Bride-to-Be Blogger Danielle: Our Engagement Photo Session

When I wrote about choosing our photographer, I failed to mention one crucial detail: Tim does not like to be photographed. It’s not that he doesn’t like the way he looks in the photos, but rather he is not a fan of posing for the camera. I, on the other hand, don’t mind hamming it up, but more often than not I am disgusted with the outcome. So when our awesome wedding photographer Jenna Walcott told us that she includes a 90-minute engagement shoot in all her packages I nearly jumped for joy. We definitely needed a test-run.

We scheduled our engagement session (or e-session, as those in the business call it), for a Saturday afternoon in early November. We live near historic Head House Square and wanted to be able to take photos there, so we found a day when there were no events under the shambles. Considering Tim’s discomfort with posing for photos, I asked her if I should take him for a beer or two before to loosen him up. She agreed that would be a great idea, and also suggested we begin our shoot at our corner bar, our home-away-from-home, The Artful Dodger.

When Jenna met us there, she told us that she had actually met her own husband at that very bar, and we chatted for a while before she began shooting. She took a bunch of shots in the bar, then we moved outside, taking shots on the square, around the neighborhood, even on our front stoop. We took some shots at the spot where Tim asked me to marry him on Independence Mall, and then headed down to the Philadelphia Museum of Art to complete the shoot. We managed to hit all the places most important to us, including the gazebo behind the museum that overlooks the river and Water Works, where we sat and talked on our first date.

It was an unusually cold day for early November, and by the time we finished we were frozen stiff, but we had a really good time. At the end of the afternoon, we felt like Jenna was an old friend, and we were both very comfortable with her. The day also felt self-indulgent, and was a really amazing way for Tim and I to slow down and concentrate on one another for a little while. It’s hard not to reconnect when you are looking deeply into one another’s eyes for 90 minutes.

When we saw a sneak peek on Jenna’s blog, followed by the proofs from the shoot, we were really pleased. Jenna has such an incredible eye and she does some really creative things with her camera. We loved the shots in the bar, those on the square, and even those where we were freezing at the art museum. Our families commented that if she did such a beautiful job with this shoot, that they know the photos of the wedding itself will be amazing.

I received the disk from Jenna with all the photos just before Christmas and hid it away from Tim so I could surprise him with a framed photo on Christmas day. It was a gorgeous shot on the art museum steps overlooking Philadelphia — with the building where he works in the background. I just posted them to our wedding web site, and we’re deciding what else we would like to do with them. I just don’t want to hide away these photos somewhere — I love them and I love the memory of the day we took them.

Do you have any photo “hangups” that make you nervous? Are you having an engagement shoot? Are there any locations that are important to you as a couple?

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