During this last little heat wave here in Connecticut, one would think the last thing anyone would want to do is get all gussied up for their engagement session in a field at Heritage Homestead in the sun, with like, a bunch of animals. You would, however, be super wrong! Jill and Mike (and both their Mom’s, and Mike’s sister, and their two dogs and Jill’s horse!) all made the trek out in the heat to meet me and my Nikon for a date in the sun. When I showed up, it was absolute chaos. What might look like calm sunset photos was an absolute circus! I kept saying ‘Guys we need a video of this, it’s so crazy!’ and I was laughing and taking pictures and maneuvering around piles of horse poop in a field (which is much harder than it looked) in shorts because it was way too hot for pants and I was just like, risking the Lyme disease because it was such an epic sight! My heart is racing and I am chucking as I write this, because it’s such a fun memory for me, minus the poo, because despite starting their engagement session in the absolute most chaotic way, Jill and Mike and their helpers were all laughing and just trusted me from the get go. That, or they just surrendered to the circus and prayed I got like, one usable image.
As you can see through the images posted here, trust was established! My camera and I proved we could dominate over the beautiful chaos of a skittish horse and two excited and a little scared dogs, the risk of ticks and bugs and poo and a nervous couple! To be honest, I normally take a much more calm and measured approach to my engagement sessions. When the animals all left after a few minutes of whistling and making kissy noises and just general absurdity that I have to do to get them to look at me; I told Jill and Mike as much. ‘It’s always a little uncomfortable in the beginning, but by the end, trust me, you are going to be soooo comfortable!’ That’s my favorite part, there. At the end, when I stop mid-laugh and say ‘Guys: remember when you were uncomfortable??’ And we all collapse into a pile of laugher like the end of a 80’s teen sitcom and high five each other. Or… not. Whatever blows your hair back, honestly; if you like to laugh, let’s laugh, laughing’s my favorite! Or if you’re more of an introvert, and take some time and coaxing and coaching and patience; I am your girl. I love drawing people out and giving them the space to allow me to see who they truly are. It’s pure magic.
Jill and Mike were the best. Despite the heat, they just relaxed into each other so … perfectly, it was almost weird and I kept ranking on Mike because he was like, a model. Every single time I was about to suggest he do something, he did it before I even asked. Every. Single. Time. He’s the best! Their comfort and obvious love for one another not only makes my job easier, because HELLO are you seeing these images?? But also because, I am even more excited for their wedding next year.
When booking with your photographer, you may not have an engagement session on your radar. You may not need any images for a save the date. But you know what? That is not at all why I offer them or love doing them. When you book an engagement session with me, we get to dance together a little, I get to see you vulnerable and trying something new. I can coach you, or just see what you put out there; all with the caveat that I will guide you if needed. I got you! Every couple that does a session with me is glad they did after, it makes the portraits at their wedding even easier and more relaxed! So, if you’re on the fence about booking one with your photographer, don’t be. Jump in, book, and test the waters together.
Jill and Mike, thank you so much for your trust, time and laughter. I had SO much fin with you all, I can’t wait for your wedding! XOXOXO
To see more engagement sessions check the links listed below:
As always, all photos by me, Carla Ten Eyck, a Hartford CT Photographer