10 Ways to Prepare for Your Engagement Session

YAY! You are engaged and you’ve booked your photographer (or at least you are planning an engagement portrait session). Congratulations!!! For a lot of couples the engagement session is the first couples portrait session they have done. What do we wear? Where do we do pictures? What should we expect?

Engagement Sessions are some of my favorite sessions! So, I thought I would share some tips on how to prep for yours in the hopes that you have a blast!

1. Pick a Photographer

Some photographers offer engagement shoots as part of their wedding packages (casually raises hand). Other couples would rather not commit to the whole enchilada and treat the engagement session as a way to feel out a photographer. Or maybe you want to do a destination session and you need to find someone local to that area. No matter what, you need someone with a camera and who can share your vision or has their own vision you love!

2. Pick a location.

I offer suggestions to my clients for locations. Photographers know about permits, remote spots and where the light will be good for your session no matter the time of day or year. I ask my clients what type of “feeling” they want. Do you want to be itty bitty with the landscape as the big wow or do you want this session to be all about your connection? What backdrop do you want? Urban? Mountains? Rural? Fun? Eclectic? From there, I can offer suggestions for a few awesome spots. I really like spots where we can get a couple of different looks in one space. Sure, you can have a full session in a 10×10 space, but do you want to spend an hour like that?

3. Wardrobe time!

What do people wear for engagement sessions? Seriously, I’ve had couples in suits and cocktail attire and others in jeans and tshirts. Think of it as a way to introduce the world to you as a couple, as a unit. What are you hoping to portray with that image?

I suggest that women wear gowns with a bit of flow to them if they are looking for a more formal or bohemian vibe. As your photographer, I have a client closet that I open up and can also help you rent some gorgeous pieces for your session. Men almost universally look good in dark blue jeans or slacks (I kind of hate how easy it is for them). Just be aware of it. If you feel like the pants are too tight or bulging a bit, the camera doesn’t hide that. Same with skirts that are on the short side. These sessions often include different positions and activities. Being worried about your clothing might make it a bit harder for you to enjoy and I want you to be having fun because your pictures will show that!.

4. Don’t forget the ring.

This seems like a no brainer, but plenty of couples forget their engagement ring on the day of their session. So, set a reminder on your phone so that you don’t forget it.

5. Have clean nails.

You will be showing off your ring, and I work hard to capture detail shots (such as the way you hold hands). Clean nails, even if they aren’t painted, will make you feel a bit happier with the end result!

6. Props.

Props are a ton of fun for sessions. I’ve had couples bring signs, balloons, blankets and champagne and more. We can incorporate whatever is

meaningful to you into your engagement session. Also, champagne helps some people with their nerves while also being a super cute way to display the engagement ring.

That ring though!

7. Give yourself plenty of time to arrive on time.

When my clients are on time to these sessions, they are typically way more relaxed. The more relaxed you are, the more likely you will be able to enjoy the session which leads me to the next tip…

8. Treat your Engagement Session like a date.

What do I mean? Get excited about it, take the extra five minutes to primp and be ready to really fall in love with your fiance’ all over again. This session is about you, your love, your relationship. Plan dinner afterwards, or at least coffee. You won’t regret it!

9. Get to know your photographer.

For my clients and I, the engagement session is where we get to know each other. I share bits about my love story and I want to hear about theirs. This is our opportunity to get comfortable with each other before I follow them around all day with a camera. Lean in and really have fun with them!

Your engagement session should be fun!

10. Have fun!

Going back to treating this like a date. I want my clients to have fun. I want them to play, joke around and really be themselves for their engagement session. You guys fell in love with each other and I want to see the expressions that make your heart melt. I know how to get us there, but I want you to have fun. Even if you don’t like portraits or you feel self conscious… Tell me going in but be prepared for me to let you know I have never had a client say that and not get amazing images. Your engagement session is an important part of your love story and I can’t wait to photograph it.

Let’s #createMAJECK!

Mary Elizabeth Fabian is a photographer and owner of MAJECK. Her focus is on telling stories and capturing emotions that highlight moments in time. To book her for your engagement session or wedding click here.

Historic Pinecrest – Rustic Colorado

cover image

The first time I met Jennifer was over coffee for an initial consultation. She was excitedly planning her wedding at the Historic Pinecrest, a rustic Colorado event venue. I was struck by just how sweet she was and her smile really brightened up the kind of dark Starbucks. We talked about how important getting portraits of her day was, the fact that she had a rather large family that she wanted to capture and her love story with Jordan, the groom. After an epic mini engagement session filled with laughter and splashing… their big day arrived!

There are a LOT of venues in Colorado. I sometimes tell clients that I can be booked for an entire season and not visit the same venue twice, which was true for 2019. The Pinecrest Wedding and Event Center in Palmer Lake is a rustic spot with mountains in the background, lots of light in the reception hall and a pretty little chapel.  It screams Colorado without being a huge haul into the mountains, which is nice for families who have medical concerns or considerations such as altitude sickness to plan around. Parking was also convenient!

Behind the chapel, there is a beautiful grove of trees which provided plenty of cover from guests for the First Look. Jennifer and Jordan chose to do this in a fairly short period of time and it provided us with an opportunity for couple’s portraits as well! In the fall, there are leaves everywhere but it was a beautiful spot for all of the pictures from before the ceremony! The best part was that no one was concerned that Jennifer would be see by guests since the getting ready rooms were so convenient to it!

The ceremony and reception space at the Historic Pinecrest feature raised lodge like ceilings and lots of pine and light! the windows on both sides of the chapel aren’t quite enough for natural light in most cases because of the trees blocking light, but they are still gorgeous. The reception hall has a ton of natural light and is bright and beautiful. My favorite part was the stage right in the center where bride and groom can sit and be seen by everyone! If reception images are important to you, this is awesome!

Jennifer and Jordan’s day was filled with family, laughter and moments for memories. While I was with them for a short time that day, I look forward to following their love story for years to come! To view more images from Jennifer and Jordan’s wedding  click here!

family-portrait-at-pinecrest-rustic-colorado-wedding-venue
Family Portrait in front of the chapel

MAJECK Photography is a full service wedding photographer focused on following the love story and capturing the details of every client’s day in a way that will bring a smile to their face and a memory back to focus for years to come. We would love to hear from you about your upcoming wedding event – just contact us below!

 

Its A Boy

You may remember Corinne & Jeremy from a few months ago… (read about their session here) Corinne reached out last month and asked if I would help them with their gender reveal. Of course, I said yes, but I wanted to be responsible with the way in which we did a reveal. I suggested a color overlay but they really wanted the surprise in the moment.

Having never done confetti, smoke bombs, paint, chalk I wanted to be sure that we were following city and county requirements for safety and taking care of mother nature. Confetti specifically can be a huge mess and wildlife who consume it can become ill. Smoke bombs are considered a fire hazard and only allowed on private property where I live. So, I searched for a public park, with lots of fallen leaves and we decided on a “safe for nature” color cannon. I had never worked with these before and brought my husband along to shoot off the cannon so that I could capture the moment.

We started off with some fun family portraits (because why not) and then it was time for the main event. The first cannon didn’t really explode the way it was supposed to… It misfired a bit, but they were able to see and after some editing magic so are the rest of you!

It’s a BOY!

But my favorite picture was when they double confirmed with the envelope from the ultrasound. This family is so happy about their precious baby boy. Congratulations on your tie breaker!

It is important to me that reveals be environmentally responsible as well as emotional and exciting for families. I help with location planning and what methods will come the closest to “leaving no trace”. If you would like to schedule me for your reveal – message me today!

Destination Married

Chantelle & Zach – 10.05.2019

Chantelle, a native of South Africa, met her husband Zach online in college. After a few years, he proposed and she said “Yes!” Their wedding would be a

bridal party having some fun

destination event for her family no matter where they held it and so they chose a Colorado Wedding.

From renting a house so that everyone could have a blast for the weekend to Manitou Springs, to ordering in Chipotle for their reception… It was obvious that this wedding was more about their love for each other and their small family than anything else.

 

I was most impressed with Chantelle’s wedding day “special items”. Her grandmother gave her the charm bracelet years before and was no longer with her. So, it was important for her to wear it that day. Then, her other grandmother provided

Details of her wedding day.

her with a hanky used at her wedding. Combining those two special items with a bouquet that included a single flower from her native country, I was able to create a symbolic image for her of some of her most special details.

In Colorado, anyone can perform a ceremony and in this case, Zach’s mentor was the officiant. It was obvious that he was a bit of a jokester and there were more than enough “first kiss” opportunities! Family portraits and a big “group” photo were important elements of their shot list – which Chantelle was very thorough with. I encourage brides to provide me with a shot list

The whole group, pup included!

because and my questionnaire includes requesting one… Why? because you know who is important on your wedding day and I want to capture them!

At the end of our short time together, we hopped in the car and drove to Garden of the Gods for some couple’s portraits. These images gave them their Colorado splendor and a few minutes away from their families so that they could quietly celebrate their “I Do”.

A quiet moment away.

To see the full sneak of Chantelle & Zach’s big day click here!

Intimate weddings in Colorado are one of my favorite things to capture for couples. I even help with floral and planning services if needed! This helps budget conscious brides have beautiful images, a “friend” on the ground to help with details and peace of mind moving into their wedding day.

I’d love to help you with yours!

Vintage Floral Cake Smash

Enjoy the moment kid, this is the only time your parents are handing you an entire cake and letting you go to town! I tell pretty much every little person that when we hand them their cake during a Smash Session.

My kiddos did not have these and man I regret it! I may need another baby just to do one of my own. Or maybe on their 16th birthdays instead of their first? Anyways…

Little Miss V’s mom reached out to me a few months ahead of her first birthday wanting to book a session for her first birthday. My birthday sessions include portraits or “before” as well as lots of fun shots of little ones going to town on their special cake. I suggest to families if they want images back prior to first birthdays to schedule their smash at least 7 days before the big O-N-E.

Parents provide the cake and a rough idea of a theme. I then create some “MAJECK” and use backdrops or props to achieve the look they are going for. 2020 cake smash pricing will range from $100 to $200 depending on number of balloons, props and how intricate a design a parent wants. I also offer the cutest milk bath set up to help little

the cake smash!

ones clean up.

With V’s smash, the concept was clean and floral with a bit of a vintage vibe. Mom brought two outfits and a variety of headbands to wear along with the vase from V’s room. The rest was me! It was perfect and V definitely dug into her cake (unlike some kiddos).

My only complaint? Every single picture was perfect! See the smash here!

Want to book your little one’s cake smash? Reach out and let’s get you scheduled!

Fall Mini Wardrobes

It seems like Fall is that perfect season in Colorado for family portraits. August and September have been very busy for me and October is not slowing down. I actually recently had my own family portraits done as well (I’ve got to be in some of them!).

A common question from my clients is “What should we wear?”. Pinterest has tons of inspiration and I have a board that I steadily build onto for clients to reference.

But I thought it might be helpful to take you through wardrobe choices from a photographer’s point of view…

Colors/Patterns

Navy, Burgundy and White – add in plaid and an abstract floral for some fun!

For my home and business I have a color palette that I like to keep with. Colors that you find as you move throughout your home are always a good inspiration point (unless you are about to completely remodel in brand new colors). These are typically colors you are visually drawn to and will use time and again. Unless you are only going to print Black & White versions of your images this is something you may want to take into consideration.

Navy, Pale Blue, Pink & White – note the gold accessories and floral bow

For my family, I choose navy as a starting point more than any other color. In the spring it can be lightened up and in the fall it can be darkened with accents. Other colors that work the same way are black, brown, grey and cream. Once you have your base color, pick 2-3 other colors or patterns to coordinate with. More than 3 and you start getting too busy for your images and it can get distracting. Don’t do more than 2 patterns and try not to choose two busy patterns (flowers and polka dots). Instead, flowers and stripes, or plaid and solids that tie into the plaid.

 

Finally, consider your session location and any potential theme. Will there be props provided by the photographer that you will need to coordinate with? For instance, if a gold chair is going to be provided, you may want to avoid mustard or gold in case they aren’t exact matches.

Movement and Theme

Ask yourself what look you are trying to achieve with your family portraits. My fall minis are all outside

Both girls had flow so when dad danced, you could see the movement.

with wide open spaces. These are spots that you can move in and for women/girls especially I suggest finding dresses with some flowiness or movement to them! Slits in long dresses are also fun and visually interesting!

What does that mean and why should you think about it? Dress movement can add visual interest to your images. Twirling, swishing a dress and having skirts draped around you all keep the eye moving around an image. It means little things that might make you self-conscious are less likely to be noticed by you and your image will be a bit more artistic. It also allows your images to be less stiff and posed in their overall feel. Hats, scarves, sweaters and more are all great options as well. Cardigans and kimonos can give incredible movement even if you are wearing jeans and a tshirt! These can give your hands something to do and let you play a bit!

The slit in this dress allowed for mom to have a flowing effect as she ran across the field.

Be Careful

There are a few things I suggest that families be aware of when picking outfits. Especially with minis, if you are worried about these things we lose precious time and editing out/fixing these issues is an additional cost later on.

  • Bra Straps – there are a lot of gorgeous dresses out there that bra straps regularly pop out of. When picking options for women, test out the bra you want to wear with it.
  • Length – every once in a while someone orders a dress and it is way shorter than expected and you can see their discomfort. If it looks cute with leggings or stockings, go that route. Otherwise, message your photographer. I keep a stock of gowns and dresses that are meant to flatter multiple body types.
  • light shines through cream dresses – prepare accordingly
  • Logos – I don’t have a problem with these but if you are going to be annoyed seeing “x company” across a polo you might want to have the guys wear a different one.
  • Shoes – High Heels are gorgeous, they make my calves look awesome. However, when doing outdoor photos, you may be comfortable in dirt with heels.

One last tip… Wearing form fitting dresses is often gorgeous. If you are going to do this give your body a chance to breathe for 8-12 hours ahead of time. Tight underwear and pants can leave lines even after they are off.

At the end of the day, all I care about is capturing the connection that moves within your family. Wear what you are comfortable and come to your session ready for fun!

 

 

 

If you are interested in booking a session and creating “MAJECK” with Mary Elizabeth – you can contact her here!

C&J

Garden of the Gods Styled Elopement

Corinne and Jeremie met in high school and have been sweethearts ever since. Jeremy is a Marine Vet and Corinne is Active Duty Army. They reached out to me because they had eloped with no wedding pictures and she wanted beautiful images for them to have to cherish. By the time Corinne found me, they had already been married for 18 months and had two little ones at home. It was important to her to have images of their love to display and have their children look at whenever they wanted.

Corinne chose an inclusive package – the dress, flowers, location planning and all portraits were

Showing off her dress!

included.  I helped her plan every detail for her boho wedding portrait dreams to come to life. This is one of my favorite aspects of being a photographer, being able to hear a vision from a client and help create it.

When we first discussed their session, they told me that they would be moving soon and really wanted to capture Garden of the Gods as part of their journey together. With the location chosen, it was time to pick a dress. I have a client closet with dresses always available as well as the ability to rent high end gowns and boho lace dreams at multiple sizes and price points, when a client has a dream, I try to make it a reality. When we met for their session, I helped Corinne get dressed and perfect all the little details, including the flower crown for her hair. This is where she told me that she was now 8 weeks pregnant with baby number 3. This session was such a wonderful celebration for them!

We spent two hours together across three locations and I was impressed with the ease of their relationship and Jeremie’s desire to make his wife happy. He wasn’t really into public displays of affection or pictures in general but knew that this was important to her, so he was happy to do it. Being able to capture the loving way he guided her when she went without glasses for her portraits and the way he caressed her hand as they sat together made me feel like I was watching a Nicholas Sparks film in front of my eyes. Love like that exists and it was easy to tell how connected they are as a couple.

The day of this session had been massively stormy and Corinne was terrified that she wasn’t going to get her pretty sunset she had dreamed up. But the clouds cleared just in time and it ended up being one of the most beautiful Colorado sunsets I have witnessed all summer. As they watched the sunset, we finished our portraits and parted ways.

An Epic Colorado Sunset

I love to plan sessions like this and capture the intimate moments between couples. Because of this, I have set my rates and created payment plans to make sessions like this affordable for couples who want to elope or didn’t get professional pictures of their wedding. If you would like to learn more about my elopement packages or working with me in general, contact me here to start the conversation. I would love to hear your vision and give a little insight to help make your session one to fall in love with and your portraits something you cherish for the rest of your lives together.

Special Thanks to Samantha Jessup for assisting me with this post.

Anniversary Fun

man and woman standing at Garden of the Gods

Eliza and Marco flew into Colorado to celebrate their 1st wedding anniversary. They wanted pictures to document the beauty of the area and of course, as a lover of the state, I was able to suggest a few spots for some great pictures!

They love to dance and throughout the session you could see just how much Marco loved Eliza. These pictures were important to her and I loved the work to get beautiful images of this vacation for them!

couple running down a pathHowever, it was more than a bit of a rainy day. This summer, Colorado has been rough with weather. Almost every evening a storm would roll in and I feel a bit like a weather woman now! No joke, there is a radar app on my phone! That didn’t stop us as we stopped at three different parts of the park to take in the view and get incredible portraits that continue to tell their love story. As the sky couple sitting on an overhangbegan to open up I gave them two options – we could end or we could drive to a second location and continue the shoot with some dramatics spots and the storm looming towards us. They chose the second option and I am so glad that they did! All of this to show you that when you book with MAJECK, you are choosing a professional who understands her community and can get you great images in the sun or rain!

 Message me today to book your Colorado adventure session!couple together couple laughing

Breckenridge at Sunrise

couple embracing at sunrise

I love my job. I seriously love waking up every day, meeting new people and creating art to go on people’s walls. Even better, there is travel involved! Adventure is everywhere if you just look and that what I did with Nicole and Ryan.

Teaching her how to skip rocks

I posted on a military page that I was looking for a couple willing to wake up and do a sunrise session with me in Breckenridge and these two awesome newlyweds drove over 2 hours before the sun to do just that. For an hour we hiked around Sawmill Reservoir, skipped rocks and laughed so very hard. It turns off they had run off and gotten married but had no pictures and Ryan’s mom wanted them. This was perfection!

 

When couples reach out to me for their elopement and engagement portraits and have visions in mind, I work very hard to bring those visions to life. Sunrise isn’t easy on everyone – but when you can do it – it is so worth it. The sun glows on everything and begins to fill the earth up with warmth – it’s kind of like how love makes you feel. Out of body. Etheral. Just incredible.

Of course, not all of our images were specifically lifestyle – although my style is to let every session naturally move through the paces and create it’s own story. I am here for elopements and couples sessions to tell your love story through photography. I’ll pose when needed but I much prefer to do a combination of prompts and observing your interaction. Love is beautiful. I don’t need to force anything.

intimate moments captured

As I have moved through 2019, I have discovered just how much I love working with couples planning their elopements. In 2020, I will be offering a new line of elopement packages for those adventurous couples wanting a photographer to capture their moment and breathtaking natural backdrops. If that is you – message me for my 2019 prices!

To see the full album, including some crazy antics, click here!

Alicia & Eva

How soon after you met “The One” did you know?

My parents met on February 13th and were married on May 29th of the same year. Next May, that will be 50 years. Mom says she knew the moment she met my Dad that she would marry him and spend their lives together. My husband and I took a lot longer – we didn’t go on our first date until 6.5 years into a friendship. From that first moment though, we knew.

I recently was invited to capture an elopement between these two beautiful people. Watching their giddiness and excitement as they “ran away” to Garden of the Gods and got married was beautiful. They had taken the time to plan the little details (the rings and bouquet were out of this world). Their closest friends were around them (and incredibly supportive). Alicia had even brought out a violinist to perform before and during the wedding.

Every single moment of the wedding was joy filled, just like every bride hopes their day will be. Alicia and Eva “ran away” to get married because everyone said wait. After three months, they knew. After five minutes, I could see their love for each other. I’ve gone to a lot of weddings but the pure emotions that moved between these two touched my heart.

It was magic.

If you are planning your Colorado Springs/Garden of the Gods Elopement – contact me! I would love to hear from you and help you plan the perfect day in my favorite part of the city!