Eeeek! I’m just going to start this post with an apology for the blatant abuse of exclamation mark usage to come. Actually, who are we kidding? Is anything really new there? 😛 We finally received our engagement photos last night! I am absolutely giddy over them and dying to share them with you all! I also wanted to share some insights into the planning that went into the shoot. It was truly a collaborative effort and well worth it in my opinion! As with most plans, we hit our fair share of snags, but everyone was able to roll with the punches and it all came together beautifully!
finding a photographer
To quickly recap, let me bring you up to speed on our serendipitous first meeting with our photographer, Rachel Stelter. Completely by happenstance, I stumbled upon an engagement photos giveaway she was hosting (over on good ol’ Instagram, no less!) and entered Jordan and myself on a whim. Fast forward one week later and not only did we win the giveaway, but it turned out she and her husband Karl (who makes stunning wedding films and is an all around awesome guy, by the way) lived about a block away from us at the time! We got together and talked all things wedding, wine, engagement, and even a little photography 😉 over some drinks. Needless to say, we quickly realized how lucky we were to have found them.
selecting a location
When it came down to the details of our engagement photos, I went in knowing I wanted some with us dressed in formal attire and some more on the casual side. I also knew that I liked a specific vibe, but struggled to articulate it or imagine it coming to life in a particular setting. It seemed, all the images I pinned on Pinterest were bright, romantic, and airy without looking too artificial or heavily filtered, which was something I knew Rachel already had down pat. 🙂 The struggle was that I was equally drawn to photos in a classic, more sophisticated setting, as I was to those in a natural, botanical setting. While walking on campus one day, it hit me that UCLA seemed to marry the two seamlessly, and would be a perfect setting to take our engagement photos! Not to mention, we are both alumni, as is Jordan’s mom, so Bruin pride runs deep in our household!
I also toyed with the idea of shooting on the beach or in a botanical garden (except we already have that covered with the wedding venue :P) because they both make for magical photos with perfect lighting!! Whatever you choose, everything really starts to fall into place once you have some direction!
choosing what to wear
The next hurdle was deciding what the heck we were going to wear. I was surprised by how much I struggled to select a dress, especially since I almost immediately knew what Jordan should wear! He has a great fitting navy Hugo Boss suit that I love with brown shoes and belt, and could already picture him with a crisp white shirt for the photos!
After scrolling through pages and pages of flowy maxi dresses on Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, and ASOS’s websites, I found and ordered what I thought was the perfect dress on ASOS.com…then it was stolen from my doorstep (so rude!!!) and THEN sold out before I could order another one! After all that time and preparation, between finals and my work schedule, I couldn’t get to the mall to find a dress until the day before the shoot. Luckily, I found this one at Nordstrom (it’s only available at Saks Off Fifth now, but on super sale!!) I was also torn between this crop top paired with this skirt, and this dress! I linked some other gorgeous options down below that I love and totally would have tried if time hadn’t been such a sudden issue for me.
poses & what to bring
With the location and attire set, we loaded our pup, Mika (obviously we had to include her!!) and a bunch of cute props into the Jeep and we were off! I’ll go into more detail on all the fun items we brought along in part two! My next engagement photos post will feature the rest of the images of the two casual looks we shot, as well as my posing tips and other tricks to ensure your engagement photos come out looking natural and comfortable (even when you aren’t). Stay tuned!
Overall, we are so happy with the way the pictures turned out and are so excited to share them all with you. I have to extend another huge thank you to Rachel and Karl for being so flexible, fun, and professional throughout this entire process. Check out Rachel and Karl on Instagram (you may even see a couple familiar faces on there ;))
Thanks for stopping by! I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!