Engagement Photo Shoot

It’s been almost two months since Mike and I had our engagement photos taken, and I’ve been meaning to get around to blogging about the experience since that very day. Life, however, kept getting in the way , but now seems as good a time as any to share our experience.

Last December, Mike proposed to me after three (plus) years of dating. Our engagement was a truly magical, simple moment. We didn’t want it to be about grand gestures or hugely orchestrated plans–no, it was about the love we’ve shared and the life we plan on building together through marriage. I couldn’t have asked for a better proposal or man to spend my life with.

Anyway, moving on from the sappiness. The struggle to find both a venue and a wedding date has been fully realized; everything is either too pricey, outdoor only, or won’t work for the dates we have in mind. After spending several weeks at the beginning of the year stressed about wedding planning, we decided to put them on hold for a short while and just enjoy being engaged. However, we were really looking forward to taking engagement photos, so we decided not to put this one thing on the back burner.

Admittedly, finding a photographer was one of our lowest priorities as we had several friends who offered to take photos for us. Then Mike’s cousin reached out to us one day and asked if we wouldn’t mind her best friend taking our photos, to help with her up-and-coming photography business. This sounded like a promising offer and we gladly accepted.

Little did we know how well the experience would turn out for us. Laurette Nicoll was our photographer, and from the moment we exchanged information I knew we were going to have a great time. Prior to our photo shoot, Laurette kept in constant communication with us, from texts to a phone call going over ideas and details. Mike and I ran into an issue with a different photographer, who wanted our input for locations and themes but didn’t seem to be able to provide ideas back to us, which was discouraging. It was really refreshing to have Laurette step in, who not only seemed genuinely excited to take our photos, but also seemed to really understand what we wanted without us having to tell her much. After asking about our interests and hobbies, she launched right into the possibilities for our shoot, and it was so apparent that she has a knack for this type of work.

We agreed upon a photo shoot set at Torrey Pines State Beach, a beautiful location with a gorgeous range of colors. An hour before sunset was determined by Laurette to be the best lighting for what we hoped to achieve, but the entire day leading up to the shoot was cool and overcast. This almost threw off my planned outfit, and after scrambling to throw something else together, I decided to suck it up and stick with the dress I originally picked out. These worries were for naught, for the clouds began to clear and the sun came out just as we were getting to the beach. I know, this story seems fantasized, but I promise I’m not making this up. We really did luck out that the weather took a turn when we needed it to.

From the very second we formally met Laurette, Mike and I felt blessed; not only did she greet us like old friends, but she instantly made us feel comfortable. Mike is not too forthcoming with the camera. In fact, he spent many days leading up the shoot talking about how much he was going to hate the experience and having to be center of attention along side myself.

He walked way from the shoot wanting to relive the experience, because of the fun we had with Laurette.

We didn’t have to adjust to having a camera pointed our way, nor did we feel the need to force fake smiles and looks of love. The entire time Laurette gave us words of encouragement, of excitement, of adoration for our love. We settled very easily into a nice rhythm of trying out ideas and feeding off one another as we went along. She wasn’t shy to get to know us or let us get to know her, and we left knowing that we had achieved the engagement photos we dreamed of.

Laurette got back to us very fast with her edits of our photos, and she made them easily accessible through Dropbox. I’d like to note that prior to our shoot, she emailed us samples of her work so we could get familiar with her photography style beforehand, yet another great thing that Laurette did for us. She is the perfect blend of professional and friendly, she made us feel completely as ease, and she encouraged us to be ourselves. While this is one of the few photo shoot experiences I’ve had in my life, I think this is the type of relationship everyone should have with their photographer for any event. I would not hesitate to reach out to her if you are in need of someone to take professional pictures; you will not be disappointed.

Without further ado, here is Laurette’s information and some of our favorite photos.

-Ciara

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