When to have an engagement session?

Here some photos of the engagment session I photographed at the Eldorado Dry Lake Bed - Nevada. I love this location and as you may see, Heidy and Rich enjoyed it as well!:)

A question that comes up from my  clients is "when should I  schedule my engagement session?"
Let's see...

1. What do you want to use the engagement photos for? 

If you want to use the photos for a Save the Date, It’s best to book your engagement session at least 8 or 9 months before your wedding date! Why? Because depending on who your photographer and designer are for the Save the Dates, it takes time to process your photos and design & print the Save the Dates! Save the Dates are typically sent out 6 months in advanced for those who need to travel! I would suggest this same timeline if you’re doing a Photobook that serves as a guest book! Of course if you ran out of time, you may be able to rush-order both! But keep in mind that it may cost more!

If you’re not doing that and just using it for invitations, it’s best to get them done at latest 6-7 months in advanced. Again,  depending on your photographer & the processing time, it gives you time to get them printed and put into your invitations, which are usually sent out  two months prior to your wedding! If you’re just printing the photos separately from your actual invitations, you can get away with having them taken 4-5 months in advanced, but the sooner the better!

Of course if you’re getting them done solely for wedding decorations, you can postpone them back to 3-4 months in advanced, but that’s certainly cutting it close! With all this in mind, I recommend getting them done as early as possible so that if anything, you have them ready and usable for whatever you have in mind! :)

2. How do you want your engagement session to be like?

If you want something more rustic, or in certain weather conditions, you have to think ahead on what seasons are coming around! Plants are usually dead in the winter or in the dead of the summer! If you want snow… well.. you’d have to plan ahead to book when there will actually be snow (which is tough if you live in California)!

What clothes do you want to wear? Something warm? Something summery? Fall colors (which I love)? Weather and season can have an affect on these things! So when you’re planning your engagement session, and thinking about this all, remember the weather and the time changes! They’re things that sometimes we think of last, but can affect our schedule!

3. Do you know the photographer you are thinking about investing with?

It’s understandable that in the chaos of wedding planning, all the major details of your actual day surpass your thoughts on things like photographers, and engagement photos! I would absolutely love for every bride to want to hire me before they think about their venue, wedding dress, catering, wedding cake, etc., but for some reason those details more often than not come first. I wonder why? ;)

If photography is a priority & a desire,but something you can’t decide & fully book with just yet, I do recommend contacting the photographer you are interested in working with! If you are a potential client, the earlier you inquire about my services the better! That way, right off the bat you are aware of my availabilities for bookings for either weddings or engagements

"Why do I need a second photographer at my wedding?"

Let's see...

1. Two Photographers, Two Places: The most basic fact is that no photographer can be in two places at once (I know, I’ve tried). And there are certain moments during a wedding when you really want to be in two places at once, usually from a practical standpoint re: the timeline. For example, if the bride and groom are in separate places while getting ready, the second photographer can hang out with the groom while the main photographer is with the bridal party.

2. Two Photographers, Two Vantage Points: Two photographers allows for different angles, different lenses, and different viewpoints of the same scene. This is one of the biggest reasons I love having a second shooter. There are so many times when I want my camera pointed in two directions during a big wedding moment! For example, I often focus on the expression on the bride’s face as she walks down the aisle and have my second shooter capture the groom’s face as he sees her for the first time. I work with fixed prime lenses because I think they produce the most beautiful images, but when something is happening quickly, like the bride putting on her dress or the first kiss, this means I have to choose for either a tighter shot or a wide shot because I can’t zoom in and out, even though I obviously want both! With a second shooter, one of us can photograph that lovely tight shot as the dress is zipped up, while the other can be positioned to capture a wide shot focusing on the bride’s, family members and bridal party’s expressions. You’ve hired your lead photographer because you trust in their artistic vision and wedding experience, but having a second photographer just brings another perspective and another creative eye to best tell the story of your wedding day.

3. Cocktail Hour, Candids and Details: The hour after the ceremony is usually the time having a second photographer is key. Some portion of this time is usually when couple portraits are done, and the lead photographer can’t be at the cocktail hour also capturing fun party candids. Your closest friends are all dressed up and celebrating your wedding, it’s definitely worth having someone there to photograph that! Besides the cocktail hour, the lead photographer has so many shots they need to get, that it can be difficult to also grab a ton of candid shots and details throughout the day, whereas the second photographer can focus on these almost exclusively. So having a second photographer is particularly important for couples who have invested a lot of time, thought and love into all the details of their wedding day and couples who appreciate a candid, documentary approach to photography.

4. A Happy, Calm, Hydrated Lead Photographer: Yup, here’s my selfish reason! Having a second shooter makes the lead photographer (me!) feel more calm throughout the day. It’s like having someone on your team, someone supporting you and helping you to do your absolute best work. I know there are some photographers out there who maybe prefer working alone, and I can definitely shoot a wedding on my own if a couple decides not to add a second photographer, but having someone who will run to the cocktail hour to grab grandmother for family photos, who will carry my bag if I need to quickly move somewhere else for a shot, who I can trust to complement my work with lots of beautiful candid and detail shots makes me happier and calmer throughout the day! And usually my second shooters remind me to drink water, which also turns out to be pretty useful.

5. Double the Photographers, Double the Coverage: You just get more photography coverage on your wedding day. Which is awesome! Period. End of story.


I hope that was helpful for anyone considering wedding packages with and without second photographers. And feel free to post any questions or thoughts about second shooters in the comment section below!

text source http://www.sorella-muse.com/top-five-reasons-to-have-a-second-shooter-at-your-wedding-wedding-wednesday-p-s-thanks-alyssa/

Pam and Jerry Wedding Day

This was a beautiful wedding of two wonderful people - Pam and Jerry.  They arrived to celebrate their special day from Reno. There were only family and closest friends at the ceremony. Pam and Jerry have 5 kids all together and this was such a great day for this beautiful big family. The most touching moment was presenting kids with the family bracelets. Such a fun group – I could really feel the love. : ) They had their ceremony at a stunning private residence with a romantic pond and  cozy veranda  with the Spanish Allambra inspired linear fountain pool for their reception. It started raining towards the end of ceremony  but no one let it faze them. :) 

Thanks so much to the always superb Elena Foster for her second shooting/assisting skills!

    Angie Kelly, the wedding officiant, created and performed a very personalized ceremony. It was touching and elegant,  reflecting Pam's and Jerry's individuality.

  Angie Kelly, the wedding officiant, created and performed a very personalized ceremony. It was touching and elegant,  reflecting Pam's and Jerry's individuality.

 How hreat it is to have fun at your paren'ts wedding!?! :))

How hreat it is to have fun at your paren'ts wedding!?! :))