wedding photos

Shaker Village Summer Engagement Photos

Photo by Kevin and Anna

This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

An engagement session is absolutely a must with your photographer before your wedding. This can be one of the most important things you do before your special day. It is important to create a friendship with your photographer so that you can be comfortable with them on your wedding day. Your photographer can’t wait to capture the genuine love between you and tell your love story for generations to come. Here are the top 4 reasons why engagement sessions are truly invaluable.

September Engagement-Session at Shaker Village

Photo by Kevin and Anna

Why Plan An Engagement Session With Your Photographer

Helps You To Get To Know Your Photographer

You will spend more time on your wedding day with your photographer than anyone else. That being said getting along with your photographer and trusting them on your wedding day is of the utmost importance. Your photographer wants more than anything for you to trust their ideas and value their vision for their day. They want you to enjoy every minute of their wedding and not feel stressed or overwhelmed. A photographer’s goal is for you to be able to let go and let them take care of you on your wedding day. Engagement sessions always help to solidify that trust and help bring everything together.

Kevin and Anna Photography at Red River Gorge

Photo by Kevin and Anna

Gets Rid Of Your Photo Jitters

Your photographer understands just how nerve-racking it is to get your pictures taken. Being nervous is normal, and that is the main reasons why you should do engagement sessions. Why not get rid of your photo nerves months before your wedding in a laid back and fun environment?  Grooms have shown up to their engagement session not very excited about getting their pictures taken. They leave not only rocking their session but saying that they had a fantastic time. It’s a photographer’s goal to have so much fun that they are laughing uncontrollably with you. Your photographer loves bringing out the love and emotion between you as a couple and having a blast in the process.

Photo by Kevin and Anna

Photo by Kevin and Anna

You Will Know What To Expect On Your Wedding Day

It’s not uncommon for people to be nervous when they show up for their engagement session. It is so awesome to see couple’s transformation later when they show up for their wedding with confidence and excitement about their photos. Not only will you already be comfortable with the photographer’s poses ,but you will know firsthand just how easy and fun they are. This will help your wedding day be more stress-free and allow you to take in every little moment. Your wedding day moves so fast, and the last thing you want to be worrying about is how you look in your photos.

Golden Hour Engagement-Photos at-the Arboretum

Photo by Kevin and Anna

Memories To Cherish For A Lifetime

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and it will be for your children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and on and on. During your engagement photos, you are sealing memories in time to be enjoyed not just by you but by all of your friends and family. I don’t know about you, but when a photograph is seen that was taken years ago, you can still feel all of the emotions and relive that time in your life. Pictures are priceless so make sure you are setup for success on your wedding day by doing an engagement session. Trust us, you will not be disappointed.

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Kevin and Anna Photography

Photo by Kevin and Anna

Bio: Kevin and Anna Photography are a husband and wife wedding photography team based in Lexington, Kentucky. They have been in business together for over 5 years and specialize in weddings and engagements. Their passion for photography first started out of a desire to capture the beauty of nature and the outdoors. Together they capture special once-in-a-lifetime moments for couples with adventurous hearts and who are madly in love. Check out their website to see why couple love them!

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Best wedding photographer

This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

A quick web search is full of articles on 10 Questions To Ask Your Wedding Photographer. No one spends as much time with you on your wedding day than your visual team. After the wedding, pictures (and videography) are all you’ll have besides memories. With that in mind, the three factors that are most important when interviewing potential wedding photographers are personality, quality, and value.


What To Consider When Choosing The Best Wedding Photographer For You

Personality, Quality, & Value

Personality is huge because it can affect the tone of the wedding day. Someone who is warm, positive, and confident will infuse the wedding party and guests with incredible energy. Be mindful of someone who exudes a cold or aloof personality, negativity or arrogance.

Quality exists in multiple forms: products offered, ability to shoot in different styles or lighting, creativity, problem-solving, posing, post-processing or retouching, and customer service. Identifying the style that attracts you can help in assessing a photographer’s strengths. Matching their skill set to your vision for your wedding photography is important.

Value starts by understanding pricing. Pricing is a combination of expertise, experience, as well as service. The value of those items depends on the level of importance you place on them and the photographer’s ability to deliver. Identifying and prioritizing what you want and what you need will help you choose to go with someone with less experience or an expert. The lowest price is not always the best value.

Questions You May Not Think To Ask

After checking if a photographer is available on your date, three questions you may not hear enough about are:

1. What makes you different or unique in how you will approach my wedding day? You want to find someone you not only trust, but someone who also shares your vision.

2. On average, what do your clients typically spend on their wedding photography? It is a good to get an idea of how much you should budget to get the goods & services you will want.

3. Can you help me understand what you mean when you say retouched, hi-res, proofs, and digital negatives? Photographers have different terms and definitions for the services mentioned above. They also have varying levels of quality to their finishing work and timelines for deliverables.

Questions To Ask Yourself

Once you finish your consultation, there are three essential questions to ask yourself:

1. Read the heart of the photographer. Are they excited to shoot your wedding?

2. Do you feel like this is a high-pressure sale?

3. Do I like the photographer’s personality and can I envision myself in their style of photography?

All of us are on a journey, of learning and growing. Much like the stock market, past performances do not guarantee future success. Shooting your wedding is the magic of a photographer’s ability and vision combining with your hopes and dreams to create something you’ll treasure.

An experienced- wedding photographer thinks differently

An Experienced Wedding Photographer Thinks Differently

To help guide you, I reflected on 15 years as a Dallas-based wedding photographer and over 1,000 weddings. How have I changed, what has experience taught me or how have the people that I’ve photographed left an imprint on how I approach documenting the day?

I believe it’s not necessary for a wedding photographer to be married. Nor is it a requirement for one to have children. However, both experiences in my life impacted, shaped, and refined the prism through which I view the wedding day narrative and the direction I take to strive and capture it.

Connecting Generations Through Wedding Photos

Herein lies a unique opportunity to connect Present & Past generations to the Future through adding visual depth to that imagery. While the Bride & Groom may be the clients, they are also the custodians of their own love story.

My viewing prism has shifted a bit to look for ways I can intentionally start a conversation with the unborn. The birth of our daughter pushed it naturally forward, as my wife and I now find occasions to help her connect her place within our family. What are our values? What does love look like in a visual form? Who loves her, and who will always care for her?

Artist Diplomat Psychologist

Artist, Diplomat, Psychologist

Not only should/must a wedding photographer exhibit the requisite skills in photography, but that person is most effective when transcending the ordinary time constraints of that day with grace and humility. We are both servants and leaders in a day full of hope and anticipation. Navigating the undercurrents of natural anxiety and different” family dynamics,” we often find ourselves equal part artist, diplomat and armchair psychologist.

In my beginning efforts, I would often Hope that things would magically coalesce in front of the camera. I learned, however, through the crucible of experience and education how to anticipate and be more thoughtful. I learned to know when to provide guidance and when to step back. Why empathy, flexibility, and the ability to clearly communicate are critical to compelling storytelling. I discovered the value of in-camera artistry to allow for new, different and additional possibilities to create and a more refined final product for the couple.

Communicating Without Words Or Sound

Like many regional communities, weddings in the Southern part of the United States come with its individual set of personality and expectations. Beginning with Engagement and Bridal Portrait Sessions, I find I must push further into the realms of creativity and trademark artwork. That time I invest then pays dividends in the intimacy afforded by my work on the actual wedding day.

Even in the smallest details, there is an ability to communicate the sanctity of marriage across generations. You can capture the beauty of thoughtful preparations, tender moments, and legacy portraits and illustrate both individual and group values.

The emotional spectrum is often quite visible and even unpredictable. A Father’s love may bring tears, there is a first look of anticipation, and there is joy in community, relationships, and the celebrations. The photos that move us are one’s that have impact. The one’s that show us clearly a moment, an emotion or a feeling.

Shoot the expected, deliver-the-unexpected

Shoot The Expected, Deliver The Unexpected

The spectrum of personalities, faiths, and traditions also dictates that a wedding photographer becomes well-versed not only in shooting the expected but delivering the unexpected. It is through the visual power of imagery that we can communicate with the camera what we often cannot express through words.

Great wedding photography captures real people and their stories, but its enduring legacy resides in the impact each photo makes within its respective families. Good wedding photography means you get exactly what you expect. The best wedding photographers not only meet your needs, they present you photos that you never could of imagined.

Parting Words

My hope is that during this time of great anticipation, joy, and excitement that is your engagement, you can take a bit of a long-term perspective. When choosing a wedding photographer, look past the detail shots and into the narrative. Look past the price list and into their hearts. There will most likely never be another time in your life that so many of your precious relationships gather together in the same place at the same time.

Trust is both given and earned. Do appropriate research, find the style(s) you are attracted to, find a price you can afford, but most importantly find someone who can communicate without using words or sounds the messages of your heart.

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Bio: About Luke Edmonson. I’m a limit pusher, family man and, to my wife and daughter’s delight, a purveyor of endless laughter. Together with father David, we run Edmonson Weddings ( that attract brides with a higher visual I.Q.

Yes, I hold the accolades of Double Master of WPPI, PPA Master of Photography and Fellow of the SWPP in the UK, but I’m particularly proud to be a co-founder of WPPI-C (and graduate.)

It’s the first of its kind certification for wedding & portrait photographers with a purpose of raising the standard of wedding photography for everyone. For brides, it provides a recognizable way to ensure that the person they are considering is both confident and competent in their abilities.

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