It’s absolutely, without a doubt engagement shoot season. Michigan is slowly but sure coming back to life and summer is welcomed with open arms. I met Brad & Chelsea last week for their Ann Arbor Engagement shoot and it was the most perfect night. I feel like I say that all too often, but when Mother Nature gets it right, she sure gets it right.
But I want to make more than small talk about the weather for today’s post. I want to dress the most common question and concern that I hear from clients. The conversation usually goes something like this …
“Mishelle, we’re so excited for you to be our photographer! But we want you to know we’re super awkward in pictures. We have no idea what to do. Where should we go? And oh, what do we wear?!”
Almost every single time. And that’s ok, because you know what? You don’t need to know where to go. I’m always open to your suggestions and shooting in a place where you’r comfortable and free to be yourselves. I have my favorite spots and of course even some hidden gems if you’re feeling adventurous. I’ve got you covered. It’s ok that you’re awkward (or at least you think you are) because you’re not models for a living and some of you haven’t been in front of a fancy camera since your senior photos which were most likely very awkward. Unless of course you had a cool senior photographer like me. Ok, but in all seriousness it’s totally fine if you’re not confident in front of the camera. I don’t in any way expect you to be from the start. But how I approach your engagement session is laid back, and more about the two of you and getting to know each other than it is a big, crazy photoshoot. So take a deep breath and know that. I’ve got you. It’s just a fun little date with the two of you, and a girl with a camera. That’s all. Haha, I kid. I know its not that easy to think that way. But honestly, I always strive to help you feel as comfortable and natural when we’re together and try not to think too much about me or the camera. It’s all about the two of you.
Much a like a wedding day, I’m there to tell a story. Period. That is it. It’s not my photoshoot. It’s not a production to me. I don’t ask you to do crazy things, I shoot creatively and spontaneously. It’s simply the story of two people who fell in love and the story of this incredible journey on together. That’s it. I’m there to document that journey for you so that in 20, 30, 50 years you can look through your images and remember exactly what that love felt like. Sure, we will always relish in the details and nature those two, but your marriage is ultimately the purpose and intention behind every image I make on your wedding day. It’s that simple.
So back to the engagement shoot, I can be as hands on or hands off as you’d like to help you work through what to wear, where to go and what to do. Some of my clients have a certain vision and we together are a creative collaboration. Some clients need a little more direction. That’s ok, too. Regardless of which category you fall under all of my clients receive tips and guides to help choose what to wear and how to prepare. Trust me, it’s important to me as well that we get beautiful photos and it’s a stress fee time together. That always makes the very best images.
Brad and Chelsea felt exactly like this before their shoot. Can you believe it? They were nervous, had mentioned that they were a little awkward and weren’t sure where to shoot. (Of course I thought they were crazy the minute I saw them both in Kerrytown.) Because they’re adorable and had such a great connection! They ultimately left the location up to me, and used a little guidance to plan for what to wear. Before we even took a single photo, I reminded them to take a deep breath and just be themselves. And they had an amazing shoot! I loved getting to know more about the story of how they met up at Michigan State University and how they came to this point in their lives. Its beautiful story! They are getting married this summer and it’s going to be an incredible day. Here’s a look at Brad & Chelsea’s Ann Arbor Engagement Shoot.