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You’d Never Guess My Secret to Awesome Engagement Photos

awesome engagement photosRaise your hand if getting your picture taken makes you feel awkward and uncomfortable ?? And keep it raised if you feel more awkward when it comes to engagement photos! I remember when Robert and I were getting ready for our engagement pictures, I was worried about looking as dorky as I felt inside.

Now that I am on the other side of the lens, I realize all couples feel awkward in front of the camera. In fact, I find men to feel more awkward than the women. Which is why they are typically vocal about not wanting to take pictures, and a lot of times dread it.

But you know what? I have some tricks up my sleeve! In fact I have a few tricks to make you feel less awkward. So let’s dig into my secret stash of tricks!

1. Strike the Right Vibe

Are you and your fiancé more private in nature? Does the thought of having people watch you during the engagement session make you uncomfortable? If you don’t want to be taking photos in front of bystanders or pedestrians, I highly recommend avoiding grafitti walls or murals on a weekend when the lighting is perfect. Instead, let’s go somewhere a little more remote and private. But, if you don’t care, then let’s incorporate that grafitti wall into your session!

Below you can see two examples, one in a gorgeous bar and another at a private park. Both are exactly the vibe the couple wanted.amazing engagement photosamazing engagement photos (more…)

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Destination Wedding Photographer | Sarah + Russell

You know, it blows my mind that I get to say I am a destination wedding photographer! And that Sarah + Russell hired me to capture their gorgeous, intimate wedding in the Dominican Republic. It’s actually a funny story, one of my planner friends posted on Facebook that she had booked her first destination wedding and I jokingly wrote a comment under her post that I was going to sneak into her luggage. If you know me, you know I would write that on anyone’s post! So Brandi reaches out about the wedding, and faster than you can cast a Harry Potter spell, I was part of the adventure! And I didn’t need to hide in Brandi’s bag!!

To add onto this awesome, is the fact that Destination I Do has published the wedding today on their blog!! After looking at my pictures, you should head over there and check out their feature!

Sarah + Russell

Sarah and Russell have had a passion for travel, the beach and are in love with the Caribbean islands. When people say it’s a no-brainer about a decision, the location for this wedding was exactly that. Sarah and Russell got this killer deal for the location, Villa Cocomar. It is a sprawling piece of land that has a huge house with several bedrooms plus two other buildings to house more people in hotel-style. The pool was huge and the perfect temperature {I would know I swam in it lots!}, and the bar was right beside the pool. The ceremony site overlooked the beach, so all the pictures have ocean in the background. Sarah + Russell couldn’t have picked a better place for their wedding!!

My favorite thing though is that Sarah + Russell had such a relaxed, amazing time going into their wedding. I loved watching them love on each other the days going into the wedding, relaxing in the pool or taking walks on the beach. If you want to hear more about them as a couple, check out their engagement session.

Favorite Details

This is hard because I loved all the details for this wedding. But, there were some details that really stuck out to me. First off, Sarah had two dresses, and both are gorgeous. But her ceremony gown? That was a work of art! All that detail and lace was an inspiration to photograph! And her shoes? They looked like shoes a Disney Princess would wear, with those crystals at the top.

I also loved the boutonnière’s the men wore. I mean they were freaking tiny pineapples!! They looked awesome on the blue suits the men wore. The ceremony site was everything you think of when you think “destination wedding”, the chairs were tropical in nature, the flower arch framed the ocean behind them, and of course there were the palm trees. Lastly, I loved their dining table. The blue and white vases filled with flowers were such a cool touch, that tied in neatly to the linens on the table.

But my absolute favorite detail? Sarah + Russell. You can feel their love for each other every moment they are together. The loving glances, inside jokes and their emotional first dance! They are what made the day special.

Rad Vendors

Stylists & Coordinator: Laced with Grace & Dominican Wedding Planner
Hair & Makeup: Juan Pablo Taveras
Bridesmaid Dress: Lulus
Invitation Suite: Minted
Calligrapher: Hey Bernadette
Videographer: 8k studios RD

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Hair and Makeup for Your Engagement Session–Is it Worth it?

As a supporter of couples doing their own thing, I find that hair and makeup for your engagement session can be seen as a “nice to have”. And honestly? I could go either way. It really depends on what you are doing for your engagement session…but I am getting ahead of myself!

What’s Your Style?

I have had brides that love and wear makeup daily and it makes them feel comfortable in their skin. Then I have brides who are uncomfortable in makeup and are minimalistic. Both are 100% ok. I fall more into camp B, I wear eyeliner and eye shadow with lip gloss, but you throw foundation or mascara at me? Then I get uncomfortable. And don’t even get me started on contouring! But other women, that’s their jam!! If you are passionate about makeup and want to not worry about that aspect of getting ready for your engagement session, then I say do it. Get professional hair and makeup done. You will feel pampered and confident.engagement session (more…)

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Houston Branding Photographer | Sprinkle Pop

One of my favorite things as a branding photographer is to capture products small businesses have poured their heart and soul into. Sprinkle Pop is one of the most fun Houston companies I have paired with. I found her through my friend Jennifer, and it was instant love. Her sprinkles are colorful and whimsical. They inspire bakers to create amazing things! Also, she made a Canadian mix two summers ago and I might have bought more than I needed!

The Session

Liz, the brains behind Sprinkle Pop, hired me to capture her Halloween and Christmas setups. She brought in cakes, cookies, cake balls and her festive sprinkles. We did lots of setups and they showed off the fun additions Liz puts in her sprinkle mixes to make them unique. A personal favorite of mine were the snowmen and spiders. I want to have a favorite setup, but when I look at them again, it’s impossible. You can see how Sprinkle Pop inspires bakers.

After you look through these images, I would love to know which setup is your favorite!

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Where in Houston to do Your Engagement Session

Houston is a pretty big place, so finding a spot to do your engagement session can be overwhelming! I have compiled a list of my favorite spots around Houston to help everyone with this arduous task. And honestly? Don’t feel like you have to find the most exciting or best spot ever. Truth be told, I have put couples in a ditch because the area around them looked great! I kid you not! What is most important is showing off the love between the two of you!

The first thing you need to think about is your love story. Where did you meet? Get engaged? What do you love to do together? Any of these answers can help you find a spot for your engagement session. Is there a spot in Houston you have your heart set on? I encourage doing it where you will most happy.

Park

There are a ton of parks in the Houston area. Also, a lot of them are now charging fees. Centennial Gardens? Fee. Arboretum? Fee. Japanese Garden in Hermann Park? No professional photography is permitted there. Disappointing, right? But, there are other parks that are just as beautiful and are free. Eleanor Tinsley Park has the skyline of Houston behind it, and it’s on Buffalo Bayou, which is perfect. Discovery Green has a wealth of spots, and is a short walk to downtown, where you can do some urban looking pictures. Sam Houston Park, Helen’s Park, Fernland Historical Park are all awesome options! Most couples choose parks because they like the greenery in the photos, they might love a bridge or water feature as well. You can set up a picnic or sit on a bench. Plus there are usually places you can get changed in if you want to do more than one outfit.Houston engagement photographer (more…)

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Houston Family Photographer | Baby Cake Smash

There is truly not much I love more than a baby cake smash! When the mom contacted me she warned me: “he’s never had cake or icing in his life, will this still work?”. I asked her if he disliked getting messy or sticky, because that’s truly the indicator of whether a cake smash will be a success. If the baby isn’t into getting messy, the shoot will be a challenge. But, if they are cool with it, all they need is that one taste and then it turns into cake smash magic!

The Session

This session was simple but perfect. Because it was super hot outside, we decided to do it in my studio. The mom brought a white iced cake, dressed her son in rad Jimi Hendrix top. Being freshly one, he wasn’t so into his shoes, so those came off early! He also wasn’t 100% sure about the cake, but once he knew what was happening, he got in there! My favorite images of him are when he isn’t sure about what’s happening. That baby side-eye is everything!!

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What to Wear for your Engagement Session

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what-to-wear-for-your-engagement-sessionWhat to wear for any session is a hot button issue for all my clients. I was such a popular topic that last year I invested in a stylist to help me work with portrait clients. Her advice was so helpful that I have taken some of her advice and applied it to engagement session clients. So where do you start with clothing?

Tips for the Women

Have you pondered rocking a sequined gown, tulle skirt or flower crown but just never had a real reason to get that outfit? Guess what!! This is your chance to do it up! Remember: There is no such thing as “too dressed up” when it comes to your engagement session, so don’t be afraid to have some fun! If you don’t want to add a new item to your collection, a lot of my brides love Rent the Runway for their engagement photos because you don’t have to spend a lot to feel like beautiful. Plus, you can send the outfits back when the session is over. Other brides love having a great excuse to bring a new permanent item for their closet!

The Case for a Dress…or two

Long, flowy dresses and skirts look amazing on camera because they bring extra movement to the photos. Especially when captured with nature whether it’s greenery or the beach. Shorter-length dresses photograph beautifully too! Dresses and skirts tend to look most stunning on camera because they really flatter a woman’s figure, and they make you feel super confident! I recommend avoiding pants and shorts for your session, and saying yes to a dress.

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Bridal Slumber Party Featured!

I can’t believe it has almost been a year since I captured this bridal slumber party styled inspiration! I also can’t believe I have shown this much restraint in not sharing more than a few images from it as well! But the good news? I can finally show them off because they have been published over at Southern Bride!

The Treat Table

When Brandi from Laced with Grace reached out about this I wasn’t prepared for the amount of color and fun that I saw when I arrived! I mean, I knew it was going to be bright and feminine, but guys! This was next level!! There were bright purple mini donuts, pink diamond cookies, purple drinks, pink and purple lollipops and cake pops. Intermingled with the treats were flowers, nail polish and confetti. It was the brightest, most fun table display!! My favorite was the confetti/icing rimmed glass with cotton candy inside. When the champagne was poured on top. And you can tell how delicious it was!!

Confetti Pillow Fight

What is a bridal slumber party without a confetti pillow fight?  On the soft, fluffy bed decked out with white lights, paired with a bart cart filled with bright cotton candy and donut holes, a pillow fight obvious erupted! But my favorite part? The pizza. I am always the pizza gal, and I might have snuck a piece as I was capturing the scene.

I now wish I had a bedroom that would look this great for a slumber party…maybe I should move into the venue!! Ha ha, I kid…I kid…

What’s your favorite part of this shoot?

Rad Vendors

Planning & Design: Laced with Grace
Confetti Poppers & Design Collaboration: Dope Ass Confetti
Venue: Houston Event Venue
Cocktails: Palace Party Beverage Co
Hair and Makeup: BP Artistry
Florals: Monica’s Brides + Touch of Glitz Flowers
Henna: Paisley + Swirls
Decor & Rentals: Pause Event Stylists & Monrreal & Co
Bridal Boxes: Succulent Bar & Paper Tie Affair 
Cotton Candy: Twirl Cotton Candy 
Bar Cart & Styling: Toast from the Host ⠀
Balloon Garland: Glamfetti⠀⠀
Sweets: Dulcet Bake Shoppe ⠀
Invitation Suite: The Sensible Type ⠀
Videography: Sow Aerial

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