2016 Favorites // Engagements

"Marry me, Juliet, you'll never have to be alone. I love you and that's all I really know. I talked to your dad, go pick out a white dress. It’s a love story, baby just say ‘Yes.’” // Taylor Swift

Get hyped y’all!! It’s the second installment in the 2016 favorites blog posts! This installment?! ENGAGEMENTS!

In my opinion engagement sessions are a really important part of the wedding photography process. I love this chance I get with my clients to photograph them without all of the hustle and bustle of the wedding day. No timelines to adhere to. No bridesmaids fighting for attention. No mom’s worrying about family photos. No coordinators fussing about staying on schedule. Just me. My clients. My lens. And the sunset. In a location of their choosing.

 These are my top 5 reasons why you should have an engagement session:
  1. You Should Be Celebrating! You just got engaged! Celebrate it!
  2. They're Extra Personal! You can personalize your engagement session to match exactly who you are as a couple!
  3. Less Watchful Eyes! It's just me and you baby! No one else. Less awkward, more fun.
  4. You Get A Chance For The Best Light! Sunset time is the best time and you don't always get time for it on the wedding day!
  5. It Gives Us A Chance To Get To Know Each Other! A full two hours of my undivided attention to learn who you are and for you to learn who I am!

I’m so passionate about engagement sessions that I have them included in all of my packages. I also have recently written a blog post that goes into each of these five reasons more in depth. If you'd like to read more about my love of engagement sessions, click here.

In 2016 I got to work with some amazing couples. Some I’ve already photographed their wedding. Some I have not. I cannot wait to see what my 2017 weddings hold and I cannot wait to photograph more couples this year.

 

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Colorful Downtown Indianapolis Fall Engagement Session // Kelsey & Drew

“If hope is life, then we’re the living... Here with you, the path has meaning.” // Worth the Wait by Milo

So today must be a Throwback... Tuesday? Because today I’m gonna show y’all some colorful magic I captured from last November of Kelsey + Drew in Downtown Indianapolis. We traveled all around City Way, around The Alexander Hotel, and Fountain Square capturing their love.

It was a snowy night in December of 2013 when Kelsey and Drew shared their first date. A first date perfect for two musicians Drew invited Kelsey to a show he was drumming in. Before the show they had dinner but it was during the show where Kelsey felt the magic. While Drew performed she watched in awe feeling like she was the only person in the crowd and he was performing just for her. Their love only grew over the next year and after a wonderful dinner at Eddie Merlot’s Drew brought Kelsey back to a white rose lined hallway to the presidential suite of The Alexander Hotel. It was here that Drew got down on one knee and proposed to Kelsey. After she said yes, Kelsey’s family joined them for celebratory drinks. After all of the anniversary and proposal festivities that evening were complete they had an engagement party at Kelsey’s parent’s house the next day!

These two have had such a fun and wonderful beginning that it was hard to top all of that with their engagement photos. It was a brisk day in November and Downtown Indianapolis was full of Colts fans. We worked our way through the crowds and made the best of what we had and I think we did a pretty darn good job. They said they liked color... they got color!! We started off their engagement session at a really cool record art display at The Alexander where they got engaged. Record art display for two musicians at the hotel they were engaged at?! Awwww yeeeeah!

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Zionsville Fall Engagement Session // Cara & Nick

Brisk air, fall colors, a sweet pup, and an adorable couple in love.

Last fall I had got to have a blast in the cold Midwestern air photographing two amazing people! I figured before I blog Cara + Nick’s wedding from last Saturday I would share their engagement session on the blog! First, they’re just too adorable to NOT share the blog. Secondly, its a nice way to reminisce on our first meeting last year before we look at their full wedding blog!

So there’s not MUCH to talk about because I’m gonna have PLENTY to say about these two tomorrow but I’m so excited to show you how adorable these two are.

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Indianapolis Mass Ave + Canal Engagement Session // Kelly & Brian

“Sleep late, have fun, get wild, drink whiskey, and drive fast on empty streets with nothing in mind except falling in love and not getting arrested.” // Hunter S. Thompson

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of photographing another engagement session winner from the Indianapolis Bride Expo! It was a wonderful evening hanging out with Kelly + Brian and their sweet pup, Chewie, and documenting their love! We went around to lots of fun places in Downtown Indianapolis. After a swipe right on Tinder turned into a date turned into a relationship this couple can definitely be considered a dating app success story!

While visiting Kelly’s hometown of Muskegon, MI the duo took Chewie for a walk in the woods along Lake Michigan. While on their walk they decided a selfie with the Chewster (that’s my new nickname for him...) was definite must. After they kneeled down to snap a photo with their dog Kelly stood up and Brian stayed on one knee. Kelly’s emotions were pretty apparent from the start. Out of shock and excitement she started crying and once Brian began to speak she immediately said, “I DO!” She didn’t even let the poor guy finish! One can just hope he finally got to say what he wanted to once the ring was on and all of the emotions died down!

Although their life together began downtown Kelly and Brian can now be found shopping for things for their new home in Broad Ripple, spending time with Chewie, or sitting on their deck dreaming of Lake Michigan, Nashville, Ireland, and cocktails!

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Falls Park Pendleton Spring Sunset Engagement Session // Kaitlin & Nick

“We’re all a little weird. And life’s a little weird. And when we find someone who’s weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.” // Dr. Seuss

I’m pretty sure mutual weirdness is the common factor that the three of us all bonded over during Kaitlin + Nick’s engagement session through Falls Park and Downtown Pendleton. (#WeirdosForLife!) It was so much fun hanging out with them on that crisp and cold Sunday. The weather had a chill but the sun drenched the town in beautiful, golden, warm light. And you wouldn’t know it was cold because Kaitlin and Nick snuggled up in each other’s arms and made it look like one effortless evening.

Kaitlin and Nick met in the recreation center at Ball State University back when they were in college. Admittedly, Kaitlin said she was excited to have engagement photos done because they hadn’t had any photos taken of the two of them since college! As a photographer... I’m sure they saw my jaw hit the floor. I probably take photos of my hubs and I once a week! Either way we had a wonderful time walking around together and taking photos. And I think the proof is in the photographic pudding.

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Magical Spring Wildflower Sunset Engagement Session // Cara & Aaron

“After all this time?” “Always” // Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

There’s something to be said for couples who have stuck it out together and been together for quite some time before getting engaged. I can’t speak much on the subject because my husband and I are crazy people and got engaged only five months into dating and then married on our first anniversary. But I always admire couples who have put in three, five, ten years into their relationship before deciding to tie the knot. It shows beautiful dedication to one another that prepares each other for a lifelong commitment.

Cara and Aaron have loved each other for over five years and have known each other since 2006! They met through a mutual friend in high school and started becoming close friends during their senior year and freshman year of college. They felt the connection but with Aaron moving to IU Bloomington and Cara still at IUPUI in Indianapolis the timing just wasn’t right. Finally when the timing was right during their junior year they decided the distance was worth it and started dating and making the trip... or more, trips... to see each other weekly.

After graduation they spent many more years together until Aaron decided to plan the perfect holiday engagement while visiting Cara’s family in her hometown of Augusta, Georgia. Aaron knew of Cara’s obsession with her hometown and knew that this was the perfect place for a proposal. After getting permission from both of Cara’s moms they decided to take a stroll down memory lane visiting all of Cara’s favorite spots. Walking down the Riverwalk Canal along the Savannah River Aaron decided it was the perfect place to pop the question. And after all this time, he got down on one knee and asked her. According to Cara, “It was perfect.”

The two were absolutely amazing rockstars during their engagement session! I’ve known Cara for years since we worked together at Panera way back in 2007! And although I won’t be photographing their wedding I was absolutely thrilled to photograph their engagement session! We had a stellar sunset and gorgeous weather! Which is great because it was a reschedule from a rainy date and I’m so glad we rescheduled because it turned out absolutely perfect!

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Indiana University Bloomington Spring Engagement Session // Miranda & Jordan

“Compassion, which I would define as unconditional love, is essential to a Jedi’s life. So you might say, that we are encouraged to love.” // Anakin Skywalker

This year’s engagement season has definitely been off to a good start! This Spring has been FULL of engagement sessions and I’ve been having an absolute ball! And the weather has actually been pretty dang good to us! And there was no exception for this Star Wars lovin’, Cream & Crimson wearin’, super fun, Hoo-hoo-HOOSIER alum couple! We had beautiful weather, a gorgeous sunset, and one wicked stunning campus to capture their love on! It was Little 5 weekend but we did not let that stop us! Miranda + Jordan rocked out some amazing photographs on the IU Bloomington campus that made even this BSU Cardinal root for the Crimson squad!

Although Miranda + Jordan are both IU Alumni they did not meet while attending school there! With an enrollment of over 40,000 students it’s no wonder they didn’t meet! While they didn’t meet on campus they did meet over some beers at The Ale Emporium in Indianapolis in 2014 watching an IU Basketball game. Miranda is an admitted huge IU Basketball fan stating that she decided in fourth grade she would attend IU based on this love. Luckily she got in because she applied no where else! Bonding over their mutual love of their alma mater Miranda and Jordan turned a losing basketball game into a winning love for them.

It was so much fun to spend time getting to know them during our session walking around the beautiful southern Indiana campus. We discovered that Jordan and I are BASICALLY the same person (Fruit punch Gatorade for the win!) and that they are one heckuva fun couple to be around!

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Downtown Indianapolis Engagement Session // Heather & Obi

A little bit of love in little ol' Indy...

Indianapolis is one of my favorite cities. I may be a little biased since I live here but I just love it. New York is cool. And Chicago is great. But Indianapolis is one of my favorites. I love that it’s easy to walk everywhere. If I want to do a photo shoot in three different locations in Indianapolis it’s no big deal. We can easily get to three different locales in a 2 hour time period and still have time to take some wicked awesome photos. And that’s what we did with Heather + Obi for their engagement session! We had so much fun trekking around Downtown Indy it was amazing how fast the sun was gone and the session was over! But we definitely had a blast! We started the engagement session off on the patio of Capital Grille, one of their favorite restaurants, sharing laughter, smiles, and love over a glass of wine.

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Noblesville Potter's Bridge Sunset Engagement Session // Andrea & Andy

Adorable puppies and a beautiful sun drenched couple in love...

First of all, I’m going to start this blog post with if you have your dogs included in your engagement session your session will 100x cuter. You can’t argue with this. These are real statistics. Because dogs. And because... science. Yeah.

Secondly, if you know anything about me by now, you know that I am #OBSESSED with sunset light and a beautiful sun drenched engagement session in the middle of a field. I love urban engagement sessions. Love, love, love, them but there’s just something about an open field draped in the warm glow of a Midwestern sunset that just says “home” to me. Call it the Hoosier in me. Call it the Heartland. But it’s sunsets and sessions like this that make my little photographer heart go a pitter patter.

So now that I’ve gone on and on about how much I love Indiana let’s talk about how much I love this couple. This engagement session from last November was a bit... impromptu... I guess you could say. Andrea + Andy were in the wedding party for a wedding I shot in Georgia for Rashel + Michael (who I haven’t blogged yet... whoops). After photographing that wedding Andrea + Andy invited me out Austin, TX to photograph their wedding as well. Which is where I am right now because their wedding is TOMORROW! I wanted to make sure for today’s Portrait Session Friday post I wrote about Andrea + Andy’s engagement session before they tie the knot tomorrow!

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Indianapolis Mass Ave Engagement Session // Sara & Paul

Our great city, exposed brick walls, and one shimmery pink dress...

A couple weekends ago I had the distinct pleasure of kicking off my 2016 engagement season with this fun and amazing couple! We went downtown and hung around the War Memorial and Mass Ave while taking some super sweet engagement photos! There was a chill in the air but we didn’t let it dampen our spirits. We pushed forward and had a blast with some amazing sunset light and an adorable couple snugglin’ it up.

Ever since a long night out the day after Thanksgiving in 2005, these two have been inseparable. They met on the dance floor at Indy’s own Ike and Jonesy’s bar and you can tell they still have that amazing spark they saw when first danced the night away. The two live together with their sweet cats and enjoy traveling, nights at Cancun restaurant, and watching all of the tv shows they can stream! They were definitely so much fun to spend a Friday evening with! They even let me talk their ear off at a burger joint called B Spot! (Totally legit by the way, rosemary fries for the win!) But their engagement photos were the real winner of the evening!

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Brown County State Park Engagement Session // Sarah & Steffan

Fall leaves, beautiful scenery, and the cutest little tomato skirt you’ve ever seen!

I knew right away that when I booked Sarah + Steffan’s engagement session last September that Sarah was going to be dressed in just the cutest little outfits! Considering that she runs a fashion blog and Instagram called Indy Dressed it was definitely likely that she was going to look super fabulous! (And you should definitely check her out and follow her!) So when she was texting me pictures of this adorable little tomato skirt I was super excited! I love it when my clients text me their engagement session outfits! It opens the conversation about what to wear for photos and helps put them at ease with the ever stressful question of, “What the heck are we going to wear!?”

Sarah + Steffan met at Ball State in 2010 right after Sarah returned from studying abroad in Japan. Everyone assumes that because of their mutual love of Japanese culture they would have met in a Japanese class! Due to a scheduling snafu, however, they actually met in a Communications class! It was meant to be because about five years later we met in the beautiful scenery of Brown County, IN to photograph their fun and quirky love for their engagement photos. They were so fun and so adventurous hiking through some crazy trails to get to some sweet photo spots!

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Indiana Waterfall Couples Session // Kelsey & Seth

Waterfalls, a flower crown, ankle boots, and a flowy maroon dress...

These are all the makings of a downright perfect portrait session for me! First, if you guys know anything about me I’m all for flower crowns. I love them. They're wonderful. They make everything feel more beautiful and elegant. They’re the best. One of my favorite parts about working with Kelsey is she asks me my opinion on attire, locations, and style for her sessions. She totally gets it and loves to make a super unique portrait session. When Kelsey and I first started talking about her portrait session with her boyfriend Seth we knew we wanted to do something a little different than we had done before. This time we decided to go for a waterfall. Believe it or not there are waterfalls in Indiana! Yeah! I’m just as shocked as you guys are!

So we traveled down to Cloverdale, IN to Lieber State Recreation Area to photograph this awesome duo at Cataract Falls. It was such a cool place! I highly recommend anyone to visit there! I want to do another session there but I do have one tip for anyone doing another session there. Account for travel time! Not just TO the location but WITHIN the location! Since I do all of my portrait sessions at sunset we were playing beat the clock with sundown! When I scheduled the time for their session I didn’t account for the fact that it takes forever to get to all of these cool falls. Lots of hiking and climbing to get down to where the falls are! So by the time we got down to this cool location, the sun was almost gone. Plus you’re down low and it’s innately more dark there. So I really had to push my ISO to make the photos work in such low light situations. So keep that in mind!

ALSO! Today is their two year anniversary! Which is actually a total coincidence that I just found out before I aired this post!

Now, onward with their amazing photos!

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