by emilie becker | Mar 22, 2021 | Engagement Photography
Beautiful Engagement Photos in Joshua Tree California
I have been dying to photograph at Joshua Tree National Park in California for a while now and when Lauren and Dakota said they were adventurous enough to take the trek out there, I was so excited!
Unfortunately In order to take professional photos in the national park you have to get a permit and it can cost an upwards of $315, because of this we actually opted not to shoot in the actual park itself . luckily the entire area of Joshua Tree is absolutely beautiful and offers many unique locations to photograph in.
We rented the cutest little airbnb for the night and took full advantage of the gorgeous scenery both at sunset and at sunrise! We even got a cheeky little session in the airbnb!
Lauren and Dakota were such a joy to work with, their passion and fun vibes made the whole experience. I am so grateful for being able to be a part of their love story! I hope you enjoy their photos as much as I do!
by emilie becker | Feb 3, 2021 | Love Stories, Wedding Photography
Two Benefits of a First Look
The days of strict traditional weddings are slowly fading out and one of the newer trends that have come around are breaking the age old tradition of not seeing the bride before the ceremony. This trend is called a first look. It’s a specific time set aside for the bride and groom to share a moment together before the ceremony.
Now you may be extremely against this or simply wondering why? Some may think it is all about the photos and that is why it turns them away but it’s so much more than that. There a two main reasons why a first look can be an excellent idea for your wedding day.
Creates a beautiful and intimate moment
When you walk down the isle and your husband to be sees you for the first time you will probably take his breath away. He will relish at how he came to be with such an amazing and beautiful woman and feel lucky he is about to promise forever to you. But he won’t be able to express any of this as he feels it. You will be given away and have to stand in front of all of your guests to begin the actual marriage process. Skipping over his initial reaction of seeing you.
With a first look you are given a chance as a couple, to enjoy each other privately, and marvel at the beauty of what you are about to do. Without all eyes looking towards you expectantly.
You will get to hear your future husband tell you how extraordinarily beautiful you are as he takes you into his arms. You will get to feel the excitement of the day and remember the reason why you are here, because of the love between you two.
And of course all of these beautifully intimate moments will be captured for you tot elite forever. Adding to the personal and emotional story of your wedding photos.
Allows for more time flexibility in your schedule
You will be surprised how little time there is to accommodate everything you want to do on your wedding day. Photographs can be one of the most time consuming but also a very important part of preserving the memory’s of your wedding day. After all It’s not every day you get to have all of your friends and family in one place and have a professional photographer on hand!
Your going to want to have a photo with everyone that matters to you, and you’ll be surprised how quickly that eats away at your time. A first look is an excellent way to make the most of that time.
If you wait until after the ceremony to do all of your photos you will only have an hour long window while your guests are enjoying cocktail hour to do all of your family, bridal party and personal wedding photos. This can add unwanted time stress resulting in a less enjoyable experience as well as cut down on the ability to have those beautiful intimate photos of just you and your partner.
If you choose do a first look, this is an excellent way to give yourself some extra time to get all of your bridal party and even some of your family photos out of the way. Resulting in more time for your formals as a married couple after the ceremony, and may even free up some time for you to join in on the cocktail hour for a bit!
When deciding if a first look is for you think about what is more important. If you really want to stay traditional and wait for that first look to be you walking down the isle, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. After all it is your big day and it should include what is most important to you and your partner.
If your still looking for a way to have that intimate moment before the ceremony, without spoiling that first look, there is an option for you! It is called a “first touch”. This option allows you and your partner can hold hands and exchange some meaningful words, separated by a wall or a door so you don’t spoil the surprise!
Whether a first look or a first touch is for you or not your wedding day is sure to be magical. If time is your biggest worry, check out my post about how to plan a day of timeline.
by emilie becker | Dec 13, 2020 | Engagement Photography, Photography, Wedding Photography
How to Include Your Dog in Your Photos
Dogs are Man and woman’s best friend, so of course it’s only natural to want to include them in important moments such as your engagement or family photo session. Heck, I say dress them up and bring them to your wedding or elopement! However, there are certain things you should be aware of and ways to make it easier to include your fur babies in your special moments.
Know your dogs behaviors and make sure you have a game plan on how control them.
If you have a small dog this is easy you can simply hold them in your photos. But if you have a dog that’s a bit too big to hold and carry your going to want to take into consideration how well they behave and how obedient they are.
Does your dog know simple commands such as sit and stay, and do they stick to them even in exciting situations? Are the good off leash? Or do they wander and get excited and not listen to anything anyone has to say?
If your dog is the latter don’t write them off completely for being in your photos, you will just have to adapt your plan… and maybe your expectations. Expect more candid photos and a lot of laughter, but that’s what real life is right? Make it fun and enjoy the authenticity of having your dog sharing in these moments with you.
If you do have a super obedient dog then there will definitely be more chances for nice easy looking at the camera photographs, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun too! Bring along Fido’s favorite toy and get him or her playing if you’re looking to capture those fun natural moments with your dog.
Toys are great for play but treats are the best way to get your dog to cooperate. Don’t forget to bring along a few of your dog’s favorite treats to help give your furry friend some incentive to sit pretty for the camera.
Pro tip: If possible give the treats to your photographer and have them give the commands to capture your dogs attention so your dog looks to them and the camera instead of you. If you desire your babe to be looking at you switch the rolls!
As fun as it is to include your furry friends into your photos, most likely you don’t want them to be in EVERY photo. The best way to deal with this is to organize someone to come along to your session that can take your dog when you don’t want them in the photos.
Decide with your photographer when in the shoot you want to include your pup and have the care taker bring them in for that specific time and take them away again when they’re roll has been filled. This will leave you with the time you need to get other photos without having to worry about you dogs well-being.
Big moments are meant to be shared with friends and family and your fur family is no exception! I hope these tips helped to make you feel more confident in making the decision to include your dog or dogs in your next photo session!
by emilie becker | Nov 13, 2020 | Elopement Photography, Engagement Photography, How To, Love Stories, Wedding Photography
How to Unpose – The Secret to Authentic Photos
If you are not a model, the thought of being in front of a camera can be daunting enough, trying to act natural on top of that is basically impossible. There are a lot of guides out there that will tell you how to “pose like a pro” for your photos but in this guide I am going to help you learn how to “unpose”.
Would you rather spend your wedding day having orders barked at you from someone with a camera telling you to hold your hands and tilt your head, OR spend it creating real and authentic memories that can be captured to tell the story of your love; as a result letting you relive your favorite moments for years to come?
Personally I would prefer the latter, but you may be wondering how in the world are you supposed to be natural and candid in front of a camera? Here are a few things to keep in mind when taking pictures that will guarantee a natural flow to your photography sessions and give you images you will fall in love with over and over again.
Make sure you are touching
So many times I have couples show up to their photo sessions and act as if they are afraid to touch each other. If you’re not a PDA person, I get it, but now is not the time to be shy. The camera and I will not judge we will eat up all of your displays of affection.
Throughout your session be conscious to be touching your partner. Hold their hand or rest your head on their shoulder. When hugging make sure you get close, this isn’t a middle school dance there is no three finger rule!
Think about how you would naturally touch your partner when you are home and want to display your affection. The real trick here is pretending the camera is not there and focusing only on your person in front of you and how much you absolutely adore and love them.
When it comes to any kind of modeling this is a golden rule. Often times when we are put in front of a camera we get really stiff and feel as though we need to freeze, but it’s not the 19th century anymore folks! My camera is more than capable of freezing motion way beyond you moving your hand or turning your head.
Be fluid with your motion as if you are simply acting as you would behind closed doors. Hold your partner, sway with them, tuck a stray strand of hair behind their ear, kiss, adjust yourself as much as you want, these actions that are so natural in life are what create natural looking snapshots. The goal of a photograph is to freeze a moment in time, not capture and already frozen moment.
One of my favorite things is to have my couples dance together. Dancing can be extremely intimate or it can turn out to simply be super fun and ends in laughter. The best are the twirls, spins, and dips!
An excellent way to creating real authentic moments is to remember why you are having photos taken in the first place. Think about how much you love the person standing in front of you. Think about why you love them. Tell them that. It’s important to voice your emotions during your session it will deepen the connection you have with each other and bring out those raw feelings of love that translate so well to your photos.
Don’t forget to smile!
I’m not talking about the say cheese kind of smile, I’m talking about the kind of smile that takes over your entire face no matter what you do. The smile that reaches all the way to your eyes. Think about what is actually happening in these moments. You are celebrating your love to your favorite person on earth, you are promising forever to them, now does that not put a smile on your face?
What’s the saying? Live fully, Love Fiercely and Laugh often? Yeah, apply that here. No, but seriously, what is life without laughter. Tell jokes to each other, now is the perfect time to whip out those inside jokes that only you two know about and make you laugh without fail.
It’s also fun to get a little dirty. Sometimes, I’ll have my couples whisper something dirty or naughty in each other’s ear, and without fail it always ends up in a laughing fit that results in some of the most beautiful, fun and genuine photos of the session. Couples who laugh together stay together!
The most important thing is to have fun and really focus on being in the moment. Most of my previous points have already stated this but it is the basis to good photos. If you are enjoying yourself throughout the session, your photos are bound to be amazing.
Choose the right photographer
I have said this before in past writings, but I really cannot stress it enough. You want to choose a photographer who you feel 100% comfortable with. Try to find someone that you could literally see yourself hanging out with in general, it will guarantee you feel confident and comfortable in your photos so you can have the most real and authentic moments as possible!
by emilie becker | Nov 12, 2020 | Elopement Photography
Top 5 Locations To Elope In Arizona
Every state has it’s features that make it beautiful and special. I’ve always been drawn to the red rock and cacti of Arizona, which is part of the reason I decided to make it the first stated I’d live in when I left Florida. After taking some time to do some exploring, I have put together a list of places that I think would be a totally EPIC elopement location.
As a result of these locations being explored by me most of the images are simply photos I have taken on my own personal adventures!
Saguaro National Park
This is actually the only place on this list that I haven’t actually been yet but, it is next on my list! I am obsessed with the saguaro cacti as they only grow in a certain part of the country and are so big and majestic looking. I like to call them picture perfect cacti, because if you look at all the trendy pictures and drawings of cacti they are always this type of cactus.
Your elopement day is bound to be on point at this destination!
There’s no doubt that Horseshoe Bend is a unique location. It is a short and simple hike making it a really good option if you aren’t looking to do any crazy hiking or for intimate weddings with guests that wouldn’t be able to accompany you on a traditional hike. This location is beautiful at golden hour but tends to get a bit crowded around sunset, if you’re looking to beat the crowds consider a sunrise hike instead!
When I used to day dream about Arizona the landscape at monument valley is what I pictured. The monuments themselves make for an excellent backdrop for any photo and your elopement would be no exception! The best part is that it is a HUGE park and there are many opportunities for a beautiful backdrop while still having the intimacy of it being just you and your guests.
Cathedral Rock, Sedona
Looking to be more traditional without going as far as getting married in a church? Consider a more natural cathedral made out of red rock! Sedona in general is hands down my favorite place in Arizona. It’s spirituality and healing properties really speak to me, if you’ve ever been to Sedona you know what I’m talking about!
Cathedral rock can be a more intense hike if you are planning on going all the way to the top so it would not be the best for grandma, but is a great option for a sunrise hike just the two of you to the top and an intimate wedding ceremony in the evening on the lower levels.
The Grand Canyon
Last but definitely not least, the grandest location of them all! The Grand canyon gives many location and hiking options that there is something that works for everyone. The north rim is more secluded and is a great option for a summer elopement on one of the back trail hikes. If you’re really dedicated you can even hike down into the canyon!
For something a bit more low key and in the cooler months of the year the south rim has many options and easy hikes that would be suitable for an intimate wedding and easily accessible for all your guests!
There are so many amazing locations in Arizona these are just a few of my favorites. These locations would also be a really good option for a newlywed session, if you aren’t familiar with what a newlywed session is or are considering one for yourself, you can learn more about them here. If you are looking to elope in Arizona and have an epic location in mind that you want to pass along to me, I would love to hear about it!