Krystal & Brad’s Engagement Shoot // January Vendor to Remember
I had the opportunity to interview the INCREDIBLE photographer of these gorgeous pictures. Stephanie answered some of your most pressing engagement shoot questions. Here is her advice to remember.
Hey friends! I’m Stephanie, a wedding photographer based in Columbus, Ohio for timeless brides and grooms who are crazy excited about getting married! I have always loved photography (the extent of my photography in the beginning was taking a million photos of my adorable dog), but I didn’t start my business until my senior year of high school. I began assisting other photographers and instantly fell in love with photographing wedding days. My business took off really fast from there!
I have been specializing in weddings for over four years now and after shooting nearly 100 weddings, I can confidently say that my FAVORITE part is seeing my couples make their journey towards marriage. It’s so special to be a part of that! I have to say, sometimes it’s hard to hold back the tears during the ceremony. It’s such a joyous occasion and I love getting to celebrate with my couples on their wedding day! It’s the best!
Besides shooting weddings, I am absolutely obsessed with vanilla chai lattes (you’ll find this out pretty quickly if you follow me on Instagram) and I love spending time with my hubby, Michael. We got married in July of 2017 and as cheesy as it is, he is my best friend and I love doing life with him!
Can you tell me about your approach to Kyrstal and Brad shoot?
With Krystal and Brad, we wanted to incorporate photo locations that had a lot of meaning to them. This is something I encourage all of my couples to do! It makes your engagement photos a lot more meaningful when you look back on them. They currently live in German Village and are obsessed with their adorable golden retriever! We began their session at their home, then walked around the streets of German Village, where they commonly go on walks with their dog. We ended their session at Schiller Park, where they love to play with their dog as well!
As with all of my couples, the main goal of the engagement session is for you both to feel relaxed and confident going into your wedding photos, and for us to get to know each other better. The engagement session is essentially practice for wedding day portraits, that way you know exactly what to expect on the wedding day! I also can see how you two interact and what poses work really well for you both. I teach my couples my four main poses that I use and we go from there! I give a ton of direction so they know exactly what to do… and fun directions that gives us some adorable candid photos as well! Krystal and Brad are such a sweet couple, they rocked their session and I loved developing a friendship with them.
Advice for couples as they are looking for a photographer? What questions or ideas should they bring to the initial meeting with you?
Fantastic question! I always tell couples that one of the biggest things that should help you decide on your photographer is who they are as a person. Do your personalities click? If you don’t connect with them personally, you’re going to be spending a LOT of time with someone who doesn’t really “get” you! Asking questions like “What do you love most about photographing weddings?” or “What makes you different from other photographers?” can give you a sense of what they bring to the table and what gets them excited!
Another aspect to consider is how prepared they are to shoot a wedding. Do they seem confident in what the provide? Is there consistency in their work? Asking to see a full wedding gallery (or a few!) can give you an idea of how consistent their work really is. It can be really easy to see a few killer portfolio images on their website and Instagram and assume their full galleries look like that. However, even if their style looks really consistent online, make sure to see what an entire real wedding gallery looks like to get a feel for their entire style, from start to finish!
Any wedding day has crazy situations thrown at you and someone who can still produce consistent work, wedding after wedding, is someone you want photographing your wedding. You can plan and prepare but things will always go off schedule or not according to plan, which is the beauty of shooting weddings but can also make it challenging! Looking through those full galleries will give you a sense of how experienced and prepared they are. I actually have a whole blog post on this topic with a whole list of questions to ask a photographer, you can find it by clicking here!
Do you suggest that couples use the same photographer for engagement and the wedding?
100% YES, definitely! Like I mentioned, it’s SO important to connect personally with your photographer. This gives you the opportunity to hang out for an hour or two and get to know them better! Because no one wants a stranger to show up on the wedding day, right?! Yes! I also think it’s really important for my couples because it gives me an opportunity to teach them my posing and how it all works, so they are completely prepared for the wedding day. I walk them through the whole thing and give them all the direction, so there are no expectations for them to know anything! However, it gives me an idea of their personalities and what will work well for their wedding day photos.
What is one thing couples can do for you that is most helpful?
Take some time to go on dates WITHOUT talking about the wedding! This is both for you and for me, because it’s going to make your photography experience so much more enjoyable and help you to remember WHY you’re planning your wedding in the first place. Prepare for your marriage just as much as you prepare for your wedding day, because after the day is over, your relationship is what will be left! I encourage all of my couples to do this because it helps you to keep the focus on what’s important and allow you to ENJOY the experience of being engaged so much more! 🙂