Happy Friday friends and loves! Let’s kick off the weekend with a sweet, traditional, and pretty little engagement shoot. Take two people wildly in love, put them in front of a camera, and let them do their thing– what more do you need for a fantastic love shoot? These darling Pennsylvania engagement portraits are divine!
CATEGORY: GETTING HITCHED!
Engagement shoots can go two ways: they can be over-the-top styled and planned out, with various “costume changes,” locations, and props. Pick a theme, pick a scene, and go all out! Or they can be extraordinarily simple and, at times, more emotionally affecting. Two people, raw emotions, and a camera to capture the magic– how divine! Rebecca & Peter took the latter route with their New Jersey engagement session (captured by Nelson J. Photography); isn’t love oh-so-sweet?
Some couples are so in love, their passion is palpable– and Leah & Arvin are no exception! These high school sweethearts are just so darn adorable and I love that they chose an interesting architectural backdrop for their engagement portraits. Playful balloons, pretty people, and the Disney Concert Hall? Sign me up for a love that looks like this! Thank you Elizabeth Mercer for sharing this love shoot with us!
From Elizabeth: Leah and Alvin met when they were only 15 years old. They were introduced by a mutual friend at a party. They’ve been together for six years. Arvin proposed to Leah at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California. He asked her at the top of the Goliath ride… right when it was about to take a big drop. Sine then, this is been a very eventful year for them. In June they both graduate from college, Leah from West Coast University and Arvin from Cal State Northridge. They are planning to get married next year on their seventh anniversary, which happens to fall perfectly on a Saturday.
Everyone’s got a special city they’re drawn to– and although I am over-the-top in love with New York or LA, there will always be a place in my heart for Washington, DC. There’s so much quirk, beauty, and tradition in DC and I love that Morgan & Erik let their home city shine in their love shoot with Robert Radifera! This couple is so adorable– can’t wait to see how beautiful their September wedding is!
Our love story (pt 1): We met at a dinner party in Washington, D.C. He’s a senior strategy advisor at the Defense Department, and I was a policy grad student thinking about jobs after graduation. He offered to give me “career advice” for the State Department– he even sent me a Powerpoint slide on the conflict office where I wanted to work! The coffee conversation turned into a second and third date, and soon, he was driving up to New Jersey (where I went to grad school) to see me every other weekend. When I graduated, I ended up getting a job at that conflict office at the State Department, and moved down to DC.
Our love story (pt 2): While we were happy to finally be in the same city, Erik wanted to understand my love for conflict areas (I’ve worked extensively in Afghanistan, Africa, and Asia), so he decided to take a job for a year in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, I moved to Indonesia for work– which were some very tough times, as we experienced personal and professional growth apart from each other. But what we learned was how to communicate effectively and compassionately with each other. About six months after we returned from our overseas assignments, we traveled to southern France, a place very close to my heart, as I had studied there for a year. At the foot of a medieval castle, in an olive grove, he proposed! And now we’ve decided that while we still want to have adventures, we’re going to adventure together from now on.
Design inspiration: English garden party meets Belle Epoque… with a touch of shimmer and shine!
Sweet treats: I am not a fan of cake, so we are offering a French Croquembouche– a French wedding tradition. It’s a tower of cream puffs surrounded by a spun sugar cage. I have strong ties with France, and just love this tradition. We will also have cake and cupcakes, too, for our guests… along with French macarons, shimmer-dusted meringues, salted caramel brownies, and a couple of other sweet items!
What’s next? We’re mini-mooning in Curacao, then heading straight back to Charlottesville for a football game. Erik went to the University of Oregon, and serendipitously, they’re playing the Cavaliers the weekend after our wedding!
images by Robert Radifera
Oh, Belle Haven– you will always have my heart. Ronda & Hugo take loveliness to a new level in this breathtaking love shoot by Jen Fariello; you can feel the passion pulsing out through every image! Belle Haven has a level of magic that transforms everyone who steps on to its grounds– and the combination of this Scottsville estate with a couple in love and Jen’s unrivaled talents as an artist is incomparable. Congratulations Ronda & Hugo– wishing you all the happiness in the world!
Why did you choose Belle Haven as your engagement session location? Ronda and Hugo wanted to showcase the natural beauty of the Charlottesville area, so they knew they wanted to take their pictures somewhere outdoors and in a place that captured the essence of Central Virginia in the springtime. Their photographer, Jen Fariello, wisely suggested that Belle Haven might be a place that they would enjoy due to its variety of stunning unspoiled settings. The couple loved the different vignettes around the property… from formal gardens to casual swings and front-porch hammocks to rustic barns and rolling greenery.
E-session inspiration: Ronda and Hugo wanted the engagement photos to be a true reflection of how relaxed they are with one another and to reflect them both being at ease in the outdoor backdrops at Belle Haven. They both picked casual outfits with pops of color that would photograph well on the late April evening. They loved working with Jen Fariello, who captured their moments together in such a natural yet intimate way.
Ronda & Hugo are… Devoted. Passionate. Vivacious.
images by Jen Fariello
Ya’ll– this is SERIOUSLY the prettiest engagement session of all time. I know, I know, I say that every other week, but beautiful people and wildly talented photographers need to stop sending me such jaw-droppingly gorgeous submissions! (No, don’t! Keep ‘em coming!) This southwest Florida love shoot combines glamour, beach time, and lots and lots of sweetness. Congratulations Mary Beth & Jonathan– cannot wait to see your wedding!! Thanks Cody & Tiffany for sharing this session with us!
From Tiffany: Mary Beth works at Summit Church in Estero and she and Jonathan met through church actually– and it was instant. From the moment they met they had that “just know” feeling that they were “the ones” for each other.
Most of their courtship was spent out at Miromar Lakes, because it is where Jonathan’s family owned a home. They spent many weeknights and weekends there on the beach watching sunsets. Their FAVORITE thing to do together is Saturday morning bible study at Starbucks. She’s a Grande Sugarfree Vanilla 1/2 water Americano and he’s a Grande Sugarfree Hazelnut no water 2% milk Americano. So their faith, Miromar Lakes and Starbucks are their “thing” and it was so fitting to incorporate all 3 of those aspects into their shoot.
In a wedding world dominated by “rustic, vintage, elegant-country-chic” aesthetics, there’s something so refreshing about a couple who stylistically leans towards the clean, the sparse, the modern. This Chicago engagement session by Tuan H. Bui is brilliant in its simplicity and overwhelming in its simple loveliness…
From Tuan: I value the time I have when makeup and hair is being done; it gives me time to look around, to get a sense of the couple, to just chat with them and hear them chat with each other. So when I was in [Julie & Travis'] Bucktown loft, I took in the minimal, sleek, modern decor, and decided that the photos had to match– clean compositions, simple lines, bold subjects. Travis had said that Julie might be nervous in front of the camera, but she was wonderfully happy and bubbly when talking to Travis, so I decided that most of the shots would involve the couple facing each other, talking or interacting.
makeup styling: Mishella G | hair styling: Daniela Kosta
Sometimes, it’s best to keep it simple: two people in love, a beautiful setting, a serene day. No props, no crazy outfit changes, no fireworks; instead, the fireworks are found in the embraces and kisses shared by a couple. Love doesn’t always have to be a brash, brazen thing– a quiet bond that unites two pretty people is always en vogue.
Fact: this is one of the prettiest engagement sessions I’ve ever seen. I don’t know what it is about urban spaces, but this summer, I’ve been so attracted to love shoots that really embrace brick, graffiti, any kind of cityscape or downtown detail. Adeola & Darryl’s engagement shoot really showcases the sultry style of this bride and groom by putting it up against Raleigh’s downtown warehouse district; the bright colors, crisp details, and incredible images by Vesic Photography make this love shoot ultra inspiring.
I wasn’t sure exactly how to categorize this beautiful Utah engagement session by eWatts Photography, so I felt compelled to just throw everything into the mix; the reality is that this e-session can appeal to any “type” of copule. Really, the moral of the story is that if you have a passionate personality as a couple, you can embrace any and all surroundings when it comes to portraits. Emma & Devin frolicked in an old barn, smooched in front of a graffiti-enhanced train, and snuggled next to a gorgeous tin wall– I can imagine this couple being equally comfortable together no matter what circumstances they find themselves in and Ethan does a stunning job of capturing their love in completely diverse backgrounds. I can only imagine how gorgeous their wedding will be– three cheers for happiness and love!