These five local photographers share tips and photos from some of their favorite engagement shoot locations.
by Lora Bilton Englehart
Couple: Barb Lazaridis and Chris Connors
Location: Burnside Plantation in Bethlehem, Pa.
Photographer: Maggie J. Photography, Orefield, Pa., (610) 570-8664
The shot: “Whenever possible, my photography is driven by beautiful light and the outdoor locations,” says Maggie of Maggie J. Photography. “We wanted to create a romantic mood, so we chose this orchard and the late-afternoon sun.”
The tip: “I always strive to create natural looking and effortless images for my clients. I really want my couples to see themselves in their photos 10 or 20 years from now. The best way to do that is to give the couple space and also guidance such as “keep her really close to you” or “snuggle into him.” Different personalities will be reflected in different guided statements and different settings.”
Couple: Samantha Baer and John Reinhart
Location: Water Works in Philadelphia
Photographer: Faith West Photography, Philadelphia, (267) 539-7841
The shot: The setting for this photo was the Water Works in Philadelphia. It was chosen because Jon and Samantha, getting married in August in Center City, wanted to show off the unique architecture of the city where they grew up.
The tip: “Feel confident and happy in photos—it will show,” advises Faith West. Also, sometimes “natural” does not look “candid.” There are times when acting awkwardly—as directed by your photographer, looks great. For instance, a comfortable viewing distance when looking at each other requires couples to pull back while hugging, which appears in camera as if they are recoiling from each other. Coming up close and “looking” at each other (even though your eyes can’t actually focus) looks more romantic on camera.
Couple: Steph Affet and Tim Pangburn
Location: Tyler State Park in Newtown, Pa.
Photographer: Carina Romano Photography, Philadelphia, (215) 407-2839
The shot: “Steph and Tim love being outdoors, so we decided to photograph at Tyler State Park,” says Carina Romano. “I’m familiar with the location and had recently happened upon this amazing tree that had fallen down during the last hurricane, so we decided to take advantage of what Mother Nature had provided.”
The tip: Romano loves the contrast of the couple and the tree in the photo. “I had them climbing and sitting on it as well, but this is one of my favorite shots from our engagement shoot,” she says.
Couple: Kassie Stercula and Art McEvoy
Location: Elverson, Pa.
Photographer: Joe Pulcinella Photography, Philadelphia, (610) 572-3790
The shot: “Kassie and Art raise their own chickens and have done extensive work on their beautiful farm house, so I was really happy that I could have a chance to photograph them in their natural surroundings,” says photographer Joe Pulcinella.
The tip: “It was a perfect, early autumn day and we did plenty of shots among the trees and the goldenrod,” says Pulcinella. He was able to capture a more relaxed, serene feel that better suited the slower pace of life in the area with the help from some creative lighting and composition.
Couple: Brittany Breslin and Clayton Jones
Location: White Clay Creek State Park
Photographer: Sam and Jo Trasatti of Lavender & Lace Wedding Photography, Newark, Del., (302) 425-0567
The shot: Engagement sessions are a great way to personalize a “Save the Date” reminder says Jo Trasatti. Brittany and Clayton brought their dog to make the official announcement.
The tip: “Spending time with a couple during their engagement shoot or save-the-date photo shoot is important, because it prepares us for working together on the big day,” says Trasatti. “I like to work with a couple and try different poses because it helps us build a rapport and become more relaxed and comfortable. It will make the wedding day go smoothly and we can have some fun,” she says.