We hope you all had a wonderful Valentine’s Day! We are celebrating it with this stunning engagement shoot of Leah and Ryan. It makes me so happy to see brides full of love and confident alongside their partner. I adore the backdrop and everything about this shoot.
When and how did you get engaged?
Ryan and I got engaged in October 2016. Ryan took me out to a beautiful restaurant in the riverside district of our hometown. After dinner we walked along the path near the water. To be honest, I was suspicious that he might propose that evening. I was just waiting for it to finally happen! However, we ended up going home. That’s when I began to lose hope that this would be the night and we walked back into our apartment (I’ll admit to my slight disappointment). Suddenly Ryan questioned why I was taking my shoes off? – the night wasn’t over yet, and we had places to go. He took me back outside and I hopped into the passenger side of his truck. He drove further and further from town and slowly I realized we were headed to his family’s farm. Ryan pulled into the property and put the car in park. Ryan had the biggest smile as we got out of the truck. It was late, almost midnight. He and I stood totally alone under a wide open sky. Then, enveloped only by starlight, Ryan bent down on one knee and asked me to marry him.
Were there nerves before your engagement shoot and what did you enjoy the most about the experience?
I was extremely nervous before my engagement shoot! I was worried that I would look back on these pictures and see all of my biggest insecurities magnified. But I’m a planner, and I picked out outfits that I felt comfortable and confident in. I got my hair and makeup done. I went into that engagement shoot feeling my absolute best. The greatest part of the experience was that I got to laugh, smile, and snuggle up to my man while our photographer captured these perfectly natural moments. Ryan and I were relaxed and happy (it shows in the photos!). We ended up having a blast doing something that seemed totally out of our element.
Any advice for nervous brides who are having an engagement shoot?
First, research photographers and pick a person whose style you love. Also keep in mind that we all have a “good side” and areas that we are self-conscious about. Don’t be afraid to tell your photographer those things! A professional will keep that in mind while shooting and you’ll feel comfortable and beautiful through the entire process. And of course have fun!
Where did the shoot take place? Why did you choose it?
Our photographer suggested we choose two different locations and two different outfits. Formal and informal to give us a variety of images. For the formal shoot we chose a historic residential area in our town. The tall trees and red brick streets made the perfect backdrop. It was also a great place to include our dog Olive! For the informal shoot we knew it had to be in a pasture where my family used to board our horses. There’s something special about it and extremely sentimental. There’s a picturesque red wooden barn exactly like you would imagine in the country side with stunning horses grazing in the field. We were there just before sunset, that magic hour for photographers. Everything felt so comfortable and having Ryan with me it definitely felt like home.
What are you looking forward to the most about your wedding day?
Calling my best friend my husband. Ryan and I have known each other since we were eight years old – and after 14 years of friendship, and 3 years of dating, we will finally be husband and wife!
What did you love about your photographer?
I’ve always had a passion for photography and my photographer was someone whose work I had admired for a long time. Her style is familiar and intimate, and she really knows how to play with the natural light at sunset. I didn’t even feel the need to give her a “shot list”. I was able to rely on the fact that she would deliver a beautiful mix of photos. She was wonderful, nothing felt too posed (even when she was posing us!) She was easy to work with and coached us through the entire shoot. She consistently made us feel at ease, complimenting us or saying how sweet we were. A good photographer will take a photo, a great photographer will leave you smiling even after the shoot.
Photography by Rachael Houser.