Jenny & Jeff. A Harper's Ferry Engagement Session


I describe myself as high-maintenance when I first talk with a bride because I don’t just shoot over a pricing list, availability calendar, and contract. Instead, I make them talk to me… lots. I want to hear what matters to the couple, what things they admire about each other, why they are motivated to bind their lives and hearts to the other. I have to be emotionally invested before I offer a bride a contract, and I know that’s unusual for most vendors. We are, after all, running a business. Our time is limited and from a spreadsheet perspective, we should just be trying to book the limited number of wedding weekends. But photographing a wedding is a long day and a job that takes attention to detail and attention to small moments that might be missed if you’re not on your A-game. And if you’re not intentional about how you spend your time, you’ll get burned out.

The way I remedy that is to get emotionally attached. I need to hear a couple’s story and connect so much that I’m praying on the way to each shoot. “God, please let me do a good job for Jenny and Jeff. Help me see and catch the light and the love.”

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So, honestly, those first couple of minutes are usually a little bit awkward. I mean, when was the last time a complete stranger asked you, “what are you passionate about? What makes you tick?” But Jenny is probably the easiest person to talk to in a 5 state radius. We hopped on the phone for a quick chat and an hour later my husband was asking for back-up with the kids’ bath time. Whoops; sorry Honey. Time kinda got away from us.

So when we met up for our pricing meeting, it was more of the same. I don’t know how we didn’t run out of things to talk about. And Jeff is the strong, silent type, so he didn’t seem to mind; God bless him! So I was really looking forward to Jenny and Jeff’s engagement session because I wanted to see them interact with one another in a relaxed setting.

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Well, the pair did not disappoint. We had so much fun and it was so sweet to see Jeff (who was previously so reserved) light up when Jenny would laugh or smile. These were clearly not forced smiles. This was a man who was motivated to protect this woman’s heart and make her feel secure and happy. I like to get out of earshot for lots of poses and direct a couple to dance or talk about when they first fell in love- so there’s lots of opportunity for warm fuzzy moments. I’ll save their backstory for their wedding post. It’s an inspiring one. In the meantime, enjoy these glowy engagement pictures from Harper’s Ferry National Park. It was one of the first warm Saturdays of spring, and so it was PACKED, but we made the best use of our time amongst the river, woods, and downtown. What an awesome day!

Claire Watson