Andrea and Paul Engagement
Old City, Philadelphia
November 5th 2017
If you follow me on any form of Social Media you will have seen this beautiful engagement session magic of the picture above. I keep referencing it and saying how it's going to end up printed on my wall in my own home... which may or may not be a joke...
Before our session, Andrea and I were emailing back and forth about the rain and weather and where to meet up and so on. I don't know if you all have noticed, but it has rained EVERY EFFING WEEKEND since September. I know A mutual friend, Steph, has noticed as we've moved back her family shoot 90,000 times (not an exaggeration either). Regardless, the week off said rain on Sunday, the day of our shoot but we decided to wait until the date got closer to make the call. One day I'm just going to have an engagement session in the rain and it's going to be so much fun! Nonetheless, we didn't have to worry about that!
I'm pretty sure I said it 17 times during Andrea and Paul's Engagement Session but I can't believe how nice it ended up being!! As I was driving into the city, it was a little cloudy and there was a bit of chill in the air but as soon as we met up the clouds cleared and the sun was out. Like, what?! That doesn't just happen... especially when I have thousands of dollars of water sensitive equipment on me. It made our starting point very clear though. Andrea and I had tossed around the idea of shooting at Race Street Pier, 1) Because I love to shoot there, and 2) because Andrea and Paul are from New Jersey so it made sense to have it in the background. Do I love shooting there in the clouds? Not as much because it's fun to get the bridge and sky. Again, I didn't have to worry about having a gloomy sky. Poor Paul on the other hand had to worry about the heat as I'm pretty sure it warmed up to 70 nice and quickly while we were shooting in the open sun. Trooper Award!!
I laugh because in one of the emails exchanged Andrea said she was talking to Paul about the session and said, "I told him it would be weird, and then we'll have fun". I'm fairly confident in saying that none of the grooms to be that I work with or even Dad's at family sessions have a huge desire to have their picture taken... I'm also confident in saying that I will be using Andrea's line next time someone brings up that fact!
I have to be honest with you all. I usually end up NEVER using the first couple of pictures I shoot because thats when I get all the faces of "What the h*ll are we doing here? What do I do with my hands? Why do we have hands? Do my feet look weird? Do I stink? Why am I sweating already? Has she been shooting this whole time?" I can read is so clearly on the faces of my clients and I don't blame them! The same things go through my head when someone points a massive lens at my face. I get it. I don't judge. What I don't get is how Andrea and Paul took those awkward first pictures and turned them into relaxed magic. I'm in love! Between the sun working to our advantage, the well put together outfits, the magic that was happening in front of me, etc... I knew this was going to be a good day!
I also got to spend my time doing my most favorite thing, bouncing around the Philadelphia on a Sunday. I don't know what it is about the city on Sundays but there is a different feeling in the air to me. All the drunks are still nursing their hangovers in the gutters so the streets are filled with happy people who finally have a day off. Usually the brunch attire is in full swing and by that I mean Yoga pants, PSL's in hand, a graphic tank sporting something about brunch hair, don't care, you get the gist. I even wore a shirt that said, Will Squat for Tacos, just so I could blend in with my surroundings. So as we are walking up the Pier I tell Andrea and Paul, don't worry, you guys will be the best dressed in the city today which will also make people look our way and wonder what we are doing... Ignore them and enjoy your session. No sooner did I finish speaking did we see a wedding party and 5 other people with the same ideas as us. As far as I'm concerned, they were still the best dressed people in the City on Sunday.
A little fact that most people don't know about me, I used to live in the city. When I tell people this their first thought is that I was in a trendy location like Fishtown, Northern Liberties or Old City, but no... I was in Kensington. More importantly, I survived! While I lived in the city I did my fair share of exploring and I thought I knew every park in the city. Even before I moved down myself my bestie lived in Philly and we would wander around the streets for Sunday Funday every weekend. So explain to me how I NEVER knew about FDR Park. Do I live under a rock?!! I'm a semi (fake) sports fan! I've been to games! I hoofed around the area of the stadiums - mainly because I'm too cheap to pay for parking - but when Paul drove us to this park I was like a kid in a candy shop. What is this place and when did we get to Narnia?! This is the thing I love most about working with new people, I get to explore new places. I also like the stories I hear along the way although I can't share some because Andrea asked me not to. I want to so badly though. As she was telling me this story, Paul's face - which I couldn't see at the time - must have said, "Wait, what?" Apparently he was also hearing this scandalous story for the first time. haha Hysterical couple.
Another part I love about working with new couples is grasping an understanding for their relationship. Sometimes I can get vibes from the first meeting, sometimes it doesn't happen until the wedding day or even after. For Andrea and Paul it happened on the ride to FDR Park and even more so at the park. We all started to relax a little more and let me tell you, these two love each other. Their relationship is this perfect blend of nurturing and laughter. They were supportive of one another through all of the award moments (which actually weren't that many) and they didn't pick at each other or huff and puff even when I asked them to do some pretty silly things. Everyone knows my code words for "stupid" is "silly", right? I feel it's more polite. But yes, sometimes I will put a couple in an awkward position or make a strange request and they were so go-with-the-flow that I feel in love. Watching these two make each other happy made me happy, this is a relationship I'm excited about! (Okay... I know I love all my couples... I can't help it, good people choose to work with me!)
Our last stop for the day was for some damn food! Andrea and I both started the day saying we we hungry - hey girl, perfect match - and we both did our best to ignore it until we got into Old City. As the sun was starting to run for us we made one last stop at this building I will forever NOT know the name of, but I love shooting here. Sadly the sun had escaped us a little sooner than I planned so we blew through this spot. Luckily, however, Andrea and Paul became pros as this thing I call photography and they nailed it in the short time we were there.
I leave this blog ending on my sad bit of news... I will not be the one to shoot their wedding as their date falls on the weekend after my due date. :( I'm legit sad about it. They will still have a part of me there as I have hired my amazing sister in law to capture their big day for them! Andrea and Paul had requested to meet with their new future head shooter and what better way than over food and drinks. So as I thought we were finished for the day, I spotted twinkly lights and it was still warm enough for us to eat outside so I was able to sneak in a few more shots. Let me tell you how these are my people. Over beer and wine (and yummy flavored fizzy water for me) we ate two rounds and appetizers. hahaha One wasn't enough for us, we had to get more and I had so much fun hearing more about their wedding as they explained it with excitement to my sister in law. If I have my way, I will be able to make it to shoot at least a part of their wedding, but only time will tell! Either way I know it is going to be a beautiful day filled with a sh*t ton of love and emotion.
Until then, Andrea and Paul, thanks for spending the day with me in the city and reminding me why I love doing what I do! And of course of sharing delicious food with me #letsgetmorefriedgreentomatos!