Engagement Sessions – part 2 | An Education

May Topic: Engagement Sessions – How we get our candid poses.

Last month we started talking about engagment sessions, why they’re important and how we get our couple comfortable. Let’s assume we’ve now been talking with our couple for about 10 minutes, we’ve been walking, and we’ve told them what to expect. Now we’re chatting comfortably and have found where we’d like to start the session (hopefully preplanned).

We ALWAYS start with the easiest “pose” which happens to not be a pose at all: we have our clients walk. Everyone can do this and most couples have a natural way they walk together so it’s comfortable for them to do. This eases some anxiety and usually makes our clients laugh because we have them walk, talk, and occasionally glance at each other while they walk. Generally one of us is talking and telling them to slow down or look a certain way if we’re not getting what we want.

We love showing our couples a photo that looks awesome to get them to feel good about what they look like and how they’re doing. This continues to build their confidence!

Our favorite pictures are when our couples let loose and laugh. We accomplish this in many different ways. Sometimes all it takes is us saying “look at each other” and they giggle because they think it’s funny. Other times we tell one of them to make the other laugh. We even make jokes or make fun of ourselves or the situation just to make them smile and to lighten the mood. Seriously, whatever it takes, we’ve done it. Another way we catch that cute glance or fun laugh is to shoot before, during, and after a pose. Sometimes if the couple is being serious, kissing for example, when they pull away they laugh! We make sure we keep shooting those before and afters because sometimes they’re better than the inentional shot.

Below is a great example of those in between shots. It makes it much easier since there are two of us! One of us is shooting while the other is off to the side talking to the couple, telling them what to do. Jackie is laughing at something we said and the shot looks so natural!

This cute moment below is achieved by having Nicole standing and waiting while Zac quietly came up behind her to give her a locked bear hug. It was fun and feels in motion, always a goal of ours!

Here are two examples (Gabby & Jorn plus Kim & Ivan) of why we like to shoot a kiss from before to after. The kiss itself is always romantic, but sometimes the before has so much more passion! (…and most of our couples laugh after, creating those natural laughter shots!)

Sometimes our clients do the best work! Below we told Jessica & John to just hug like they would if we weren’t there. So cute and true to their relationship! We love letting our clients take charge once they’re feeling comfortable.

Some of the best moments are accidents and we just have to be fast enough to recognize it. Below we were setting up Meghan & Luke in a new spot and they were just talking with us and getting together. It’s possible this was even a test shot for light, but we love it regardless!

Usually our best shots come towards the end of our sessions. Our couple is used to us, they know what to do, and we don’t need to give them any directions…which is awesome. The pictures look more natural, loving, and fun. Below we were just finishing our session, walking back to the car with our couple Kim & Ivan. We were walking in front of them and turned to say something when we saw this beautiful moment happening between them talking while walking and laughing in such a carefree way. We snapped as they walked and are so happy we turned at just the right moment! 

Lesson Learned: Keep your clients moving and photograph the in-between poses.

Thanks to all of our couples, shown and not, who open up to us, laugh with us, and find love & happiness in each other. We truly love being a part of it! ~Erik & Marissa

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Amy & Keelan – Wedding | The Landmark

Amy & Keelan are married! If a couple deserves happiness it’s this one. We were very excited to help capture their wedding day full of tears and joy. Amy was such a calm bride, taking care of her tiny ring-bearer’s tie and making sure all the kids in the wedding party were well-fed throughout the morning. Keelan certainly felt the weight of this important day and was overjoyed to see his bride during their first look on the rooftop of The Landmark overlooking Tacoma with a view of the mountains. Amy actually tucked tissue into her dress just in case he teared up (which, it turned out, was a good thing she did). Even though the rain halted our plans to walk to a nearby park for photos Amy & Keelan took it all in stride, just grateful to be with each other on this special day. Plus they were happy enough to run outside with an umbrella to capture a few fun shots in front of their giant sign. What a great couple, we wish you a marriage full of happiness & love. Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. Shrake!

The Details:

Venue: The Landmark (Tacoma, WA)

Florist & Cake Artist: Jennell’s Flowers and Pies

DJ: Viva Productions

We loved that Keelan had his son as his best man, absolutely adorable.

This first look was full of emotion…smiles and lots of happy tears.

Keelan read over his vows before the ceremony and it hit him, he was marrying the love of his life in just an hour.

Amy & Keelan stole this sweet kiss in the hallway after walking down the aisle…their 2nd kiss as husband & wife.

Thank you for allowing us to be part of your wedding!  ~Erik & Marissa

Leslie Froman - beautiful wedding!!!!!

Charlene Kennedy-Sewell - Amazing!

Illa Jean Olson - My Heart Is So Happy For The Both Of You.. Congratulations on your new life as Man and Wife.. Truly a Beautiful Wedding..

Leilani Olson - Wow, that was the most emotional wedding I’ve ever been to, not that I’m the mother of the groom or anything! This is the most memorable thing I think we have done as a family. (other than having the g-kids) So proud to have you , Amy, as my new daughter. And very happy for you, Key for finding the best! Love you both <3.

Tom Haney - Great pix of the both of you. Enjoy and nurture the happiness that is apparent in both of your faces. It takes work and a lot of love to make it thru. You guys have a great start!

Amy Shrake - Thanks uncle tom can’t wait for you to meet him.

Illa Jean Olson - … <3 ….

Lisa Henry - love these pictures! what a fun wedding.

Gould Jordan - Ciccarelli Photography » Seattle Wedding & Lifestyle Portrait Photography » page 37, The Power and Opinion Of People Is What Drives This Network. Help small business in your neighborhood. http://www.poweredbythepeople.com

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Instagram – Why we heart it.

Okay, so we obviously love photography…pretty much in every way. It truly is an artform and the arts are incredibly important to us! That being said, photography equipment can be outrageously expensive, which is why we love Instagram. Instagram brings photography and simple edits to everyone who has a phone with picture-taking capabilities (even Erik’s grandma’s phone can take pics although we still need to train her to use it!).

We also find that even though we’re photographers, we don’t necesarrily take our equipment with us everywhere we go! It’s heavy, we don’t want to take it places it could get lost, stolen, or damaged and sometimes it’s nice just not to have it with us every second. BUT, we are always finding moments we want to remember so we snap it with Instagram!

Plus, BONUS, we found a great company that prints your Instagrams called, wait for it…Printstagram. We haven’t ordered anything yet, but they have such cool products!

To follow us click on our links below and see what’s happening in our lives. Ps- we have separate accounts.

Erik         &        Marissa

~Erik & Marissa

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Sugar & Spice… | A Sweet Project

…and everything nice. That’s the feeling we had during our latest sweet session where we combined many ingredients we love:  kids, cookies, frosting, smiles, falling crumbs and lots of giggles.

This was also the first session where we were able to bribe kids, literally, we told them if they listened to us they could eat cookies. These kids were amazing and super funny!

It was seriously fun capturing these kids…and we don’t think they minded eating cookies either.

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Fun Day – Fremont Market | The Ciccarellis

This past weekend the rain took a brief break to give us a beautiful sunshine-filled morning. We took the opportunity to test a new lens and take our friend Hisam to the Fremont Market. If you’ve never been, you must. The people, artists, and food trucks are totally worth it, not to mention the delicious smells and unique gifts.

Our favorites: hand-sewn fingerless mittens by an artist who is also a potter (love hand-made pottery!), a Newfoundland puppy who was already over 100 lbs, tulips in all colors, the busy flea market, delicious food smells, a long wood-carved table for 10 (really need a cool house for this one), a jeweler who makes bright flower earrings, and spending time with each other and friends!

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