Bride-to-be Blogger Stephanie: Our Engagement Photo Session!

Bride-to-be Blogger Stephanie: Our Engagement Photo Session!

A shot from Pat and Stephanie's engagement shoot in Washington Square Park. Photo by Susan Stripling.

Pat and I aren’t a public-display-of-affection kind of couple, so as we walked to Washington Square Park last Friday evening for our engagement shoot—both still agitated from the massive traffic we sat in on our way down to the city—I was a bit nervous. How were we going to fair with a photographer up close and personal, snapping photos of us kissing and hugging?

I was also a bit worried about the location. Pat and I had hit all of the local spots significant to us in a shoot we did with our videographer a few weeks ago (which I’m hoping to keep top-secret until the wedding, so it’s a surprise!). So when I kept thinking about where to shoot our engagement photos, nothing was necessarily floating to the top of the list. But we knew we wanted to be outside, preferably somewhere natural and beautiful.

I had suggested a few areas around the city, but our photographer Susan Stripling assured me that Washington Square Park was the perfect place. I was tentative, as I wanted to avoid the more urban feel, but I decided to stop worrying and place my trust in Susan, who has proven over and over again that she is a brilliant photographer.

As we walked to the center of the park to meet Susan, I rolled a bike alongside me, which I decided would be our personal touch to our shoot, as bikes play a big role in both of our lives. (I work for a bike company of which Pat’s father is the president.) Susan was very excited about the addition/prop.

While we sat in traffic, Susan had scouted out all of the locations with the best lighting and most beautiful landscapes within the park. The sprinklers had turned on by the time we got there, and she was ecstatic about it, as it was creating this stunning misting effect in the sunset. This put me at ease immediately. I knew the pictures were going to be gorgeous; that at the very least, the backdrop would be spectacular.

We then began to make our way around the park, Susan placing us in the light, providing clear instructions on what we should do, and then quietly snapping away.

When thinking about the engagement session, I envisioned the lens just inches from our faces, which is what I believe incited the initial anxiety. But Susan gave us plenty enough space so that it didn’t feel invasive in any way, and felt as natural as I think it could be.

I had fun! And it was a great opportunity to spend a little more time with Susan before she photographs the most important day of our life. I wanted Pat to be able to meet her, so we all know a little more about each other before the wedding, and that the photo process will hopefully be even more comfortable next time.

I left the session confident that the photos were going to be beautiful, but when I opened the link to all of the edited photos earlier this week (an ultra-quick turnaround, by the way), I was blown away. I absolutely adore them. What Susan does with natural light is so phenomenal it’s hard to comprehend. She was so respectful of the fact that I wanted a more natural feel to the photos that it’s almost impossible to tell we’re in Washington Square Park. It looks like we’re in a rainforest! I’m completely thrilled with them and really looking forward to displaying them at the wedding in some way, and ultimately, our new home.

Did you get engagement photos done? Do you think it’ll help—or that it did help—you and your groom feel more comfortable with all the photography the day of the wedding?

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