Engagement sessions are one of my favorite times with my couples before their wedding day. The time alone with just the three of us allows for conversation, getting to know one another, and just being silly. My sessions are a little longer than the average photographer, as I enjoy spending about an hour and a half to two hours with my couples. It is a great way for them to take their time in warming up to the camera and feeling comfortable with posing.
One of my latest sessions with my stunning bride to be Adriana and her incredible hubby to be Doug is up on my top favs list. Adriana and Doug found me through The Knot and knew right away that they wanted me to capture their upcoming wedding in August of 2016 at the Marsh Landing Country Club in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Adriana and I clicked right from the start. We both love photography and believe in the importance of capturing the silly not so posed moments just as much as the intimate romantic ones.
The two actually met several years back, but didn’t start dating until this past year. Both Adriana and Doug were working as police officers in Charletson at the time and would occasionally see each other on calls on the street while working. It wasn’t until they “officially” met though that sparks began to fly. During a training at an old, abandoned school house for their specialized unit, Adriana was called on to participate when the teacher noticed her hiding out alone. She wasn’t feeling very social that day and even contemplated calling out (don’t we all have those days!). Doug to the rescue jumped up, grabbed his piece of paper for the activity, and sat down next to her to take the focus off of her from the entire class. As Adriana puts it, “it was the weirdest thing, but I remember looking at him (when he didn’t notice of course) while he was sitting next to me and thinking there was something about him.” After talking (and a little flirting) for a bit, Adriana invited Doug to come with her to hot yoga that night. From hot yoga on, the two were inseparable.
With my couple driving down from Jacksonville, we had planned well in advance of key shots they wanted to capture. The two trusted my judgment to find the best location that incorporated a park, a lake with a dock, and a coffee shop. Of course, I knew the city of Winter Park would be the perfect area!
Our session started off at Dinky Dock, which overlooks Lake Virginia. Typically a quiet little boat dock, I knew it would be a great way for the couple to warm up to the camera. When Adriana and Doug walked up, my jaw dropped. From how stunning the pair are, to their chemistry together, to their adorable sense of humor, they are just the perfect match. Adriana tasked me with a variety of poses she just adored. From grabbing warm sunny shots during golden hour (the hour right after sunrise and right before sunset) to silhouettes on the dock, every shot turned out beautifully.
As much as they loved the dock, our main focus for the shoot was a nearby park. After scouring the Winter Park area for over a month, I finally found the perfect place. The sweet little park we stumbled upon had one swing set and one playground. It was quiet, it was lovely, and it was perfect for an engagement away from the hustle and bustle. Pinterest is either a friend or foe… I lean more to the side of Pinterest fails when it comes to DIY crafts or cooking, but knew that I had to capture the very one shot Adriana sought after. Adriana had found the most adorable picture of a couple upside down on a swing. With a little warm up, well a lot of warm up and a lot of practice, the two helped me grab the shot. I loved the intimacy of the swing set and park. There is just an overwhelming sense of joy, youthfulness, and laughter that you feel there. After grabbing our key shot, we stayed for a little bit longer to grab more diverse looks and of course, the signature ring shots. Doug did very well picking out Adriana’s ring all by himself!
After the park, we headed on over to downtown Winter Park off Park Ave. With Winter approaching, it was only fit we grab a quick couple of shots at the local coffee shop of the two drinking hot cocoa with a ton of whip cream, okay it was actually all whip cream (big thank you to Starbucks for helping me out!) – delicious! Adriana had purchased a mug for Doug with the letter “D” that matched her favorite one at home featuring a letter “A.” The two even surprised me with my own mug with a letter “S.” I have to admit I am rather sentimental and the gesture was so incredibly thoughtful.
I can’t wait for their big day. It truly can’t come soon enough 🙂