Engagement & Proposal

JaLisa + Mark

It was a perfect morning as JaLisa, Mark and I walked around taking in nature and snapping photos here and there. When I met with them to talk about their engagement session they tossed around a few locations. I think they were settled on a local park until I asked them what it was they wanted to showcase. JaLisa really loved the idea of showcasing the state of Florida for her family back in Ohio.

Florida has so many options when it comes to locations. We’re the sunshine state so of course you could go for the beach session. We also have some metropolitan cities like Tampa, Orlando, Miami, and Jacksonville that offer a fun downtown feel. But we also have swamplands, open fields, and over 100 springs that discharge millions of gallons of water a day. It really is a great state for a photographer with so many different options (just wish we had those beautiful fall colors…and maybe some mountains!)

As we continued to talk I learned that JaLisa and Mark were an outdoorsy couple and loved spending time in nature and swimming in the springs. That’s when we all knew that Wekiva State Park would be the perfect location for their engagement session!

We nearly had the whole park to ourselves that morning and the bright sun hitting the gorgeous trees brought a peace that I can still feel when I look at their gallery. We couldn’t have had more fun that morning and I can’t wait to celebrate their wedding day!

Enjoy a sweet preview from that peaceful day.

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Engagement & Proposal

Nori + Jose

The sun was beginning to come up and my assistant and I jumped in the car and hit I4 West. We had about a 2 hr drive to catch up on life, marriage, parenting, etc. It was a gorgeous day and as we got closer to Sarasota we both got giddy over how perfect the lighting was. We pulled up and scouted out the new location as we waited for our clients to arrive.

I’ll share a little secret with you, I’m always super nervous to meet clients for the first time! What if we don’t click? What if she’s bridezilla? What if he hates pictures? What if they get bad vibes from me? What if they want to change their mind?!

I had emailed back and forth with Nori for months and we had one phone conversation before their engagement session in the beautiful Sarasota. I could tell she was very sweet over the phone, but you always wonder what it will be like in person. And of course, Nori and Jose exceeding my expectations and hopes! Immediately it was like old friends meeting to catch up and the four of us had a wonderful time walking around different parts of Sarasota capturing this sweet season of their life.

This season is especially exciting for Nori and Jose, as it’s been eight years in the making. That’s right, EIGHT years these two have been together! They’ve been working so hard on earning their degrees, growing their careers, and surviving long distance. They’re finally tying the knot this year and I could not be happier to capture it all!

Congratulations Nori and Jose! I’m thrilled to be alongside you in this season of life!

xoxo

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Engagement & Proposal

Whitney + Chris

Never in my life have I laughed more at an engagement session! All of my couples are so much fun in their own way, but Chris brought a whole new level to this session. When I first met Whitney I immediately took note of how kind, soft spoken, and sweet she is! We chatted wedding details over coffee at an outside table in the beautiful Winter Park. She told me all about Chris and how they’ve known each other since middle school. One little fact that she just happened to leave out, was how stinkin’ funny Chris is! Like really, really funny! Chris is such a ham and rarely did he take me serious in my posing suggestions, which in return made the pictures that much better in my opinion!

But you know what put a bigger smile on my face other than Chris’ jokes and silly antics? The way Whitney always laughed at him! He always got that genuine laugh and smile out of her and her love for his humor and personality was so evident the entire evening. She doesn’t roll her eyes or act embarrassed, she just laughs. I’ve heard it said, “A day without laughter is a day wasted.” Well Whitney, I think it’s safe to say you’ll never have a day wasted!

Enjoy a preview of their engagement session. You’ll see some sillier than usual images but there’s no way I’m keeping these all to myself! Just try to look at them without smiling (you can’t!). 2018-02-18_00422018-02-18_00452018-02-18_00362018-02-18_00432018-02-18_00472018-02-18_00382018-02-18_00412018-02-18_00462018-02-18_00332018-02-18_00372018-02-18_00302018-02-18_00392018-02-18_00442018-02-18_00382018-02-18_00012018-02-18_00022018-02-18_00502018-02-18_00402018-02-18_00562018-02-18_00322018-02-18_00602018-02-18_00312018-02-18_00622018-02-18_00342018-02-18_00612018-02-18_00032018-02-18_00632018-02-18_00042018-02-18_00072018-02-18_00112018-02-18_00542018-02-18_00142018-02-18_00552018-02-18_00132018-02-18_00662018-02-18_00052018-02-18_00652018-02-18_00082018-02-18_00642018-02-18_00532018-02-18_00522018-02-18_00272018-02-18_00592018-02-18_00182018-02-18_00582018-02-18_00262018-02-18_00572018-02-18_00222018-02-18_00292018-02-18_00172018-02-18_00202018-02-18_00232018-02-18_00252018-02-18_00242018-02-18_00162018-02-18_00192018-02-18_00152018-02-18_00262018-02-18_0021

Engagement & Proposal

Crystal + Matthew

You guys have to meet Crystal and Matthew! This fun loving couple is from the beautiful state of New York. Life opened doors for both of them to come down to Florida and boy am I glad it did. Not only have I met new beautiful clients, but new friends! They are both so much fun to be around, kind, hilarious, and so loving towards each other!

It was a beautiful morning that allowed us the time to capture their love and excitement! Matthew proposed on their five year dating anniversary and I can’t wait to celebrate their new wedding anniversary at the stunning Cypress Grove Estates!

Crystal and Matthew, thank you so much for letting me come alongside your relationship and capture this beautiful season! I can’t wait to meet all your family and party with you guys… because I know with you two, it’s going to be a party!!

Congratulations!

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Engagement & Proposal

Before You Pop the Question!

Hey fellas! I typically write with brides in mind, but today this one is for you! Or maybe it’s for your girl who just sent this to you or tagged you, but nonetheless, I’m here to help you out today!

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and we all know as cliche as it may be, some of you will pop the question. She wont care what day of the year it is in that moment, so go for it. To help you out I’ve put together a few things to take care of before you ask for your lady’s hand in marriage. There’s so much to be done to prepare (I know, you’re thinking you bought the ring and you’re good – um, no) and this perspective is written from a wedding photographer and a former bride herself! So read this post carefully and check off your list so that you’re as prepared as possible and your moment is as magical as she deserves for it to be!

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  1. Premarital Counseling – Yeah I just threw that out there and we’re starting with the big dogs! I know, I know, I thought it was a little strange too when my then boyfriend now husband suggested it before we got engaged. I always assumed you got engaged first then did premarital. His words to me made perfect sense and honestly made me appreciate him even more for protecting me. He explained, “Why would I ask you to be my wife, just to go through premarital, us see red flags, and then call off an engagement to our friends and family?” It’s SO true! Calling off an engagement is hard! We’ve walked friends through it and it can get intense and messy. It’s public and potentially hurtful to family members who have already invested into the wedding. The couple feels the burden of deposits and plane tickets being bought, when really their only concern should be their marriage, not an event. So do yourself some good and join a premarital group, sit down a few times with a pastor and his wife, or grab coffee with a role model couple and hash out that hard stuff! Get real, be honest, and invest more into your marriage from the start than you do your wedding!
  2. Talk It Over with Friends and Family – Your closest friends and family members know you and your future fiance best. They may be able to offer input into what would be special to your girl, or have an idea that you haven’t thought of yet. It’s hard to think straight when you’re so stinkin’ excited and emotionally involved! Include your friends and family members to help you out and offer good insight. This would also be a good time to make the traditional gesture of asking her dad for permission. 0P6A9706
  3. Plan the Details – You have to plan these things! Some of the best executed engagements I’ve shot have been thoroughly planned out! One time I was even given a spreadsheet! There are so many moving parts to a proposal that you need to plan as much as you can, but accept that things may go wrong. My husband hired a carriage ride for our engagement that didn’t show. As a photographer now, I think it’s absolutely unacceptable, but then I didn’t care. He was disappointed but the fact that I was beaming allowed him to let it go and enjoy the night. You wont be able to control everything, but here are some things you can:
    1. Make sure she has her nails done. Even if it’s a sister date the week before, make sure they look good. She’s going to want to show off her ring as soon as possible, don’t let her fingernails slow her down!
    2. Where: plan exactly where you’ll get down on one knee. Maybe it’s where you had your first date, or a romantic location. Wherever it is go there at the time of day you plan to propose and walk thru and check it out. Make sure it’s exactly what you’re imagining. Bridges and bodies of water are beautiful, but haven’t we seen enough YouTube videos of the ring going in for a swim?! Keep your surroundings in mind!
    3. The ring: I feel like I shouldn’t have to say this, but you never know! You have two types of brides, the one who wants one particular ring and will send you the link, and the one who wants you to surprise her (although we know she has one in mind!). It’s risky and scary, but this is why talking it over with friends and family can be helpful. I was the “surprise me” girl but my roommate knew what style I liked and what size my finger was. When my husband talked things over with her, she was able to lead him in the right direction! It was so perfect that I never even had to get my ring sized!
    4. The photographer: Here’s where I come in! Plan for a photographer to be there hiding in the bushes capturing it all! Your fiance is going to be completely surprised and her head will be spinning! She’s going to be so excited and everything will happen so fast! There’s nothing better than laying in your bed the next night staring at your ring and flipping through pictures from the day! The photographer can benefit you too. He or she can help you in planning the location and the time of day according to romantic lighting! We just see the sun different that the rest of you, so you can trust us with that detail!6G4A0253
  4. Plan the Alibi – Regardless if you plan a whole scavenger hunt, or get down on one knee during a casual date, you’ll need an alibi leading up to that moment. Again, this is where friends and family can come in and can be extremely helpful. I’ve been part of engagements where you have to “swing by someone’s house real quick”, or I’ve had to take them out to dinner while everyone else was setting up the scene and waiting! Rather you need distracting for a full day or a couple hours, think about your alibi thoroughly and make sure everyone’s on the same page and communicating the same thing to your girl. The last thing you want is her finding out what’s happening from someone else!
  5. Plan the After Party: This will look different for everyone. Some of you will have a few dozen friends and family members hiding behind a door waiting to pop out, while others will continue the night just together. Neither is the right or wrong way, just plan for the night not to end right away. This is going to be the most exciting night for both of you, regardless of who you decide to share it with, you’re not going to want it to end. You may plan a huge party or a dinner for two. It doesn’t matter what you decide to do, just make sure it’s what will make your newly fiance feel thought of and special! Proposal-51

Well there you go guys. I’m convinced if you follow this guide you’ll be set up for success when you get down on one knee! This is a huge moment for both of you and it deserves planning and preparation. And as always, I’d love to be there to capture it all, so feel free to slide into my inbox and let’s get this proposal planned!

xoxo

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