Morgan and Lauren’s engagement session took place in Durham, North Carolina at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens. We eventually made our way over to Duke University where we caught the most magical sunset lighting. It was the perfect back drop for the cutest couple! I can not wait for their October Wedding this year in Raleigh, North Carolina!
Congratulations! You're ENGAGED! You've probably hired a wedding photographer and scheduled a date for your Engagement photos. And then you probably went on Pinterest searching " Engagement Photo Outfit Ideas " Well I'm here to make this easy for you!
What better person to ask, than a photographer who sees things from behind the lens. Through out the years, I have learned all of the tips and tricks to choosing the perfect outfit to nail your session! So here are my favorite 7 Tips to choosing the perfect outfit!
1.) CHOOSE LIGHT COLORS
Light colored clothing always photographs better than darker clothing! That doesn't mean you can't wear black or dark colors to your session. I'm just saying lighter colors reflect more light onto your skin and photographs nicely! So consider neutral tones, pastel colors or cool hues. And you can always add a pop of color with your accessories! ( You can't go wrong with a flowy white or cream colored dress! )
2.) SOLID COLORS
Solid neutrals photographs better than prints. Prints, patterns and graphics can be somewhat distracting in photos. But it doesn't mean ALL patterns are bad. Just remember, the larger the pattern, the better. Take plaid for example. The smaller checkered print plaid appears much busier in photos than large print plaid. Same rule applies when it comes to florals and stripes. The larger the floral print, the better! So if one of you decides to wear a print, I would recommend the other to wear a solid neutral to balance each other out!
3.) COORDINATING vs MATCHING
Wear colors that complement each other instead of the "matchy matchy" look. Avoid both wearing the same color top to bottom. For example : Both wearing denim bottoms with a white colored top. Mix it up!
There are many different ways to add some personality into your Engagement photos. Have fun with some accessories! It can be anything from a hat, a statement jewelry piece, or a bold lipstick color. Layers and textures are your friends! Layering different pieces and mixing in textures are always a great way to accessorize your outfit!
5.) TREAT YOURSELF!
Always wanted to get your hair and makeup professionally done? Here's your moment! I can't think of a better time to feel extra special and dolled up than taking pictures with your fiancé! Ever try fake eyelashes? Go for it! It makes all the difference in those pretty close up photos! Even consider getting a manicure to show off that new ring bling! And if you really want to stand out, "borrow" a jaw dropping dress from an online rental website like Rent The Runway or Le Tote !
Want to add a little something to you session!? Let's treat your session like a Styled Shoot! A styled shoot is where we incorporate a few more vendors, props and creatives into the mix. It adds a little more flare to just the basic photoshoot. Examples can include : Adding a mini bouquet ( this one is my favorite! I have a lot of florist friends that I would love to recommend ) , adding an invitation suite or your save the date card, a ring box and ribbon for some pretty ring shots, a cozy picnic display with your favorite wine and cheese platter, incorporating a bicycle/car/motorcycle into your photos, a basket full of wildflowers, etc. The list can go on. But if you're interested, let's make it extra unique and special!
7.) BE YOU!
This is the most important tip! Be true to yourself and make this a fun experience! Wear something that makes you feel beautiful and comfortable! If you know you look and feel great in a certain color, wear that color! If wearing heels makes your feel more confident, rock them! Just be true to you!
Okay...So now you know the tips to picking the perfect outfits. And you might be thinking..." Well hopefully I don't look awkward behind that camera!" Don't you worry about a thing! I got you boo! Yes, I will tell you what to do with your hands. Yes, I will adjust your arms or legs into a more flattering pose. Yes, I will make your fiancé feel comfortable even if he dislikes taking photos. Yes, I will pose you in a way that feels natural and not too "posy" or staged. Yes, I will make you both look GOOOD!
Have any other questions? What's my favorite online dress shops!? When can I schedule my Engagement Session with you? Just shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
This wedding was extra special for me because Joshua and Ashley are great friends of my husband and I. We have watched them form into a powerhouse couple, walked with them through their relationship, and got to be on the front row as God has been shaping them into the couple they are today. We are so proud of them and glad we get to call them family!
It was also the second time that my husband did the ceremony while I was the wedding photographer! Josh and Ashley got married on a gorgeous April afternoon here in Raleigh, North Carolina. Their ceremony took place at the WRAL Azalea Gardens and the reception following at the NC State University Club. Their day was so perfect and I'm always honored when friends ask me to capture their wedding day!
A few of my favorite moments from their wedding day include:
1) The happy tears and laughter shared when Josh and Ashley had their private moment praying over each other and exchanging letters. They didn't have a first look, but this moment was just as special!
2) Joshua's face as Ashley walked down the aisle. That is always one of my favorites parts of a wedding day. To see the groom's anxious, excited, semi nervous, and happy reaction. I have to keep it together myself at times!
3) Everything about their ceremony was so beautiful! Other than the fact they had a hot pastor performing the ceremony ( My husband! Lol ) , their ceremony was so moving. They had a time of worship in front of all their closest friends and family before saying " I Do " Everyone who was walking around the Gardens that afternoon stopped in their tracks and had a moment of silence. As I was photographing them both, I looked up to find everyone else in a distance watching as well. The world stopped for those couple of moments as we all worshiped.
4) The golden hour light we had for sunset pictures! I snuck Josh and Ashley out of the reception for about 10 minutes. We stepped right outside on the terrace and had the best lighting. You would of thought they were models out there because they killed their Bride & Groom portrait shots!
David and Meri Scott's wedding took place downtown Raleigh at The Merrimon-Wynne house. This beautiful venue is located right in the heart of historic downtown Raleigh. It's hard to miss when driving by. The house was built in the eighteen hundreds and is super charming and elegant on the inside. Each room is so unique and beautiful in its own way!
I loved getting to know and work with David and Meri Scott. And I especially loved seeing their personalities come out when surrounded by their family and friends. Even though the weather was a little hot, they didn't let it get in the way from having a fabulous evening. And a huge shout out to the amazing creative team who made this day possible. It was Floral Lawn Party Magic!
A few things that I absolutely loved about their special day:
1) How sweet Meri Scott and her bridesmaids were. The day ran so smoothly and we were ahead of schedule. The girls were so easy-going and fun to be around!
2) The flower arrangements! Anna from Meristem Floral is so talented. You can't go wrong with white flowers and greenery. And I have never seen a ceiling look more gorgeous with the floral chandelier that hung in the Carriage House for their ceremony.
3) Meri Scott's non traditional wedding dress from Gilded. Which happens to be my favorite bridal shop in the Raleigh area! The Merrimon-Wynne house was the perfect backdrop to show off that gorgeous dress!
4) Watching David open up his wedding day gift. Meri Scott bought him a pair of glasses that enhances color for anyone with color blindness!
5) And lastly...I now know why Meri Scott wanted to wear sparkly slip on shoes for her wedding day. So she can DANCE! That was probably the highlight of my night. Her and her girls danced like no one was watching! Especially when their special requested song from the movie, Space Jam came on. THE BEST! Joe Bunn from Bunn DJ Company killed it on the dance floor. He had everyone dancing all night!
Honestly, the whole day was just perfect. And I was honored to play a small part in it. Thank you David and Meri Scott for choosing me as your wedding photographer. And Congratulations to you both!
CREATIVE TEAM :
Where to begin! Italy will forever have a tiny piece of my heart! My Mom's family is from Italy and my Dad is from Portugal. European culture is just in my blood! I am very fortunate to have traveled to both countries when I was 16. It was such an amazing experience. But this time was different. Being older and married, I now have more of an appreciation for the places we visited!
We visited Italy in September of 2017, which in my opinion was the perfect time. The weather was just right and it wasn't as busy as July and August would of been. We broke our trip down by two different cities : Florence (Firenze) and the Amalfi Coast.
First stop was Florence! We flew into Rome and took a train straight into the city. Our Airbnb was right in the heart of the city! Click the link if you want to see which one we stayed at! : https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/8108550 . We were able to walk from the train station to our loft apartment. Just a 5 minute walk to the Piazza Del Duomo and Ponte Vecchio. Since I'm more of a city girl, Florence was one of my favorites! Our days consisted of walking, exploring, more walking and gelato! Every morning we stepped outside and walked across the street to the cutest cafe. We had our fresh fruit, hot espresso and prosciutto sandwiches.
All the shopping you can imagine was nestled into these tiny streets of Florence. Florence also had some of the best restaurants I've ever been too! L'Osteria Di Giovanni served these mini fried dough balls before dinner. I think we ate there twice for that reason. Ha! And one of our favorite restaurants was Trattoria 13 Gobbi. They are known for their famous cheesy rigatoni dish. It's also where I had the best pasta fagioli of my life! If you don't know what that is...you're missing out! I would love to go back there some day!
Some of our favorite memories of Florence was walking around at night. Most tourists leave for the day and the crowds die down. At night, the city comes alive. People are out on the streets eating gelato and listening to live music being played in the square.
One of the day trips we did in Florence was to Venice. We were able to take a train straight in Venice. It was super convenient. Everyone had told us mixed reviews about visiting Venice. How it was really dirty and super crowded. I am so glad we didn't listen to them and went anyways. It was probably one of the coolest places I have ever seen! You walk out from that train station to see a city built on WATER! No cars, just water canals. I mean, how amazing is that!? Every alley we took, turned into a hidden gem we discovered. I wish we had the chance to stay over night to see everything, but our one day was still worth it.
We knew we wanted to see the Piazza San Marco where the St. Marks Basilica was. To get there, we followed these tiny wooden signs that were nailed above each alley way. There was either an arrow that pointed left, straight or right. Turn after turn, alley after alley...and all of a sudden...you're there! The square is HUGE and so open! We just stood in awe for a few minutes to soak it all in. I can go on and on about the beauty of Venice, but it is something you will just have to visit in person. There is nothing like it!
Next stop was down to the Amalfi coast. We took a train from Florence into Sorrento. Then we had a driver bring us to the house. If you want to see where we stayed, click HERE! : https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/4821310?location=Fuore%20amalfi%20coast&s=gQcBzrOd . The first picture below is Vic standing on the patio from the house. That was our view for the next four days! We stayed in the TINY town of Fuore. It was nestled in between Amalfi and Positano.
When I say this town was tiny, I mean it was tiny! It was a totally different feel from leaving Florence. This was our relaxing part of the trip. To get to the closest restaurant or market, we had to walk a good 20 minutes up the side of a cliff! To give you a perspective of what small town life was like, let me tell you about Antonio. Antonio was this tiny old Italian man who ran a convenience store in Fuore. Now it was the ONLY convenience store in the town. It had your typical snacks, cigarettes, magazines, etc. We had just made our 20 minute walk to it hoping to find some food, but it only had small snacks. So we asked Antonio where we can get a small bite to eat around here. He said, " Hold on. What are you looking for?" He walks across the street to the grocery store, picks up a few ingredients, heads back, and makes all of us some fresh prosciutto, mozzarella and tomato sandwiches! He was also the same man who offered to drive us AND pick us up in his van to the local beach! He did everything! I swear, you would never find or trust anything like that in the United States. We will never forget our kind and generous friend, Antonio!
One of my favorite things we did was a tour of the coast. We visited the towns of Minori, Ravello, Amalfi, and Positano. Everyone raves about Amalfi and Positano, but Minori and Ravello were my absolute favorites! Visiting Sal de Riso pastry shop in Minori was like visiting an art museum for food. It is one of the most famous pastry shops in the world! When you walk in, you know why.
The Amalfi Coast was filled with beautiful scenery, art, pottery, boutiques and a small town feel. During our tour, we had a private boat that picked us up from Amalfi and brought us to a tiny town named Conca dei Marini. Never in my life have I ate lunch with a view that beautiful! We definitely preferred the smaller towns than the major tourist attractions.
Last stop of our vacation : Rome! I'm not going to lie, Rome was my least favorite. After spending the last 4 days by the coast, Rome felt like the European version of Time Square in New York. It was so beautiful, just VERY crowded! We went to the Spanish Steps, the Fountain of Trevi and the Colosseum.
Our hotel was located near the Metro, so it was very easy to make our way around the city. We only stayed in Rome for two nights so we had to cram a lot of things in a short amount of time. We ate at some fantastic restaurants, visited some of my cousins that I hadn't seen since 2006, and even managed to squeeze in a mini photoshoot! Of course the photographer in me wouldn't let my husband get off the hook that easily when in Italy. And the best part...my DAD took the photos for us! I showed him where to stand, fixed the settings myself, and told him what to do. And he did pretty good!
And there you have it! Our entire trip crammed into one small Blog Post! I miss it already! I even told Vic I can picture ourselves living there for a year! And I'm already dreaming of the next time we can go back. If you are planning a trip to Italy and need some recommendations, I'm your girl! I would love to grab coffee and talk about one of my favorite countries :) Hope you enjoyed!