Baker Beach Engagement Sessions

In the last week, I've gotten a chance to do not one but TWO engagement shoots at Baker Beach in San Francisco. Baker Beach, for those who don't know, is that beach that you always see on postcards of the city--the one with the amazing view of the Golden Gate Bridge. I've worked there before, but haven't been back for a long time.

What these two very different shoots brought home to me is how different engaged couples can be. Amberly and Josh, who I worked with last Friday, were simultaneously outgoing and romantic. One minute they were hamming it up for the camera, the next they were lost in their own world. Josh was adorable and gentlemanly, and Amberly's face lit up whenever she looked at him. They needed very little direction, and were content to make up their own story about the locations we went to and the things they were doing. At one point, Josh remarked how the little forest area next to the beach felt like something out of a fairy tale, like sleepy hollow--which I guess would have made that hobo wandering around in the parking lot an enchanted elf. :)

Shauneen and Mike, whose shoot was the week before that, were a bit more reserved. They started the shoot off very camera-aware, as I think is common with many people who are used to the more traditional type of "look at me and smile" photography. We are conditioned to think of the camera as being a recorder of physical states, rather than emotional ones, and we've adopted all these mannerisms to make us "look better" in front of it, taking focus away from the natural beauty of the moment. Sometimes it takes awhile to break out of these patterns.

But that is what these sessions are all about. The extra time with Shauneen and Mike was well spent, because now they are comfortable with me. By the end of the shoot they were able to allow their private couple-ness to come through, and the comfortability and tenderness that they have with each other was great to watch and record. The best part is, now I will be able to walk around at their wedding virtually unnoticed, which is the way I like it.

These engagement sessions are so important, as they are a way to get to know your photographer and work out any of these little details that could get in the way on the wedding day. Most people have never been formally photographed before this, outside of maybe a 5 second school portrait. The engagement session gives them a chance to get used to the process and the presence of a photographer, getting rid of any anxiety they may have. It is a vital step in the process and something everyone should make room for in their budget.

Most of my packages include it for free, but for those that don't, I only charge $100 to add it on. I also do sessions for couples whose wedding I am not photographing at my regular portrait price of $275+. Email me to schedule yours today!

Update: you can see the proofs from the Engagement sessions on Pictage. Just go the the home page at and type in the names of the couple you want to see in the "Find Your Event" window. Follow the instructions for logging on that follow. It's that simple!

1 comment:

Amberly said...

Love the pictures can't wait to see the rest :)