Now that you have answered the “BIG” question, how do you decide the best way to document such a momentous occasion? The answer is simple. You need to have an engagement session. However, as all couples know, the steps after making that decision are far from simple. Where should the photos take place? What should they wear? Do they bring their furry family? And most importantly, who can they trust to capture this exciting time in their life?
An engagement session is a photo session to document the start the lifelong journey of a couple. It’s also a wonderful chance to get comfortable in front of the camera before the big day! While deciding on the details of your engagement session may not be simple, they should not be hard either. Hiring a professional is the best way to take away any stress and ensure timeless images are captured and will be cherished forever. Also, doing a make-up trial on the day of the shoot ensures your look will shine though in photos.
Most companies include complimentary engagement sessions with their packages. For this reason, it is important to spend a little bit of time researching and choosing the perfect pro. For the bride and groom’s that do, it is time well spent.
When a couple is considering what location to choose for their engagement images, they should think about what style reflects their personality and the theme of their wedding. Are they beach people, love a more city or urban vibe, or do they love nature? The spot they choose should reflect them and their story and also give some variety to the photos they will get on their wedding day. While they shouldn’t pick the same exact location where they will pledge their vows, they can find a place that will have a similar feel and theme.
Colors can be scary for many people. Choosing clothes that reflect personality and style while coordinating in color can be tricky and that is why so many couples today look to pinterest for inspiration. Also, when ordering outfits online it’s important to checkout well before the session takes place. Clothes should be tried on, danced in, jumped around and handled. If they are not comfortable and are not flattering they are not a good fit for such a special day.
Furry family members make a wonderful addition to any shoot. Bringing a third person to dog-sit is also a fabulous idea. Trying to take photos while chasing puppies for an hour may be eventful but not make for ideal images.
Although getting in front of the camera can be scary for most people, photographers should make the experience fun! It’s a chance to connect with your partner and most of all capture the emotion and love that you both share! Enjoy every moment and happy planning!
Tucked away just south of Tampa, and near the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, lies the Tampa Bay Watch. This venue is one of our team’s favorite spots for coastal ceremonies! Most couples are looking for a space that offers a combination of a natural beautiful scenery and privacy. A beach wedding at Tampa Bay Watch will offer those exact perks! With the beach being further south of Clearwater, this area gets less traffic than the main beaches up North. The lack of buildings keeps the greenery and dunes intact, making lovely backdrops for photography. Some unique characteristics of this waterfront location are the mangroves and rocky beaches. This really is one of the more picturesque venues we visit.
This area also offers a great option for receptions. We recently photographed Hilary and Patrick, and they fell in love with this location for their special day. Wanting a St. Pete Coastal Wedding, they loved the charm of this amazing venue. The sunset for their wedding was beautiful and the lighting added a soft touch to such a spectacular location.
Planner: Winsor Event Studio
Ceremony: Tampa Bay Watch
Make-up: Lindsay Yarbrough
Caterer: Catering By The Family
Music: Grant Hemond
Florist: Brun’s Flowers
Officiant: Vanessa Struck
If you’ve never heard of a stylized shoot before, allow us to show and explain. We have created some magical friendships with vendors in the wedding industry over the years. With these friends we’ve often banded together to put on a “stylized shoot” or “mock event”. We come together with a coordinator, makeup artists, cake baker, florist etc, with one vision. It’s our time to shine and show off our stills and have fun with it! For this stylized shoot we centered the vision around this couple! Amy and Brent and their love was our driving inspiration. Amy has been with us at Life Long Studios as a photographer and album designer for over 8 years. She has helped make Life Long Studios what it is today. She is always in the constant pursuit of beauty and brings an incredible sense of excellence to everything she does!
Amy brought with her own gem collection for accent pieces on the tables. The gorgeous textures of the gems against the soft flower petals was so perfect showing a glamorous elegance…just like Amy! We had such a fun time posing her and her husband together with their amazing dog Burly! Their playful love is so inspiring!
Coordination: Blue Skies Events
Venue: Barrington Hill Farm
Florals: Iza’s Flowers
Hair and Make-up: Jessica from Michele Renee Studios
Cake: The Artistic Whisk
Attire: All Brides 2 Be
Chairs: Chaivari Chic
These two wonderful women chose the Oxford Exchange as their romantic backdrop for their wedding day! We were so excited about their love story and they way the incorporated their personalities into their amazing decor! We just had so show these off, not only on our blog but also in a collage canvas featuring the images below! We can’t wait to hang them up in our studio!
Getting ready location: Epicurean Hotel
Ceremony and Reception location: The Oxford Exchange
Caterer: The Oxford Exchange
Cake: Chocolate Pi
Florist: O’Berry’s Succulents
Officiant: Ryan Newton
Rings: Continental Diamonds
We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day! The wedding took place at the Barn at Crescent Lake. Locals around here remember it as Old McMickey’s Farm where we would go to for field trips as kids. While you may still take tours to visit sweet farm animals, this day the sweet residences of the farm let us share their beautiful spot on the lake! The bride got ready at the cute little cabin on the grounds. We did a romantic first look then had free range all to ourselves around the farm. We just love all the beautiful old oak and pine trees and the cute little boat house! The ceremony over looked the lake followed by a the couples reception celebration in the barn!
Wedding Planner: Blue Skies Events
Getting ready location: The Barn at Crescent Lake
Makeup artists company & stylist’s name: Michelle Renee the Studio – Jessica
Hair stylist company & stylist’s name: Michelle Renee the Studio – Jessica
Caterer: 4 Rivers
Cake: 4 Rivers Sweet Shop
Music: Adam Gilley DJ
Florist: 2 birds events
Officiant: Michael Woods
Wedding dress shop: Athena’s
Groom’s wear shop: Jos A Banks
Rings: International Diamond Center
This romantic industrial wedding took place in Grand Rapids MI. We had the pleasure of traveling outside our Florida stomping grounds to capture this amazing couple’s special day! Their venue was an old factory building that had recently been renovated for events. It still had the charm of the old brick and factory windows. The brides soft details and accessories popped so well!
We had the amazing pleasure of shooting this incredible stylized shoot at the Postcard Inn! The event was coordinated by Blue Skies Events. The beautiful flower arrangements and decor was artfully put together by Iza’s Flowers . A Chair Affair brought in amazing rentals. The Artistic Whisk brought the perfect cake! Michele Renee Studios did the makeup for the bride and her bridesmaids, they got creative and it turned out so fun and pretty! Our guest of honor, the model cockatoo! Was brought over for his close up by his agent at Joel Slaven’s Professional Animals.
Venue: Oxford Exchange
Planner: Sarah Fairbairm
Catering: Oxford Exchange
Make-up: Michele Rene
Florals: Bay Bouquet
Band: Josh Walther and the Phase 5 Band
The trip over the bridge to the burg was the best choice for this day! We had such an amazing time exploring the beautiful Fort DeSoto. There’s no wonder this beach is consistently voted one of the best beaches in the world! We are so lucky to live and work so close to such a stunning place!