I learned early in my wedding photography experience that offering your wedding clients an engagement shoot is a win/win for everyone, here are a few reasons why I feel it is so important and beneficial.
1. Get to know each other before your wedding day.
Engagement sessions are so fun and I love getting to spend one on one time with couples during their engagement session. Engagement sessions are a time for us to be creative, try out new poses and props, and get to know each other. I also book engagement photos with couples who have already booked a wedding photographer. If you are looking to have engagement or wedding photos taken, let’s chat!
Being a mother is something I had always dreamed about and Nate and I knew early in our relationship that children was something we both wanted. From the day I took a positive pregnancy test in June 2017, I had begun reading and researching and “preparing” for the transition to a family of three.
As a person who has struggled with a number of mental health issues, becoming a mother did test me mentally and emotionally more than anything else. Postpartum anxiety and depression were both something I had to work through for the 15-months or so after Riley joined us. Daily tasks seemed overwhelming, I barely felt some days I could get out of bed, but yet I did 98% of the days. I did end up seeing a therapist who truly helped me sort out and find myself again in all the hustle and noise that motherhood had brought. Riley also wasn’t the best sleeper and did not sleep through the night until she was a little over a year old, so pure exhaustion began to improve around this time as well. The past three years have truly made me a more complete person. I feel that the transition into motherhood has helped me identify my strengths and flaws and own that. I feel proud of the journey I am on and where I am at. In the past three years I have really learned to give myself grace, to let go of things not serving me, and invest in the things that fuel my spirit.
Today our little girl turns three. She is truly a remarkable human being, confident, goofy, smart, funny, I hope that these are all traits she never lets go. She radiates positive energy and makes everyone around her laugh. This year she has really begun the journey to becoming her own person, with attitudes, opinions, interests, and I relish in watching her develop and grow.
Riley Marlys Kirchenwitz, you are a dynamite gal and I feel so lucky to be your mom. Cheers to the big ‘3’!
Tips to smooth, painless family wedding photos
Your ceremony overs, you have hugged all your guests (pre-covid) and heard all of their ‘congrats’ - now it is time to do family photos. These are the many combinations of family members with you, the newlyweds, often at the ceremony site or a nearby location. Family photos can be cherished shots to capture in years to come when you look back on who was all their on your special day, but if not planned and prepared for can end up being one of the most unforeseen stressful moments of the day. But do not fret! A couple of simple steps in the planning processes can ensure that family photos are quick, easy, and stress-free! Whew!
Create your family shot list ahead of time
One of the pieces that I asked for from all of my wedding couples is a family shot list. This is a list of the different combinations of family members you would like photos with. Thinking of this list ahead of time allows you to create a comprehensive list and to get any other opinions that might be important to you on who is all included in family photos. When the day arrives, your photographer has the list and all you need to do is simple stay in position as the photographer shuffles people in and out to get all of your family photo combinations.
Consider the order of family combinations
It can be nice and helpful to plan to do the largest family photos and the photos with elderly and littles early. This gives grandpa and grandma time to rest and recoup before the reception and gets the littles done before they get antsy. Having the large family photos done early is especially nice if you plan to include aunts, uncles, and cousins, if they are not in any other shots they can then head over to the reception sooner.
Assign a louder family member (or close family friends) that knows the people on your list to help the photographer swapped people in and out
If you have an Aunt Sally that is not afraid to be loud and call out who is up next for photos, this can help the photographer focus on placing people and capturing the shots. If Aunt Sally and your photographer work together, family photos will go a whole lot quicker.
Tell family in your family photos ahead of time
Let all of your family members that are in your family shot list when and where they need to be for family photos. This can help eliminate us from searching for your cousin Bobby or grandpa Joe who left right after the ceremony to head over to the reception. A quick heads up keeps everyone on the same page and ensures everyone is present for family photos when it is time.
Four simple steps can really make all the difference between family photos taking 20 minutes or an hour. Doing a little work ahead of time and communicating with your family can really make for a better wedding day experience for both you and your loved ones. If you have any questions about planning for your wedding day family photos, let me know! I would love to chat. :)
Hello! I'm glad you are here.
I am an Appleton, Wisconsin-based photographer. I lean into my creative side when I shoot and love bringing out your personality during your session. To ramble off a few of the things that fuel my soul (other than my camera); clear night skies, snuggles with loved ones, the outdoors, sunsets, having genuine conversations with new people, and listening to audiobooks.