Behind the Scenes of Our Funtivities

Learn more about our adventures when we are out Browning Around!

Why Engagement Photos are Important

Until this weekend I felt engagement photos were something to add to the wedding photo package and part of the memories. Reflecting back, not too many couples select to do engagement photos. Probably a cost thing and also they know the wedding day will produce several amazing photos.

I think there are a couple of factors that make the engagement session so important.

Jeff and Aida

The Hunts

  • You don’t have the pressure of your wedding day. Your wedding day is full of seeing old relatives and friends, dancing, eating and of course photos! You don’t get a chance to slow down and breath. Engagement photos allow you to slow down and just be the two of you plus the cameraman.

  • You have the option of going to a couple of different locations. There might be a place that holds a special place in your relationship and wouldn’t it be nice to have professional photos done there. Even if there isn’t a special place, there are so many amazing locations just around the Portland and Columbia River area or the coast.

  • Engagement sessions allow you to have different outfits and perhaps adding props. Let’s say you both kayak together, bring the boats and paddles. If I can photograph you on the river, I will. I always encourage my clients to bring a couple of different looks depending on where we are going

  • Not too many people have their wedding photos up around their house. But they do have photos up of their adventures and fun times. I always include in my final product what I call are the outtakes - the funny moments.

What really got me thinking today was the story behind each photo that made me realize the importance of the engagement session. It doesn’t have to be one of my Grand Sessions, it can be a local session done at Cathedral Park or some other great Portland location. Every Grand Session I have done, we all walk away with some funny memory from the day together. Perhaps it is falling in the snow, the champagne bottle that got dropped or getting soaked by the waterfall…..

If you are on the fence about engagement photos, lets talk and make it happen!

Ashley and Steve at Eugene Fire

Every Photograph has a Story #1- White River Falls

I have always felt that a photograph is just a photograph until you here the story behind it. You talk to any photographer about the images they are proud of and I bet they will talk to you for 10+ minutes about each image. Even as I photograph people, there are stories behind the image that I love to share. Could be intimidated by the subject matter, the effort to get there or just what happened as the subject was being photographed.

Joe and Tracy at White River Falls Park in Dufur Oregon

Here is one such image that has a fun story behind it. A month prior, I photograph Joe and Tracy’s wedding reception in downtown Portland. For the first time I had camera issues, location challenges and prop issues. My game was thrown and I was not sure what to do after i built myself up. Eventually I rallied and got through the night, but felt bad I didn’t give them all of what I was hoping for.

After I delivered the final product, I asked them if they wouldn’t mind getting back into their outfits and come with my wife and I to White River Falls out in Dufur, Oregon. I was looking for a couple that I could stage a photo shoot and not be under any pressure at all. Where I could slow down and direct the scene how I wanted. In return they would have a fun time and get some photographs they would enjoy.

They were such sports and we switched between formal wear and casual dress. We even enjoyed some Buffalo Trace and Flaming Hot Cheetos for our efforts. We used the river, the waterfall, the drone and the pump house as backdrops.

Framed through the pump house window

At the end of the day it was so nice to slow down and enjoy the moment and set a photo like this up. I was balancing on a railroad tie about 8ft above the ground. I told them to dip for a kiss and just be themselves. No real instruction as I wanted it to look natural. We got natural and a beautiful image for them and my portfolio. This really taught me to be more of a director; afterall my customers are paying me to play the role of director and photographer. The photos from this day have taught me to have a different approach to my engagement sessions and senior portraits.