were having. It's FUN. Seriously... even our stuffiest, most nervous of grooms have had fun with it. 

2) So You'll Laugh More: Laughing means you're relaxed, and relaxed means you'll be yourself. No one, I repeat, NO ONE is a natural in front of the camera. Even us photographers, with years of posing experience get flustered when the camera points our way. What helps? Getting to know each other better.

The goal is to raise your comfort level so you won't be as nervous about a little P.D.A. with your fiance. And if I'm being honest - if we're going to spend a full day together at your wedding, I'd kind of want to know who you are too.

3) To learn to be more like Tyra Banks: You know all of those beautiful wedding portraits you're seeing everywhere? Here's a little insider secret: Those don't always just "happen." 

I know you want the "photojournalistic-we-just-happen-to-be-posed-perfectly" photograph - but to be honest sometimes, you need a little help. And that's ok.  

Coaching happens in an engagement session (in a non-"say cheeeeese!" way), so that on the biggest day of your life, you already know what will make you look your best.  That's how those perfect wedding portraits are created more naturally (and quickly- so you can get to the party!).

So, do you and your partner know what you're doing already, and what flatters you best? If so, awesome, you might be eligible for America's Next Top Model. If not... do the engagement session.

Honestly, we feel that engagement sessions are a huge benefit to creating more natural, gorgeous wedding photographs. We really believe in them. We hope you do too.