So we’re sitting in the car waiting for one of our associate photographers to arrive and shoot our Austin engagement session.  It was certainly a weird and eye-opening experience being on the other side of the camera.

Here are some of the thoughts we had as we were waiting, with our dogs in the car (groomed and looking good), in our nice outfits, with a golden hour of light at Butler Park to look forward to:

  • “My hair looks stupid!”
  • “I’m so nervous.”
  • “What if our photographer doesn’t capture what we want?”
  • “I don’t know how to pose myself!”
  • “We thought about this session for months, and now here we are?  And my eyes are red, my hair is flat, and I’m just not feeling up to this…”
  • “What are we going to do?”
  • “Will the nice weather hold up?”

Despite having shot 100s of engagement sessions, we were nervous as hell.  Although we directed some of the shots and edited the photos ourselves, we still have to pay our associates and spend an afternoon shooting.  And we desperately needed at least one photo for a save-the-date!

Our associate arrived, as did my dad who was wrangling our dogs for us.  Everyone started to converse, but I just wanted to get started — we only have so much daylight!  So we started.  We got some cute photos with the dogs, who were generally uncooperative.  And then my dad took them so we could get some just with ourselves.  But the dogs still followed us around and were very distracting.

I found myself wanting to just be in the moment and connect with Lauren, but it was so distracting with the dogs around, and my dad cracking jokes.

As it normally does, it took about 15 minutes to get into the groove and really get to the good stuff.  I realized all the more how corny taking engagement photos can be, if you let it.  If you get overly caught up in the poses or how things are looking, it can be completely ridiculous.  But if you let yourself relax as much as possible and just savor the moment, you can get some remarkable images.

The next day we had our other primary associate shoot us downtown.  For this session, we were dressed fancier — at least Lauren was — and had learned some things from our first session.  Number One, I trimmed my beard, which from the profile view was rather unkempt during the first session.  Number Two, we were a bit more relaxed and I found that my creativity was back in full force, and I directed many of the shots myself (something I had warned our associate would happen, but he generously cooperated).

Without the dogs around and feeling more relaxed, the second session felt easier, though I think we got great photos from both.  It was so interesting being on the other side of the lens this time!

Conclusion: Before your engagement session, you are likely to stress out about your outfit, your hair, the weather, your photographer, your dogs, the traffic, the time, etc.  (Even if you’ve shot 100s of engagement sessions yourself!)  There’s no perfect time or perfect place for an engagement session.  However, if you relax as much as possible and focus on each other, you’ll give your photographer exactly what he or she needs to get great shots.

Here are some of our engagement images from our talented associate photographers: